Edition 142 - February 2013

Artwork: Peter Rothwell

Artwork: Judie Weedon


As this is the first issue of 2013, a happy and healthy new year to you all. A very warm welcome to all newcomers to the village and to you and those who have moved away, good luck and happiness in your new homes.

Not a white Christmas but a very wet one, especially for some! The constant heavy rain on the Friday and Saturday before brought floods to the area. Braunton suffered badly and we also did so in Berrynarbor, particularly in the Sterridge Valley. Our sympathy and thoughts go out to all those affected but thanks must be given to all the willing helpers who worked so hard and for so long - day and night - to help those in trouble.

The special community spirit we have here in our village once again came up trumps and is alive and kicking!

Money raised from the Christmas Crossword, Raffle and other sales has enabled us to continue supporting Canine Partners and we have been able to renew our adoption of Alfred and Amelia over the coming twelve months when they should both be being 'partnered' with their new owners. It will be interesting to learn how they get on and look out for their letters displayed in the Manor Hall.

Thank you to everyone who sent Christmas messages via the Newsletter - the best year ever with £200 going to both the Manor Hall and the Newsletter. You may be aware that due to funds slowly disappearing, an event to raise funds for the Newsletter is being held on the 16th February [full details later] - do come and join in the fun!

With £200 coming from the messages you may be wondering why funds are low. In fact most of that was spent in printing the messages! Each copy of the Newsletter costs approximately £1.00, that is £400 an issue in printing costs alone. So your support and donations at the Shop and The Globe are needed and very much appreciated.

A list of deadline dates for future articles also appears later but the deadline for the April issue is Monday, 11th March.

My continued thanks to all who contribute, especially the regulars and the illustrators but the one-offs are also very welcome.

Finally, remember to put your clocks forward an hour at 1.00 a.m. on Sunday, 31st March, or you might find that you've missed the Easter Day Service at St. Peter's!

Judie - Ed


Artwork: David Duncan


Our church, beautifully decorated with Christmas flowers, was filled to capacity for the annual Carol Service. We were delighted to have the children from our School who started the proceedings. Actually, not in church but in the bus shelter decorated in the form of a manger with the children singing jolly carols. They had also decorated the porch with lighted candles and in spite of the rainy weather, this created a lovely welcoming scene.

Chris Steed welcomed everyone and the school choir and the Berrynarbor choir processed to the opening carol, Once in Royal David's City. Following this, and based on the service of 9 lessons and carols, the first lesson was beautifully read by Jak Daglish.

The school sang Go Tell it on the Mountain accompanied by Graham Lucas - one of our tenors - on the accordion. Berrynarbor Choir, which includes excellent singers from Parracombe, sang Harold Darke's delightful arrangement of In the Bleak Midwinter incorporating a solo verse beautifully sung by our longest serving tenor Bobby Bowden.

Our choir also sang a charming carol in both German and English and Uda Goode who was born and lived with her family in Germany, sang a solo verse in immaculate German. The congregation joined in singing many popular carols and the school performed their Calypso Carol with much enthusiasm. The choir sang Rejoice and Be Merry and the service came to a joyful close with the singing of O Come All Ye Faithful.

Mulled wine and mince pies were then served to the enjoyment of all!

Thanks to both choirs and school children for their beautiful singing, and to Sue Carey, Carol Lucas and fellow teachers for their encouragement and enthusiasm.


I was away for the service this year but from all I have heard it was a joyous occasion and on everyone's behalf a special thank you to our resident organist, Stuart, for playing not only for the service but for us throughout the year, and a huge thank you to the congregation of parents, residents and visitors who supported this wonderful evening.

Christmas services continued to be well attended and on the 30th December we were pleased to welcome members of Combe Martin church and several visitors. Collections for the Children's Hospice amounted to £290 - up on last year - thank you all for your generosity.

Also thank you to all those who went round the village delivering the church Christmas card. This year we chose photos taken by Marion Carter when she visited the Holy Land in November - a little different and we hope you liked it.

Now a list of dates for 2013:

  • 13th February marks Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent
  • 10th March is Mothering Sunday when we shall be joined by children from the Schoolu
  • 24th March is Palm Sunday followed by
  • 29th March Good Friday and
  • 31st March Easter Day

Please look out for posters nearer the time but all Sunday services will begin at 11.00 a.m. On 'normal' Sundays there will be Holy Communion on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month and a more informal service on the 1st and 3rd Sundays.

Another special date, which many look forward to: the Women's World Day of Prayer Service will be on Friday, 1st March at St. Peter's Parish Church in Combe Martin, 10.00 for 10.30 a.m.

Friendship Lunches at The Globe will be on Wednesdays 27th February and 27th March, noon onwards. Once again our thanks to Karen and staff for their welcome and hospitality.

Mary Tucker




Unfortunately there was no let-up in the dreadful weather in the last couple of months of the year.

November started with hail on the 1st and on the 15th we recorded the first frost. The maximum temperature was 14.2 Deg C which was below average for the month with a minimum of 0.3 Deg C. Several days were quite windy with a maximum gust of 31 knots on the 22nd. The 22.22 hours of sunshine was one of the higher amounts for November.

The temperatures in December were about average with a maximum of 12.9 Deg C and a minimum of -2.2 Deg C when we had a cold snap in the middle of the month. Again it was frequently windy with the greatest wind speed of 33 knots on the 31st. Not surprisingly, the hours of sunshine were down on many previous Decembers with a total of only 4.76 hours.

The main item of interest of course is the rain. November brought flooding in various parts of Devon but we recorded 172mm which, for an often wet month, was not exceptional. December brought a total of 274mm and flooding to Braunton and also the Sterridge, again this was not a record but after so many wet months the ground was saturated. According to the Met. Office, 2012 was the wettest year in the South West since records began in 1910, but as you can see from the table below, we have recorded four years with higher rainfall.

Was 2012 the Wettest Year in Berrynarbor?

Not according to our records since 1994.

Below we have compared the previous four wetter years with 2012.

Years in millimetres
1994 2000 1999 1998 2012
January 301 77 240 160 124
February 188 230 106 32 53
March 200 69 75 185 8
April 166 171 118 137 115
May 80 129 44 57 77
June 68 58 88 162 179
July 69 111 27 116 120
August 96 80 143 59 148
September 186 198 205 95 110
October 180 352 142 340 207
November 185 311 109 140 172
December 316 219 378 174 274
Total 2035 2005 1675 1657 1587

Of the 315 days we have made note on the weather during 2012 we only had 78 days with no precipitation. The wettest day was the 23rd September with 44mm and the driest month was March with only 8mm.

Simon and Sue



Friday night and naught to do,
We'd hoped for a sell-out, but were only a few.
Beaford you say! Must be 'culture today',
With its' Poet and his Poems, old and new.

He read us some rhymes which covered the times
Of men's beards - old, middle and new,
Beat drums of all sorts, with Samurai swords
And first read his Cliff Richard too.

He sang us some songs of Cornish men's wrongs,
First heard on the real BBC; On Saturday morn
You'll hear more of his corn,
But in Berry we really did see
The lights in his face and a lap top in place,
For his failings of memory - dear me!

'T'was a terrific good night,
And we'll remember the sight
Of the food as provided for free:-
Quiches and chocks,
Some just out of a box, all
For only £8 at the Hall.

Watch out in your Newsletter and posters for the 2013 Season of Beaford Culture coming to you here in Berrynarbor. If you don't come along, you'll never catch up on what you've missed.




with Valentine's Day in mind:

"In love men are amateurs
women are professionals."

Francois Truffaut



Elaine and John are delighted to announce the safe arrival of their sixth grandchild, a daughter for Ben and Sara. Melodie Polly Fanner arrived on the 24th November 2012 weighing 6lbs 13oz, a sister for James and Harriet and cousin for Stanley, Sunny and Tilly in Australia.

Michael and Lorna were very happy to be presented with their sixth grandchild just before Christmas, on the 20th December. Weighing in at 8lbs 4oz, Archie Noel Bowden is the son of Helen and Chris and brother to Jonathan, Scott and Charlotte.

A warm welcome to little Melodie and Archie and congratulations to the proud parents and grandparents!


'We have something for everyone!'

Our fleet of 8 mobile libraries visits over 500 locations in communities across Devon giving access to books, audio books, large print and DVD's to people who cannot easily reach one of our 50 static libraries.

