Edition 163 - August 2016

Artwork: Paul Swailes

Artwork: Judie Weedon


Summer is over and for us here, it really hasn't been a great one weather-wise. Extraordinarily, only 50 miles away, around Taunton, they've had quite a good one. It's no wonder we live in a green and lush part of the country! So, with winter approaching, don't forget to put the clocks back an hour on the 29th/30th October - at least we get an extra hour in bed!

The cover, Lundy through the dunes at Woolacombe, is the work of our Artist in Residence, Paul, one of his beautiful illustrations for the poem, At Woolacombe and Mortehoe, on page 10. Thank you, Paul, not only for the illustrations in this issue, but for the many hundreds over the last 26 years, since issue No. 7

Here again I must thank all the contributors although it would be lovely to have some new ones to support our great regular writers.

We seem to suffer a lot of changes in the residents of our village and we wish all newcomers good luck and happiness in your new homes. Judging from the number of properties on the market, we'll be saying some good-byes with our best wishes to you too.

Sadly, not everyone is feeling too good and the weather does nothing to help, but we hope you will all be feeling better and very soon.

If you are reading this on the first or second day of its circulation, do look at the article about butterflies for the Children's Hospice and get your order in fast.

Also, don't forget that Gary's book - an amusing account of life in Berry before the flowerpot men - is available from the Shop, Globe and Sawmills.

We are privileged to be having the Military Wives Choir here at St. Peter's - tickets are now on sale at the Shop.

Finally, Christmas cards are already on sale in the shops, but if you would like to send your greetings via the messages in the Newsletter, details can be found on page 45 and messages should be received by Wednesday 9th November, which is also the deadline for articles and items for the December and Christmas issue, the final one of 2016.

Judie - Ed




We were away for the last week of May and the first week of June so we have combined the rainfall for the two months together because we have no way of separating some of the figures.

May started off cool and quite dry but the temperature steadily rose and by the 6th we recorded a high of 25.1 DegC. By the 15th temperatures started to slip away and did not get back into the twenties for the rest of the month. The lowest temperature recorded for the month was 2 DegC on the 4th when we also had a slight ground frost. The 3rd produced a wind chill factor of 1 DegC and the strongest gust of wind was 29mph on the 2nd.171.34 hours of sunshine were recorded which was a bit down on last year's total of 201.79.

We arrived back home on the 7th June to quite a heat wave and by the 9th the thermometer had reached 25.4 DegC which was the peak for the month as after that temperatures dropped back in the main below 20 DegC. Sunday the 19th was a damp and dismal day and by 7.00 a.m. on Monday we had recorded 30mm of rain for the 24-hour period. Monday the 20th was the longest day and was very wet and miserable. The combined rainfall for May and June was 150mm [we estimate that 54mm fell in May and 96mm in June]. We had a wind chill of 7 DegC on the 19th and a maximum wind gust of 32mph on the 28th.

Overall June was pretty disappointing although surprisingly the hours of sunshine recorded was 201.78 which was the second highest recorded since 2003.

We could all do with a spell of settled summer weather apart from the slugs and snails who seem to be enjoying most of our plants, along with the rabbits most of which come chive flavoured!

Simon and Sue


Artwork: David Duncan


We still await the formal arrival of our new Vicar, Michael Rogers, but the good news, at the time of writing, is that we have received replies from two candidates for the House for Duty Priest to support Michael. Interviews are to be held on the 14th July, when it is hoped there will be a successful outcome and that we shall be able to announce some really positive news in the very near future.

Our new Treasurer Margaret Sowerby, and her husband Roger, have been working very hard to get to grips with this important role and have completely modernised the system to make life easier all round. We are delighted, with the full support of the PCC, that they have become part of the team.

Our annual Gift Day raised £817 and we are extremely grateful to all those who gave donations. With major expenditure needed on the fabric of the church on our list of priorities, these donations will be very helpful indeed.

A big thank you for all those who supported the Flower Demonstration and Afternoon Tea - we managed to raise £180 towards the flowers for the Anniversaries 2016 Flower Festival, which by the time you read this will have taken place and we hope it will have given much pleasure to everyone who has supported this colourful event between the 22nd and 25th July.

For a whole raft of reasons, mainly logistical, we shall not be holding our Church Fayre this year. However, we shall be holding an alternative event, hopefully in September, which we feel will be attractive to residents and visitors alike. We shall be advertising this event and its timing towards the end of August.

The Berrynarbor Choir, who meet on Monday evenings from 7.30 p.m., are currently practising hard for Harvest Festival, Remembrance Sunday and, of course, the premier event of the year, the Concert by the Military Wives' Choir. This will be held in the church on Friday, 4th November, when our Choir will be singing during the concert as well as Berrynarbor School Choir. The evening should be a wonderful one of musical entertainment. Judith Adam who has spent many months of negotiation to book the Military Wives Choir will be advertising the Concert during the autumn.

Church Services continue to 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.

Harvest Festival Service will be on Sunday, 2nd October, and the Harvest Festival Supper on Wednesday, 5th October, 6.30 for 7.00 p.m.

Friendship Lunches will be held in The Globe, 12.00 for 12.30 p.m. on the last Wednesday of the month.

Stuart Neale






How sorry we were to learn that after a few weeks in hospital, Mavis had passed away peacefully on the 23rd May. Her well-attended funeral on the 6th June was a celebration of her happy and eventful life. Our thoughts are with her son Clive and Bernard at this time of sadness. They, like many of us in the village, especially members of the craft group, will miss her cheerful and happy personality.

Clive and Bernard would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their messages of sympathy and for attending Mavis's funeral. Clive writes ...

    My mum loved living in Berrynarbor. She and her husband Mish had first come to Devon in 1976, redesigning a lovely big house in West View Avenue, Bideford, which overlooked the town and river from high above the Old Barnstaple Road, and they were determined to enjoy the county Mish called 'Paradise' by visiting National Trust venues and discovering walks in beautiful villages. So they had been regular visitors to Berrynarbor prior to discovering Number 3 Wood Park for sale in 1993, and a wildly excited Mavis couldn't resist making it the last of her many amazing property conversions! Creating stunning homes and gardens was the passion of my mum's life.

    Mavis Jones was born on 3rd June 1929 in Gravesend, Kent, to Albert and Doris, and had two younger siblings Barbara and Tom. The family relocated to Grappenhall, near Warrington in Cheshire where, despite Depression and War, my mum enjoyed a stable and loving home life. As a young post-war woman she adored Hollywood fashions and Clark Gable, became a prolific shorthand typist and in 1948 eloped with my dad [Grayham Weaver] to Gretna Green because her parents thought her too young to wed! And in typical soap-opera fashion, my paternal grandmother Linda was in on the secret, offering valuable assistance to the young couple! Cue family feud!

    I came along in 1950, my parents having moved to Shropshire where my father founded the very successful design-engineering company Salop Designs. My mum flourished in the 50's and 60's, putting her expert touch to several houses including an ultra-modern purpose-built designer property and an old 18-room village rectory in the Church Stretton hills [Hope Bowdler House], and my parents were extrovert social animals, both solo and as a couple, who enjoyed life to the full, hosting fabulous Christmas parties and the annual village fete. They were both involved in so many things, my mum in particular having boundless energy. Mum always made me feel loved, and this in turn gave me the confidence to sail through Grammar School and University.

    Tragedy struck twice, however, as mum lost two young husbands in the space of five years. My dad died of a heart attack in 1967 [he was just 39], and after mum remarried Bob Mason in 1968, he too was a heart-attack victim in 1971, aged 47. Mum always said that the happiest time of her life was when she was Mrs. Mason. Bob was an Art Lecturer [Stoke on Trent College], painter and sculptor, a sophisticated man of the world, and they were very much in love. With mum as his muse, Bob made a life-size nude sculpture of her and painted a beautiful portrait in oils of her; many of his other works decorated her house and garden in Berrynarbor.

