Edition 126 - June 2010

Artwork: Peter Rothwell

Artwork: Judie Weedon


Although spring has been a long time coming, the cold nights lingering well into May, we've been very lucky with a lot of sunny days and clear blue skies. As has become tradition, the June cover belongs to 'Napps'. Again I thank Mike and Sue Richards for sponsoring the cover and Peter for his original and delightful birds-eye-view of Napps.

I should like to take this opportunity to thank Keith for his 'Letters from the Rector' and support of the Newsletter and wish him and Chris health and happiness in his retirement and their new life ahead.

On behalf of Ken and myself, thank you all for your good wishes and kind thoughts during Ken's recent stay in hospital and his recuperation. And whilst giving thanks, I do so to all the contributors to another article-packed issue.

From humble beginnings, like Topsy our Newsletter has 'grow'd', and unbelievably comes of age with the August edition. There will be birthday celebrations on Saturday, 7th August - further details follow - but please be sure to make a note of the date and do your best to come and join in the fun.

As always, we welcome any newcomers to the village and wish them happiness in their new homes and good wishes go to anyone not feeling on top form at present.

Finally, the usual plea - items and articles for the special Birthday Issue will be welcome as soon as possible and by Wednesday, 14th July, at the very latest. Thanks.

Judie - Ed



The poet W.H. Auden said his preferred mode of government was: "Dictatorship tempered with assassination."

Was he being ironic?



The Speaker at the April Meeting was Bernard Hill, known as the Fox Man because of his ability to imitate wild animals to catch foxes.

He was born into a farming family in Langtree in 1932 and during the war years loved to join his father trapping rabbits, which they sold locally.

It was during the 1950's that Bernard discovered he had a gift for making foxes come to him. Before long he used his skills to help local farmers who were losing lambs daily. Over the course of a few weeks he had lured more than twenty foxes by imitating birds, mice and other animals hunted by them.

His love of the countryside has not diminished since he was a boy; he is a skilled Devon stone wall builder, thatcher, rick maker and Devon hedge layer, to mention a few of his attributes - no wonder he had no time to get married!

Fourteen members and three visitors attended the Meeting on 4th May which was chaired by 'yours truly' as Janet Gibbins had to stand down due to her many other commitments. Janet Gammon suggested an outing to Hartland Abbey in June. Fifteen members were needed to fill the minibus to make it viable but unfortunately numbers were not forthcoming. She is now looking into an outing to the Woody Bay Railway to include lunch and/or a cream tea. Members' cars could be used for this short distance.

Tom Bartlett then showed slides of postcards of old Berrynarbor. He and Inge came to Ilfracombe in 1964 - they were the youngest hoteliers in the town. They bought Tower Cottage in 1973 and moved there permanently a few years later.

Tom blames Inge for his interest in postcards as she bought five for him from the market in 1971 and his collection now contains 56,000!! Mr. Garratt, the photographer, took nearly 200 photos of Berrynarbor - did he have a girlfriend in the village?! It was interesting to see how it looked in the early 1900's - Miss Muffet's was a shop and Langleigh House was the post office. There was a photo of Jim Dart, the knife sharpener, who travelled around the area staying a few days in each place.

Rosemary Gaydon thanked Tom for his interesting presentation and the raffle was won by Janet Gammon. Tim Davis, from Harpers Mill, will be speaking about birds in and around Berrynarbor on the 1st June and Marilyn Richards explains acupuncture to us on 6th July.

As usual there will be no Meeting in August. Meetings recommence on 7th September when Stephen Davies from the Citizens Advice Bureau will be coming to talk to us. It would be nice to see a few more ladies at these Meetings. so please come along - first Tuesday in the month in the Manor Hall at 2.00 p.m.

Doreen Prater




Oh all the time that e'er I spent,
I spent it in good company;
And any harm that e'er I've done,
I trust it was to none but me;
May those I've loved through all the years
Have memories now they'll recall;
So fill to me the parting glass,
Goodnight, and joy be with you all.

Oh all the comrades that e'er I had,
Are sorry for my going away;
And all the loved ones that e'er I had
Would wish me one more day to stay.
But since it falls unto my lot
That I should leave and you should not,
I'll gently rise and I'll softly call
Goodnight, and joy be with you all.

Of all good times that e'er we shared,
I leave to you fond memory;
And for all the friendship that e'er we had
I ask you to remember me;
And when you sit and stories tell,
I'll be with you and help recall;
So fill to me the parting glass,
God bless, and joy be with you all.


Toby died peacefully at home on the 2nd April. We, and the family, should like to thank the village for the words of comfort and sympathy, and the cards and flowers we received.

Toby moved to Orchard House 35 years ago on retiring from farming. He enjoyed the village life, attending most local events. He loved his painting hobby, local history, wine making and gardening. He enjoyed the snooker club, meeting up with Len Bowden, Don Arscott and many others, ending the night with a pint or two. He was a founder member of the U3A and the Berrynarbor Wine Circle.

It helps us to know that he was so well thought of by the village.

Joan and David

We have been thinking of Joan and David during the long time they have looked after Toby - he could not have received more loving and supportive care - and our thoughts continue to be with them and all the family at this sad time following Toby's death on Good Friday. Bless you all.


Artwork: Helen Armstead


Following the superb service on Mothering Sunday, the church was full again on Palm Sunday when the service was led by Rector Keith and the school choir came in to join the village choir. Everyone was invited to join the procession around the church after paper palm leaves had been scattered along the aisles by the children and the palm crosses had been handed round. The popular Palm Sunday hymns were sung and also a lively rendition of 'Jubilate'. Special thanks to Mrs. Newell and school staff for their work with the children.

Easter Day was celebrated by about 60 adults and children, the sun streaming through the windows at last, and the church once again bright with flowers, thanks to Sue and her helpers, as everyone rejoiced in the glorious Easter message.

There will be some changes to services at the end of June as we say our farewells to Rector Keith on his retirement. He will celebrate his last Eucharist in Berrynarbor at the 11.00 a.m. service on Sunday, 20th June, which incidentally is also Fathers' Day. Then there will be no morning service in the village on Sunday, 27th June, as we shall all be going over to Combe Martin to join in the service there to celebrate Keith's time with us as well as his 38 years of ministry. This service will begin at 10.00 a.m. and we may need to get there in good time!

That evening, Christians Together will be holding their 6.30 p.m. service led by Rector Keith in Berrynarbor church, so do come along - this is always a happy occasion and there will be refreshments afterwards. And if you are planning to come to the Farewell Party on 19th June, be sure to obtain your ticket while there are still some available.

Over the summer, services will continue as usual beginning at 11.00 a.m. and overseen by the Archdeacon of Barnstaple. There will always be someone to lead the service and it will be up to us to make every effort to come along and support whoever it may be, ready for when a new Rector arrives.

St. Peter's continues to need funds and the PCC will be holding a Gift Day on Wednesday, 30th June. As usual, letters and envelopes will be delivered around the village the week before and the PCC and church members will be at the lych gate to receive your donations. Again, do support us - all aspects of the church are so important to the village. Following on, the Summer Fayre will be held on Tuesday, 3rd August this year.

The observant will have noticed a cross that has been erected in the churchyard by the tower. This cross has been given in memory of the late Daisy Carter by her family and may be used by anyone in the parish. There are many living in the village who have come from away and are not always able to visit family graves; others have interred or scattered ashes elsewhere. A wish has been expressed for a focal point where flowers could be laid on anniversaries and festivals. There is now a special spot thanks to Marion and her family.

Christian Aid envelopes have been delivered around the village. If you still have one which you would like to return, please hand it in to the Community Shop or at church. Donations from all the churches will be presented at the Christians Together service on the 27th June. Friendship Lunches will be held at The Globe on Wednesdays 23rd June and 28th July. All welcome.

Mary Tucker



Simon Tracey of SWT [South West Textiles] are a recycling company based in Ilfracombe who are helping the charity to raise funds by placing textile recycling banks out for the charity. They have recently placed a clothes recycling bank at Berrynarbor Post Office car park and would like to draw village folks' attention to it, so they can recycle, reduce landfill and help a worthy charity. The bank has the 'Dreams Come True' logo on it.

The unwanted clothes are sent to people less fortunate than ourselves, for example clothes go to Eastern Europe and shoes to Africa, where there is an acute shortage and they give the school children dignity and help prevent diseases, such as hookworm, entering the body through wounds in the feet.

A percentage of the money raised by this means comes back to SWT for them to fulfil the dreams of terminally ill children - meeting pop-star idols, swimming with dolphins or even a trip to Disney World. The cost of fulfilling dreams can be very little or quite a lot and can range from supplying specialist equipment to sending a family on a much needed holiday.

So, please use the bank at the Post Office to recycle your unwanted clothes, textiles, shoes, etc., to help others.