Membership is free, no ID needed and you can join at any age - babies too! There is no charge for borrowing books and there's a great choice and you may hire a DVD from as little as £1 for a fortnight.Non-fiction books, large print and children's books can be reserved free and you can even reserve books on line and collect them from the mobile library.

There is something to offer everyone on board so why not hop on and take a look?

We are very fortunate here in the village to have this great service visit us fortnightly, on Wednesday's - from 10.55 to 11.30 a.m. in the car park by the Shop, and from 11.45 a.m. to 12.15 p.m. at Wood Park in the Sterridge Valley.

Jacqui, our Librarian, like the service is also great - not only will she help you choose books, reserve special ones for you, but can also remember the books you have already read - what a boon!

So, as they say, why not hop on, meet Jacqui and enjoy our mobile library? If we don't use it, we might lose it.


F IS FOR . . .

F is for February but also Finance and once again the time has come round to look at the financial situation of the Newsletter and its funds.

Although not desperate, funds have dwindled and need replenishing. A fund-raising day has been arranged for Saturday, 16th February, and details will appear later in this issue, so please make a note of the date and drop in to the Manor Hall to make the event a success.

Unfortunately stationery prices and postal rates have continued to rise over the last year but the subscription for postal readers for the coming year will remain at £6.00 for a year [February to December, inclusive] but this only covers the cost of postage and envelopes for a year. Although technically a 'freebie', each copy of the Newsletter costs, with printing and other expenses, approximately £1.00 to produce - that is £6.00 a year. It is only by kind and generous donations from postal readers, the collecting box at the Shop and The Globe, as well as the Parish and Parochial Church Councils [and a few fund raising events] that there is sufficient money to allow it to continue. So thank you all.

Some postal subscriptions have now run out and if you are someone to whom this applies, a letter is enclosed with your Newsletter.

Advertising costs will also remain the same for this year at: 1/4 page £5.00, 1/2 page £10, etc., but for a year's advertisements [6] it's a case of buy 6 get one free! Or £25 and £50.

My thanks to Sue's of Combe Martin and our paperboys, Dave and Terry, who deliver copies with the newspapers and the Shop and The Globe for having copies available and for collecting donations.




I should like to take this opportunity to thank all contributors to the Newsletter but especially those who contribute on a regular basis, issue by issue. Without you, the Newsletter would be small and contain very little other than dates and probably not exist!

So, talking of dates, I have been asked to give you all a list of the deadlines for articles and items and also the date of issue, and these are given below.

Issue Deadline Due Out
April Monday, 11th March 4th April
June Tuesday, 7th May 30th May
August Monday, 8th July 1st August
October Monday, 9th September 3rd October
December Wednesday, 6th November 28th November
February Tuesday, 6th January 30th January

Items are, of course, always welcome and especially earlier than the deadline which also gives time for our artists to work their wonders!

Many thanks, in advance, for your support and co-operation.




The Museum is open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10.30 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. AND will go onto full time summer opening from Monday 18th March.


  • Monday 4th February at 7.30 p.m. the Rev Chris Steed will talk about his recent climb of Mount Kilimanjaro - "Summit Happened" or "How Chris felt peaky"!
  • Monday 4th March Tom and Barbara Brown will talk and sing about Three Sea Captains from Minehead and Watchet and their history.
  • Monday 25th March Peter Addie will talk about the link between the food we eat and the effects on our health and the environment - Nutrition and the Environment.

All Talks start at 7,30 p.m. Tickets £3.00 including refreshments.


Wednesday 13th February there will be a Bingo Night at the Village Hall with a St. Valentines theme 7.00 for 8.00 p.m. Contact Moose Boyer on 883101.



Drop in to the Manor Hall any time from 10.30 a.m. onwards on



Make a table flower arrangement £4.00


Make sugar-paste flowers or animals to decorate a cake £4.00


Make a stained glass panel from ready-cut glass. Do your own soldering or Lani will do it for you, and take home a piece of work worth £20.00!


Stitch a pretty blue patchwork and then applique a cheerful yellow daffodil - a lovely idea for an Easter or Mother's Day Card, or even frame a picture! £4.00


Make a card [with envelope] for that special occasion £2.00


So come empty handed but with a pocketful of money!

Entry £1.00 to include either Morning Coffee or Afternoon Tea Soup and Roll Lunch - £2.00

  • The day will be open to EVERYONE, children, parents and grandparents!
  • Take part in one or more or even all activities.
  • Start any craft at any time - each can take approximately an hour or just as long as you want.

If you don't feel like making something, please come along and enjoy a Coffee, Lunch or Tea, see what everyone is up to, join in the Raffle and support the Newsletter.


Proceeds for the Berrynarbor Newsletter




And so we enter a new year - our ninth! Many thanks to all who have supported and, we hope will continue, to shop here.

We have increased our turnover very gently over these years, but if we can persuade you to spend just 50p more on each visit, then the shop will be even safer. As Deb says, "It only needs when buying your bread, for you to buy ham or cheese to put on it, with your newspaper to add a chocolate bar, or with a bottle of wine the nibbles to munch!"

NEW! A really different range of greetings cards by Milkwood will arrive soon. Look out for them when next in the shop.

DON'T FORGET to pick up your Lottery scratch cards or tickets. And just to show that the village is helping good causes, in the last 3 months to the end of December, Lottery sales here have added £997 to those causes

JUST TO REMIND YOU, BerryBay will continue until early summer, when our delicious cream teas will take over again.

That's all for now except to wish all our customers a very Happy and Healthy New Year.

PP of DC



Prize winners were:

Left to Right: Zac, Shannon, Emily and Kensa

Did you know that the children at our School have an annual 'Shop' competition? This year the brief was to design a 3D post box or telephone box using tissue box[es]. Sadly, due to all the happenings at the festive season and lack of time, there were not so many entries as usual, but those who did and the winners all did a fine job.

Peter Rothwell very kindly judged them and the winners received their awards from Pam Parke just before they broke up.  Congratulations to them all.

  • Infants: Runner-up - Kensa, Winner & Outstanding Entry - Zac
  • Juniors: Runner-up - Shannon, Winner - Emily




Clatter and Chatter, Click and Cluck, Draw and Jaw

Come and indulge your hobby with the Craft Group. We meet on Monday afternoons at the Manor Hall from 1.30 p.m. onwards, with friends and refreshments and all for just £2.00!

Last year saw us making two visits - the first to Morwellham Quay and the second to the National Trust

house at Killerton - as well as enjoying a festive lunch at Squires Restaurant in Braunton! Plans are in hand to take a leisurely barge trip on the canal at Tiverton this year.

So why not come and join us - there is no obligation to come each week, just when you can.

We shall be supporting the North Devon Hospice Knit-In on MONDAY, 18TH FEBRUARY when once again we'll be knitting colourful strips and everyone is invited and welcome to come and join us on that occasion from 2.00 p.m. There will be refreshments and a raffle and all we ask is for a minimum £5.00 donation for the Hospice. To knit all you will need is a pair of size 4 [8] needles and some colourful double knitting wool [if you don't have same, there will be some available].

And if you don't knit but would like to support this very worthy cause, please do come along and have a tea or coffee and biscuits with us and make a donation to the Hospice.




Happy New Year Everyone!

After such a busy half term in the build up to Christmas, the children enjoyed a fun filled two week break! Hopefully not too many were affected by the dreadful bugs that have been doing the rounds

Senior Dudes Meal - WOW! We had record numbers for this year's meal - and the smallest class! As always, the children rose to the occasion and worked really hard preparing and serving the food. They finished the evening by singing carols, beautifully. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed their meal and the evening.

Strawberry & Cranberry Class Nativity - The children performed 'Shine Star Shine' to the school and pre-school and then to parents and families. The children sang and performed beautifully - a credit to Mrs Wellings' hard work!

Village Carol Service - Despite the weather the children performed their Nativity of 'Shine Star Shine' in the bus shelter to friends, family and members of the village. It looked and sounded lovely.

The children also took part in the village Carol service that followed. The porch was decorated with lanterns that the children had made, adding to the Christmassy atmosphere. The church was full to the brim! A very festive evening.

