Edition 130 - February 2011

Artwork: Mary Hughes

Artwork: Judie Weedon


A white Christmas - it was this year, and hopefully the snow did not upset too many travel arrangements for coming or going to families for the festive break.

Let's hope that the worst of the winter weather might be over and the delightful and delicate blossom and fishes on the cover, the talented work of Mary Hughes, is a reminder that spring can't be too far away, and British Summer Time begins on the 27th March!

Another bumper crop of Christmas messages in the December issue boosted the Manor Hall and Newsletter funds by the very welcome sum of £170 each. Thank you to everyone who participated. Thank you, too, for the many cards I received, it was lovely to hear from you, especially the far-flung readers and Betty Parker sends: 'Best Wishes to anyone who remembers me!'

The cold spells have brought with them 'coughs and sneezes' and get well wishes go to everyone who has suffered or is not feeling their best at present. Good wishes also go to all newcomers to the village and those who have left us.

There are a number of events planned for the next few weeks, so make a note of them on your calendar and support them if you can.

Although I say it in every issue, I really do sincerely thank everyone who contributes to the Newsletter in any way, especially those who regularly do so with articles and illustrations - where would it be without you?

Did you make a resolution that 2011 would be the year you contributed? Let's be having something then - I look forward to hearing from you! Articles and items for the April and Easter issue are welcome as soon as possible and before the middle of March, that is the 14th, at the latest please. Thank you.

Judie - Ed


Artwork: Alvary Scott


Christmas celebrations began with the Carol Service on 23rd December. The church had already been decorated and was bright and welcoming with the tree and crib lit up and festive flower arrangements on every shelf and sill. The pews were full and as well as the well-loved carols and readings, the service included the school choir singing 'I Saw Three Ships' and the village choir singing 'The Angel Gabriel' and a Christmas lullaby.

Services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were as well attended as usual, in spite of the icy weather, and Readers and Clergy must be thanked for making difficult journeys to reach us and also the bell-ringers who missed no services, including the one held on Boxing Day. This dedication was all made worthwhile by the numbers present in church. Collections taken up for the Children's Hospice came to £250.

The new Rector, the Revd. Christopher Steed, will be moving into Combe Martin Rectory soon and as he will be Rector of the whole North Devon Coast Team, the licensing is due to take place in Lynton Church on Wednesday, 16th February at 7.00 p.m. Numbers of those intending to be there are needed so please let a churchwarden know, as soon as possible if you can attend. As far as we know at present, services will continue at the usual time in Berrynarbor.

Easter is not until the end of April this year and Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, 9th March. Mothering Sunday will be on 3rd April when there will be a Family Service - more details next time.

'How many Loaves have you?' This year the service for the Women's World Day of Prayer will be held here at St. Peter's on Friday, 4th March, the time to be confirmed but it is usually early afternoon. We shall be joined by members of all the churches in Combe Martin making up Christians Together.

The service this year has been written by the women of Chile. It is an appropriate theme for bread is eaten at every meal and is very much part of every day life. The women of Chile offer what it means to them as they share this service with us.

Stretching from Peru to Antarctica, the Republic of Chile occupies a long, narrow strip of land 2,640 miles long and 110 miles wide. It is a land of incredible contrasts. It also has the highest incidence of domestic violence in Latin America and most women suffer from discrimination in some form or other. Equal opportunities are being pursued.

Although organised and led by women, this is essentially a day of prayer for everybody as solidarity with those in other countries is demonstrated, and all are welcome to attend.

Our thanks to Karen and the staff at The Globe for continuing to host the Friendship Lunch once a month. Numbers have dwindled over the past year, so do come and join us for a meal and company. We usually meet on the last Wednesday of the month - turn up for 12.00-12.15 and order whatever we want from the menu, everyone paying for themselves. It is all quite informal. The next lunches will be on Wednesdays, 23rd February and 30th March. Please ring me [883881] if you would like to come so we can give The Globe a rough idea of numbers.

Mary Tucker





Many of us in Berrynarbor will remember Hedy's son, Josef. Christmas, a year ago, he was in the village, staying with his mother, when Hedy slipped on a walk at Hunters Inn and broke her leg. Josef stayed on for many weeks to help her, and was a familiar face around the village and visitor to the Shop.

On previous visits, he also joined in the walks on Exmoor with our local Walking group, and we came to know a thoughtful and very pleasant young man.

This Christmas he had arranged to come and stay with his mother, but 'phoned a few days before to say he was ill with 'flu and so unable to travel. On the 23rd December, Hedy was unable to contact him on the 'phone and became concerned. Josef was found later that day, having passed away in his home.

His funeral took place on the 26th January and Josef's ashes will be brought to Berrynarbor where they will be buried with his father's ashes, in the village church cemetery.

Our thoughts and love are with Hedy and her family at this very sad time.

Yvonne Davey

Every so often, when I look
at the dark sky, I know he remains
among the old endless blue lightedness
of stars; or finding myself out in a field
in November, when a strange
starry perhaps first snowfall blows
down across the darkening air, lightly,
I know he is there, where snow
falls flakes down fragile softly
falling until I can't see the world
any longer, only its still shapes.

Galway Kinnell



February is finance time, when postal readers need to renew their subscription and for those of you to whom this applies, a letter is enclosed. Thank you to everyone who has already renewed and sent donations.

Although the costs for printing and stationery, like everything, continue to rise, and postal charges will again be going up in April, to receive your Newsletter by post will continue, for this year, to cost you just £5.00 [February to December, inclusive]. This does not, however, include the actual cost of the newsletter itself, which although nominally a 'freebie', does in fact cost approximately £1 per copy per issue. Therefore, donations towards that cost would be very welcome and appreciated.

If you would like to join the mailing list and receive your copy this way, please give me a ring on [01271] 883544.

Again, the charges for advertisers will remain the same and I thank advertisers for supporting the Newsletter in this way. Current charges are: Quarter Page £5.00 or £25.00 for six issues. Half Page £10.00 or £50 for six issues etc.

I take this opportunity to thank the Parish and Parochial Church Councils and other organisations for their continued support and everyone who kindly donates via the Shop, Sue's, The Globe and the Sawmill and by post. The Newsletter can only survive with your support. I also thank Sue's of Combe Martin and Dave, who deliver copies with the newspapers.


Children's Hospice South West
All Year Round Visit Days
[by appointment only]

Each month we open our hospice doors to our supporters to give them an insight into children's hospice life. We do not have any planned family stays at Little Bridge House during these days and use it as an opportunity to carry out annual maintenance and provide our donors and volunteers with a day of thanks for all their ongoing support.

Future dates are: Mondays 14th February, 14th March, 11th April and 9th May. To make arrangements to visit, telephone [01271] 325270.

We are looking for runners who have their own place in the Bath Half Marathon on 6th March, or the London Marathon on 17th April, who might like to use it to raise funds for Children's Hospice South West, when we would support you with a fundraising pack, other help, and a running vest or T-shirt. If you would like to run for us, please e-mail us at events@chsw.org.uk.

Having attended one of the visiting days and seen for myself the wonderful care and support the children and their families are given, which is beyond belief, I can only recommend that if you can, do visit, you will be humbled and amazed. Ed.


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


Christmas and New Year seem weeks ago now, as does the Manor Hall Christmas Card Distribution and Coffee Morning. However, it's never too late for saying a big 'Thank you all' for supporting the event, and for coming along on that snow-covered Saturday to enjoy the morning festivities and join in the carol singing led by Stuart and the village choir. A very relaxed and informal couple of hours and a sum in excess of £300 raised to support Hall funds. A major slice came from the donations for Christmas messages published in the December Newsletter. Thank you all and thank you Judie and the Newsletter!

As we move into 2011, your Committee has been busy behind the scenes. Firstly, a number of updates and improvement to some of the electrical circuitries have been completed, and secondly, our heating engineer has been grappling with the dreaded gas heater No. 4, seeking to sort out what has been a long standing problem. Hopefully this should be sorted by the time you're reading this.

