Edition 162 - June 2016

Photo: Judie W

Artwork: Judie Weedon


The year seems to be flying past and we are already in to June, but is it or will it be flaming?

The sixth month of the year it brings Summer, Fathers' Day and the Summer Solstice as well as rich foliage colourful flowers, grass cutting and Wimbledon. Its birthstones are pearl, alexandrite and moonstone and its flower, the rose. Spring ends and summer begins.

July, the seventh month was named after Julius Caesar in 444BC. Its birthstone is ruby and flower larkspur. Until the 18th century in English the stress was on the first syllable, rhyming with duly and truly. Although six months have passed, the 1st of July is not the mid-point of the year, the exact half-way point is at 1.00 p.m. on the 3rd July in a non-leap year.

Has Lord Byron got it right? 'The English winter, ending in July, to recommence in August . . .'

To all newcomers to the village, we welcome you and wish you happiness in your new homes; and to those leaving us, we wish you the same.

It is sad that so many villagers have spent time in or are in hospital and to you all and those not feeling at their best just now, get well soon.

As always, a big thank you to everyone who has contributed to this issue in any way. The August issue is due out on the 4th and articles will be welcome as soon as possible but by Wednesday, 13th July, at the latest. Thank you.

However, in the meantime there are lots of events to look forward to including the Tea and Tiaras Tea Party, Ron's 100th Birthday bash, a Flower Demonstration and the Flower Festival at St. Peter's Church. Enjoy.

Judie - Ed





The 1st of March is the first meteorological day of Spring but up until the 10th of the month the weather was anything but spring like. Storm Jake arrived on the 2nd bringing strong winds, snow showers, hail and very rough seas. This was followed by another, this time unnamed storm, which hit on the 9th with winds forecast up to storm 10.

After that things settled down and we had a welcome spell of calm with a mix of sunny and overcast days and a drying though often chilly easterly breeze.

Unfortunately, the weather broke on Maundy Thursday and although Good Friday was glorious the rest of the Easter weekend was showery, windy and cold.To cap it all on Easter Sunday /Monday, Storm Katie brought strong winds and heavy rain.Despite the storms the total rainfall was 84mm which was fairly average for March. The maximum temperature was 14.7 Deg C which was a bit below average while the minimum of -0.3 Deg C was a bit above average and 99.94 hours of sunshine were recorded. We were sheltered from the worst of the strong wind and recorded a maximum gust of 36knots [41mph].

The most notable feature of April was the below average temperatures throughout the month culminating in snow [fortunately not here in Berrynarbor] during the last week.The winds were mainly from a northerly or easterly direction and although on the 10th strong winds combined with high tides caused damage in South Devon and Cornwall, generally there was just a constant cold breeze.

April is often a fairly dry month and this was no exception with 44mm which fell on only ten days, the rest of the month there was no recordable rain, combined with the wind this did allow the ground to dry up. The maximum temperature was 16.4 Deg C which is a bit deceptive as there were only five days when the thermometer exceeded 14 Deg C, we have recorded over 20 Deg C in many previous Aprils.The minimum temperature of 1.2 Deg was not out of the ordinary neither was the total sunshine recorded of 140.28 hours.The maximum gust of wind was 25 knots [29mph].

The 1st of May was a bit miserable but there is a rumour that the weather might be warming up!

Simon and Sue




Life is a book in volumes three -
The past, the present, and the yet-to-be.
The past is written and laid away,
The present we're writing every day,
And the last and best of volumes three
Is locked from sight - God keeps the key.

Author Unknown

[25.7.1913 - 6.4.2016]

How sad we all were to learn that Ethel, our oldest resident, had passed away peacefully on the 6th April, just a few months short of her 103rd birthday.

Her funeral, taken by Keith Wyer in the new crematorium and well attended by her family and many friends and neighbours, was a celebration of her long and happy life.

Our thoughts are with Linda and all her family at this time of sadness.

Ethel was born in Walthamstow, London, the third of seven children. She went to the local junior school and her mum met one of the teachers who told her she had a terrible girl in her class. On asking the name of the girl, the teacher said 'Ethel Cuthbert', and her mum had to admit she was her daughter. Ethel didn't like school and was always up to mischief, but she certainly made up for it as she grew up.

She lived through two world wars and saw much in her life time. One of the most memorable being able to press a switch and the light coming on.As she grew up she met her husband Stan, who had a motorbike. They joined the Walthamstow & District Suicide Club and would go on the surprise runs, meeting at a given point and ending up in all different places, sometimes in Devon.At a fair they wanted someone to go on the wall of death - and yes she went and thoroughly enjoyed it!

Through the War her husband, brothers and all the brothers-in-law served in the forces and luckily all returned, the only one hurt was her father who broke his leg whilst in the Home Guard.

Ethel worked winding raw asbestos for a while but her main job was Hoffman pressing, which she did for most of her working life, along with several other members of her family.

Ethel and Stan had one child, Linda, to whom they gave a wonderful life full of love, warmth, kindness and contentment.

When Linda met and married George and moved to Devon, Ethel and Stan followed them two years later.Stan worked for Loverings and Ethel had several jobs as well as looking after the grandchildren when Linda and George were at work.

Ethel had green fingers and loved the garden and greenhouse, often giving plants away.She also enjoyed making costumes for all the family and anyone else who needed them. She knitted for Cecil Gee and made Mary Maxim cardigans and jumpers which were large chunky fairisles depicting pictures.Many people in the village probably have something

knitted by Ethel. In later years she enjoyed crosswords and puzzles as well, of course, her plants and knitting.

She had a really good sense of humour and took everything in good part when people joked with her.Darren remembers that when he met her she could still do cartwheels, she was 78!

Ethel flew for the first time when she was 75, going with the family to Spetse in Greece.From then on she went to Turkey, Cyprus, Egypt, America, Yugoslavia, Thailand, Mexico, Gambia and most of them more than once. The man at Heathrow looking at her passport, couldn't believe she was 90 when she flew to Washington.

Ethel loved her family and friends and would do anything for them. A very special lady and an inspiration to most. She will be missed and spoken about for a very long time with love, affection and a big smile.

The family would like to thank everyone for their kindness at this very difficult time and for all the cards and flowers. The collection in Ethel's memory raised £600, £350 of which was sent to North Devon Talking Newspapers and £250 to Crisis. Thank you all once again and God bless you Mum.

Linda, Allan, Tracy, Darren, Caitlin, Jasmin and Connor



Our thoughts are with June, Betty and Tony following the death of their mother, Vera, who passed away on the 5th May.A much loved mother, she will be sorely missed by her family and her many friends.

Although living at Hore Down, Vera and her late husband, Tom, who passed away in August 2013, lived here and were very much a part of the village community for many years.Vera was a keen member of the North Devon Spinners and supporter of the Newsletter.

Her funeral is due to take place on the 20th May at the North Devon Crematorium and donations, if you wish, to the North Devon Hospice.


Artwork: Paul Swailes


Unfortunately, there is no further news about the installation of our new Vicar, Michael Rogers, as we are still awaiting replies to our advertisement for a House for Duty Priest to support Michael, and sincerely hope that we have some more positive news to announce in the very near future. On the positive side, Michael is already taking services here and in Combe Martin, which certainly eases the strain on our PCC.

Our AGM was held on the 29th March and Jean Pell, Sue Neale, Jill McCrae, Yvonne Davey and Doreen Prater were all re-elected with yours truly acting as PCC Chairman for 2016.

As mentioned in the April issue, we were very sad to hear of Pat and Malcolm Sayer's departure from the village and a gift box of wine was presented to them both shortly before they went on their way. We wish them both a happy time in their new home, nearer to their immediate family in the Cheltenham area.

