Edition 143 - April 2013
We have 'sprung forward' and put the clock on an hour but where is the spring? As I write this the South West is suffering from torrential rain [but fortunately not us!] and parts of the country are under six inches of snow!
However, spring is on the cover and thank you Debbie for illustrating a favourite poem of our first-ever centenarian contributor to the Newsletter - Trev.
I am also delighted to be able to wish Debbie, on behalf of myself and all readers, health and happiness in the future, for by the time you read this Debbie will have married Pete Rigler at St. Olaf's at Exeter. Thankfully she says she will continue to illustrate the Newsletter for us!
Faces come and go in the village and to all newcomers and those who have left, all good wishes for happiness in your new homes. All good wishes go, too, to everyone who has been or is not well - 'flu seems to have struck many and thank you Paul for continuing to illustrate articles for this issue whilst not feeling at your best.
And where would the Newsletter be without the regular contributors? Thank you all.
. . . and the usual plea, articles for the June issue will be welcome as soon as possible and by Tuesday, 7th May at the VERY LATEST. This is a special plea as our printer is taking a well-deserved holiday towards the end of May and has asked for copy earlier than normal. No pressure for me then!
Judie - Ed
HOME THOUGHTS FROM ABROAD
Oh, to be in England
Now that April 's there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England - now!
And after April, when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows!
Hark, where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops - at the bent spray's edge -
That 's the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children's dower
Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!
ST. PETER'S CHURCH
At the end of January Karen treated everyone who comes to the Friendship Lunches at The Globe to a beautiful meal. Our thanks go to her and her staff who welcome us every moth. We have been joined recently by more people and numbers are increasing again. Please ask if you would like to come along - it is very informal and we order whatever we should like from the menu and pay as we go. The next lunches will be on Wednesdays 24th April and 22nd May, 12.00 noon onwards. Contact me on  883881.
Berrynarbor was well represented at the Women's World Day of Prayer Service held in Combe Martin Parish Church this year. The service had been written by Christian women in France and the theme was based on welcoming strangers into our churches and communities.
As we celebrate this occasion we are aware that this same service is being re-enacted not only across this country but all around the world, drawing Christians of all denominations together.
It has been lovely over the last few weeks to see so many families and children in church. There were baptisms on Sundays 24th February and 3rd March and of course 10th March was Mothering Sunday when we were joined by children from the School with their parents. The children read out tributes to their mothers and Rev. Chris and Teresa Crockett enacted a modern version of the story of the Prodigal Son. During the last hymn, the children took round posies of spring flowers, first to their mothers and then to the other ladies present. Special thanks to Sue Neale for making up the posies and to everyone who put so much time and effort into preparing the service. Needless to say, our congregation has trebled over these weeks and the average age fell somewhat - would it could be the same during April and May.
Having said that, there will be another village baptism on Sunday, 7th April. Another special service - Whitsunday [Pentecost] is early this year and falls on the 19th May. There will be a Family Service at 11.00 a.m. when we hope to be joined by the school children once again.
The annual Meeting of the PCC was held on Tuesday, 12th March. All members of the PCC were present but disappointingly no other members of the congregation were able to attend. The meeting began with the election of churchwardens. Stuart Neale has decided to stand down after ten years of service but has agreed to remain as Deputy. Teresa Crockett was elected as churchwarden and we wish her well as she takes up her duties in May. Ideally we should have two churchwardens and once again this matter needs to be addressed. The PCC then looked back on all that had been achieved over the year and the Rector reported on the progress being made in the North Devon Coast Team. Growing links with the school were particularly well received. The PCC were re-elected and are: Marion Carter - Secretary, Mary Tucker - Treasurer, Sue Neale and Doreen Prater with the Rector in the Chair. David Steed has decided to stand down from the Council but will remain an active member of the congregation. Our thanks to David and Stuart for all their service over the past few years.
Following the joyous occasion of reaching her 100th birthday, it was sad to learn that Ivy had passed away peacefully on the 22nd January. A loving and much loved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great grandmother, she will be sorely missed not only by her family but also all those who had the pleasure of knowing her as was testament to a full St. Peter's church on a beautiful day with sunshine to see her leave the village she loved so much - a fitting service for a lovely lady.
In this great world and known its many joys:
The songs of birds, the strongest sweet scent of hay,
And cooling breezes in the secret dusk;
The flaming sunsets at the close of day;
Hills and the lovely heather-covered moors;
Music at night, and the moonlight on the sea,
The beat of waves upon the rocky shore
And wild white spray, flung high in ecstasy;
The faithful eyes of dogs, and treasured books,
The love of Kin and fellowship of friends
And all that makes life dear and beautiful.
Elizabeth Craven [1750-1828]
Ivy's family would like to thank everyone who sent messages of support and sympathy following her death on the 22nd January. They were much appreciated. Her 100 years had been happily lived in Berrynarbor and her funeral service was a celebration of her long life - thank you to those who celebrated with us.
Kevin was, in fact, the first illustrator of our Newsletters in 1989 when it was produced on an inky duplicator and stencils and so it was with sadness I learnt that following a long illness bravely born, he had lost his battle and died peacefully on the 20th January.
Pupils, parents and many others involved with Ilfracombe College will remember him fondly and our thoughts are with Suzanne and all his family at this time of sorrow. Judie
Illustration by Kevin for article by the late Preb. Eppingstone on the Bells of St. Peter's
REPORT FROM THE PARISH COUNCIL
Reporting in the February issue that she had fallen on ice and was receiving medication and medical treatment, Sue Squire, our Parish Clerk, has had a rough ride including a stay in hospital to treat pneumonia and a collapsed lung. She has, therefore, been unable to attend meetings and Councillor Linda Thomas has kindly stepped in to take the Minutes and these can be seen on the notice boards in both the Shop and bus shelter.