    Moving back to her beloved Shropshire, mum sought therapy another wonderful cottage conversion and found love again with Mish Pesic, from Yugoslavia, whom she met in 1974. Although their plans to run a B & B never came to fruition, both found work in the West Country [mum at Barnetts in Bideford] and settled very quickly. From 1993 to Mish's death in 2006, they could often be seen strolling hand-in-hand through the village lanes, revelling in the rural scenery and country air . . . maybe on warm balmy evenings they can still be glimpsed, who knows?

    Over the last decade mum greatly enjoyed her Friday trips to Tesco, her Monday craft group sessions and the occasions of opening her house and garden to the public. She often told me of the many nice people in the area that she regularly chatted to and got to know - from Olive Kent, Linda Brown, Alec Wigmore, Tony and Norma Holland and Ken and Marion Woodward [regular visitors from Ilfracombe] to Anne, Bett, Joan and others from the bus, the lovely friends from the craft group whom I met at her funeral, the ladies in the village shop, lovely postman Neil . . . and, of course, Jenny and Lee Beer and their family who so enhanced the quality of mum's later life. And then there were Judie Weedon and Anne Bailey, angels of mercy whose input during mum's short period of decline cannot be overestimated [a huge 'thank you' from me]. And, of course, there were many others - mum liked people, she was good to be around and had a great sense of humour and fun, and I know that many of you reading this will, like me, miss her, never forget her, and wish her well wherever she may be.

8th June 1929 - 5th May 2016

Vera Mary Emily Greenaway was born at 38 The Village, Berrynarbor in 1929 while her mother, Hilda Melhuish was visiting parents George [Harry] Henry and Mary Jane Camp. Harry Camp was a blacksmith and his 'smithy' was originally in Silver Street, a few doors up from the village school.

Vera was brought up and went to school in Tedburn St Mary, a village near Crediton, and it was there she met her future husband. Apparently she did not take to Thomas [Tom] straight away as he used to pull her hair when they were in class!

During school holidays a lot of time was spent in Berrynarbor visiting grand-parents learning about cooking on a Bodley and watching Harry in his smithy workshop.It was during these visits she was taught sewing and tailoring by her Aunt, Vera Camp.Aunt Vera was a very accomplished seamstress whose talents were employed by the landed gentry in the area, when they required new outfits or garment fittings and alterations she was called upon to visit them at home.

Tom, when not at school, was an extra hand to local Tedburn St Mary farmers tilling crops, harvesting, working with the horses and driving the very first tractor that arrived in the area.The older farm hands were very suspicious of this new technology!He kept ferrets and used them with his dog to flush out and net rabbits for the table.The skins were cleaned, stretched, dried and sold on for extra income.

Vera left school at 14 years of age and sometime after moved in with her grandparents and secured a job in Luxmoore's Department Store, High Street, Ilfracombe [now Drapers Discount Store].Government Rationing was in place and coupons were required when purchasing clothing, material, ribbons and lace.Items were wrapped in brown paper and string in such a way that the string could be untied and brown paper unfolded for reuse.Vera was very artistic and adept at making all manner of items for customers and was especially renowned for making wedding fascinators and hats out of 'end of reel' ribbons and feathers.This 'make do and mend' ethos remained with her all her life.

Meanwhile, Tom left school and became an apprentice butcher in Tedburn St Mary.After two years he was called to National Service and joined as a Royal Marine based at Lympstone and Bickleigh Barracks, Plymouth.Tom and Vera began corresponding during this time with Tom visiting Vera whenever he had a few days' leave.They became engaged, married on 6th November 1948 at Berrynarbor Church and took the train from Ilfracombe railway station to Bournemouth for their honeymoon.

Tom had completed his National Service and they returned to Tedburn St Mary to stay with Vera's parents while he searched for a job. He had been an apprentice butcher in the village before being called up, but this job was no longer available. He found work as a bus conductor in Exeter and they moved to lodgings in the city where Vera became extremely good at cooking meals on a single gas ring.

In 1950 Vera's grandparents offered them the opportunity to move next door to them in Berrynarbor.Tom took an apprenticeship with a carpenter and builder in Combe Martin on half pay and studied his books in the evenings.

Two children later and with another on the way they made plans to move somewhere larger and Tom built a house at Pitt Hill, Berrynarbor.By this time, they had their own carpentry and building business and were employing workmen.They took over the old Rawle Gammon & Baker building in Combe Martin and ran it as a builders' merchants for several years before developing the site and building houses and bungalows.Another move to Newberry Farm saw Tom return to his farming roots and a camping and caravan site evolved in its beautiful valley and seaside location within Berrynarbor Parish, but adjacent to Combe Martin village.

Thirty years later and with thoughts of slowing down, they helped their son set up his skip hire and recycling business and moved to another countryside location to the south of Ilfracombe at Hore Down Gate.Vera and Tom continued to take an active interest in their son's business until Tom passed away in 2013 with Vera following three years later.

They had known each other practically all their lives.Had lived and worked together in near perfect harmony and created a warm and homely base for their family and friends. A truly great achievement.



  • 1927 - First transatlantic telephone call from New York City to London.
  • 1928 - All women over the age of 21 get the vote. Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin.
  • 1935 - The Lynton to Barnstaple Railway is closed.
  • 1937 - George VI becomes King.
  • 1939 - World War II begins and Government Rationing introduced.
  • 1945 - Word War II ends.
  • 1952 - The Lynmouth flood disaster occurs.
  • 1953 - Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
  • 1954 - Government Rationing formally ends.
  • 1961 - First man in space.
  • 1966 - England wins the football World cup.
  • 1970 - Ilfracombe to Barnstaple railway closes.
  • 1971 - Britain went decimal.
  • 1974 - First domestic microwave cooker sold.
  • 1988 - North Devon Link Road opens.
  • 1997 - Diana, Princess of Wales, is killed in a car crash in Paris.


38 The Village


Harry Camp shoeing a horse outside his blacksmith shop in Silver Street

June Greenaway




The Parish Council has some administrative changes to report. We have said goodbye to Mrs. Sue Squire who has clerked the Council for the last 16 years and we welcome Mrs. Victoria Woodhouse who is covering the role.   Please note that any communication should now be to the Clerk who is contactable on vicki-_2@hotmail.co.uk.  

As a consequence of these changes agendas and minutes for the July meeting were not available by e-mail but were advertised on our usual noticeboard.  

The Parish Council is working hard to get its website up and running in the meantime all the Parish Council agendas, minutes and other Council information will be found on  http://www.berrynarborvillage.co.uk/berrynarborparishcouncill.html 

For those who have been on our e-mailing list please now access the agenda and minutes at your own convenience from this site.

The recreation field will soon have its replacement benches in place along with steps down to the field and a lock up shed for the school to store all their equipment in to save lugging it up and down Pit Hill.

The Parish Council is delighted to announce an extension to the existing dog walking area into the neighbouring field. This was decided upon after a massive response in favour from our questionnaires in the shop and pub. Works have been requested to be done to make the field secure and safe for this purpose. We shall announce when these are completed and the field is open.

We are looking into different funding/grant sources to improve various amenities around the village and will keep you posted.  

 Sian Barten - Vice-Chairman

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]


Artwork: Paul Swailes


2016 AGM

The Manor Hall AGM took place on 29th June this year, and the existing Trustees [committee members] have been re-appointed.

Berry Revels

We are sorry to advise that Berry Revels will not be held this year. The committee members have other substantial demands on their time at present and it is not possible to find the time to plan and run the Revels. Unfortunately, we have to prioritise the work to implement our constitutional proposals [see below], our grant applications and other work.