Educational Landscape - I am sure you have heard lots in the news about how education and schools are changing. We are really proud of what our children achieve and would love you to know more about what we do. Although this seemingly constant change can seem disconcerting at times, it also offers exciting new opportunities and we are determined to build on our success and embrace positive change so that we can continue to offer the best education to our children. I should be happy to come and present some information about our school to any interested groups - if you would be interested please contact the school.

This term Strawberry class will be learning about fossils and dinosaurs. If any community members have any interesting collections or expertise that they could share with the children we should love to hear from you.

Sue Carey - Headteacher

Are you, like me, intrigued by 'Strawberry & Cranberry'? The classes all now have names - all Berry fruits, I wonder why!

  • Reception and Year 1: Strawberry
  • Year 2: Cranberry
  • Class 3, Years 3 & 4: Blueberry and
  • Class 4, Years 5 & 6: Elderberry




Trev's Twitters in the December issue reminded me that Drake's Drum was the most famous of Sir Henry Newbolt's works but a lesser known poem was a song of Exmoor which was set to music and adopted by the Devon and Somerset Staghounds who renamed it From Bratton to Porlock Bay.

I know that hunting is not PC in some people's books but it is never-the-less a large part of rural North Devon's past.

The lyrics below tell a story of a long point [distance] from Bratton to Porlock Bay and there are some words, like tufters, that are lost on most folk now. Whether for or against hunting, the terms still exist and I think should be remembered.


The Forest above and the Combe below,
On a bright September morn!
He's the soul of a clod who thanks not God
That ever his body was born!
So hurry along, the stag's afoot,
The Master's up and away!
Halloo! Halloo! we'll follow it through
From Bratton to Porlock Bay!

So hurry along, the stag's afoot,
The Master's up and away!
Halloo! Halloo! we'll follow it through
From Bratton to Porlock Bay!

Hark to the tufters' challenge true,
'Tis a note that the red-deer knows!
His courage awakes, his covert he breaks,
And up for the moor he goes!
He's all his rights and seven on top,
His eye's the eye of a king,
And he'll beggar the pride of some that ride
Before he leaves the ling!

Here comes Antony bringing the pack,
Steady! he's laying them on!
By the sound of their chime you may tell that it's time
To harden your heart and be gone.
Nightacott, Narracott, Hunnacott's passed,
Right for the North they race:
He's leading them straight for Blackmoor Gate,
And he's setting a pounding pace!

We're running him now on a breast-high scent,
But he leaves us standing still;
When we swing round by Westland Pound
He's far up Challacombe Hill.
The pack are a string of struggling ants,
The quarry's a dancing midge,
They're trying their reins on the edge of the Chains
While he's on Cheriton Ridge.

He's gone by Kittuck and Lucott Moor,
He's gone by Woodcock's Ley;
By the little white town he's turned him down,
And he's soiling in open sea.
So hurry along, we'll both be in,
The crowd are a parish away!
We're a field of two, and we've followed it through
From Bratton to Porlock Bay!

So hurry along, we'll both be in,
The crowd are a parish away!
We're a field of two, and we've followed it through
From Bratton to Porlock Bay!

Illustrated by: Nigel Mason



I should like to thank everyone who sent get well wishes and all the lovely flowers. I do feel a lot better but progress is slow. Special thanks to Tom for looking after me and being with me all the time in Plymouth.

Inge [Bartlett]

It is very good to know that Inge is feeling better and was able to be home and enjoy Christmas with their daughter Caroline over from Bermuda. Slow and steady is the best way to progress!

Hopefully progress is being made by everyone in the village who has been unwell of late - we are thinking of you and send our best wishes.


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


Many thanks to all who helped out at the card distribution and coffee morning on 15th December, especially Lorna and Stuart, and thanks to Judie and the Newsletter who again shared with us your donations for your Christmas messages in the December newsletter. These fundraising events are really important to our village life and your support is much appreciated.

There have been a number of further changes to the Manor Hall Committee in addition to the news last November that Colin Trinder was standing down as a result of his and Annie's relocation. We should now report that the Committee is also saying farewell to Bill Scholes who has stood down after some four years of sterling service. However, new members who have joined the Committee are Denny Reynolds,

Charlotte Fryer, Karen Ozelton and myself, and we shall be looking at ways of further widening membership to better reflect both users of the Hall and the village more generally.

We shall also dedicate one of the noticeboards in the Hall for Manor Hall information, including a calendar of Hall bookings - so people can see when the Hall is available - a list of all current Committee Members and details of who to contact if items are found in need of repair.

One new activity taking place in the Hall for ten weeks from

17th January is a painting class run by local artist Ian Hudson. The classes on watercolours are on Thursday mornings [10.00-12.30]. For further details and prices contact Linda Camplin on 883322.

Len Narborough and the Manor Hall Committee



Latin-inspired, calorie burning, easy-to-follow, dance fitness!
with Julie
EVERY THURSDAY, 7.00 - 8.00 p.m. £4.00 per session

Zumba was founded in 2000 by Beto in USA. Beto was a fitness instructor who arrived at his gym one evening to take his usual fitness class, but he had forgotten his music. So he used his favourite Latin music he had in his car for the class and ad-libbed his routine. From that point on, Zumba was formed!

It took off across the USA and then came to the UK. There are now millions of people worldwide who attend Zumba classes weekly.

Zumba is a Latin dance fitness class. It tones and increases the stamina - as well as being a lot of fun! Zumba is particularly good for working the stomach, hips, thighs and bottom. A typical one hour class should burn approx. 600 - 800 calories. Or if you just fancy a bit of a wiggle and a dance to some good Latin music, then that is fine too! There is no right way or wrong way of doing Zumba.

Zumba is suitable for everyone, (female or male) 18 years plus. It is suitable for all abilities and fitness levels. It is up to each individual person attending a class how much they want to put in to the class, so is tailor-made for everyone. I have people in my classes ranging in age from 18 to 74!

A typical Zumba class is made up of steps such as the Salsa, Cumbia, Meringue, Reggaeton, Calypso, Samba, Cha-cha, Flamenco plus many more.

If you aren't sure if Zumba is for you, please feel free to come along to a class and watch. Suitable clothing is a pair of trainers or pumps, leggings or joggie bottoms and a t-shirt or vest top and don't forget a bottle of water.

If you have any questions please contact me on 07724 748806 or email me at julieaitkenhead@gmail.com. I look forward to seeing you.



Dave Beagley

Solution in Article 37.


Mike Hancock

Thank you to everyone who bought a copy of the Crossword to help with Newsletter funds and Canine Partners, and it was great to have completed puzzles returned. Some even before Christmas and some from further afield - Ilfracombe, Combe Martin, Bratton Fleming, Barnstaple, Bedford and the West Midlands - thank you all.

There were so many correct answers, so well done to you all, but there can unfortunately only be one winner. Names were all put in a hat and with the help of George Billington who picked the winner, the prize goes to Tony Rowlands, Alan and Nora's son, who comes from Bristol. It is understood that the family all had a go at it over the Christmas holiday.

The answers are:

So congratulations to Tony and very many thanks to Mike Hancock, the compiler, who has promised another one for next year!


Make a Difference

Would you like to make a difference to someone's life? The Devon Library Service are looking for people to spend a few hours each month selecting and delivering books and CD's to those who have difficulty getting out and about. They will pay your mileage and you could make a real difference. For more information ring 0845 1551001 or e-mail devlibs@devon.go.uk.


Artwork: Harry Weedon


Goodbye to the wettest year on record and welcome to 2013. We sincerely hope it will be a bit dryer!

Our treasurer and all round hard worker, Jenny Downer, has moved to Wiltshire and we wish her and Robin all the best and happy gardening in the future. We shall miss her and all her gardening knowledge but we are pleased to welcome Len to the blooming team who has kindly agreed to take over Jenny's role of treasurer.

Thanks also to The Globe for the donation to our funds with money raised from the Sunday night quizzes. Talking of quizzes we are holding another Fun Quiz and Supper Night at the Manor Hall on Friday 22nd February, 7.00 for 7.30 p.m. Bring your own drinks and glasses and a team of up to 8 people. Phil Bridle will be the Quiz Master and tickets, at £7.50 each will be available from the Shop from the 1st February. Make a note of the date, get your tickets and see you there!

We'll be taking the hanging baskets to Streamways in March and if you are interested in the re-fill scheme where we deliver the empty baskets, Streamways do the wonderful re-fill and then deliver them back to the village in May, please contact me on 01271 883170 or mobile 07436811657 Please note my change of home number.

