Edition 154 - February 2015

 Photos: Judie W

Artwork: Judie Weedon


Although we are well into the New Year, as this is the first issue for 2015, a happy and peaceful new year to you all. A warm welcome to all newcomers to the village and to those who have moved away, good luck and happiness in your new homes.

The somewhat dreary weather of late has brought with it the usual seasonal coughs and colds, coughs being particularly troublesome this year. Get better wishes go to all those not feeling at their best just now.

Thanks to another bumper crop of Christmas messages and your very generous donations, Newsletter and Manor Hall funds received substantial boosts.

Don't forget the Soup and Pudding Evening in aid of the Chemotherapy Unit and the Primary School this coming Saturday, 31st January - tickets £7.50 each available from the Shop. Details of the Pamper Day on 14th February to raise money for the North Devon Hospice and the Newsletter appear later in this issue. Do please try to support this event if you can.

Although the mornings still remain dark, the evenings are drawing out, bulbs are popping up everywhere - spring IS on its way! Don't forget to put your clocks forward an hour on the 28th/29th March.

Some interesting articles again in this issue and my thanks, as always, to those contributors but especially the regulars and Paul. Nigel had his arm twisted to illustrate the Rural Reflections - thank you, Nigel, its lovely to have some of your work again after quite a long time.

I'll be looking for another batch of contributions for the April issue, which will come out just before Easter, as soon as possible and by Wednesday, 11th March at the latest please. Thanks.

Judie - Ed


Artwork: Steve Angold [Aged 10]


The Church was full to capacity for our annual Carol Service held on 17th December! The evening commenced with some joyful songs and carols by the younger children from Berrynarbor School - all dressed up in their wonderful costumes of birds, shepherds and angels to set the Nativity scene.

At 6.30 p.m. the main service commenced with the solo voices of Melanie and Poppy from Berrynarbor School singing, unaccompanied, the first verse of Once in Royal David's City. The School Choir later sang in German Silent Night, Holy Night from the earliest German score dated 1818 with lyrics written in 1787. How wonderful they all sounded!

The Berrynarbor Choir sang my arrangement of O Holy Night and a special thanks to all the soloists, especially soprano Elaine Fanner who had to hit some very high notes.

The service ended with a rousing O come all ye Faithful and all were invited for mulled wine and mince pies to round off a wonderful evening. A special thank you to all parents, villagers and visitors for supporting this special event.

Sunday 21st December was chosen to say farewell to our Rector Chris Steed at a special buffet lunch held in the Manor Hall with a presentation of a gift towards his new computer. The event was organised by Berrynarbor and Combe Martin PCC's and a special thank you to all the ladies who supplied the refreshments. We wish Chris well in his new parish of Totton, near Southampton.

The Christmas Eve service was taken by George Billington and it was pleasing to see so many visitors attending this lovely service.

Christmas Day Service was a short family based service and thanks to Graham Lucas for playing the organ in my absence.

With the departure of Rector Chris Steed, we, Berrynarbor PCC, will have to work very hard indeed to organise visiting clergy during the Interregnum period - which could last between six and nine months!

The church service structure will remain unchanged as follows:

  • 1st Sunday: Village Service 2nd Sunday: Holy Communion
  • 3rd Sunday: Songs of Praise 4th Sunday: Holy Communion

There will be the occasional group service, where there is a 5th Sunday, and these [advised in advance] will be held in either Berrynarbor or Combe Martin.

Our thanks to Graham Lucas who has very kindly offered to assist with School Assemblies on Monday mornings.

We have a small dedicated team of flower arrangers to decorate the Church throughout the year. Sue Neale would welcome anyone who would like to join this team -you don't have to be a Churchgoer- so please feel free to contact Sue on 883893.

There will be a Friendship Lunch at The Globe on Wednesday, 25th February from 12.00 noon onwards.

Easter is early April this year and Special Service will be as follows:

  • 15th March, 11.00 a.m. Mothering Sunday
  • 29th March, 11.00 a.m. Palm Sunday
  • 3td April, 2.00 - 3.00 p.m. Good Friday, Hour of Devotion
  • 5th April, 11.00 a.m. Easter Day

The church will be decorated for Easter following the service on Good Friday and Sue Neale will welcome gifts of flowers or donations towards the cost [Tel: 883893].

Finally, a very special thank you to all our wonderful Bellringers who ring for Church Services throughout the year, as well as for Weddings, Funerals and other special events! They have two new ladies in their team - Debbie Thomas and Pat Weston - who are showing the guys that they too can pull the bell ropes! We wish them well.

Stuart Neale


The following very important notice is now displayed on the
Lych Gate Noticeboard:
Any enquiries for Weddings, Funerals, Baptisms and other Church matters - please contact the Churchwarden, Mr. Stuart Neale on
01271-883893 or by email:
This request is purely temporary whilst we await the arrival and installation of a new Rector for the Parish of Berrynarbor.





February 1913 - December 2014

It was with much sadness we learnt that after breaking his arm and spending time at the North Devon Hospital and Bideford Hospital, Trevor passed away peacefully with Kath beside him on Friday, 5th December, just two months short of his 102nd birthday.

Our thoughts, at this time of sadness, are with his daughter Anthea, son Victor and his wife Caroline, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They are also with his adopted family; Kath, whom Trevor called his 'guardian angel', Carol and John, Donna and James, Jill and John and all their families.

At his wish, Trevor's funeral on the 11th December, with his family and all his adopted family, took place at Great Bradley Cottage Burial Ground, Templeton near Tiverton. This secret garden, high in the hills, is unlike any churchyard or cemetery where the graves are amongst the flowering trees and in the spring surrounded by snowdrops, primroses and daffodils. Poems, taken from his recent 'Twitters' in the Newsletter were read, together with the following poem by Pam Ayres.

Woodland Burial

Don't lay me in some gloomy churchyard shaded by a wall
Where the dust of ancient bones has spread a dryness over all,
Lay me in some leafy loam where, sheltered from the cold
Little seeds investigate and tender leaves unfold.
There kindly and affectionately, plant a native tree
To grow resplendent before God and hold some part of me.
The roots will not disturb me as they wend their peaceful way
To build the fine and bountiful, from closure and decay.
To seek their small requirements so that when their work is done
I'll be tall and standing strongly in the beauty of the sun.


Kath would like to take this opportunity to thank all the kind people who took her to visit Trevor, first in Barnstaple and then in Bideford, and everyone for their many cards and messages of sympathy.

Higher Trayne Farm

Long term residents of Berrynarbor and members of the Bridge Clubs were sorry to learn that Richard had died, peacefully at home, on the 8th December. His funeral took place on the 9th January at Barnstaple Crematorium and our thoughts are with his daughters Kate and Jan and all his family at this time of sadness.

Latterly better known as Dick and a resident of Berrynarbor since the 1970's, Dick Pool will be known to only a few here, as Higher Trayne lies almost in Hele.   However, he was influential in so many diverse fields, that a few words of remembrance are well deserved.

His parents were both part of Sir Frank Whittle's team in inventing the jet engine, so with this background he too became a scientist.  A Doctorate in Physics and Chemistry at Oxford led to a place on the team developing the first British fast-breeder nuclear reactor at Dounrea, Scotland.

Later, he became a barrister-at-law and gentleman farmer at both Trayne and Sloley Farms, and was active working for the independent milk producers battling against the Milk Marketing Board, and also within the European Common Market.

Sadly after his wife Pam and two of his daughters died, he withdrew somewhat, but eventually took to competitive bridge with Roger Luckham, and worked to the end refurbishing his Grade 1 listed home.

Dick died at home as he wished, fiercely independent, aware of his illness, yet in good spirits and humour. Many people have said to his daughters Katherine and Jan, "A nice man, I liked him!"  Who could ask for a better epitaph?