For more information visit: www.dctc.org.uk and www.south-west-textile.co.uk, or 'phone Simon on [01271] 879097 or 07891345965.



On Saturday, 19th June we are having a farewell 'Thank You' Party for the Rev. Keith Wyer. It will be in the form of a 'Bring and Share' Buffet, at the Manor Hall, starting at 7.30 p.m. This is a shared venture as Berrynarbor and Combe Martin are a United Benefice and Combe Martin Church Hall will not be big enough for the anticipated numbers.

On Sunday, 27th June, at 10.00 a.m., there will be a united service at St. Peter ad Vincula, Combe Martin. This will be a celebration of the Eucharist and will also be a celebration of Keith's ministry, being the 38th anniversary of his ordination. Also on the 27th, at 6.30 p.m. there is a Christians Together service at St. Peter's, Berrynarbor, to which all are welcome.

Everyone is welcome at either or both of these events as we show our appreciation for all that Keith has done. Because we have no idea of the number of people wishing to attend the celebration at the Manor Hall, entrance will be by ticket only. This may sound rather formal, but we have to abide by the fire, health and safety regulations, and the ladies who are supervising the refreshments could not possibly be expected to cope with hundreds of people from both communities suddenly descending on the Manor Hall! There will be no charge for tickets and these will be available from Berrynarbor Community Shop and Post Office.

We shall be making a collection towards a retirement gift for Keith who has been with us for eighteen years. Please give any donations in Berrynarbor to either Mary Tucker [Treasurer], Copper Beech, Sterridge Valley, or Stuart Neale [Warden], 23 Berrynarbor Park, Sterridge Valley, or Doreen Prater [Warden], 9 Wayfaring, St. John's, Barnstaple. Cheques should be made payable to St. Peter ad Vincula PCC and marked on the back with 'Gift for K. Wyer'.

Donations in Combe Martin should be given either to David Richards [Treasurer], Springside, Rews Close, or Mike Squire [Warden], 2 Orchard Close, Chapel Lane, or Janet Taylor [Warden], Vicary's Farthing, Buzzacott Lane.

Stuart Neale and Doreen Prater - Wardens, Berrynarbor
Michael Squire and Janet Taylor - Wardens, Combe Martin



The sale, held on May Bank Holiday, raised £545.00 for the Village Shop. I should like to thank everybody who donated plants - there was a fantastic variety and quantity. All plants not sold on the day have been made available from the Shop.

Also, a big thank you to those who gave their time on the day and, of course, all of you who bought plants. We look forward to another great sale next year.




The concert party, Tim Massey, Phil Bridle, Norma and Tony Holland and three ladies from Ilfracombe and Lee, recently donated a cheque for £600 to the Devon Air Ambulance Trust. This excellent figure was raised during 2009 by performing at Residential Homes, Day Care Centres, Pensioners' Clubs and W.I's.

This year we have decided to concentrate our fund-raising on charities helping those in our local community suffering from various forms of dementia. Initially, we shall be supporting the Castle Cafe, Ilfracombe [featured in the April Newsletter] which provides a friendly and informal cafe with a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere for people with memory problems and their families. Meetings are held on the 4th Tuesday of every month, from 2.00 to 4.00 p.m. in the Common Room at The Candar, next door to Ilfracombe Library. Information and support is available as well as direct access to professional health and social care staff.

We are currently planning to set up a 'Singing for the Brain' group in our area under the auspices of The Alzheimer's Society. Briefly, group singing provides a novel way for people with dementia, along with their carers, to express themselves - a means of accessing memories and an opportunity to interact creatively with others. Even when many memories are hard to retrieve, music can still be recalled thus creating a bond of unity between the person with dementia and their carer.

'Singing for the Brain' was the subject of an excellent documentary broadcast on BBC2 and having seen it, we have been inspired to try and create a group here in North Devon. When we initially contacted the Alzheimer's Society, it was suggested we help out at Plymouth, Exeter or Taunton . . . . .

If anyone is aware of a patient and carer [or friend] who may benefit from joining a local group, then please speak to us on [01271] 883989. Also, we are seeking the help of volunteers to assist us for a couple of hours once a fortnight - either singing with the group, helping with admin., fund raising, or more importantly, making the tea!

Norma and Tony Holland



The Scheme, introduced in February has made good progress. It aims to help the residents of rural North Devon, including Berrynarbor, who have difficulty with transport. Eligible residents can purchase a book of vouchers with a travel value of £50 for just £5!

The Scheme is for young, elderly and disabled residents and vouchers are subsidised by DCC as a way of giving help to isolated people. If you would like more information about the Scheme or other projects that NDASP are currently working on please call [01271] 855951.


Artwork: Paul Swailes


March was true to the old saying 'in like a lamb, out like a lion'. It started off cold but calm and dry. By the middle of the month it became more like spring but then on the night of the 16th, the temperature rose, the high pressure moved away and the winds went round to the south and south west. Low after low arrived, bringing more unsettled weather and the first rain of the month. The total was 94mm [3 3/4"], all of which fell after the 16th, the wettest day being the 30th when 17mm [11/16"] fell. The maximum temperature was 15 Deg C, with a minimum of -2.3 Deg C, both of which were on the low side of average.

Overnight on the 30th and on the 31st there was a return to winter with sleet and hail showers, gales, snow on high ground and a wind chill of -12 Deg C on the 31st.

In the first three months of the year we recorded a total of 245mm [9 3/4"] which made this only the second driest first quarter of the year we have ever recorded, in 2006 during the same period, we had only 195mm [7 3/4"].

The recorded hours of sunshine at 88.78 were a bit up on the average.

April was another dry month with 16mm [5/8"] falling in the first week followed by sixteen days without rain at all. We were away during the last week, to the 2nd May, so the total is not accurate but we had approximately 25mm [1"] in the month. Although this was well below average in April 2007, we recorded only 9mm [7/16"]. It was generally a bright sunny month but with a frequent northerly or easterly direction to the wind, it was quite chilly and there were many overnight frosts. The temperature was generally a bit below average although it did rise to a maximum of 23 Deg C at the end of the month. The minimum was 1.5 Deg C and we had a wind chill of -5 Deg C.

Again the hours of sunshine were above average at 147.42 for the month.

I don't think that we are alone in worrying that all this calm, dry, sunny weather may come to an abrupt end as the summer arrives!

Simon and Sue



In April's issue we met our adopted puppy, born in Devon, Pebbles. Pebbles, who can be described as a long-legged, scruffy, silver 'doodle', is progressing well with her puppy parent, living in East Sussex and near the sea, and learning the early commands that will eventually make her an assistance dog.

'Sit' and 'lie down' are obvious commands and 'settle down' means she should relax and chill out! 'Tug, Tug' begins as play pulling on a toy, but will progress first to pulling open a door by a rope and then by opening the door itself. 'Tug, Tug' also teaches the dog to remove clothes by pulling gently at sleeves, shirts and socks, etc. They are taught to only use the edge of their teeth so as not to hurt their 'partner'.

Picking up a plastic bowl is another early command. The puppy has to learn to pick the bowl up from the opposite side [a bit like trying to drink out of the wrong side of a glass to relieve hiccups!], because if they pick it up from the side nearest them, it covers their face and they can't see.



We now have our second puppy, Ruby, who will be following Pebbles in learning these commands. She is a very cute yellow Labrador puppy who has already been the star at local events, including mixing with royalty! She received a cuddle from HRH The Countess of Wessex, while her bigger puppy friends demonstrated how they learn and develop to become assistance dogs of the future. Every week she will attend class with other dogs all training to be canine partners, but she also has plenty of time having fun just being a puppy. Her brother Rufus is also training at a different puppy training satellite.


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


Saturday, 8th May, was overcast and chilly, but at St. Peter's Church and surrounded by family and friends, the warmth and happiness at the wedding of Peter Pell and Jean Ede was palpable. Jean was escorted up the aisle by her two sons, Darren and Ben, and attended by her four granddaughters - Jasmin, Maddie, Lily and Lottie. Peter's Best Man, Tom, did a grand job even if it was the first time he had undertaken such a duty and that photo he had of Peter's past . . . well!

The reception took place at Ash Barton House at Braunton and surprise, surprise, the newly weds spent a few days away at a golfing spa at St. Mellion!

Our congratulations and best wishes to you both.


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


Congratulations to Karl Ozelton who completed the London Marathon in 5 hours 37 minutes, raising over £1,600 for the Well Child Charity.

Karl would like to thank everyone for their support and sponsorship. He enjoyed the atmosphere of the event so much that he has applied for a place in next year's event, when he will be trying to beat his time!