The third area of activity concerns the kitchen where we're near concluding the plans for a major refurbishment. Part of the planning will be to carry out the work with minimum disruption to our valued regular bookings, but some impact may be unavoidable. If you are the organiser or leader of a regular activity in the Hall which would rely on kitchen access, then you will be contacted ahead of any work. Everyone's patience and understanding would really be appreciated.

A concluding note has to be a vote of thanks to Tom Bartlett for his help and support on the Committee for several years now. Tom has resigned his duties . . . to free up more time for even more holidays?! Enjoy!

So, the Committee presently stands at eight members, at least two of whom have served on the Committee for close on ten years, and could be seeking to stand down this spring. So, again, comes the question of new members. Of possible interest? Want to know more? If so, please do give me a call on [01271] 889298. Kind regards.

Colin Trinder - Chairman


Artwork: Paul Swailes


November was an interesting month which started with rain and strong winds. On the 11th there were gale warnings for every sea area bar two: for Lundy the forecast was up storm 10 and for the Irish Sea violent storm 11. Here we were sheltered but still recorded 34 knots, which was the strongest gust of the month. The next problem was rain! On the 17th we had a torrential downpour which produced 16mm [5/8"] in an hour, causing some flooding in Ilfracombe, but this was nothing compared to what Cornwall experienced. The total rain for the month was 150mm [6"] which was not particularly high but it was spread throughout the month with only eight days not producing at least 1mm. The final feature of the month was the bitter wintry conditions of the last week. Compared to Cornwall and other parts of the country we again got off pretty lightly, with a mainly strong, drying wind, so ice wasn't so much of a problem, but the wind chill ranged from -6 Deg C to -10 Deg C. The maximum temperature for the month was 15 Deg C, fairly average, but the minimum of -5 Deg C was the lowest November temperature we have recorded since we began keeping records in 1994. There was also snowfall on three days. Surprisingly the sunshine hours of 24.19 for the month were one of the highest for a November.

December broke a few records, it was a very cold month, the coldest in the south west since records began. It did warm up in the last few days but up to the 28th, the temperature never reached double figures. The average maximum for the month was 5.1 Deg C, with an average minimum of 0.59 Deg C. We recorded our lowest ever temperature on the 7th when it fell to -6 Deg C at 0737. We also recorded a wind chill of -14 Deg C, which was not a record but still pretty cold! The coldest day was Christmas Day when the thermometer only reached a high of 0.2 Deg C and then fell away to -5.6 Deg C overnight. Several inches of snow fell but with a total of only 32mm [1 1/4"] of precipitation, it was the driest December that we have ever recorded by a long way, the nearest was 88mm [31/2"] in 1996 and again in 2008. The 10.89 hours of sunshine were slightly up on average.

2010 also broke records for being the driest we have recorded and nationally the driest since 1953. We had only 1019mm [40 1/8"], slightly over half of our wettest year which was 1994 with 3032mm [80"].

Simon and Sue


Stanley Barnes

This is the last of the puzzles sent in by the late Stanley Barnes. He says: "This may be more difficult because I have included some less common words, but all answers are in the Concise Oxford English Dictionary."

Solution in Article 45.


William Cowper [1782]

John Gilpin was a citizen of credit and renown,
A train-band captain eke was he of famous London town.

John Gilpin's spouse said her dear, "Though wedded we have been
These twice ten tedious years, yet we no holiday have seen.

"To-morrow is our wedding-day, and we will then repair
Unto 'The Bell' at Edmonton, all in a chaise and pair.

"My sister and my sister's child, myself and children three,
Will fill the chaise, so you must ride on horseback after we."

He soon replied, "I do admire of womankind but one,
And you are she, my dearest dear, therefore it shall be done.

"I am a linen-draper bold, as all the world doth know,
And my good friend the Calender will lend his horse to go."

Quoth Mistress Gilpin, "That's well said, and for that wine is dear,
We will be furnished with our own, which is both bright and clear!

John Gilpin kissed his loving wife, o'erjoyed was he to find
That though on pleasure she was bent, she had a frugal mind.

The morning came, the chaise was brought, but yet was not allowed
To drive up to the door, les all should say that she was proud.

So three doors off the chaise was stayed, where did they all get in,
Six precious souls, and all agog to dash through thick and thin.

Smack went the whip, round went the wheels, were never folk so glad;
The stones did rattle underneath as if Cheapside were mad.

John Gilpin at his horse's side seized fast the flowing mane,
And up he got, in haste to ride, but soon came down again.

For saddle-tree reached had he, his journey to begin,
When, turning round his head, he saw three customers come in.

So down he came, for loss of time, although it grieved him sore,
Yet loss of pence, full well he knew, would trouble him much more.

'Twas long before the customers were suited to their mind.
When Betty, screaming, came downstairs, "The wine is left behind!"

"Good lack!" quoth he; "yet bring it me, my leathern belt likewise,
In which I bear my trusty sword, when I do exercise."

Now Mistress Gilpin [careful soul!] had two stone bottles found,
To hold the liquor that she loved, and keep it safe and sound.

Each bottle had a curling ear, through which the belt he drew,
And hung a bottle on each side, to make his balance true.

Then over all, that he might be equipped from top to toe,
His long red cloak, well brushed and neat, he manfully did throw.

Now see him mounted once again upon his nimble steed,
Full slowly pacing o'er the stones with caution and good heed!

But, finding soon a smoother road beneath his well-shod feet,
The snorting beast began to trot, which galled him in his seat.

So, "Fair and softly," John he cried, but John he cried in vain;
That trot became a gallop soon, in spite of curb and rein.

So stooping down, as needs he must who cannot sit upright,
He grasped the mane with both his hands, and eke with all his might.

His horse, who never in that sort had handled been before,
What thing upon his back had got did wonder more and more.

Away went Gilpin, neck or naught, away went hat and wig;
He little dreamt, when he set out, of running such a rig.

The wind did blow, the cloak did fly, like streamer long and gay,
Till, loop and button failing both, at last it flew away.

Then might all people well discern, the bottles he had slung;
A bottle swinging at each side, as hath been said or sung.

The dogs did bark, the children screamed, up flew the windows all;
And every soul cried out, "well done!" as loud as he could bawl.

Away went Gilpin - who but he? His fame soon spread around -
He carries weight! he rides a race! 'Tis for a thousand pound!

And still, as fast as he drew near, 'Twas wonderful to view
How in a trice the turnpike men their gates wide open threw.

And now, as he went bowing down his reeking head full low,
The bottles twain behind his back were shattered at a blow.

Down ran the wine into the road, most piteous to be seen,
Which made his horse's flanks to smoke as they had basted been.

But still he seemed to carry weight, with leathern girdle braced;
For all might see the bottle-necks still dangling at his waist.

Thus all through merry Islington these gambols did he play,
And till he came unto the Wash of Edmonton so gay.

And there he threw the wash about on both sides of the way,
Just like unto a trundling mop, or a wild goose at play.

At Edmonton, his loving wife from the balcony spied
Her tender husband, wondering much to see how he did ride.

"Stop, stop, John Gilpin! - here's the house!" they all at once did cry;
"The dinner waits, and we are tired." Said Gilpin, "So am I!"

But yet his horse was not a whit inclined to tarry there;
For why? - his owner had a house full ten miles off, at Ware.;

So like an arrow swift he flew, shot by an archer strong;
So did he fly - which brings me to the middle of my song.

Away went Gilpin, out of breath, and sore against his will,
Till at his friend the Calender's his horse at last stood still;

The Calender, amazed to see his neighbour in such trim,
Laid down his pipe, flew to the gate, and thus accosted him:

"What news? What news? Your tidings tell: tell me you must and shall -
Say why bareheaded you are come, or why you come at all."

Now Gilpin had a pleasant wit, and lovely a timely joke;
And thus unto the Calender in merry guise he spoke:

"I came because your horse would come; and if I well forebode,
My hat and wig will soon be here, they are upon the road!

The Calender, right glad to find his friend in merry pin,
Returned him not a single word, but to the house went in.

