Edition 129 - December 2010

Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook

Artwork: Judie Weedon


Christmas is just around the corner! Are you all prepared or is panic about to set in? Cake, cards, puddings, presents ... all to organise!

The Christmas greetings in the Newsletter have again proved popular and with the generous donations of over £300, funds for the Manor Hall and Newsletter will be well boosted. Thank you.

I must also thank Debbie not only for the cover but also for illustrating Trev's contribution and the message borders. I'm sure that readers, like me, appreciate the many delightful illustrations she has contributed so willingly almost since the first issue. Likewise, sincere thanks to Paul who has, without fail, enhanced the Newsletter in spite of a busy life at the College. It is very pleasing, on this occasion, to include another illustration from Nigel - The Lake of Innisfree was a favourite poem of Win Collins.

On a recent visit to Broomhill, it was lovely to bump into Rita and Dave Duncan who were paying a visit to the area. They have now moved south to be nearer the family and send their best wishes to all friends in Berrynarbor.

There is movement in and out of the village and we send best wishes and good luck to those leaving and warmly welcome those coming to live in the village. We hope you will all be happy in your new homes. Get well soon is our wish to all those not feeling their best at present.

There are lots of festive events taking place over the next few weeks, so make a note of them and come along and join in the fun! But, once the festive season is only a memory, it will be time to think about YOUR contribution for the February issue! If you have not contributed in the past or for some time, why not make it a New Year resolution to do so in 2011! Items and articles for February will be very welcome as soon as possible and by mid-January at the latest please.

Now it just leaves me to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Judie - Ed



Fifteen members attended the Meeting on 5th October when Deri Rundle came to speak about her work in Rwanda.

She became aware of the enormous need for help to bring water to the remote villages in Western Rwanda on the borders of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and it was then the David Rundle Trust was started in memory of her late husband.

Over the last few years huge progress has been made with the help of the David Rundle Trust and the Rwandan people themselves who are positive about the future for themselves and their children. They are now learning to use bono cookers which use 50% less wood than open fires and this helps to save the mountain gorilla's habitat. It also reduces carbon emissions by 80%.

Deri visits Rwanda frequently and with money donated takes with her clothing, cooking utensils and other articles necessary for the well being of the villagers, particularly the school children. She lives amongst them and has no special privileges. After her talk, members asked various questions and said how much they admired her for the work she is doing to improve the lives of these people.

On the 2nd November, Michael Mant from Barnstaple Rotary Club came to speak about Shelterbox. Back in 1999 Tom Henderson from the Rotary Club in Helston was looking for a humanitarian project and that is how the idea of the Shelterbox was born.

After the tsunami in 2004, 7,000 boxes were dispatched with Richard Branson supplying the transport. It is very important to distribute the boxes fairly between the various religious groups and to oversee the distribution. At present there are 200 boxes stored in various places around the world, i.e. Melbourne, Dubai and Miami. This is to enable them to be delivered quickly to the affected areas.

Most of the contents are made in China and are of good quality and relatively cheap. 22,000 boxes have gone to Haiti and a total of 50,000 have been sent around the world. In addition to the green box, there is a blue box which contains school items for 200 children. Each green box contains a tent, which is now white and much thicker than the original one and is guaranteed to last at least four years. It is large enough to accommodate eleven people. Also in the box are waterproof ground sheets, cooking utensils, water filters, cutlery and back packs for children containing paper and pencils. Each box costs £590. At the end of the Meeting, donations were given towards another box. The raffle was won by Ann Williams.

Back in September, some members met for a cream tea at Pipcott in West Down. This 'get together' was enjoyed so much that subsequently it was suggested that the group should discontinue the monthly meetings at the Manor Hall and in future meet together for various outings and coffee mornings to be arranged by individuals. It is getting increasingly difficult to find new speakers who charge moderate fees and the majority of members agreed that this new venture would be a good idea.

The December Meeting will now be the Christmas lunch at the Ring of Bells, Prixford. Early in the New Year an outing will be arranged.

On behalf of members, I should like to thank everyone who has helped to run Berrynarbor Ladies Group over the last few years.

Doreen Prater




There is nothing particularly outstanding to report about September's weather, it was a fairly average month. The total rainfall was 106mm [4 3/4'], which was more than we have had over the last few years apart from 2008 when we had 152mm [6"]. The maximum temperature of 22.7 Deg C was again about average though the minimum of 4.9 Deg C was slightly on the cool side. The strongest gust of wind that we recorded was 25 knots, again about normal although the sunshine hours were a bit down on the average at 113.27 hours. We were in the Scillies for the last two weeks of the month and enjoyed lovely warm but pretty windy weather.

October, however, was a different story, with about three season rolled into the one month! It started with the monsoon on the 1st when torrential downpours produced 33mm [1 5/16"] in twenty four hours, followed by another 18mm [11/16"] in the next twenty four hours. After that the weather improved, the temperature rose and we had a return to summer for a few days - it was breezy but warm and any rain fell mainly overnight. Then the temperatures returned to normal or below, and on the 17th we recorded the first frost of the autumn. The total rainfall for the month was 151mm [6"], much of which was concentrated on a relatively few days. The maximum temperature was 22.7 Deg C on the 8th, one of the warmest October days we have recorded, and the minimum of 0.1 Deg C one of the lowest. The wind gusts up to 30 knots were fairlyaverage but the sunshine hours were a bit above at 58.97.

The trees have been looking magnificent in their autumn livery, now we'll have to wait and see if this coming winter is another cold one!

Simon and Sue





It was with much sadness that the village learnt that Doreen had sadly passed away on the 26th September and our thoughts are with her niece Pam and her many friends and neighbours.

As some of you may know, my aunt sadly passed away at the end of September, age 91 years. She was born in Birmingham and after leaving school worked in the offices at Cadbury's for 25 years. In her youth she was a keen swimmer and an enthusiastic member of the Girl Guide movement. She was also an accomplished needlewoman. During the war years, as she was rejected for the armed services because of a suspected heart condition, she volunteered for the St. John Ambulance service.

Doreen married Charles in 1960 and soon after they moved from Birmingham to Berrynarbor. It was then they developed a keen interest in growing fruit and vegetables.

Sadly, Charles passed away in 1979 but Doreen continued to live in the village and developed many friendships. These friendships became even more important to her and indeed to me, when, as her health began to fail she moved to Belmont Grange Care Home in 2004.

She was always good company, with a wonderful sense of humour. She liked to collect verses or quotations that appealed to her, some of which she sent for inclusion in the Newsletter, one of which was printed on the service sheet at her funeral. Many times I suggested that she should come and live near me in Worcestershire but she was reluctant to leave Berrynarbor and her friends, and it is to these friends of hers and now mine, that I should like to say a grateful 'thank you'.

Pam Danks

Blessed are they who understand
My faltering step and shaking hand
Blessed are they who know my ears today
Must strain to catch the things they say
Blessed are they who seem to know
My eyes are dim, my mind is slow
Blessed are they with cheery smile
Who stop to chat for a little while
Blessed are they who make it known
I'm loved, respected and not alone.


Win was born in 1919 and at the age of two travelled with her parents to Lahore, then in India, at a time when the 'Raj' was in full flow. She experienced an extraordinary childhood but at seven left her parents and young brother, John, to attend school in England, staying with her grandparents in Bristol.

She later trained as a Domestic Science teacher in Bath and during the War taught in Birmingham, where she met and married her first husband, Reg Burrows.

Married life with their boys was spent in the Midlands but sadly Reg, who had suffered from rheumatic fever as a child which affected his heart, passed away in 1957.

A fellow member of the church they attended, Dennis Collins, had lost his wife Ann, but he and Win found happiness again together and married the following year. Win happily took on Dennis's two children and both families 'gelled' as a unit, all sharing wonderful family holidays.

When Win and Dennis retired, they fulfilled a dream and moved to Devon, to Berrynarbor. Gardening was a great passion, as was the church and village life, a source of much happiness to them both.

After twenty-four years and with good timing and some regrets, they left Devon in 2006 for a comfortable retreat at St. Monica's in Westbury-on-Trym, nearer the family. In 2008 they celebrated their Golden Wedding, quite an achievement as both their first marriages had lasted for twelve years.

Following a short remembrance at St. Peter's Church on the 31st October, and with family and friends in attendance, Win's ashes were laid to rest with her husband Dennis.

Win's family thank everyone for their kindness and sympathy cards and wish everyone a blessed Christmas and a peaceful New Year.