New booking conditions

In the June newsletter we advised that a new returnable breakages deposit will be levied for larger one off bookings. We have however become increasingly frustrated at a number of recent hall users who have left behind large quantities of rubbish. The hall does not have facilities to handle such rubbish and so we are further broadening the rules regarding such deposits to cover a wider range of issues than just 'breakages'.

The conditions of booking for one off events are therefore being amended so that if any booking conditions are not adhered to then the deposit will not be returned. This will apply, for example, if rubbish is left behind.

These changes will not affect regular users with their week by week events, although the new terms will apply if a regular user wishes to hold a one-off event.

Work to the Hall this summer

As stated in the April newsletter, we are still progressing the work to the Manor House wing - more details will be given when available. The work will mostly involve implementing our structural engineer's recommendations to repair and stabilise the old (medieval) roof. Given the importance of this work and our discussions about trustee liability, we want to proceed very formally and have engaged PWH Surveyors of Barnstaple to produce contract documents and manage the tender process. Tenders for the work will be invited by early August.


We are continuing with a number of grant applications for the repair and renovation of the hall, and are delighted to advise of one early success - that Fullabrook CIC has awarded us £10,000. This is not only a sizeable sum in itself, but as the Fullabrook CIC is run by local people it also shows substantial local support, which in turn helps with other funding applications. This is great news!

Major constitutional proposals for the Manor Hall Trust

In the June newsletter, we summarized the proposal to convert the Manor hall Trust into a new type of charity known as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation or CIO. This was the subject of a public meeting called by the Parish Council and held on 7th June. That meeting was extremely well attended and we thank everyone who came - the meeting was overwhelmingly supportive of our proposals, including the transfer of title from the Parish Council to the proposed new CIO. On the 14th June the Parish Council then agreed the transfer of title, subject to the two buildings (the hall and the Parish Room) being held on their original trusts. This means the buildings would remain as charitable assets, held in trust for the inhabitants of the village, which is what we have always said would be the case. Nonetheless, so that this point is completely explicit, rather than implicit in the way that charity law works, an appropriate clause has been inserted in our draft CIO constitution, which is ready for submission to the Charity Commission at the time of writing.

In the draft CIO constitution we have also replicated the existing practices for appointing hall committee members - that is electing some committee members at the AGM, with others being nominated by key user groups (as established in the original 1947 conveyance of the hall). We thank the Parish Council for their considerable support on this issue.

Manor Hall Management Committee


Dance at the Manor Hall c1953

Back: Bruce Woolaway, Gladys Toms, Gerald Bray, Ruby Draper, Jim Brooks, Hazel Russell
Front: Norman Richards, Alistair Chalmers, Christopher Huxtable




The Great Berrynarbor Plant Sale

A very big thank you to everyone who donated so many lovely plants and to those who came along to the plant sale at the end of May making it a huge success. We raised over £550 on the day with more added from plant sales in the shop after the event.

The day was really enjoyable and next year's booking has been made. Debbie and Trevor will certainly be doing bacon rolls again!

Many thanks also to everyone who helped on the day, your support is invaluable.


Weary Walkers Refuge

We are pleased to say that we have invested in two bench seats where weary walkers can sit and enjoy a welcome rest and a coffee or tea.


Debbie's Pride

Our £1 section is growing and is now a very important section in the shop; there are a very good range of branded items covering many basic kitchen cupboard items, cleaning and personal hygiene products.



Gardens Open 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.
Plant Sales Open 11.00 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.
Garden Tea Room & Gift Shop Open 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.

The Plant Sales Centre offers a wide range of top quality plants, from the usual to the unusual, all at very reasonable prices.

The Garden Tea Room has a wide selection of home-made local produce light meals and delicious cakes. Well behaved dogs on leads are welcome.

A wide variety of gifts can be found in the Gift Shop section of the Tea Room, from cards to jewellery, tea cosies to cushions. Want a gift with a difference? Why not come and see what is on offer here. Also Gift Vouchers for Plants, Cream Teas and Season Tickets.

Entry is FREE for visitors going to the Plant Centre and/or the Tea Room only.

Our second performance this year by Folksy Theatre is The Smartest GIANT in Town which takes place in the Gardens on Wednesday, 17th August at 6.30 p.m. For more information, prices and to book, please ring [01271[



On Friday, 15th July, celebrations took place at Lee Lodge when Ron, our oldest life-long resident of Berrynarbor reached his 100th Birthday. With his card from the Queen, he celebrated the day with all his family.

We send him our congratulations, love and very best wishes on this auspicious occasion - what an achievement!

The Saturday saw him and the family taken to the Manor Hall by cart and two beautiful horses, Bob and Sam, where the celebrations continued with a hall full of family and friends, who all enjoyed a delicious cream tea. Many thanks to all who worked so hard in so many ways to make the party go with a swing.


The Family
[Photo by courtesy of the North Devon Gazette]


Passing The Globe with Bob and Sam
[Geoff Adam]


From Noel Reeve [nee Richards]

July 15 1916: George V was on the throne of England; Asquith was the Prime Minister;England was at war; it was St Swithin's Day . . . and Ron Toms was born!

It is my great privilege and pleasure to be standing here today to offer dear Ron our love and congratulations on this momentous occasion.I have probably known Ron longer than anyone here today, in fact since I was a one-year-old; so start doing your maths!

Ron had left school and was helping his step-father Jack Geen, who worked hedging and ditching for the council - would like to see a few of his sort around today.My father apparently stopped his car and said to Ron "I would like a young lad like you to work at Home Barton, to live in, help my wife Emma with harder tasks, fetching logs, coal etc., and to work on the farm".Jack Geen said to Ron, "Fred Richards will be a hard task master, so think very carefully about it." Ron did. and he has often said "Yes he was a hard task master, but always very fair!"Well, he came and worked for my father ever after, and then for a further three generations - he really became one of our very large family.

My earliest memories of Ron were walking around with him looking for eggs that hens had laid everywhere except in their hen house;learning about wild flowers and feeding tame lambs with a bottle. My mother used to tap the kitchen window and say, "I'm sending Noel out with you for a while, Ron." So poor Ron had me trailing around quite a lot; apparently I shared his breakfast too! About 15 years later, my niece Cheryl repeated the same performance. So you see, Ron was a man of many talents.On the farm he always worked with horses and when our first tractor arrived, a bright orange Fordson in 1939, he diligently stuck to his horses and never did drive that tractor!

Ron was born 100 years ago at Middle Lee Farm and lived there with his grandparents and mother until he was 7 years old, when I think his mother married Jack Geen and they moved to Hagginton or Heant Hill!He went to Berrynarbor School where Miss Veale was the Headmistress, and still was when I went to the same school. Even as a child, Ron worked quite hard.

When my eldest brother Brian married and went to farm at West Down, father decided that Ron should go and live in with him and help on his new farm. It didn't last long, my mother missed Ron and all his help so much that he soon returned to Home Barton and stayed until he met and married Gladys, who came from Wembley in London. They married in 1943 in October.The wedding had to coincide with work around the farm and early winter was a quieter period. My brother Bob accompanied Ron to London, quite an adventure, and acted as his best man.

Ron and Gladys made their home in the village, at first with Ron's parents and then some houses were built in Birdswell Lane built by the council for agricultural workers.My father told Ron he could have one of the houses, but he would like Ron to walk out into the village in the late evenings to see that all was in order. Ron did this all his time in that house where he and Gladys lived all their married life, nearly 60 years, and where they brought up their two children, Sheila and Raymond.Ron and Gladys were stalwart members of the Congregational Chapel and were caretakers there for many, many years.Ron had a wonderful garden in Birdswell Lane and grew all his own fruit and vegetables, not a weed in sight!I remember he looked after our garden at the farm too. We just ate everything that was in season - I can't remember my mother ever buying green grocery.

