Edition 159 - December 2015
As I write, the weather is blustery but so far Barney has not brought the bad gales that were forecast. The weather has been grey and grim of late but at least we had some lovely weather in September and October, just as the children went back to school!
December is here and the rush up to the festive season is about to begin - cards, cakes, puddings, presents!
A big thank you to everyone who sent messages via the Newsletter, your generous donations will benefit both the Manor Hall and the Newsletter.
Thanks also go to Debbie for the 'Little Donkey' covers and the Greetings penguins enjoying the snow. Her continued support is very much appreciated.
That goes, too, to all the contributors and especially Paul for all his wonderful illustrations, all produced at the very last moment! And so to 2016 and items for the first issue of the year, February, will be welcome as soon as possible and by Wednesday, 13th January at the latest. Thank you.
As always our thoughts and best wishes are with those folk currently under the weather and a warm welcome to all newcomers to our village, and I send my best wishes to you all for a Happy Christmas and New Year.
Judie - Ed
WEATHER OR NOT
After such a mediocre summer September and October were generally very pleasant and according to sunshine hours sunnier than average. 151.26 hours were recorded in September which was down on last year but up on all previous years, and October had 95.50 hours which was the highest ever recorded for the month.
The jet stream moved north at the beginning of September and the weather was settled, warm and dry until the 12th when it shifted south again. Monday the 14th was very wet and windy - between 0715 on Monday morning and 0700 on Tuesday we recorded 48mm which was over half of the total 94mm rainfall for the month. It remained unsettled until Friday 25th when an area of high pressure established itself over the country and we enjoyed some lovely warm, summery days although the nights were chilly. Those of us mad enough to get up to see the lunar eclipse were treated to beautiful clear skies with plenty of stars as well as the orange moon. The maximum temperature for the month was 22.5 deg C with a minimum of 5.4 deg C on two nights. The maximum wind gust was 31 mph just after midnight on the 15th.
The settled weather continued until Monday 5th October when there was a breakdown for a few days before it settled down into a spell of Indian summer. October was fairly mild with a maximum of 19.2 deg C and a minimum of
5.4 deg C. Winds were generally calm with a maximum gust of 23 mph. It is normally a wet month, in the twenty two years that we have kept records we have had totals of up to 340mm, but this year was the second driest with only 68mm which was well under half of what we usually get.
There is a lot of speculation that the coming winter will be a hard one but so far November has started very mild which will at least help to shorten the winter.
Simon and Sue
ST. PETER'S CHURCH
Understandably, I keep getting asked when our new Vicar is going to arrive. The straight answer to this is I just don't know! However, what I can tell you is that our new Archdeacon Mark Butchers is going as fast as he can to accelerate matters, not just for Berrynarbor but for Combe Martin as well!
Following the break-away from the North Devon Coast Team by Parracombe, Trentishoe, Martinhoe, Lynton, Lynmouth and Brendon nearly a year ago, leaving Berrynarbor and Combe Martin thoroughly isolated, both our PCC's have had to consider many options to ensure the continuation of Church, Wedding, Funeral, Baptism and other Services within our two Churches throughout this year!
What is likely is that Berrynarbor and Combe Martin will link up with one of the Churches in Ilfracombe in the very near future, and so it now looks, assuming everything goes to plan, as if we shall be able to welcome the Rev. Michael Rogers as the new Vicar in the early part of 2016.
Our Harvest Festival Service was well attended with lots of jolly singing from Berrynarbor School as well as a beautiful Anthem sung by Berrynarbor Choir. We were very grateful to Rev. Clive Thomas from Ilfracombe, who although retired, was absolutely wonderful with the youngsters from the School handing out lots of special sweets to them, who in turn ensured that the congregation didn't go without!
Our Harvest Supper was very successful with everyone enjoying a superb buffet together with wine and cider! A big thank you as always goes to the ladies who supplied the wonderful food and to Malcolm and Stuart for providing a really excellent quiz and 'sing song'.
The Service for Loved Ones is always a lovely service which was sympathetically led by our retired Rector George Billington, culminating in the placing of special candles on the altar from the congregation.
Berrynarbor's Remembrance Sunday Service on the 8th November was led by George Billington and Berrynarbor School had produced some wonderful artistic tributes and poems to those brave soldiers, sailors and airmen who gave their lives in the First and Second World Wars and several other conflicts to those more recently in Afghanistan. The service is very poignant and this year was made even more so by the beautiful unaccompanied singing of Elgar's We Will Remember Them by the Berrynarbor Choir. On behalf of all those who attended this year's service our sincere gratitude to Ivan Clarke who played the The Last Post so beautifully on his bugle.
The Christmas Carol Service is not far off and we look forward to welcoming everyone to this fabulous service on Wednesday 16th December at 6.00 p.m. for Berrynarbor School young ones and 6.30 p.m. for the main Carol Service with older children from the School. Remember, there will be mulled wine and mince pies following this service. Our traditional Christmas Eve Service will start at 9.30 p.m. led by George Billington and there will be a short Family Service on Christmas Day commencing at 11.00 a.m.
Berrynarbor PCC has taken the decision not to hold a service on Sunday 27th December as it feels that following the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Services on Thursday and Friday, followed by Boxing Day on Saturday, many people will either be visiting or hosting relatives on that day.
A reminder that the next Friendship Lunch held in the Globe will be on Wednesday 27th January from 12.00 noon. Everyone welcome.
Along with Berrynarbor School we should like to extend our grateful thanks to Graham Lucas for conducting all the Monday Morning Assemblies in Church. Graham, who communicates with the children in language they can really understand, involves them in acting out the Bible scenes in a meaningful way which they obviously enjoy!
Finally, Berrynarbor PCC and our parishioners send our grateful thanks to George Billington,
Celia Withers, Chris James, Michael Rogers, John Roles, Keith Wyer and Clive Thomas for officiating at Church Services over the last year. We wish them all a very Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year!
THE BIG SING
Some of you reading this newsletter may have seen Songs of Praise on the television on Sunday 20th September and enjoyed the programme 'Tribute to a Queen'. This was one of two programmes recorded on the 13th September when I was privileged to be part of a 5,000 strong choir.
Having travelled to London by train earlier in the day and settled at my hotel just 100 yards from Paddington Station, I was able to walk through Hyde Park to the Hall and see on the way, the Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain and, in the distance, the Shard, the London Eye, Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey.