We have been trying to recruit a new Treasurer for the PCC for several months now and we are very happy to welcome Margaret Sowerby and her husband Roger, who have very kindly offered to take on this position. It is always daunting when a new treasurer takes on this responsibility, but we on the PCC will offer Margaret and Roger all possible help and support in the months ahead.

We are all looking forward to our special Flower Festival on Friday 22nd July through to Monday, 25th inclusive. In this year of so many anniversaries to celebrate, it will be called - surprise, surprise - Anniversaries 2016.

Berrynarbor PCC and so many members of our congregation were sad to hear the passing of Ethel Tidbury, who many of you in the parish will know was the oldest resident in Berrynarbor. She had reached 102 years of age and had a wonderful life together with her family and we send our condolences to Linda and her family for their sad loss at this time.

We are delighted, especially our Choir members, to see Elaine Filer back on her feet again following her untimely fall fracturing her hip.

This year's Gift Day will be on Wednesday, 22nd June, when members of the church will be at the Lych Gate to receive your envelopes. We hope, in this difficult financial year for us with urgent major repairs needed on the church roof, that, as always, the people of Berrynarbor will be generous in their support.

Church Services follow the same format:

  • 1st Sunday - Village Service;2nd Sunday - Holy Communion.
  • 3rd Sunday - Songs of Praise;4th Sunday - Holy Communion. All Services commence at 11.00 a.m.

There will, however, be a Joint Service at St. Peter's on Sunday, 31st July, at 11.00 a.m.

Finally, all our welcome to the Friendship Lunches held in The Globe, 12.00 for 12.30 p.m., on the last Wednesday of the month.

Stuart Neale

As you will see from the above, we are planning to serve tea, coffee and cakes daily in the Church during the Flower Festival, and are looking for volunteers to help us please. We are hoping for donations of cakes, scones, etc., and also help with serving for one or two hours. If you can help in any way, please contact Jean Pell on [01271] 883187. Thank you


By now you should all have received this your royal invite to the Village Tea Party to celebrate the Queen's 90th Birthday.

You are royally invited to a Bring and Share Village Tea Party on
Saturday 11th June 2016 at 2:30 pm
at The Manor Hall, Berrynarbor
to commemorate her Majesty the Queen's
90th Birthday

There will be a Royal fete hosted by Berrynarbor Primary School, musical
entertainment throughout the afternoon, a loyal toast at 4:30pm, followed
by a BBQ, bar and general roistering into the evening.

Please come suitably attired for a regal afternoon of fun - best frocks, hats,
handbags, crowns and tiaras or red, white and blue or even royal fancy dress!

Kindly Illustrated by: Thomas Walker


We do hope that as many of you as possible will attend and make this a really special Berrynarbor Day. Please spread the word and if you can help an elderly neighbour to attend by giving them a lift, so much the better.

All you have to do now is sign up in the Shop or School to advise what you will be contributing to the bring-and-share tea. Tea and coffee will be served but do bring stronger refreshments if you like. Volunteers to help on the day will be greeted with open arms. Please contact Becky Baillie on 07543248916 or Karyn Burgess 07885 781223 Co-Chairs of the School PTA, Karen at The Globe or Fenella Boxall on 882675.

On the day we encourage you to dress up in your glad rags or simply don something red, white or blue. The Pre-school will be running stalls for the younger members of the village in the afternoon and the School and Village Choir will be providing musical entertainment. After the Loyal Toast, the School Fete will start with fun and games for all. There will be a bar, BBQ and music during the evening to raise funds for the School.

We look forward to seeing you all there. Now just please cross your fingers for a glorious sunny day.



Exmoor Wild Watch Survey

If you spot any of the following species, whilst walking on Exmoor, the National Park Authority would like to hear from you.

  • barn owl
  • common blue butterfly
  • cuckoo
  • daubenton's bat
  • glow work
  • harbour porpoise
  • hedgehog
  • kestrel
  • red kite
  • string of sausages lichen
  • toad
  • waxcap fungi

This is the third year of the Exmoor Wild Watch Survey and it is one of the South West's largest Citizen Science projects. The data collected helps track the growth or decline of each species.

To submit records, visit Exmoor-national-park.gov.uk/wild watch; click on species seen and include details of where and when it was spotted.

Or call the National Park Centre at Lynmouth on 01598 752509. The organiser is Ali Hawkins, Wildlife conservation Office at Exmoor National Park.


Artwork: Helen Weedon


One of my job roles is to monitor services provided to people with mental health problems living in residential care.Each time I greet a resident I experience a flashback to Saturday afternoons during my college years whilst living on the Surrey borders in Banstead. Its neighboring town, Epsom, is of course famous for a horse race that is one of the highlights of the flat season and takes place just after this newsletter is circulated. However, both towns had in common a facility that had nothing to do with the sort of public recreation provided by Epsom's racecourse. That's not to say that recreation wasn't on offer; but it was certainly not for public use.

There were five of these conveniences in the Epsom countryside known as the Epsom Cluster and a lone offering on Banstead Downs. All six provided a service that was, in essence, set up so that the eyes and the minds of the London public could pretend that a certain category of the human race did not exist:the insane [and, tragically, many other classifications who were admitted on a permanent basis for reasons including having an unattractive health issue or having found oneself in a situation deemed morally unacceptable]. Like all other mental hospitals, long term patients lived in what could be culturally regarded as isolated, self-contained villages. As an in-patient it was a natural progression to gradually forget the outside world and know only of one's life within the hospital's grounds.Yet every Saturday afternoon as I handed a cup of tea over the counter to another patient who had waited politely, silently in the queue, I would notice a brief sparkle in their eyes;a glimmer of a dream of what could have been. Instead, a life lost.

In many respects the principle of providing a service for those deemed as unpleasant civilians or merely regarded as less fortunate, had been around long before the aforementioned hospitals in the form of workhouses and asylums.The subject of my last article, John Clare, was admitted to an asylum in 1837 as a result of living in desperate poverty; this despite having had a collection of his natural history letters published. One can only wonder whether he would have gone on to publish more had better support services been available.

Many of the old workhouse buildings can still be seen in cities, towns and villages, now adapted for other purposes.South Molton's is a good example.Ironic, therefore, that their urban locations were in contrast to the settings of the mental institutions.Yet it is their very situation that provides a tenuous link with race courses;for both were [or still are] providing services situated in a rural environment.

In the course of composing this article I have realised it is Mental Health Awareness week and subsequently find myself bringing this article to a conclusion that I did not set out to do - this happens a lot to writers! On the radio they are currently discussing the sensitive issue of abuse, something I have to be aware of when carrying out my work role. If I detect it, then I have to report it as a safeguarding concern.Some forms of abuse can be obvious whilst others can be more subtle, such as emotional or institutional.I am pleased to say that to date I have not witnessed this.

However, from a rural angle the concept of abuse becomes an interesting matter;the extent and ways in which we exploit our countryside is an emotive issue.Bringing both facets together, I shall leave you with these thoughts. Firstly, if I was a Reviewing Officer fifty years ago then what of those patients who would only accept a cup of tea as long as I gave them permission?Would I be having to safeguard them from institutional abuse? Secondly, if I was employed in my post in Victorian times, based in Epsom and having to cover rural issues as well, would I need to safeguard the countryside from the construction of the mental hospitals - not just on physical grounds, i.e. a change to the environment, but on moral grounds as well?