In later years he helped many people in the village with their gardens too as well as helping in so many other ways. He collected for charity, walking miles for various organisations, and at the village school he used to go and talk to the children about life in times gone by. Oh! and I mustn't forget the Home Guard, the Dad's Army of Berrynarbor, and the Captain was a Bank Manager! Ron was involved of course, as were all the young men of the village.They used to do their manoeuvres around the farm and guard the coastline along from Broadsands, rushing around with bits of straw to camouflage their tin helmets. We didn't see much of the war in Berrynarbor, but I am sure they would have all fought for their village and their country.

In 1980, Ron was rewarded at the Devon County Show for his long service to Agriculture with a mug and long service certificate, which was so richly deserved.

Sadly, Gladys died in 2001 and Ron's son Raymond only a year later when he was only 56, a great sadness. But Sheila has been a wonderful supportive daughter, and you must be very proud of your Dad today. Ron is blessed with a wonderful family of grandchildren and great-

grandchildren and is very happy in his lovely care home at Lee Lodge, just across the road from his birthplace.

Ron, you are the most important person in the village today; we all love you and say thank you for your great contribution to the life of Berrynarbor.It would be a poorer place without you, but most of all, we wish you the happiest and the healthiest 100th birthday!

From Sheila

Thank you Noel. I have always been aware that the Richards family played a big part in Dad's adult life as you would expect having lived and worked with them for so many years.

There are, of course, so many people who have been involved in dad's journey through the years; relations, friends, neighbours, who sadly are no long with us, far too many to name, but we cannot mark this without a mention of mum, Gladys, who shared 58 wonderful years of marriage with dad and Ray, my brother, they would have loved to have been part of today.

Now a few words about Dad. There are lots of attributes that make my dad so special, in my eyes anyway, he has always had a good faith and remained positive. He is a very honest, reliable and trustworthy person, a good influence in my life. One piece of advice he gave me before I started my first job at the Post Office so many years ago, was "Always mind your P's and Q's Sheila,"I did and still do.

Always willing to help anybody, so much so that there were many times we had to have our tea without dad because he had stopped to help some old lady on his way back from work in Barton. Time meant nothing to Dad, he did things at his own pace. I can see Mum standing at the end of Birdswell Lane shouting "Come on Ron the bus is in the village!" And even then our clocks were always set 10 minutes in advance!

His mantra has been 'hard work never hurt anyone'. Well, having worked for more than half his life, I think the proof of that is sitting in front of us today.

It isn't everyday somebody turns a century old. I'm so glad you are one of the lucky few. It's a blessing to have you in our lives dad.

Just before I finish I want to say a big thank you to Carol and the staff at Lee Lodge for doing such a good job in looking after my dad for us over the past 8 years and counting.

A special thank you to Michael Richards for arranging for the horses, and thank you also to everyone here today for helping to make this a very special day for dad. I think we should give him a massive cheer.

Happy birthday dad.

From Margaret Howard

Ron Toms deserves a celebration of his 100th birthday in the community of Berrynarbor where he has been a real citizen and self-giving inhabitant all his life.
As Minister of the Chapel at Berrynarbor from 1970 to 1993, I was so blessed to have Ron and his late wife Gladys as caretakers who not only looked after the premises, but we're involved in every aspect of the Chapel's life. We depended on them and knew we could.
What an ideal arrangement for him to be cared for at Lee Lodge and to be amongst people to whom he has given so much.
Congratulations Ron!

. . .and finally from Ron himself

Ron would like to take this opportunity to thank all his family for being with him on his 100th Birthday, for making it so special and for the surprise carriage ride to the Manor Hall driven by two beautiful horses.Thank you, too, for arranging the celebratory tea in the Manor Hall and to all the people, family and friends from over the years, who came to enjoy it and wish him well.

His birthday card from the Queen took pride of place amongst the many he received and he thanks everyone for their cards, gifts and kind thoughts.

But finally, a very big thank you to all the girls at Lee Lodge who take such wonderful care of him.



Artwork: Peter Rothwell


Throughout August we continue to be open all day, serving Breakfast, including our MEGA Breakfast, 9.30 a.m. to noon, Monday to Saturday. Our pubfood menu/cream teas are available all day, every day.

Following the success and lovely feedback after our Garden Party at the start of July, we have another afternoon of entertainment lined up for you in the Garden [weather permitting] on Friday, 5th August. Rakes Adrift will be playing 5.30-7.30 p.m. and then our regular Friday Night Music at 9.00 p.m. will be in the bar as usual.

So pop in soon whether for a pint or a coffee, a panini or a meal. We look forward to seeing you.

On Thursday, 25th August, the Red Petticoats will be dancing outside at 7.30 p.m.

Karen and the Team


Charity No 1078912

WHO ARE WE? Friends of North Devon Families (FOND Families) is a small charity working to relieve real hardship for vulnerable families in this area for the last 20 years

WHAT DO WE DO? On the recommendations of professionals in the field of family care, we give small grants, tens to hundreds of pounds

We aim to fill the gaps where need falls outside the funding rules of local authorities and larger charities

We meet monthly to consider grant applications, but when necessary we can act quickly and release funds with a few phone calls


  • A holiday for a family where the breadwinner had a terminal illness
  • Subscription fees to sports clubs and social activities - active, socially involved children are happier
  • Decoration for a community room
  • A washing machine for a struggling young family
  • Group Outings for isolated, deprived families to local attractions
  • Shoes, clothing, and bedding
  • Safety equipment in children's home. Protective flooring

As policy we do not give out specific details of the people we help. We intervene so the child and their friends don't know how their fees were paid or support given. However well intentioned, children can be hurt with unintended gossip!


    FOND Families
    c/o 13 Pembroke lodge, Marlborough Road, Ilfracombe, EX34 8JL
    Reg. Charity number 1078912




A bell has been erected on the top of the school consequently the children have been much more punctual this week.

The above is an extract from one of the old school logs that came to light during our recent alterations and refurbishment. It was entered on 22nd May 1874. We have been fascinated by the many and varied entries in the logs, all beautifully hand written, and thought you might find some of them interesting, too. The following entries were found in the 1874 to 1930 log book.

Royal Events:

    1910 May 20th Funeral of the late King Edward V11. School closed by order of Education Committee. 1911 June 16th School closed for a week for the Coronation.

Absence from School (quite a topical subject today):

    1878 April 12th Several of the elder children have been kept at home this week planting potatoes.

With 1st July 2016 being 100th Anniversary of the Somme we looked to see whether there was an entry in the log:

    1916 July School closed 1st - 15th for haymaking.

Earlier this year scarlet fever was doing the rounds across the country and a few of our children went down with it. Nowadays, with antibiotic treatment, it is quickly contained and affected children are able to return to school after 24 hours of treatment. It was a very different matter in the early 1900s. Here are some gleanings from the log:

    1904 October 19th Many children kept away the excuse being the fear of scarlet fever. November 21st School re-opened after being closed 4 weeks for scarlet fever. December/January School closed for 4 weeks. 1905 Over April and May the school was closed for 9 weeks.

We probably imagine children to have been very orderly and well-disciplined whilst at school back in the day, but this entry suggests otherwise:

    1881 July 1st The children were kept in for 20 minutes for being noisy in their arithmetic lessons.

What a fascinating glimpse of our school and village history, but now to the present and current happenings.At the time of writing, Class 4 are busy rehearsing their musical Robin and the Sherwood Hoodies, a tale of tights, fights and footlights.

We held a Rainbow Fun Day for the Wallace and Gromit Grand Appeal and raised £220.05 for Bristol Children's' Hospital. Many thanks to all who contributed to this.

We wish Year 6 pupils all the best as they enter their new schools in the Autumn. They will be missed here for a multitude of reasons, not least their care for the younger children. We hope you enjoy their artwork completed earlier this term.