It was the third time I had taken part in the Big Sing and this was, without doubt, the best one.
The presenters were Aled Jones and Josie d'Arby. A group of Chelsea Pensioners were in the audience. One of the guest singers was Alexander Armstrong who sang 'I would be True'. The Adventist Vocal Ensemble with the Junior School Choir of the Year sang 'Sing', first performed for the 2012 Jubilee.
Lesley Garrett sang 'Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer' which was absolutely fantastic. Laura Wright sang the Jubilee Song backed by the Gospel Choir of the Year and the Tri-forces Military Band who accompanied Corps Regimental Sgt Major Gary Chilton in the solo 'I Vow to Thee my Country' was very moving.
But the best part had to be the fanfare of trumpets from the Prince of Wales Division at the beginning of the programme and during the singing of the first hymn 'All People that on Earth Do Dwell'. That, together with the marvellous organ was truly out of this world and so enjoyable.
We also recorded the Christmas Big Sing with presenters Sally Magnusson and David Grant which will go out on 20th December and is definitely one to watch. Alexander Armstrong sang 'In the Bleak Mid-Winter'.
Shaun O'Scoffrey [of Lion King fame] sang 'Do you hear what I hear?' Blues singer Ruby Turner, accompanied by the Gospel Choir of the Year sang 'O Holy Night', one of my favourites and so beautiful.
The day was made for the lady who sat beside me when Ronan Keating, former member of the very popular boy band, Boyzone, sang 'Silent Night'.
The Welsh School - can't pronounce the name but Aled Jones could - who won Junior School Choir of the Year was absolutely delightful.
My hotel is already booked for next year's Big Sing on the 11th September.
NEWS FROM THE PARISH COUNCIL
The Parish Council has a website: www.berrynarborparishcouncil.org.uk
As time goes on, it will get more populated and Parish Councillors hope that parishioners and visitors will find it interesting and informative.
The public participation item was extended to allow time for questions which residents and Councillors had in connection with the Planning Application for Moules Farm. When the time came for Councillors to consider it, it was proposed to recommend approval in principle subject to the conditions being addressed, which are drainage, location of the site of the properties back from the road as discussed at length with the Agent and Drainage Engineer at the meeting,.
The Application for the conversion of barn to residential use and access improvements at Eckerlands Farm was recommended for approval. North Devon Council has since issued a refusal notice.
Other Planning Applications were considered as were Application for a lawful Development Certificate.
Reports were received from County Councillor Andrea Davis, District Councillor Yvette Gubb, play area and playing field inspections and the Manor Hall.
The Local Risk Manager from Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service will be giving a talk at the January Meeting.
The dog area and Parish Field were discussed as was signage for the play area and partnership working with the Primary School and parishioners.
Councillors supported the further draft recommendations from the Local Government Boundary Commission, and agreed to have a defibrillator in the village, more details will follow.
Councillor Steve Hill tendered his resignation due to moving from the village. North Devon Council has been advised of the vacancy.
Reports were again received and three Planning Applications were recommended for approval.
Councillors were very appreciative of the offer by a parishioner of £500 towards new goal posts.
The tenders for grass cutting and seats and shelters were awarded.
The 2016/17 Budget and Precept were set. Councillors decided not to increase the Precept from £14,980.
Councillors decided to rescind the letter of support which was given in the 2014 Public Rights of Way Application in respect of the Byway at Sterridge Valley. The decisions made by DCC twice have been accepted by the Parish Council.
Sue Squire - Parish Clerk
PARISH COUNCIL - PERSONAL PROFILES
I live at Stapleton Farm with my wife Natalie and three daughters Lucy, Emily and Daisy. My family have lived and worked as farmers in the parish for 3 generations. We currently have 300 organic dairy cows supplying milk to Dairy Crest.
I attended Berrynarbor Primary School and then went on to West Buckland. After school I studied at the Royal Agricultural College, where I gained an HND in Farm Management after which I travelled around Australia for six months before returning home to help and later take over the reins of our family farm.
I joined the Parish Council three years ago with a view to playing a part in our fantastic local community. So far it has been a very interesting and sometimes challenging pastime which I have thoroughly enjoyed.
I have met some wonderful people whom I feel I can now call my friends.
I am looking forward to the future and hope that as a Committee, we can really make a difference to our village and the wider parish.
I live at Watermouth with my husband and two children. Our children were so lucky to attend the wonderful Toddler Group, Pre-school and Primary School. I enjoyed being Vice-Chair for the Pre-school Committee and also served as a Parent Governor at the Primary School. We are all privileged to live in such a beautiful part of the country whether born and bred locals or newly arrived. Berrynarbor deserves a community that works together helping preserve its uniqueness but also keeping it strong and vibrant in this day and age. The Parish Council has a great team on board who want to serve the whole community and it is a real pleasure to be part of this.
Having lived in the village for 38 years I'm delighted to be part of the Parish Council and have been made to feel very welcome since joining last May, I have 3 gorgeous boys who all attend the school and I have been on various committees within the village for the last 5 years. Being the only female in our house, I do have a small addiction to chocolate mini eggs and of course the odd glass of wine!
Having been brought up in the village from 5 years of age I attended our lovely school and returned with my own family 17 years ago, and so our two daughters have also enjoyed going to the school. I helped run the Toddler Group when the girls were small then went on to be the Pre-school Leader for 3 years. I chaired the PTA and was on the Manor Hall Committee for a number of years- so I do quite like to get involved with village life!
My husband Rob and I have a seasonal business in Ilfracombe. We live in Sterridge and you may well have seen us walking around the village with our funny faced labradoodle, Dora!
I have had a few years off from being involved in village activities so I'm keen to get back helping keep this village what it is - beautiful!
My wife Ros, daughter Bella and I moved to the village in April 2011. We live in Brackenberry House having bought the Grattons Cedar Lodges site up Hagginton Hill after falling for the beautiful village of Berrynarbor. We had previously lived in London and Hong Kong working in professional careers.
Bella started school in September 2015 after benefiting from the local Pre-school for the past few years. We enjoy outdoor activities, walking, running, cycling and gardening and also love to host visiting guests, eating out and general socialising.
I'm pleased to be part of the Parish Council and seek to contribute further to the village we call home.
I live in the Sterridge Valley with my husband and our daughter who attends our wonderful school here in Berrynarbor. Our adult daughter and her entourage visit regularly on their rounds.
I am a Trustee of the Manor Hall and member of the Management Committee, and believe this wonderful and historic building is one of our greatest assets.