I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavement grey,
I hear it in the deep heart's core,

W.B. Yeats 1865 -1939

Illustration by Nigel Mason


Artwork: Alvary Scott


Many thanks to everyone who helped to make the Harvest Thanksgiving so successful. The Family Service on 3rd October was well attended and was conducted by Reader David Rushworth, who gave a talk on fruit and seeds. Members of the Choir led the singing and children from the School sang a Harvest Calypso. The Lesson was beautifully read by Kate Crockett. The church was further brought alive by the flower arrangements in vibrant, autumn colours - a warm welcome to everyone and a credit to all.

The Supper on the Wednesday was enjoyed by everyone. Thanks to Doreen Prater and all who helped prepare the food and get the hall ready - what a tempting spread. Once again we are indebted to Michael Bowden and his team. It is lovely to hear the bells ringing out over the village and as always the produce was expertly auctioned off making £53.50. A total of £105 was raised over the evening for WaterAid . On this occasion Reader Chris James was with us and we are most grateful for all he is doing to keep things afloat during the interregnum.

The special Candle Service held on 31st October and led by Rev. Chris Tull was a dignified occasion bringing comfort to many. During the service, candles were lit in memory of loved ones and it was fitting that we were joined by family and friends of Win Collins, whose ashes were interred in the churchyard afterwards.

The service on Remembrance Sunday conducted by Reader Chris James was very well-attended, with over 70 present. Everyone gathered at the War Memorial for 11 o'clock and wreaths were laid on behalf of the Church and the Parish Council. The Last Post and Reveille were sounded by Ivan Clarke. We then returned to the church for the rest of the service. The Lesson was read by Lorna Bowden and the Choir sang the theme tune from 'Band of Brothers'. The collection, taken up for the Royal British Legion, amounted to £130.

Christmas Services will be as follows, but please look out for posters in case there are any changes nearer the time:

  • Wednesday, 22nd December, 6.30 p.m. Carol Service with the Choir and School children
  • Christmas Eve, 9.30 p.m. Blessing of the Crib and First Communion of Christmas
  • Christmas Day & Sunday, 26th December [St. Stephen's Day], 11.00 a.m. Family Communion Services with Carols

We look forward to welcoming everyone over the Christmas Season and wish you peace and joy and every blessing for the New Year.

Apart from those of us suffering seasonal colds and minor ailments, there are those in the village with more serious health problems. Please know that you are continuously in our thoughts and prayers and we are here to help when needed.

There will be no Friendship Lunch at The Globe in December, and the date for January has yet to be verified.

Mary Tucker


Are there any flower arrangers in the village? We are in need of some help on the Church Flower Rota. Several of our regular helpers have moved away and some are physically unable to manage! If anyone is interested in helping out 3 or 4 times a year [or even less] in making the Church look beautiful for festivals - Christmas, Easter, Harvest, etc., then please give me a call. Your help would be very much appreciated.

Sue Neale [883893]

P.S. Stuart says are there any more singers who would be interested in joining the Berrynarbor Choir? The more the merrier!



Perhaps we should all go away more often! While a number of PCC Officers were on holiday, an interview was held for the vacant post of Team Rector. Fortunately, PCC Secretary, Marion Carter, was able to be there to represent us and the announcement of the appointment was made at the service on 24th October. Marion writes:

"I was pleased to be part of the team on behalf of Berrynarbor when we interviewed for the Team Rector vacancy and would like to wish the Revd. Christopher Steed all success in his appointment."

We are now eagerly waiting to hear when the new Rector will take up his post.



By the time you are reading this, we hope that the South West area of the Society has been successful in its bid for funding from the People's Millions Lottery Fund. It is proposed to set up an additional 8 groups across Devon and Cornwall, they are currently operating in Plymouth, Exeter and Dartington only. The first group for North Devon will be starting in Ilfracombe in January and we have had a good response for volunteers, including 8 from the village - an excellent number from such a small community. But hey, that's typical of our tight-knit village.

The Ilfracombe sessions will take place at the Vision Community Centre in Slade Valley Road [one of the few halls with its own car park]. There will be an open event for all volunteers at the Centre on Tuesday, 11th January, from 2.00 to 4.00 p.m. The first session will be on Tuesday, 18th January, from 2.00 to 4.00 p.m., and then every first and third Tuesday of each month.

Anyone requiring further details, please contact Norma and Tony Holland on [01271] 883989, or visit the Alzheimer's Society Website.


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


As life has progressed, I have always been interested in what other people have done and achieved. Recently I have been in touch with Ted Manley, who I have known for the past 70 years.

I first remembered Ted's music when he was in a school concert. He sat on the stage at the Grammar School in his short trousers and wearing wire rimmed glasses playing the accordion. He could not have been more than 11 or 12. His music was already exceptional.

While still at school, Ted would play his accordion for the American soldiers. Down near the pier, if they wrote 'In the Mood' on the back of a ten shilling note [50p] and handed it to him, Ted would oblige! His takings were very good and his mother would pay them into the bank for him.

When Ted left school he formed a dance band which played at first at a hall on the pier and later at the Victoria Pavilion. His cousin, Pat Annett, played the piano and also in the band were 'Dixie' Dale, Vic Knock and Max Farman. With two pianos, the band was similar to that of Victor Silvester. It soon occurred to Ted that after the dances people would need transport home, there were no buses running at that time of night. 'I've got it,' he thought, and so he followed up his playing with a taxi service! For him a very long evening but he was never afraid of hard work.

When not involved with his music, Ted loved boats and kept them at Watermouth Harbour. He was a keen fisherman and knew how to enjoy his leisure.

He broadcast twice - once at Plymouth with Eddie Purkiss and his band and later at the Holiday Inn. Ted plays six instruments - and even more when he worked for a while in a shop in Barnstaple. He was also a demonstrator for Hammond Organs. Although taught for a while by a Miss Smith, his music is basically self-taught.

Ted and his wife, Jean, were married at St. Philip and St. James Church Ilfracombe in 1951 and the photograph shows the archway of musical instruments as they left the church. Ted and Jean have two children, Julie and Spencer and several grandchildren.

Ted, and his band played all over Devon and I remember at the Lee Bay Hotel that he also did the 'calling', instructing the dancers on the steps they should be making - very helpful. Retired now for three years, Ted and Jean are living at Ross-on-Wye.

On behalf of all those people to whom you have given so much pleasure, may I say 'a big thank you, Ted, you have done a fine job.'

Tony Beauclerk - Stowmarket



Tai Chi is a form of Chinese exercise which developed over 400 years ago. All of the exercises are easy and straightforward for people to learn and practice. They are very effective in helping to reduce high blood pressure, heart disease, arthritis, gastric ulcers and other chronic diseases. The exercises can also benefit weight loss, stress relief, disruptive sleep patterns and greatly enhance health and fitness.

The practice of Tai Chi does not require a big space or any special equipment or clothing. It can be practised at any time of day or night, indoors or out. It is suitable for all people, of any age and level of fitness.

Paul Maxfield

Lessons have started at the Manor Hall, Berrynarbor, every Thursday morning at 11.00 a.m. Contact me, Paul Maxfield [Instructor] on [01271] 867236 for more details, or please just turn up! A session costs £5.00.



In the last Newsletter I informed you of my efforts to get improvement to our poor digital TV reception in the village. My letter to Digital UK [as in the October Newsletter] was passed to Ofcom in August and after much nagging I finally received a reply in early November . But to be fair, they were investigating my complaint in the meantime. They have admitted there was a fault and hopefully have rectified it with further constructive suggestions to residents. For your information, the full reply is published below. However, I do advise that we continue individually to record any incidents of poor reception until at least the end of January, as I suggested, in case problems reoccur.

Jill Massey

Dear Mrs. Massey

Once again, please accept my apologies for the delay in responding to you.

As I mentioned in my previous message, following your complaint we asked the broadcasters to investigate the situation at the Berrynarbor 'relay' transmitter which serves your area. During these checks, a possible fault at the transmitter was identified, and the broadcasters' transmission provider replaced a piece of equipment at the transmitter. Monitoring the transmitter performance, identifying the faulty unit and replacement did take some time. However, we now believe that the transmitter is operating satisfactorily.

If you are still experiencing problems, it may be that there is another cause. In particular, you should ensure that you are actually receiving signals from the Berrynarbor relay (which located on the hill just above Barton Lane, and is the only transmitter likely to offer reliable service to the town), and that the aerial is in good condition and of an appropriate type. I say this because signals from the relay transmitters in neighbouring Combe Martin and Chambercombe may also reach parts of Berrynarbor, but these signals are not predicted to be strong enough to be received well by most viewers, especially those in lower-lying parts. However, because the Combe Martin and Chambercombe relays were built some time before the Berrynarbor relay (the mid/late 1970s versus the late 1980s), it is just possible that some viewers in Berrynarbor may not have opted to re-orientate their aerials to receive the stronger signals from the Berrynarbor relay. While aerials which are still directed to other transmitters may pick up some signals from Berrynarbor, they will be receiving a much weaker signal than if the aerials are pointing correctly at the transmitter. It may also be worth pointing out that external aerials should generally be replaced every 10-15 years (more frequently in coastal areas), as corrosion will adversely affect the performance of the aerial.