Stephen McCarthy




South Molton Workhouse & Gates c1900 and 2001






Some years ago, the retiring Secretary of our PCC, Marion Carter, arranged that a special granite cross be erected in St. Peter's churchyard in remembrance of her mother, Daisy.

It was also Marion's wish that any member of the parish who would like to place flowers - funeral or otherwise - in the churchyard, they could put them around the cross.

The cross itself is located just to the left of the church porch and next to a special seat donated by Jill McCrae in memory of her husband, Iain.

Recently flowers were left around this cross in remembrance of Edna Barber, and more recently for Ethel Tidbury.

I am sure Marion would be delighted to see beautiful flowers around this cross!

Stuart Neale



Open daily from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.

Always something new blooming in the garden, delicious food in the Tea Room and special plants for sale.

Coming Events:

  • Season Ticket Holders' Evening Walk around the Garden Wednesday, 8th June, 6.30 p.m. led by Head Gardener Joe Reardon-Smith
  • Mutts at Marwood, Saturday, 4th June, 11.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. Please help us to support Hearing Dogs for the Deaf and bring your mutt to meet Gaynor and Indigo. A tail-wagging sort of day!
  • As You Like It - Outdoor Performance by Folksy Theatre Wednesday, 27th July Start: 6.30 p.m. This wonderful Shakespeare comedy about life, love, betrayal, faith and death will be filled with Folksy's touch of bold characters, live music, audience interaction and plenty of laughs. Not to be missed! Tickets - Pre-show: £13.50, £10 concession, £8 child £38 Family [2 adults, 2 under 16's] On Gate: £15, £12 and £10 - no family ticket available

For more information and to book, please ring [01271] 342528


Artwork: Paul Swailes


New Committee members

As advised previously, all enquiries about hall availability and charges should now be addressed to Alison Sharples, and as we are moving towards using e-mail for most hall contacts, the best way to contact Alison will be via alison_sharples@btinternet.com, or if necessary tel. 882782.We are also pleased to advise that our new Treasurer is Karen Coppin, who has now taken over from Nora Rowlands. Karen will give her contact details on invoices etc., but regular users have been advised separately how to get in touch when necessary.

New booking conditions

Following someone not paying the balance of their booking charge for a wedding reception last year, we have reviewed our approach to all one-off events at the hall. In future all one-off events will involve full payment to be made in advance, except where the booking is a long time in the future. In the latter case a substantial deposit will be required to secure the booking. We are also now asking for a refundable breakages deposit to be made in all cases of adult parties and wedding receptions. These changes will not affect regular users.

2016 AGM

Please note that the Manor Hall AGM will be held on Wednesday

29th June this year, at 7.30 p.m.To make best use of the evening we hope to combine the AGM with other updates on our work.

Work to the Hall this summer

As stated in the April newsletter, we are still on track to carry out work to the Manor House wing this summer - more details will be given when available. The work will mostly be to the old [medieval] roof.

Major constitutional proposals for the Manor Hall Trust

Again in the April newsletter, we mentioned a proposal to convert the Manor Hall Trust into a new type of charity known as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation or CIO. These were introduced by the Charities Act 2006 to help small charities deal with large projects. At the moment the Manor Hall Trust is an unincorporated body in law, which means it can't enter into contracts as an organisation. Current committee members, the trustees, would have to do so in their own name, and have no limited liability as a result. In other words, at present there are considerable personal risks involved which we feel is an unfair and unacceptable situation, given the scale of repair and improvement work required at the hall.

A CIO is able to enter into contracts and gives its trustees limited liability, and they have been introduced precisely to deal with this kind of problem. Not surprisingly over 6,500 CIOs have been set up around the country over the last three years given the advantages they offer.

There is a process to follow in moving from the current arrangements to a new structure, but the two buildings involved, the Hall and the Parish Room, would legally remain held on the same trusts as at present, i.e. held on trust for the benefit of the Parish. There would be no difference in how the buildings are used or managed, and the same committee members [trustees] would be in place.

PUBLIC MEETING 7th June, 2016

However, one particular change involved in the creation of a new organisation would be a transfer of title to the two buildings from the Parish Council to the proposed CIO. This request has been put formally to the Parish Council who have taken appropriate legal advice and would now like to give anyone interested an opportunity to hear more or ask questions at a Public Meeting to be held at the hall on Tuesday, 7th June at 7.30pm.People should attend at 7.00 p.m. if they would like to read some relevant background papers first.

A general understanding of the issues involved would be helpful and more information and correspondence can be read on the village website - see www.berrynarborvillage.co.uk, Manor Hall news section, or look at the Parish Council's website, www.berrynarborparishcouncil.org.uk. You will also find documents at the shop and in the hall itself.

Manor Hall Management Committee




'A bottle of good wine, like a good act, shines ever in the retrospect.'
Robert Louis Stevenson

We were grateful to taste only 'A Few of my Favourite Things' from Brett Stephens, as recently he had been to a corporate wine tasting, where800 'things' were on offer! Six is quite enough thank you!

His employer, Hallgarten Druitt, is one of the historic names of the UK wine trade, importing wines from family-run producers for over 80 years. Novum joined HD in 2010.

Cava, not Prosecco, was Brett's initial offering.Spanish bubbles is mainly from Catalonia; he believes that £ for £ it is much better than Prosecco, as it's made the same way as champagne.He popped the cork quietly and uttered that this should be 'no louder than a nun's fart'! Our Cava Brut Seleccion had fine bubbles.+&+ is an unusual name, but points towards its calibre; there were many mmm's from the Hall.It's from Barcelona and was £9.26 + VAT, or £11.11.

Cyprus is not renowned for its wine, but maybe in the future - Petritis, 2014, a dry white wine crafted from the indigenous variet, Xynisteri, grown in the Troodos Mountains.It had partial ageing in oak barrels and was fresh and aromatic. At £12 including VAT, many thought that it was good.

The third white caused lively reactions and it wasn't the £20 price tag.Gewurtztraminer is a Germanic grape synonymous with Alsace wines. Ours was from the Alto Adige, Italy. A web site review described the Nussbaumer, 2014 as juicy and thirst quenching.Many said it was highly aromatic, smelled of roses' and tasted of Turkish Delight!One lady member said it tasted like pot pourri and didn't feel that you should be drinking it! Yet others have sourced it via the net and bought some as it was their favourite!

The reds were cheaper and not so controversial! Gran Reserva, Echeverria, a Pinot Noir 2013 from the Casablanca Valley, Chile. The label described it as 'Rich and elegant (with) aromas of strawberries, black cherries (and) raspberries'. Dark rose in colour, some described it as pale and deceptive for a red but very nice; others thought it was thin and tasteless.It was £10 + VAT.

Comte de Senejac a Haut-Medoc, 2011 bore an unfamiliar Gold award label. Each year in Beaune, France., more than 600 tasters worldwide attend the Feminalise Wine Tasting Competition. Founder, Didier Martin, with 25-years' experience, made a simple observation: 'The economical impact of women in the wine industry'.The competition began in 2007 and went global in 2015.Last year there were 3655 wines.Tasters numbered 688: all experts and professionals working in the wine industry or seasoned oenophiles.The Medoc, aged in oak barrels was good and £14 ex VAT.

Petit Verdot from the Maipo Valley, Chile, produced Chaski. It was dark, heavy, but it was 14.5%. Grown between Valparaiso and the foothills of this famous mountain range, the alluvial soils produced a complex wine with notes of red fruits, herbs, and spices;well structured, nicely balanced with soft tannins too.We thought it was good, but it was £20 ex VAT. A good act, but not cheap, but Brett's 'Things' wouldn't be!

