Edition 168 - June 2017
Although as I write this we have had a couple of very wet days, it was almost needed as we have enjoyed several weeks of nice, warm, sunny and dry weather, and unbelievably by the time you are reading this, we'll be just three weeks short of the longest day!
It has been a sad time in the village lately and our thoughts are with all those families affected. Our thoughts are also with everyone not feeling well and hope you will be better soon.
We extend a very warm welcome to all newcomers to the village and hope you will be very happy in your new homes.
My editorial is always a place of thanks and on this occasion, I must give my sincere thanks to our Parish Council, for their interest in the Newsletter and very generous financial support and encouragement. A reminder, however, that each copy costs approximately £1.50 and donations to ensure it continues are not only welcome, but also essential!
One observant reader noticed that Paul's February 2016's snowdrop cover had become April 2017's bluebell wood! Did anyone else spot this?
This issue's cover, again by Paul, shows Watermouth cove and harbour, one of his pictures on display in the recent Ilfracombe Art Trail. Don't forget, Paul's pictures - originals or prints, framed or not - are available to purchase. If you are interested, do please get in touch with me, either by 'phone or e-mail. It is hoped that there might be another display of Paul's work [and those of the two village art groups], later in the year. The Newsletter is extremely lucky to have its own Artist in Residence. Thank you, Paul.
More thanks! Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this issue - keep the contributions coming! For August, when we start the 28th year, they should be at the Shop or Chicane or e-mailed to me as soon as possible and by Wednesday, 11th July at the latest. Thank you.
Let's hope that in the weeks ahead, we'll all benefit from some true summer weather with only just enough rain to keep the grass and blooms going! Utopia?
Judie - Ed
ST. PETER'S CHURCH
Our AGM, which took place on the 28th March in the Vestry, was chaired by Canon Michael Rogers with Rev. Bill Cole, our new House for Duty Priest, in attendance. The 2016 Annual Report was read by Stuart Neale and approved. The Audited accounts for 2016 were formally approved.
The position of Churchwarden was not filled and it was agreed that all PCC members would share various small duties to cover this very important role.All PCC members serving during 2016 agreed to be re-elected for 2017.We were very pleased to welcome Pip Summers to our PCC team for this year.
Pip, who is a member of our church flower arranging team, will make an important contribution to our committee. So that villagers and others in the community know who we are and may feel the need to contact us on any matter relating to St. Peter's, we list below the names of our committee members:
Stuart Neale - Deputy PCC Chairman & Organist , Jean Pell - Secretary, Margaret Sowerby - Treasurer and Flower Team, Jill McCrae - PCC Member, Yvonne Davey - Joint Deanery Synod Representative, Pip Summers - Flower Team, Doreen Prater - Joint Deanery Synod Representative, Sue Neale - Verger and Flower Team.
A vote of thanks was made to all those who help clean the church on a regular basis and to our wonderful team of bell-ringers who not only ring for Sunday services but also for weddings and, when requested, for village funerals.Special thanks go to Bet Brooks who opens and closes the Church and regularly cleans brass plaques and other items within, and Matthew Walls and family for cutting the churchyard grass and other specialised gardening maintenance within both churchyards.
Graham Lucas continues to lead the Monday morning schoolchildren's assembly which generates much enthusiasm all round, and his dedication is much appreciated. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all who are ill at this time.
Our Gift Day will be on Wednesday 21st June, and we hope that, as in previous years, villagers will be generous in their support.This year we are combining this important day by holding, weather permitting, a Teddy Bear Abseiling event from the top of the church tower for all the schoolchildren, when they can see their own teddy bears abseiling down special ropes from the church tower to receive a special Teddy Bear
Certificate commemorating their own bear's abseiling feat! We shall keep the time involved to a minimum so as not to impede upon the children's education.This should be lots of fun, and all parents that are able to attend are most welcome to come and support their children.
Finally, and after much frustration, both black and green wheelie bins will be sited together, where the green bin currently stands next to the water tap and tank.We sincerely hope that this move will finally put an end to the inconsiderate person, or persons, placing plastic items and plastic film incorrectly into the green bin.Watch this space folks!
Church Services for June and July commencing at 11.00 a.m. are:
1st Sunday. . . Village Service
2nd Sunday . . .Holy Communion
3rd Sunday. . .Songs of Praise
4th Sunday. . .Holy Communion.
NB:for the 5th Sunday, that is 30th July, there will be Joint Service at Jim's', Ilfracombe at 10.30 a.m.
Friendship Lunches will be held on the last Wednesday of the month at The Globe, meeting at 12.00 for 12.30 p.m.
WEATHER OR NOT
It was with shock and disbelief we learnt that Sue had sadly died suddenly and unexpectedly, on the 8th May. Our thoughts are with Simon, Joan, Ian and Kate and her family at this time of sorrow and in the difficult time ahead.