I believe that this Parish Council collectively bring great strengths, qualities and experience to the table, and together with my fellow Councillors, I look forward to working hard for the benefit of all within our community.
I attended Ilfracombe Grammar School until 1966, then Newton Park Teachers' Training College in Bath. My first teaching job was in a school in Southampton teaching a class of 48 pupils. In 1969 I married local boy Stuart Thomas in Berrynarbor Church, got a post in Combe Martin School then emigrated to Canada in 1972 where I worked as a Mortgage Officer and Assistant Branch Manager. We returned to England after bringing up our children in 1990, and moved back to Berrynarbor in 1997. I retired in 2012 after 15 years' teaching in Pilton Infants' School in Barnstaple.
I have lived in the village for 9 years, currently in the Sterridge Valley. I have 2 children, Amelia who is 9 and at the village school, and Elana 16 has just started her A Levels.
I am a Nursing Sister at the North Devon District Hospital, and also work for the Care Quality Commission.
Sue Squire, Parish Clerk
I am a North Devonian and have lived in Bratton Fleming since our marriage nearly 39 years ago. I am a Christian and regularly attend
St Peter's Anglican/Methodist Church in the village where I am a Worship Group Leader and play the pipe organ, keyboard and electric piano. Our first son is in Heaven aged 27 days and our second son, aged 29, was born on his father's birthday, so I feel very blessed.
I was appointed Parish Clerk at Berrynarbor in 2000 and am Parish Clerk to a number of Parish Councils - the best job in the world!
We welcome back all our families after the half termbreak to another busy couple of weeks filled with learning, exploring and being creative. Our topics of learning for this half of term will be on bonfire night with an emphasis on keeping safe. We shall be exploring sounds both loud and quiet.
We shall look into the celebration of Diwali - the festival of light and incorporate some cooking activities using spices to tempt our sense of taste and smell.
This is also the term where we talk about Christmas; giving and receiving presents as well as listening to the Christmas story. We hope to put on a simple performance of songs to celebrate this occasion. This is also one of our busiest times with lots of crafts being made, exploring textures and colours.
Last half term the children enjoyed learning about themselves, our village, exploring their environment, going on walks and celebrating harvest time. They enjoyed creating their own story of The Enormous Turnip, all working together to get the job done!
We held our AGM on 2nd November. Geoff Barrett remains as Chairperson with Jenny Beer as Treasure and Amber Canham as our Safeguarding Officer.We should like to welcome Jo Williams and Nicola Draper who will be sharing the Secretary roll. A thank you goes to Sophie Heaton who has stepped down.
There have been a few changes to our setting:
Rag bag: Unfortunately we are unable to take unwanted cloths and textiles as the Rag Bag Company can no longer pick up these items due to the growing cost of collection and the decline in the second hand clothing market. If anyone has any other fundraising ideas please can you let us know. Thank you.
Ink cartridges: We are collecting unwanted ink cartridges (exclusions apply so please see the box at preschool).We can get as much as £1 per ink cartridge!! So if you have any used ink cartridges that are accepted please place them in the box at preschool. We are also registered to accept LaserJet ink cartridges as well, so if anyone uses them in their work place, we would be grateful to recycle them and fundraise at the same time.
Opening times: 8.30am - 4.00pm Monday to Friday.
We are Ofsted registered and in receipt of the 2gether scheme and Early Years Entitlement. To find out more and session availability please phone 07807093644 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
RURAL REFLECTIONS - 71
Of all the country lanes in England, Devon's probably reflect the regular paths of the Middle Ages more than any other county. On Dartmoor especially, where wheeled carts were virtually unknown in medieval times, a road now negotiated by the tyres of a delivery van no doubt track a route once stamped by the hooves of pack horses. Similar journeys can be traced in Lancashire and Yorkshire where they were used on the cross-Pennine waysides. A packhorse's workload was often heavy though this was at least made easier by the tailor made pack saddle shaped to fit the appropriate animal used for haulage. Their chore was made less strenuous, too, thanks to the saddle blanket that sat beneath the saddle, ensuring the weight load was evenly distributed. Sometimes the transportation of mineral, firewood or goods required more than a single horse; in some cases up to forty were known to be used. Collectively termed a train of pack horses, they share one curious similarity with their modern day equivalent; for just like the express train that sounds its horn ahead of a station or crossing, so the leading pack horse would wear bells to give notice of their imminent arrival at the junction of two trackways.
As well as the movement of goods and animals, countryside tracks also evolved where communication links demanded. However, if for example in the case of a farmer whose tenancy was not extended, forcing his family to become homeless, but resulting in the dwelling becoming uninhabited, the track leading to it merely vanished beneath the expansion of nature. Moreover in cases involving moorland tracks they literally disappeared under bogs, never to be seen again. The coming of the canals and turnpike roads brought about the packhorse's redundancy, with the roads heralding a new era of travel in the form of the stagecoach.
It was a mode of transport that the gentry insisted upon, their desirable lifestyle mingling with the European bourgeoisie most inconsiderately curtailed by the Napoleonic wars. Alternative vacation on home soil was therefore required by this new form of transport. A luxury? Far from it. In the realms of the upper set the stage coach was deemed as essential progress. Imperative too that the countryside's trackways were drained to ensure that the upper class could travel in as much comfort as possible.
The issue surrounding the movement of livestock was non-negotiable. So where were sheep and cattle supposed to seek refreshment if there were no puddles along the way? And how would the condition of horses' hooves be ensured if there were no pools of water? It was ironic, therefore, that the husbandman became a slave to the same beast in the form of the coach-horse. He was also blamed for the cessation of the growing of barley and wheat; oats for the coach-horse now the greater priority.
And so it came to pass that ancient tracks only remained in their original state in remote areas where the service of the stage coach was no longer required; and whilst the ongoing development of wheeled transport forced some of the yet untouched tracks to be modernised, others became surplus to requirement where commuting was not necessitated. Nowadays such tracks are either half-lane and half-trackway or mere cleaves in the earth that are impossible to fathom; vivid imagination is required to sketch a flock of sheep being driven along its curtailed length. From where have they come? And what of their destination?