As we come to the end of another School Year we should like to thank you, the village community, for all your support and interest. With your help we have recently ordered new balls, hoops and other sports equipment through the Sainsbury's Active Kids vouchers scheme. Thank you so much. We hope you have a lovely summer.

Sue Carey - Head Teacher

Class 4 [Years 5 and 6} Art Work: We have used brushes and acrylic paint to recreate the lino printing style of Namibian artist John Muafangejo, and are looking for somewhere to display them either in school or out and about, if anywhere is interested?




A Swift Walk to Saltpill Duck Pond

We were pleased to see the swifts flying over the pond as each year we notice fewer and fewer of these summer visitors. Green-veined white butterflies and a solitary speckled yellow moth flitted about pale blue flax flowers, growing among patches of bird's-foot trefoil and bush vetch. There were mussel shells and fragments of tiny crabs underfoot.

Saltpill Duck Pond is now part of the Gaia Nature Reserve, following the philosophy of scientist and environmentalist, James Lovelock who originated the Gaia concept.


The pond can be reached easily via the Tarka Trail from Fremington Quay in the direction of Isley Marsh and Yelland. Three new stiles have been erected between the Trail and the path. With the estuary on one side and the pond on the other, this provides a short walk with two distinct habitats to enjoy at once;the cry of the curlew from the Taw side;the sound of stonechats and chiffchaffs in the bushes around the pond.


Illustrations by: Paul Swailes

The old iron railway viaduct over Fremington Pill was undergoing major renovation work and had, according to the information boards, been 'encapsulated' by scaffolding covered by some sort of tarpaulin. Walkers and cyclists were still allowed to cross the bridge and the effect was that of passing through a tunnel.

As we had approached Fremington Quay the viaduct's unexpected transformation had been striking. It resembled one of the covered bridges of Madison County, Iowa, as featured in the novel by Robert James Waller and filmed starring Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood.

Sue H



'If food is the body of good living, wine is its soul.'

Clifton Fadiman [US Essayist etc.]

An AGM is the annual starting point, always, for our May meetings. Tony Summers, in typical Chairman fashion, kept to tradition, made it brief and managed to conclude in 5-6 minutes: all matters addressed.

Portuguese wines are difficult to locate; unusual in supermarkets!One of their products, though, bears the claim to fame that it broke Majestic's website recently!This and Laithwaites supplied our six wines.

Wine is produced throughout Portugal: 27 regions, all DOC.During Dr. Salazar's government, growers' grapes were only sold to co-operatives and private growers were excluded.EU membership has changed this and private firms can own and sell where they please.

Vinho Verde is a well-known Portuguese region. Our Aluado Alvarinho 2014, grew in the Lisbon area and was £8.99. It was a light and refreshing dry white.Oz Clarke describes the Alvarinho grape as fresh with an acid minerality to match grapefruit and apple blossom scent.It smelled of lemons and peaches . . . great for summer sipping or serving with light-tasting food: seafood or salads

Our next two were Porrais Reserva 2013, a white from the Douro region and our dearest at £11.99.It had spicy peach and zingy lemon curd flavours . . . good with fish.An Albarrada Rosado 2014: deep pink, rich, dry and fruity, £7.99, was grown in the Alentejo region and touches, partially, the Spanish border.

Winegrower, Jose Neiva Correia, was dubbed 'aluado': 'moon crazy', because he dared to use the Alicante Bouschet grape in pure form; usually, it is added to the country's top reds.It became a triple gold medal triumph, grown at his 12th century Quinta de Porta Franco estate, thought to be the oldest vineyard in Alenquer, the region surrounding Lisbon.Its colour was deep, black red and had an intense, and savoury aroma, best served with roasts.His Aluado Alicante Bouschet 2014 was £8.99.

FOZ Touriga Nacional 2013 won Decanter Trophy for Best regional Portuguese red under £15 and a 'must try!' It's £9.99 and originates from the region, a mountainous area, located between the river and the Serra da Estrela.This mid ruby red would be luscious with lamb.

TV chef and Yorkshire lad, James Martin, of BBC'sSaturday Kitchen claimed that the Porta 6, grown in the Alenquer and Cadaval regions, north of Lisbon, a blend of three grapes, was 'one of the nicest reds I've tasted in 10 years on this show!'As a result, Majestic sold many thousand' of bottles and the quest crashed their website! It has another claim to fame - its label!

This colourful, crazy cartoon portrays a historic tram that runs around Lisbon's streets, designed by a slightly eccentric German artist, Hanke Vagt; his creations were sold to locals and tourists.Antonio Mendes Lopez went to great trouble to find him and gain permission to use it as an eye-catching label for a very popular red! Currently, it's £7.99 for a Mix 6.

Wine Circle summer trips continue;in the past, we've visited Eastcott and Yearlstone Vineyards.We took a different view in July, as we headed for Tapeley Park, Instow, for picnics, with wine of course! House tours are given by Tapeley's owner, Hector Christie, but only for groups of between 20 and 30.We lunched on the sheltered Italian Terraces, beneath his impressive 'pile' and were treated to blue skies and glorious summer sunshine.

We were able to see parts of the internal grandeur of his home, a property that has been in the family for 300 years, since the time of Queen Anne (1702-1714). The Clevlands were its owners, but in 1855, one of their daughters, Agnes Clevland, married William Langham Christie.

Hector, eldest son of Sir George and Lady Mary Christie, is a 'character', cares passionately about varied matters, including the exclusion of GM foods from our shops and believes that he is only a caretaker of Tapeley; he is caring for its contents.His home is cold, deliberately; the lack of heating and drawn curtains may seem odd, but this has protected Britain's second-largest collection of William Morris furniture.It looked like the day it was made - not a crack in sight!The cabinets' beautiful inlays were perfect and are magnificent examples by this 19th century multi-talented master. The gold and silver inlaid piano was breathtaking -a baby grand, with an amazing sound.There are some stunning ceilings and equally stunning porcelain: Minton and all exquisite works of English and European artistic heritage.

Gather a score together, take a picnic, head for Tapeley Park and enjoy the views from the house across to Bideford.Sit in the Italian gardens, take pleasure in your food, wine and friends and you'll gain a privileged view inside this splendid local, privately-owned North Devon home.

Judith Adam




We have had another busy term with visits to the Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur park, the R.N.L.I and Coastguard. The children have learnt beach safety and how to stay safe in the sun. We went on a Big Toddle around the village and raised £121.50 for the Barnardo's charity. This year the weather was kind to us and we managed to get around the village without getting wet.The children enjoyed walking through the stream, visiting the horses in the field and playing 'Pooh' sticks at the stream.

Our older children have also experienced Primary School enjoying visits and Summer Club. We wish them all the very best for the future and to continue to enjoy learning, making new friends and having fun.

We enjoyed celebrating the Queen's Birthday with the village and thank you to all who helped us on this occasion. Lots of fun was had by all.

Clothes recycling: We're pleased to confirm that we raised £60.00 through all your clothes collection.Please continue to hold on to all unwanted clothes as we shall be organising another collection on our return to Pre-school in September.

Donations: B&M Bargain Store kindly donated a large gazebo that has been well used over the summer, keeping our children safe from the sun [and the rain].They also donated 2 children's benches and some artificial grass that is now in our outside classroom area. We should like to send them a BIG THANK you from all of us.

A note from our Committee

We are looking for anyone who would be willing to join our Committee. Without a Committee the Pre-school would not be able to run and we are therefore seeking people who would be committed to supporting the Pre-school in a voluntary role, to undertake a DBS check and give general support. Please ask a committee member or a member of staff for further information if you are interested. We have a Committee Meeting on Monday 19th September 2016 and our AGM is on Monday 3rd October 2016.

We return to Pre-school on Monday 5th September and we welcome all our new children and their families and hope they enjoy their learning journey with us.