Regrettably, there is no report in this issue. A big thank you to Sue and Simon who have been keeping us up to date on our weather since 1998, 110 reports in all!
'Wild Violet' 11.3.17
Mother was born on the 2nd March 1923 - I'll leave you to work out her age! During the War she worked at Harris Lebus in Totteham, her birth place, making Mosquito aircraft parts. It was here that she met Ernie Songhurst, who was working as a carpenter and joined making mock-up tanks.
Mother's maiden name was Hurst, so when she married Ernie he added a song to her name! Before they could marry, Ernie was conscripted into the Army. Not to be put off by a little thing like a war, mother decided she wanted to marry before father went off. So she took herself up to Bullford Camp and requested to see the C.O. Amazingly, he agreed and they were married in Tottenham, spent one night together and the next day Earn was on his way to Italy.
Father was captured and mother spent her nights listening to Lord Haw Haw and eventually she heard, to her relief, that he was a prisoner of war.
They had married in 1942 and the next time mother saw him it was 1945. For this reason they were after that pretty much inseparable.
In 1957 father decided the family needed a change and we wound up in Berrynarbor. Mother used to take in guests and working in the garden was one of her abiding passions, and in 1957 it needed abiding passion to get it back into a garden. She would walk to the shop every day, but for the last 17 years these trips got less until she found it hard to walk at all.
Father died in 1982 and mother found herself alone again. Sadly, about 17 years ago she began to suffer with vascular dementia and died this year leaving 1 child [me], 2 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren and 3 great-great-grandchildren.
Her ashes were scattered with those of my father, her father and mother, and her sister, in the garden of Wild Violets.Fair to say, it was the end of an era but Wild Vi lives on.
Joyce and I should like to thank all the people that came to Vi's funeral service. £100 was raised for the Dementia Society.
17.6.1947 - 18.3.2017
It was with shock and sadness that we learnt June had died suddenly at home on the 18th March. and our thoughts are with her daughters Katharine and Charlotte and their families at this time of sorrow. A loved and loving mother and grandmother she will be sadly missed.
Many from the village attended her funeral on the 29th March at which the following poignant poem was read and Katharine and Charlotte have asked that it is shared in the Newsletter.
who leave us this great heritage of remembering joy.
They still live in our hearts,
in the happiness we knew
They still breathe,
in the lingering fragrance windblown, from their favourite flowers.
They still smile in the moonlight's silver
and laugh in the sunlight's sparkling gold.
They still speak in the echoes of words we've heard them say
again and again.
They still move,
in the rhythm of waving grasses, in the dance of the tossing branches.
They are not dead;
their memory is warm in our hearts, comfort in our sorrow.
They are not apart from us, but a part of us
for love is eternal,
and those we love shall be with us throughout all eternity.
TRIBUTE TO JOAN McCALLAM
28th November 1923 - 26th March 2017
Joan sadly passed away at the end of March at the age of 93. Our thoughts at this time of sadness are with all her family, but especially Linda and Stuart [Long Acre], and Andy and Andrea [Cherry Ridge].
Joan's links to Berrynarbor go back to her schooldays when she attended Adelaide Ladies College.She spent most of her working life as a school secretary, firstly at Ilfracombe Grammar School, then as Bursar at Ilfracombe Community College until she retired in the 1980's.
Her father, Captain Percival Adams, retired to Berrynarbor after his service as Chief Armourer in the army inspecting artillery, guns, and weapons and all armaments in the Near East. The Adams family had strong links to both Berrynarbor and Combe Martin. Joan's eldest brother was Eddie Adams, an electrical engineer who ran the only electric shop in Combe Martin, and brought the original TV signal to the area by installing a mast where it currently stands on Park Hills. Her sister, Irene lived in Barton Lane since 1945, and Captain Adams ran the original On-a-Hill petrol station.He was a regular at The Globe, where a lot of the family artefacts from their time in the Sudan and Egypt remain today.Captain Adams was also a long serving member of the Parish Council. Each successive generation of the family were married and christened in St. Peter's church.
During the war years, Joan became engaged to Sergeant Albert West from Wandsworth, and during a happy but short marriage to Bert, they lived with his parents and their two young children, Andy and Linda, in a 2 up 2 down terrace around the corner from Wandsworth railway station.Sadly, Joan was widowed at 36, when Andy was 15 and Linda 12. The three of them moved to Combe Martin to be closer to Joan's family where she was supported by brother, Eddie Adams, and of course Irene and with Eddie's advice Joan bought Scaena in1961. A few years later she met Donald McCallam. They married in1963 and spent over 40 happy, busy years together, making friends all across the world from New Zealand to Norway and all points in between. Five grandchildren came along followed by ten great-grandchildren, the youngest one born in Canada just last September.