Isolated in these lonely spots, they were soon screened by nature's intervention and became hidden beneath arching thicket and dense scrub that boasted their blossoms and flowers when the seasons demanded. Up above trees stretched to the sky whilst below, birds, insects and bees built their new sheltered abodes. The canopy's protection also ensured wild flowers were safeguarded from the wind from spring through to autumn, whilst in summer it created a sultry biosphere. Furthermore, both the assured defence against the sun's midday rays and the guaranteed retention of rainfall, long after hill and vale have run dry, generated a haven for ferns and other green giants.
Illustrations by Paul Swailes
NEWS FROM OUR COMMUNITY SHOP & POST OFFICE
The Committee, staff and volunteers would like
to wish all our customers a Very Happy
Christmas and New Year
If you are stuck for Christmas gift ideas, the Post Office has One4all gift cards, you can put from £1 to £400 on them and they can be used in thousands of outlets nationwide
Why not make up a selection of Quince Honeys, Waterhouse Fayre Jams or Madrigal Ale, which is brewed in Combe Martin. We are cheaper than elsewhere
Also, have a look at our Handicrafts
Plus, Christmas Cards, including Berrynarbor Cards
Christmas parties? We offer Wine & Beer on sale and return
Meat orders - Place your orders for Christmas Meats from our local suppliers
Don't forget the last recommended posting dates for Christmas mail:
All surface mail dates have now passed. Last dates for International Standard [previously airmail] for all overseas post are between the 4th and 18th December.
Second Class mail: 19th December, First Class mail: 21st December.
Shop & Post Office Updates
The Post Office has received funding from the Community Fund enabling the purchase of new scales, signage and safe, plus a large new open fronted fridge for the shop, thanks to Karen Loftus.
The shop is now sporting solar panels which are a long term investment to ensure the shop remains sustainable, plus a new coat of paint as part of our maintenance programme.
The Committee has also welcomed Trevor Sharples as our new Chairman and gives thanks to Phil Brown for his work as Treasurer and more recently holding the fort most competently as Chairman.
Winter Sunday opening hours are 9.00 - 11.30 a.m.
Season's Greetings and best wishes for a Healthy 2016
from Janet and Tony Gibbins
A Happy Christmas and Prosperous New Year to all our village friends Janet and David [Steed]
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all our friends and neighbours
Love Mike and Jo [Lane]
To all my dear friends in Berrynarbor with every best wish for
Christmas and the New Year. I shall be thinking of you.
Wishing all friends and neighbours
A Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year
Rainer, Jill and Amber, Hillside Cottage
A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year
to all our friends and customers
Joyce and Songbird
Colin and Wendy Applegate
wish all their friends in the village
A Happy Christmas and a Peaceful and Healthy New Year
Jen and Chris of Berrynarbor Park
would like to wish everyone a
Very Happy Christmas and best wishes for a Happy, Healthy New Year
We send Christmas Greetings to all our Berrynarbor friends and wish them a Happy and Healthy New Year.
Pam and Alex
Tom and Inge
send warm greetings for Christmas and wishes for a
Healthy New Year 2016 to all friends and neighbours, villagers and readers of the Berrynarbor Newsletter
Jane and Keith from Rose Cottage
would like to wish all their friends in Berrynarbor
A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
sends Christmas Greetings and good wishes for 2016 to all residents and visitors to Berrynarbor.
Pip and Tony
send Christmas Greetings to all friends and acquaintances in Berrynarbor and best wishes for Health and Happiness in 2016
Happy Christmas and Peaceful New Year
from Ray and 'Marie' Bolton, Birmingham
Happy Christmas to all my friends and neighbours
with thanks for all your help during 2015
Janet and Jasmine
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
to our friends and neighbours in Berrynarbor
Ann and Dave [Harris]
Christmas Greeting to all our friends and neighbours in the village.
We wish you a very Happy Christmas and the best of Health and Happiness in 2016.Keith and Margaret
Chris and Phil at Middle Lee
wish all our friends a
Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
wishes family and friends in Berrynarbor and the Staff at Tispane
A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
Wishing all our village friends, old and new,
A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
Barry and Rosemary
Wishing all in Berrynarbor village
A Very Happy Christmas and Healthy New Year
Barbara and Alan and Rosie the dog
Elaine and John
A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy & Healthy New Year!
Mark and Hilary
wish all their friends and neighbours
A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
Jackie and Roy Pierpoint. Lee View Cottage
wish all our friends a
Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
wishes all her friends a Very Happy Christmas and New Year
Ken and Judie
wish everyone a
Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and a Healthy and Peaceful 2016
A Very Happy Christmas and New Year to all friends
The Davies Family at Leeside
wish all friends and neighbours a Very Happy Christmas and New Year
Linda, Ethel, Allan, Jasmine, Tracy, Darren and Caitlin
would like to wish everyone a
Very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year
Liz and Roger, Berrynarbor Park
wish friends and neighbours A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
Season's Greetings and best wishes for a Happy New Year to all friends and neighbours in Berrynarbor
Yvonne and Toby at Cherry Hinton
To all friends and neighbours
A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
from Tim and Jill [Massey]
The Parochial Church Council
wish all members of the church and villagers a
Happy, Healthy and Peaceful Christmas and New Year
Ron Toms at Lee Lodge
wishes all his village friends and visitors a
Very Happy Christmas and Health and Happiness in the year ahead
A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2016
Paul and Pat
send warmest wishes to all their friends and neighbours for the festive season and hope you all have a healthy and prosperous New Year
Chairman Adam Stanbury and members of Berrynarbor Parish Council
wish everyone in the village a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
wishes all her friends back in Berrynarbor a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year [Fleet, Hampshire]
Sending all our friends and neighbours our best wishes for
A Very Happy Christmas and a great year ahead
Pat and Maureen, Fuchsia Cottage
Eileen and Bob
wish all their friends a Very Happy Christmas
Wishing all our friends in the village
A Very Merry Christmas and a Peaceful New Year
Wendy and Chris
Christmas Greetings to all friends in Berrynarbor
and best wishes for Health and Happiness in 2016
Colin and Doreen
BERRY IN BLOOM & BEST KEPT VILLAGE
We were very happy to be awarded a Gold in the R.H.S. Britain in Bloom Competition. These are some of the comments made by the judge:
Berrynarbor is a pretty village of around 800 residents. The entry includes the village centre and extends out to the Watermouth Cove in one direction and the Sterridge Valley in the other. Berrynarbor has been famous for some years for its superb floral displays.
The village is a beacon to many others with its strong community spirit and excellent floral displays with plants provided by the Jigsaw community project.
Funding is achieved via a subsidy from the Parish Council, coffee mornings, quizzes and open garden days.