June 1931-December 2014

After suffering from a debilitating illness for several years, how sad it was to learn that Vic had passed away peacefully on Christmas Day.

St. Peter's church, on a blustery day with sunny spells, was full for his funeral on the 10th January. Family, friends and villagers gathered to say goodbye as he was laid to rest in the churchyard.

A loving husband, father and grandfather, Vic will be sorely missed and our thoughts are with Anita, Mel, Bill and Samantha and all his family at this time of sorrow.


Vic was an Ilfracombe lad, a 'Quayite' as people who lived down at the Quay were known and where he spent his early life. When the Americans were based near St. James's church, Vic would run errands for them. His reward? A doughnut! Living on the Quay gave Vic his lifelong love of the sea and boats. He was a keen member of the Yacht Club sailing up and down and across and back the Bristol Channel. Unable to swim and never using a life jacket, he always said there would be a plank of wood floating by of which to catch hold!

When he was 14, his mother told him to go to the shoe repair shop and ask for a job. He did so and other than when he did his National Service, he remained there repairing shoes until he retired in 1990 when he was 58. By this time it had become the age of 'throw away shoes' and although the stiletto heel era had provided some good business - young ladies were always getting their heels caught and breaking them, and always needed them straight away to go to the dance that night! - business had declined.

Vic and Anita, an Ilfracombe lass, were married in 1961, their daughter Melanie was born in 1964. After living in Ilfracombe for a while, they moved to Berrynarbor, the birthplace of Anita's grandmother, in the early 1970's.

When he was not dicing with the Bristol Channel, Vic enjoyed snooker, a game he took up when he was 14, playing in Ilfracombe and acting as Treasurer of the Ilfracombe Snooker League for many years.

He was, of course, a member of our own Snooker Club at the Men's Institute where he was also the Caretaker.


Anita would like to thank everyone for their cards and kind messages of sympathy, especially the staff of the Park Lane Care Home whose care and kindness for Vic had been wonderful. Also to Keith Wyer and Stuart Neale for the beautiful service in Vic's memory, and the wonderful spread put on by Karen and all the staff at The Globe. Finally, she would like to thank everyone for attending the funeral and for the generous donations to Dementia UK.




Illustration by: Peter Rothwell

Although last year started very windy and wet, the spring and summer were much dryer so the year ended with a total rainfall of 1230mm which was slightly below the average.

November was almost a month of two halves. The first half was reminiscent of last winter with low after low bringing stormy and wet conditions resulting in flooding in South Devon. The second half was calmer and dryer with some sunnier days. Overall apart from a couple of frosty mornings it was a mild month with a maximum temperature of 15 Deg C and a minimum of 0.1 Deg C. 29.83 hours of sunshine were recorded which was the most in November since records began in 2002. The total rainfall was 154mm and because we were sheltered from the worst of the wind, we recorded a maximum of 30 knots.

December started benignly. Then on the 10th there were warnings of a 'weather bomb'. Fortunately for us the worst of that hit Scotland and the north of the country and here it was only blustery. On the 11th winds did reach 31 knots and we had 27mm of rain making it the wettest day of the month. It was a changeable month but generally mild apart from a cold snap with sharp frosts on 29th and 30th. The year ended mild, overcast and slightly damp. The maximum temperature was 12.9 Deg C falling to a minimum of -2.1 Deg C and we also recorded a wind chill -7 Deg C. Again the sunshine hours of 18.21 were high, only beaten by 26.02 hours in 2008. The maximum gust of wind was 33 knots and the total rainfall was 121mm.

At the time of writing it is still mild and we already have primroses and daffodils in flower, let's hope we don't pay for this later in the year.

Simon and Sue


Dave Beagley

Solution in Article 34.


Artwork: Paul Swailes


For all of you who attended our party in November you must have tried some of our cheeses. We have a large selection of South West cheeses which include:

    Devonshire Devil - Taw Valley Cheeses (Mature-Tasty-Tickler-Vintage) - Devon Blue - Cornish & Somerset Brie
    Dorset Blue Vinney - Afterburn - Sharphams (Brie-Elmhurst- Rustic) - Cornish Yarg

Plus other Regional cheeses such as Wensleydale, Double Gloucester, Red Leicester and a range of other Cheddars.

Shop 10th Birthday Celebration

We should like to thank all our helpers, volunteers, customers and suppliers who attended our 10th Birthday Party and making it a very successful, memorable occasion.

Are you holding an event? Why not get your supplies from the Shop on sale and return. This can range from Milk, Tea, Coffee and Biscuits to Wines and Beer. Just come in and speak to Deb or Karen.


Come and check out our Special Offers, starting on the 5th February: Trewithen Milk 2 litre now £1.22 [was £1.36], Heinz Soups 95p each or

2 for £1.75, Wisdom toothbrush 75p [was £1.00], Bells Whisky £18.49 or 2 for £32.00 . . . and there are lots more in store.





The Christmas Show went really well and we raised over £100 for our outside project. We had a rather unusual nativity with Eliza [Frozen], Aurora [Sleeping Beauty] and the Little Mermaid as angels, and the Gruffalo as a Wiseman! It made the show all the more special and unique!

We have had a number of new starters this term and hope to do some fundraising in the near future - look out for posters of these events.

Our Breakfast Club for children aged 2 to 11 years runs from Monday to Friday, 8.00 to 9.00 a.m. at £2.50 per session per child to include a breakfast. All children are walked to school for morning registration. Please ring me on 07807093644 for further details. We are trying to increase numbers.

There is limited space for Pre-school left until July 2015 and we are already taking bookings for September 2015, both for pre-school sessions and Breakfast Club.

Are you aware that we have a Rag Bag Collection bin in the Manor Hall car park? This is a great fundraising opportunity for the Pre-school as well as helping other charities. Items need to be placed in tied bags and must not be wet. We collect any materials but nothing that has wadding, for example pillows, cushions, etc. You can also deposit shoes, soft toys, bags and belts. Any condition welcome.




Trev and Kath Arscott
at Barn Cottage

Trevor was born in Elland in Yorkshire in 1913 and after attending secondary school there gained a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering at Manchester University College of Technology.

Various jobs with Metropolitan-Vickers, Record Electrical Co. Ltd. of Altrincham and the firm of Industrial Energy Costs at Lytham St. Anne's followed until his retirement in 1978. Sadly, his wife Lilian died just three years later and with his family having flown the nest, Trevor found himself alone. Leaving North Wales, to where he had retired and after various moves, he found himself in North Devon where on joining the Ilfracombe Walkers he met Kathy, who kindly took him into Barn Cottage. Here he stayed for over 20 years, becoming a real member of the village and where with many friends and neighbours he celebrated his 100th birthday.

Trevor began writing for the Newsletter in 2006 and his Twitters began in 2007, his December contribution was No. 44.

Always ahead of any deadlines, he would hand me, with his winning smile, poems he had remembered, written in his spidery hand-writing and on paper torn from a notepad! So I have just a few left for this issue - Twitters from Beyond No. 45!

Bless you, Trev.




I intended an Ode,
And it turned to a Sonnet.
It began a la mode,
I intended an Ode:
But Rose cross'd the road
In her latest new bonnet;
I intended an Ode;
And it turned to a Sonnet.

Henry Austin Dobson

Henry Austin Dobson was an English poet, critic and biographer, whose love and knowledge of the 18th century lent a graceful elegance to his work and inspired his critical studies. In 1856 he entered the Board of Trade where he remained until his retirement in 1901. He married in 1868 and became the father of 10, living in the London suburb of Ealing until his death in 1921.


A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,
A jug of wine, a loaf of bread - with Thou
Beside me singing in the wilderness -
Oh, wilderness were Paradise enow!