Whence straight be came with hat and wig, a wig that flowed behind,
A hat not much the worse for wear, each comely in its kind.

He held them up, and, in his turn, thus showed his ready wit -
"My head is twice as big as yours, they therefore needs must fit.

"But let me scrape the dirt away that hangs upon your face;
And stop and eat, for well you may be in a hungry case."

Says John, "It is my wedding day, and all the world would stare,
If wife should dine at Edmonton, and I should dine at Ware."

So turning to his horse, he said, "I am in haste to dine;
'Twas for your pleasure you came here, you shall go back for mine."

Ah, luckless speech, and bootless boast! For which he paid full dear;
For while he spake, a braying ass did sing most loud and clear;

Whereat his horse did snort as he had heard a lion roar,
And galloped off with all his might, as he had done before.

Away went Gilpin, and away went Gilpin's hat and wig;
He lost them sooner than at first, for why? They were too big.

Now Mistress Gilpin, when she saw her husband posting down
Into the country far away, she pulled out half-a-crown.

And thus unto the youth she said, that drove them to 'The Bell',
"This shall be yours when you bring back my husband safe to and well."

The youth did ride, and soon did meet John coming back again,
Whom in a trice he tried to stop by catching at his rein;

But not performing what he meant, and gladly would have done,
The frightened steed he frighted more, and made him faster run.

Away went Gilpin, and away went postboy at his heels,
The postboy's horse right glad to miss the lumbering of the wheels.

Six gentlemen upon the road thus seeing Gilpin fly,
With postboy scampering in the rear, they raised the hue and cry:

"Stop thief! stop thief! - a highwayman!" Not one of them was mute;
And all and each that passed that way did join in the pursuit.

And now the turnpike gates again flew open in short space,
The tollmen thinking as before, that Gilpin road a race.

And so he did, and won it too, for he got first to town;
Nor stopped till where he had got up he did again get down.

Now let us sing, "Long live the king, and Gilpin, long live he;
And when he next doth ride abroad, May I be there to see!"

Contributed by Trev

William Cowper [1731-1800]

Educated at a local boarding school and Westminster School, William Cowper was the son of a Hertfordshire rector. Although he studied law at the Inner Temple in London, he never practised it as a career.

He suffered from depression all his life and his mental health was frail. Unfortunately, his father's decision to ban him from marrying his first love, his cousin Theodora, made matters worse.

In 1763, when applying for a job in the House of Lords, Cowper suffered a breakdown and attempted suicide. Nursed back to health by a clergyman, Morley Unwin, and his wife Mary, Cowper continued to board with them. After Morley's death, he and Mary remained close friends and she encouraged him to write a series of moral satires published in Poems in 1782, and in happier frame of mind, he wrote several poems including The Journey of John Gilpin, the story for which was provided by another friend, Lady Austen.

In 1795, Cowper and Mary moved to East Dereham in Norfolk, where after several years of ill health, Mary died in 1796. Cowper himself died four years later in 1800. Like Mary, he is buried in East Dereham Church.



Can you Line Dance? Would you be prepared to come and show some villagers how it's done?

If so, we'd really love to hear from you. Please give Bett a ring on [01271] 883113






Usually, our monthly format means that a member selects six wines and, therefore, spends the entire evening describing their selection, waiting for opinions, answering questions and seated on their own before their audience. A new idea, 'Committee's Choice' proved to be an excellent decision for our Christmas gathering on December 8th, as wines were presented by six members. These discrete deliveries enabled everybody to make their presentations, participate in the generous three or four course buffet and the camaraderie that always prevails. Star of the alcoholic show was for many the dessert wine: a liquid Christmas pudding if ever there was one!

'Call My Wine Bluff' was another success, as usual. Typically, the panel trio teased us with TRUE and FALSE descriptions of another six wines: three white and three reds, from vineyards 'down under', France, Italy, South Africa and Spain. It was a shame that we weren't all quaffing these on their sunny slopes, but you can't have everything and be in two places at once! It was another delightful evening with an abundance of friendship and fun.

February's meeting, on the 16th, will be another interesting and varied sextet: a small sample from the numerous, excellent wines produced by our nearest European neighbour - France. Nicola Keeble lives and works in the Dordogne, but we shall be treated to 'The Wonder Tour': wines from the coastal Languedoc region of France.

A date change means now that the March meeting will also be devoted to France, but on this occasion, our host, Jonathan Coulthard, not only lives and works here but owns the vineyard! His 'Domaine Gourdon' is near the 'beautiful medieval town of Duras', in a 'renowned wine-growing area', between Bordeaux and Bergerac, south-west France. We know that Nicola and Jonathan will provide again some superb samplings for us.

Tony Summers will 'travel' west to present 'South America Revisited' in April; Jan Tonkin completes our 2010/2011 season in May and will 'head east' to supply tastings from Sri Lanka.

New members are always welcome; it is a great way to meet more locals and make friends, particularly if you are newcomers. Our party consists of a few 'Wine Buffs'; most of us just enjoy, thoroughly, the ability to imbibe, learn a little, laugh a lot and, perhaps, walk home!

Judith Adam - Promotional Co-ordinator



"Ask yourself if you are happy and you cease to be so!"

John Stuart Mill. 1806-1873
[Philosopher and campaigner for votes for women].

The Government is to produce "An Index of National Happiness" at a cost of 2 million pounds.



On my way to a six-week stay on the Spitsbergen ice-cap, I arrived in Tromso, a small town in Northern Norway, midday 7th July 1954, and joined another of our party, a young Norwegian polar expert, Fred Bolin. Together we visited Helmar Hanssen.

The interview was a fiasco - Fred translated and I soon dropped out. Fred gave me an account afterwards.


Amundsen's dog team reach
the South Pole, December 1911


Scott and his men find the Norwegian flag
flying at the Pole, January 1912

Helmar Hanssen, by then an old man, had been one of the five in Amundsen's dash for the South Pole, when he pipped Scott. He had always, each day, been the lead team in the line of Amundsen's five sledges. They kept well apart, mostly because each husky team fought any other like hell, given the chance. Also, well spaced helped the five keep to a straight course. A few miles short of the pole, H.H. had an 'accident', fell to last in the line, and so not H.H. but Amundsen was first at the pole.

He also lectured me on the difference between the English and the Norwegians in polar work: the English erratic, disorganised amateurs - the Norwegians serious effective professionals. But . . .

I sent the postcard to my father after the meeting - the signature is that of H.H., the note 'South Pole 14th Dec. 1911' is mine.

Dick Pool
Higher Trayne, BerryNarbor



On the 5th January, the North Devon Mummers put on a lively Christmas play at The Globe.

The play dates from the 18th century, and the players had costumes and masks depicting St. George and the Dragon, Father Christmas and other characters originating in Medieval times. It was great fun, with many cheers and boos from the audience on the antics of the actors.

The entertainment continued with impromptu music and the singing of folk tunes from the cast and audience - including our own 'bard' Tony Summers.

The money raised at The Globe, and five other local pubs, was donated to the North Devon Volunteering Services in Ilfracombe to help run our Direct Services project. The office, next to Mike Turton's butcher's shop, always welcomes new volunteers. It runs a transport scheme and wheelchair hire service, as well as other forms of practical help to those in need. To learn more about what is on offer or if you would like to know more about volunteering, just call in.

Yvonne Davey


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


June Coleman is delighted to announce the safe arrival of her fourth grandchild, a first granddaughter. Jessica was born in London on the 17th September, weighing in at 8 1/2lbs. A daughter for Katharine and Chris, sister for Matt-Lucas and cousin for George and William.

Our congratulations to you all and a warm welcome to the little one.


Artwork: Helen Weedon


In my last article I described the first part of a car journey, undertaken late at night, one week before Christmas in 2003. Earlier on in the day, low grey clouds had deflected the setting sun's intense orange rays, reddening the landscape. Red for danger, perhaps? Quite possibly - nature's rural creatures did seem to have an aura of urgency about them, as though sensing an impending change in the weather.