Wendy Applegate


Artwork: Angela Bartlett

Blueberry Cake

This cake is easy to make and with the healthy blueberries a good one for tea on a cold or wet and gloomy day

  • 175g/6oz soft butter
  • 175g/6oz golden caster sugar
  • 3 large free-range eggs
  • 225g/8oz self-raising flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • 142ml carton sour cream
  • 3 x 125g punnets blueberries

Cheesecake Frosting

  • 200g-tub Philadelphia soft cheese
  • 100g/4oz icing sugar

Heat the oven to 180 Deg C/fan 160 Deg C/gas 4. Butter and line the base of a loose based 22cm round cake tin with non-stick baking paper.

Put the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder and vanilla in a bowl and beat until light in colour and well mixed. Beat in 4 tbsp soured cream and then stir in half the blueberries with a large spoon.

Tip the mixture in to the prepared tin and level with a spoon. Bake for 50 minutes until risen, feels firm to the touch and springs back when lightly pressed. Cool for 10 minutes in the tin then remove and peel off the paper and continue cooling on a wire rack.

To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese with the icing sugar and the remaining sour cream until smooth and creamy. Spread over the top of the completely cold cake, and then scatter with the remaining blueberries.

You can bake and freeze the cake before icing. Once iced the cake will keep for a couple of days in the fridge but remove and bring to room temperature before serving. Hope you enjoy it.

Wendy Applegate




Firstly, the Parish Council wish a Happy New Year to all parishioners.

It was not possible for me, as Parish Clerk, to attend the December meeting due to a fall on ice the previous day, from which I am still recovering and receiving medical treatment and medication.   Thank you to all those who have enquired about my health and to Councillor Mrs Linda Thomas for taking the Minutes on my behalf at short notice.
Since the Meeting, you will all be aware of the flooding in the Parish, particularly in the Sterridge Valley.  The Parish Clerk has been in contact with the Chairman in this regard and as a result, the culvert at Wild Violets has been cleared to the satisfaction of many residents.  We are very fortunate that the contractor was able to attend to this, at the expense of the Parish Council, within a very short time.   It was decided not to ask DCC Highways to add the work to their very long list due to the situation at that location. Other areas within the Parish which have suffered flooding have been advised to Highways. County Councillor Mrs Andrea Davis has invited anyone to report potholes to her: e-mail:

During the icy weather, Snow Warden Councillor Clive Richards put in many hours spreading grit salt on the roads to make the surfaces as safe as possible and thanks go to him for all his efforts.

Councillors voted not to increase the Precept for the 2013/14 financial year when setting the budget.

At the January Meeting, Mr Martin Rich from the Community Council of Devon gave a presentation on a Community Led Plan.  Mr Colin Savage, Rural Housing Enabler also gave a presentation on affordable housing.

County Councillor Mrs Andrea Davis advised that all roads had been inspected and defects logged following the flooding. Enquiries are being made regarding obtaining a supply of sandbags.  When these are obtained, parishioners will be advised where they are stored so that they can be accessed for easy use.

Sue Squire - Clerk to the Parish Council



... Spring



We have owned our campervan for several years now and whenever we have gone away in it, Jean has suggested that it would be lovely to go away for a year. I've been a little less enthusiastic and let the comment die a natural death!

In the summer last year we noticed an advert in the shop to rent a house in the village for a minimum period of a year by a retired professional couple. I called Jean's bluff and contacted Jonathan and Susie Peat who, after our meeting, agreed to rent the house for a year starting in November. What had we done? Where are we going to go? Will we lose contact with all our friends and family?

Well, we have done it; we are still in one piece, so is the house and we are a much more travelled couple!

Our first venture was a ferry to Santander with the van and a tour of Northern Spain, Portugal and, over Christmas, Southern Spain. Apart from having the van broken into in our absence in Estoril and me having my wallet picked from my back pocket in Malaga, we had a very relaxing time with fine weather and good food and drink. Golf is our passion and we negotiated quite a few deals on courses taking up 'twilight' deals where we started in mid-afternoon and had to get round whilst you could still see where you were going!

Returning to U.K. early in the New Year we had two days to unload the van, pack two suitcases (one large and one small!) and catch a Singapore airlines flight to Auckland, where we stayed for a few days exploring the local area before picking up a rental car for our backpacking tour of the North and later, South Islands of New Zealand. Very early on we were made aware of a scheme called BBH that one could join for a minimal fee that entitled you to a good discount at various backpackers and free phone calls to book up in advance. It worked very well and most of the backpackers have gone upmarket, many with very few dormitories and a great many rooms with en-suite! Some of the walls are made of paper and shared kitchen facilities left a lot to be desired but, value for money they were very good. New Zealand is a wonderful country with a very friendly atmosphere. Our whistle stop journey did not take in all the places of interest but the hot springs in North Island and glaciers together with Milford Sound are fascinating. We did manage to get in the sea a few times and, although it was bitterly cold down in the Catlins, had a brief swim with a pod of dolphins.

Franz Joseph Glacier, South Island, New Zealand

The Interislander ferry was named Kaitaki but closer inspection revealed that it was originally the Pride of Boulogne, one of P & O's old cross channel ferries!

Our last stop was Christchurch and we were stunned by the devastation caused by the recent earthquake. We did not venture into the centre but found the botanical gardens had escaped damage and were beautiful to behold.

We flew from Christchurch to Melbourne in Australia and spent a few days on St. Kildas, between the city centre and the beach. Transport around the area was by a modern and plentiful tram system. Flinders Street Station is a fantastic building modeled on an Indian Station - I forget where! I visited the M.C.G. but there was no cricket at the time. The museum was well worth exploring though.

Eight years ago we had visited Eastern Australia so this time, on recommendations from many quarters, we flew to Perth. The shuttle services that operate from airports to city centres are cheap and reliable and our first port of call was a really grotty backpackers in Hay Street. It was not far from the WACA so a visit there did reveal some cricket and we spent a very enjoyable afternoon watching a Sheffield Shield match between Western Australia and Queensland.

After a couple of days sightseeing we picked up a small campervan and set off around the south west coast visiting many lovely towns. The sea was much warmer here and, having heard that only four swimmershad been eaten this year, spent quite a lot of time in it!

Jurien Bay, Western Australia - our favourite beach

In the U.K. we often wild camp with the van and in Australia they call it freedom camping. We did this on many occasions but campsites were so plentiful we had a good choice with good facilities and a lovely outdoor lifestyle wherever we stayed.

Rockingham, Margaret River, Denmark, Albany, Esperance and many other south coastal towns were visited and we often camped in national parks where basic facilities were a rainwater tank and an earth dunnie! One we found was at a lovely spot that on the map went under the name of Snottygobble Loop. It was deserted but in a lovely nature reserve and very peaceful.

After quite a lot of coast and sea, we struck up north and explored the gold fields around Kalgoorlie/Boulder. It was a different world with everything on a massive scale. One road is over 140 kilometers long and dead straight. The only landscape being low brushwood that is cut back from the road to stop fires crossing. The verge is littered with kangaroo bones that have been killed by road trains and stripped by vultures! We made sure we had plenty of fuel and water at all times! Mining of gold and other metal ores is predominant with enormous open cast mines and all the labour and plant that goes with it housed in new townships with all facilities imported to keep the families happy! This is where a lot of the wealth is generated in Australia now and it is a bit frightening to see one vibrant economy alongside some other struggling occupations. New ports are being built together with the infrastructure to serve them to move the material exported from the mines.

Before leaving we struck across to the West coast and visited Coral Bay. This is where the Ningaloo Reef comes right in to the shore and can be reached by virtually wading out to it! In our opinion it was far nicer than the Great Barrier with less commercialistion and fantastic marine life.

Our return to U.K. at Easter was planned to avoid the bad weather and enjoy some spring sunshine. Oh dear, rain, wind, cold and everyone saying it was lovely up until Easter! Undaunted we reinstalled ourselves in the campervan and headed off to Wales where it doesn't rain so much! Funnily enough it didn't and we enjoyed a good two months exploring parts of Britain we had not visited before including Scottish Islands and Highlands, the dales in Derbyshire and East Anglia.