Our opening times are 8.30am - 4.00pm Monday to Friday. We are flexible and have a range of session times to meet your needs.

Preschool sessions 8.30am or 9.00am - 12.00 noon (AM)
12.00 noon - 3.00pm or 3.30pm or 4.00pm (PM)
8.30am or 9.00am -3.00pm or 3.30pm or 4.00pm (ALL DAY)

We are Ofsted registered and in receipt of the 2gether scheme and Early Years Entitlement. We provide care and education for young children between ages of 2 and 5. Please visit us or call 07807 0903644 or email preschoolberrynarbor@gmail.com for additional information

Meanwhile, enjoy your summer break, from the staff at Preschool

Sue, Karen and Charlotte





Saturday, 3rd September

Schedules and Entry Forms for the Show are now available from the Shop;the Show is open to residents and non-residents of Berrynarbor.

The overall theme of the Show is Year of the English Garden.

The Show of entries in the Manor Hall is from 2.00 p.m.
Admission££1.50 [children 50p]
Light Refreshments - Raffle
Auction of Exhibits: 3.15 p.m.
Presentation of Cups: 3.45 p.m. [times are approximate]

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


Ashwick, Dulverton TA22 9QE
Tel: 01398 323093

Enjoy summer activity afternoons at the Pony Centre every Thursday in August, 12.00 noon to 3.00 p.m., with children's crafts, pony grooming, pony rides [minimum age 4 years] and cream teas.

The riding ponies are back for the summer and bookings are now being taken for taster sessions and for trekking on Exmoor.

Over the past few months we have successfully rehomed many ponies to foster homes and conservation grazing sites throughout the country.

We are open to visitors between 10.00 a.m. and 4.00 p.m. on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays throughout the summer. website:www.exmoorponycentre.org.uk or info@exmoorponycentre.org.uk.


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


The theatre has always held a fascination for me and particularly variety.

The music halls of yesteryear are all gone and now the only End of Pier show is at Cromer in Norfolk.

For many years there were very good shows at the Westcliff Theatre at Clacton in Essex. These were put on by three talented people, Francis Golightly [Producer], Roy Cloughton [Organ] and Andrew Robley [Singer]. We attended these shows every summer season for years. The comedians were so talented and funny we came away literally aching with laughter - no dubbed in clapping or applause. Shows in those days included singers, dancers, conjurers, mouth organists, ventriloquists, tightrope and trapeze and balancing acts. Unlike many theatres now, they had curtains. I could name three theatres which don't have curtains.

Now let's look at some of the stars of a while ago. Do you remember Norman Collier with the apparently faulty microphone? Then there was Bob Monkhouse with "They laughed when I said I wanted to be a comedian, huh, they're not laughing now." Max Bygraves used to hold his hands up as though begging with "I want to tell you a story."

Freddie [Parrot face Davies] was not only funny but a good singer and I liked Jimmy Crickett's sense of humour - "A lady said "Can you see me across the road?" I said, go over the road and I'll have a look!"

Bernie Clifton riding an ostrich was very clever and of course he too sang well. Many years ago George Roby was advertised on the posters just by a pair of very thick eyebrows. He was so well known!

Do you remember Don McClain and Ted Durante and Hilda? A strong man act with a girl where everything went wrong. Their act could be performed anywhere in the world as it was totally visual.

Dottie Wayne was another rather unusual performer in that her act was simply whistling, but it was to very fast classical music, and boy, could she do it. Do you remember Joan Regan? She has a very good voice.

Now to more local [Suffolk] people. The 30's and 40's film actress, Jean Kent, lived not far from here and died not long ago. Ian Lavender also lives not far away. Captain Mainwaring said to the German in Dad's Army, "Don't tell him your name Pike." Roy Hudd is also a local celebrity, seen about and always friendly.

Well, I've covered a few, but there are many more. Some had hard lives, the older ones staying in digs constantly, never really having homes of their own as they were always going from one music hall to another.

I hope I've brought back some happy memories to readers, but I must go now. Cheerio.

  Some of those entertainers:
  • Norman Collier, Max Bygraves, Bob Monkhouse, Freddie Davies, Bernie Clifton, Jimmy Crickett, George Roby, Dottie Wayne, Joan Regan, Jean Kent, Ian Lavender, Roy Hudd.

Tony Beauclerk - Stowmarket


Artwork: Helen Weedon


Throughout the school summer break I often recall a friend who managed a sandwich bar in North Devon. A small business, it relied heavily on the income taken during what my friend called 'the silly six weeks'. Her profit margin at the end of this period would vary considerably from year to year and was due to a number of factors.Yet it was the two weeks that followed on from this 'silly spell' that ensured a steady, albeit less, guaranteed stream of customers who she would see only during this fortnight. For this was the time when, as one of these regular patrons dubbed it was 'the first opportunity for the adults to come out and play since the children went back to work in their classrooms'.

Early September was a time when we, too, would have a holiday staying in our static caravan in the Sterridge Valley - and for very much the same reason. This is not to denounce the school summer break; on the contrary, it gifted us memories of great family holidays that we shall forever treasure.But I also needed holidays when my surroundings were less hectic, especially once I started a highly pressurised job.It was not too long before our two weeks away became three; how I would have coped with my job without this vacation, along with other breaks in our 'van, I cannot imagine. But of one thing I am sure. The North Devon countryside became a personal sanctuary - a place of healing that prepared me for the next onslaught of reactive management in a job where, as one of my colleagues was heard to remark, "You start every morning with a completed jigsaw puzzle that is immediately broken to pieces and then spend all day putting it back together again". At least Berrynarbor enabled me to restore the frame that encased the puzzle.

As well as being my retreat, North Devon also became my rural kindergarten where basic lessons were taught about the extended definition of rural; lessons that were, in essence, a diversion from my mind's racetrack where I was led to a gentle lane with a convalescent countryside.

Hold on. Was this not the case for the inpatients of psychiatric hospitals built within the countryside surrounding London - those very same people I labelled as being cast aside so as to be invisible to the public eye? Maybe not, for London's own institutions were already overcrowded. So was it not better to be hospitalised, albeit permanently in the tranquility of a rural setting? After all, I did make reference in my last article to in-patients eventually forgetting the world beyond the boundaries of their hospital grounds; a safe sanctuary for recuperation, just like North Devon's rural border was for me.

This is not to necessarily a case of defending these archaic mental hospitals, merely put forward as a counter argument to my previous article.However, the key factor in my view is that these institutions, whether or not they were set in a calm and rural location, still provided care that was in the main inappropriately permanent. It is for this reason I feel there is a need in our society for convalescent care in restful and pastoral surroundings; places where the mind is gently sedated not by medication alone but also by the environment.

I shall finish with the first half of the storyline to the film, Now, Voyager. It stars Bette Davis as Boston heiress Charlotte Vale, an unwanted spinster daughter and neurotic mess, living under the dictatorship of a dominant mother who undermines her self-confidence on a daily basis. When her sister-in-law realises Charlotte is on the verge of a nervous breakdown, she introduces her to a psychiatrist who recommends a short period of convalescence in a sanatorium set in a restful and rural setting. By the end of her stay she has rebuilt her self-belief and is persuaded by her sister-in-law to take a cruise. On board she meets Jerry, played by Paul Henreid, a character with whom Charlotte becomes friendly and . . well, if you don't know the rest you will have to watch the film - I should also advise having a box of tissues to hand!

  Bette Davis, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains and Gladys Cooper

Perhaps in this fast moving world we now live in our society is rather like Charlotte's mother, for most of us have lives that are powerfully dictated by constraints and commitments.I am, therefore, astonished that it has taken a modern form of therapy to help our brains find once more its inner peace; one that for many involves nature. But more of that next time.