'Never did a great man hate good wine.' Francois Rabelais

Graham, Jeremy and Phil presented our first Men's Night, in April.No showers just a good show.Four of the six wines came from Majestic's easy access; however, the stars didn't and were worth courier service!

Graham and Carol had eaten recently at an Ilfracombe restaurant.They sampled a soft-pressed grape wine.Hard-pressed grapes are the usual component for wines: grapes, stalks and possibly leaves are pressed with gusto. Soft-pressed means that only the grapes are picked and not squashed completely as a balloon, within the tank, coaxes out the juice and less tannin. Some experts believe that less tannins means less chance of RWH - Red Wine Headaches. Majestic, Sainsbury and M & S were contacted, but visiting Kent relations, a privately-owned Chiselhurst wine shop produced the soft-pressed goods.This white was an unusual mix of Sauvignon and Malvasia.The latter made it slightly sweeter than a straightforward Sauvignon. The 2014 Il Pumo, is an Italian wine from 'an Marzano in Puglia.It was £8.00 and would make an excellent aperitif or go well with fish.His red, a 2013 Primitivo, also from San Marzano caused a stir.Primitivo di Manduria was a smooth, silky red, 14% and £14.95; however, some of us liked it so much that an Italian supplier was contacted and Primitivo, imported from Puglia, is now in Berrynarbor at £8 per bottle, quantity pays!

Jeremy's white and red were an Australasian Sauvignon and a Pinot Noir.These are synonymous with Marlborough, their signature grapes from the wine-growing area of South Island, New Zealand and originate in the Wairau Valley. The white, 2014, Goldwater Vineyard was £9.An excellent Sauvignon, described by Majestic as rich yet fresh.Whereas, the single estate Pinot Noir, Ara, almost 4 years old, reflected the purity of area, comes from the selected sections of vineyard: Select Blocks. Majestic write that this is smooth, fruity and complex. It was £11.

France was the country of origin for Phil's white and red.The 2014 Domaine Saint Ferreol Viognier was barrel-fermented and came from near Montpelier, Languedoc.Majestic describes this as aromatic, rich yet fresh, but some think Viognier can taste greasy.It was £11.99 or £9.99 for a Mix 6. His red was also from the same region: a 2012 Domain de Fabregues, £10.99 for a Mix 6.A Grenache-Syrah mix, it has won a Wine Spectator award.

Our 2015-16 season ends on 18th May when as normal we shall have a brief but informative AGM, followed by Tony Summers with The Wines of Portugal.

Judith Adam


Artwork: Harry Weedon


The Best Kept Village award was run by the Campaign to Protect Rural England, CPRE.Berrynarbor has entered this competition for several years and won on several occasions. However, CPRE has not run the competition for the last two years and has now announced that they are launching a NEW competition called Our Outdoors and it is our intention to enter this new competition.

From what I can ascertain the competition runs on roughly the same lines as the Best kept Village competition so hopefully we'll stand a good chance of winning.

I hope you all enjoyed the spring flowers in the tubs and planters around the village.The show began with hyacinths in March, then daffodils and finally a great show of tulips still flowering in May.These will be followed by the summer bedding that should flower right through till October and be ready for the Britain in Bloom judging which will be on Wednesday, 6th July, at 2.00 p.m.

We have held three litter picks so far this year.It is amazing how much is thrown from cars and just generally discarded without thought and the first litter pick gathered up about thirty bags of rubbish.The worst area is on the main road between Diggers Cross and the top of the Sterridge Valley and took four people almost two hours to cover.Getting rid of all this litter could be difficult so we have been very grateful to Martin our 'road sweep' who collects the bags and takes them to the tip for us. He retired at the end of May and we thank him for all his help and wish him a happy retirement.We welcome his replacement Mark and look forward to working with him.

Our next two fund raisers are:

The Sterridge Valley Open Gardens is on 26th June

We hope you will all come and enjoy the gardens and the lovely tea served in the Manor Hall.

The Village Open Gardens on 14th August

Wendy Applegate


Artwork: Angela Bartlett

Mars Bar Cake

This has got to be the easiest cake ever made, just don't think about the calories and enjoy.

  • 10x40g Mars bars or 9x45g Mars bars
  • 2 free range eggs
  • 60g S.R. flour

This quantity makes 1x 20cm cake but double up the quantity and allow extra Mars bars for the icing and you have a real show stopper!

  • Put all but one of the Mars bars in a microwave-proof bowl and microwave for about a minute in 20 second bursts until more or less melted.Stir them to complete the process.
  • Beat in the eggs and flour to get rid of as many lumps as possible.
  • Grease and line a 20cm round tin with baking parchment.Scrape in the mixture.
  • Bake at 180C/350F/gas 4 for 35 minutes.
  • Cool in the tin.
  • Melt the last Mars bar and spread over the top.

Wicked or what!

Wendy Applegate




Berrynarbor Parish Council
Adam Stanbury [Chairman] 882252

Gemma Bacon [883341]
Jenny Beer [jen.beer@btinternet.com]
Julia Fairchild [882783]
Denny Reynolds [inskip828@btinternet.com]
Sian Barten [882222]
Adrian Coppin [882647]
David Kennedy [07791 781283]
Clare White [882959]

Sue Squire - Parish Clerk - [01598 710526] sue@suesquire.com

County Councillor - Andrea Davis [883865]
District Councillors - Yvette Gubb [882364], John Lovering [john.lovering@northdevon.gov.uk]

Snow Warden - Clive Richards [883406]


Minutes of the previous meeting were approved and reports given.The Chairman of the Manor Hall Trust addressed the meeting regarding the proposal that the Trust become a Charity Incorporated Organisation, on which Sian Barten was to seek legal advice.

Tenders regarding the refurbishment of the public toilets were discussed but no decision made although it was acknowledged that the work needed to be carried out.

Planning applications were considered and discussed. DCC Public Rights of Way had awarded £300 towards the upkeep of Parish footpaths. The two adopted telephone boxes and defibrillator had been included on the insurance policy.


Adam Stanbury and Sian Barten were re-elected as Chairman and Vice-Chairman respectively and Parish representatives elected as follows:

  • Footpath Officer - Clare White
  • Deputy Footpath Officer - Julia Fairchild
  • Highways Liaison Officer & Tree Warden - Adrian Coppin
  • Emergency Plan Officers - Adam Stanbury, David Kennedy, Adrian Coppin together with members of the village who would liaise with District Councillor Yvette Gubb
  • Councillor to check Invoices for payment - Julia Fairchild
  • Combe Martin & District Tourism Association - Jenny Beer & Gemma Bacon
  • Berrynarbor Manor Hall Committee - Denny Reynolds
  • Play Area Inspection - Jenny Beer
  • Councillor to initially check Planning Applications - Gemma Bacon
  • Finance Committee - Adam Stanbury, David Kennedy & Denny Reynolds
  • Personnel Committee - Sian Barten & David Kennedy

Adrian Coppin was co-opted as a Parish Councillor, bringing the Council up to full strength.The minutes of the previous meeting were approved and reports given. The proposal that the Manor Hall become a Charitable Incorporated Organisation was again discussed.

The Newsletter and Berry in Bloom were awarded £500 each and £200 given towards the Street Party to celebrate the Queen's 90th Birthday.

The next meeting of the Parish Council will be held on Tuesday, 14th June, 7.00 p.m. at the Manor Hall.

Sue Squire - Clerk


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


A big HELLO!We are Scott and Jenny Evans and together with our boys, Aaron and Danny, have moved in to the Old Sawmill Inn.We are part of the local family business that runs The Thatch and Billy Budds at Croyde and Cook Island at Mullacott Cross, and are very excited to be in Berrynarbor.