June and Bernard are delighted to announce the safe arrival of their fifth grandchild. Cassia Imogen Pickford, a daughter for Claire and Justin, and baby sister for Keenan and Cormack, was born on the 22nd April and weighed in at 7lbs 5oz.

Sue and Alan Richards of East Hagginton are delighted to announce that they have another granddaughter. Tianna Julie was born to Jamie and Julie-Ann in Australia on the 18th May, weighing 6lb. All well.

A warm welcome to the new arrivals and congratulations and best wishes to the proud parents and grandparents.



Dave Beagley

Solution in Article 32.


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


The AGM was disappointing in terms of attendance, but the business agenda was transacted, Accounts for 2009-2010 approved and the Committee for the next twelve months voted in. Thanks were expressed for the inputs over time of Margaret Weller and Mick Gadd, who are now stepping back.

The questionnaires from User Groups are still coming in, so it's a bit early to report a full analysis, except to say that heating, lighting and kitchen get a fair number of mentions! Hopefully the new Committee will have the opportunity for a first discussion on all points at the June meeting.

Meantime, as I write this, work is about to start on external decorating of windows using the same contractor who did the internal decorating of the main hall last year. The programme is likely to take 4-5 days but should not be disruptive on routine use of the main Hall, Penn Curzon Room or Men's Institute.

Discussions are underway with Beaford Arts for events in October and November time, but an earlier date for your diary is the Berry Revels on Tuesday, 17th August when we shall be looking for help and input from User Groups to run various stalls and we should like to introduce a number of new activities if possible, to breathe some variety into the event. So your ideas and thoughts would be welcome please!

Finally, with the hint of summer around, a reminder that the Manor Hall has 2 gazebos and a 'new in 2009' larger marquee-type shelter, so if you're planning a big BBQ or family gathering in the garden, then these are available for hire at a modest cost!

Colin - Chairman



Have you seen a missing sign? I have a large sign which I use for various village events, including the recent Plant Sale on Bank Holiday Monday. Unfortunately, it disappeared from the main road near the junction with Barton Lane before I could bring it in again.

If anyone has collected this sign, or knows of its whereabouts, please could they return it to me, or advise me where it is, so that it can be recovered and used again.

Basically it is an old roadwork sign that I repaired and repainted and put in upvc panels on which a dry wipe marker pen can be used - it makes a super visible sign for all village events.

Tony [Summers] 883600




Although voted the best in the South West by the Countryside Commission, we didn't get into the top two of the 10 areas. Still, we plan to enter next time and who knows? Third time lucky?

The herb trough mentioned in the last issue has happened! A wide range of herbs, already growing, will be ready for picking by customers in about two weeks' time. Do have a look at the variety and take advantage if you want a sprig of rosemary, sage, [various types] thyme or any of the other delectables. Thank you Berrynarbor in Bloom for this lovely idea.

We had 3 excellent fund raising events over the Bank Holiday Weekend.

John Boxall teed off on the Friday with the Community Shop Golf Tournament. Twelve teams turned out in fairly atrocious weather to contest the Sandy Anderson Grocer's cup. Over £900 was raised for the shop. Well done John.

On Saturday a sell out performance by 'Uninvited Guests' - a troupe that were spotted by the Beaford Centre whilst performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival - gave a night to remember. If you went you will know what happened, if not [like me!] it was a chance to dedicate poems or songs to loved ones. The Manor Hall looked lovely and the smell of narcissi got visitors in the right mood. 'Master Chefs', Jane Vanstone and Julia Fairchild, cooked for 40 guests a fantastic meal of pate and venison casserole and Wendy Applegate's scrummy puddings made everyone happy. The evening raised about £400, which was divided between the Manor Hall and our Shop.

Not to be outdone, on Bank Holiday Monday the Manor Hall was set for another event: The Great Plant Sale. Kath Thorndycroft and her team organised a superb selection of plants and garden 'bits'. Thanks are due to her, to those who gave plants and cakes, to the ones who produced the teas - and of course to the buyers! The event raised over £550 and this sum is still growing. You've probably seen [and maybe bought] some of the plants in our new 'garden centre'. The porch is proving popular and means that the local cauliflowers, and yummy asparagus, strawberries and raspberries are selling well. Paperbacks have also got their own space outside, with books to suit all tastes.

Pickled Crofter chutneys are now on sale - very local as they are made in our village!

We hope that you managed to get at least one £5 voucher in the bonus scheme. It was successful and we plan to repeat this idea later in the year.

The Shop's 5th AGM was held on 15th May. We recorded an increase in turnover and a net profit of just over £1,000. The committee remains the same, with the addition of Phil Brown as Treasurer and Debbie Thomas.

As you see, it's been a busy two months. For the next 3 or 4 months we hope we shall be welcoming visitors and taking food orders to self-catering properties. But YOU will still be there when they have returned home so are even more important. Do please keep shopping with us!

PP of DC


Holiday Accommodation in Berrynarbor

I have visited several establishments in the village for brochures on hotels, eating places, bed and breakfast, guest houses, etc., and have had considerable success from the owners.

If I have not got to you, or found you were out, please could you take brochures or business cards to the Community Shop for inclusion in this file, a cheap [£5 entry for shop funds] way of advertising your business.

We are also intending to add a page of business cards for those in the village offering services such as plumbing, gardening, taxis, printing, window cleaning, building, etc. So please hand these in to the Shop, for the same fee, and they will be displayed. Many thanks.

Yvonne Davey


26TH-27TH JUNE, 1.00 to 5.00 p.m.

Once again, for our 11th year, we have an Interesting selection of Gardens for you to explore.

Come and enjoy the variety of ideas and the pleasure of meeting interesting people on the way. The usual Plant Stall and Cream Teas will be available. [Any gifts of plants or pottery pots for sale always very welcome!]

All profits to our Parish Church Funds.

Pam Irwin



When walking in the Sterridge Valley, do you stop on Riversdale Bridge and watch the stream gush over the rock-step to the pool below? Even when not in spate, the power of this tiny waterfall is quite awesome.

In these difficult times, do you wonder why water-power is ignored as a source of energy? We have plenty of rainfall feeding our rivers and streams. Surely, small unobtrusive turbines along the length of our stream would go a fair way to supplying our local electrical needs.

There are many streams and rivers in North Devon which over the centuries have driven water wheels, benefiting the welfare and industry of local people.

Our own little stream, which rises above Ettiford Farm and is fed by several tributaries on its way to Watermouth, powered at least three mills along its course. I also know of three farms, and suspect that there were more, that used their own waterwheels for 'drashing', milling their corn and shearing sheep. One at Stowford, another at Wheel Farm and Uncle Jimmy, Ivan and Bill Huxtable were still using theirs at Woolscott in the 1950's. The alternative was horse power in a 'round house'. A lovely example can be seen from the road at Widmouth Farm.

I don't know how old our mills are. They were not listed in the Domesday Returns 1085. We know the Normans were master builders in stone and as the country settled down under their control, the old Saxon wooden buildings would have been replaced in stone. Hele Mill, according to an ancient deed, was operating in the early 1300's in the reign of Edward III. As our own Manor House, sometimes referred to as 'The Old Court' was built about this time, when the Berry family was established here, it is feasible to assume that Berry Corn Mill was built at the same time. Also, with the coming of the Normans, the sparse rural population of North Devon in Saxon times, expanded. The growth of the cloth trade gave farmers a market for their wool. More and more pasture fields were being created by clearing woodland.

Whereas previously local people would card, spin, weave and tuck cloth for their own needs, they were now making cloth for a wider and lucrative market. Because our 'roads' were no more than rough, ancient, ridgeway tracks, most of the cloth was exported from Barnstaple and Bideford by ship.

Tucking is an old Devonshire word for processing woven cloth. Elsewhere it was known as 'fulling'. Lengths of cloth were soaked in vats or urine to shrink it. Next it was trodden by foot to raise a close nap on the surface. Finally it was washed and hung out to dry in the 'Tucking Meadows'. With the growth of the cloth trade, this process was soon being performed by 'tucking mills'.

Of our three mills, I think Harper's Mill would have been a tucking mill. It lacks the tall stature of a corn mill and its enclosed position, at the head of a steep valley, doesn't lend itself to dealing with long lengths of timber.

I have read that where there was a tucking mill, a family of Tuckers lived nearby. 'Tucker' is a Devonshire, occupational surname, e.g. Richard le Tourkere recorded in Kentisbury in 1332 - so I went searching!

I found the Tooker family well established in the 1500's suggesting a much earlier settlement here. Several were church wardens which indicates that they were educated and held in high esteem by fellow parishioners - take a look at the plaque on the lych-gate commemorating its reconstruction in 1671. It records George Westcott [Rector], Thomas Tucker and John Reed [church wardens]. N.B. John Reed farmed at Ruggaton.