We wish Sue a speedy recovery and hope she will soon be back on duty and thank Linda for stepping into the breach.
Also having a rough ride is Councillor Gary Marshall who has sadly been diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain tumour. Our thoughts are with him and his family at this very difficult time.
The diagnosis and then prognosis hit Gary and his family hard and out of the blue but with his positive attitude and love of his family and friends he is determined to beat this!
An appeal has been set up to raise funds for Gary to have specialist treatment to save his life, only available in Texas USA.
How YOU can help! A simple donation will really help enormously - any amount over £1. Visit the website: www.garysjourney.net and donate by card or text QAMI55 £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10 to 70070. Why not do it NOW. There will also be collection boxes for 'spare change' donations in The Globe and Village Shop.
FROM THE RECTOR - MEMORIES OF EASTER
Oh dear - time for reminiscing? They say nostalgia isn't what it used to be but I was thinking recently about the Easters of my childhood!
Not coming from a church family with any discernible Christian upbringing, the significance of Easter was a bit lost on me. I do remember getting steamed up about an illustrated article in an educational magazine we had, and that's all we had! The magazine to feed the hungry young mind was called 'Look and Learn'. The edition one Easter had a feature on the importance of Good Friday and its miscarriage of justice. How I wanted to bash those Romans for putting Jesus on the cross!
Every Good Friday we went for a family walk. Invariably the primroses would be out and I smile every time I see a primrose now. The shops were not open, of course, and most entertainments and attractions were shut. Now it seems a travesty and tumult when Good Friday is a day like any other and most likely that is because I have since come to faith. But perhaps, too, it is because Good Friday is no longer special. The Christian content on TV was always building up to being a marker of faith for a Christian legacy in our country. Those were the days!
And of course there were the Easter eggs? Did you gorge and feed on chocolate as I did? Church didn't come into it then so what the reason was for all the fuss I couldn't have told you.
But then came my conversion. The day I realised very clearly that God was for real will always be a day to be remembered in my life - October 21st 1970! I always say that if you dare to take the risk and ask God to show himself to you, you may be 'surprised with joy' as C. S. Lewis wrote. Anyway, that affected my attitude towards Easter. And how! Good Friday became the day when my Lord was lifted up to die for the sins of humanity. Easter day became suffused with new meaning as the return of the King, back from the dead in earth-shattering triumph.
As later I veered towards Anglicanism, one feature that made me realise I was changing my churchmanship and not just my outlook was that Holy Week became increasingly meaningful and full of wonder.
Those are my memories of Easter. What are yours?
WEATHER OR NOT
The total rain for the month was 123mm - 1mm less than last year. The average maximum temperature was 8 Deg C with a peak of 13.1 Deg C on the 29th. The lowest temperature was -0.5 Deg C on the 24th, which was the only night when the temperature dropped below freezing although there was a ground frost on several nights. The strongest gust of wind was 37 knots and only 8.56 hours of sunshine were recorded, well down on the previous four Januaries.
In February a high pressure system set in and the weather finally became drier although it was often overcast. The total rain for the month was only 82mm making it the driest month since May 2012 and from the 13th we recorded no rain at all. With a predominately strong easterly it was often bitterly cold with a wind chill down to -11 Deg C. The maximum day temperature was 11.1 Deg C but for most of the month the temperature stayed in single figures with a minimum temperature of -1.7 Deg C. We are sheltered from the easterly wind so the maximum gust was 29 knots.
The combination of lack of rain and drying wind has dried the ground up quite a bit; it is lovely to see the fields looking less like quagmires. The sunshine hours of 28.11 were down on last year but otherwise fairly average for the month.
Simon and Sue
Pat and Malcolm of Woodvale are delighted to announce the safe arrival of their first grandchild. A son for their eldest daughter Karen and her husband Nick Hawke, Rhodri James was born on the 6th March weighing a healthy 8lbs.
Our congratulations to the proud parents and grandparents and a very warm welcome to young Rhodri James.
ARTS & CRAFTS ACTIVITY DAY & KNIT IN
What a wonderful day!
Saturday, 16th February for a change was a dry day, and the Manor Hall was a veritable hive of industry. Everyone was busy 'doing it themselves' under the guidance of local very talented craftspeople.
Entry at only £1, which included coffee and biscuits or tea and cakes, participants, both young and older, were soon hard at work. Under the watchful eye of Lani Shepherd, colourful stained glass boats, butterflies and birds emerged. Sue Neale's group left with delightful posy table arrangements and the menfolk as well as ladies sat down to make special occasion cards with Margaret Walls. Delicate sugar paste flowers and leaves will soon be decorating cakes thanks to the expertise of Jan Quinn, whilst Penny Armitage helped the stitchers produce a blue patchwork and spring daffodil, and others were 'stabbing' away making felt pictures with Sarah Davey.
Providing the workers and others who had called in to see what was going on with teas, coffee, biscuits, cakes and soup and roll lunches, Jan and Denny did a stalwart job with no time to relax at all in the Berrynarbor Soup Kitchen whilst Lesley did a grand job manning the raffle - always a good fund raiser.
All this was in aid of raising needed funds for the Newsletter and thanks must go to everyone involved in any way for the fantastic support which raised a healthy and much appreciated profit of £350.