There was a useful visit to the village school where great work was being started to restore the school garden and use the plot as an educational resource.
Community involvement is very well illustrated by the procurement and operation of the community run village shop and the work being undertaken to seek a lottery grant to refurbish the Manor Community Hall.
It was an enjoyable tour (despite the inclement weather) which covered all aspects of the marking criteria.
What more can be said Bloomers? Except many thanks to all of you who participate in any way in helping us win this prestigious award. I hope you will join us next year.
Homemade Christmas Presents
Cherry and White Chocolate Fridge Cake and Vin d'Orange
I have been planning homemade Christmas presents again this year and intend to give a small bottle of delicious orange flavoured booze and a pretty cellophane wrapped bag of this easy peasy fridge cake.
Start the Vin d'orange at once as it needs to steep for at least two weeks.
2oz oranges cut into pieces
Put the oranges and wine in to a large sterilized preserving jar [I use large clean lemonade bottles]. Shake or stir and leave in a cool dark place for at least two weeks.
Strain the mixture through a muslin lined sieve into a saucepan and add the sugar. Heat gently, stirring all the time to help the sugar dissolve. Cool and add the eau de vie. This will keep for up to a year.
Pour into sterilized bottles and decorate with a Christmas ribbon or tie some raffia and a slice of dried orange and maybe a cinnamon stick around them. Serve the drink chilled with a twist of orange zest. This is also lovely topped with champagne!
Cherry and White Chocolate Fridge Cake ingredients
unsalted butter (plus a little extra to grease the tin)
Grease an 8-inch tin and line with baking parchment; allow the paper to hang over the edges a bit as this helps with removing when cold. Crush the amaretto biscuits into small pieces and place in a bowl. Gently melt the white chocolate with the butter and golden syrup. Leave to cool slightly then add to the biscuits with the chopped dark chocolate, pistachios and cherries. Mix well to coat everything.
Spoon the mix into the tin pressing down with the spoon and cover with cling film and refrigerate. Remove from the tin, chop into small pieces and place in the cellophane bags (I get mine from Lakeland). Tie with Christmas ribbon or with raffia to match the bottles.
Happy Christmas present making,
'There is poetry in making jam.'
Simone de Beauvoir [1908-1986]
French feminist and philosopher and long-time partner of Jean-Paul Sartre.
This year that august organisation, the W.I., celebrated its centenary.We all know it is about much more than 'jam and Jerusalem' - over the years it has led important campaigns and been involved in a wide range of activities, but nevertheless, jam making has merit too as this unexpected quote from Simon de Beauvoir demonstrates.
LOCAL WALK - 153
Mystery of the White Rabbit
I have three questions. The first concerns a white rabbit; the second, a bull - real or mythical.
The season of 'mellow fruitfulness' and nutfulness had drawn me back to the Cockhill fields. At the edge of one of these fields, beside a little spinney, I was surprised to see a white rabbit. It appeared to be grazing quite happily. No other rabbits were in the field.
I was curious as to whether it was a wild albino rabbit or an escaped or abandoned pet but I was not able to get near enough to find out the colour of its eyes. It occurred to me that Berrynarborites who regularly walk their dogs along that route may also have seen the white rabbit and know if it is wild or not.
It was late September and I was pleased to spot a Silver Y moth on a bramble leaf as I had seen so few this year. The grey moth is a late spring/summer visitor and flies by day or night.
Wild clematis sprawled over the hedges. With its greenish-cream flowers in the summer it is known as Traveller's Joy but when the conspicuous feathery grey fruits appear in the autumn it is more commonly called Old Man's Beard.
Patches of purple-blue self-heal grew among the grass. The loud 'yaffle' cry of a green woodpecker could be heard but there were surprisingly few birds despite all the wild berries and seeds available to them.
On crossing the footbridge one is greeted by an unwelcome sign warning that there is a bull in the next field. It is an old looking sign so maybe no-one got around to taking it down when the bull was moved out or perhaps it has been deliberately left there to deter walkers.
So my second question is - is there really a bull in that field? I'm reluctant to risk entering to find out.
Thirdly, I have an Only Connect question: What connects the DUNNOCK [formerly but inaccurately known as a hedge sparrow] and the flower called SELF-HEAL? Here's a clue: the name of the actress who played the wife of Basil Fawlty.
P.S. Look out for the little spindle tree near the entrance to Claude's Garden, which is covered in pink parcel-shaped capsules which split open to reveal shiny orange coated seeds.
Illustrated by: Paul Swailes
In October we had a football tournament with West Down School. It ws enjoyable and both our teams were successful. Our KS2 team, drawn from Blueberries and Elderberries, are pictures celebrating their 3-2 winning score.
Since returning from our half term break, life at the school has been busy. All, bar the Reception children, have been enjoying weekly swimming lessons at Ilfracombe Pool, such an important skill to have. They return to school with healthy appetites for the tasty meals Sarah and Tia have prepared for them.
Tuesday 10th November was full of activity. In the morning, under the guidance of chef Jamie, KS1 children made gnocchi and pizzas for our lunch. This linked in with the work they have been doing on Italy. The results were delicious and many children tired gnocchi for the first time. At the end of the school day, some children from Elderberry Class organised a fund raiser for Children in Need. There was a Bring and Buy Toy Sale, a Cake Sale and Sponge the Teacher. The latter had nothing to do with cakes, water and foam rubber sponges were involved, 3 for 30p! Respect to those who put themselves up as targets and well done to the children who organised the event.
There have been a few out of school activities including Tarka Tennis Tournament for Year 4, Friendship Day at the Academy for Year 6, and for Years 3 and 4, a Problem Solving Festival.
On the 11th November, six children represented the school at the Remembrance Day Event in Ilfracombe.
Sue Carey - Headteacher
A DOG IS NOT JUST FOR CHRISTMAS
The Sands family lived in a small village in Devon. They had a nice cottage in a valley and the father, Fred, worked on a farm. His wife's name was Mary and the children were Peter and Ann.
Christmas was approaching and Fred and Mary asked their children 'What would you like for Christmas?'
'We should love to have a girl Labrador puppy,' they chirped.
'Well, that's a tall order,' their dad replied, 'But I'll see what I can do. You know dogs cost a lot of money, so we won't be able to afford other things.'
The children agreed to this and Fred set about finding a puppy. He made enquiries all around the area, but could not find a Labrador puppy.