Whilst birds and livestock took note of the skies and sought refuge from the heightening gusts of wind I, however, decided to ignore the signs and drive as planned to a Christmas meal in South Molton. My return journey was not to be as straight forward. By the time I reached Barnstaple, the rain, which had started whilst I was tucking into my turkey, was pounding upon my windscreen. My visibility was, in effect, reduced to a matter of yards, making conditions more akin to driving in thick fog.

Having met signs at a deserted Chivenor roundabout preventing me from progressing further along the A361, then meeting a string of cars reversing on the lane to Ashford [Plan B], I had attempted the back road to Ilfracombe [Plan C], only to discover the road flooded and impassable at Muddiford. My next plan was also my final one - left until last as it was both the longest route home and, more significantly, along a road I had never driven before, although we had been in North Devon a few years, I had only recently regained my driving licence. So, having done a U-turn and driven tentatively back to Barnstaple, I headed off along the A39 and once more into the lightless countryside.

Within minutes I was questioning if I had made the right decision. The rain, so it seemed, merely strengthened with every broken white line of the road. At Burridge I made out a few smudged house lights; but before I could decide whether to stop, the properties were past me, disappearing into the murkiness of the night. Ahead of me was nothingness; just blackness all around and only the deluge of raindrops, highlighted by my car's headlights, to visually keep me company. Our uncomfortable partnership would occasionally be supplemented by a flock of dazzled eyes in an adjacent field. Their reflective stares seemed to send back a message that only madmen would choose to be out on such a monstrous night. They were probably right! But still I carried on, slowly and cautiously, peeking through my windscreen in an attempt to make out anything ahead.

Just for a moment the rain fractionally eased, enough for me to read a sign, saying 'Shirwell'. On reflection, I should have stopped and called for assistance at one of the village houses, but it was now just past midnight; and in any case, the few watery house lights that I could make out were upstairs. So, like Burridge before it, I left Shirwell behind and continued my journey.

Just out of Shirwell, the pounding rain returned. By now I felt my only option was to carry on - I had gone too far on this cross-country route to begin the return journey. Panic started to set in whilst the noise of the rain, pelting upon the car's roof, faded in my ears and was superseded by my own pounding heart beat. All my fears of the dark began to overtake me. How I wished I could instantly return to my urban roots where, after nightfall, I felt secure knowing people were all around me!

These thoughts were, however, soon put aside when the relatively straight and hedge-lined route I had so far taken, suddenly became a steeply descending road with hairpin bends. I could just make out a vertical bank of earth rising beside the road, up from which tree trunks vanished into the night sky. I tried to comfort myself, knowing that having completed the descent and then crossed the River Yeo, I should begin climbing Windford Hill and eventually reach Blackmore Gate - familiar territory, nearer to home.

But, just like at Braunton and Muddiford, my journey came to an abrupt halt. The River Yeo had broken its banks and made the road utterly impassable. Would I ever get home? One thing was certain. I had to move away from the rising pool of water in front of me. This time though, my U-turn would be at a hairpin bend on a steep gradient. If a vehicle failed to stop as it came around the corner . . .

[to be continued]

Stephen McCarthy


Artwork: Harry Weedon


This year, Berrynarbor has been asked to represent the South West in the National Britain in Bloom Competition, and we have again entered the Best Kept Village in Devon competition. It is quite flattering to be asked to represent the South West in the Britain in Bloom competition, but nerve racking as well. So we ask all of Berrynarbor to support us in this quest in whatever way you can, either by helping with planting, watering or litter picking, or by opening your garden for the Open Gardens afternoons or by visiting the gardens that are open.

Firstly though we are having a fund raising evening in the Manor Hall on Friday, 25th February at 7.30 p.m. This will be a Fun Quiz and Supper Evening which we are running in conjunction with the Horticultural Show Committee to raise funds for both groups. Phil Bridle will be our Quizmaster and the tickets at £6.00 a head, available from the Shop, will include a cottage pie supper with vegetarians being catered for. Please come along and bring your family and friends and make up teams of up to 6 people. Look out for the posters and we hope to see you there.

This will be followed by a meeting in The Globe at 7.30 p.m. on Tuesday 1st March to discuss the coming year and everyone is welcome to come along and join in.

Forget the February cold weather and the chilly economic climate and try this winter warming pudding. Look out for supermarket Stollen going cheap at this time of the year or one that you have not used since Christmas.


Artwork: Angela Bartlett

Stollen and Chocolate Bread and Butter Pudding

  • 500g/1lb 2oz Stollen
    [if you don't have quite enough Stollen make it up with bread or tea cakes]
  • 75g/3oz butter
  • 150g/5oz dark chocolate
  • 3 large free-range eggs
  • 110g/4oz caster sugar
  • 600ml/1 pint whipping cream [or 1/2 and 1/2 milk and cream]

Lightly grease an oven proof dish around 18 x 23cm - the exact measurement does not matter. Slice the Stollen and spread with the butter.

Whisk the 3 eggs, sugar and cream, [or milk and cream] together in a separate bowl. Pour a little of the egg/cream mix into the base of the buttered dish and then arrange half the Stollen slices in the dish and scatter with half the chocolate chunks.

Pour over half the egg/cream mixture and then cover with the other half of the Stollen slices and finish with the other half of the chocolate chunks. Pour over the rest of the egg/cream mix.

Cover with cling film and stand for half an hour.

Bake in the oven 180 Deg /gas mark 4 for 30-35 minutes until golden and crisp. Allow to stand for 5 minutes and then serve with lashings of cream, custard or ice cream.

This pudding is very rich so I hope you will feel like a millionaire whilst eating it.





Happy New Year to you all. January already! We are nearly half way through our school year - where has the time gone?

We have welcomed Willow, Summer, Charlotte, Adie, Sam, Max and Amber into Class 1, and Alfie, Adelade and Tulsi into Class 3 and 4. All our new children seem to have settled happily. As usual, our older children have made us very proud by taking the younger ones under their wings. Whether it be encouraging each other to eat their dinner or helping each other find things, our children are very good at looking after one another.

The lead up to Christmas is always busy and last term was no exception. The highlights were the whole school visit to the Panto in Barnstaple, visits to the Exmoor Zoo - very chilly but lots of fun - and, of course, the Senior Dudes Meal. Our Christmas service was wonderful and we were joined by lots of families and friends. The PTA were busy, too, with another very successful Curry and Quiz Night and the Christmas Bazaar, both raising funds for school.

The children had an extended holiday because of our inset days and so returned to school on the 10th January well rested. The term ahead looks a little quieter, at the moment, but we still have lots to look forward to including Aquasplash for Years 3 and 4, a visit from the Explorer Dome and Arts Week.

The whole school are working on a History topic this term. The children will be finding out about Britain since 1930. If anyone has any memories, pictures or artefacts that they would like to share with the children, please let us know. First hand experiences really help to bring history alive for the children. You don't necessarily need to come into school, though visits are welcome and can be arranged with the Head Teachers, letters, e-mails or even audio recordings would all be really helpful.

On Friday, 11th February, we shall be saying goodbye to our School Administrator, Barbara Jordan. Mrs. Jordan has worked at our school for over ten years and will be missed by us all. We shall be holding a special assembly to share those precious memories and to say thank you and farewell.

  • Half Term: Monday 21st to Friday 25th February, inclusive
  • End of Term: Friday, 8th April
  • Start of Summer Term: Tuesday, 26th April

Su Carey - Head Teacher


Pictures by Johnnie Goring - Year 6



The Men's Institute members and guests had a very enjoyable evening at The Globe in November, celebrating their annual Presentation Evening.

Winners were:

WinnerRunner Up
Team EventTony Summers, Colin Applegate, Bob Hobson and John Huxtable
Winter LeagueGerry MarangoneKarl Ozelton
Scratch SinglesTony SummersBrian Draper
HandicapSinglesGerry MarangoneTony Summers
DoublesPhil Bridle and Maurice DraperIvan Clarke and Kevin Brooks
Summer LeagueBrian DraperKevin Brooks
Highest BreakKevin Brooks - 25

John Huxtable



Many of you will remember Wendy Hilling and her canine partner Edward [Teddy] who visited us a year ago and astounded us with their incredible partnership.