Determining which transmitter your aerial is pointed towards can be difficult without professional help, but the Berrynarbor relay is on a

compass bearing of around 77 degrees from your location, whereas the Combe Martin and Chambercombe relays are on bearings of around 104 and 286 degrees respectively. I understand you have already had your aerial system examined, but I am not sure what specific tests were carried out. However, if you would like a second opinion on your aerial system a competent local installer would be able to advise further. Although we cannot recommend particular installers, I understand that Visioncare in Ilfracombe have carried out a number of installations in the area.

If you still continue to experience problems after considering the points above, do let me know.


Peter Madry
Head of Television Technical Regulation



Hi there, my name is Stella and I have a canine partner called Jenson.  I was down in your area last week on a rest break at my caravan and my friend Wendy Hilling told me about your adopted puppies.  Wendy's' canine partner Teddy is great friends with Jenson, they love to meet up and have a play together.  We thought you might like to see the end results of your kind plan to adopt a puppy, so we made an impromptu visit to Berrynarbor and had a lovely time meeting people in the local shop and having a superior cuppa and toasted teacake at Miss Muffets. 

I am currently running a personal appeal to raise £10,000 to sponsor a canine partner for someone else with a disability so I am well aware of the effort it takes to raise funds to support Canine Partners.  I wanted to say a personal thank you to the people of Berrynarbor for adopting puppies. It is the first magical step to transforming someone's life. 

Jenson helping in the garden

Jenson does the shopping

I was very sceptical when I was told how much a dog would help me with my disability.  I was injured in a car crash caused by a drunk driver 12 years ago and my life had become very limited, physically difficult and emotionally draining.  I was slowly shutting down as the struggle to face everyday life was becoming just too much to cope with.  I live alone and was really fed up with having to rely on people at every turn.  Then Jenson came into my life and within a month the sun was shining everywhere for me.  Within 6 months I was a different person.  My confidence began to come back. I went out and about anywhere and everywhere I could get to.  I no longer need a human carer as Jenson helps me so much with personal care and around the house.  I do my own shopping, get my own library books - Jenson can get a book off the shelf for me - and I have gone back to my singing group.  The list just goes on and on of how good Jenson is for me.  He makes me smile every day and that alone is worth its weight in gold. 

So thank you, Berrynarbor, for that is just a glimpse of what adopting a puppy can start.  My very best wishes to you all.

Stella Hewett
and of course a woof from Jenson

There is also news of our two adopted puppies.

Sadly, Pebbles has had to be withdrawn from the training scheme. Although a bright and lovely dog, it became clear that she was sensitive and lacked concentration which could cause problems with her future partner. She has now been found a perfect home where she will enjoy life as a much-loved pet.

In her place we have adopted Polo, pictured above, who is at the same advanced stage as Pebbles was in his training. He, too, is a Labradoodle and is currently learning to push pedestrian buttons, take tins from shelves in shops and even undress someone - he wonders if he will be as good at that as he is at taking off his own jacket. All he has to do is turn his head, get hold of the Velcro tab and give it a tug, put his head down and back out of the jacket - how clever is that!

Ruby tells us that although it is still quite early days, she will soon be gauged as to whether she is good enough to go on to the advanced training, but says she seems to be doing most things right and that she is very beautiful! That is not just her being vain, she recently won the 'Prettiest Bitch' class at a fun dog show and received the rather fetching rosette she is wearing in her photograph.



Dear Editor

Yes, the Combe Martin Silver Mines Research Preservation Society is alive and well!

It was formed approximately ten years ago, to do exactly what its name implies. 'Cumserps', as we call it, is run like a club. The members or volunteers pay an annual fee of £10 which covers the cost of their personal site insurance and quarterly newsletter. The membership varies between 40 and 80, most of whom only occasionally visit the site.

Members who turn up regularly [some of whom have been on site as volunteers for nearly twenty years] take part in archaeology, site restoration and maintenance, etc., at Mine Tenements, and a small number carry out clearance of the old workings in Harris's mine.

Mine Tenements was the centre of operations for the Combmartin and North Devon Silver Lead Mining Company 1835-1847. It comprises of the intact Powder House and Blacksmith's Shop, the ruins of the 50" Pumping Engine House and its accompanying pumping shaft and balance bob pit. A large masonry storage reservoir dating back to the twelve hundreds is currently being excavated by the club's archaeologists. The footprint of the account house has also been uncovered. Many other buildings and remains still lie undiscovered beneath the soil.

The old Combmartin mine runs beneath the street and is nearly a thousand feet deep. Harris's mine is a branch off it with its entrance about 200' above the street. Luckily the old Combmartin and Harris's Mine share a common adit or drain, so the upper and oldest workings of Harris's mine are dry. These levels have been inspected by a German medieval mining expert, Christian Bartels, who believes some parts date back to the 1100's and possibly some are even older.

The site is not open to the general public but visits by both individuals and societies are encouraged by arrangement. Working days are Thursdays 9.30 a.m. to 4.00 p.m., and Sunday mornings, 8.00 a.m. to mid-day.

Michael Warburton [Mine Captain]
Gary Dennis [Membership Secretary] Tel: 883360



Cinque Ports

Dover is the chief Cinque Port. The others are Sandwich, Hythe, Romney and Hastings.

First mentioned in 1155, those ports were given certain privileges by the monarch in return for providing ships to defend the coastline.

In the late 12th Century, the ancient town of Rye and Winchelsea were added. The Cinque Ports are under the jurisdiction of a Lord Warden whose official residence is at Walmer Castle.

Distinguished Lord Wardens have included William Pitt, The Duke of Wellington, Sir Winston Churchill and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

The First Recorded Fatal Motor Car Accident

Daimler Wagonette in the
London to Brighton Run

On Grove Hill, a steep, narrow lane that winds down from the hill towards Harrow town, the first recorded, fatal motor car accident in Britain happened on the 25th February 1899.

A Daimler Wagonette... being driven on a demonstration run by E.R. Sewell of the Daimler Motor Car Company, went out of control while going down the hill and hit the kerb at the bottom, pitching the driver and his passenger, 63 year old Major James Richer, on the road. Mr. Sewell died instantly, the major four days later of a fractured skull, becoming the first passenger fatality.






At the meeting on 9th November, we were pleased to welcome Mr. James Bate, Strategic Conservation Officer for the North Devon Council in connection with the draft appraisal of Berrynarbor Conservation Area on which he reported, together with proposals for boundary revisions.

Mr. Bate is arranging a Public Meeting at the Manor Hall in this connection, so please look out for more details for you to have the opportunity to give your views and opinions.

Reports were received from the Police, County Councillor Mrs. Andrea Davis and District Councillor Yvette Gubb.

Designs for signs for the Play Area are awaited. A number of on-going items were discussed and parishioners can be assured that Councillors will seek to obtain a satisfactory conclusion to these matters.

The task of reviewing the Standing Orders is to be undertaken early in the New Year. The National Association of Local Councils has produced a draft model from which Councillors will work.

The Budget and Precept for the 2011/2012 financial year was agreed and parishioners will be pleased to note a reduction in their Council Tax as a result of the Precept being reduced.

Sue Squire - Parish Clerk



It is not too late to book for your group's Christmas Get Together, or even as individuals, in the Garden Tea Room. There is a varied and interesting 'alternative' menu for your festive meal. with two courses costing £15 or 3 courses £19 [lower prices than last year!]. Relax in the festively decorated Tea Room with a log fire burning!

Why not give an annual Season Ticket as a Christmas Gift [or even buy one for yourself]? The price currently remains at £20, but will unfortunately need to be increased in the new year. Vouchers to spend on Plants or to enjoy a Cream Tea are also available.

Although the Gardens are now closed for the winter months, season ticket holders are welcome to visit, but should be aware that they do so at their own risk. Paths and steps at this time of the year can be slippery and difficult.

The Tea Room will be open for hot lunches from 11.00 am to 4.00 pm on Sundays 20th and 27th February when the Gardens will be open for Snowdrop and Hellebore Days. Everyone welcome. For more information on any of these events, please ring Patricia on [01271] 342528 or e-mail: info@marwoodhillgarden.co.uk

Thank you for your support during the year and please visit us again in 2011. In the meantime, I wish you

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Patricia Stout - Property Manager




Next year the plant sale will be held on Bank Holiday Monday, 2nd May 2011. Please save some of your plants to donate to the sale. If you would like to book a table to sell your own items, please call Kath Thorndycroft on [01271] 889019.