An excerpt from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, 1048-1131, the Middle Eastern poet and translated by Edward Fitzgerald.

Come to the Fair

The sun is a-shining to welcome the day,
Heigh-ho! come to the fair!
All the stalls on the green are as fine as can be!
With trinkets and tokens so pretty to see,
So it's come then, maidens and men,
To the fair in the pride of the morning.
So deck yourselves out in your finest array,
Heigh-ho! come to the fair!
The fiddles are playing the tune that you know:
Heigh-ho! come to the fair!
The drums are all beating, away let us go,
Heigh-ho! come to the fair!
There'll be racing and chasing from morning till night
,And roundabouts turning to left and to right,
So it's come then, maidens and men,
To the fair in the pride of the morning.
So lock up hour house, there'll be plenty of fun,
And it's Heigh-ho! come to the fair!
For love-making too, if so be you've a mind,
Heigh-ho! come to the fair!
For hearts that are happy are loving and kind,
Heigh-ho! come to the fair!
If 'Haste to the wedding' the fiddles should play,
I warrant you'll dance to the end of the day;

Come then, maidens and men,
To the fair in the pride of the morning.
The sun is a-shining to welcome the day,
With a Heigh-ho! come to the fair!
Maidens and men, maidens and men,
Come to the fair in the morning.
Heigh-ho! come to the fair!

[Trev's message at the end of this says: 'I can't recall who wrote this, please help my faulty memory.'
The song was written in 1917, the lyrics by Helen Taylor and the music by Easthope Martin.]


Under the Greenwood Tree

From As You Like It, William Shakespeare [1564-1616]

Under the greenwood tree,
Who loves to lie with me,
And tune his merry note
Unto the sweet bird's throat.
Come hither, come hither, come hither,
Here shall he see
no enemy
But winter and rough weather.
Who doth ambition shun,
But loves to lie I' the sun.
Seeking the food he eats,
And pleased with what he gets.
Come hither, come hither, come hither,
Here shall he see
no enemy
But winter and rough weather.

Illustrations by: Paul Swailes




December 2014 and January 2015 Meetings

No letters of co-option had been received to fill the remaining two vacancies.

Councillors declared the relevant Declarations of Interest where appropriate when discussing various Planning Applications.

Reports were received from the Police, County Councillor Mrs Andrea Davis, District Councillors Mrs Julie Clark and Yvette Gubb, Councillor Mrs Linda Thomas for the Play Area Inspection and Councillor Mrs Lorna Bowden on behalf of the Manor Hall Trust.

Councillor Steve Hill had attended a Flood Planning Meeting on 25 November and would be attending a two day Meeting in January.

The Parish Clerk, Mrs Sue Squire, had attended a parish Forum organised by North Devon Council and her written Report had been circulated to Councillors.

Six Planning Applications were considered at the December Meeting.

Five Planning Applications were considered at the January Meeting.

Councillor Steve Hill gave further details regarding the Emergency Plan. A grit bin was agreed for the entrance to the car park.

Councillor Steve Hill had obtained four quotations for the Play Area.. It was decided to go with Wickstead Leisure for the equipment and claim TAP [Town and Parish] fund allocation with partner Parishes Combe Martin and Bishops Tawton.

The usual payments to Mr Brian Davies for the toilet cleaning contract, the Parish Clerk's salary and expenses and HMRC for PAYE were approved.

Councillors also approved a request for a donation of £105.50 for the School to purchase 'A' frame signs and a banner to prevent parking problems near the School.

Arrangements were being made for a further supply of grit salt to be delivered to Snow Warden Councillor Clive Richards.

DCC. Various Road Closures:

  • 26/02/15 - 04/03/15. Ridge Hill, Rectory Road. For patching.
  • 02/02/15 - 13/02/15. A399 Newberry Hill, Combe Martin. For drainage work.
  • 11/03/15 - Temporary Speed Limit south of Newberry Road junction and south east of Berry Lane junction. For surface dressing and associated works including carriageway preparation and road markings.

PCSO Drury advised there was a very great problem regarding telephone and paper scams, so much so that she and her colleague, PCSO P Grantham, had been tasked to investigate at Combe Martin, Ilfracombe and Braunton. Efforts were being made to get the information across to potential victims and their families.



As reported above, these scams are now a serious problem. Below is the full text of the information PCSO Ade Drury gave Parish Councillors at the December Meeting.

A survey conducted by Help the Aged and Barclays revealed that seven out of ten older people in Britain - more than 6.6m people, are targeted by scams every month, either by telephone or letter. 22,000 victims replied to one scam alone and sent £500,000 in one day. 20 pensioners in Cornwall collectively sent £350,000 to criminals who work in organised gangs.

During 2014, at least 35 offences have been reported in the North Devon area resulting in approximately £800,000 being passed to criminals. These figures are alarming and there will be many more that haven't been reported to us. We ask you to warn your elderly relations, neighbours and friends about these scams. If they are in doubt about anything that comes through the post or someone calling by 'phone, then ask them to speak to someone else within the family or another trustworthy person.

There is a new website called "Think Jessica" which can be found at www.thinkjessica.com. There is a lot of good advice which can be found on this very informative website.

Criminals worldwide are hunting down the most fragile members of our society by working from mailing lists which categorise people as being elderly or vulnerable in some way. Everyone is at risk but those listed as living alone, not having the internet or any way of being educated about scams or how to report them are their preferred targets. They contact them by letter and 'phone call and try to trick them into parting with cash.

Those who respond end up having their details put on what criminals call 'suckers lists'. They sell these lists to other scammers all over the world. This can result in victims being delivered hundreds of scam letters and plagued by international 'phone calls. Millions of victims have a condition which Think Jessica is trying to get recognized as Jessica Scam Syndrome (JSS). People with JSS have been brainwashed by criminals who are having an easy and assisted passage into their homes, minds and bank accounts.

In March 2014 the National Scams Team estimated £10 billion a year was being sent to postal scams alone. However, Think Jessica believes this is only the tip of the iceberg.

People we visit often ask why have I been targeted? It's either because scammers have bought a mailing list with your details on it or you have responded to a tempting letter, 'phone call or advertisement. A great many organisations, businesses and age related charities sell mailing lists; often advertising those on them as good targets for lottery / sweepstakes / catalogues or good charity donators - scam mail can come from anywhere in the world.

Scammers are very crafty. They know how to dazzle minds and shut down the normal thought process. Someone whose mind has been dazzled will become excited and start to focus on the prize rather than the fact that they are being asked to send cash to claim it.

Here are just a few of the dazzling words and statements scammers use: Congratulations, Won The Lottery, Guaranteed Winner, Highly Confidential, Unclaimed Prize / Award, Sworn to Secrecy, Time Sensitive Document.

Once scammers have dazzled and hooked their victims, they trap them in a never ending cycle of letters and payments by asking for taxes, release fees, administration charges and anything else they can think of to keep the victim sending cash.

To make the scams more convincing, scammers often ask the victim how they would like the non-existent payment to be made, e.g. cash, cheque or money transfer.

This type of crime is happening to people who live in your community. Please help us to make sure someone you know doesn't become a victim to one of these criminals.


Artwork: Helen Weedon


Although the phrase 'never work with animals or children' has probably been said by thespians for centuries, it was the juggler and comedian W.C. Fields who made the quote famous. Without doubt they are words that have also been uttered by countless celebrities ever since - just watch an old episode of 'It'll be alright on the Night'.

Whilst Fields' proclamation referred to his acting profession, it cannot be said to relate to all lines of work. Moreover, when it comes to the care industry and in particular to the care of people with dementia, the addition of children or animals can enhance care towards them. Blend both together to create an infant animal and the recipe will result in an almost guaranteed success.