Arran, off the Scottish West Coast

At the end of the school summer holidays we visited Europe on the last leg of our 'Adventure before Dementia'. We went through the tunnel and travelled to Belgium staying on 'Aires' except for a good campsite at Ypres where we stayed for a couple of days exploring the battlefields on

our bikes. Then, after stopplng on the Meuse at Huy, we crossed into

Germany travelling up the Moselle Valley and then down the Rhine. Something I had resisted for ages was a sat-nav. Well, in a mad moment I bought one before we set off this time and we were following Sybil's (Fawlty Towers) instructions down the bank of the Rhine knowing we needed to be on the other side. Suddenly we were told to turn right in 100 meters into the river! No bridge in sight at all. It turned out to be a ferry, waiting for us and charging 5 euros to take us to the other side - German efficiency!

Aire de Service beside the Canal at Caumont-sur-Garonne

France next and a clockwise tour starting off down the Route de Napoleon to Grasse and the coast.

After a day's visit to Monte Carlo to see how much in life we were missing, we made a stop at a campsite we knew at Frejus where there is a naturist beach (very popular with overweight, elderly northern Europeans!). After we got bored with watching things flopping about we set off west and, after visiting a family run aire near Marseille, we went down to Catalonia just over the border into Spain. Firstly we met up with some very old friends of ours at Roses then travelled to Estartit where we had a fortnight at a lovely site. There was a nearby par three golf course and good, level cycling to outlying villages. After the expenses of the Southern hemisphere and France it was lovely to get absolutely legless for 10 euros!

Our return up through the Pyrenees and Ariege was very pleasant and with a visit to my daughter and her family near St. Emillion, a game of golf at our favourite course at Angers, we skirted Paris and came back through the tunnel. Needless to say, as we set foot on U.K. shores it turned bitterly cold and poured with sleety rain just to welcome us home.

Well, that is it. We returned to a house and garden that had been well cared for and a group of neighbours who have given us such a lovely welcome home. We managed pretty well and, considering we were living on top of each other for a year, we are just still talking. The van behaved impeccably covering some considerable distance. The only fault being the little flip down television that only worked if it was half up!

We will probably not do it again but are so pleased we took the opportunity to visit so many lovely places and meet up with some wonderful people.




[18th September 1846 - 9th February 1930]

Founder of Hartigruten

I read recently that this is the best year to see the Northern Lights - those scintillating swirls of luminous colour - the greatest show in the heavens - painting the skies. One of the best places to see them is in Norway, and one of the tour operators is Hurtigruten, the freight and passenger shipping company. We travelled from Bergen to Kirkenes, a 5-day cruise north above the Arctic circle to within 14km of the Russian border, on Hurtigruten's MS Richard With in April 2010.

We arrived back in Bergen just as Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull [there's a name that just trips off the tongue!] volcanic ash closed all European airports, necessitating an unexpected 5-day extension in that grand old seaside town. But I digress. I'd never heard of Richard With [pronounced 'Vith'], but after some enquiries discovered that he was none other than the founder of Hurtigruten.

Richard With was born in Tromso in 1846. His parents were shipmaster Sivert Regnor With, of Dutch descent, and his wife Anne Bergitte Dahl. With junior followed in father's footsteps, he took his mate's exam in 1864 and then went to sea for 8 years. He married Oline Sophie Wennburg in 1873, they had a daughter, Nanna in 1874 but sadly Sophie died at the end of 1878. The next year he married her sister Augusta, who outlived him by 8 years.

The coastline between Bergen and Kirkenes is over 2,400 km long, and in the19th century maritime maps were poor and lighthouses very infrequent. This was a coastline rich in herring fishing, and a safe trade route was needed to link north and south Norway. So With took on the challenge, starting by making accurate sea maps of the area. On 2nd July1893, his ship the DS Vesterlaan came into regular service along the coast from Hammerfest to Trondheim and then from Bergen to Kirkenes, taking just 7 days. He called this important link 'Hurtigruten' [the fast route] - and so the passenger and freight company was born, with government backing to fund the route. Over the next few years the routes - and number of ships - expanded, taking in some of the islands and always carrying goods as well as guests.

By 1908 With got involved with creating the Norwegian America line and two years later he became deputy chairman of the board. He also took an interest in politics and from 1910-1912 served as an MP for the Liberal left in the Norwegian Parliament.

During his spell as MP he lived in Christiana [reverting to its original name, Oslo, after 1925] and stayed there unit his death at the age of 83 in February 1930.

Hurtigruten has named two of her ships after him: SS Richard With [1909] and 'our' ship MS Richard With [1993]. It now sails 11 ships on this route.

This year marks the 120th anniversary of Richard With sailing his first ship for the Company. If you have 5 or 6 days to spare this early spring or autumn and want to see the Northern Lights, you can find details on their website: www.hurtigruten.co.uk . You might have a very exciting holiday, but if you like wine with your dinner, that cost might also be memorable!

PP of DC




Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


In just 10 days' time and on Sunday, 10th February, Trevor - or our Trev of the Twitters - will be celebrating his 100th Birthday and receiving congratulations not only from us but from the Queen as well! We send him our very best wishes on this very special occasion, a wonderful achievement, and long may your 'Twitters' continue!

At the same time good wishes go to Kath who celebrated her 90th Birthday in January. For his Birthday, Trevor with Kath and his family's help will be holding an Open Day on Sunday, February 10th, at Barn Cottage in the Sterridge Valley from 11.00 a.m. onwards. Please pop in some time and join them all for a while.




Born: 10th February 1913 in Elland, Yorkshire Parents: Albert and Emily. I was educated first at Elland Primary School and then Elland Secondary School passing my 11+ and School Certificate [now G.C.S.E.] before gaining a B.Sc. Tech [in Electrical Engineering] at Manchester University College of Technology.

I began work as a Probationary College Apprentice with Metropolitan-Vickers at Trafford Park, Manchester, and after Sales Correspondent in their Meter Department. Then followed ten years as Assistant Sales Manager for the Record Electrical Company Limited at Altrincham, Cheshire, makers of electrical measuring equipment before being promoted to Technical Executive and staying with the company a further twenty-six years. In this position I represented the company at the British Standards Institution in London and later, the BSI at International Organisation conferences which were held in various countries including France, Sweden, Hungary, Slovenia and Russia [St. Petersburg]. This position was terminated by redundancy following a takeover.

After various temporary and freelance work, I secured the job of Tariff Consultant with the firm of Industrial Energy Costs of Lytham St. Annes in Lancashire, which lasted six years until my retirement in February 1978.

On the 17th December 1936, after a two-year courtship, I married Lilian Newton, a specialist silk weaver and an orphan from Macclesfield. On the 19th December 1943 she presented me with our daughter Anthea, followed on the 1st April 1947 by our son Victor.

Unfortunately, my dear wife contracted bowel cancer which was not detected soon enough and in spite of the removal of a tumour the condition was too widespread and after a long struggle on 15th March 1981 she succumbed. We had been married for over 44 years. By then both our children had flown the nest and got married, producing in their turn four girls and two boys between them, so I was left alone save for an old and ailing Labrador.

How I left North Wales, to where I had retired and finally, by various moves, landed up in Ilfracombe is too long a story! Suffice to say that by joining the Ilfracombe Walkers I met Kathy and she very kindly took me into Barn Cottage where she has been my guardian angel ever since.




Illustration by: Paul Swailes

The Gardens will be open for Snowdrop Sundays on the 17th and 24th February, from 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. Season Ticket holders free, Special Entry £4.00 and children under 12 free. Dogs, on leads, are welcome. The Tea Room will be serving hot drinks, cakes and bowls of warming soup and there will be plants to purchase.

The Gardens, Tea Room and Plant Centre will open fully for the new season from Friday, 1st March. The price of entry is £6.00 [or £5 for a group of 10 or more], and of course there is now parking for both cars and coaches just a short walk from the Gardens. Season Tickets are available at £25 or for joint membership at £40 for two people living at the same address. In doesn't matter when you visit, there is always something blooming! But if you don't want to go round the gardens but fancy a snack in the Tea Room, entry is free.



Winter Nights

    Now winter nights enlarge the number of their hours;
    And clouds their storms discharge;  Upon the airy towers.
    Let now the chimneys blaze and cups o'erflow with wine;
    Let well-toned words amaze with harmony divine.
    Now yellow waxen lights shall wait on honey love
    While youthful revels, masques and courtly sights
    Sleeps tender spells remove.
    This time doth well dispense with lovers long discourse;
    Much speech hath some defence, though beauty no remorse.
    All do not all things well; some measures comely tread;
    Some knotted riddles tell, some poems smoothly read,
    The summer has his joys, and winter his delights
    Though love and all his pleasures are but toys,
    They shorten tedious nights.