The Sawmill is currently undergoing a full refurbishment which, as these things do, is taking a bit longer than anticipated. At the time of writing, we expect to be open to welcome you all sometime in mid-June, but, Watch This Space.

We should like to thank everyone for their warm welcome and especially Karen for her kind words in the April issue of the Newsletter. We look forward to meeting you all soon.

Scott and Jenny





Welcome back to the Summer Term trusting you all had a lovely Easter break. We should like to welcome all our new children and their families to our Pre-school and hope they enjoy their learning journey with us.

Topic of learning - This term we are working on our letters and sounds based around the Read Write Inc. program. Children are encouraged to sound out familiar letters and begin to form recognisable letter shapes or make patterns and to put meanings to the marks they make.To support the children's learning we are looking at People Who Help Us, such as doctors, vets, rescue services, music teachers and more. We are inviting parents to come in and share their professional experiences with the children.

We shall also be exploring the days of the week and our seasons, observing the changes that occur in nature.This will include the stories of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Jack and the Bean Stalk.

We plan to go on local walks and see all the lovely flowers that have been planted around our village as well as go on an organised summer trip to the Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park. This will enable the children to explore their environment, see a variety of insects, animals and of course see the dinosaurs!

Fundraising - We would like to say a big well done to all our children for taking part in our sponsored Sports Relief obstacle course.They all did extremely well challenging themselves in balance, co-ordination and fitness.We raised £163.00 and the money will be split evenly between the Sports Relief charity and ourselves.

With money previously raised through various fundraising events, we have now been able to purchase 2 Kindle Fires for Kids. This will improve our children's learning in technology and their IT skills.

The Queen's birthday celebration - We are working with the local community to organise a village party to celebrate the Queens 90th birthday. The date put forward is Saturday 11th June with activities and events to be confirmed.Look out for posters.

Clothes recycling - In our last collection of clothes, we raised £40, so thank you for your support. We shall be fundraising again and Bag2School will be collecting from Pre-school on Tuesday, 14th June 2016. Please bring your filled bag [or bags] to Pre-school no sooner than 9th June and help us have a really good collection.We can accept the following good quality items for re-use:

  • Men's, Ladies' and Children's Clothing
  • Paired Shoes [tied together or elastic band around]
  • Hats, Scarves, Ties, Belts
  • Handbags/bagsJewellery
  • Lingerieand Soft Toys

We are Ofsted registered and in receipt of the 2gether scheme and Early Years Entitlement. We provide care and education for young children between the ages of 2 and 5.

Please visit us or call 07807 0903644 or email preschoolberrynarbor@gmail.com for additional information.

From all the staff at preschool, thank you for your support.

Sue, Karen and Charlotte



A Devon Belle

A few years ago we were walking along the coast below Trentishoe Down when we spotted a tiny pale blue flower at the edge of the path. Just the one plant in the vicinity of North Cleave.

I did not know what it was but when we returned home I identified it, with the help of my trusty field guides, as the Ivy-leafed Bellflower. [Some of the smallest flowers have the longest names.]

The Ivy-leafed Bellflower - Wahlenbergia Hederqacea - is a scarce plant of damp moors, heaths and peat bogs. Flowering in July and August, it is a modest cousin of the Harebell but nevertheless described as 'a little gem'.



Illustrations by: Paul Swailes

I have a rather charming book [a jumble sale find] published in 1946, Flowers of Marsh and Stream, in which its author Iolo A. Williams considers it one of the 'most exquisite small bog plants, a miniature beauty'.

He explains,

    "This is one of those flowers which takes some spotting, even when you know it is there, and you may often not find it till you have knelt down on very wet turf to search for it at short range "But once found it reveals a slender grace that is entirely captivating. Among British bog plants I would rank this small blue campanula as one of the very choicest things ..."

In subsequent summers when walking that way, we always look out for Wahlenbergia Hederacea but have never found it there again.This stretch of coast path has suffered a lot of erosion and we assume that has caused the loss of this uncommon flower.

However, some years later we were walking up the hill from Landacre Bridge, heading for the area beside the River Barle between Sherdon Hatch and Ferny Ball, where Bog Asphodels grow, when we were surprised to find patches of delicate Ivy-leafed Bellflowers creeping about the roadside bank.

The Bog Asphodels we were expecting "sole reason for visit" as Oscar Wilde said when he arrived in America and was asked by a customs official if while in the US he intended to incite insurrection and overthrow the state], but the Bellflowers were a complete surprise.

Ferny Ball was the home of author and artist, Hope Bourne who lived frugally in a caravan there, writing books on self-sufficiency and the natural history of Exmoor. Regular Newsletter readers will recall PP of DC featured Hope Bourne in her Movers and Shakers series in August 2011.

N.B. If you visit the churches at nearby Withypool or Hawkridge, you will find Hope Bourne's sketches on the covers of the church leaflets.

Sue H


Dave Beagley

Solution in Article 31.



Quick Quotes

"Summer Afternoon" two of the most beautiful words in the English language.

Henry James, 1843-1916

"When the facts change I change my mind."

Maynard Keynes

"Life can only be understood backwards but has to be lived forwards."


U and Non-U Tips as given to Binkie Beaumont:

Words like 'nothing' may we say,
End with G and not with K.
Napkins, in the smarter sets,
Are not known as serviettes.
Also, these are not tucked in
Neatly underneath the chin . . .
Should you belch at lunch or tea
Never mutter "Pardon me".
Mark these rules and, if you can,
Be a little gentleman.

Noel Coward


Grammar & SAT's

It would be interesting to know how many readers know their 'subordinating conjunctions' from their 'fronted adverbials'?

No, and you've never even heard of them. But as 6 and 7 year olds in 21st century Britain, you would be expected to know and understand them!

The Collingwood Hotel was a feature of the Ilfracombe seafront for more than 130 years. Originally a terrace of four boarding houses, it was named after the famous Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood, Nelson's second-in-command at the Battle of Trafalgar.Now Wetherspoon's The Admiral Collingwood.




Artwork: Angela Bartlett


I go back to 1987 when there was an enormous gale which caused havoc in many parts of our country.

Mary and Jack Robinson were a married couple who lived in a bungalow in the rural village of Stock in Essex.Jack worked on the railway, whilst Mary did a bit of cleaning for a few people to bring in some extra money for them to enjoy.

However, Mary had to give this up as she was in the very late stage of pregnancy.

They had just gone to bed when the gale started. As the night wore on it got stronger and stronger. The wind whistled loudly;the windows rattled and they could hear dustbin lids being blown around.There were worried when they heard trees being snapped off and got down under the covers with the hope that it would blow itself out by morning.

Waking around six-thirty, Jack got up and looked out of the window. Things had calmed down, but what was this?The wind had brought down power lines and there were two cables right across their front, completely preventing their way out onto their road.

It so happened that Mary being overdue was going to have a Caesarean that very day but how were they going to get to the hospital? One of the power lines was about four feet up.

"Oh, please Jack, have you any ideas? I've got to get to the hospital" pleaded Mary.

"Well wait a mo," he paused, "Yes, but I don't think you'll like it."

"Whatever it is, please tell me."

"Listen," Jack said, "Fred White along the road has a cherry picker. Would you be prepared to go in it?"

Mary, looking a little surprised, hesitated for a moment before saying quietly, Yes, I suppose so."

"I'll give him a ring," Jack replied.He looked up the number and dialled it. When he told Fred the situation, Fred agreed to come with his cherry picker.

Meanwhile, Mary got herself ready and before long Fred arrived just at the same time as a man from the Electricity Authority.