The Tuckers were yeomen farmers. Men who owned and worked their own land. They paid tax to the Crown, 1/10th of their income in tithes to the church and were beholden to the lord of the manor to serve as foot soldiers in troubled times. One branch of the family farmed at Bowden - '1706 Dorethy daughter of John Tucker of Booden was Christened'. It is possible that this family followed the Jewell's occupation of Booden. They would have been familiar with the Bowden Farm Screen! My father always referred to the farm as Booden.

Berry Corn Mill is a special place to me. I write this in memory of a remarkable woman, Jan Dyer, my 3 x great grandmother who worked the mill in the 1840's and '50's. She lost her husband John soon after taking over the mill, then her eldest son died. She soldiered on, raising her family and keeping the mill going with hired help. Her daughter Mary Ann married Benjamin Richards of Hammonds Farm in 1843. All the many descendants of that union share her genes with me.

The last miller at Berry Mill was Ernest Smith. The photo shown here belongs to his grandson Robin Kiff. Robin's mother, Evelyn, would be one of the children near the water wheel.




On the mailing list for some time now and receiving her Newsletter in Australia is Janice Alcock, from Woodlands, Sterridge Valley, who has recently written:

My sympathies to all on the nasty winter the northern hemisphere has had to bear. Mind you, us down under had constant 35-40 Deg heat! I miss England and Berrynarbor in particular.

My sadness over all these years is not being with my dogs and horses but now I have acute bad news from the Prince of Wales' farm where my Suffolk Punch horse Rizzla has been on loan to Prince Charles.

Rizzla has developed some very nasty ailment in his hoof, or bone, making him very lame and in pain. They are wanting to destroy him!

Nige [Walker] used to ride him into the village bareback on a regular basis, so some people may remember him - a beautiful chestnut colour with blonde mane and tail. A heavy working horse, of course, and the breed is in worrying decline. Apparently Princess Anne has a mare and has bred some new stock, supplying Charles with a filly. My boy Rizzla [they renamed him 'Duke' as they thought Rizzla not appropriate for royalty] was gelded many years ago after he cleared five foot gates to rush out of the drive at Woodlands and mounted a mare - in season - taking a tourist for a hack along the Sterridge Valley - one of Challacombe's group rides! Wonderful horse, so clever yet kind and generous of nature. Pity he could not have sired a foal or two.

Nige is devastated too, but he will go to Rizzla and be with him at the end if that is what must happen.

On a happier note, my daughter Saffron and I plus another English family from Bude put on a Mad Hatter's Tea Party for Easter Sunday, with long trestle tables joined up in street-party style. Got out the damask cloths and candelabras, made cakes, sandwiches and exotica. People brought a plate so some very interesting food turned up. All the children were given chocolate eggs and Saffron organised a treasure hunt. We held the party in a huge nearby park. The men had a sack race as well as the children - such fun. Bye for now . . .

Two days after writing to you I had a 'phone call from Nige. He had contacted the veterinary responsible for Rizzla who was unaware that he should need to be put down. Oh, I am so relieved. Nige will bring him back to Woodland House if he has the means to look after him as he certainly has something awfully wrong with his hoof/leg.

He will find out what, but for now - reprieve!


I REMEMBER . . . .

The Local Characters' article in the April issue brought to mind childhood memories.

I went to school with Tiddly Edwards and everyone would get him to play his 'air guitar'. Like him, I rode my bike over the heap of sand and ended up in hospital having stitches put in my face by Dr. King.

We had plans passed to build a house in the field behind Middle Lee, but funds did not run to that, but I planted some poplar cuttings in the bank near the gate to stabilise the soil. These cuttings came from Dan Jones in the Sterridge Valley, who ran a building business. At the beginning of the war he built a little cottage [Bridge Cottage] onto his cottage [Riversdale] and let it to Mr. and Mrs. Orrin and their daughter. I think he was told to demolish it after the war as it had been made of odds and ends with no planning approval. [This in fact did not happen, it was demolished in the '60's.]

Mr. Kamp was the blacksmith, just past Mr. Baker's village shop, and we used to go down and watch him shoeing the horses.

Every now and then, Capt. James from Watermouth would arrange for the school children to visit the shop and each was given an allowance of sweets after filing in in an orderly fashion.

The trap we had for our donkey was the one that Mr. Irwin [George's father] used to visit The Globe on Saturday evenings and is, I believe, now on display at Miss Chichester's museum at Arlington Court. I also remember Kathleen Richards in a vivid blue ball gown and Gerry Beauclerk singing a duet on the Manor Hall stage - Gerry would play his Beckstein grand piano, especially brought down for the Show - and it would beat any present day TV programme!

Don Thirkell - St. Columb Major



As from 24th May [now operational], services 33,34,35 and 36 - Ilfracombe Town/Slade/Lee Bay/ Berrynarbor - will be operated by Beacon Bus in place of Filer's Travel. Beacon will be operating a low-floor easy-access vehicle which will bring improvements for those with mobility difficulties, as well as people with shopping, luggage and buggies. No changes to routes or timetables.


Artwork: Helen Weedon


There was just one topic on the lips of people in the park after the 6th of May. Join in any conversation and one found the same two questions being asked: "What will happen?" and "Who can we blame?"

Yet the subject matter had nothing to do with politics, although the issue under discussion had striking similarities with the election result.

The ensuing debates, as they always are in Bicclescombe Park at this time of year, centred around the ducks. For a few days, perhaps three at the most, the mallard population equalled that of another prominent bird species - on the water at least. Moreover, a coalition with the minority moorhens enabled a duck majority to hold power in the park. But it was not to last; and of course time will only tell whether our own coalition government will follow the same fate.

The ducks' temporary majority was the result of twenty or so newly hatched mallard ducklings [this number varied depending on who provided your statistics - another affinity with party politics!]. But with each passing night their numbers dwindled. At the last count, only three remained. The ducks' coalition had crumbled.

One viewpoint not being put forward amongst the discussions was whether the reduction was just part of the natural process. Was this because it had occurred in a public rather than a natural surrounding? After all, would those same people be perturbed if they came across a dead chick in a woodland? Possibly not; yet ironically their lack of concern for some bird species at least, would be fully justified.

Take the blue tit. Every year, one half of each breeding pair dies. This means that only one youngster from their yearly brood needs to survive in order to keep the population steady. Yet up to ten fledglings will leave the nest. Nature, however, takes its course ensuring that in most cases nine out of the ten do not make it through to the following spring. Amazingly, the survival of more than one chick would lead to our countryside being inundated with blue tits.

Whilst nature takes care to guarantee that numbers do not increase, many of us do our bit to make sure that the blue tit population and that of other bird species do not dwindle by providing opportunities for nest building in our own gardens. This time last year, however, I found myself doing more than just helping a pair of blue tits raise a brood by providing a nest box.

Having delivered moss, grass and leaves to the box, the female then perched herself comfortably on her nest. The male was then seen fastidiously delivering food to her whilst she laid her eggs. Her re-emergence to deliver food to the box herself [along with the sound of high pitched calls] was a sure sign that her chicks had hatched. All too soon the chicks had matured enough to peep out of the hole in order to take a glimpse of the world beyond their box.

Then, very early one morning, they fledged - except one, the runt of the brood, so to speak. Pushing its tiny little head out of the box, it called and it called. The minutes turned into hours. Yet the mother was nowhere to be seen. With starvation the only forecast, the youngster accepted there was only one option, to take to the air.

Its attempt proved feeble. Now lying on the lawn and too weak to try a second takeoff, the pitiful creature, whose tattered and incomplete feathers made its species almost unidentifiable, seemed destined to become nourishment for any lurking predator. Time, it seemed, for mankind to intervene.

Gently taking hold of the youngster, I placed it on the rim of the nest box hole only for it to immediately attempt another unsuccessful launch. So I tried again, and then again. It seemed that instinct had kicked in, telling the youngster's minute brain that having left the nest it was not supposed to return. I was therefore left with only one option. Gently picking it up once more, the fragile fledgling allowed me to rest it upon a branch in our hedge, leaving it calling once more for food, I walked back inside and allowed nature to take its course.

A few days later I recognised that feeble looking fledgling by its unkempt plumage which had still not fully formed. Its beak was once more wide open and calling, until, that was, its mother arrived. Then all fell silent whilst the youngster took in a scrumptious morsel of food. Looking at it perched contentedly upon a branch of our greengage tree, it was good to see how it had already grown in size.

At least I had given this 'ugly duckling' an equal chance to be the one member of the brood to survive into the following year. I wonder if he is still around?