Wendy tells us she is now a Trustee of Living Options in Devon and is taking Art and Craft at Level 2 at Art College. This has only been achieved with Teddy's help - he takes off her coat, picks up anything she drops, watches outside the loo [!] and carries paperwork to the Tutor. She has now exhibited and sold some of her paintings and says this is all because 'I have the best friend I could ever ask for by my side. He has a free run on their football pitch at lunchtime! Move over David Beckham!'

Wendy and her husband Peter now totally rely on Teddy for her care at night, when she can stop breathing, and he has never let them down.

They were all very taken with Berrynarbor and have visited since and hope to come again soon. We look forward to seeing them.



Rose Cottage
Pitt Hill

We should like to thank all the people in the village who have sent cards and get well messages and offered help during Keith's recent stay in hospital.

Keith and Jane



Having enjoyed dancing to his music in those days - sometime ago now! - of dinner dances, and following Tony's article in the December issue, it was lovely to hear from Ted Manley himself.

He says that unfortunately Peter Sellers did not play in his band, it was the season prior to the time he played on the Pier. His drummer was Max Farman.

Ted also says that his mother's maiden name was Olive German and that she was born at Goosewell. Her brother Tom, was the Berrynarbor Blacksmith and her father, Ted's grandfather, was the village postman. His mother, Olive Manley, and her sister, Lillian Bradbear, are buried in St. Peter's Churchyard.




Pilates was developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates in Germany, to strengthen the mind and body. [Readers may remember PP's Movers and Shakers article in the February issue a year ago.]

Joseph Pilates had practised many of the physical training regimes available in Germany at that time. His system was a corrective one of exercise using mind controlling muscles. Pilates's method seeks to increase the strength, flexibility and control of the body. In Pilates you have to concentrate on what you are doing and your entire body, the way you exercise is more important than the exercise itself. Therefore, it is widely used in memory degenerative centres, etc. as mind-body control is taught. Joseph Pilates believed that the imbalances in the body and habitual patterns of movement caused injury and over compensation.

Pilates is a flowing movement - outward from a strong, centred core. Stamina and strength is built up in a very gentle way.

However, we have all moved on since the 1930's and 1940's - yet the original basic principles of Pilates still apply. These are concentration, control, centre, flow, precision and breathing. There are many forms of Pilates today and Joseph Pilates's methods have been modernised. My form of Pilates has evolved through many years of fitness teaching. Originally I started as an aerobics instructress. However, as I have matured, so has my exercise teaching. I have studied medicine, physiology and anatomy; plus many forms of exercise, including The Alexander Technique. I have been a qualified Pilates instructress for over 10 years and 5 years ago I qualified to teach Pilates instructors.

Our group in Berrynarbor is a happy, fun group and the Manor Hall is an excellent venue for a class where there is plenty of room and a good atmosphere. In my classes everyone is encouraged to work at their own pace. We do not jump or leap about, and we do not work through pain or discomfort. So age or ability is no restriction. You will find class members working at all different levels. However, exercises can be built up to a very challenging level if required.

We work through posture correction; learning how to use our bodies correctly and safely. Re-educating our bodies how to work after many years of misuse; therefore helping greatly neck, shoulder, spine, hip, pelvic, knee and ankle problems. Strengthening weaker areas through centring, alignment and developing strong, central core muscles. You will learn how to breathe correctly and effectively - alleviating stress and tension. Also, improving circulation, balance and your whole outlook on life. Pilates can be effectively used as part of a weight loss/control programme. We are not training to run a marathon! However, Pilates exercises are valued by many top sportsmen and women, ballet dancers, etc., where the many benefits of Pilates, including increased bone density and greater joint mobility apply. This creates fewer injuries and improves performance, plus a greater ability to deal with stress and a boosted immune system.

Our class, open to both womenfolk and menfolk, starts with a gentle warm-up, followed by toning and strengthening exercises, finishing with a cool-down and relaxation.

All you need is to wear loose fitting clothing and bring a drink. For more details e-mail valerie@may01.demon.co.uk or ring 01271 343944. Otherwise just turn up ready to exercise at 9.00 a.m. on Wednesday mornings at the Manor Hall. Other classes are run throughout North Devon, including Combe Martin at the Royal Marine on Tuesday mornings at 10.00 a.m.

We look forward to seeing you.

Valerie May


Artwork: Paul Swailes


Well, our Community Shop is now in its seventh year! Thanks to Anita and Debbie, it is well stocked, a pleasant place to shop, and as promised, credit cards are now accepted.

Following requests, please note that as from 1st February there will be a change to the lunchtime closing hour, which will be 1.00-2.00 p.m. [not 12.30-1.30 p.m.] Volunteers will still finish at 12.30 p.m.

By now you should have had a note from the shop through your letterbox saying that the revenue is slightly down - probably partly due to the economic climate - but if every shopper spent just 50p more each visit,rather than spending it elsewhere, or if there were a few more shoppers, the shop would be much more viable

The committee is always thinking of ways to help:

  • Kath and Anita are organising a BERRY BAY where you can bring new or slightly used [but saleable!] items to the shop, free of charge, which can be displayed in the bay window. Put a price on. When sold, the shop will take 20% commission and the rest is yours.
  • Arrangements have been made with the two Tims to give us another presentation. Full details follow this article.
  • Part of the first floor will be available to let shortly for individual sessions e.g. chiropodist, hairdresser etc. Please let Anita know if you would like to make use of it and keep your eyes open for what is on offer.
  • Debbie is aiming to produce a 2012 Berrynarbor calendar in time for Easter, and needs J-peg photographs to select from [either e-mailed to her at burntbymarconi@hotmail.com or on a memory stick] not later than the 26th February. So take a look at your local pictures [any season] and please submit them. You could well be 'flavour of the month'!
  • FISH FRIDAY We can now supply you with fresh fish from the Fish Shop on the Quay at Ilfracombe. Order before 10.00 a.m. on Thursdays, and collect any time after 8.30 a.m. on the Friday.

We are currently looking very closely at the range of products we stock and are always looking for variations/changes to better cater for your needs. We shall be trying out more local suppliers and would welcome your feedback. There will shortly be a sale of the slow moving items that we no longer want to stock.

If you have any extra ideas, please let Anita or Deb know.

Incidentally, due to several requests, there is now an extended range of vegetarian products in our shop. Do take a look.

Before the next issue of our popular newsletter, Valentine's Day will have passed - and Mothering Sunday will be upon us. There will be suitable recipes in the shop and lots of chocolates to buy for the special ones in your life!

Happy Shopping!

PP of DC



On Wednesday, 23rd March, in the Manor Hall, Tim and Tim will take you around the Garden at Harpers Mill through the year, looking at the variety of wildlife that the far-flung reaches of the Sterridge Valley supports, from the familiar to the exceptional and rare, and from stay-at-home creatures to decidedly exotic globetrotters.

They will take a light-hearted look at the challenges and opportunities of making a garden in a steep-sided valley on a north-facing slope in one of the wettest parts of the country! Does that sound familiar to anyone?

The Manor Hall doors will open at 7.00 for a 7.30 p.m. start. Before the illustrated talk, you can have a go at a gardening and wildlife quiz and win a horticultural prize, and there will also be a raffle. A glass of wine or soft drink and nibbles are included in the ticket price of £5.00, which can be purchased from the Proceeds from the evening will go to our Community Shop.


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


In the '40's and living in Barton Lane when I was about 15, I used to take a magazine called Practical Mechanics. It was an interesting one, telling you how to make things, both mechanical and electrical. It also had some eye-catching adverts!

One of these was for a Crystal [Radio] Set. It claimed: 'No mains, No batteries and we can also supply the necessary headphones. Important! It must have a very good aerial.'

Not being able to resist for long, I decided to send for one.

I was on my way to the Post Office to get the necessary postal order to cover the cost when who should be passing our gate but Captain Adams from On-a-Hill garage. Now, as he had done some radio repairs for the family in the past, I asked him if he had any advice on the subject.