Thomas Campion, 1567-1620

Born in London, Campion was an English composer, poet and physician, writing over a hundred songs for the lute, masques for dancing and an authoritative technical treatise on music, He was educated at Peterhouse, Cambridge but left without a degree, entered Gray's Inn to study Law but was never called to the bar; but received his Medical Degree from the University of Caen in 1605. It is possible that he died of the plague and is buried at St. Dunstan-in-the-West, Fleet Street.

Mortal Man

Oh mortal man that lives by bread,
What is it makes thy nose so red?
Thou silly fool, that looks so pale,
'Tis supping Sarah Jenkins' ale.

I believe there is somewhere up north a tavern with this intriguing title and a signboard showing a suitably endowed gentleman. Sarah Jenkins was, no doubt, one of many ale wives of the day, possibly more skilful than most. I doubt if she was ever the pub landlady.

When Once the Gods

    When once the Gods, like us below, to keep it up design,
    Their goblets with fresh nectar flow, which make them more divine.
    Since drinking deifies the soul, let's push about the flowing bowl,
    Since drinking deifies the soul, let's push about the flowing bowl.
    A flowing bowl, a flowing bowl,
    Since drinking deifies the soul, let's push about the flowing bowl.
    The glitt'ring star and ribbon blue, that deck a courtiers breast,
    May hide a heart of blackest hue, though by a King caress'd.
    Let him in pride and splendour roll; we're happier or'er a flowing bowl.
    A flowing bowl, etc.
    For liberty let patriots rare, and damn the courtly crew,
    Because, like them, they want to have the loaves and fishes too!
    I care not who divides the cole, so I can share a flowing bowl.
    A flowing bowl, etc.
    Let Mansfield Lord Chief Justice be, Sir Fletcher speaker still,
    At home let Rodney rule the sea, and Pitt the Treasury still;
    No place I want throughout the whole; I want an ever-flowing bowl.
    A flowing bowl, etc.
    The son wants square toes at old Nick.   The miss is made to wed;
    The doctors want us to be sick;  the undertaker dead:
    All have their wants from pole to pole, I want an ever-flowing bowl.
    A flowing bowl, etc.

[This drinking song from the Musical Miscellany of 1808 has more than a hint of politics in it, no doubt reflecting those of the time. T.]

A Drinking Song

    Bacchus must now his power resign - I am the only God of Wine!
    It is not fit the wretch should be in competition set with me.
    Who can drink ten times more than he, make a new world, ye powers divine!
    Stacked with nothing else but wine: let wine be earth and air and sea and let that wine be all for me!

Henry Carey [1693-1743]

Probably better known for his longer poem 'Sally in our Alley', Carey was a poet, dramatist and songwriter, an anti-Walpolean and a patriot. His melodies continue to be sung today and were widely praised after his death, although due to his anonymity, some of his works have been credited to others.


Give me Ale

When as the chilly Charokko blows,
And winter tells a heavy tale;
When pyes and doves and rooks and crows
Sit cursing of the frosts and snows,
Then give me ale.
Ale in a Saxon runkin then,
Such as will make grimalkin prate;
Bids valour burgeon in tall men,
Quickens the pelt wit and pen,
Despises fate.
Ale the absent battle fights,
And frames the march of Swedish drums,
Disputes with princes, laws and rights,
What's done and past tell mortal wights,
And what's to come.

Ale, that the plowman's heart up keeps
And equals it with tyrants throne,
That unifies the eye that over weeps,
And lulls in sure and dainty sleeps
The over wearied bones.
Grandchild of Ceres, Bacchus' daughter,
Wine emulous neighbour, though but
Enabling all the nymphs of waterstale,
And filling each man's heart with laughter -
Ha!  Give me ale.

*Charokko = Scirocco






Half-way there . . . .

By the time this is read, the Circle will have had four of its eight meetings and be looking at its fifth. Where do the months go? Perhaps some disappear in an alcoholic haze!

Our Christmas tastings were a great success, considerable cold buffets were devoured with Committee's Choice. We began with the Marks & Spencer's Mulled Wine, which was agreed by many to be excellent. Their festive season offer was two bottles for £10. It was agreed that if you could buy something this tasty making one's own was unnecessary - just add the oranges!

January's meeting was our usual Call My Wine Bluff. Tony Summers was allowed to step down as Secretary last year, with the proviso that he continue to be scriptwriter and manage this gathering. Giving consideration to blind tastings in this annual team event has proved to be another popular and hilarious evening with 'lies, damned lies and statistics'! The True or Bluff trio John T, Tony S and Geoff A presented 6 interesting wines supplied by Brett Stevens of The Fabulous Wine Company. The Sterridge Sizzlers sipped their way successfully through to score a first prize - more wine, of course!

Pam and Alex Parke, our Damson Cottage duo, will be our hosts for Wednesday, February 20th. Their topic will be 'Cheap and Cheerful to a special red', or, 'Can we trust a newspaper guide?'

March 20th, April 17th and May 15th will be our final presentations: another season completed. Our membership has increased recently; however, the Manor Hall can take plenty more . . .

Judith Adam - Secretary and Promotional Co-ordinator


seen in Readers Digest, January 2013

Driving along the North Devon Link Road I noticed flashing blue lights behind me. "I clocked your vehicle at 64mph," the polite young police officer told me after I'd pulled over.

"I'm so sorry," I said, "It's just that the road seemed clear. The visibility was good. I think I probably ...". "And how would you have reacted, sir, if Mister Fog had suddenly appeared?" interrupted the officer. Annoyed at his patronising manner, I replied, "I suppose I would've applied Mr Brake and summoned up Mr and Mrs Headlight, together, if necessary, with Ms Foglight!

Enunciating very clearly - and managing to keep a straight face - the officer repeated, "How would you have reacted if mist ... or ... fog had suddenly appeared?"


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Why do we use the expression 'bird brain' when in fact they can be very clever?

Take those birds who found they could drop nuts on pedestrian crossings for the cars to crush so they could enjoy the remaining edible bits. or the wonderful sight I enjoyed whilst holidaying in Devon when a buzzard sitting on a telegraph pole [a very common sight!] took off with hardly a perceived wing movement, circled around and around gradually rising higher and higher until almost out of sight.

A friend of mine was decorating his back bedroom and looked out to see a magpie trying to attack his baby daughter who was in a pram. Fortunately there was a net over the pram and so the bird was unsuccessful.

Shortly, and for no apparent reason, the magpie flew up and into the room where my friend was working. He was so enraged that he grabbed the bird and killed it. Oddly enough, he later joined the RSPB.

When my mother was moving house she felt that the removal men should not be responsible for taking her pet budgerigar to its new home. She and my wife decided to take it in its cage to the new home. It was a very hot day and they had the car windows open. Stopping at some traffic lights where some workmen were repairing the road, Bobbie, the budgerigar, decided to give a series of wolf whistles much to the amusement of the workmen who wolf whistled back, much to the embarrassment of the two ladies.

On the back wall of our bungalow we have two bird boxes. The great tits have taken a liking to them but so far have not nested in them. It is, of course, rather early. However, come dusk each one flies into its box and spends the night there. As we sit in the morning drinking our tea at about 7.45 a.m., the first one flies out. Ten minutes later the other one leaves. As far as we know, neither returns during the day.

Going back to our war time stay in Berrynarbor, we kept chickens. Often they would escape theirpen and be wandering around the garden. At that time my mother had a Pomeranian called Tiny. Whether Tiny had a touch of sheep dog in her, but she could round up the chickens very well indeed and would soon have them back in their pen.

Here in Stowmarket we have an abundance of ducks. I gather that they are descendants of escapees from duck farms. They are often to be seen in gardens, on roofs and in the town. In the main streets you can see a mother with up to a dozen ducklings taking her time to walk down the middle of the road almost unaware and unconcerned about traffic. Fortunately, motorists respect them.

Watching birds is great - it's as good a time waster as television, the internet, or a garden pond.

Illustrations by: Paul Swailes

Tony Beauclerk - Stowmarket




for the newish New Year:

"Dum spiro spero."
While I breath I hope


WALK NO. 136

A "sleepy" little village?