[Proceeds to Berrynarbor Community Shop]


Can you help? John Broom of Roborough, Torrington, has become the owner of a 1957 Ford Thames Van. He is interested in researching its history. He knows that it was bought from Taw Garages in Barnstaple by a Berrynarbor Butcher. The cottage in Silver Street was, in 1957, a butcher's shop and the owner at that time was Les Thomas. Les was followed in the business by Reg Davies, Paul Lethaby and lastly Ivan Clark. What colour was the van, did it have any sign writing on it, etc? Can anyone help, or does someone by any chance have a photograph of this vehicle? If you have any information, please contact Judie on [01271] 883544. Thank you.


The two photographs in the October 'Old Berrynarbor' had some interesting and strong connections. There were at least four sets of parents and children: Ron Toms and Raymond, Frank Huxtable and his daughter Rosemary, my Aunt Brenda Richards and her daughter Cheryl Layton, and my mother Vera Richards and her son John Sidebottom. Are there any more?

Jill Sidebottom


The Mobile Library will be off the road for the whole of December. Jacqui and the Library will be round again in the New Year on Wednesday, 12th January.

Please note that as from the New Year, the times of arrival will change. In future the Library will be at the Shop and Post Office from 10.45 to 11.30 a.m., and the Sterridge Valley from 11.45 to 12.15 p.m.


The last class for the current term takes place on Wednesday,15th December. Classes will start again on Wednesday, 5th January.

If you feel like getting into trim again following over indulgence at Christmas, why not come along and give this class a go! Taken by an experienced and qualified leader, everyone works at their own level [it is not aerobics!]. To join in, you do not need any special gear, just wear loose clothing.


There are 2 one-day courses at the Two Lanes Centre in Ilfracombe during December. Christmas Table Decorations on Monday, 6th December, from 1.30 to 4.30 p.m., and Christmas Beaded Angels on Wednesday, 15th December, 6.00 to 9.00 p.m. Both cost £19. For more information and to reserve a place, telephone the Two Lanes Centre on [01271] 864171.



Charity Santa Fun Run, Sunday 5th December, 10.00 a.m. - 5.00 p.m. £10 entry fee includes your free Santa suit and refreshments. Ever fancied doing a Tandem Skydive? Now's your chance! For more information on either of these events, please ring Rebecca Worth on [01271] 347204.



Cats, no less liquid than their shadows offer no angles to the wind.



CALLING ALL PET OWNERS ... and those who wish they were!

Do you sometimes need to call on a friend or neighbour to look after a cat/dog/horse/rabbit/guinea pig, etc., for a day because of:

  • A hospital appointment
  • A day's shopping
  • Visiting friends or relatives
  • A day's coach trip, knowing you might be away for a number of hours?

Within the village, I thought it might be an idea to form a 'sitting' register of people willing to offer help on such occasions. These services could be:

  • Letting a cat or dog out into the garden or walking the dog
  • Feeding an animal, or just checking

Many of us have kind friends and neighbours who already do this, but some times they are not available when needed. You may have lost your own animal and miss the walks or contact you once had, or may wish to make new friends and help others.

If you are interested in this kind of scheme and have ideas on how it might be organised, please contact me on [01271] 882822. I am willing to run the register, or it could be kept at the Shop. Your ideas please!

Yvonne [Davey]


Artwork: Harry Weedon


We had a wonderful afternoon on the 9th October when we had the presentation at the Manor Hall for the Best Kept Village. One of the judges, Diana Tremlett, and the County Organiser, Elizabeth Cummings, presented the village with a voucher for £100.00 to be spent at Mole Valley Farmers [the sponsors] and our Best Kept Village 2010 plaque. The bell ringers greeted them with peals of bells and the village choir sang for them. Many villagers joined us to enjoy a delicious tea with a wonderful selection of cakes, all provided by ladies of the village. Many thanks to all who helped.

However, we must not rest on our laurels, we are already planning for next year. As the winners for the southwest this year, we have been asked by South West in Bloom to represent the southwest in the national competition run by the R.H.S. in 2011. We are aware that this is quite a feather in our cap but also a bit scary and we'll need all the help we can get from the whole village. We are hoping to recruit a few more helpers - could you take over the watering of an area for example? Also, we shall be having a few more fund raising events, so we hope we can count on your support. Look out for our blooming posters in the New Year and if you can help us in any way, please contact me on [01271] 882296.


Artwork: Angela Bartlett

Quick Mince Pie Ice cream

It's a good idea as Christmas approaches to have a few things in the freezer that can be whipped out if you are entertaining. This is a recipe for an ice cream that is a complete doddle to make and is a refreshing change from some of the stodgy puddings on offer at this time of the year.


  • 300ml double cream
  • 4 shop bought quality mince pies or homemade if you are making them for Christmas
  • 500g Ambrosia Devon Custard (Tetra Pak), refrigerated until cold

If you are using shop bought mince pies, freshen them up in a hot oven 140C/275F/Gas Mark 1 for ten minutes then let them get cold [this crisps up the pastry]. If you are using home made mince pies, use them just after you have made them and they are cooled.

Whip the double cream until it is floppy, but not too thick.

Chop the mince pies up fairly finely but not until they are crumbs.

Mix the chopped mince pies in to the custard and then fold in the whipped cream.

If you have an ice cream maker, churn the mix for about 30 minutes. But an ice cream maker is not necessary. Put the mix in to the coldest part of the freezer in a lidded plastic box for 2 hours. Remove the box and scrape around the sides and empty in to a bowl. Give it all a good beating [an electric beater is a good idea]. Return to the box and freeze for another 2 hours then repeat the beating.

This can be made up to a month before use but take the ice cream out 30 minutes before you want to use it to allow it to soften a little.

I like to serve this topped with a measure of Bailey's, yum! I love Christmas.

Wendy Applegate


Stanley Barnes

Solution in Article 45.







Hello from all of us at the school. Once again we've had a busy start to the school year.

We have welcomed Lawrence and Laura and their family to our school community and also Mr. Rees and Mrs. Wilkins as Teaching Assistants.

You may have heard our daily 'Wake and Shake' that happens in the playground at 8.55 a.m. every day [weather permitting, and we are a pretty hardy bunch!]. The whole school [children, staff and some brave parents] undertake an aerobic workout, lead by a group of children, to music. It really is a fun way to start the day and get our brains working.

We have also had a very successful Parents' Evening with 82% of families attending. This was a fantastic opportunity to share information about the year ahead with our parents. Sarah Peach, our Kitchen Manager, prepared some tempting samples from the current menu for parents to try. School dinners really are very tasty and nutritious these days and more than half our children now regularly have a school cooked meal at lunchtime. We hope to repeat Parents' Information Evenings in a similar format in future.

Two of our Year 6 boys, Connor and Oliver, have been selected at local trials to take part in a local Gifted and Talented PE programme. The boys have taken part in training with other gifted children from across the Learning Community and have been having a great time whilst pushing their skills to new heights!


1st Overall

Kyle Davies [Aged 10]
1st in Class 4

2nd Overall

Disnie Thornton [Aged 8]
1st in Class 3

Class 4 visited the Queen's Theatre to watch a performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream in October, while the younger children went to the cinema as part of National Film Week.

The PTA have already held a Pamper Evening at The Globe and another very successful and fully booked Curry and Quiz Night. Plans are being made for the upcoming Christmas Bazaar. The PTA has kindly offered to pay for all the children to visit the Exmoor Zoo in the week before Christmas as a special treat.

We have a day of 'taster' activities planned for 26th November, when the children will take part in dance, art and drumming workshops and watch a science demonstration. These activities have been funded and organised through the Extended School Co-ordinator with the aim to give children the chance to have a go in the hope that they might identify something they would like to get involved with outside school.

Sadly, I am receiving, almost weekly, notification of cuts in funding and services that will affect our school and our children. The future continues to be 'interesting'! We value greatly the support of our local community. We already have a number of community volunteers who support our work. We should love more grown-ups to hear children read, but there are lots of other opportunities in which to get involved. If you have a particular skill that you would like to share or if you would just simply like to become part of the team and support in lessons, please give us a call. The number is [01271] 883493. The safety of our children is important to us and all volunteers would need to have a CRB and identity check.