"Don't touch those cables!" he shouted, "They're live.Our chap won't be able to turn the current off for some time. He is too busy with other jobs. What are you doing?"

"Well," said Jack, "Our friend here is going to lift my wife over the cables with his cherry picker.She is pregnant and must get to the hospital."

The electricity man just stood there with his mouth open.

When the cherry picker was lowered over the cables, Mary got in and was easily lifted over the cables.Jack followed and soon the ambulance which they had called arrived.

All went well at the hospital and Mary gave birth to a little girl. The cables had been removed and Mary and the baby were able to go home.

All three, Jack, Mary and the baby were cuddled up on the settee when Jack and Mary said together, "What shall we call her?" And then again together, "What else but Cherry!"

Illustrations by: Paul Swailes

Tony Beauclerk - Stowmarket



In the February 2016 Berrynarbor Newsletter, you wanted to know what had become of the children, whose school photograph appears in the centre pages.

In the front row [second left] is Ricky Brain. From Berrynarbor School Ricky went to Edington School and Millfield School, both in Somerset, Middlesex University and Imperial College, London.

He now has his own business based in Russell Square, London, employing twenty people. He was presented to the Queen for Business Awards. Ricky's grandparents, Cecil and Dorothy Brain from Cheltenham, bought Watermouth Castle in the mid- 1950's and with their family spent 15 years restoring the castle.

Robert Brain, Father of Richard





A reminder that the Show this year will be held on Saturday, 3rd September. Subjects for the Art and Photography were given in the April newsletter. Schedules will be available for collecting from the Shop at the end of June.

There will be a change this year with separate sections for Children as follows:

Section L Children's Section [Must be child's own work]

Note:Please state age of child on the entry form in years and months.

5 Years and under

  • 51. Draw a picture of the seaside
  • 52. A decorated pebble
  • 53. Four flowers in a jar
  • 54. A collage picture [max. A4]
  • 55. A hand-made crown for a queen

6-9 Years

  • 56. Four gingerbread men [see recipe]
  • 57. A pasta picture on a paper plate
  • 58. A hand-made greeting card
  • 59. A hand-made party hat
  • 60. An animal made from egg box/es

10-13 Years

  • 61. Four squares of Mars Bar cake [see Recipe]
  • 62. A hand-made greeting card
  • 63. A hand-made party hat
  • 64. A pasta picture on a paper plate
  • 65. A model made from egg box/es and yoghurt pots

1st place in every class will receive points and the overall winner in each age group will receive an award.

Floral Art

Accessories allowed in all classes.Maximum space allowed for classes 1,2 and 3 is 16" x 16" x 18" High.

  1.        Year of the English Garden
  2.        By the seaside
  3.        A table arrangement to be viewed all around
  4.        In a Shell - miniature 6" x 6" x 6"

Please keep the date free and give thought to what YOU can enter - crafts, flowers, fruit, vegetables and, of course, home cooking!



Artwork: Paul Swailes


Post Office Opening Dates and Hours

Please note that the Post Office will be closed on the following 2016 afternoons for closedown:

  • 8th June - 6th July- 10th August - 7th September
  • 5th October - 9th November - 7th December

The Shop and Post Office will also be closed on the following 2016 Bank Holidays:

  • 29th August - Christmas Day and Boxing Day


We are always happy to welcome new volunteers to the Community Shop. If you would like to join our happy band then please pop into the Shop and have a chat with Debbie or Karen.

Being a volunteer has many benefits, you can:

  • Meet new people, make new friends, especially if you are new to the area
  • Strengthen your ties with the community and strengthen your support network
  • Increase your self-confidence
  • Gain a sense of purpose
  • Help keep good mental health
  • Keep active
  • Learn new skills
  • Have fun and fulfilment

Summer Offer

1 bag £4.50, 2 bags £8.50 3 bags £12.50




This year seems to be flying by.We are already in the second half of the Summer Term at school. The SATs are behind us and we are enjoying a variety of sports and other outdoor activities. The school garden is flourishing with purple beans, peas, four different coloured beetroots, kholrabi, potatoes, rhubarb and various cane fruits, all growing well.

In the April Newsletter we mentioned that the school was fund raising for Sport Relief. We completed the sponsored mile run and held a Bake Off competition. There were over 30 entries including superb, simple sponges, a selection of decorated, themed cakes, and some delicious creations with the most amazing aroma and taste. The prize for the tastiest cake was won by Laura Eaton whose flavoured cake smelt delightful and tasted delicious. The Rolo themed cake entered by Jed and Dillon Haines was voted the best for presentation and design. Thanks to our judges, David and Eve Walker, who sampled and tasted each entry, and to all the children who paid to cast a vote for design and presentation.At the end of the day, slices of cake were available to buy. We'd like to thank everyone who supported the fund raiser in any way. Nearly £700.00 was raised for Sport Relief, an astounding amount.

Elderberry Class, our older children, are busy rehearsing their end of year Musical. It will be staged at the Landmark Theatre in July so will be a true theatrical experience for them. Before that, however, they will be off on their residential trip 'Rock and Rapid' for an adventure packed with activities. It will be a time to relax and enjoy each other's company after the hard work in the run up to SATs. Year 6 pupils will also be visiting their chosen Secondary Schools in preparation for the new school year. We wish them well for the future but will miss them come September as they have been very active within our school family.Some have run after school clubs for the children in KS1 including gardening, Lego, movie night, science, ICT and party games. Others have helped serve fruit from the fruit bar at lunch times as well as reminding children of their meal choices. They have been caring, helpful and supportive towards the younger children and we are very proud of them.

Blueberry Class, our Years 3 and 4, are also looking forward to their residential at Beam House where they can be sure of an action packed time. Meanwhile our younger children in Key Stage 1 will be welcomingSummer Club children into their classrooms as they visit us prior to starting school in September.

At the start of a new term each of the year groups from Year 2 through to Year 6 elects a girl and a boy to represent them on the School Council which meets fortnightly. Before the Easter holidays our School Council went to West Down School to meet with their School Council and the kitchen team to discuss School Meals for the Summer Term. Here is a report from two of them.

'We talked about how healthy the menu should be and discussed which hot and cold dinners would be suitable for the summer menu. We added a fruit bar where each day children can select portions of various fruits. We think this is a good idea as it helps with water intake in the hot weather. We tasted sausages and burgers from a new butcher. They were really good.'

As the saying goes, 'the proof of the pudding is in the eating' and the eating seems to be going very well at school lunch times as the children enjoy the freshly cooked meals prepared by Sarah Peach and her team.

Sue Carey - Head Teacher





Singer, teacher and former resident of Bessemer Thatch

Cynthia Jolly, born January 14 1922, died April 1 2016 was the daughter of Canon Jolly who is remembered by some in the village as living at Bessemer Thatch until his death in 1972.

Canon Jolly was Rector of St Mary's Church Southampton but Berrynarbor was where he bought a holiday cottage, Bessemer Thatch, where he retired to and where he died.He is buried in the graveyard at St. Peter's.

Cynthia came to stay with us when we were running Bessemer Thatch as a guest house.By then she was in her eighties but still a very lively, cultured and interesting lady. She obviously had fond memories of her childhood holiday home and was interested in seeing what it was like in the 2000's.We spent a long time going round the house and garden with her declaring things like, "Oh that is the room that nanny slept in," and "My father planted those trees".Interestingly the one thing that has not changed in the garden is the archway.