"Well," he said "All I can say is get the best possible aerial. Bell wire would probably do as it is cheap. Try a shop- called Friends by the bus stop in Ilfracombe."

I thanked him and continued on my way to the Post Office. I knew it would be a few days before the crystal set arrived so I took the bus to Ilfracombe the next day. I lost no time in calling in at FRIENDS and they were very helpful.

"Oh, go on, you can have it for nothing", the lady in the shop said as she handed me the remains of a roll of bell wire.

As I sat on the bus travelling back to Berrynarbor, I was trying to think where I should string the aerial. It was just as I was about to open our front gate that a good [as I thought] idea formed in my mind.

I could get out of my bedroom window on to the lean-to roof. From there I could climb onto the mezzanine roof to the bathroom and from there walk up on to the main roof. I could then walk along the ridge and string the aerial wire around the chimney at each end.

The next day was dry so I carried out the rigging of the bell wire quite regardless of the danger of falling, and how stupid was that.

Within a few days there was a nice little package in the post from London. My crystal set and headphones had arrived and I soon rigged it up in my bedroom. With a little bit of tinkering of the spring loaded crystal on to another crystal, I soon managed to get the BBC Home programme. It was only just audible but by putting the phones in an enamel washing up bowl, the reception was amplified slightly and it was not too bad.

I soon found out what the next dangerous thing was! That was going to sleep with the headphones on only to wake up and find the wire twisted around my neck. Do I need to say, "Don't do these things at home!"

Illustrations by: Paul Swailes

Tony Beauclerk - Stowmarket




At the December and January meetings, reports were received from the Police, County and District Councillors.

The Parish Council continues to be in dialogue with the company who installed the play equipment regarding the poor workmanship. Arrangements have been made for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents to inspect the equipment when they carry out annual inspections in Devon during March, and it is expected that this will be an on-going arrangement. Quotations are being obtained for a new sign for the play area incorporating the Lottery logo to acknowledge the generous grant awarded by them for the project.

Other long standing items on the Agenda continue to receive attention with a view to satisfactory resolving matters in the near future. Responses have been made to Planning Applications.

The Council is in the process of revising the Standing Orders, a model copy of which has been obtained from the National Association of Local Councils.

There is to be a Public Meeting at 6.30 p.m. in the Penn Curzon Room of the Manor Hall on Tuesday, 8th March, at which Devon County Council Public Rights of Way Officer, Alison Smith, will talk about the Definitive Map Review. It is expected that the meeting will last about half an hour

with the scheduled Parish Council Meeting commencing at 7.00 p.m. Alison will be available after the Public Meeting to discuss issues with members of the public.

Arrangements are in hand to change the energy supplier for the power at the public toilets, for which the Parish Council is responsible. It had been noted that the Standing Charge and amount per kilowatt was high and a more competitive price has been given and accepted with another company.

Sue Squire - Clerk [01598 710526]




Newly formed Committee are:

Linda Camplin [chair],
Tracy and Darren Burgess,
Kate Rees,
Keith Thomas,
Mick and Sandy Gadd

We should like to take this opportunity to thank the previous committee for their hard work over the past few years in keeping the Show a success.

Date for your diary: 16th April - Coffee Morning in the Manor Hall in association with Berry in Bloom. Please come along and support the Show. Buy your sunflower seeds and your 'Grow a Spud' potatoes.

Please keep checking the Newsletters for further information. Feel free to give Linda a call on 883322 if you have any queries.



He killed the noble Mudjokivis.
Of the skin he made him mittens,
Made them with the fur side inside,
Made them with the skin side outside.
He, to get the warm side inside,
Put the inside skin side outside;
He, to get the cold side outside,
Put the warm side fur side inside.
That's why he put the fur side inside,
Why he put the skin side outside,
Why he turned them inside outside.






On the wall of the dining room in a renowned Ilfracombe residential home is a notice posted for the guidance of residents. The notice is headed 'SEAGULLS'.

The text reads:

Please do not feed the seagulls as
they are becoming a nuisance. Thank you.

Now, the population of seagulls in Ilfracombe consists of a bunch of highly sophisticated and educated birds, and those gulls have decided to retaliate! Observers have seen flocks of birds gathering and then dive-bombing the home, leaving their marks on the windows. The local window cleaner is certainly kept busy!

Did Homer nod, or did I hear someone say 'tut-tut'? But after all, the birds have got to eat, haven't they?




Berrynarbor Community Shop is about to open its doors to a new venture - complementary therapies will soon be available. To start with, Liz Lillicrap will be offering Reflexology sessions and Valerie May Spiritual Healing.

Reflexology is an ancient healing art practised by the Egyptians, Chinese and other civilisations, and it did not come to the Western World until the 19th Century. It is usually carried out on the feet, as these, surprisingly, are more sensitive than hands, face or ears. It works on reflex areas of the foot, and on acupressure meridians, to bring about a 'balance' or homeostasis , helping to combat and prevent a wide range of conditions. If you would like more information, please contact Liz on [01271] 882179 or e-mail: liz@patcholeherbs.co.uk. If you have not tried Reflexology before and would like to, for a limited period half an hour taster sessions will be available at £10.00.

Healing is a very effective holistic form of healing. It is a gentle and unobtrusive therapy that clears the whole of the energy field in and around your body and re-balances and re-aligns the entire energy system to promote a speedy recovery and good general health. Natural healing opens up and increases the natural ability of the body to heal itself. Healing is effective for all ailments from emotional and stress related problems to joints and back, etc., ailments, MS, ME to cancer, or even just as a pick-me-up. For all ages, including babies. No religious or spiritual belief required. If you would like more details or would like to book a session, please ring Valerie on [01271] 343944 or e-mail: Valerie@may01.demon.co.uk.



"It's only just out of reach,
round the block, on the beach,
under a tree . . . "

Stephen Sondheim

We were standing on Grey Sand Hill at the edge of Northam Burrows watching groups of Brent Geese flying along the estuary to assemble on the Skern.

It was New Year's Day and a brutal wind was blowing; penetrating the wool of our gloves and making our fingers numb but these handsome geese are always a joy to observe whether on the water or on land. But in flight they make a fine spectacle.

The seaweed on the shoreline was moving. Closer inspection revealed several Turnstones flipping over the strands of seaweed searching for invertebrates. These small industrious waders, with tortoiseshell patterned plumage, are capable of tipping over quite large pebbles.

We followed around the edge of the Skern where there were a lot of Shelduck, a few Curlews and Widgeon. As we crossed the little bridge over the Pill, a flock of gold finches took off from the corner of a small paddock and below them something moved by the hedge. It was a Snipe, just a fleeting glimpse before it disappeared.

From the lane we heard a hoarse rasping cry so crept back to look in the field again. There were Redwings and Lapwings and then between the horses, two stripy heads and long necks appeared above the tussocks of grass.

As they emerged, the cream stripes on their backs could be seen clearly. We watched them jabbing their long bills into the ground for worms. Snipe are shy birds, often staying hidden but they tend to be more conspicuous in cold weather. The collective noun is a 'wisp' of Snipe.

A man had arrived with a telescope so we pointed out the Snipe to him. He told us he had only recently started watching birds having been active in a group which studied moths. A fellow member of the group had encouraged him to extend his interest in natural history to include birds.

When out walking and there's a sudden movement on a beach, up a tree, in a field, under a hedge - it's always worth a second look. It could be something special. Who knows?!

Illustrated by: Paul Swailes

Sue H


In Siberia by Colin Thubron

This winter I've felt I was in Siberia. Not because of the snow we experienced around Christmas but because of a book I bought at the village shop.

I had previously read 'The Lost Heart of Asia' by Colin Thubron, an account of his travels through 'the Stans' [Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, etc.]. So when, on leaving the village shop, I spotted among the second-hand books for sale, his 'In Siberia', I snapped it up and what an enthralling read it has been.