Returning from the sawmill at Pennymoor and seeking a short cut back to the main South Molton road we chanced upon Puddington. There's a journalistic tendency to attach the adjectives "sleepy little" to any village being reported on, regardless of size and often when the village community is far from sleepy with a variety of lively activities, events and clubs being organised.

However, as I walked around Puddington I saw no sign of human life; no traffic, no dogs being walked, not even a cat on a window sill. It felt like a deserted village.

Although it was only the third week of August there was already an autumnal air with a lowering grey sky and the swallows gathering on the telegraph wires; Dartmoor on the distant horizon looked dark and forbidding.

Puddington's church, dedicated to St. Thomas a Becket, was rebuilt in 1838 by W. Bowden. The churchyard appeared neglected; paint peeled on the door but the church held some surprises - some of them macabre. There is an octagonal font in the perpendicular style and some late 15th/early 16th century bench ends

More unusually, there is a 'memento mori' memorial plaque, with skull and crossbones, which had been saved from a fire at Honiton's church in 1911.

Two bells on display at the back of the church were removed there when the tower was declared unsafe. According to the information board, in 1935 the sexton hanged himself on a bell rope.

On a more cheerful note, Puddington had been the home of a once famous humourist who called himself Jan Stewar and specialised in telling witty anecdotes in the Devonshire dialect.



Recommended read: 'Wild' by Cheryl Strayed

A young American's account of her solo 1,100 mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail; California to Oregon through the Mojave Dessert, forest and mountainous terrain with heavy backpack, lack of water and inadequate boots. Born in 1968, Cheryl made the hike in 1995 at the age of 26.


Sue H



We have been looking through the 100 year old Visitors Book belonging to Mrs. Bray who was Landlady of The Globe, Berrynarbor, at this time. On the 23.12.1916 we found signatures and writings of two Australians who were attached to the Royal Flying Corp.

One man, Charles Kingsford Smith, turns out to be quite famous. He joined the Australian Forces in 1915. Initially he was sent to Gallipoli as a motorcycle dispatch rider. He then transferred to the Royal Flying Corp earning his wings in 1917. On the 23.12.1916 Charles and a friend 'flew off course' and landed up in The Globe. They were probably patients or visitors at Watermouth House Hospital which the Book records opening on 21st November 1914. His friend wrote the following poem in the Book.

"Oh ship me somewhere south of Suez, where the best is like the worst
Where there ain't no Ten Commandments and a man can raise a thirst
For the kangaroos are calling and it's there I would be
On my good old stock-horse Possum, neath the wattle tree."

Charles Kingsford Smith turns out to be a real son of Australia taking aviation to new heights for his country.

  1. 1.4.1918 he, with others, joined the newly established Royal Air Force
  2. 1919 he was demobbed in England. He joined Tasmanian Cyril Maddox forming a flying Joy Ride service in N. England using DH6 trainers and BE2's
  3. Went to the USA as a Barnstormer
  4. Returned to Australia in 1921 continuing the Joy Rides and forming a flown Air Mail Service. He began planning his record breaking flight across the Pacific
  5. He gained his commercial pilot's licence and became one of Australia's first airline pilots.
  6. During the war, Carl Richards had been observer in Smith's 'plane while flying over France. In 1922 Smith flew off Cowra in his Avro plane to visit his friend. They flew under the Cowra traffic bridge and attempted to fly under the railway bridge, but noticed telephone wires and pulled away only seconds from certain death.

1928 Trans-Pacific Flight

Kingsford Smith and Charles Ulm arrived in the USA and bought a Fokker FVII/2M aeroplane from Sir Hubert Wilkins, the famous Australian Polar explorer, which they named The Southern Cross. Kingsford Smith and a 3-man crew left Oakland, California, to make the first successful trans-Pacific flight to Australia. Aviator Charles Ulm was relief pilot, American James Warner the radio operator and Captain Harry Lyon the navigator and engineer. From here the tale goes on:

1928 Flight across Australia from Point Cook-Melbourne to Perth. 2nd Sept from Richmond near Sydney to Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand

1930 Following numerous other flights including England to Australia. A postage stamp featured his name in 1931 and a 20 dollar note had his name and photo printed on it in 1932. He was included in the King's Birthday Honours List then Knighted on 3rd June 1932 by the Australian Governor General, Sir Isaac Isaac for Services to Aviation. Later he was appointed Honorary Air Commodore of the Royal Australian Air Force.

1935 When trying to break the England to Australia speed record, Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and co-pilot Tommy Pethybridge flying 'The Lady Southern Cross' disappeared over the Andaman Sea in the early hours of November 8th 1935. They were never found. 18 months later Burmese fishermen found the under carriage, leg and wheel with its tyre still inflated. These were washed ashore at Aye Island in the Gulf of Martaban. They are now on public display at the Power House Museum, Sydney.

A very sad loss to both families and the whole of Australia. Time for us to remember all men who came to our assistance in our time of need and our brave forces of today.

It is great to think Charles Kingsford Smith and his friend chose The Globe at Berrynarbor as one of their 'missions'!


On a local note, the following entry was made in The Globe Visitors Book:

3.8.1919 BOYS OF THE WEST -


Mr. H. Down RF
Mr. A. Baker MT
Mr. W.W.J. Darch ASCTS
Mr. E. Down PW
Mr. C.W. Latham MG
Mr. J. Gubb DSO
Mr. F. Huxtable CO
Mr. Horace Baker HMS Dauntless

Shammock = Combe Martin

Most of these men have families living in the area today. The picture shows Alf Baker messing about with his friends at the Victorian Water Fountain at Sawmills - probably taken on the same day as they had visited The Globe.

Thanks to Gerald and Ena Walters and family who helped with the research on Charles Kingsford Smith.

Lorna Bowden


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


Dear Friends,

As I write, the season of Epiphany has just got under way in the church's calendar. As you will be aware, it marks the idea of 'showing', the 'showing' of Jesus Christ to the people of Israel at his baptism and his 'showing' to the world, initially through the witnesses guided to pay homage to the infant Christ. Often, this has inspired Christian people to go beyond ethnic and geographical barriers to serve God outside their home culture. This year, I found my thoughts going in a different direction; not about going out to the world but about the way the world has come to us!

We can be proud of the way that Britain has always been a place for the displaced: somewhere the refugee, the homeless or the asylum seeker might come; somewhere the homeless wanderer or the poor searching for a better life might find welcome and a home. In the Old Testament, the people were expressly told, "when an alien resides with you, you shall not oppress the alien . . . you shall not oppress the alien; you shall love the alien as yourself" (Leviticus 19v33-34).

Most of us are products of immigration. I have both Spanish and Dutch blood in me going way back. The population generally accept the comings or goings of people and that Britain is a richer, more diverse and tolerant society as a result. But there are often rumblings about immigration which will be a political battleground in the year ahead. So it does behove us to think about our attitudes to the stranger in our midst (not that we get too many strangers in North Devon apart from 'incomers' like me!).

We wish Dr Rowan Williams well as he has by now taken up his new post as Warden of Magdalene College Cambridge and Justin Welby as he is enthroned next month as the new Archbishop of Canterbury.

Rowan Williams will be a hard act to follow. His intellectual stature is immense. In his last Thought for the Day on Radio 4, he commented on the recent shootings in America:

"If all you have is a gun, everything looks like a target. But if all you have is the child's openness and willingness to be loved, everything looks like a promise."

They don't tell it better than that!

Hoping many of you will consider coming back to church regularly or join in one of our Alpha discussion groups,

Best wishes to you all,

Rev Chris


Artwork: David Duncan


A big THANK YOU to all who came to the many events over Christmas and New Year - it was lovely to see so many from the village. It was a very busy couple of weeks...BUT... remember, we're here all year round and it would be great to see the 'occasional' locals join our regulars more often.

More than £500 was raised for charity over the holiday period: the carols in the square followed by the reindeer drive in the pub, raised over £300 for the "Singing for the Brain" charity in Ilfracombe and the Air Ambulance; the Boxing Night Quiz raised £65 from the raffle and then the Winners donated their £42 prize money, making a total of £107 for the Toddler Group; while the New Year's Eve Raffle (organised by Ray Davey) raised in the region of £100 for the R.N.L.I.