Illustration by: Paul Swailes

Stephen McCarthy




Merry June

Hey ho for merry June,
Hey ho hey!
All the earth is now atune,
Hey ho hey!
The birds now sing their sweetest lays
Among the verdant leafy sprays.
Soft music fills the summer air
And harmony is everywhere.
Hey ho for merry June, etc.
Remembered [I hope] from school-days many years ago!]


from Handel's Opera Semele [1744]

Where'er you walk, cool gales shall fan the glade;
Trees where you sit, shall crowd into a shade.
Where'er you tread, the blushing flow'rs shall rise,
And all things flourish where'er you turn your eyes.
Da Capo
[Italian term meaning from the beginning].
Semele is beloved of and in love with Jupiter.    Words by
Newburg Hamilton, the Irish-born librettist of several works by
George Frederic Handel.

 Illustrated by: Paul Swailes




I have just spent a very nice holiday in the Scottish Highlands - such beautiful scenery with snow capped mountains and picturesque glens. I joined a Filers' coach trip organised by Janet Gibbins. There were 26 of us in total - a very congenial bunch of friends.

Travelling on the various motorways, I was puzzled to see so many Eddie Stobart lorries and even a goods train, and began to wonder 'Who is this Eddie Stobart?' I have done a bit of investigating and came up with the following.

Edward Stobart was born in Cumberland in November 1954 and grew up on a farm near Carlisle. As a child he was very interested in lorries and when he left school he started working with his father's lorries delivering agricultural material locally.

By 1970 the company consisted of three main parts - fertilizers, haulage and farm shop and Edward took over the haulage side and the name 'Eddie Stobart' was born.

In 1976 Edward and his eight lorries moved to Carlisle itself to be nearer the M6 motorway. He worked hard, kept his lorries immaculately clean and this eventually paid off and he started to get orders from larger businesses.

By the year 2000 the company had 1,000 lorries and 24 storage depots around the United Kingdom. As Edward had the quaint habit of giving his lorry cabins female names and with the distinctive livery, many members of the public started to 'collect' sightings of the Stobart lorries and a fan club was formed.

The Stobart family is strongly religious and has donated much of their wealth to local churches.

In 2002 Edward Stobart sold the company to his brother William. Eddie Stobart Ltd is now a subsidiary of WA Developments International Ltd and it was announced in 2006 that this company is to buy Carlisle Airport to develop it into a corporate headquarters and build a new runway.

What a success story! Some of you may already know this but I hope the rest will find it interesting.

Doreen Prater




The Annual Parish Meeting was held on 13th April and Chaired by Councillor Sue Sussex. In her Chairman's report she gave an update on the playground and refurbishment of the Millennium fountain.

She thanked Councillors for all their hard work and members of the parish who had helped with the installation of the playground equipment. She also expressed thanks to Judie Weedon for her hard work in connection with the Newsletter, the Manor Hall Committee, Berry in Bloom for ensuring the village looks lovely for visitors and locals, the Police - this Council is grateful to have a Police presence at meetings - and finally to the Parish Clerk for keeping Councillors up to date.

She paid tribute and gave sincere thanks to the community of Berrynarbor, whether they had been paid to do work or work carried out on a voluntary basis. She felt there was a lot of goodwill in the village, with people giving a lot of their time. She concluded by saying the village has a very good community spirit, quite a rarity these days.

Other reports were received from the Police, Footpath Warden, the Manor Hall Management Committee, the Primary School Governing Body, County Councillor Andrea Davis and District Councillor Sue Sussex. The Clerk presented the Accounts for the year ended 31st March 2010.

At the Annual Parish Council Meeting held on 11th May, Councillor Sue Sussex sent her apologies and advised the meeting that she wished to resign as Chairman. This post was not filled at the meeting and Councillor Richard Gingell, who was elected Vice Chairman, agreed to act as Chairman until the post was filled. Parish representatives were elected 'en bloc'.

Councillors were continuing to resolve the problem with the play area surface, realising that it is waiting to be used, and assure residents that every effort is being made to get the work completed to a satisfactory level.

There is still a vacancy on the Council following the resignation of Ann Hinchliffe. If you would like to serve your community in this way, please send a letter of application to the Parish Clerk who would be pleased to answer any questions you may have about the role, as would any of the Councillors.

Sue Squire - Parish Clerk



William H - Year 5



Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Gary Foster was a likeable chap who lived in the town of Chestham. Of neat appearance and of a public spirited nature, his hair was always in place and he always wore a sports jacket, flannel trousers and collar and tie. Gary was of an age when his parents had passed on and the only remaining relative was a very elderly aunt called Gladys, who had outlived other members of her family. Gary had taken it upon himself to visit her in the residential home, Eventide, which was not far away also in Chestham.

He would take Gladys a bunch of flowers, chocolates or some other little treat to try to brighten up her life. Although usually clear headed about what was going on, Gladys would some times make remarks which could not possibly be true.

On one of Gary's visits she told him that Fred had called and they had had a very pleasant chat. Gary knew this was not possible, Uncle Fred had died two years previously.

On another occasion, Gladys related to him that late at night, when she looked out, two men were on the back lawn, there was a shot and one man seemed to be dragging the other in the direction of the summer house. But it was so dark she couldn't really be sure.

On a visit about a week later, Gary was greeted at the front door of the home by Mrs. Weeks, the Matron. "Could I have a word please, Matron?" Gary asked. "Of course," she replied, "In what way can I help?" "Well, Aunt Gladys told me a strange story about two men and a gun out in the back garden, which seems highly improbable."

Matron smiled, "Oh, that one!" she said, "She has also told that story to her doctor and the best thing to do is to say, 'yes, yes, yes' and go along with it". "Right ho, I'll do just that." The matter was not mentioned again.

Two years later, the betting shop next door-but-one to Eventide had been shut up for over a week without even a notice on the door giving the reason why. The proprietor, Frank Gale, was a man known for his bad temper and heart problems.

Several people called at Chestham police station complaining about the closure, so Inspector Channing decided they would have to investigate. The front door was broken down and the police went in and through to the back room. There, sitting in a chair, was Frank Gale and it was obvious he had been dead for some time.

"Whilst we're here, I think we'll have a good look round," remarked Inspector Channing.

On opening a drawer in a desk a revolver and a number of diaries going back over several years were found. Flicking through the diaries, the Inspector came across an entry for a couple of years back which read:

'Dealt with Fred Bell.' He showed it to one of his constables, saying "We'd better make some local enquiries."

Gradually things began to fit together and upon visiting the home, Aunt Gladys's story, retold by the Matron, the Doctor and Gary tied up. It seemed that Fred Bell had owed the betting shop a lot of money.

On examining the summer house at the home, the remains of Fred bell were found underneath together with the bullet that corresponded with the revolver.

Problem solved - what a pity they didn't believe Aunty Gladys!

Illustrated by: Paul Swailes

Tony Beauclerk - Stowupland



Sail Loft Talks, 7.30 p.m. in the Sail Loft - Volunteers £1.00, Visitors £3.00.

  • Mondays:

    • 14th June: Seashore Creatures - Paula Ferris of Coastwise
    • 5th July: North Devon Coast , Areas of Outstanding Beauty - Linda Blanchard
    • 2nd August: The Valley of the Rocks, Lynton - Kester Webb
  • Thursday, 10th June: Museum AGM, 7.30 p.m. All welcome - come and hear about the past year and future plans.

  • Wednesday, 14th July: North Coast U3A in the Sail Loft for a talk on the Barnstaple and Lynton Railway - 10.45 a.m. for morning coffee and biscuits. Non-U3A members welcome. £3.00.

Further information: 'phone the Museum on [01271] 889031.



2.00 to 5.00 p.m.
9 Berrynarbor Park
Cake Stall - Draw - Guess the Name Competition

By popular request, this will be the second fund-raising event for the Hospice in memory of Brian. So, please come along and share memories of Brian whilst helping the Hospice and the amazing work they do. This year we hope for better weather, but intend to have more outside cover - that should ensure we have sunshine!

Di Hillier





Ellie G - Year 6

To give our artists and photographers time to get working for the Show, here, as promised, are the details:

ART - This will be wider-based with subjects of your own choice. The section will be divided into the use of different mediums and where possible size should be kept to a maximum of A3 [297 x 420mm].

  1. Oil
  2. Watercolour
  3. Any Other Medium
  4. Collage


  1. This Changing World
  2. Watching
  3. Travel
  4. In the Garden
  5. Sky Scapes
  6. Street Scene

As you are probably aware, the current organising group will be stepping down after this year's Show - a breath of fresh air is needed! But all are more than willing to give help and support to a new group. It seems we may be lucky and this year's event won't be the last.

Linda Camplin, together with a couple of friends, is interested in forming a new group. So, if you think you could help too, please do give Linda a ring on 883322 and keep this long-standing village event alive.

Schedules and Entry Forms for 2010 will be available with the August Newsletter or from the Community Shop.