I cite as an example a lady I once knew who lived with quite progressed dementia in a care home where I worked. Although she was able to understand guidance from a member of staff up to a point and so comprehend what was being said to her to some degree, she gave no visual or verbal response. Day after day she never spoke and throughout every day her face remained utterly expressionless. Until that was I brought into work with me our twelve week old black Labrador, Bourton.

Illustration by: Nigel Mason

When he entered the lounge where the lady was sitting, her eyes immediately locked onto him. Gone was her characteristic distant stare, instead her eyes displayed an intense interest in Bourton's curiosity as he went about sniffing foot stools, poofs and fluffy slippers. Satisfied that he had received sufficient attention from one resident, he then moved onto the next though not before he had fully investigated their lounge footwear.

And then Bourton reached her. She leant forward in response, her eyes still mesmerised by this bundle of black wagging fur. Bourton reacted by jumping up at her legs. Clearly some sort of engagement between them was taking place. I stifled my impulse to tell him to get down and instead went across and picked him up. Instinctively she put her arms out to take him from me. Staying utterly calm, Bourton was happy to be taken into her arms. Slowly she positioned him like a mother cradles a baby and began gently rocking him. And then I saw an image of the lady I had never witnessed. A contented smile upon her face. Somewhere, deep within her mind, a memory had been evoked. To what point in time her thoughts had travelled, in which location she believed to be and indeed whom she was cradling, only she knew. But of this I am sure, a lovable black puppy had unlocked a memory that aroused a feeling of happiness that she was able to express.

Whilst some people with no cognitive impairment may enjoy rocking a furry puppy as though it was a baby, there are others for whom the notion holds no yearning. Yet there is a third group of people who would cherish such an opportunity but feel that the ordinance of adulthood forbids such immature behaviour, indeed, one could argue that our lady's dementia excused her from openly enjoying her childish act. Regardless of which group we fall into, one fact remains, the child inside us never goes away. For evidence, just ask any adult who took part in a board game during the Christmas period!

For me personally, it is a new rural discovery that can ignite those juvenile stirrings within me In an instant my mind can be transformed to childhood days creating camps in the local park with my best pal, each one christened a name to reflect its characteristics whether it be a natural pond hidden away, a dense copse of trees or a deep natural dyke. And it was whilst living in Combe Martin that I discovered a pathway right on my doorstep that allowed my imagination to be transferred back to those days. Walking that path for the first time, I permitted myself the opportunity to become a child once more. It was a path that wound its way in a deep recess, naturally created over thousands of years by the stream that ran within it. Before the path was created, the recess merely housed a mud track that in winter became hidden beneath the excess water running into the stream off the sodden fields. Now footpath and flowing water equally shared the flat, narrow base. Within a week I had christened various places along the path and imagined my pal and me using these as stop off points en route where we would discuss our plans and dreams. These place names along with the amazing abundance of spring wildflowers with which each camp was adorned is something I will save for the April issue.

Stephen McCarthy



The King's England, Devon, Cradle of our Seamen is a book edited by Arthur Mee which identifies some of these seamen and on reaching Berrynarbor he documents the exploits of one Roger Turpie or Captain Courageous!

Roger Turpie was born in Kirkaldy, Scotland, in 1834 and in the mid to late 1800's was well-known in shipping circles, serving the London Missionary Society first as Mate and later as Master of their various vessels spreading Christianity in Polynesia, New Guinea and the South Pacific.

As Mate on the John Williams I, when it struck a reef and was wrecked at Danger Island in the South Seas, Turpie, with a crew of six in an open boat proceeded to Samoa to seek help. The British Consul there chartered a vessel in which the shipwrecked party were taken safely to Sydney. A similar fate struck the John Williams II, again on which Turpie was Mate.

He took command of the John Williams III and for 20 years navigated the vessel safely through all the perils of the South Seas, later taking command of the John Williams IV, a steamship.

In 1860 he married Elizabeth Perrin who was born in Berrynarbor in 1834. In 1894, due to ill health, he and his wife retired here to Berrynarbor where he became a popular figure.

A man of a giant physique, in the Short History of Berrynarbor it says of him: "During his stay here it became necessary for him to undergo a serious operation and he is reputed to have refused an anaesthetic and to have sat in a chair for the whole operation. It is said that the arms of the chair were afterwards found to have been crushed during his paroxysm of dreadful pain."

His grave lies on the east side of St. Peter's and the headstone bears the following words:


for 40 years in the service of the London Missionary Society
as Officer and Captain of the ships John Williams I, II, III, IV
Died January 18 1901 aged 67 years

Elizabeth TURPIE

Wife of the above

died August 27 1905 aged 71 years.





A court at South Molton hears that of the 6 houses at Berry Down Hamlet, "four of them are beer houses and Joseph Huxtable of the Smith's Arms, Berrydown Cross, is fined £1 for allowing police to drink in his house"! The old forge still exists.

My great, great grandfather, Richard Dyer, owned a beer house here. He was also recorded as the Toll Keeper, an auctioneer and maltster. The Dyer family were the millers and farmers at Berry Mill at this time. My great grandmother was born in 'the Old Court' - the old Manor House when local families occupied it.

Lorna Bowden [researched by Gary Songhurst]


The Tower

My grandfather told me that it was local knowledge that several Berrynarbor cottages were built to house the itinerant stone masons who came to the village when the church tower was built. The old church house, which stood to the right of the lych gate, was probably built at the same time and perhaps the church wall was constructed at the same time.

Lorna Bowden



The earliest reference to the Hicks family that I can find is the marriage of John Hicks to Tabitha Dennis - July 7th 1673. They've been around a long time! The 1882 Tythe, records William Hicks at Blurridge Farm, Charles Hicks at South Lee and Thomas Hicks at Middle Hagginton.



The first shows Tom Hicks, his wife and son at Whitecote. Later Tom Hicks became Post Master at Langley House. The Post Office then moved to Lower Town, sometimes called Silver Street. The photos of Langley House show the family outside the Post Office.



The gentleman on horseback is Samuel Bowden, Michael's grandfather. His son Ralph married Tom's daughter, Emma Hicks.

They farmed Oakwell at Shirwell. In the photo, Samuel is possibly at Lower Rows, which he farmed before moving to Ruggaton.

Another photo shows him with pony and trap at Watermouth Castle, possibly to pay his rent.



The first of the final two photographs shows Ralph Bowden and Emma [Hicks] at Oakwell Farm, The other, is also from the Hicks album but can anyone throw any light on what/where/who it is and why everyone has a bow on their dress or apron?

Betty Brooks, with her sons David and Kevin, are probably the only people with blood links to the Hicks family today. Bett's great grandmother was a Hicks.


Lorna Bowden



Henbane: "A Strange but beautiful plant."

Illustration by: Peter Rothwell

Throughout the three mile stretch of Braunton Burrows there is only one specimen of henbane, a plant which has become quite rare.

We usually access the Burrows via the toll road or Sandy Lane but this time we had come to the Saunton car park because it was near there that henbane was discovered growing about ten years ago and we hoped to find it, only having seen photographs of the plant.

Henbane [Hyoscyamus niger] has creamy white flowers almost an inch across, purple at the base with a network of purple veins. The plant can be up to four feet high, has toothed leaves and sticky white hairs. It occurs mainly near the sea in sandy waste places.

Illustration by: Paul Swailes

It is a member of the Solanaceae family which includes deadly nightshade and it is very poisonous. However, originally a Mediterranean plant, it was cultivated by medieval monks in their herb gardens and regarded as an important medicinal plant, a 'hypnotic'. All parts of the plant contain a narcotic drug called hyoscine.

We skirted the area known as Chalet Valley, a scattering of various little wooded dwellings randomly placed among the dunes, half hidden.

We battled with the brambles as we crossed Strawberry Ridge. The paths are less defined this end of the Burrows, more overgrown. Still no sign of the elusive henbane.