What a pleasure to see a gentleman diligently stitching away at his daffodil, a young man having a very successful go at arranging flowers and a birthday girl and guests all going home with floral arrangements.
A great day thoroughly enjoyed by all!
The Manor Hall was again the scene of activity on the Monday afternoon when the Craft Group and friends nattered whilst knitting a quantity of colourful strips raising over £150 for the North Devon Hospice.
Thank you to everyone who has knitted strips and baby vests and bonnets - keep knitting!
MANOR HALL MATTERS
It has been something of a time for taking stock at the Manor Hall. We are progressing a number of sizeable repairs to the roof, gutters and replacement of one of the fire doors, which are expenses we shall just have to meet. We are also considering bringing in an accredited historic building surveying consultancy to give us a detailed view of the Hall's condition, particularly the old Manor House wing.
Meanwhile some time has been spent reviewing the position of Committee Members as charity trustees and updating the Hall's constitution which remains unchanged from 1947 when the building was purchased by the Parish Council for the 'benefit of the inhabitants of the Parish'. We wonder how many people in the village actually realise that the Manor Hall is indeed a registered charity. We have also wondered if the charity has ever actually been formally given a name, and therefore propose The Manor Hall Trust and hope to adopt both the new name and new constitution in April, using powers in the Charities Act 2011.
We shall continue, or rather revive, the practice of asking the main users of the Hall to nominate a member of their group to the Committee, and will be in touch with the user groups to try to get some nominations before our AGM in May.
The AGM is set for Wednesday 8th May at 7.30 p.m., and this year we'll provide a bit of hospitality for those who attend. Remember the Hall belongs to the village and the Committee will be largely nominated to and elected at the AGM. Afterwards, I'm sure some of us will retire to the Globe for a bit more taking stock!
Hope to see some of you that evening.
Len Narborough and the Manor Hall Committee
RURAL REFLECTIONS 57
As a celebration of a forty year friendship that began when we were both five years old, my friend bought two copies of the same book.
Whilst one had been inscribed by him the other had blank pages for me to complete. Entitled 'Dear Friend, from You to Me', each page was headed with a question, the same as my friend's book to me, I had to answer each of the questions at the top of the page. Having accomplished the task I then discovered I had created, just as the subtitle stated, 'a journal of a lifetime'.
Initial questions asked about my early past, such as my first childhood memories and my favourite toys and games. Others related specifically to my friend including what I liked about him and whether there was anything about him I would change. Some were to do with both of us, like recalling the funniest things that had happened to us and what I would love us to still do together.
There were also questions that needed personal reflection including whether I had any regrets and if in hindsight there was anything in my life I would have done differently. Deciding what I would like my epitaph to read also required great deliberation. Yet the page that took the longest to complete was the one with the heading 'Tell me about the things that make you happy or laugh'.
After much contemplation I concluded that whilst laughter brings with it happiness, happiness alone does not require laughter. As a result I drew up two lists, the first relating to the things that make me openly laugh. These range from the specific, such as a particular sketch or script in a comedy programme to the generic, including being in the company of my friends.
Before drawing up my second list I considered what my own definition of happiness was and how this differed from contentment. Happiness, I decided, was 'an inner feeling that brings about an uncontrollable smile'.
I then began making a list of all the sights, smells and sounds that brought this about. When I looked down at my completed list I was surprised to discover that almost all of it related to nature.
Entering a cottage garden when all its herbaceous plants are in full flower is one such example. Taking in the scent of an old fashioned rose is another. As is the sound of a trickling brook on a hot summer's day or the sight that comes into view when turning a bend in a road and discovering a beech or oak woodland displaying its autumnal golden splendour on a hillside. Also the magnetic visual pull of flickering flames on an open fire in mid-winter, coupled with the occasional hissing and cracking of the wood, and pulling back the curtains to discover heavy snow falling or the dramatic scene when the clouds disperse allowing a low winter sun to glisten upon the virgin snow. Then there's that day in late winter when I look up at the sky and first realise that the evenings are just beginning to pull out once more, and that day in early spring when I walk the dog and feel for the first time that year the warmth of the sun penetrating through my jacket. As spring progresses, so my mouth uncontrollably smiles more frequently. A cherry tree laden with blossom, a huge splash of daffodils on a roadside, a carpet of bluebells on a woodland floor, bleating lambs skipping in a field, trees transformed by fresh green leaves and the beautiful sound of the dawn chorus - so much to look forward to as spring progresses.
BERRY IN BLOOM & BEST KEPT VILLAGE
We have decided to enter the Best Kept Village in Devon competition again in 2013. Although we tried to keep the village tidy last year we did not actually enter the competition.
Sunday, 24th February saw our first litter pick of the year and we had a really good turn-out of Berrynarbor villagers and managed to collect about 20 bags of rubbish!
We try to cover as much of the village as we can from Diggers Cross to Watermouth Harbour, the Old Coast Road, Sterridge Valley, Goosewell and Slew Lane - not much escapes us, BUT would you believe it, the next day you can always see fresh litter that has been thrown from cars.
One of the most annoying problems is with dog owners who neatly pick up and bag the poo only to decoratively hang it from bushes or trees. Can we please plead with dog owners to take their dog waste home with them for disposal OR if caught without a bag it is better to flick with a stick into the hedge where eventually it will naturally degrade?
Don't forget - if you put up posters for an event, to take them down again afterwards!