Stephen McCarthy



[1550 - 20 July 1616],

2nd Earl of Tyrone [The Great Earl]

Once again, the poor Earl of Rone has been captured in Lady's Wood by the Grenadiers, dragged down Combe Martin Street backwards on a donkey and drowned at sea. This August I thought it time to put the record straight on a much disparaged earl. Having read at length Tom Brown's The Hunting of the Earl of Rone, Combe Martin [very informative], Wikipedia's Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone [very confusing], The Wild Man of the Wood and the Hunting of the Earl of Rone: Tyrone in English folk tradition by Hiram Morgan, lecturer in history at University College, Cork, [good on folklore] Imeacht na nIarlai Gaelic for Flight of the Earls ["by his countrymen hewas held in the most profound reverence and respect"], etc., I was grabbed by a cutting from Tyrone's bed -Mysterious Ireland and Britain: The dark and romantic history of the Earl of Tyrone would of itself occupy a larger space than these volumes afford!

So, I gave up!

But during my research, I found that Combe Martin isn't the only place to celebrate the Earl of Tyrone's capture. By 1602 he was in a desperate situation. The English forces were on a 'slash and burn' policy against O'Neill, so he, having burnt his own headquarters in Dungannon, Ulster, retreated into dense forests known as Glenconkeyne Woods, south of Londonderry. He hid here until he'd made peace once more with the English. [He was such a two-timer that Queen Elizabeth, even on her deathbed, was still grieving that she'd been too generous with her forgiveness.]

So where does 'Tyrone's bed' come from?By 1603, 'The Wild Man of the Woods' - alias the unfortunate Earl of Tyrone - was hiding according to legend - not in Ulster or Combe Martin, but in a romantic dell just outside Rochdale in Lancashire. How did he get there? Don't ask! The story goes that a mysterious stranger had been lurking for three months in the woods near Grislehurst Hall, home of the Holt family. One day, he saved Constance Holt, the 19-year old daughter of the house from drowning and revived her on the river bank with a potion. She then saved him twice from capture. He returned to find her on her deathbed. Not so lucky this time! There is a detailed description on the internet, just key in historyireland.com/earl-of-rone.

Finally we come to the Flight of the Earls. I gave details in the newsletter of August 2014.For those of you who don't remember the earlier [sorry!] article, I will just repeat that the legend is based on the Earls of Tyrone and Tyrconnell fleeing on 14 September 1607 from the village of Rathmullan in County Donegal, where we lived for 6 years during the late '70's-early '80's. The story goes that he was shipwrecked and landed on a small beach in Ilfracombe, now called Rapparee Cove. [A Rapparee, according to my Concise Oxford English dictionary is a 17th century Irish irregular soldier based on Gaelic rapaire - a short spike.]

The real story is that having once again been pardoned this time by James I [VI of Scotland] - Queen Elizabeth having died - Hugh O'Neill was waiting in Rathmullan with Sir Arthur Chichester, to return to England to confirm details of his pardon. Here we come to a local connection. Sir Arthur was the second son of John Chichester, of Raleigh, Pilton, who was well-connected: a naval officer, sheriff of Devon and MP for Barnstaple. Sir Arthur's mother, Gertrude Courtenay was a member of the aristocracy, from Powderham Castle. During his career, Sir Arthur became an English administrator in Ireland and eventually Lord Deputy of Ireland.

Whilst waiting with Chichester, Hugh was warned that he would be arrested on arrival in England, and a French warship was already waiting for him and Hugh Roe O'Donnell, Earl of Tyrconnell to take them to safety. Their flight was hurried and unprepared and they had to leave behind some of their closest family members. O'Neill left without his son, Conn, and O'Donnell embarked without his pregnant young wife. Neither would return to Ireland again.Of the ninety-nine who travelled that night, less than half were Gaelic nobility.By their departure they left Ulster open to confiscation of land and Plantation legislation.

They were heading for Coruna in Spain but severe storms drove them off course and after twenty-one days they drifted into French waters, arriving at Quilleboeuf in Normandy - and there wasn't a donkey or Grenadier in sight! O'Neill was brought up an Anglican, but never gave much thought to religion. For convenience, however, he now supported the Catholics. Because of change on much of their journey to Rome they were treated as heroes. They were welcomed by Pope Paul IV in his Cavallo Palace, Rome, on 4 May 1608.

Although their flight marked the end of Gaelic rule in Ireland, it created a new phenomenon on the continent. Irish exiles were integrated into the legal and medical professions, and the military. Also devout Irish Catholics could be educated in the many new Irish Colleges for entry into the priesthood.

Coming back to the Earl of Tyrone, you may have heard of 'The Red Hand of Ulster'. I was interested to read:

    "Among other memorable incidents illustrative of his character, it is said that appearing in person to execute a treaty [after a bloody encounter] he was requested to sign the terms. "Here's my signature" said he laying his bloody hand on the deed "'tis the mark of the King of Ulster". Here tradition gravely asserts was the 'bloody hand' the arms of Ulster."

So who was Hugh O'Neill, the Earl of Rone, 'The Great Earl' as he was also known? To get that title, he had what to the English would have been a ropey start. His grandfather, Conn O'Neill, was granted his earldom of Tyrone by Henry VIII. He had an illegitimate son, Matthew O'Neill. Illegitimacy wasn't important in the Irish legal system, so as long as Conn accepted Matthew and there were 5 rees of the same blood through the male line [how did they check that, I wonder?], thus Hugh O'Neill was as entitled to the earldom as Conn's legitimate son, Shane. These two men were in conflict over the title during which Matthew was killed. Nevertheless, by this time he had two sons: Hugh and his older brother, Brian, who in these dangerous times was assassinated by Shane's deputy.

So in September 1595, Hugh was elected the 2nd - and last - Earl of Tyrone, becoming the most powerful lord in Ulster.

On a personal note, he married four times, had a large number both of legitimate and illegitimate children including 4 legitimate daughters, 4 legitimate sons and two more who were illegitimate. Now I haven't time or space to follow the lineage, but his descendants include Arthur Wellesley, 1stt Duke of Wellington and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll.

Is it an act of treason, therefore, to mount Hugh O'Neill's effigy back to front on a donkey and parade him through the street of Combe Martin before drowning him in the sea? The warders from the Tower may be on their way!

I rest my case.

PP of DC




This is a new service for our patients and operates on most weekday mornings from 8.30 to 9.30 a.m. This is a Walk-in-Service so you can drop in and see us before you go to work or school! Please ask at Reception for more information.


Please come to the surgery for your flu vaccination. We offer this vaccination to the following groups:

  • Patients aged 65 or over or

Patients who are under 65 with any of the following problems:

  • Asthma or another chronic chest complaint.
  • Heart problems
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver Disease
  • Neurological Disease
  • A pregnant woman
  • A carer
  • If you suffer from a serious illness and have a reduced ability to fight infection

For patients who are at risk the best action is to have a flu vaccination every year, this year you may receive a personalised text message or telephone call promoting the service, just follow the instructions given in your message. We are not sending out letters to all patients to save on costs and paper but please give us a call or book online for your vaccination.

You can either telephone the surgery, after 11am (to avoid the busiest times) and ask our team for an appointment at one of our special flu clinics, or using SystmOnline book an online appointment. The Clinics are being held throughout September and October and we have listed the first ones below, more will follow.

Our Saturday morning Flu Clinic will be held on Saturday,1st October, 2016 at our main surgery site in Ilfracombe. Combe Martin Surgery Flu Clinic will be held on Wednesday, 28th September, 2016 between 2.00 and 5.00 p.m. Woolacombe Surgery will be holding their first clinic on Tuesday, 4th October, 2016

Please note that Saturday morning clinics are strictly for adult flu vaccinations only and are designated vaccination clinics with reception and nursing teams unable to deal with any other enquires such as prescriptions or appointments on the day. We will also be holding clinics especially for children ask our team about these dates

If you are unable to leave your home for medical reasons we can arrange for a District Nurse to administer your flu vaccination at home.