Colin Thubron's journey of 15,000 miles took him through bleak and desolate terrain; mountain ranges, vast forest and ice fields. He endured the harsh climate but most interesting were the people he met along the way, each with a story to tell, strange poignant, tragic - against the upheavals of the 20th century; revolution, war, the Stalinist era and the break up of the Soviet Union.

When Thubron travels he travels alone believing that taking a companion insulates and protects you, preventing close encounters with the inhabitants. As a lone traveller he is befriended and given hospitality by a great variety of people who share their hopes and disappointments, opinions and beliefs.

I see the 'bad book' Robin Ince donated to the village shop, when he presented his 'Bad Book Club' show in the Manor Hall in November, is still there unsold!

But there are plenty of good books too, so have a browse.



Genius of Electricity

This book, written by Henry Ford, the motor magnate, contains a paragraph in which the author recalls visiting a business acquaintance in California with Thomas Edison, the subject of his book.

Their host asked them to sign his guest book. As well as names, the book had columns for 'Home Address', 'Occupation' and one headed 'Interested In'.

The great car maker watched as Mr. Edison duly signed. In the final column he wrote without an instant's hesitation, 'Everything'.

What a wonderful way to really live a life!


We all make them. And there's no denying, it can be a painful process. If, like many of us, you have made one recently, here are a few encouraging words to keep in mind.

Samuel Smiles wrote: He who never made a mistake never made a discovery.

And George Bernard Shaw had this to say: A life spent making mistakes is not only more honourable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.

Sir Walter Scott

In his final days, Sir Walter Scott cast his mind over the many volumes he had written and was comforted by the thought that, in his work, he had 'tried to unsettle no man's faith, corrupt no man's principles and written nothing I could wish blotted out.'

Those of us who write can all aspire to follow his code.

Pandora's Box

The old story about Pandora tells how she was sent to earth with a box which she had been instructed to guard but never open. Curiosity got the better of her. She lifted the lid and out escaped all the evils and sorrows of mankind.

What is often forgotten is that something remained safe inside the box. It was Hope, and it has been here to see us through all our troubles ever since. That is the real lesson of the myth of Pandora's Box.

Illustration: John William Waterhouse - [1849-1917]

English Pre-Raphaelite painter most famous for his depictions of female characters from Greek and Arthurian mythology




The Gardens will open for the 2011 season on Tuesday, 1st March. The Garden Tea Room and the Plant Centre, with a large and varied selection of new plants will also be open, from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.

As from that date, Season Tickets will go up to £22.50 for the year, but entry on the gate remains the same at £5.50.

However, on Sundays 20th and 27th February, from 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m., the Gardens will be open for special Snowdrop and Hellebore Days, when the Tea Room will be open for Hot Pot Lunches and other goodies. Do come along and enjoy these early spring flowers.




There are Coffee and Browse mornings at the Museum when you can look at all the books we have for sale at very cheap prices and meet people. Alternate Tuesdays: 8th and 22nd February, 8th and 22nd March.

Shake off those winter blues by enjoying a
with friends and neighbours
Sunday, 20th February
from 9.00 to 11.30 a.m.
Kentisbury Village Hall
[proceeds to St. Thomas's Church]


Calling all budding Sir Frances Drakes!

We are looking for new members, so come on ladies and gents, join a club with a friendly atmosphere, great social side and cheap beer. What more could you want? If you are interested, please contact either Dave Collins [882223] or Alan Hogan [882080]



[12th March 1913 - 28th December 2010]

The real oldest daughter of Baron Georg von Trapp

I had in mind to write about yet another male 'Mover and Shaker' when it was whispered to me, "What about the Wimmin?" What justified criticism! I had notes in my file of three noteworthy females - and then I read the obituary of Agathe von Trapp - just after the annual Christmas showing of 'The Sound of Music' [first seen in 1965]. So she's the one for this newsletter.

Better known as Liesl [played by Charmian Carr] in the film, she was born on 12th March 1913 in Pola, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Her mother, also Agathe, bore seven of the Baron's children, but died in 1922 of scarlet fever caught from Agathe. The family was so devastated by her death that they sold up in Pola and moved to an estate in Salzburg.

The Sound of Music was based loosely on the first part of a book written by Agathe's step-mother, Maria, published in 1949, and entitled The Story of the Family von Trapp Singers.

Maria Augusta Kutschera joined the family in 1926 from nearby Nonnberg Abbey as tutor to one of Baron von Trapp's sick children, who had been too ill to go to school. Her contract was for ten months. She and the children got on so well, that she was asked to stay as governess to them all. Georg then fell in love with her, asked her to marry him and be a mother to his children. She hesitated because she liked him but didn't love him and was also reluctant to give up her religious calling. However, she loved the children and the nuns advised her to do God's will and marry him. Later, in her autobiography, she confessed that having married him for the children, she 'learned to love him more than [I have] ever loved before or after'. They married in1927 and had three children.





Maria was not the pretty and kind mother portrayed by Julie Andrews. She had a very forceful personality, although caring and loving, she could fly into rages, throw things and slam doors - very unsettling for her family, particularly her husband. Fortunately, as her eldest step-daughter said: "She had a terrible temper . . . we were not used to this. But we took it like a thunderstorm that would pass, because the next minute she could be very nice."

In case you think that her husband was like Christopher Plummer, when the film was first seen by Agathe, she burst into tears because of the way he had been portrayed as a strict and distant disciplinarian, although she admitted that if the film had been about another family, she would have enjoyed it. In an attempt to put things right, she dedicated a book to her father, called 'Memories before and after the Sound of Music', which was published in 2004. He was shown as a gentle, warm-hearted parent who enjoyed musical activities with his children. Born in1880 in Zadar [now Croatia], he was a hero in the Austrian Navy during World War I, commanding submarines with great bravado. He gained the title 'Ritter' [equal to a baronetcy or Sir, but translated as Baron]. After the war, Austria lost all its seaports and he retired. Zadar became part of Italy, so he and his family became Italian citizens.

During the mid '30's, they lost most of their money following the world depression when their bank failed. To cope, Maria dismissed most of their servants and took in lodgers. The family had always sung as a hobby and now considered singing as a profession. The Baron was dubious, feeling it was below their dignity. However, they did sing and they did win the Salzburg Music Festival in 1936, achieving fame singing Renaissance and Baroque music, madrigals and folk songs around Europe. Max, their pushy manager in the film, didn't exist. Their priest, Rev Franz Wasner was their musical conductor for more than 20 years. In 1938, the Nazis annexed Austria, which Georg hated, and he could foresee trouble. Refusing to fly the Nazi flag on his house, he declined a revival of his naval career, greater fame with the family's singing group, a medical post for his son Rupert, and a request to sing at Hitler's birthday party. It was time to leave! They left behind all their possessions, friends and the estate. But they didn't go as the film showed, over the mountains to Switzerland carrying their musical instruments and cases. Instead they left with no secrecy by train to Italy. Having been offered a contract to sing in the United States, they contacted the authorities for their fares, arriving in London in summer 1938 and New York in September for a concert tour of Pennsylvania.

Georg and Maria's last child, Johannes, was born the next year. After their 6-month visa expired, they did a tour in Scandinavia, returning to New York in October 1939. They were held in immigration on Ellis Island, because when asked how long they were staying, Maria exclaimed, "Oh I am so glad to be here - I never want to leave again!" They were released after a few days.

In the early 1940's they bought a farm in Stowe, Vermont. When not touring, they held music camps. In 1944, Maria, Agathe and four other step-daughters applied for US citizenship. Georg never did. They achieved it in 1948. Baron von Trapp died in 1947. His two sons from his first marriage were naturalised whilst serving during World War II and the two girls derived citizenship from their mother. The last boy, Johannes, was born in the US.

Enough of the family. What of Agathe? The singing troupe continued until1956 by which time Agathe was 43. Later she declared that until then she had never been independent, had never made a 'phone call nor written a cheque. So how did she cope?