The books I'd looked up described henbane as evil looking and evil smelling yet in her comprehensive guide to the wild flowers of the Braunton Burrows, Mary Breeds dubbed it, 'a strange but beautiful plant'. I was intrigued.

In the area of Hollow Hill we trudged up dunes only to find on reaching the summit, a long and steep drop on the other side. We slithered down, our shoes filling with sand.

It was a relief to enter Wintergreen Slack, a huge natural amphitheatre, enclosed by high dunes where the flat area was covered in water mint, fleabane and red clover; a carpet of fragrant mauve, yellow and pink and no-one but us to sit and enjoy it because everyone else had gravitated to the beach.

There were Michaelmas daisies and a lot of the furry, pinkish haresfoot clover. There was also an active flock of small heaths; modest little ginger-brown butterflies.

Eventually we admitted defeat and as we reluctantly returned to the car park we witnessed a helicopter coming to land next to the Saunton Sands Hotel. We had failed in our quest to find the henbane, but the highlight of the walk had been being surrounded by the gorgeous blend of colours of Wintergreen Slack combined with the scent of mint and wild thyme.

Recommended reading: Wild Flowers of Braunton Burrows by Mary Breeds.

Sue H


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


My name is Tom Banks and I'll relate to you my guilty secret which I kept from my wife for some time.

As with most secrets, you eventually confide in someone, so I told Fred Parsons, a friend of mine, about Peggy.

"You know, Fred, I've completely fallen for Peggy.," I told him. "I've been to her home three times and I'm going to see her tomorrow."

"Well," Fred replied, "If the whole thing comes to a head, you will have to tell your wife or surely she will find out sooner or later, and you will be in trouble!"

"I've confided in you and please don't tell anyone."

"OK, your problem," he muttered as he walked away.

The next day I called at Peggy's place with the idea that we could go to the park.

We wandered into the park and sat on a bench. I put my arms around her and gave her a kiss. She kissed me back and looked at me with those lovely brown eyes. What would my wife think if she knew?

It's not as if I'm unhappy at home. I love my wife. Somehow the problem has to be resolved.

"It's no good," I thought, "Peggy and my wife will have to meet." So that was it and Peggy and I started off for my house.

As I put the key in the door, Peggy stood behind me.

My wife was cleaning the porch and greeted me with, "Hello, have you been down to the pub yet again?" Obviously she suspected something.

Before I could reply, Peggy walked out from behind me, wagging her bottom and tail and bounded up to my wife.

"A Labrador!" she exclaimed as Peggy sat down for a pat and stroke on her head. "Where did you get her?"

"From the dog rescue centre," I replied.

"Well, I'm sure we three will be very happy!"

Tony Beauclerk - Stowmarket


Charles Osborne

For old time's sake
Don't let our enmity live.
For old time's sake
Say you 'forget and forgive'.
Life's too short to quarrel
Hearts too precious to break.
Shake hands and let us be friends
For old time's sake.

This piece sent by Tony is, in fact, the chorus of a song written and composed by Charles Osborne. It became a well-known music hall song in the early 20th century and was the only hit song for Millie Lindon. Millie Lindon was born Fanny Elizabeth Warriss, the daughter of a tailor. On her marriage to Dunville in Clapham in 1895, she embellished her name to become Florence Elizabeth Millicent Warriss and reduced her age by nine years. Dunville managed the early part of the career but she had only one hit song, For Old Times' Sake [1898], written by Charles Osborne. The marriage lasted seven years and Millie then married the Manchester newspaper magnate Sir Edward Hulton, who founded The Daily Sketch, bought and enlarged the London Evening Standard and then sold his empire to Lord Beaverbrook for £6 million. They had two children - a daughter who died at the age of 22, and a son, Edward George Warris. This marriage, like her first to Dunville, also failed.



Following on from the article about Ellen in the October Newsletter, Paul Savje - from Boston, whose wife's grandmother was Ellen Wright [nee Huxtable] - sent me the following photograph of Ellen's school class around 1865.

Paul would love to know if anyone can help him in identifying the school. It is interesting to note that there are two masters and that the class seems to be all girls, although one small boy appears in the second row up on the far right. Ellen would have been about 7 when the photograph was taken.



Newer readers may be unaware and other readers may have forgotten, that the Newsletter has its own website: www.berrynarbor-news.co.uk. Issues do not appear in full and go on line several weeks after the hard copy is circulated, but if you have the facility, it is well worth taking a look as the photographs, in particular, can be seen far more clearly.

It is also interesting to take a look at the cluster map showing the places where the website has been looked at, literally all over the world! The very latest, as this goes to print, are at Tewkesbury and London, and Simi Valley, California. Since October 2009 there have been 11,001 hits!


Artwork: Peter Rothwell

A number of Thank You's this month!

Christmas Card Exchange

Thanks go to all who used the Christmas card exchange for the traditional distribution of their seasonal greetings around the village, which saw some 300 cards posted into the box at the shop. With the day of the card-exchange, Saturday 20th, being so close to Christmas, attendance was less than usual - even with the incentive of coffee, cakes and mince pies - with only a handful of people turning up. Thanks to the Newsletter for the very welcome donation of £200 from the messages in the December issue. With eleven months to go before next Christmas, maybe we can add some further incentives?

Centenary Village Tapestry

It is an impressive addition to the main hall, taking many hours of work to complete and using various techniques, including embroidery, hand-painted and photographic prints and other artistic media. Depicting various aspects of life around Berrynarbor, it has been sited on the wall adjacent to the kitchen opening, replacing the old large noticeboard.

A really big Thank You to all the ladies who gave their time to create such a wonderful snapshot of life in and around our Parish.

Restoration - Next Stage

Having received the £10,000 funding from the Big Lottery, we have now appointed our surveyors from Barnstaple, who will begin to schedule all the works required, including the structural engineer's specifications for the Manor House roof, as well as do scale drawings for planning and listed buildings consents.

We are very aware that the Manor Hall is an essential and well-used asset for the Parish and its residents; while the Trustees are tasked with being the custodians of the building to maintain it for the future generations, we welcome input from all within the Parish.

To that end, we plan to hold an 'Open Forum' shortly at which time four specific concepts will be discussed, the outcome of which will help us determine the architectural plans required for the major funding that will be needed for any restoration and refurbishment. Details of the Forum will be distributed house-to-house in the next few weeks.


The ongoing heating problem in the main hall continues, with two out of the four old gas heaters inoperative and unable to be repaired. In the short-term, electric heaters have been provided to supplement the two remaining and - at present - working gas heaters; the controls on the electric heaters have been set and therefore we ask all users of the hall to only switch them on/off at the socket at the beginning and end of each session.

Clearly such heaters are not the most economical form of heating such a large area and we are looking at how best to resolve the whole heating issue throughout the Manor Hall so as to gain better comfort levels with reasonable running costs.

Get Involved

Every month there are various regular groups using the Manor Hall, from the above-mentioned craft group, to pilates, badminton, as well as the art group and wine circle, not to mention the school, pre-school and toddlers. If you're not already a member of one of them - why not join, or is there a group you would like to start?

The Manor Hall Committee


Diary Date to Honour THAT Auctioned Promise

Bank Holiday Monday 4th May

Following the challenge thrown down during the recent Auction of Promises to raise funds for the Manor Hall restoration, the date has been fixed for the Naked Tractor Wash at Easter Barton when Geoff Adam will 'Bare All for Manor Hall' - for a price!

As a starter, £130 has been donated already - more to follow?

More details in the April Newsletter



The History Society met at 8.00 p.m. on Wednesday, 14th January in the Globe and will meet again, same time and place on Wednesday, 11th February.

Our investigations are about the parish of Berrynarbor, the farms the old buildings, particularly the church and Manor Hall, and the people who have been part of this Domesday village and Berry Down.