'Mary,' he said, 'I've tried everywhere to find a puppy but there are none to be had.'
'Why don't you try a rescue centre?' Mary replied.
'What a good idea,' her husband commented. 'I'll go to Cromley, I know there's a centre there.'
The next day being Saturday, off he set.
The man at the centre greeted him with a smile and said, 'You're very lucky, I think we have just what you are looking for.' Off he went and soon came back with an adorable puppy.
'This is a little girl and her name is Peggy,' he said.
'Can I take her home now?' Fred asked.
'No, I'm sorry you can't,' the man replied, 'She has to have all the usual inoculations for which I'm afraid you'll be expected to pay. Can you come back for her on Christmas Eve?'
Fred was thrilled. Peggy, the little black Labrador was just what they all wanted. On Christmas Eve he set off for the rescue centre. The same gentleman greeted him but he was looking worried.
'Your little Peggy is very ill, I'm afraid. We have called the vet and he has given her some injections but is not sure what is wrong with her. I'm afraid we might lose her.'
'May I see her please?' Fred asked.
'Of course you can,' the man answered and they went inside to see Peggy. She was in a large pen, her eyes closed and she didn't even manage to wag her little tail.
'Oh dear! I do hope she gets better,' said Fred as the man took out his wallet and gave him a card.
'This is our 'phone number, give us a ring in a week's time.'
'Right' Fred replied almost in a whisper. He was rather taken aback. What was he to say to Mary, Peter and Ann? The only thing is the truth he decided.
After a very miserable Christmas dinner, the family said a quiet prayer for Peggy. It was one of the most sincere prayer's ever, with tears running down their cheeks.
The days went by and Fred decided he could wait no longer and picked up the 'phone and dialled the centre number. A lady answered and said, 'Peggy? Oh yes, she is past the worst, you can come and collect her in a week's time.
The longest week in their lives went by but at last following another call to the centre, they made their way in the car to fetch Peggy.
As soon as Peggy was them she danced about, jumping and kissing their faces and after making a contribution to the centre, off they drove back home.
It had been a sad Christmas for the family, but well worth the wait.
Tony Beauclerk - Stowmarket
Illustrated by: Paul Swailes
BERRYNARBOR WINE CIRCLE
'Age is . . . totally irrelevant unless, of course,
you happen to be a bottle of wine.' Joan Collins
Italian wines, presented professionally, has never been done before, so a first for everybody. Paul Firman from Majestic, Exeter's 'Wine Guru', delivered some marvellous wines.
My preference is for red, for most of the time; however, there are occasions when white is wonderful: a chilled glass on a summer's day or served with a delicate dish such as fish. Paul's white choices were a surprise and delight.
The first, a Prosecco, was from their new Definition range: their first ever own label range of wines . . . with a little help from some of the world's greatest winemakers. Prosecco has become extremely popular recently, sales have increased by 400%! It is usually cheaper than another bubbly champagne, but it can be very gassy.
Majestic decided that their perfect' Prosecco had to be dry, it must have tiny frothy bubbles, and it must taste great with the trickiest of food matches, Prosciutto. It had approval from many of us, probably the nicest Prosecco I've ever tasted. Produced in the best Valdobbiadene vineyards near Venice, it was 11% and bears the DOCG, quality label. For a Mix 6, it was £9.74, but it could be £12.99.
Next was a Stella Alpina Pinot Grigio, 2014, Alto Adige. It amazed and fooled many; it was so fruity. Majestic describe it as 'in a different league to entry-level Italian Pinot Grigio, balancing a rich, pure palate of peach, melon and pear fruit with the crispest of finishes'. I couldn't describe it any better! It was 13% and should be £12.99, but there is a deal to be had. You could buy it for £9.74 if you buy a mix 6.
Lastly, a Soave Classico 2014 Inama. Classico is a good sign and this Soave comes from hand harvested Garganega grapes. This isn't an oaked wine but it is from the best slopes in the region of northern Italy and 12%. Again, Majestic's description was apt: 'Generous acidity and a rich texture enforce the elegant finish'. Another Mix 6 deal: £10.98, but it should be £14.65.
Our reds were a Barolo, Brunello and a Montepulciano. We started with the Montepuliciano, the driest, as it should be, but also the cheapest at £9.74 for a Mix 6, should be £12.99. Its production area, Abruzzo provides the demarcation point of southern Italy. Bright ruby, it was the youngest of our reds: 2013 and 13%.
Next was the Barolo Araldica, 2011 with the Nebbiolo grape. The Araldica is a Piedmont co-operative in north-western Italy. This was 14%, but £12.74 as a Mix 6, with a full price of £16.99. It would be great with a grilled steak or strong hard cheese. It had a lovely ruby colour with a long and complex finish.
The Brunello di Montalcino was a 2009. This could be enjoyed over the next 5 to 10 years. Age means care means £££; this could be £22.49 or £30 for a full bodied wine grown on a family-owned vineyard in Tuscany. It too was 14% and delicious with seasoned lamb, braised red cabbage and red wine sauce, Mm mm!
Our Pre-Christmas do is Committee's Choice of wines with members' food, will be December 9th. Our first meeting of 2016 on the 20th January will be the ever-popular Call My Wine Bluff.
Well our summer is at an end once more, not a wonderful one so must look forward to next year.
Gardens are being put to bed for the winter so people have stopped buying plants and I must put the tender ones somewhere warmer for a few months.
Sales have been good this year and I have been able to make a £800 donation to The Children's Hospice. Without the great support from villagers and visitors on their holidays, this would not have been possible.
All the caring and help which the Hospice gives to children and their families is wonderful, having seen their work on visits to Little Bridge House. Giving short holidays for the whole family of a sick child whilst that child is receiving the care and treatment of a totally caring staff, is a lifeline which I'm sure is something we all hope will continue. This donation is just a drop in the ocean but I am certain you will feel as I do, that it is helping if only in a small way.
Visitors and people from our village all buy plants, many while on holiday come each year to take something home from Berrynarbor.
So my thanks to everyone who has helped to make this donation possible. hank you everyone. Margaret
Congratulations to Margaret on raising another great amount from her plants, but even more so for raising over the years a grand total of £8.000 for this very worthwhile cause.
Congratulations also to Ann Davies on being awarded the Community Involvement Award.
Falklands War veteran Simon Weston OBE was an inspiring guest of honour at a South West housing group's annual WestAwards ceremony.