In April we had the pleasure of Brett Stevens from the Fabulous Wine Company as our presenter and what a superb night it turned out to be. Brett's wife, Jane, volunteered to make some canapes to accompany each wine and show the relationship between wine and food - how one can complement the other. Not a small undertaking when you consider that we have between 35 and 40 people at most meetings, so for 6 different wines to taste - I'll leave you to do the maths yourselves! And what wonderful canapes they were, superbly matched to the wines, even to the last one an Australian equivalent to vintage port - a fortified shiraz at £29.98 per 50cc bottle! As Brett described it 'a bit of indulgence'. The wines were excellent, the food first-class and the atmosphere incredible - one of the best meetings for some time

At the May meeting, preceded by the Circle's AGM, Chairman Alex Parke managed to complete that part of the evening in record time, taking less than 7 minutes to conclude all business. Tom Bartlett stepped down from the committee so we shall be looking for a new recruit to replace him. As the Circle has been going for over 20 years, most things virtually look after themselves so the position is not onerous, but a new voice with new ideas would be welcome.  Alex thanked the committee for all their work making his job as Chairman an easy one before introducing the speaker for the evening, Jan Tonkin, a long standing member of the group and ex-committee member.

As usual, Jan gave a very interesting presentation on South African wines accompanied by slides and videos from last year's holiday he and Mary spent there. As usual a great night was had by all.

The Circle now takes a break and the next meeting will be in October by which time the committee will have decided upon themes and presenters for the new 'tasting season'. If you have any ideas or suggestions or fancy doing a presentation yourself, please contact me so that this can be incorporated. The new programme will be sent out to all existing members in September, anyone else who is new to the Wine Circle and wishes to be included on the mailing list and receive a copy should e-mail me on tony.veranos@googlemail.com .

Tony Summers


Q. What did the sea say to the Penguin?
A. Nothing, it just waved!

Harry - aged 6


[and corny gags]

  • "Could you lend me a tenner for a week, old boy?" "What could a week-old boy do with a tenner?"

  • "My wife's got a terrible bad chest." "Dear me, is that her coughing?" "No, I'm making a rabbit hutch."

  • Paddy sets off to go bear-hunting. On the way to the hunting ground he comes to a road sign 'Bear Left'. So he turns round and goes back home.

  • Moses and Ike are sitting on the seaside promenade when a huge wave washes them off. As they float around waiting for rescue, Moses supports Ike as best he can until, tiring, he asks, "Ike, do you think you could float alone?" "Yoi, yoi," says Ike, "At a time like this you can talk business!"




Artwork: Peter Rothwell


Quiz Nights at The Globe will be on Sundays, 13th June and 4th July at 8.30 p.m. and Sunday, 25th July at 9.00 p.m.


[sponsored by EDDS Greengrocers]

Saturday, 26th and Sunday 27th June Entertainment throughout the afternoon and evening on both days between 3.00 and 11.00 p.m. to include: Chris Millington, Rebecca Lambert, The Padawans, Federal Blues Agency, Parcel of Rogues, Falling Apart and The Chilli's

Great Entertainment!

Hog Roast, Trampolines and Activities for Kids,

Raffle and, of course, some great


We shall be having a collection on both days for the North Devon Hospice

  • Thursday, 1st July: The Red Petticoats and Borderline Morris Dancers will perform at the Sawmill Inn and then at The Globe.


  • Friday, 9th July: Live music at The Sawmill Inn - Steve Tuckers All Star Jazz Band, 9.00 p.m.
  • Sunday, 11th July: Live Music at The Globe - Country Roads, 9.00 p.m.
  • Sunday, 18th July: Live Music at The Sawmill Inn - The Ring of Fire, a Johnny Cash tribute Band, 9.00 p.m.
To be kept up to date with more entertainment during the summer, add yourself to our database by e-mailing us at thesawmillinn@googlemail.com or find us on Facebook and add us as a friend: look for The Sawmill Inn or Ye Olde Globe.




Hannah - Year 6

After a lovely but late show of tulips and daffodils in the tubs around the village, we have replaced the spring flowers with summer bedding, mainly geraniums that will require less watering when we get that long awaited scorcher of a summer!

Following the great Berrynarbor Plant Sale we were donated lots of lupins, so these have been planted at the Manor Hall and in the car park. However, we have done away with bedding at the village shop and have planted herbs and edible flowers.

The idea came about last summer when a customer wanted to buy a couple of sprigs of mint for a Pimms or was it mint sauce or rosemary for lamb? Well, whatever, the idea of 'pick your own herbs' has now come to fruition but please hold back for a while to allow the herbs to grow a little and we hope you enjoy them.

This year we are again opening the Berrynarbor gardens to raise funds. The Sterridge Valley Gardens will be open on Sunday, 20th June, with teas at Chicane courtesy of Judie and Ken, and the Village Gardens on 18th July, with teas at The Lodge courtesy of Lyn and Phil. Please come along and view the lovely gardens and have a great cream tea, whatever the weather throws at us! If you would like to open your garden please contact me on 882296, we are always looking for 'fresh mud'!

Litter picks will continue, so keep a look out for our posters. The Best Kept Village contest judging is on-going and we do not know when the judges are in the village. We do not yet have the date for Britain in Bloom judging, but it is usually in mid-July.



Artwork: Angela Bartlett

Fruit and Nut Squares with Chocolate Drizzle

Something quick and easy to make for this busy time of the year but sweet and yummy all the same.

  • 200g/8oz porridge oats
  • 25g/1oz desiccated coconut
  • 140g/5oz butter
  • 50g/2oz light muscovado sugar
  • 5 tbsp golden syrup
  • 175g/6oz of any mixed unsalted nuts
    [such as pistachio, pecan, cashew] chunkily chopped
  • 50g/2oz dried cranberries or cherries

Heat the oven to 180 Deg C/fan 160 Deg C/gas4. Butter an 18 x 28cm cake tin and line the base with baking parchment. Mix together the oats and coconut. Melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat with the sugar and syrup. Stir gently until the sugar and butter has melted. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the oat mix, the nuts and fruit. Leave to get cold and then add two thirds of the chocolate cut into biggish chunks. Now tip the mixture on to the paper in the tin and spread until even. Bake for 25-30 minutes until pale golden. Mark into squares while still warm. When completely cold, cut all the way through. Melt the remaining chocolate and drizzle casually over the top of the bars. These will keep for up to a week in an airtight tin.




Hello, I'm Peppa, a five-year-old springer spaniel rescue now living at Woodvale Cottage. I have a lovely garden to play and I especially like having a run on Woolacombe beach. I enjoy my walks up the Valley and around the village, so if you see me about, please give me a biscuit - I love treats!



'Bring forth May flowers.'

The anonymous rhyme, 'March winds and April showers. Bringeth vo'th May flowers' was collected by Frederick Thomas Elworthy in his 'West Somerset Word-Book' 1886. This spring the April showers had been strangely absent but the grassy slopes above the Hoaroak Water at Hillsford Bridge were liberally studded with May flowers - violets, primroses and blue spikes of pyramidal bugle.

Illustration by: Paul Swailes

We followed the path to Lynmouth. It was not long before we spotted the two stars of these fast flowing, boulder strewn rivers - the dipper and the grey wagtail.

We took the short detour to the waterfall. It was more impressive than I remembered it to be but it gets less attention than the waterfall further along at Watersmeet. Nearby were patches of wood anemone and the rare Irish spurge [Euphorbia Hyberna], a handsome plant with yellow-green flowers. This is the only place in England where it grows.

Between Watersmeet and Lynmouth, 'Myrtleberry' had always been a focus of cosy domesticity amid the grandeur of the deep gorge. But the hens and beehives had disappeared from the tiny meadow across the river and the house and garden were completely hidden behind high 'fortifications'.

However, a little further on, the stoneware ginger beer bottle was still set into the rock, marking the site where the Lynrock Water factory had been before it was swept away in the flood of 1952.

Along this stretch of the East Lyn River there is a series of natural pools; Ramsey Pool, Blackpool . . . under Blackpool Bridge there was much dipper activity. Normally the words Blackpool and dipper would suggest an amusement park at a busy seaside resort, but here in this tranquil place, the dippers were dumpy, brown and white birds, adept at diving and swimming under water. They often nest under bridges or behind waterfalls.

Beyond the bridge the floral mixture changed - stitchwort, yellow archangel and mauve bush vetch. Green-veined white butterflies fluttered among the alkanet and triangular-stalked garlic, growing at the gravelly edges of the river.

Green-veined white butterflies resemble the small white in flight. But when they land the grey-green vein pattern can be seen on the hind wings. In the females of the summer brood, the veins are paler and less distinct. As we reached Lynmouth the numbers of grey wagtails increased. The males showed the black throat patch of their summer plumage; perched on rocks, flicking their long tails; their bills crammed with flies.