In February we ran a very successful Fun Quiz and Supper Evening in the Manor Hall, raising over £500.00. Thanks to Phil the Quizmaster and his lovely assistant 'scores on the doors' Tracey and Gilly who organised a great raffle and, of course, the ladies who cooked the tasty food.
We are planning a car treasure hunt in April so keep an eye out for our blooming posters.
Also a last reminder that we shall have taken most of the hanging baskets over to Streamways for re-fill by April but it is not too late if you want to join the scheme, just let me know on 07436811657 or 01271 883170.
Chocolate & Banana Cake
Wendy Jenner let me have this recipe and I can recommend it. Easy to make and very moreish I hope you enjoy it.
175g/6oz caster sugar
175g/6oz self-raising flour
1/2 tsp. bicarbonate of soda
4 tbsp. cocoa powder
100g/4oz chocolate chips or chunks
175g/6oz very ripe bananas (peeled weight)
3 med free range eggs, 2 separated
50ml/2fluid oz milk
For the icing
100g/4oz milk chocolate
100ml/31/2 fluid oz soured cream
Handful dried banana chips, roughly chopped
Heat the oven to 160 Deg C/140 Deg Cfan/gas 3. Oil and line a 2lb loaf tin with baking parchment - allow it to come 2cm above the top of the tin.
Mix the sugar, flour, bicarbonate, cocoa and chocolate in a large bowl. Mash the bananas in a bowl and stir in the whole egg plus the 2 yolks, followed by the oil and milk. Beat the egg whites until stiff. Quickly stir the wet banana mixture in to the dry ingredients, stir in a quarter of the egg white to loosen the mixture and then gently fold in the remaining egg white. Carefully scrape the mix in to the loaf tin and bake for 1 hour 10 minutes/1 hour 15 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin on a wire rack.
To make the icing melt the chocolate and soured cream together in a heatproof basin over very gently simmering water. Chill, in the fridge until spreadable. Remove the cake from the tin and roughly swirl over the icing. Then scatter over the banana chips.
If you have a favourite recipe to share please just let me know.
NEWS FROM OUR COMMUNITY SHOP AND POST OFFICE
First of all, a belated welcome to the newest member of our team: Karen. You have no doubt met her during the last four months either behind the post office counter or 'beavering away' in the shop. She is being trained as sub-postmistress and successor to Anita, and Deb is now in charge of the shop. Karen has now been given a temporary contract with the post office, but the wheels grind very slowly there and to date she still waits her final interview to make the contract permanent. We wish her well.
In the past few months there have also been several new faces behind the counter - new volunteers. We thank them for joining and extend a welcome to anyone else who is willing to give us 1/2 day to help. Please ask Deb or Karen for details.
With Mothering Sunday and an early Easter now over, there is nothing special on the card front until Fathers' Day on Sunday June 16. Cards are now on sale in the shop, together with a wide selection of cards for all occasions.
We now have a range of Westgate Angus meats in the freezer, so if your favourite is not in the chiller, don't despair - look in the freezer. Jigsaw has produced an exciting range of new plants and we sell multi-purpose compost to grow them in our gardens and planters - £6.99 per bag or £12.50 for two.
And talking of plants reminds me of a date for your diary:
The shop is doing quite well but it needs the backing of these fund-raising events to make it even more secure, so please come. Admission is free as usual and there will be lots of stalls selling everything from trees and shrubs to indoor plants and plants for your baskets and window boxes, as well as garden gifts. Tea, coffee and cakes will be on sale as well as a generous raffle.
If you have spare plants or seedlings these will be very welcome at the Hall from 10.00 a.m. onwards. If you would like a stall to advertise and promote your business, please 'phone Kath Thorndycroft on  889019 for details. Again, if you can spare any plant pots larger than 5", please take them to the shop beforehand. Finally, volunteer helpers on the day will be very welcome
We'll now all look forward to a sunny and warm spring. Happy shopping and gardening. PP of DC
NEWS FROM THE PRIMARY SCHOOL
Well, what a busy half term we are having!
You may be aware that work is due to start on the roof of the Parish Room. We have had to rehouse 18 children and two adults in a very short time! We are pleased to say that Mill Park have kindly offered the use of their function room for the time needed, we are very grateful. The children love their new surroundings, especially the play area!
The 'Berrynarbor Restaurant' has once again been open for this year's Parents Meal. The children worked hard all day to prepare the food; even the bread and pasta were homemade! The food tasted delicious, the waiting staff looked very smart and were very polite. Well done Class 4 and Mrs Lucas.
The whole school celebrated World Book Day by dressing as Pirates. Parents were invited into school to take part in Pirate activities; a fun morning was had by all.
A team of children entered the recent inter schools swimming gala. They all competed very well, what great swimmers we have.
This term Strawberry and Cranberry [Years Reception, 1 and 2] classes have been learning about 'people that help us' and have been on a trip to Ilfracombe Fire Station to learn about fire safety and have a look around a fire engine.
Here, with original spellings, etc., are their thank you letters.
I learned that any fire is dangeros.Thank you. from Thomas
I learned that if theres a Fire you haft go out side. Thank you. Love Amber xxx
I learned today the fan blows the smoke out the way. Thanc yoo.
Dear Fire Men
I learned that you have to put a fire gard in front of a log fire.
Thank you Katelyn
I learnt today that in the night if there is a fire the smoke alarm will go
off and I will shout fire so everyone else knows. Thank you. Laura
I learnt that you used a fan to blow away the smoke. Thank you. Edie
I learned that the fire fighters have to wer a speshul. sut on them.