We are not historians, just an interested group of villagers keen to learn as much as we can and record our findings for posterity. If you'd like to give a helping hand, please join us next month.

Judith Adam




[c160's - 222 or 223 AD]

Pope, Martyr and
the name given to West Down Parish Church

In April 2012 I mentioned St Callixtus when looking unsuccessfully for the grave of Mary Challacombe on a cold wet miserable January cold and miserable January day. Sadly, we returned to St Calixtus Church on a similar day this year - but looking for news of the Saint himself.

Here we found a short history, but not of why the church was named after him. A kind volunteer in West Down Community Shop [opened in 2012] was very helpful, saying that the name had been changed, but not the reason. Does anyone else know?

Most of the story we know of St. Callixtus is from someone who hated him, Saint Hippolytus, who rivalled him in his bid for the Pope and was enraged by Callixtus's mercy to sinners - 'adulterers, murderers and fornicators' - and his desire for equality among church members.

As a young slave, Callixtus, a Roman from the Trastevere district, was made by his master, Carpophorus, manager of a bank in the Publica Piscina in Rome where his responsibilities were to collect alms donated by other Christians for the care of widows and orphans. Somehow, the bank failed and he lost the funds. [That sounds familiar!] Hippolytus declared that it was Callixtus's loose living that used up the money. It seems unlikely, however, that Carpophorus would risk his reputation and fellow Christians' savings on such an unlikely candidate.

Whatever the reason, Callixtus fled by boat but was soon caught and jumped into the sea - to commit suicide according to Hippolytus. He was taken back to his master, put on trial and sentenced to forced labour on a treadmill.

He won his release by convincing Carpophorus that he could get some of the money back for creditors.

He was then arrested for fighting in a synagogue whilst trying to borrow money or collect debts from some Jews. This time he couldn't escape punishment and was sentenced to work in mines in Sardinia. He was released with other Christians at the request of Marcia, favourite mistress of Emperor Commodus. By this time his health had deteriorated and his fellow Christians sent him to Antium to recuperate. At the same time he was given a pension and an unnamed job by Pope Victor I.

About ten years later he became archdeacon to Pope Zephyrinus and in this post was entrusted with the burial chambers on the Appian Way. Callixtus made them available to any Christians, rich, poor or slaves. In the 3rd century it became the burial place of 9 Popes and eight Bishops.

These catacombs were rediscovered by the archaeologist Giovanni Battista de Rossi in 1849 and have become among the greatest and most important of Rome. Should you wish to find them, they are on the right of the Appian Way, after the church of Quo Vadis. Be prepared to spend some time there. It is a huge complex. A network of galleries 12 miles long, on four levels, 20 metres deep and covering about 90 acres.

When Zephyrinus died in 219, Callixtus was proclaimed Pope despite protests from his rival, Hippolytus. It was interesting times for the new Church. Callixtus started to open it up to sinners and Hippolytus found this shockingly lax, feeling that in time it would downgrade the Church. Consequently, he was elected as a rival Bishop of Rome, the first antipope.

Callixtus didn't have long in his new role. He was martyred in either 222 or 223. Legend has it that he was thrown down a well and his church in Trastevere certainly has a well. The legend continues that a priest of Rome, Asterius, recovered his body and buried it at night. They all lived in hard times. Asterius was arrested for his action, killed and thrown off a bridge into the River Tiber!

So ended the life of this colourful man - slave, banker, bishop, Pope and martyr. In the Catholic Church he was designated as patron of cemetery workers and his feast day is October 14th.

Now you know my interest in why West Down Church is named after Saint Calixtus [sic]. Please help!

PP of DC

P.S. From information picked up in the church, I recognised the name of one of the churchwardens. Having just 'phoned him, I learn that the previous name was Holy Trinity. This was changed to St Calixtus in the 1920's or 30's because there was confusion over the mail delivery with Ilfracombe's Holy Trinity Church. The powers that be certainly wanted to avoid future problems!

For their help, my thanks to Pauline from the shop and David from the church.





Due to timber extraction from the private forest at Woolscott Cleave involving heavy lorries and other machinery, the woods will be closed to dog and other walkers for a period of approximately
three months, until around April.

Please be aware that 2 to 3 lorries a day will be taking the timber out of the village.

John Boxall.


Artwork: Harry Weedon


Well Christmas has come and gone and I hope you all had a lovely one. This year for the first time we had to abandon carol singing in the square because of the rain but we all squeezed in to the back room of the Globe and very jolly it was too. The collection raised £145.00 which was split between Devon Air Ambulance and Motor Neurone Research. Thank you all carollers and a big thank you to Phil and Tony for leading us in the music.

Thank you also to Graham Sanders for donating the lovely Christmas tree in the square and to Dave and Eve from Muffet's for their electricity and again to Phil for putting it up and decorating it.

Not much happening on the gardening front in January and February, other than willing the daffodils to start cheering us up, but plans are being made for 2015. Our order for bedding plants has gone in to Ann at Jigsaw as the quality of plants they grew for us last year was excellent. Now we have to raise the money to pay for them. To that end we are planning our annual Fun Quiz and Supper in the Manor Hall on Friday 6th March. We do hope that you will come and enjoy yourselves and support us.

We shall start the litter picks in February or March depending on the weather - look out for our posters and on the blackboard.

If you are interested in our group and in keeping the village tidy and in flower, please join us at our annual meeting on Monday 2nd March at the Globe at 7.00 p.m. We are always looking for new members and new ideas.

Lastly, every year we take the empty hanging baskets to Streamways for re-filling. Their prices are very reasonable and they deliver them back to us 'ready to go'. If you would like to have your baskets re-filled, please drop them off to me at Bessemer Thatch before April.

Wendy Applegate


Artwork: Angela Bartlett

Hot Lemon Curd and Almond Tart

I was given a jar of home-made passion fruit curd at Christmas and when looking for something a bit different to do with it I came across the recipe for lemon curd and almond tart. I made it using the passion fruit curd and it was very nice but a little sweet so I tried it with lemon curd and it was lovely, especially the topping, and quite easy to make. You can use a good shop bought lemon curd but it is nicer to make your own fresh lemon curd to this recipe:

Lemon Curd

  • 30z/75g caster sugar
  • 1 large juicy lemon
    (grated zest and juice)
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 2oz/50g unsalted butter

Place the grated lemon rind and sugar in a bowl. In another bowl whisk the eggs and lemon juice, then pour over the sugar. Add the butter cut in to little pieces and place the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir frequently till thickened - about 20 minutes. Cool the curd and use as required. Any left over can be stored in a screw top jar in the fridge.


  • 6 oz Shortcrust pastry - made to your own recipe or use a good bought pastry [Sainsbury's do an excellent fresh dessert pastry and I often use it.]
  • 3 rounded tablespoons lemon curd
  • 2oz/50g butter or margarine
  • 5oz/150g semolina
  • 5oz/150g granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure almond essence
  • 1 1/2oz/40g almonds finely chopped or you could use all ground almonds
  • (I used 1/2 flaked almonds and 1/2 ground almonds)
  • 1 free range egg beaten
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

You will need a lightly greased baking tin, preferably non-stick, or line with paper, 11 X 7 inches and 1 1/2" deep. Heat the oven to350 Deg F/180 Deg /Gas mark 4 and heat a baking sheet in the oven.

Roll out the pastry and line the tin. Spread the lemon curd evenly over the pastry. Refrigerate while you make the topping.

Melt the butter gently in a saucepan and when melted remove from the heat, add the almond essence, stir and add the dry ingredients. Lastly stir in the beaten egg - it will be a stiff mixture.

Spread as evenly as you can over the lemon curd and bake the tart on a hot baking sheet on a high shelf for about 25 minutes.