Sue H




Our Summer Term has got off to a great start. This is always a really busy term with lots of trips away and events taking place at school.

SAT's week commencing 10th May - Despite national speculation about the boycotting of the SAT's. our school participated in all the tests, including Science.

Classes 1 and 3 have started their 10 swimming sessions at Ilfracombe Swimming Pool and Year 2 and 3 are having tri-golf lessons here at school and will finish off with a tournament at Ilfracombe Golf club with other local schools. Mark Davies is the coach and he is spending many hours with all the schools, encouraging an interest in golf.

On Thursday, 13th May, Class 3 spent a day at The Exmoor Zoological Park with their teacher Miss Vickery. They had a talk from the Zoo Keeper about the teeth and eating habits of animals, followed by a grand tour, picnic lunch and ice-cream.

On Wednesday, 19th May, we were thrilled that the Tesco Great School Run 2010 agreed to come to our school for the afternoon. They invited the local media to come along and their Roadshow Team organised:

  • Fun PE-style games and activities
  • Music led aerobic warm up
  • Mini fun run with inflatable start/finish gantry

From 24th to 28th May, Mrs. Lucas and Class 4 will be off on their well-deserved residential trip to the Goblin Combe Environmental Centre near Bristol. Their week of camping will include visits to the Ice Rink, Cheddar Gorge, Clifton Suspension Bridge, @Bristol and other exciting activities.

Whilst they are away on the 27th May, Classes 1 and 2 will be spending a day at the Wildlife and Dinosaur Park in Combe Martin. This will include a picnic lunch and an ice-cream.

Dates for your Diary:

  • Half Term will be from the 31st May to 4th June.
  • Friday, 11th June, 6.00 p.m. Watermouth Castle Treasure Hunt and BBQ. This is a PTA annual fundraising event. The treasure hunt will take place around the castle followed by a BBQ on the front green. There is an optional 'knights and princesses' fancy dress. Cost - £5.00 per group of 4. Last year's event was a great success and raised lots of money. Further details will be available on the notice board at the Community Shop.
  • Friday, 18th June, 10.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. Years 5 and 6 attending Oceanfest at Croyde
  • Tuesday, 22nd June, 1.00 p.m. Sports Day - Playing Field [Tuesday 29th June reserve date if the weather isn't good] The PTA will provide tea and cakes and cold drinks
  • Monday 19th - Thursday 22nd July, a.m. only - Year 6 Bikeability Training

Mobile Phones - If you have any old mobile phones which you no longer require, please bring them in to school as we can obtain commission from a recycling company.

Tesco and Sainsbury's Vouchers - Please have a rummage. There is still time to hand in the current scheme's vouchers, either to the Shop or just pop them in to school please.

School Fete - our Fete will take place on Friday, 16th July, from 6.30 p.m. at the Manor Hall. An annual event not to be missed! EVERYONE welcome.

Pupils have been drawing flowers seen in the village. This one is by Billy - Year 5. Others are shown throughout the Newsletter.


Billy - Year 5

Thank you for your continued support.

Mary - Jane Newell - Acting Headteacher



Anna [6 1/2 years], who lives in County Down, Northern Ireland, comes to stay for a week's holiday every year. She loves the North Devon countryside and coast and she is most impressed by the way people have stalls at their gates to raise money for different charities.

When she read the newsletter article about Canine Partners and puppy adoption, Anna wanted to help. She made some colourful necklaces and bracelets and sold them to some of our neighbours and friends - thank you to everyone for their support. She raised £10 - well done!

Pat and Malcolm



Albury - Albury Park is a Tudor House remodelled by Pugin, who also designed the village of Albury in Surrey. The gardens were laid out by John Evelyn for his friend and neighbour Henry Howard, the sixth Duke of Norfolk, and include the longest yew hedge in England. Later, the house was owned by the Duke of Northumberland and the Dowager Duchess of Northumberland was there until her death in 1965.

The house was used as the location for the Scottish wedding in the film Four Weddings and a Funeral. Buried under the ruined chancel of the redundant Saxon church next door William Oughtred [1575-1660] who, as well as being parson there for 50 years, was one of the leading mathematicians of his day. He invented the slide rule and the multiplication sign [x]. He died from joy when he heard of the restoration of Charles II to the throne.

The Quakers - George Fox, preacher and founder of the Society of Friends, was born in Fenny Drayton in 1624. On one of the many occasions he was arrested, Fox bid the judge 'Quake at the word of God', and from then on his followers were known as Quakers. Members have never used the term themselves, preferring to be known as 'Friends'.

Quakers reject the religious authority of the established church, believing that the Bible is the word of God and that he can be found in every individual, so no mediation is needed from priest or doctrine. At Quaker services, no minister leads the congregation but, instead, the silence is broken when someone feels moved by the Holy Spirit to speak. Many Quakers have been conscientious objectors and Quakers were amongst the first to speak out against slavery.

Well-known Quakers include - Abraham Darby [1678-1717] who kick-started the Industrial Revolution when he discovered how to smelt iron using coke; Edward Peace [1767-1858] founder of the world's first passenger railway, the Stockton to Darlington, and the first Quaker M.P; John Dalton [1766-1844] father of atomic theory; Thomas Hodgkin [1798-1866] pathologist who gave his name to Hodgkin's Disease; Joseph Lister [1827-1912] who pioneered the use of antiseptics in surgery; William Penn [1644-1718] who founded Pennsylvania as a Quaker state; United States Presidents Herbert Hoover [1874-1964] and Richard Nixon [1913-1994]. Household names founded by Quaker families include Wedgwood Pottery, Lloyds Bank, Barclays Bank, Huntley and Palmer, Fry's, Cadbury's, Rowntree's, Clark's Shoes and Bryant and May Matches.

The Toffee Town - The 'Toffee Town' of Halifax was the home of the 'Toffee King' John Mackintosh. In 1890, he opened a confectionery shop in Kings Cross Lane. He, and his wife Violet, wanted to have a speciality produce to make a name for the shop, and decided to try combining soft American caramel with brittle English butterscotch to produce a high quality toffee. It became so popular that Mackintosh's toffee outsold everything else in the shop and, in 1899, they had to move to a factory in Sweets Road. This was burnt down in 1909 and they moved again to Albion Mills, near the railway station, now their permanent home. In 1936, Mackintosh's introduced a chocolate and toffee assortment which took its name from a sentimental play by James Barrie, author of Peter Pan, called Quality Street. The product image was based on the main characters of the play, a soldier and his young lady. Quality Street is still made in Halifax.

Stilton Cheese - The village of Stilton in Huntingdonshire gives its name to England's most distinctive blue cheese, excellent with port or melted in a baked potato! But the cheese that made the name of Stilton famous across the world has never been made here at all. It was first produced early in the 18th Century in the area around Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire. One lady in particular, Frances Rawlett, who came from Wymondham, was supremely skilled at making it and she sold much of her output to Cooper Thornhill, landlord of the Bell Inn at Stilton, a popular coaching stop on the Great North Road. Travellers would tell of 'that delicious cheese we tasted at Stilton', hence it became known as Stilton cheese. Today, over one million Stilton cheeses are made every year, with 10% being exported to more than 40 countries. Made under licence, to the original recipe, by only six dairies, it is produced exclusively in the three counties of Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. It takes 136 pints of milk to make one 17lb Stilton cheese.




[19th August 1936 - 6th April 2010]

Co-founder of B&Q DIY Stores

Many a time I have stood in the queue at B&Q on a Wednesday, just one of the hoard of grey heads waiting for their 10% discount, and never thought of how the company got its name. So it came as a shock to read in David Quayle's obituary, that he was 'Q' - not to be confused with 007!

Nowadays, the idea of selling all home improvement materials under one huge roof is commonplace, but before 'Q', any amateur had to trail round builders' merchants and hardware stores - slowly - trying to find what he or she wanted. When Quayle was working for Marley Tiles in Belgium, he visited a hypermarket where there was a section of DIY goods. "This would work in the UK", he declared. He persuaded his brother-in-law, Richard Block, to join him - and he of course became 'B'.

Their first outlet was a 'minimarket' using the back of a Triumph Herald and a Mini Clubman. This was in 1968, and it worked. Later that year, they spotted a 3,000 sq foot former cinema in Southampton, borrowed money from the bank and started fitting it out themselves. It opened on 5th March1969. They named it Block and Quayle, but soon changed it to B&Q when suppliers abbreviated it on invoices.

They worked extremely hard. Their families operated the tills, whilst they filled shelves, unloaded stock and served customers. Working a 66-hour week they paid themselves only £90 per month but the result was that they had paid off their overdraft in 6 months. Within 5 years they had opened a second store and their turnover was over £1 million.