Please ring the surgery numbers below to arrange your appointment. Surgeries can be contacted by telephone on the following numbers

Ilfracombe: 01271 863119 or 01271 863840
Combe Martin: 01271 882406 Woolacombe: 01271 870276




Artwork: Harry Weedon


The Berry in Bloom group were extremely busy throughout May, June and early July getting the village planted and tidied up ready for the judges who came on 6th July. We were lucky that this year it didn't rain on the afternoon of the judging, as it did the previous year.

Points are given for:

  • Plant impact and design - the choice of plants etc. 20%
  • Horticultural practice - the cultivation and maintenance and quality of plants 20%
  • Community involvement - involving the public in community gardening 20%
  • Development and continuity - evidence of on-going projects 10%
  • Communication and education - making the community aware 10
  • Funding and Support - showing initiatives to secure funding 10
  • Local environmental quality - the care of signage, the absence of litter,dog fouling, graffiti etc. 10%

Last year we were awarded a GOLD, the highest award.Fingers crossed for this year.We get the results in early October.

The judging of the Our Outdoors [terrible name, I think, for the new competition that was previously called Best Kept Village] is ongoing throughout August when the judges will pay the village an incognito visit.So all you wonderful people, please keep up the good work.

Wendy Applegate


Artwork: Angela Bartlett

Clotted Cream Cake

with Clotted Cream Salted Caramel Topping

The Sterridge Valley Open Garden Trail in June was sadly a washout and although we covered our costs AND managed to make a little profit we had a large tub of clotted cream left over, hence this recipe for a cake almost as indulgent as the Mars Bar cake in the last Newsletter.

For the cake

  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 225g white caster sugar
  • 2 tsps quality vanilla essence
  • 1 225g tub clotted cream
  • A large pinch of salt
  • 200g S/R flour

[Prior to making the cake remove the clotted cream from the fridge as for the cake it needs to be at room temperature.]

For the salted clotted cream caramel sauce

  • 200g granulated sugar
  • 80g salted butter
  • 100g clotted cream
  • 60ml double cream
  • 2 tsps sea salt flakes

To garnish the cake, a few chunks of clotted cream fudge, chopped

[I doubled the above quantities so I had extra sauce to use with a Banoffee cheesecake.]

For the Caramel Sauce

Start the caramel sauce by gently heating the sugar in a heavy bottomed pan [choose a large pan as the other ingredients will be added later].Stir with a wooden spoon until it melts completely and begins to turn a caramel colour.

Next add the butter and clotted cream and stir carefully as obviously it is very hot at this stage.Take it off the heat and stir until the butter and cream have melted completely and then stir in the double cream. Return to the heat and bring to the boil for 1 minute then remove from heat and stir in the salt flakes.Allow to cool.

For the Cake

Pre-heat the oven to 170 Grease and line a 20cm loose bottomed tin. Put the eggs, vanilla and sugar in a large bowl and whisk using an electric whisk until very pale and fluffy.Add the salt and whisk.

Spoon in half the clotted cream and flour and gently fold in using a rubber spatula or a metal spoon - try not to knock out any of the air. Fold in the remaining clotted cream and flour. Pour into the prepared tin, smooth the top and bake for 40-50 minutes until golden and a skewer comes out clean.Remove from tin and cool on a wire rack.

Serve by pouring the sauce over each slice of cake and add the crumbled clotted cream fudge and a dollop of - you've guessed it clotted cream.

I found that the sauce was as thick as butter cream icing when kept overnight in the fridge and was easy to spread on top of the cake. This cake was a definite winner at the last litter pick!

Wendy Applegate


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


This month I have chosen photographs and a postcard of the Old Sawmill Inn. I feel sure we should all like to welcome Scott and Jenny Evans who, with their sons Aaron and Dani, have recently reopened a totally refurbished Sawmill Inn.

The first two photographs show it as Sawmill Cafe, which was open for afternoon cream teas, etc. Sadly, I do not know the date but would imagine it to have been taken in the 1940's or early 1950's, and note the rickety bridge over the stream. The third photographic postcard shows a young man 'holding up' the signpost opposite the Sawmill on the A399 main road: to Ilfracombe 3.5 miles and Combe Martin 1.5. whilst Lynton is 14 miles. The road to Berrynarbor reads 0.75 mile.

The coloured four-view picture postcard has been taken in the late1960's/'70's and shows it when Mr. and Mrs. W.U. Long were the proprietors of the 'Licensed Restaurant'. The telephone number for it was Combe Martin 2259 and it was only much later that all Combe Martin telephone numbers were given the 88 prefix.


Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage, July 2016

Coincidently, the photo below recently came to me from Lorna who tells me that it is taken in front of the Sawmill Cafe in the early 1950's and shows the Chalmers twins, Malcolm and Theodore, together with Chris Huxtable, doing his National Service at that time, and second right John Valance. The aproned worker can only be named Bill! The Sawmill Tea Rooms have been rebuilt as the current cottage.





The Parish of Berrynarbor is one of the largest in Devon. There is evidence that people lived here from early times:

  • The ancient tumuli on Berry Down and Century Lane. One excavated c1840 produced a clay pot containing cremated bones and ash of some important human, probably of the Dumnonii tribe who were spread around Devon in early times. The pot was decorated in the style of the Celtic Cornish people.
  • The white ceremonial standing stones at Stonelands, now called Maddox Down, on Long Lane [the road from Berry Down to Easter Close]. These stones have disappeared over the last 100 years, probably for building purposes or gate posts. The last standing stone was shattered by lightening not very long ago. Damien Hirst has two large white rocks placed at the entrance lane to his home at Yellaton Farm, opposite Maddox Down.Probably the remains of the stones.
  • The remains of an old Iron Age Fort over-looking the Channel on the right of Newberry Hill [the hill down to Combe Martin]. Locals called it Windsor Castle, I wonder why?

  • A very old clapper bridge which crosses the river along the public footpath from Stowford Farm Meadows to Bittadon on the Muddiford Road to Barnstaple.
  • The Clapper Bridge at Tarr Steps
  • Hillsborough, the large cliff-side hill at Hele is another Iron Age Fort site.
  • The ancient 'ridge way' known as Slew Lane which runs from Iron Letters to Goosewell [the lane at the top of Hagginton Hill]. A name derived from a slough - old English for a wet, damp place.
  • Lorna Bowden



1st to 14th - Lee Arts & Craft Exhibition & Fair, 11.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.
2nd Mobile Library in Village from 11.40 a.m.
7th FOND Table Top Sale, Ilfracombe, 10.00 - 12.00 noon
9th Parish Council Meeting, Manor Hall, 7.00 p.m.
14th Berry in Bloom: Village Open Garden Trail from 1.30 p.m.
17th Marwood Hill Gardens, The Smartest Giant in Town, 6.30 p.m.
24th Friendship Lunch, The Globe, from 12.00 noon
30th Mobile Library in Village from 11.40 a.m.
1st Primary School: Start of Autumn Term
3rd Berrynarbor Horticultural & Craft Show, Manor Hall, 2.00 p.m.
5th Berrynarbor Pre-School and Ilfracombe Academy: Start of Autumn Term
10th Parish Council Meeting, Manor Hall, 7.00 p.m.
27th Mobile Library in Village from 11.40 a.m.
28th Friendship Lunch, The Globe from 12.00 noon
2nd St. Peter's Church: Harvest Festival Service, 11.00 a.m.
5th St. Peter's Church: Harvest Festival Supper, Manor Hall, 6.30 for 7.00 p.m.
7th Ilfracombe Academy: Non-Pupil Day

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 - 12.00 or 1.00 p.m.
Afternoon Session: 12.00 to 3.00 or 4.00 p.m.
All Day: 8.30 a.m. to 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