According to her brother Johannes, "She was a very private person and also a talented sketch artist." She established a kindergarten near the family home, but in 1958 moved to Baltimore with a friend, Mary Louise Kane, with whom she lived for the rest of her life. Here they opened a Catholic Kindergarten where Agathe taught music, art and German. The two of them ran it until 1993. In 1980 she began researching her family history, travelling to Europe and collecting a vast amount of maps, illustrations and photographs. The genealogy was completed in 2000 and this information was used in her book mentioned earlier, Memories Before and After the Sound of Music.

She died at the end of last month at the age of 97 and will be buried in the spring at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont. One of her siblings and her half-siblings, Eleanore, Rosemarie and Johannes survive her.

After they left the Salzburg family home in 1938, it was occupied by Hein rich Himmler, head of Nazi security, until1945 and was then bought by a missionary order. They agreed to sell it for use as a hotel. There was much dissent from the locals, who thought it would ruin this elite part of Salzburg and originally planners rejected it.

Now, if you look up Villa Trapp on Google, you can 'sleep in the family's rooms' [even the Baron's suite] in this villa 'maintained in the style of the period' [1923- 38].

The family, incidentally, didn't gain much from the huge profits of the film. Maria sold the film rights to German producers who made two films, one in 1956, 'Die Trapp Familie' and two years later, 'Die Trapp-Familie in Amerika'. The German producers sold the rights to America and the family had very little say in either the play or film of The Sound of Music. So be it!

PP of DC




"This is fun, we should do it more often!" said a knitter at the first North Devon Hospice Knit In here in the village, and so the Craft Group came into being and continues with an afternoon of fun and fellowship and definitely no bitching, but some stitching!

We meet each Monday afternoon in the Manor Hall, from 1.30 p.m. onwards, bringing with us our knitting, beading, embroidery and other crafts, and enjoying tea and coffee and choccy biccies [even cakes on occasions] all for just £2.00 a session.

Last September we enjoyed a day out visiting The Cheristow Lavender Farm in the morning, and Hartland Abbey in the afternoon. Once again we all enjoyed a Christmas Meal at Marwood Hill Gardens, and we'll shortly be planning this year's trip out.

New 'crafters' are always welcome - there is always room for more. Why not come along and see what we are up to.

We shall again be supporting the North Devon Hospice Knit In and this year plan to knit at the Manor Hall on Monday, 14th February from 2.00 p.m. onwards. Everyone is welcome to join us to knit strips on size 8 [4] needles, with double knitting wool and 20 stitches. It is hoped there will be many colourful strips to be given to the Hospice for turning into blankets for deserving charities including Age Concern, the Dog'sTtrust, the David Rundle Rwanda Trust and Amigos. Rather than collecting sponsorship, knitters are asked to make a £5.00 donation to the Hospice.



Monday, 14th February

with a raffle and a few stalls
at the Manor Hall
from 2.00 p.m. onwards
We'll see you there!



8th Parish Council Meeting, 7.00 p.m. Manor Hall
9th Mobile Library in Village from 10.45 a.m.
14th Knit-In & Valentine's Day Cream Tea for N.D. Hospice, Manor Hall, 2.00 p.m. onwards
16th Lynton Church: Licensing of Rector Christopher Steed, 7.00 p.m. Wine Circle, 8.00 p.m., Manor Hall: Nicola Keeble, Wines from France
19th Bumper Jumble Sale, Manor Hall, 2.30 p.m.
20th Big Breakfast at Kentisbury Village Hall, 9.00 - 11.30 a.m.
Snowdrop & Hellebore Day, Marwood Hill Gardens
21st To 25th, inc. College & Primary School: Half Term
23rd Mobile Library in Village from 10.45 a.m. Friendship Lunch: The Globe, 12.00 noon
25th Fun Quiz & Supper, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
27th Snowdrop & Hellebore Day, Marwood Hill Gardens
1st Berry in Bloom, Open Meeting at The Globe, 7.30 p.m.
4th St. Peter's Church: Women's World Day of Prayer
8th Parish Council: Public Meeting, 6.30 pm, Council Meeting, 7 pm
9th Ash Wednesday, Start of Lent
Mobile Library in Village from 10.45 a.m.
16th Wine Circle, 8.00 p.m., Manor Hall: Jonathan Coulthard
23rd Mobile Library in Village from 10.45 a.m. A Year in the Garden at Harpers Mill, Manor Hall, 7.00 for 7.30 p.m.
30th Friendship Lunch, The Globe, 12.00 noon
3rd St. Peter's Church: Mothering Sunday, Family Service
6th Mobile Library in Village from 10.45 a.m.
8th College & Primary School: End of Spring Term

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: Angela Bartlett



This photographic postcard was taken and published by A.H. Hawke of Helston around 1928. Albert Herbert Hawke was a well-known and highly acclaimed photographer and postcard publisher. He carried out his business from a studio and shop in Meneage Street, Helston, and travelled all over the West Country taking photographs of villages and seaside resorts. This particular card shows in the foreground, Manor Cottage, present home of Mike and Joan Harte. Just behind it is The Olde Cottage, now known as Court Cottage, home to Clive and Sue Watson-Harrison. The top left of the picture shows cottages and Grattons House on Hagginton Hill and the fields and house in the centre is Mill Park.

Manor Cottage, 53 The Village, was included in Lot 45 of the Watermouth Estates Sale of 17th August 1920, with completion set as 25th March 1921:

'also a conveniently arranged Five-roomed Tiled Cottage, with potato house and wash house, No. 53, situate adjoining the grounds of Court Cottage [The Old Court] as now in the occupation of Mr. T. Latham as a quarterly Tenant. The apportioned Tithe on this lot is 4s. The Timber to be taken in the sum of £5.0s.6d. There is a water-tap, W.C. and Bath on this Lot and also a Tap in the Tiled Cottage. The right to maintain the Stop-tap, and pipe through the Garden is reserved.'

In the same Sale, details of Court Cottage [The Old Court] stated:

'Lot 45 A charmingly situated Slated Detached Private Residence known as Court Cottage, situate in the Village of Berrynarbor, in the occupation of Mrs. Harris, whose Tenancy expires at Michaelmas next, comprising:

A Porch Entrance, Entrance Hall, Morning Room, Drawing Room, Dining Room, Back Lobby, Kitchen, Larder, Pantry, W.C., Five Bedrooms, Two Dressing Rooms, Two Boxrooms, Upstairs W.C. &c. Lawn, Flower and Vegetable Gardens, Tool Shed, Poultry House, Stable, Coach House or Garage, Coal House &c. Front, Side and Back Entrances, Two Staircases, Verandah. The whole containing 2 roods.'

[A rood is a measure of land, 40 sq. poles or a quarter of an acre. This term varies locally, especially as a loose term for a small piece of land.]

Lot 45, Court Cottage [The Old Court - not shown on the postcard] and Manor Cottage sold for £850.

Berry Mills [Mill Park] was sold in the second Watermouth Estate Sale of 5th June 1924, as Lot 6:

'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 16a.2r.29p. of Rich Watered Meadow, Pasture and Woodlands, as now in the occupation of Mr. C.H. Burgess, as a Yearly Michaelmas Tenant.'

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

Manor Cottage, with Court Cottage illustrated by: Nigel Mason [1996]




Artwork: Paul Swailes


Make sure you book early for these important dates:

  • Valentine's Day, 14th February, The Globe only, 6.00 - 9.00 p.m.
  • Mothers' Day, 3rd April, either The Globe or Sawmill Inn
  • Saturday, 26th February, The Sawmill: All You Can Eat - Chinese for £15.00 per person. Menu available on request and booking is strongly advised. There will also be Entertainment from Gary Songhurst's new band - Knowle Berries, from about 9.00 p.m. Everyone welcome - no entry fee.

There is a new Menu at The Globe and throughout February, all e-mail customers will receive a 20% discount off all meals.

If you are not already on our e-mail database but would like to be added so that you can receive discounts, etc., please e-mail me at thesawmillinn@googlemail.com. This e-mail address applies to both the Sawmill and The Globe. If you do not have e-mail access, please contact me on [01271] 882465 to discuss ways to contact you with special offers.