Served straight away this is lovely with ice cream or custard and you would never know that there was semolina in it.

Happy 2015 to you all

Wendy Applegate



Wine is the most healthful and
most hygienic of beverages

Louis Pasteur

Bugs and viruses abound and circulate during autumn and winter and I succumbed in November. I was due to deliver this month's wines, but at the 11th hour it had to be a presentation by proxy; thankfully, my very able husband, Geoff, stepped in!

'Romania Surprises' probably, begs the question why, would you choose wines from here? One sociable evening last summer, courtesy of a friend, we sampled a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc. Wine labels interest me, I saw that it was from Romania. I was sceptical. However, it transpired to be a very pleasant white wine.

Romania is landlocked, mainly. A small, south-eastern section of its border is coastal, created by the Black Sea. It has a varied landscape, hot summers and very cold winters, and, therefore, its winemaking regions follow a diverse pattern. The north-east makes aromatic whites; the coastal winemakers produce Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc; whereas the south, with its warmer temperatures, is better for reds.

We sampled a Feteasca Regala, Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc. These were followed by a Pinot Noir, Merlot and a Syrah. The reds were preferred by the majority. I wasn't there, but I did have a tasting sample of all and the last two wines, the Merlot and Syrah were excellent value for their money, both £7.99, and I'd drink them again, Many members agreed that the Syrah was the best of the bunch!

Their prices ranged between £8.95 and £6.99, but they were couriered from Bristol and London wine merchants, so these charges had to be added to the final bill. Worth it, I think, to achieve a better knowledge of this beverage.

Our Christmas celebration is very popular. Sixty-one of us enjoyed homemade 3-course meals and 6 good wines to round off a very successful Wine Circle year. We started with a Prosecco, followed by a star - a Pouilly Fume made by Jonathan Pabiot. It was a delicious white, an organic Sauvignon Blanc - a star of the Loire. It was pale and refined, with a citrus fruit core. It should have been £19.99 per bottle, but Majestic's deal was and is £13.32 if you buy 2 bottles.

Unusually, we followed this with 4 reds: two Spanish and two Italian: a Sicilian Corolla Red, 2012, and a Vina Del Perdon, a Navarra Reserva, 2004, described as a 'historic vintage' and rated as excellent by the Rioja and Navarra Control Board. Aged wine has been nurtured, costing money, but this was only £9.99 from Avery's of Bristol.

I was keen to try a different supplier and drove to Bray Valley Wine, in South Molton, but it was worth it. No tastings possible, but I was recommended the Renato Ratti Ochetti 2012, Nebbiolo D'Alba, a Piedmont red. It didn't come cheap: £15.98 per bottle, a Christmas reduction of £2. Ratti's website says: 'A slightly faded ruby red . . scents of strawberry and raspberry . . elegant and full. It adds that it has: 'class, finesse and delicate aromas'. There were many complimentary voices, including mine!

Tony Summers, our Chairman, provided us with a Ribero del Duereo for the evening's finale with a Cillar de Silos 2010, from Majestic's. Another aged, oak-barrel-matured red, £17.99, but £13.40 if 2 bought. It was another great wine to end another great evening.

January to May programme:

  • 18th February - Call My Wine Bluff.
  • 18th March - Lidl and Large
  • 15th April - Jonathan Coulthard from France
  • 20th May - AGM and to end this season: Emerging Regions by Brett Stephens Hallgarten Druitt Wines:

Judith Adam - Secretary





The Gardens will be open from 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.

Entry £4.00. Season Ticket Holders and Children under 12 Free. The Tea Room will be open serving hot and cold drinks, cakes and light lunches, and the Plant Centre open selling a variety of plants.

The Garden, Garden Tea Room and Plant Centre will reopen fully on Sunday, 15th March.




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!

Staying Safe - Colette Hudson from Childline Services visited Elderberry Class. The visit was to provide children with an understanding of abuse, knowledge of how to protect themselves and an awareness of how and where to get help. The afternoons were very informative and we are hoping that Colette will return every other year to visit.

Fire Safety Talk - At the start of the term KS1 and KS2 were visited by Devon and Somerset Fire Service, who taught the children about fire safety. They learnt to plan an escape route, how to test smoke detectors, steps to take to avoid a fire and what to do if there is a fire. Remember to check your smoke alarm!

Football Tournament - Selected children from Elderberry class attended a football tournament at The Ilfracombe Academy. The children all played well and enjoyed themselves. Well done Team. Also, congratulations to Josh Richards who was Man of the Match!

Senior Dudes Meal - This was my first venture at putting on the Senior Dudes Meal. It was very well received by our guests and there have been many compliments given over the past few days. Thanks to Sarah Peach, Paul Newell and Louise Richards for all their time and hard work. Also, thanks to the adults who helped on the night. Congratulations to the children, they were very well behaved and served their guests perfectly. This was all topped off by the seal of approval from the creator of the Senior Dudes event herself, Carol Lucas!

A generous amount was raised for the MNDA, and the children gained many life skills.

Mr. Jones

Christingle - Christingle afternoon was enjoyed by all. Children made their own Christingle and learnt about its associated symbolism, they then walked to church to take part in a Christingle Service

Strawberry & Cranberry Class Nativity - The children did themselves proud with a fabulous performance of "A Little Bird Told Me". The Manor Hall was packed, and afterwards parents enjoyed tea, coffee and mince pies. An enormous well done to the children and a special thank you to all the Staff team who made it possible.

Village Carol Service - Thank you to our School Choir for performing so well at the Annual Carol Service. There was a lot of praise from people in the community, which made us very proud of you all. Well done to all of the children for singing so beautifully at the School Christmas Concert.

Think Road Safety

Thank you to all parents/carers who have supported our Think! Road Safety campaign. It has been a great success. Our children and their parents have been able to cross the road and walk to the car park safely. Traffic flow through the village has been much smoother. Might we politely remind parents not to park in the junction opposite the bus stop as this is not a safe option. We appreciate that the car park gets busy, but spaces soon free up.

Sue Carey - Headteacher




Following the initial Tea and Biscuits discussion, it appears there is sufficient interest for a class to run. We have now had our first full 1/2 hour session - Thursdays, weekly, 2.00 to 3.30 p.m. - which was good fun and enjoyed by all.

Hopefully we shall continue for the remainder of this term and if anyone is interested in joining us, please ring me on [01271] 883087 or 07837077313.




I have just been reading the Berrynarbor Newsletter and looking at Tom's pictures of the Castle.

The guide book of c1960 says it is difficult to establish when the Bassets moved there. I have heard two reasons for the move and the building of the castle. The first was that it was built as a wedding present and secondly when they learnt that the railway would be running close to Heanton Court they decided to move to Watermouth although they would have owned the land that the railway was built on and, I suspect, were paid a tidy sum for it.

During the occupancy of Mr. Black the property went downhill and he removed the lead in the valleys on the roof. I remember working on the roof slating and found that he had missed a few and on one of the front left hand valleys I found the initials and date scratched in the lead of the workmen who had roofed the castle in the first place. I think the date was 1849.

The Castle was one of the first jobs my father worked on when we came to the village. It was then, in 1958, owned by the Braine family and I think I am right in saying that Mr. Braine wanted the land for caravans and the castle was in such a state that it was thrown in for little or nothing.

Illustration by: Helen Armstead

Dad started by repairing the oak doors to the conservatory and then the rest of the building. Some of the bedrooms were turned in to flats. one of the rooms was reported to be haunted by a grey lady [you could think of a less common colour than that!]. Dad was asked to make a new casement for the window of the room as it was always open. The frame was made and fitted, but Mr. Braine said he could never keep it shut.