Thank you from Summer. xxx
I learned their boots had metal in the boots. Thank you from Zinnia
thank you for letting Berynarbor School come to the fire stashone. I learned that one of the pieces of equipment is called a branch. The best bvit about going to the fire stashone was when I learned stop, drop, role. Thank you. Amelia
I learned not too touch machis. Thank you. Olivia.
I learned what the fan doos. Thank you. Zac
I learnt today when the smoke alarm hurts your ears it wakes you up.
Thank you from Arthur
I learned about the fan. It moovs the smowc. Thank you Xander
To Day I learnt abowt how the firemen use the fire hoses. Thank you.
I learnt not to play wif machis. I learnt to stop drop rol. Amber
I learned abot fire engins. Thank you. Danielle
I learned to not play with fire. Thank you. Sophie
I learnt today that some fires are bad and some fires good. May
I learned ti should not tuch ftry. Thank you. Alex
I learnt that a fan blows the smoke Jed
I learnt the ladr gos up. Fergus
I learnt the branch gos on the hos Dulcie
I learnt not to play wif machis. I learnt to stop drop and rol. Ruby
I lirnt that the branch dus clip on the hows. fyt you. Ben Beer
I lernt that matches are dangerous
I learnt when there is a fire on your cloths this is what you do. Stop, drop and role. I learnt what a branchy of a hoes is called. I learnt a fireman has a fan to blow away the smoke so they can see people. I learnt firemen do other things too other than takeing fires out.
Blueberry Class have been able to experience a trip to Combe Martin beach and a talk with Tania Mugglestone, who has just qualified in 'Coastal Schools'. This has been a great opportunity for the children given the area in which we live.
Blueberry Class will also be performing their Easter performance of 'Resurrection Rock' on Thursday 28th March in the Church at 2.00 p.m. All welcome.
We hope everyone has an enjoyable Easter break and look forward to the start of our summer term on Monday 15th April.
Sue Carey - Headteacher
BROCHOLES - THE FIELD WHERE BADGERS LIVE
Brocholes is a field belonging to the church in the Glebeland beneath the Rectory. I was amazed to find it mentioned in an ancient charter from King Stephen's reign 1135-1154, which Gary trawled up for me.
"Ralph de Siccavilla, to all the faithful, both clerks and laymen, future as well as present, greetings. I wish to bring notice to you all, that I have granted to the church of Biri in the honour of God and the blessed apostles Peter and Andrew, a certain furlong of land lying around Brochole, next to the house of Robert the Clerk, on the south [the old parsonage at Wild Violets] at whose request we have done this, concerning the land of Biri, which I received from King Stephen, in fee and inheritance for my services [the feudal system at work again] at a convenient proximity, in exchange for another furlong, more remote, that is to say of Stapledun, free and discharged
from custom. Also as to *bannos [?] and other customs, if there be any, there will be returned a certain furlong of **buneduna [?] that Osbert, brother of Robert the Clerk, exchanged with his same brother for the furlong of Stapledon, which is now mine, the arrangement being made in my presence and with my concurrence." Sealing clause.
Witnesses - Richard the chaplain, Turgis de Paracumbe, Maius and Robert de lurtune - clerks, Geoffrey the priest, Hugh son of Hamund, Osbert Bugaduna, Algar de le iete and Osmer, laymen and the whole hundred.
I'm fascinated to learn that not only our old farm names but some field names have a very long history, certainly to Saxon times. In fact people have been travelling here, living, loving, worshipping, working and dying in this place for a very long time - but where did they bury them all?
* bannos, possibly from 'bannam' - Anglo Saxon = to summon. I wonder if Ralph de Siccavilla was Ralph the Knight who, with his son Richard, took the surname Berry whose ancestors lived as lords of the manor until 1708? Many Berry off-shoots are living in the area today.
** buneduna - Osbert Bagaduna? possibly - Bowden today?
LOCAL WALK - 137
"Butting through the Channel in the mad March days"
Downend is a headland of low cliffs at the southern end of Croyde Bay. On the road from Saunton, just beyond the third layby, a narrow opening beside a derelict lookout station, gives access to the coast path. The castellated lookout station is a bizarre building with wooden outshots supported by brackets and stilts. This is the only steep section of an otherwise level walk.
Below is a wave-cut platform of rock, formed in the Ice Age and known as a 'raised beach'. Although the rocks are grey and black the patches of sand between them are pinkish cream and in one area of beach, almost pure white.
From here in the winter sea going ducks may be observed. I was told that in mid-December a large flock [more than a hundred] of common scoter was seen off Downend and just two eider duck.
But as we scanned the shore in early March all we found were 'the usual suspects' - cormorants diving, a curlew flying past, a few active rock pipits, great black backed gulls and most plentiful of all, oyster catchers noisily announcing their arrival as they landed to join those already on the rocks.
This was the location of the wreck of the Ceres; a ketch built at Salcombe in 1811 to take supplies to Spain where the Duke of Wellington's troops were fighting in the Peninsular War. In 1852 it was bought and enlarged by a Bude ship owner. But in 1937 the Ceres foundered off Croyde and its crew was rescued by the Appledore lifeboat.
In several places the edge of the coast path had been severely eroded but is still passable. The neat yellow flowers of coltsfoot sparkled along the cliff top. The dandelion-like blooms appear before the large leaves. The stems bear overlapping fleshy, purplish scales.
These stems were boiled with brown sugar to produce a cough syrup. The plant was also used as a herbal tobacco. Coltsfoot's Latin name is Tussilago farfara, tussis being Latin for a cough.