Westward Housing, who provides support services across Devon, held the event at Exeter University - with a Bideford project scooping one of the top prizes.
Simon gave a motivational speech on his triumph over adversity and spoke of embracing change, the need to lead a fulfilling life of purpose and helping others.
"The work you do is so important to a lot of people's lives, so keep doing it as you are heroes to those you help," said Simon
Ann Davies, Team Leader at Westward Housings Horticulture Grow@Jigsaw Project in Bideford, won the Community Involvement Award. This was for building on the success of the Grow Project taking motivation and enthusiasm to the wider community in the area and inspiring growers at Morwenna Park, Northam and Forches Community Garden.
THE MANOR HALL TRUST
Christmas Card Exchange at the Hall
As we advised in the October edition of this newsletter, we shall not be running the card exchange this Christmas. However, we shall be holding a short get together to say thanks to all the people who have supported the Hall over the last year or two, whether helping out at Berry Revels and other fundraising, joining our renovation working parties, delivering our newsletters or who have served on the Management Committee.
By early December we hope (finally!) to have submitted applications for planning and listed building consents. We are going with a slightly amended floor layout following advice from our surveyors which we think is the best option, but this retains all the features last circulated. We shall be issuing a copy of this plan to all homes in the village over the next month or so. The long process of applying for grant funding then begins in earnest.
Manor Hall Management Committee
Alan and Nora Rowlands have advised that at the end of the financial year they wish to stand down from the Management Committee after over 10 years of service. We wish to thank them for this lengthy service to one of the major village institutions
As many people will know, Alan has dealt with hall bookings and Nora has been Treasurer, so we now seek a number of new committee members to bring us up to strength, including both a new Treasurer and a new Bookings Officer. We should stress that the volume of transactions is quite small - the number of expenses paid out in a typical month are very few and that we don't hold any cash. Invoicing to users is generally done monthly for regular users, and once a term in the case of the school. Record keeping is just simple income and expenditure details. Annual accounts for the last two years have been done by Stevens & Willey of Barnstaple, and the annual return to the Charity Commission is done by the Chairman. If anyone is interested in these roles or joining the committee generally, please contact Len Narborough on 883 747 or email: email@example.com. Remember these are interesting times for the Manor Hall!
Some people are still unaware that we have a village website! Please look it up at www.berrynarborvillage (just search for berrynarborvillage) - if you go to Hall booking on the home page this gives details of our charges and there is a diary showing what's on and when the hall is available.
Manor Hall Management Committee
MOVERS & SHAKERS NO. 60
RICHARD GURLEY DREW
June 2 1899 - December 14 1980
I know, I know! He's not a local man, yet without his moving and shaking, where would we all be - particularly at Christmas? In 1930 Richard Gurley invented 'sticky tape', or Scotch Tape as it became known, that has become our key component for wrapping presents, sending parcels, securing envelopes, hanging Christmas cards, repairing torn paper and so on. Yet 85 years ago, it was unknown.
Dick - as he was known -Drew was born to Edward and Maud [nee Shumway] Drew in St. Paul, Minnesota on June 2nd 1899. After a year of Mechanical Engineering at university, he dropped out and joined the Athletic Orchestra as a banjo player. He then applied for a job as a lab technician at a local manufacturer of sandpaper, the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, later to become the successful 3M. In his letter of application, he mentioned his banjo playing, his year at university, a correspondence course he was taking in machine design and his experience at driving a tractor. He got the job!
A few years later, whilst testing the sandpaper in auto shops, the 23-year old heard complaints from the workers painting the borders between the two-toned cars which were all the rage at that time. In response, by 1922 Richard Drew was developing a two-inch wide masking tape that would create a seal that paint could not penetrate, but would remove to not mark the finished paintwork. Initially, to save on glue, 3M coated only the edges, making the users joke that the company was being overly Scotch or mean, a slang term for someone or something cheap and stingy. One version how Scotch got its name was a painter who said, 'Take this back to your Scotch bosses and tell them to put some more adhesive on it!' 3M obviously learnt its lesson, but the name stuck and by 1925 was in general use. It was used by Goodyear to prevent corrosion on airships. It patched turkey eggs to help chicks survive during hatching and repaired fingernails, lampshades and dollar bills!
Its success allowed Drew to rise to technical director. He had little time for workplace strictures and by 1929 had another idea, against the wishes of his bosses. Bakers and grocers had recently started using cellophane as a neat way of packaging, but it couldn't be sealed with existing tape because the glue appeared amber and ruined the clear cellophane. He had to fiddle expenses to buy equipment for his work, but his team invented a clear adhesive for the tape and hence the new Scotch Tape or Scotch Brand Cellulose Tape by its original name, was born. Unfortunately they didn't win with the grocers and bakers as Du Pont had introduced a cellophane that could be sealed with heat. But nevertheless, the new tape thrived for home use, particularly as it was released at the start of the Great Depression when people were repairing and mending household items rather than buying new ones.
Richard Drew is acknowledged as the father of sticky tape but in 1937 the British equivalent was developed by Colin Kinninmouth and George Gray in Acton, West London. This was called Sellotape, the S replacing the C to get away with patents, and again was useful during World War ll, particularly for sealing ammunition boxes and taping up windows to minimise any bomb damage.
Incidentally, another 3M employee, John A Border, came up with the dispenser and cutting edge for tape in 1932. By 1957, 3M had sold 2 billion rolls of tape.
Over the next decade, Richard Drew's abilities were appreciated by his bosses and he was promoted in 1943 to direct the Products Fabrication Laboratory - known as the Pro-Fab Lab. Here he assembled a team of misfits - people who wouldn't fly in formation - and dubbed by senior management as the 'funny farm'. Because he gave creative people elbow room and an opportunity to pursue ideas, they devised a host of new products - reflective sheeting to improve visibility of road signs, breathable surgical tapes, face masks and respirators and so on. His team are also credited with the groundwork of Post-it notes. He also devised the 15% rule adopted by 3M whereby employees are encouraged to spend up to 15% of their paid work time on their own projects.
By the time he retired, after nearly 40 years with the company, he had 30 patents as inventor or co-inventor, and continued as consultant on new product development. He goes down in history as a creative engineer, remembered by colleagues as a generous fosterer of other folks' inventive spirit, particularly underdogs and their oddball ideas. They also note his words, 'What I really want is a creative person. You can always hire a PhD to take care of the details!'