3rd Overall

Jed Haines [Aged 5]
1st in Class 1

4th Overall

Lydia Carless [Aged 6]
1st in Year 2

All the children recently took part in a competition to design a Christmas Stamp. We were very impressed with their work and have included the winning designs for you to admire.

On behalf of the staff and children may I wish you all a Happy Christmas.

Sue Carey - Headteacher

Dates for your Diary:

  • Thursday, 2nd December Christmas Bazaar in the Manor Hall, 3 p.m.
  • Friday, 10th December KS1 Nativity Play in the Church
  • Monday, 13th December Senior Dude's Meal [limited spaces, booking essential]
  • Wednesday, 15th December School Christmas Dinner
  • Friday, 17th December Christmas Service in Church, 2.00 p.m. Last day of Term
  • Monday, 10th January Berrynarbor children back to school



The following tale is allegedly true, though I cannot vouch for it.

It concerns a local historian who was seeking information about an event in the locality many years before. He was told of a very old man living nearby who would certainly remember it. Following directions, he followed a narrow, rutted lane out of the village. At the end stood an old cottage at the edge of a wood and, sure enough, leaning on the gate was an old man with a long white beard. Going up to him, he introduced himself and explained his errand. "Nay," said the old man, "Sorry I can't help ye, it were afore my time. You'll have to ask my father. He's in bed upstairs reading the paper. He'll know. Go in, call out and go up to him. He'll be glad to see yer." So, upstairs he goes and finds a very old man with a long white beard, sitting up in bed reading the morning paper. Once again he introduces himself and puts his question. The old man shakes his head, "I'd help ye if I could", he says, "But it were afore my time. You'll have to ask my father. He's out in back garden cutting firewood, he'll know for sure." So he goes downstairs again and out of the back door and yes, there stands an incredibly old man with a long white beard, briskly chopping up sticks. And, at last, his question is answered.



Artwork: Peter Rothwell

The Globe:

  • Friday, 3rd December: Live Music with Amy Newton and Katie Kerslake, playing in the bar from 9.00 p.m.
  • Sunday, 19th December: why not join us after singing carols in the square for the Annual Christmas Quiz, 8.30 p.m. [Booking advised as there are a number of regular teams.]
  • Christmas Day: Open only from 11.30 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. No Food.
  • All other days around Christmas and New Year open as normal,
    • 12.00-2.30 & 6.00-11.00 pm
    • Food served daily 12.00-2.00 & 6.00-9.00 pm
  • Boxing Day: Annual Boxing Night Quiz, 8.30 p.m. Book, this is a very busy night!
  • Tuesday, 28th December: Join us, in teams of 4, for the Annual Games Night - play skittles, pool and darts [killer games] - great fun! Please put your names down on the list in the bar if you are coming.
  • New Year's Eve: as many people go away now for New Year, we are keeping it small scale this year. There will be lively music for you to party to and Fancy Dress is encouraged but optional. A buffet will be provided, so if you are coming and would like to have a nibble from the complimentary buffet, please put your name down in the bar so that we know how many to cater for.
  • Wednesday, 5th January: The 'Mummers' will be performing in the bar from about 8.00 p.m. Please 'phone if you would like more details.

The Sawmill:

    22nd or 29th January [tbc]: Fancy Dress 60's, 70's & 80's Night to raise money for the North Devon Hospice. Tickets available soon from the Sawmill, Globe or Loanna Ball [Keypitts], who is organising this event.

The Ozelton family and staff at both The Globe and The Sawmill would like to wish all our customers a very Happy Christmas. We sincerely thank you for your continued support, whether it be an occasional meal, a regular drink, a coffee whilst your kids play in the play area, or your support at the various entertainment nights. The Pub IS THE HUB and it is sad that so many village pubs have been forced to close their doors during recent years due to lack of support from the locals . . . with your continued support YOU can help to ensure that Berrynarbor isn't one of those villages. 'Use it or Lose it'!

Thank you.

We hope you all have a great 2011.



This is the house that Jack built.
This is the rat that ate the malt ...
This is the cat that killed the rat ...
This is the dog that worried the cat ...
This is the cow with the crumpled horn
that tossed the dog ...
This is the maiden all forlorn,
that milked the cow with a crumpled horn ...
This is the man, all tattered and torn,
that kissed the maiden ...
This is the priest all shaven and shorn
that married the man ...
This is the cock that crowed in the morn
and woke the priest ...
This is the farmer, sowing his corn, that owned the cock ...
that crowed in the morn,
that woke the priest all shaven and shorn,
that married the man all tattered and torn,
that kissed the maiden all forlorn,
that milked the cow with the crumpled horn,
that tossed the dog,
that worried the cat,
that killed the rat,
that ate the malt,
that lay in the house that Jack built.

Illustration by Debbie Cook

This bit of our folk heritage popped out of my memory the other day without any recollection of how it came there! Of course the full recital goes back to the beginning at every 'this is'.




[23 June 1925 - 15 May 2010]

Businessman and Inventor of Automated Teller Machines [ATMs]

When, with Christmas breathing down our necks, you next push your plastic card into a 'hole-in-the-wall', try and spare a thought for the man who invented it.

His name was John Shepherd-Barron, a businessman with great entrepreneurial skills.

He was born of Scottish parents in India in 1925. He studied in Edinburgh and Cambridge before joining De La Rue, stationers and currency printers, as a management trainee. Some of the ideas he developed were:

  • Money off vouchers looking like bank notes given away with washing powders, which led to a contract with Persil
  • Whilst working in the US as De La Rue's operational director, he won contracts for printing certificates for the New York stock exchange
  • He introduced to Europe the US idea of using armoured vehicles for moving money - which became very popular after the Great Train Robbery in 1963.

However, his greatest invention, which totally changed the ways that banks work, was that of the Automated Teller Machines [ATM], popularly known as 'hole-in-the wall'.

In 1965 John Shepherd-Barron was lying in his bath on a Saturday, fuming that he had arrived at his bank one minute late and the doors had closed. He always drew money on a Saturday - except this one! And then an idea came into his head. He thought of chocolate vending machines: when money was put into a slot, a chocolate bar appeared. Why not the same for banknotes?

Later that year, he met by chance the chief general manager of Barclays Bank. Over a pink gin he asked for 90 seconds of the Manager's time.

"I told him I had an idea that if you put your standard Barclays cheque through a slot in the side of the bank, it would deliver a standard amount of money," he said. "Come and see me on Monday morning" the Manager replied.

As a result, Shepherd-Barron [then Managing Director of De La Rue], won a contract to build six cash dispensers. The first opened in Enfield on 27th June 1967. Reg Varney, star of 'On the Buses', was the first customer and a blue plaque marking the occasion is still there.

The original machines didn't use plastic cards, but slightly radioactive cheques, which the machines could read. Although Health and Safety would no doubt veto them today, Shepherd-Barron reckoned that someone would have to eat 136,000 cheques to come to any harm!

Initially, you could get no more than £10 from the machines, "Quite enough for a wild weekend," Shepherd-Barron remarked. [And this was the raging sixties?] They also used a six-digit code because he could remember his Army number. His wife Caroline persuaded him to reduce the identification numbers. "Over the kitchen table, she said she could only remember 4 figures, so because of her, 4 figures became the world standard," he said, and I for one am very grateful!

He never made any money out of his great invention. On the advice of his lawyers, it wasn't patented as to do so would involve giving out information on the coding system which could have enabled criminals to break into the system.

However, he did get an OBE in 2005 for services to banking - 40 years later.

Today it is estimated that there are 1.8million ATM's worldwide, from the island of Svalbard in the Arctic Circle to McMurdo Station in Antarctica. They are used about 5,500 times per minute in the UK, dishing out £6,000 per second or £10 billion per month!

John Shepherd-Barron died in May this year at the age of 84, having spent much of his later years on his Scottish estate. He was always very modest about his invention and wasn't the only one to develop cash dispensers - but he was the very first.

By the way, I read in the newspaper whilst writing this that £5 notes are going to reappear in the cash machines by next April. Is this due to recession, I wonder?

PP of DC



A photograph of Westaway, Pilton, was recently featured in the 'property for sale' section of the North Devon Journal. It is situated behind the tall garden wall, on the right, when approaching the traffic lights by North Devon Hospital. It was formerly one of the Bassett estates.

It wasn't the price tag that motivated me but the porch covering the main entrance. I visited Westaway some years ago and remember the porch decorated with initial plaques of the Berry family, identical to those surviving in Berry today. In 1889, following a fire in part of our old Manor House, the porch was dismantled and rebuilt at Westaway. I have also read 'To that place also were taken the arms of Plantagenet and Bonville and other families, with carved work'.