The second time she came she brought lots of old photos that were very interesting showing her family - she never married - her father, her three older brothers and her younger sister. One of her brothers was Hugh Jolly the famous pediatrician.These pictures show the family standing at the back of Bessemer Thatch when it WAS thatched, before the devastating fire in 1937 when the entire roof and top floor were burned down.The roof was changed to a tiled roof but the name Bessemer Thatch was never changed.

Canon Jolly must have had good insurance as the house was completely changed, especially at the back where gables and a balcony were added taking away the simple cottage look and making it much more Tudoresque. On the landing are two small old stained glass windows that look as though they may have come from a church somewhere.

Cynthia told us that after her father died, she and her sister had wanted to keep Bessemer Thatch as a joint holiday cottage for the use of the family but in the end it was decided to sell. She was sad about that but was pleased to have been able to revisit after all the years.


I read her obituary in the paper. She had said she was a teacher and singer but she was being very modest as it was obvious she had enjoyed international status having been part of the Hungarian composer Zoltan Kordaly's inner circle performing Kordaly's collection of native folk songs in their native language and performing as a singer at the Wigmore Hall

Wendy Applegate



On 7th April Inge and I left London Heathrow in the afternoon on a British Airways flight to Beijing arriving there on the Friday morning. We had arranged our visit through Let's Go Travel and China Links Travel. We were met at the airport by our Tour Guide, Willow, and a driver who took us to Beijing Prime Hotel where we checked in.

We were then taken for a tour of the Hutong area and a Welcome Peking Duck Banquet at One35, Beijing's most traditional restaurant we were told.

Next morning, after an early breakfast we were picked up at 8.00 a.m. for a long drive, 2.5 hours, on motorways, sometimes five lanes in each direction, to visit the Great Wall, which we finally reached by cable car. We were able to walk along the top of the Wall and had excellent views of the hills.Returning to Beijing we enjoyed a traditional Kung Fu Show.

The Great Wall

Kunming Lake

Next day, having declined the 5.00 a.m. flag raising in Tiananmen Square, we were again picked up at 8.00 a.m.Passing the very large Tiananmen Square, we made a long visit to the Forbidden City.

For us it was unbelievable in so far as you went through one huge palace only to find the next, and this continued for at least a further eight palaces.

Forbidden City

Tiananmen Square

On the fifth day we were taken to the Temple of Heaven to see Imperial China architecture and activities in Chinese park life.

A visit to the Summer Palace was followed by a relaxing cruise on Kunming Lake. After viewing the Olympic Village and Bird's Nest Stadium we were taken to the airport for our flight to Xian. At Xian our new guide, Liz, met us and three other English couples, and took us to our next Hotel.

The following morning, we were all taken to visit the Terracotta Warriors. This was quite unbelievable with over ten thousand life size statues of the Chinese Army made over two thousand years ago.

We then visited the Muslim Quarter and taken to watch a shadow play in Gao's house. A Dumpling Dinner followed whilst watching the Tang Dynasty Show in a very large Theatre - a colourful performance of traditional music and dance.

Day seven and we all made a visit to the city wall in Xian, walking along the top for quite some distance. The wall is the most complete city wall to survive in China. Our final stop was made to the Small Wild Goose Pagoda to explore China's unique architectural style. Four of us were then taken back to Xian Airport for our next flight to Chengdu. There we were met by our next Chinese Guide, Vivian, and driver and taken to our next Hotel.

Next morning the four of us were taken for a full day excursion to the magnificent LeshanBuddha. The Buddha, built during the Tang Dynasty, is carved out of the rock cliff face and is 233 feet high! Our first impression was from a river boat trip taken before the long walk up to the head. The Buddha is the largest stone Buddha in the world and is situated at the confluence of the Minjiang, Dadu and Qingyi rivers near Leshan. We also visited the ancient town Hunglongxi.

Day nine and after early breakfast we were collected by Vivian and driver arriving at the Chendu Giant Panda Breeding and Research Centre at 8.30 a.m., where we were able to see all the pandas eating mounds of bamboo shoots. We noticed how after their fill, they would vanish in to the trees or on to benches and literally fall asleep. It was a truly wonderful sight to see young and old pandas, there were well over 100, in such natural and wonderful surroundings.

Inge and I were then taken back to Chengdu Airport for the flight to the vibrant city of Shanghai. Here we were met by our final Chinese Guide, Darcy, and his driver, and taken to our final hotel. That evening we were collected and taken for a cruise along the Huangpu River.

Next day, another early 8.00 a.m. start before being taken to the Yu Yuan Gardens, centuries old the gardens with beautiful pavilions, corridors, streams, courtyards and flowers.

A visit to the Jade Buddha Temples, each sporting large and intricate sculptures of Buddha, followed.We were then taken to visit the Shanghai Museum and had the only rain of the entire visit and boy did it rain! Later we visited the Shanghai World Financial Centre. It was here that we had an unbelievably quick lift up to the 90th floor before taking a further lift up the remaining 11 floors to the viewing platform.From here we had a breathtaking view of the whole of Shanghai, including the highest building in the world which was just next to us.

Day 11 saw us visiting the ancient water town of Suzhou with its history of over 1,700 years known as the Pearl Stream.

Yu Yuan


Then it was our last day and we were collected by Darcy and our driver and taken to Shanghai Pudong Airport for our 11 o'clock British Airways flight to London Heathrow, arriving at four thirty in the afternoon, exhausted!

Finally we should just like to say that virtually everything has happened in China since 1991 and the changes from one year to the next are unbelievable. When we saw bicycles being used they were generally motorized and all the cars seen on the crowded motorways were usually large Chinese, Japanese and German models. No old cars were seen by us at all. China has certainly exploded in to this century!

Inge and Tom Bartlett


A Postscript

Having read my piece under the above heading in the April newsletter, our good friend, Judith Maunder, sent me a cutting from the I newspaper [19.4.16].It reported the following:

A gentleman living in Faversham, Kent disgusted at the state of his town, spent two weeks of his free time litter picking. At the end of it, he took his bags of litter to the tip to be told, "You can't take rubbish to the rubbish tip"[sic]. Astonished, he appealed to Kent County Council who agreed, claiming that the tip could be used only for rubbish originating from the tipper's own property. Anything from other places had to be taken by "A licensed Waste Collector".

More to the point, they said that by definition, "Litter waste has no specific origin and by default could be hazardous; members of the public should not be exposed to handling potentially hazardous waste."

I think of the noble litter-pickers of Berrynarbor. Perhaps we should equip them with protective leather thigh-boots, flack-jackets, goggles and helmets.

Devon is evidently not the only county afflicted by the Bureaucracy of Waste.

Alex Parke of DC





To help with the catering please let Sheila [01793 875510] or
Carol at Lee Lodge [883875] know if you are able to join the celebrations. Thank you.



[1575 - 3rd July 1624]

Woollen Cloth Merchant and Mayor of Barnstaple [1620]

As I awaited my chiropody appointment in Litchdon Street, Barnstaple, I flicked through a 2015 Devon magazine and hey presto! From the pages leapt a photograph of the Almshouses just across the road from where I was sitting. They were, I read, the result of a legacy left by John Penrose, completed three years after his death at the age of 49 and supervised in part by his father-in-law, Robert Beaple. John and his wife, Anne, had no children.

But here was definitely a 'mover and shaker'!

The twenty Almshouses built around a cobbled courtyard, each accommodated two people of the same sex and all had a small allotment to the rear.

The site included a chapel and board room - and woe betide anyone not attending chapel "for a form of Morning and Evening prayer [except such as from age or infirmity]", and again at three o'clock on Sunday afternoons. At the next Monthly Meeting, the Acting Trustees "shall deduct One Penny from their pay for each time of such absence and that the sums so retained shall be distributed among the other people of the house."That is a shortened form of Rule 2 of 6, and no doubt if you couldn't read they would all be explained in detail to you. In White's Devonshire Directory of 1850, each resident also received "six shillings per lunar month".