We descended to the beach where the sand was firm underfoot and resembled a colourful mosaic with the fragments of blue mussel shells mixed with tiny orange and red pebbles. The bulky white shape of a cargo vessel of the Grimaldi Lines loomed on the horizon; an Italian shipping company based in Genoa.
At the stream which dissects the beach we found, in the company of pied wagtails and a male stonechat, a small plump wader, a sanderling - Calibris alba. Alba because in winter plumage it is the whitest of the smaller waders having a white head and underparts, pale grey back, straight black bill and black legs. Darting back and forth along the water's edge it feeds on molluscs, insects and crustaceans and travels to breed in Greenland and Siberia.
We scrambled up over the sandhills, following the coast path route, to reach the track leading to the village.
Illustration by Paul Swailes<
What a wet winter we've had! Even the so-called drier counties here in the east it has been bad. Roads flooded, fields soaked with lakes of water and rivers overflowing.
However, it has not really been that cold. My first experie4nce of ice was oddly enough when I was around eight or nine.
The family was taken over to Harringay ice rink - a huge building with skate hire, restaurant and shops and a six-piece band which played all the time. There were two kinds of session - one being for people to race around - though the more serious skaters would practice their figures of eight or do a figure three in the middle. The other session would be for dancers. There were instructors who would teach you the correct way to skate and also how to dance.
Apart from falling over and cracking your head, breaking bones, etc,, the ice itself was very safe. It was relatively thin and supported by concrete underneath in which the freezing elements were embedded.
Moving on to 1939, when we spent the War in Berrynarbor, there was a very cold winter. Standing on the ice on the Mill Farm lake, I should have liked to walk out to the island to have a look at the heron's nest but fortunately, common sense prevailed and I did not venture out!
The subject of ice skating came up and I knew of a pond which might have been frozen. Up Hagginton Hill and turning down the road on the left there was a pond in a field on the left. Off we, all the family, went with our skates and bikes and sure enough the pond was frozen and we all had a great skate without mishap.
When the War was over and we moved back to Essex there were still some very cold winters. On one occasion we went to a lake near Chingford. It was extremely cold and early in the afternoon a small part was not completely frozen over in fact there were a few ducks swimming around. By the end of the afternoon this patch was completely frozen over and people were skating over the lake - but not us!
Another venue was a lake in Weald Park near Brentwood and by the time we visited there I could cut a figure three. We took along our gramophone and just about managed the Skaters' Waltz! Later, my half-brother Gerald took a nasty fall and cracked his head badly - a horrible and frightening sound.
I remember skating at a pond in Hornchurch where there had been no snow but a real freeze and the ice was clear and when you looked down you could see the fish swimming about below.
Illustration by Paul Swailes
On to Billericay where we skated on the park lake. Nearby was a large pond and farm, here skating was going on but the farmers were playing curling. Akin to bowls but with large flat stones with handles and as the stones travel the ice, the players 'polish' in front of them with a brush to make them go further.
The last time I skated was at Essex University where a shallow flooded area had frozen. As I skated I went over backwards causing a lace cracking of the ice in the shape of a spider's web whilst the students from abroad looked on in amusement, probably thinking 'mad dogs and Englishmen' or something similar.
After all that, may I say that if you ever think of skating on natural ice, my advice is just one word, 'DON'T'!
With the current spell of bitterly cold and snowy weather, let's hope and look forward to a nice spring and a lovely summer.
Tony Beauclerk - Stowmarket
PLAYING THE FIELD
Saturday 29th June 2013
Remember that fantastic party for the Jubilee last summer? Well thanks to Beaford Arts, Sound UK and the Parish Council, Berrynarbor will be partying again this summer.
Please put the date - Saturday 29 June - in your diary and then look out for details of 'Playing the Field' which is already being advertised in the Beaford Arts spring programme.
This will be the village fete to end all fetes, organised by the Primary School PTA it is all about sound. There will be specially commissioned sound installations in the recreation field and you will be able to record your own track by playing the bean bag toss.
Have you ever wanted to play a musical instrument? Well now is your chance by creating a junk instrument and performing in the Berrynarbor Junk Orchestra. In addition the school children will be taking part in sound workshops to create a unique sound trail of special bird houses and telephones.
For further information, or if you would like to get involved - all ideas with a theme of sound will be happily considered - please contact Fenella Boxall on 01271-882675.
Thank You One and All
Many thanks to those dozens of friends and neighbours who popped in to help celebrate my 100th Birthday [Sunday February 10th in case you've forgotten!], also for the lovely cards and presents. To those who didn't come, I can only say you missed a treat.
It was a wonderful event, if a bit tiring, and I enjoyed myself thoroughly. Great to see you all.
I mustn't forget a special thank you to Kath and her family who arranged the refreshments, liquid and otherwise. Trev
Old Wooden Walls of England
I held the helm, and ne'er ran foul of shore;
In pitch-dark nights my reck'ning prov'd so true,
We rode out safe the hardest gale that blew.
And when for fight the signal high was shewn,
Thro' fire and smoke old Boreas straight bore down;
And now my timbers are not fit for sea,
Old England's wooden walls my toast shall be.
From age to age, as ancient story shews,
We rul'd the deep, in spite of envious foes;
And still aloft, tho' worlds combine, we'll rise,
If all at home are splic'd in friendly ties.
In loud broadsides we'll tell both France and Spain,
We're own'd by Neptune sov'reigns of the main.
Oh! would my timbers were now fit for sea!