The stones shields either side of the lower windows of the the Manor Hall, reading from left to right : IBHB

The Name Berrynarbor is derived from:

  1. HEORTS BURH - Heort's farm of homestead. It is an old English name from the Bronze/Iron Age people who lived here - the ancient Devonshire DUMNONII tribe. He must have been an important or remarkable man for his name to survive down through the ages. It is interesting to note that cremated human bones were excavated about 1840 from one of the 9 round barrows located in the Century Lane- Berry Down, area. The bones were covered with an inverted clay pot decorated in the style of the Celtic Beaker People. Thankfully, now these burial mounds are protected from being ploughed out.

    Heort was probably familiar with the ancient white, ceremonial standing stones erected at Stonelands, now called Maddox Down, on Long Lane. Sadly, the last surviving stone was shattered by lightning not very long ago. I think it's fitting that our famous parishioner, Damien Hirst, has placed two large white stones at the entrance to his home at Yellaton Farm. Michael Johns dug them out of a neighbouring field with his digger!

  2. HURTESBURY - in Saxon times. Before 1066 it belonged to Queen Edith, wife of Edward the Confessor. William gave it to Walter of Douai following the conquest.

  3. HURTSBURY, BERIE, BYRIE, BURY - early Norman spellings.

  4. BERRY YN ARBOR - BERRYNERBERT - Welsh and Norman

  5. Relating to Phillip and William de Nerbert = Narbeth, the ancient county town of Pembrokeshire. Yn Arbor was its old Welsh name which translates to 'by or near the trees'. Nerbert was the Normanised version.

    "In AD1196, the manor was held by William Nerbert. There is no doubt about William Nerbert as he was a plaintiff in a suit with William de Poniard of Lidiard, as to a Knight's fee in East Hagginton. William Nerbert gave up his claim to East Hagginton on which William de Poniard gave up his claim to Yellaton, Indicknowle and Hempster in Berry [still farms today], and two ferlongs in Stapledon and La Ferse [Stowford] and the mill with a road in Hagginton, with the hamlet that is between Bethum Mill and the old ditch" [must be Hele].

Edith Penn Curzon
[From the Manor Hall]

There is quite a long list of Knights holding our Manors, either in their own right or from another person or in the honour of various religious establishments [the feudal system in action]. This is not surprising considering the life span of an active knight was about 30 years. It is feasible that many arrived from Pembrokeshire. Historians all agree that access to the South West from the rest of England was very difficult over land. In Pembrokeshire the Knights Templar had built hospitals or hostelries at Slebech and Templeton, where knights returning from the crusades or disturbances in France [sounds familiar!] could rest and heal.

When recovered they would make a pilgrimage to St. Davids to restore their souls. They then needed to get literally fighting fit again and find somewhere to invest their spoils of war. Travel through Wales was very dangerous as the Welsh were far from subdued. A ship from Milford Haven or Tenby would have been the easier option. As there was a jousting school, for training and practice at Pilton [see The Knights of Raleigh by Pat Barrow], Barnstaple would have been a convenient destination.

Perhaps it was by this route that the knight Ralph and his son Richard arrived in Berrynarbor in the early 13th century. Ralph took the name Berry as a surname [various spellings]. His descendants survived here for 500 years through the reigns of 17 monarchs and off-spring can still be found in the area today. They would have benefited from the growth of the lucrative wool trade. They replaced the old Saxon Manor House with a much grander one built in stone in medieval times which they decorated with rich carvings. They oversaw the change from the old feudal system and the Saxon method of open-strip farming by enclosing smaller fields with hedges. They encouraged the rights of yeoman farmers. In 1540 they witnessed the building of the new church tower.

They were both Catholics and Royalists, not always the safest of choices. In 1641 Richard Berry Esq., John Sampson and John Humphrey did not assent to the Oath of Protestation [a public oath supporting the Protestant religion in England]. 127 men in the parish did - women didn't get the option! And Bishop Jewel must have turned in his grave.

His Royalist sympathies would have put him in a peculiar position during the Civil Wars, 1642-46. The majority of people in the South West supported Parliament, so he probably kept his head down. On the other hand, was he involved in the skirmish at Stonelands, which involved Colonel Maddox? The Royalists were chased to East Down where some took sanctuary in the church. Local people remembered the Colonel's efforts by renaming Stonelands as Maddox Down.

1861 drawing of the Manor House

Under the stewardship of the Berry family, Berry Narbor flourished and grew. In 1708 Thomas Berry died without an heir. His estate was sold to Colonel Bassett of Heanton. They probably put a bailiff here, but never lived here themselves. They enlarged the estate by buying out most of the freeholders in Berry.

Subsequently Francis Bassett, the last of the line, died and his wife's nephew - Davey of Northam - inherited and took the name Bassett in compliance to his uncle's will. It was Joseph Davey Bassett who built Watermouth Castle which was completed about 1850 and is so well maintained by the Haines family today. By now the Manor House in the Old Court had been stripped and local families were renting it. The 1861 drawing, which we own, shows it in its dying years. Soon part of it will be ravaged by fire.

The East wing was rebuilt as a large hall which the parishioners were allowed to use for meetings and social functions. Previously the Old Temperance Hall had been used, the remains of which still stand in the grounds of Orchard House.

The Bassett's lived in Berrynarbor for just three generations. It was the incident of the ferris wheel and a very expensive law suit that was probably the reason. The estate was sold off in the 1920's. Funnily enough, many local people bought their own farms - what goes around, comes around!

What appear to be spaces for missing decorations on the Manor Hall
Diamond shape to the left and square frame to the right.

The Old Court and its new Manor Hall was purchased by BerryNarbor parishioners in about 1946. I'm not sure if the Parish Room was included. This was made possible with a loan from Alderman Fred Richards. Lizzie Toms was one of the first trustees, but I'm not sure who else. Local men set-to and built a skittle alley where the Bassett Room now stands.

For about a century, Edith Penn Curzon has been a silent witness to concerts, whist drives, dances, public meetings, lively political meetings, harvest suppers, the Parish children's Christmas party, play schools, youth club, dramatic productions, Revels, the W.I., jumble sales, the Horticultural Show, farmers' markets and recently school lessons, private functions, exhibitions, keep fit and craft classes.

Coincidentally, Edith's son Charles Penn Curzon went to Pembrokeshire in the 1920's to invest in the fishing fleet at Milford Haven. He built a lovely new house on a small estate in Hakin and called it Westaway. My father left Berrynarbor, aged 19, as his gardener. I was born a stone's throw away from Westaway.

Next time you visit the Manor Hall, glance up at the Berry Family Plaques and remember it was they who sculpted and nurtured the unique agricultural landscape we enjoy today.


    With the help of Westcote, Risedon, Camden, Polwhele and others and the 1985 translation of Devonshire Domesday. I am no historian, just love local history, which is my heritage. Please feel free to correct me if wrong.




Our new season began in October with a 'biggy'! Forty-four Members were treated to a Fabulous Wine Company evening. Brett and Jane Stevens produced delicious winning wines and very tasty tapas again, but on this occasion, Jane's sister had flown in from Melbourne to assist in the kitchen!

It was a hard act to follow, but John Hood whet our appetites with his tastings from 'The Last Decade'. We travelled down the years with international flavours: Europe, the New World and South America.

We end this year's gatherings on 8th December. As this is our Christmas meeting, wines of 'The Committee's choice' will be accompanied with food provided by our members.

2011 begins, for us, on 19th January, with the very popular 'Call My Wine Bluff' the panel tease us with their secret selections and the highest scoring team will win a bottle, but a good night will be had by all.

Judith Adam - Promotional Co-ordinator



'Twas the week before Christmas - seven days before, to be exact - eight years ago. The sun was bidding its late-afternoon farewell, knowing that in a few days' time it would once more begin its daylight increase upon the northern hemisphere, having passed the winter solstice.

Just before dipping out of sight, its red ball shot up a handful of stark burning rays which tinged the low crimson clouds sweeping across the sky at a menacing pace. The clouds in turn deflected the rays, transforming the fields a dusky pink. The biting wind whipped through the naked trees and hedgerows, its force increasing with each gust. Birds fluttered from branch to branch in a desperate attempt to seek refuge. The landscape looked eerie. Nature seemed angry. Moreover, the skies appeared ominous.

I was due to drive to South Molton later that evening. My instincts told me not to go. I wish I had followed them. To quote from Simon and Sue's Weather or Not report:

Between about 11.00am on the 18th [December] and 8.00am on the 19th we recorded 46mm [1 3/4"] of rain, of which 43mm [1 5/8"] fell after 7.00pm. This was the night that Braunton flooded.