David Quayle was the son of a RAF wing commander, and his childhood was spent in RAF camps in UK and Germany. His entrepreneurial skills emerged at an early age, when he sold chewing gum and comics to his school friends. [How often one reads of a successful entrepreneur starting off young by supplying tuck to his mates!] An art course followed, which he didn't complete, during which he sold paints and brushes to his fellow students. During his National Service, he gained a reputation for undercutting NAAFI prices. I bet we could find Eskimos who bought freezers from B&Q!

The two partners had very different temperaments. Quayle had the ideas and was the real salesman, whilst Block was steady and ran the day-to-day operations. The men gradually drifted apart and in 1976, when there were 13 stores, Block severed his interest in B&Q and settled for a mere £400,000. He concentrated on disastrous experiments growing tomatoes in the Channel Islands and lost most of his money. Quayle on the other hand continued to develop his 'empire'. In four more years, his 37 stores sold to Woolworths for £16.8 million, and he made £4 million for himself.

He remained as a director until 1982, after which he became deputy chairman of Television South for 3 years. His next enterprise was investing in Cityvision. The chain grew to over 600 stores in the UK whilst he was chairman, and it became the second largest video rental business in the world. In 3 years, profits grew from £40,000 to £16 million. Later the company was bought by Blockbuster. He then became chairman of Granada Leisure, looking after theme parks, motorway service stations and other interests.

In the early 1990's he reverted to his first interest - love of painting - and embarked on a two-year art course in Chelsea. Whilst doing this, he realised that modern art was popular but had few marketplaces. Drawing on his experience with B&Q, he created from a disused church a huge gallery in Hampshire, with special offers to tempt visitors. He named it after his mother: Beatrice Royal Contemporary Art Gallery.

A well-known philanthropist, he set up the Tramman Trust from some of the profits from B&Q. This helped many small causes, including projects to improve the lives of needy children from inner cities. He also backed West End musicals including Starlight Express.

When Quayle and Block met in 1998 to pose for photographs for the opening of the 285th B&Q store, they confessed that although they each bought with their discount card from B&Q, neither of them were any good at DIY - which they reckoned had helped them understand the needs of their clients!

David Quayle loved to travel, particularly cruising, but sadly his trip on the Aurora in April this year was his last. He suffered a suspected heart attack and died. His first marriage, during which he had two sons and a daughter, was dissolved. From his second marriage he had a son and two stepdaughters, between them they have produced 12 grandchildren.

Watching 'Location, Location, Location' on TV last night, I caught a bit of the B&Q advert: '. . three little words: B&Q'. Maybe, but it came about through five large words: ONE BIG, BIG MAN'S ENTERPRISE!

PP of DC



4th Primary School & College: End of Half Term
8th Parish Council Meeting, Penn Curzon Room, 7.00 p.m.
9th Mobile Library in Village from 11.20 a.m.
19th Farewell Party for Rector Keith, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m. [ticket only]
20th Father's Day St. Peter's Church: 11.00 a.m. Final Eucharist with Rector Keith. Open Gardens, Sterridge Valley, from 1.30 p.m.
22nd Primary School Sports Day, Playing Field, 1.00 p.m.
23rd Mobile Library in Village from 11.20 a.m.
Friendship Lunch, The Globe, 12.00 noon onwards
26th And 27th: Combe Martin Open Gardens, 1.00 - 5.00 p.m.
27th St. Peter ad Vincula, Combe Martin: 10.00 a.m. United Service - Celebration of Eucharist and Rector Keith's Ministry
St. Peter's Church: 6.30 p.m. Christians Together
29th Primary School: Reserve Sports Day, Playing Field, 1.00 p.m.
30th St. Peter's Church: Gift Day
3rd Bikey's Bash, Cream Tea, 9 Berrynarbor Park, 2.00-5.00 p.m.
And 4th: Flower Festival, St. Thomas's Kentisbury, 10.30 - 5.00pm
6th Ladies' Group, 2 pm., Manor Hall: Acupuncture - Marilyn Richards
7th Mobile Library in Village from 11.20 a.m.
13th Parish Council Meeting, Penn Curzon Room, 7.00 p.m.
16th Primary School Fete, Manor Hall, 6.30 p.m.
18th Open Gardens, The Village, from 1.30 p.m.
21st Mobile Library in Village from 11.20 a.m.
23rd Primary School & College: End of Summer Term
28th Friendship Lunch, The Globe, 12.00 noon onwards
3rd St. Peter's Church: Summer Fayre, Manor Hall, 6.30 p.m.
4th Mobile Library in Village from 11.20 a.m.
7th Newsletter 21st Birthday Celebrations: Cream Tea, 3.00 to 5.00 p.m. Murder Mystery and Supper, 7.00 p.m. Manor Hall

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 - 12.30 p.m.Car Park
1.40 - 2.05 p.m.Sterridge Valley




21 today and the key of the door will not be needed as the Manor Hall will be open for everyone to come and join in the celebrations.

During the afternoon, from 3.00 to 5.00 p.m. and costing £3 each, there will be cream teas and birthday cake and hopefully some form of entertainment.

For the evening, Debs, Alison and Fenella have planned a murder mystery - The Mystery of the Extraordinary Exploding Mouse.   Following the discovery of a body and the questioning of the suspects, there will be a two-course supper and coffee, after which the culprit will be brought to justice.

Come and discover who's 'done in' and who's 'done it'! To assist with the catering, the evening will be by ticket, £10.00 each, available nearer the time from the Shop or Chicane.

It is hoped that you will ALL come to one or other party, or both, of course.   Look out for posters nearer the time.

Any funds raised will ensure the Newsletter's future!


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


In Berrynarbor. 100

Linking up with Lorna's article about Berrynarbor Mills, for this issue I have chosen another photograph taken and published in the early 1920's by John William Garratt.

The view shows what we now know as Mill Park Camping Site with the east side of Berry Mills House seen in the centre. Of course, at this time it was being used for farming but already some camping was taking place in the field beyond the open barn. The card I have was sent to a Mr. and Mrs. A.S. Ford in Street, Somerset, in the early '20's and reads:

    'Ain't it grand to be bluming well washing! It's far better camping though! At the moment we are sprawled out just behind the hedge under the hedge [under the cross on the other side]. We are very lucky with our pitch, just near the village store, water and all at hand. It was baking hot yesterday. We visited Combe Martin in the morning, stayed home in the afternoon, I visited Ilfracombe at night. Just thinking about cooking dinner now. Love Bella.'

The list of Millers for Berry Mills from 1850 [White's Directory] up to 1939 [Kelly's Directory] are:

  • 1850 - Jane Dyer
  • 1856 - Thomas Pile
  • 1866 - John Hancock, Jnr.
  • 1878-1906 - John Jewell
  • 1906-1923 - Ernest Smith [Lewis Smith's father]
  • 1923-1926 - George Burgess
  • 1926-1939 - James Chugg

The mill had an overshot water wheel constructed of cast iron with wooden buckets and wheel diameter of 20' and width of 5'. It was fed with water running in a leat taken from the stream beyond North Lee Farm and running alongside the road until it reached Berry Mills.

In the Watermouth Estate Sale of 1924, Lot 6 describes: 'Berry Mills, a very desirable Grist Mill and Dairy Farm comprising slated Dwelling House containing: Sitting room, Kitchen, Back Kitchen, Dairy and four Bedrooms, with Garden, Mill and water Wheel, Tiled six-stall Shippen, Dutch Barn, Tiled Piggery, Tiled Shippen, Slated two-stall Stable, Tiled Calf House and about 16 acres 2r 29p of Rich Watered Meadow, Pasture and Woodlands, as now in the occupation of Mr. C.H. Burgess as a Yearly Michaelmas Tenant.' James Chugg was the purchaser.

At the foot of Hagginton Hill, both North Lee Farm and the Linhey and out-buildings opposite can be clearly seen as well as Middle Lee Farm in the distance. At the top of the picture, Black's Farm and outbuildings can be seen. The building showing at the top of Hagginton Hill [top right] is probably 'Grattons'.

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage, May 2010
e-mail: tombartlett44@hotmail.com



We look forward to seeing you here in the Gardens or in the Garden Tea Room, any day, any time between 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. Or, of course, you may like to visit the Plant Centre with its wide variety of top class plants for sale.

The Wisteria walk currently looks stunning with the blooms of purple and white from the many varieties, as do the Candelabra Primulas. Towards the end of June and into July, the National Collection of Astilbes will be taking pride of place.

Why not indulge yourself? Firstly, with a delicious tea in the Tea Room [A Recipe Book of our home-made cakes is now available on sale], and secondly by taking advantage of our incredible value Season Ticket, just £20.00 for a whole year [minus your entry fee on the day of purchase]!