No doubt John Penrose accomplished many other deeds during his short life, but none would benefit the 'poor and needy' as much as these

homes.They were allocated, to "poor people INHABITANTS within the Borough and parish of Barnstaple and none of any other place"and mostly to women. Each new mayor could choose the first incumbent of his reign.



John Penrose was born in Fremington in 1575.He made his money as a successful cloth merchant and exporter. In 1620, the year that the Pilgrim Fathers sailed from Plymouth to New England, he became Mayor of Barnstaple or put more quaintly by the stone carving over the entrance porch:


Yes, 1627, three years after his death, was the year that John Penrose's will was honoured. His executors were to buy 'some convenient place' fit to erect an Almshouse.On the door supports at the entrance are carved his coat of arms and initials, and underneath, an 'A' denoting that Anne, his widow helped complete his bequest.

Only fifteen years later, the Civil War broke out and by 1643 Barnstaple surrendered to the Royalists.The town changed hands 4 times over the next three years and by 1646 the Roundheads successfully recovered it. If you step into the colonnade beyond the granite pillars and look left, you will see in the black door of the Board room, the bullet holes made in the attack - and if you are lucky, the caretaker [who was very helpful] will show you the bullets and small cannon balls. [Apparently some years ago a kindly volunteer painting the door, filled up all these venerable holes, which then had to be opened up again!]



The Almshouses are now operated by Barnstaple Municipal Charities, and the inhabitants are all tenants. In the 20th century the properties were re-planned and some converted into flats. Some of the

houses at the rear have been extended, and the 'two persons of the same sex' no longer applies!They are mainly occupied by couples and widows, two of whom we met - attractive, friendly and helpful and certainly not looking as if they were over the 'age-barrier'. It made us feel it was a good place to live - if only we were Barnstaple folk!If residents can't or don't want to use their allotments, they are let out to outsiders.The Almshouses are now Grade 1 listed and being nearly 400 years old, demand a lot of upkeep.The granite pillars overlooking the street need attention and so do the roof and cobbled courtyard.Funds are always needed and if you wish, you can help by joining Friends of Penrose.

John Penrose is buried in Fremington Churchyard.On his tomb is the following inscription:

    "Here lieth the body of John Penrose, who was born in this Parish but bred in the town of Barnstaple, where in the trade of Merchandize he attained fair Estate and held Office as Mayor. The greater part of his means he gave for the relief of the poor, to the founding of the Almshouses and endowing them with lands for their perpetual maintenance, and in testifying for the truth of his faith, by the bounty of his charity. He passed hence into a better life, July 3rd in the year of Christ, 1624".

It would be a sad day if John Penrose's generous gift to Barnstaple was to fall into such disrepair that it was lost to the town.

PP of DC


Artwork: Paul Swailes


We have just changed our menu here at The Globe: the evening menu has been spiced up a bit and our lunch menu will soon be available all day. We are now serving food until 10.00 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Food is served all afternoon on Saturdays and Sundays and during the Summer Holidays we shall be serving food from 12.00 noon until 10.00 p.m. with take-aways from 6.00 to 10.00 p.m.

Our Carvery is available 12.00 noon to 3.00 p.m. every Sunday with a choice of 2 meats, all the trimmings and plenty of delicious vegetables.

Our All You Can Eat Night for June is German, on Saturday 25th and then on Saturday 23rd July it's South African.

We have a variety of live music planned for the coming months including The Swingboat Duo [Jazz] on 18th June and The Umberleigh Bovver Boys [Skiffle] Friday 8th July plus Della & James, Old No7, Doubtful Origin and more . . . keep an eye on boards for dates and further music night details.

... and due to the popularity of the Curry & Drink for £10 nights during April, we have decided to carry this on Every Friday Night.

Children's entertainment is yet to be confirmed so check the boards soon, or look out for an e-mail if you're on the database.

We hope to see you here soon. Have a fun, safe Summer.

Karen and the Team at The Globe



1st to 3rd June: Primary School & Academy - end of Half Term
7th Mobile Library in Village from 11.40 a.m.
Public Meeting re. Manor Hall C.I.O, Manor Hall, 7.00/7.30 p.m.
11th Tea & Tiaras - Bring and Share Tea Party, 2.30 p.m. Manor Hall
14th Parish Council Meeting, Manor Hall, 7;00 p.m.
22nd St. Peter's Church: Gift Day
23rd Referendum Day - IN or OUT? Don't forget to vote!
26th Open Gardens Sterridge Valley, Teas from 3.00 p.m. Manor Hall
29th Friendship Lunch from 12.00 noon, The Globe
Manor Hall A.G.M. 7.30 p.m. Manor Hall
2nd Summer Celebrations - Flower Demonstration, Manor Hall, 2.00 p.m.
5th Mobile Library in Village from 11.40 a.m.
6th Britain in Bloom Judging, from 2.00 p.m.
12th Parish Council Meeting, Manor Hall, 7.00 p.m.
16th Ron's 100th Birthday Celebration, from 2.00 p.m. Manor Hall
19th Ilfracombe Academy: End of Summer Term
22nd to Monday, 25th inc. St. Peter's Church: Flower Festival
Primary School: End of Summer Term
27th Friendship Lunch from 12.00 noon, The Globe
Marwood Hill Gardens, As You Like It, Folksy Theatre, 6.30 p.m.
30th Bar-B-Cue & Pig Roast, South Lee, 7.30 p.m.
31st St. Peter's Church: Joint Service, 11.00 a.m.
2nd Mobile Library in Village from 11.40 a.m.

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]
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
Morning Session: 8.30 or 9.00 a.m. - 12.00 noon
Afternoon Session: 12.00 noon to 3.30 or 4.00 p.m.
All Day: 8.30 or 9.00 a.m. to 3/3.30 or 4.00 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


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Berrynarbor Mill

This month I have chosen two postcards published by William Garratt of Bristol around 1903-1904 showing Berrynarbor Mill. It is fitting to say that these are two of the first photographic picture cards that Garratt took of Berrynarbor.The young lady in the picture is Mrs. Jewell with her daughter, together with their dog which has a resemblance to the one advertising His Master's Voice.

The upright card has a Berrynarbor October 19th thimble postmark and was sent to Miss Hicks living in St. Judes, Plymouth, from her mother Em Hicks living in Berrynarbor.

Mill Park House was originally the Mill and Mill Park Cottage the farm house built in 1671*.The deed tithe records of 1841 indicate that a miller and maltster live in the farmhouse. In William White's 1850 History, Gazetteer and Directory, we are informed that Jane Dyer is the corn miller. We are also informed that there were 899 inhabitants in Berrynarbor, which had a total of 4,958 acres. Harrod's Directory of 1878 indicates that John Jewell was baker and miller. Kelly's Directories of 1883, 1889, 1890, 1895, 1897 and 1902 all indicated that John Jewell was Miller [water], Berry Mills.

Then Kellys of 1939 shows James Chugg as farmer, Mill Park Farm, indicating the mill was no long used as such.The mill's cast iron overshot wheel was 20 foot in diameter and a very wide 5 foot in width.

It is interesting to note that during Work War II, the Pipe Line Under the Ocean, PLUTO, operation used the water power of the mill*. Both the farmhouse and the mill were converted to residential accommodation in 1946*.

*Watermills in North Devon 1994- John Gale and Others

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage, May 2016