Leaving South Molton around 10.30pm to head back home, I had no idea of the journey that lay ahead of me. It was as though Ilfracombe would remain beyond my reach. Already falling heavily when I turned onto the A361, the pelting rain grew stronger with every mile. By the time I reached Barnstaple my vision was down to yards and was the reason I failed to see the deep pool of water that had collected across the Braunton-bound dual carriageway at Ashford.

Relieved to have driven through it without coming to a standstill, I continued at a safe snail's pace - but then came to an abrupt halt at Chivenor roundabout when I met a string of barriers and a sign, reading 'ROAD AHEAD CLOSED'. I could only guess at who had placed them there. The area was deserted.

In fact the last sign of life I had seen had been a line of car lights winding their way up the lane to Ashford from the other side of the dual carriageway. Plan B was, therefore, to head back to Ashford and follow their diversion.

By the time I reached the lane, however, cars were reversing back down it. This route had obviously also become impassable. The Muddiford road seemed the next best option. So, leaving the lights of Barnstaple behind me I headed off into the blackness of the night.

The rain fell even harder. Waves of loneliness and insecurity swept across me. To counteract these feelings, I turned up the radio so that the presenter could be clearly heard above the thud of the rain upon my car's roof. At Muddiford my worst fears were met. The river had broken its banks, completely flooding the road. Would I ever get home? I sat for a moment and tried to think of another route. The A39 perhaps? It would be a long way round, but maybe, just maybe, it would enable me to get back to Ilfracombe.

As it happened, my journey along the A39 would lead me to regret, for a short while at least, ever having moved away from the city lights to the countryside. Until, that was, exactly one week later when a natural flood disaster on the other side of the planet would put into context the events of that night. But I will leave that until next time.

For now, I will wish you a peaceful Christmas and a healthy New Year.

Stephen McCarthy


Richard Brinsley Sheridan [1751-1816]

Here's to the maiden of bashful fifteen,
Here's to the widow of fifty;
Here's to the flaunting, extravagant quean,
And here's to the housewife that's thrifty.

Let the toast pass, drink to the lass,
I'll warrant she'll prove an excuse for a glass.

Here's to the charmer whose dimples we prize,
Here's to the maid who has none, sir:
Here's to the girl with a pair of blue eyes,
And here's to the nymph with but one, sire.

Here's to the maid with a bosom of snow;
Now to her that's as brown as a berry:
Here's to the wife with a face full of woe,
And now to the damsel that's merry.

For let 'em be clumsy, or let 'em be slim,
Young or ancient, I care not a feather;
So fill a pint bumper quite up to the brim
And let us e'en toast 'em together.




November. No entry. We negotiated the maze of closed and barricaded paths to reach Newberry Beach, then past cottages and up the steep lane to Sandaway. Old Man's Beard sprawled over the hedges; the fluffy seed heads of Traveller's Joy, the wild clematis. Along the way naturalised fuchsias and hebes were still in flower.

At the top of the lane, a short walk along the roadside verge and then down a half-hidden but sign posted path. When we had last gone that way in June it had been very overgrown. We fought our way through the brambles and nettles to emerge in the corner of the caravan site's car park.

Holiday makers looked startled to see two geriatrics, dishevelled and daubed with 'cuckoo spit' [insect larvae deposited on plants] appear where no path had been evident.

But now in November, it was much easier; crunchy beech and sycamore leaves underfoot and just the odd low branch, festooned in ivy, to duck under. Ivy is so useful to birds for food and shelter. On the path ahead, blackbirds were turning over dead leaves. A discreet yellow way marker arrow indicated the way to the beach, down seventy plus steps.

The bronze peak of Little Hangman came into view looking deceptively close. The quiet little cove at the eastern end of Sandy Bay has boulders and pavements of rock; silver grey with white stripes and smoothed by the action of the sea. Large outcrops are tufted with holly and gorse. Bladder wrack popped beneath our tread.

A wren could be heard chirring in the bushes; another further up was singing loudly. Appropriate that the wren's Latin name is troglodytes troglodytes, cave dweller, for we were heading for a cave.

It has a narrow entrance, a passage way open to the sky approximately thirty feet long and then the cave itself about the same length, around sixty feet in height and seven feet wide. The 'walls' are dark wine red, embossed with limpets and at the far end is a smooth ledge of shiny pewter coloured stone.

In June when we visited the cove, as we stepped out of the cave we found the Balmoral sailing past, looking very serene and completing the seascape.

Illustration: Paul Swailes

Sue H



In the B & Q car park in Barnstaple towards the end of October, I noticed a jackdaw with broad white stripes on its wings.

As it came closer, I saw that the tail, though not as long as a magpie's, was dark bottle green and a little longer than a jackdaw's.

And as well as the bands of white, the wings had a dark blue sheen. The head, shoulders and breast were typical jackdaw.

Is it possible for a jackdaw and a magpie to mate and to produce viable offspring?

Perhaps one of Berrynarbor's resident experts in ornithology could throw some light on this. I have seen brown rooks and jackdaws before but nothing like this - a black, white, blue and green jackdaw.


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


The Great Storm, Friday, December 16th, 1910

Apropos some of our recent weather, for this issue I am covering the Great Storm Disaster that struck all along the North Devon coast 100 years ago. The Ilfracombe Chronicle reported: Great Storm in the West - Disasters at Ilfracombe - Great Havoc - Hotel Baths Wrecked - The Pier in Ruins - Capstone Parade much damaged - Promenade Shops Smashed.

'On Friday last, the town was visited by probably the greatest disaster ever known by a high tide, backed by a furious gale from the west, with a veering to the north of west. During the morning, the wind was blowing with great force, but early in the afternoon the strength of the gale grew, until by five o'clock, it was almost a hurricane.

'The evening tide was full at 5.24 p.m. and by this time, the waves were rolling in with terrific force, and flying to a tremendous height. About 6 p.m., there occurred what appeared to have been a great tidal wave, which resulted in wreck and ruin to some of the most solid masonry.

'The lamp posts on the Parade were about the first to go and they were snapped off like fragile reeds. Heavy seats and big blocks of masonry were carried upon the crest of the wave which swept over Ropery Meadow at a height estimated at 15 to even 30 feet high, leaving ruin and wreckage in its path. The houses on the Quay were flooded with the Quay itself being under water.'

Considerable damage was also caused in Clovelly, Vellator, Lee, Combe Martin and Lynmouth. I, myself, have a large proportion of the 'Great Gale' post cards of Ilfracombe, as well as some of the places mentioned above.

In the case of Clovelly, the postcard shows the damage to the front of the Red Lion Hotel with large rocks washed up and fishermen clearing up.

Further along the coast at Bucks Mill, I have a card showing eight men working to clear the immense damage caused to a large building on the then quay. There is also, damage to the round, lime kiln, whilst the larger square one appears untouched. Both pictures were taken by Reilly, the photographer from Clovelly.

One card shows the 'Dona-Luisa' of Bideford stranded at Instow, whilst another taken at Braunton Marsh shows drowned sheep with lots of onlookers and a dog.

The 'Dona-Luisa' of Bideford stranded at Instow

I then have three pictures taken at Lee showing vast damage to the sea wall and surrounding area by Phillips and Lees of Ilfracombe. Moving on from Ilfracombe, a card of Combe Martin shows immense damage to the Parade and finally, I have cards of damage caused at Lynmouth.

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage




By the time you read this, our 'bonus' scheme will be over, with many people getting vouchers - two lots of visitors received one each during their week's holiday! We'll keep you posted when we have another one.

A DATE FOR YOUR DIARIES: Kath has organised a Fabric Sale with Pear and Partridge [South Molton] for Thursday 27th January at the Old Rectory. This will take place anytime between 10.00 a.m. and 4.00 p.m. So if you are looking for curtain or upholstery material, then this is the place to come. There will be great bargains at very good prices. Tea, coffee and cakes will be available, and hopefully a light lunch too. All proceeds will be for the shop, so it is well worth supporting.

Have you seen Deb's 'Price Comparison' box of goodies in the shop? Sixteen items were chosen which are sold in both our shop and Tesco: same size and make, and prices compared. Colman's Apple Sauce and Hellmann's Mayonnaise are the same price, but Mint sauce is 19p cheaper. If you want olives, then Crespo Black Olives are 4p less, and Stuffed Olives 10p less in our shop. The stalwart Blossom Hill soft and fruity red wine is also 10p cheaper. So, with little or no driving, no time lost and as Deb mildly puts it - 'friendly, helpful and good-looking staff to serve you!', You win all ways!