I went to work there in the summer holidays to earn a bit of cash. There was no electric light in what we called the dungeons and that was where the building materials were kept. The Castle itself had a generator but it only worked upstairs so we had to use hurricane or tilly lamps in the cellars - 'twas a bit spooky down there by yourself!

After a while Mr. Braine had restored enough of the building to open it to the public and Charlie Dredge had the job of Tour Guide. As I said, the light downstairs was by tilly lamp although at that time gas lights were being fitted in the cellars.

One of the gas fitters was called Norman Bryant and as Mr. Dredge was showing the rapped visitors the 'Norman Arches', Norman jumped up from behind a wall and said, "I'm Norman and what the hell do you want?" There were a few gasps and screams.

When the sub-tropical gardens were being cleared, and I mean cleared, Fred Davy, who was the gardener, found ornamental ponds under the ferns and brambles. I think one had a statue in it. The Gardens were lovely.

I remember when Frank Brown had the pond at Mill Park drained and dug out, he stocked it with course fish. Like most youngsters, my introduction to fishing, apart from tickling trout, was catching small perch there. Ray Toms and I decided to put some in the ponds in the tropical gardens, so we put some in a bucket and started off to the Castle.

It was summertime and the light was dimpsey, or dimmy, as we say round here, and it suddenly struck us as we walked up the path to the gardens that there was no noise - no birdsong or anything. We dumped the fish and ran like hell! I found out later that one of the gardeners' sons had fallen in the pond and drowned - 'twas a bit spooky!

There are many more stories to tell about the castle, but I'll stop boring you now . . . if you haven't nodded off already!





to be held at Blackmoor Gate Market Place on MONDAY, 6TH APRIL

Sellers 10.00 a.m.
Buyers: from 11.00 a.m.

Refreshments available

Contact: Dena 01598 763491

Proceeds to St. Thomas Church, Kentisbury Funds


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Berrynarbor Village and Post Office - View No. 153


This month I have chosen a Francis Frith postcard, No: 63947 first published 1911 which shows the top end of Pitt Hill before the road was tarmacked in around 1919. The view shows a young Albert Jones and his sister Edith outside Forge Cottage, No. 38, then No. 37 and below that what was then the detached No. 36, with the steps from the road leading up to the Shop and Post Office. In 1911 this was owned and run by the postmaster, Mr. Thomas Hicks.

On the right of the picture is No. 39, Fuchsia Cottage with its three steps and hand rails leading up to the front door. It is interesting to note that in the Watermouth Estate Auction Sale, conducted by John Smale, held on August 17th 1920 at the Bridge Hall in Barnstaple, Fuchsia Cottage (Lot 46) was sold for £325. The Post Office (Lot 48) was sold for £350. No. 37 (Lot 49) was sold for £155. The completion date for the sale was 25th March1921.

It is interesting to note that in the sale details of 1920 Special Condition No. 8 states:

    "The water supply for the Village of Berrynarbor is obtained from a spring which rises in Hagginton Hill in a plot Part Ordnance Number 844 belonging to the Vendors north of Lot 73, and is carried from such spring by pipes into a reservoir on the west side of Ordnance Number 831 also the property of the Vendors, and from thence it is carried by pipes under the Public Road and portions of some of the Lots included in the particulars to various taps in Berrynarbor Village."

I should like to congratulate Maurice Draper and make everyone aware that he has just published a book 'The Life and Times of Maurice Draper a Berrynarbor Man'. This can be obtained from the Berrynarbor Shop. Albert and Edith Jones were related to Maurice.

Finally I should like to dedicate this article to Vic Cornish, of No. 37, who died on Christmas Day after a long illness and who played such an active part in our village over a long period of time.

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage, January 2015
e-mail: tomandinge40@gmail.com



Artwork: Peter Rothwell


Now that we have the Carvery Unit set up and the Back Room is more of a Dining Room we have started our Monthly All You Can Eat Nights [with the exception of August and December].

  • Saturday, 28th February: Tex-Mex
  • Saturday. 21st March: Italian

There will be a selection of hot starters and main meals for you to help yourself to - As Many Times As You Want!

All this for just £16 per person with an early booking incentive: Pay just£14 if you book the Tex-Mex by Tuesday 17th Feb and the Italian by Tuesday 10th March. A further £2 discount if you are a Loyalty Card Holder.

  • Saturday 14th February: Valentine's Day So book early for a candle-lit table and treat your loved one to a delicious meal with some extra touches to make sure your night is special.
  • Saturday 14th March: Games Night Teams compete at Killer games of pool, skittles and darts. Put your names down at the bar in advance.
  • Sunday 15th March: Mothering Sunday Be sure to book a table early for this one so that you don't miss out on our Carvery.

... and remember; the Carvery is served every Sunday from 12.00 noon to 2.00 p.m. £9.50 per person, which includes soup and crusty bread starter. Kid's portions are just £4.95 and include squash, ice-cream AND an activity bag!

Quiz Nights continue to run fort-nightly and on the alternate Sundays we are starting Board Games Night - Monopoly, Pictionary, etc., and Card Games Night - Bridge, Rummy, Cribbage, etc. So the next Card Night is Sunday, 8th February and the next Board Games Night is Sunday, 22nd February No need to book, just turn up 7.30 p.m. for 8.00 p.m. start.

News from the Sawmill Inn
The Sawmill will be re-opening in March, so if you have friends coming to visit and they need a place to stay please keep us in mind for B&B. You can book via our website www.thesawmillinn.co.uk

The Sawmill Beer Festival is on the weekend of Friday 19th and Saturday 20th June.

See you all soon,

The Ozeltons



31st Soup and Pudding Evening, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
10th Parish Council Meeting, Manor Hall, 7.00 p.m.
11th History Society Meeting, The Globe, 8.00 p.m.
14th St. Valentine's Day: Pamper Day, Manor Hall, from 10.00 a.m.
15th Marwood Hill Gardens: Snowdrop Day, 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.
16th to Friday, 20th, inc: Primary School and Academy - Half Term
17th Mobile Library in Village from 11.40 a.m.
Pancakes & Ponies, Exmoor Pony Centre, 12.00 noon to 3.00 p.m.
18th Wine Circle: 8.00 p.m., Manor Hall - Call My Wine Bluff
22nd Marwood Hill Gardens: Snowdrop Day, 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.
25th Friendship Lunch, The Globe, from 12.00 noon onwards
2nd Berry in Bloom: Annual Meeting, The Globe, 7.00 p.m.
6th Berry in Bloom: Fun Quiz & Supper Night
10th Parish Council Meeting, Manor Hall, 7.00 p.m.
15th Mothering Sunday
17th Mobile Library in Village from 11.40 a.m.
18th Wine Circle, 8.00 p.m., Manor Hall - Lidl and Large
27th Primary School and Ilfracombe Academy: End of Spring Term
29th British Summer Time begins - clocks go forward 1 hour
3rd Good Friday
5th Easter Sunday

Manor Hall Diary
MondaysUpholstery, 9.00 to 1.00 p.m.
Craft Group, 1.45 p.m.
Badminton, 7.30 p.m.
TuesdaysN.D. Spinners [2nd & 4th]
Yoga, 7.00 p.m.
3rd: Craft Art Group, 9.30 a.m.
WednesdaysPilates Body Workout, 9.00 a.m. School p.m.
ThursdaysWatercolour Painting 10.00 a.m. [10 week terms]
FridaysToddlers Soft Play and Activity a.m.
Primary School p.m.
Penn Curzon RoomPre-School: Daily - Term time only
Breakfast Club for ages 2-11, Daily 8.00 a.m.
Morning Session: 9.00 a.m. - 12.00 noon
Afternoon Session: 12.00 noon to 3.00 p.m.
Mobile Library
Village Shop: 11.40-12.10 p.m. Sterridge Valley: 12.25-12.55 p.m.

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