Well done Berrynarbor... and that's excluding the Christmas card distribution, the PTA Christmas Fayre and the many, many other fundraising events that take place throughout the year. You ALL should be PROUD to be part of such an amazing community. I know I am! We live in a wonderful village with a thriving community, one of a dying breed that still retains a church, school, village shop, a community centre (Manor Hall) and, yes, the pub. These are the things that so many people look for when choosing where to live and they have a positive effect on house prices. To lose any one of them through lack of support would be tragic and often has a knock-on effect on the others.

To ensure the pub remains part of the community we introduced our Loyalty Card scheme - it's our way of saying 'Thank You' to the regulars and helping to make it more affordable to visit the pub more often. It has proved to be a great success and whilst we were changing the offer monthly we have now decided to stick to "10% off food and drink" when you show your card.

So, if you're not a regular and haven't got a card yet then fill in a form at the bar and start enjoying the benefits! Why not suggest to a few friends..."hey, let's go to the pub this weekend"....or "do you fancy having a go at the quiz (it's just for fun so we've nothing to lose)", or "let's take the kids to run around in the play area while we catch up over a drink or a coffee"?

While we are privileged to run the Globe, it is YOUR pub, so if there are reasons why you don't come along, or don't come that often, please let me know how or what you would like to see change? I really am interested in your feedback. There will be a box on the bar for your comments, which can be anonymous if you like!

We look forward to seeing you.



New book aims to boost Museum funds

On Thursdays we learn how to scribble - a new book, Scribbles from the Sail Loft, an eclectic mix of original poetry, prose and illustrations aims to raise money to support Combe Martin Museum. The Sail Loft Scribblers evolved from a creative writing class run by Petroc lecturer Sonya Moore in the Museum's Sail Loft. Exhibits and artefacts at the Museum provided much inspiration for the group, as did the village itself, its countryside and coastline. This book with its eye catching cover design tempts nay dares you, to dip into it and surely contains something to interest and amuse everyone.

Within its pages we are introduced to The Reverend Scrivener and his parishioners, whose lives are entwined in the strawberry fields on the village slopes. We learn the fate of the beautiful Morwenna of Kentisbury, hear about what Glen gets up to at weekends and meet Shirley the campervan. We are entertained by the saucy exploits of honeymooning couples, have a rap wiv da kidz and are touched by poems of love, loss and legendary village characters. Discover the fears, passions and interests of the writers and overwhelmingly, their love for their village and the magnificent North Devon countryside in which it sits.

The book has truly been a community project. Initial publication costs were funded through a series of fundraising events held by the group as well as grants from Ilfracombe Round Table, Ilfracombe Rotary Club and the District Council Community Fund. With more than a touch of eccentricity, this little gem gives a fascinating glimpse into the diversity that is village life both in the past and today. Just right for holiday reading and would make an ideal gift. Why not leave one on the bedside table for your guests to enjoy? For lovers of all things Shammick, an absolute must!

*Don't delay! Buy your copy today! All proceeds from the sale of this book will go to support the Museum, guardians of our local heritage. Copies are available priced £6.99 from the Museum 01271 889031 (Tues - Thurs) or by emailing the publisher: info@angelwingspublications.co.uk

*A few copies are available from our Community Shop and Post Office



4th Combe Martin Museum: Sail Loft Talk, 7.30 p.m.
6th Mobile Library in Village from 10.55 a.m.
10th Trevor's 100th Birthday - Open House, Barn Cottage from 11 a.m.
12th Parish Council Meeting, Penn Curzon Room, 7.00 p.m.
13th Ash Wednesday Combe Martin Museum, Bingo, 7.00 for 8.00 p.m.
16th Newsletter DIY Day, Manor Hall, 10.30 a.m. onwards
18th to Friday, 22nd: College & Primary School - Half Term
Knit-In for N.D. Hospice, Manor Hall, 2.00 p.m.
20th Mobile Library in Village from 10.55 a.m. Wine Circle, Manor Hall, 8.00 p.m. Cheap & Cheerful, Pam and Alex Parke
22nd Fun Quiz and Supper Night, Manor Hall, 7.00 for 7.30 p.m.
27th Friendship Lunch, The Globe, 12.00 noon onwards
1st Women's World Day of Prayer, St. Peter's Ad Vincula, 10.00 a.m.
4th Combe Martin Museum: Sail Loft Talk, 7.30 p.m.
6th Mobile Library in Village from 10.55 a.m.
10th St. Peter's Church: Mothering Sunday
11th April Newsletter - Deadline for Articles
12th Parish Council Meeting, Penn Curzon Room, 7.00 p.m.
20th Mobile Library in Village from 10.55 a.m.
Wine Circle, Manor Hall, 8.00 p.m.
24th St. Peter's Church: Palm Sunday
25th Combe Martin Museum: Sail Loft Talk, 7.30 p.m.
27th Friendship Lunch, The Globe, 12.00 noon onwards
28th College & Primary School: End of Spring Term [restart 15th April]
31st EASTER DAY British Summer Time begins 1.00 a.m.
3rd Mobile Library in Village from 10.55 a.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. School p.m.
ThursdaysZumba, 7.00 p.m.
FridaysToddlers Soft Play and Activity a.m. School p.m. *
Penn Curzon RoomMonday - Friday Mornings: Pre-School *

*School, Pre-School and Toddler Group - Term Time only

Mobile Library:
(Assistant - Jacqui Mackenzie)

10.45 - 11.30 a.m.Village Shop
11.45 - 12.15 p.m.Sterridge Valley


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Capel Cottage, Berrynarbor

This photographic postcard was published by Batten, the Ilfracombe Photographer, and is postmarked June 21st 1907. It shows local children returning from the school making their way up Castle Hill passing Capel Cottage and Moules Farm. The children are wearing hob nailed boots and three-quarter length trousers.

All the roads in the village were at that time scraped and made from broken stones rolled by steamrollers. This would mean that when there were periods of rain the roads could be very dirty and muddy, whilst in a dry summer they would be very dusty. Tarmacadam was not introduced in Berrynarbor until around 1919 which of course made for much cleaner roads in both summer and winter.

Batten has taken the photograph during the late spring or summer as can be seen by the open windows of Capel Cottage. The postcard, sent to a Miss Harding of Tintagel, Oatlands Park, Weybridge, Surrey, is signed 'With love from B'. It reads: . . . . 'We went for our Choir Treat yesterday to Woolacombe had a very wet day and got wet through. But we did have a jolly time. Ettie and I had ponies and rode to Morthoe but when we got off the water was running off us. I am very stiff to-day.'

The postcard has a very small [thimble] postmark 'Berrynarbor PJU 21 07' and a normal sized 'Ilfracombe 6.45pm JU 21 07'.

Batten also took an upright view of Capel Cottage where again all the windows are open, and this photographic postcard has been written on June 10th 1907, sent to a Mr. Downing it says: 'Many thanks for yesterday's letter. Weather still miserable. Kind regards, A.B'

Does the weather never change?!

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage, January 2013
e-mail: tomandinge40@gmail.com



As you all know there were appalling weather conditions over the entire area just before Christmas. However, we are pleased to be able to say the Centre survived unscathed and all the grazing ponies at their various sites also seemed less troubled than the humans by the waters. The youngsters continue to amaze us as on the first day of normal activities after a full ten days off work, all of them happily came down to the yard, into the school and into their pens and went through all the usual process of wearing head collars and lead ropes without batting an eyelid. There are several foals that have yet to be inspected so they have been practising lifting up their feet and getting used to being handled from either side, which will make the inspection process much gentler.

New volunteers continue to come forward to help but we can never have too many. If you have any skills in the area of fund-raising, we should be particularly interested in hearing from you. We have a Volunteer Recruitment Day planned on Saturday 2nd March so do come along and meet some of our existing helpers.

Forthcoming events: we will be holding a Ponies and Pancake Day on Tuesday 12th February and looking further ahead, an Easter Open Day on Sunday 7th April. Call the Centre for full details. There is no charge to visit the Exmoor Pony Centre any day but at special events like these, there will be small charges for activities. Please note that the Centre will be closed to the public on Saturdays throughout this year and also on Tuesdays until the middle of March. On other days our opening hours are 10 till 4 and there is no charge to visit and meet our lovely cuddly ponies. If in doubt or if making a special journey, do call to check first on 01398 323093 or look on our website at www.moorlandmousietrust.