Yet England's wooden walls my toast shall be.
from The Fair American, a comic opera in 3 Acts by
Frederick Pilon, 1750-1788. Performed to universal applause at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.
Cock a Doodle Do
My dame has lost her shoe.
The master's lost his fiddling stick,
And doesn't know what to do.
Artwork: Debbie Cook
The first two lines were used in a murder pamphlet in England, 1606, which seems to suggest that children sang those lines, or very similar ones, to mock the cockerel's "crow". The first full version recorded was in Mother Goose's Melody, published in London around 1765. By the mid-nineteenth century, when it was collected by James Orchard Halliwell, it was very popular and three additional verses, perhaps more recent in origin had been added [Wikipedia]:
Cock a doodle do!
What is my dame to do?
Till master's found his fiddlingstick,
She'll dance without her shoe
Cock a doodle do!
My dame has found her shoe,
And master's found his fiddling stick
Sing cock a doodle do!
Cock a doodle do!
My dame will dance with you,
While master fiddles his fiddlingstick,
And knows not what to do.
BERRYNARBOR WINE CIRCLE
Sip Some, Tip One!
Pam and Alex Parke used 'Can we Trust a Newspaper Guide?' as their theme to present to February's Circle gathering. Aided and abetted by Victoria Moore, Daily Telegraph Wine Correspondent since 2010, they referred to her 'Wines for the Festive Season' article featured last December.
Following usual format, six wines were purchased via 'off the shelf' and 'on the web'. Majestic, M & S, Sainsbury's and Tesco's supplied; prices ranged between £5.99 and £13.99.
Tesco's Finest Albarino 2011 was voted favourite white; Mont Milan Corbieres 2010 was a 'very good value' red: Majestic's £5.99 for two or more; and the Finest Via Mara Rioja Gran Reserva 2004 was also thought to be 'very good, but pricey': Tesco's £13.99. Riojas are never 'cheap', but any wine that deserves a 'Gran Reserva' and is 8 years old has been looked after and is 'aged', and, therefore, is always going to be dearer than your daily 'plonk' - a special occasion perhaps?
Hunter Valley, two hours north of Sydney, is one of the New World's famous producing areas: home to numerous wineries, including Lindemans and McGuigans. Another is 'award-winning winery' McWilliam's, producer of our 3rd white of the evening, a 2006 Taste the Difference Semillon, £9.99 from Sainsbury's. 'Taste the Difference'? We certainly did!
... and it proved to be the tipping point for more than 40, as it was sipped then tipped. Descriptions included that it was 'like diesel', had an 'unpleasant, industrial, metallic taste' and others wondered if it was 'off'.
'Off' or 'corked' is a possibility, but an 'e' conversation between the Parkes and Ms Moore revealed others too. She wondered if it was a 'stylistic thing' as she drinks 'loads' of Semillon at home and knew many others in the wine trade did too; however, another email revealed she had 'Twittered' colleagues and learned that wine shop owners had 'stopped showing it at consumer tastings as no one liked it or bought it.'
Jancis Robinson, described as the 'world's most prolific wine author', which includes ' The Oxford Companion to Wine', is a 'Master of Wine' and has been 'writing and broadcasting since 1975', should know a thing or two, but she can be quoted as saying that she thinks 'Hunter Valley Semillon is Australia's unique gift to the wine world'. Mmm, perhaps we should email her and ask what we've missed!
A 'Fabulous' Finale . . .
Brett Stephens, has been the face of 'Fabulous Wines', for the last seven years: three at St John's Garden Centre, then four as an internet outlet. His training began as a part-time job at 'Bottoms Up' many years ago because he was a musician. He informed us at our March presentation that this was his last; he returns to music.
We wish him well, particularly as evenings with him and his choice of wines have always been most enjoyable. His final choice included surprises; they were all foil clad! Time at the Wine and Spirits Education Trust in London meant blind tastings, so we did too.
Many members admit to being 'ABC': anything but Chardonnay; however, we were all surprised when we sampled his first: 'Deer Point', a non-oaked, Bulgarian Chardonnay, 13% at £6.39. Many around me thought this was 'lovely', atypical and great for a summer's sipping.
He admits to being a Francophile, but only two of his six were French and none were dearer than £8.00 a bottle. Thanks to the internet age, all wines can be purchased electronically, so, Brett, 'If music be the food of love...play on!'
Finally, our penultimate event is Wednesday April 17th at 8.00 p.m. entitled: 'Judith's Mystery Evening' and it doesn't include a Semillon!
Judith Adam, Secretary and Promotional Co-ordinator
LANDS END TO JOHN O'GROATS
Having returned from a year away and then a trip to Spain, Jean has still got itchy feet and is off cycling the length of the country! Her solo cycle ride began on the 2st March in Cornwall.
As this issue goes to print, Jean will have arrived in Exeter and by the time of its publication date will be up in the Lake District.
Taking Route 1 she plans to cycle approximately 30 miles a day, staying at youth hostels and b-and-b's on the way. Her route takes her up through the Wye Valley, the Lake District, Glasgow, Fort William and Thurso before reaching John O'Groats on the 19th April. She has already organised her return trip by train from Inverness to Tiverton on the 20th!
This has been a long-held challenge for Jean who has been training locally, something she wanted to do for herself rather than as a sponsored event and having to ask family, friends and neighbours for sponsorship. But people have been asking if she is cycling for charity. Her reply is that if you would like to support her in this adventure, please give a donation to your favourite charity.
Good luck Jean, we'll be pedalling with you - safe journey and we look forward to seeing you home again at the end of April.