Now for two HELPS! Firstly, does anyone have access to a large screen [bigger than 6'] for the two Tim's to use for their illustrated presentation on their wonderful garden throughout the seasons on 25th March [another date for your diary!]? If so, could you please 'phone Pam on 883758.

HELP Number 2: Would you be willing to work just one Saturday afternoon a month, with someone else, to give Anita and Deb a little more time at home? You would, of course, get training. If so, please either contact Pam, or get in touch with Anita or Deb. They would really appreciate it.

Once again, your committee is asking you please to support your shop, particularly over the winter months when there are no visitors. When we checked with a local estate agent as to how much difference having a shop makes to the sale - and price - of a house, it is considerable.

So remember 'Use it or Lose it'.

The shop is looking very festive with all the luscious Christmas goodies and cards on sale. Do call in and see - and buy!

After all that, Anita, Deb and the Committee send their very best wishes to you all, and their thanks to our volunteers who do such a grand job.

PP of DC



Celebrations were the big thing of the day when, on Friday, 12th November, Amy celebrated her 100th Birthday! She enjoyed her day with her closest friends, including Patrick, her regular visitor on his quad bike from Shirwell. Amongst her many presents and cards was, of course, her one from the Queen and also one from the Rt. Hon.Iain Duncan Smith, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

We send Amy our warmest wishes and congratulations.



Come and join Phil and Tony in The Square on Sunday, 19th December at 6.00 p.m. Sing those old familiar and favourite carols and lubricate your voices with mulled wine as you enjoy mince pies. After that, there will just be time to go to The Globe for the Christmas Quiz. Wrap up warm and see you there!



2nd Primary School: Christmas Bazaar, Manor Hall, 2.00 p.m.
7th Ladies' Group, Christmas Lunch, Prixford
8th Wine Circle, 8.00 p.m., Manor Hall - Festive Feast with Wine
10th Primary School: KS1 Nativity Play in the Church
11th Coffee Morning at Lee Lodge, 10.30 a.m. onwards
13th Primary School: Senior Dude's Christmas Meal
14th Parish Council Meeting, Penn Curzon Room, 7.00 p.m.
15th Pilates/Body Work Out: Classes finish for Christmas
17th School & College: End of Autumn Term
18th Manor Hall M.C. Christmas Card Coffee Morning, 11.00 a.m.
19th Christmas Carols in the Square, 6.00 p.m.
22nd St. Peter's Church: Carol Service, 6.30 p.m.
24th St. Peter's Church: Blessing of the Crib, First Communion, 9.30 p.m.
25th CHRISTMAS DAY St. Peter's Church: Family Communion Service with Carols, 11.00 a.m.
26th St. Peter's Church: Family Communion Service & Carols, 11.00 am
5th College only: Start of Spring Term
10th Primary School: Start of Spring Term
11th Parish Council Meeting, Penn Curzon Room, 7.00 p.m.
16th Mobile Library in Village from 10.45 a.m.
19th Wine Circle, 8.00 p.m., Manor Hall, 'Call My Wine Bluff'
27th Fabric Sale, Old Rectory, 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.
Mobile Library in Village from 10.45 a.m.
8th Parish Council Meeting, Penn Curzon Room, 7.00 p.m.

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.
ThursdaysTai Chi, Manor Hall, 11.00 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)

10.45 - 11.30 a.m.Car Park
11.45 - 12.15 p.m.Sterridge Valley


Artwork: Paul Swailes


The Christmas Holidays are almost upon us and I guess you'll be reading this and perhaps trying to wrap those final presents, and complete the Christmas card list . . . but remember, you do not need to be rushing out to catch a regular mail collection for your cards within the confines of the Village, by popular request we're again offering a rapid delivery service. Use the Christmas Card Collection Box sited in the Shop for your cards by Friday, 17th December and please include a generous donation per card in support of Manor Hall Funds for 2011.

  Ever popular has been the Christmas Coffee Morning in the Manor Hall and this year it's booked for Saturday 18th December at 11.00 a.m. Put the date on your calendar NOW as a 'not to be missed' social event and come along for an hour or so to enjoy coffee [maybe some seasonal punch!] and I'm sure there'll be mince pies 'n biccies , a raffle and more. With popular Christmas music and carols, we hope to have with us some of the children from the School and the Village Choir to help make the morning go with a swing!

2011 seems destined to be another important year for your Committee and an Agenda item presently under discussion is the refurbishment of the kitchen area. More news on this as the new year unfolds, but if you have your own thoughts on what's needed, then please make them known to me or any member of the Committee.

The Manor Hall has been a popular choice of venue for various functions over the years, including wedding receptions, but we're a bit short on capacity to host such an event for William and Kate in 2011! So, instead, we'll be looking at the opportunities for a Berrynarbor Royal Wedding event around the Manor Hall, a Street Party or a Dance or all of these and more! Plans might start in earnest when the date is announced.

  Could such an exercise interest YOU to join the Manor Hall Committee? We didn't actually get 100's of volunteers coming forward after the article in the last Newsletter . . . in fact, the response was '0'!

I hope to see you all at the Manor Hall on the 18th. Enjoy your Christmas and New Year.

Colin Trinder



Redvers Buller was born on 7th December 1839 at Downes, Crediton, the son of James Wentworth Buller, MP. One could say he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, and once he had completed his schooling at Eton in 1858, he was commissioned into the King's Royal Rifle Corps, 60th Rifles.

The battles and wars he served in are far too numerous to mention here but the main ones were the Zulu War of 1879, for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery under fire, and following his involvement with the First Boer War of 1881 and as Head of Intelligence in the Egypt Campaign in 1882 he was knighted. That year he married Audrey, daughter of the 4th Marquess Townshend and later in the year was sent to the Sudan as Commander of an infantry brigade. In 1885, having commanded a successful expedition to relieve General Gordon, he was promoted to Major General.

In 1899 he was sent as Commander of the Natal Field Force on the outbreak of the Second Boer War. Following several defeats and concerns about his performance, in 1900 Lord Roberts replaced him as overall Commander in South Africa.

General Buller was very popular amongst the public in England and upon his return from South Africa was given a triumphal reception and many public celebrations. Sadly, in October 1901 he was asked to resign but refused and was dismissed on half pay. On 27th July 1904, General Buller gave a speech at the Inauguration Ceremony of Ilfracombe's new water supply when several other dignitaries were present, including Lord Ebrington, Lord Clifford, local MP E.J. Soares, and Council Chairman J.C. Clarke.

Throughout the West Country there were public expressions of sympathy for him. Indeed, in 1905, by public subscription, a notable statue of General Buller astride his horse was erected in Exeter, on the road leading out to Crediton.

Despite being offered a parliamentary seat when the Liberals returned to power in 1905, he turned it down in favour of peaceful retirement at his family seat Downes House, Downes, Crediton, where on the 2nd June 1908 he died. He was buried at the Holy Cross Churchyard, Crediton and his funeral must have been one of the largest ever held in Devon, as is shown by the many postcards published at the time.

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage





A Berrynarbor Knight in Shining Armour came to the rescue of four WI ladies stranded on their way from Combe Martin to Barnstaple at 7 a.m. on the morning of 22 October. A number of vehicles had passed our broken down car without stopping, then out of the Berrynarbor turning a handsome young man, driving a large black van, stopped and offered to take us to our coach pick-up point at Tesco in Barnstaple. What a relief. However, as we approached the pick-up point, to our horror, we saw the coach pull away. Unperturbed, the young man followed the coach a number of miles down the road towards Tiverton until he eventually flagged the driver down who pulled into the lay-by and we were able to eventually board the coach and continue our journey to Plymouth where we could enjoy our Annual Autumn Council Meeting. Whoever this young man is, we four WI ladies sincerely thank him from the bottom of our hearts for saving the day.

Liz Young

At the end of September I lost my car keys in Barton Lane. I foolishly left them on the bonnet of Stuart's car whilst I did the gardening and he drove into Ilfracombe without noticing them. After he had gone, I suddenly realised what had happened! We scoured the road to Ilfracombe and notified the police. Then, to my relief, the next day I had a phone call from Tesco's to say that someone had handed them in [identified by the Tesco fob]. Whoever you are, a very big thank you. Please make yourself known to me so I can thank you personally!

Sue Neale



. . . for your continued support with the many plants that I have sold during the year in aid of the Children's Hospice at Little Bridge House.

The money this year has been donated to the 'Narnia Garden' at the Hospice. During a visit at the beginning of the year, I was so impressed by this garden and I could see the pleasure it must give to the children and their families.

Not only my plants have sold very well this year, but the little cacti gardens have also been a great success, so much so that I have been able to donate £600 this year.

I must thank you all again and do hope that next year will be just as rewarding.