Richard Gurley Drew died in Santa Barbara, California nearly 35 years ago on December 14th 1980. In spite of searching the internet, I could find no reference to his personal life other than in his obituary in the Cedar Falls, Iowa, Gazette when mention was made that when he was on a project but was unable to find a baby sitter, he brought his two children into work and kept them out of mischief by improvising playpens from galvanised trash bins. Always he was an inventor!
With changing use, 3M now make dozens of Scotch tapes - double coated tape to electrical tape, freezer tape to hair set tape. We can rest assured, therefore, that sticky tape is not about to become unstuck!
PP of DC
OLD BERRYNARBOR - 158
Another new postcard that I was able to obtain within the last few days, this time of The Lodge, Berrynarbor. I believe this has been taken between the late 1940's and the late 1950's judging by the appearance of the three cars shown parked here.
The Lodge was originally built for the Reverend Churchill as a Gentleman's Residence in 1904, for his relatives, possibly his brother. During the Second World War families were accommodated for periods of time to recuperate. However, in December 1944 Percival Arthur Norman, a motor and garage proprietor of Combe Martin purchased it and at some time later opened it as a guest house.
It is my belief the picture was taken during Mr. and Mrs. Norman's ownership and where they remained until 1960.
I just wonder if anyone can identify the three visitor's cars shown?
Tower Cottage, November 2015 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Postscript to the Welcome Home Social picture [August & October issues]: Linda Thomas can confirm that the gentleman on the far right of the front tow is her maternal grandfather Captain Percival Edward Adams.
He lived at On-a-Hill and donated many of the artefacts from Persia, India and Sudan, which he brought home from his travels as Armourer to the Middle East, to his 'local' the Globe when Arthur Long was landlord. Some remain today although many have disappeared over the years.
Wishing all Readers
A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
A NEW BUZZ IN COMBESGATE
Last February I was asked to take away a hive and its bees from a beautiful Cornish estate called Boskenna, a few miles west of Lamorna. The beekeeper had been ill for some years and had recently died. The hive was in a terrible state but the bees were native black bees which are rare. Our native population was almost wiped out a few years back but pockets of the old Cornish bees have survived. They can be identified by the fact that they have no yellow stripes on their abdomens and some say, they hum with a Cornish accent! The hive was duly strapped into my trailer and as darkness fell I and a few thousand bees set off on the long journey home to North Devon. Within minutes it started to rain with frequent thunder and lightning and a gale of wind. I thought that things could not get much worse. I was mistaken.
As I went through Camelford and stopped at the traffic lights I heard a women cry, 'Them's bees!' I decided that perhaps I should check on my passengers and pulled into the next available layby, Here I was met with the horrible reality of what a combination of a rotten hive and the A39 potholes can achieve, when orchestrated to perfection. The hive had first collapsed in one corner and then fallen apart leaving the bees to come out and cling on to any available surface or fly around looking for vengeance. I had clearly been distributing the bees evenly on the road all the way from Hayle to Camelford. Two things bees hate most are sudden jolts and thunder and lightning. I'd managed to provide both at the same time, to say nothing of the torrential rain that had me soaked in seconds.
My son, who is to blame for asking me to move the hive in the first place, had given me a long length of green mesh used for wind brakes. This now proved useful in trapping the several thousand bees that were loose in the trailer in the hope that I could get home with at least a few left in the hive.
On reaching home I left the hive in the trailer for an hour or so before trying to move it in the hope that should the Queen still be present the other bees would try and get back to her. Things were going to plan until
I had to move the hive up into the garden with the use of a wheelbarrow. The rain had made the steep grassy path like an ice rink and I had to be given some additional traction by Sally pushing at my back as my feet circled without much progress. Lifting the hive out of the barrow proved too much for the hive, the bottom of which fell off depositing a few thousand more bees on to my feet.
The next day I went to look at the hive with little hope of seeing any surviving bees and was met with the most amazing sight! The Cornish bees had been out scouting their new home and were already bringing back pollen. These bees have survived against the odds. They have survived neglect for years, a rotten damp hive, a journey from Hell and a wheelbarrow ride! They may even prove to have resistance to the varoa.mite which has devastated and infested all of the UK bees, except for those on the Isles of Scilly. I now have high hopes that they may yet survive. I just hope they do not miss Boskenna too much.
This year has been a difficult one for my bees due to the weather. The mild winter and warm dry spring had the bees off to a good start and all the colonies were gaining numbers. The Cornish bees are particularly suited to cooler temperatures and were often the first to fly in the mornings. I made the decision to breed from this queen if possible as the season went on. It is never a good idea to take a holiday in the summer as a beekeeper but this is just what transpired. Friends and I slipped our moorings in Combe and sailed westwards to Lands End and beyond. I came back to find that every hive was just about to swarm. I spent a week collecting bees from trees, bushes and fence posts. I had bees in boxes everywhere, including in my shed, which became one huge hive. A phone call from a desperate man in Braunton had me speeding to the rescue after he described 'thousands of bees' flying around his rotary washing line. This turned out to be a miserable little after swarm called a cast which was no bigger than a mug full of bees. I had no great hopes that they would survive but they have. And then the summer came. That cool overcast spell that lasted most of the school holidays and the bees struggled to keep their brood alive. I had e-mails from Defra warning beekeepers to feed their bees as many colonies had died. My bees are lucky here in Combesgate that they are surrounded by flowers and trees which provide nectar all summer long.
Question: What is the difference between the Sahara desert and an intensively farmed dairy farm? To us the answer is obvious but to a bee there is little difference because these are both places in which they can find no food. Those beautiful, perfectly green fields, free from the blemish of a single dandelion provide no nectar for pollinators. Grass is pollinated by wind dispersal so they provide nothing that would attract an insect. What kind of world are we creating when we cannot make room on our farms to ensure the survival of our bees and other pollinators?
I requeened ten of my colonies from Queens of the Cornish Queen from Boskenna. Sadly she died due in part to my clumsiness, well entirely down to me since I squashed her! Her daughters will ensure that there will be more buzz in Combesgate next year.
It's not the only mistake I have ever made. On a French twinning trip to Ifs I was having a meal on the ferry with three of my teaching colleagues. I had chosen fish and chips because it was the only thing I recognised on the menu. When this duly arrived I reached for the sachet printed with a lemon and squeezed with expectation. With some disappointment and a little embarrassment my friend exclaimed,'Idiot; that is a tissue for cleaning your hands!'
Bon chance. Martyn Hocking