While researching my family history I came across an article in your Newsletter about the 100 year old visitors book which was kept by Mrs Bray at The Old Globe public house in Berrynarbor. My grandmother was Mabel Bray and family history passed down had mentioned The Globe as having been run by my grandmother's cousins, William and Harriett Bray [nee Huxtable] and later on by their only child Rosina Bray. I believe there are still many of the Bray family in Berrynarbor and wondered if it would be at all possible to put a small article in your online publication appealing for any family history.
MOVERS AND SHAKERS NO. 44 - CHARLES NICHOLAS PEDLAR 1881-1963
Founder of Chas. N. Pedlar 27 High Street, Ilfracombe
In mid-November, 2012, you may have read in either the North Devon Journal or Gazette that Ilfracombe's favourite 'department store', Pedlars, was celebrating its 90th birthday.
Today Nick and his daughter Helen are the 3rd and 4th generation of this remarkable family that have served so many households - and generations - with supplies. I promptly 'beetled off' to ask Nick for more details about the founder, his grandfather, Charles Nicholas Pedlar which he kindly passed on.
"There are still people", he says, "Who come into the shop and remember being served by my grandfather". He puts this loyalty down to customer service from his staff, many of whom are long-serving. Margery Turner was the longest: 65 years, leaving only in 2005 and still enjoying a well-deserved retirement. But others have served for 55 years, three for 40 years and three for 20 years - a credit, too, to good management over the years, and a store where you can buy supplies and get advice and product knowledge, not available elsewhere in the town.
But back to Charles Pedlar. He was born in Swimbridge in 1881, where his mother ran the village shop. She sent him as an apprentice to his uncle, William Pugsley, who ran a furniture and drapery store, Pugsley and Son, at 26 High Street, Ilfracombe [now McColl's]. William then bought next door, Number 27 [today's Pedlar's] that was a china and hardware store and combined them.
Having learnt about the trade over a number of years, on 1st January 1922, Charles bought the store from his uncle and changed the name to Chas.N.Pedlar, a name we are all familiar with to this day.
Nick mentioned a wartime family story about Charles. He was unloading a batch of chamber pots from a delivery van when a passer-by shouted that he should be fighting in the war - at 60 years of age?! Quick as a flash, Charles retorted, "I'll bet I've seen more 'jerries' in this war than you have my man!". The man slunk away!
Shop-keeping is obviously in the family blood. Nick's father, Charles Glanville, joined Charles in 1946, and then it was Nick's turn.
Before joining the family business in 1967, he trained at Dingles in Plymouth, then Simpsons of Piccadilly. From the age of 12 he knew what he wanted to do, but neither he, nor his brothers John and Richard, were ever pressurised into joining the business.
In the year Nick joined, Pedlars became one of six founding members of the Home Hardware cooperative of independent retailers. Now with 400 members, its combined buying power enables these stores to compete on price and quality with big High Street names and DIY superstores. Professional buyers source the globe looking for quality up-to-the-minute goods at excellent prices, to pass on to their members, which has to be good for everyone.
Nick and his wife Vicky have two daughters, Helen and Sarah. Helen has returned to the business after maternity leave and hopefully her son will want eventually to continue in the business. As Helen says, "I am passionate about Ilfracombe and its High Street and as a business I really do enjoy it, from buying products through to watching them go out of the store." Her great-grandfather would be proud of her!
Over the years, the departments have changed slightly. No longer does it sell carpets and furniture, but it still sells quality china and glassware, kitchenware and cleaning materials, menswear and has added the popular gardening products to its range. It's also sold commemorative china and memorabilia for every royal occasion since 1935. Said Nick last November, "We still have a 1935 jubilee flag and last week we even sold an Andrew and Fergie goblet!"
What a good thing that Charles Pedlar chose to open his department store in Ilfracombe in 1922. Through his enterprise, Ilfracombe has continued to benefit from a first class store over the generations. It has done so much to keep alive the spirit of the High Street.
Long may it continue!
PP of DC
OLD BERRYNARBOR VIEW NO. 142
Berrynarbor Looking Seawards
This photographic postcard was originally published by Francis Frith & Co. Ltd. of Reigate in 1934. This particular card was produced during the Second World War and on the reverse side is printed: T.N.T - Today, Not Tomorrow - The Minister of Production. The card has been sent to Dulwich, London S.E. and has a 14th July 1944 postmark. The card makes interesting reading:
You'd like it here. We have another low window and wobbly floor. Lots to eat and have to walk miles to get anywhere. There are no ancient ruins to "gooh" over! It has rained most of the time so far but we lay on the beach yesterday and found I had some tar on my arm with pebbles adhering. What a mess. The sun burn so far accounts to sore faces. Be seeing you too soon!
So we can assume it was a normal summer! Now to the card.
On the right we have Orchard House alongside which we have the long roof of the Temperance Hall. This hall was used for all the village activities and dances up to the time the present Manor Hall was completed in 1914. Then we have Rectory Cottage and continuing up to the village Beech Lea, built in 1902 for the Reverend E.G. Hibbert and his family. Top right we can see part of Moules Farm and behind St. Peter's Church the new buildings on Barton Lane - Berrivale, Chatsworth and Berri View, all completed in 1933.
To the left of the picture are the Lees: South Lee, Middle Lee and North Lee. To the right of North Lee we have Ellis Cottages [30 & 31 Pitt Hill] as well as Ducky Pool [Rose Cottage, 32 Pitt Hill].
Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage, March 2013