Joan loved the simple things in life and often picked dandelion flowers and put them in water to save them from the mower before Donald cut the grass because they were so beautiful. Her wealth was measured in friends and friendships which she valued above all else. She was a talented artist, poet and singer and got so much joy from these and many other interests. She and Donald had a thirst for travel and there are few places in the world where they could not call upon friends for a bed for the night.Above all she was a people person and nothing was too much trouble for her to help anyone out.Any hour of the day or night she and Donald could be called upon.They spent many years working as Samaritans on the night shift.Frequently, Andy and Linda would get up in the morning for work and school to find a stranger either asleep on the couch or tucking into a hearty breakfast, rescued from the previous night shift. Then off she and Donald would go to work!
Joan's house is a testament to every country ever visited. She and Donald have summited Everest flying over in a small plane, snorkelled the Great Barrier Reef, visited the Forbidden City in China, and walked part of the Great Wall.They travelled to Russia and St. Petersburg, adopted Titus a taxi driver and his family in Sri Lanka with whom she still corresponded and regularly received gifts of spices and tea. She has a French son Harry, and a Norwegian daughter Christine, who were billeted for a year in Scaena whilst working as language students at Ilfracombe College. Joan's cup was always half full, never half empty. She led her life with a positive approach to everything and everyone. She was always in charge of every situation and had her way of getting things done. She would share whatever she had no matter how little and was completely resourceful. A founder member of the North Devon Coast U3A, she also started the Combe Martin Gardening Club, which is still going strong. Donald was a superb actor and they spent a good deal of their time supporting, and giving their energies to the Studio Theatre in Ilfracombe.
A wife, mother, grandma and great-grandma who made the most of every minute of every day with kind words and deeds, friendship and unconditional love to the family, friends and the wider community.
I have so many things to see and do.
You mustn't tie yourself to me with tears.
Be happy that we had so many beautiful years.
You can only guess how much you gave to me in happiness.
I thank you for the love you each have shown,
But now it's time I travelled on alone.
So grieve a while for me, if grieve you must.
Then let your grief be comforted by trust.
It's only for a while that we must part,
So bless the memories within your heart.
I won't be far away, for life goes on.
So if you need me, call and I will come.
Though you can't see or touch me, I'll be near.
And if you listen with your heart,
You'll hear all my love around you soft and clear.
And then, when you must come this way alone,
I'll greet you with a smile and say 'Welcome Home'.
June 1926 - April 2017
Many readers will remember Keith, Ilfracombe's Photographer who, for many years, judged the photographic section of our Horticultural and Craft Show. So it was sad to learn that he had passed away peacefully on the 10th April, now united with his beloved wife Ro who died just a year ago.
His funeral on the 4th May, attended by so many local people, was testament to the respect and love in which he was held. A much loved father, grandfather and great-grandfather, he will be sadly missed by all his family, by his fellow Rotarians, having been a member for more than 60 years, and his very many friends.
Our thoughts at this time of sorrow are with Andrea, Jonathan, James and Amy.
EVELYN [EVE] WALKER
22.4.1947 - 25.4.2017
How sad it was to learn that Eve had passed away peacefully at the North Devon District Hospital on the 25th April.
The beloved wife of Dave and sister to John, a wonderful mum to Suzanne and Jamie, mum-in-law to Ali and Nicole, and devoted granny to Rosalind, Frances, Anna, Thomas, Alex and Charlotte, Eve will be sorely missed by them all and indeed by her many friends. Our thoughts are with them at this time of sadness.
Dave and the family would like to thank everyone for the many cards and messages of sympathy they have received and for attending Eve's funeral on the 9th May.
MANOR HALL TRUST
This is busy time for the Manor Hall on a number of fronts. Following the structural work to the Manor House wing roof, the lock change to the main hall and the new curtains in the hall, a few other things are underway.The Hall has had a one-off extensive clean which will hopefully allow us to stay on top of cleaning from now on, and we should like to thank Tony Kitchin for steam cleaning the stage curtains.
New cutlery has been bought to replace that which used to be in the kitchen. We now have 90 sets [i.e. knife/fork/dessert spoon/teaspoon] which should suffice for most events. However, only a small supply is being kept in the kitchen. Most of the new cutlery is stored elsewhere so anyone booking the Hall and needing large amounts of cutlery will need to make this clear when booking.
We are reviewing our approach to the improvement of the Hall given the recent news that the Big Lottery has closed one of the two Reaching Communities funding programmes towards which we were working. This has happened without any warning. Although the Big Lottery are working on a replacement programme, at the present time no details of this have been made available. The other Reaching Communities Programme is still running, but has a smaller capital grant ceiling of £100,000.Therefore, we are still working on the latter, but the smaller level of funding involved means we should look at the improvement of the Hall as a phased programme. The main immediate priorities for this are the same as before, which is to deal with the floor problem and the inadequate heating and insulation as a first phase.
In the meantime, to show some progress and positive change, we are undertaking several other small but important changes. Hence, the new curtains, planned new lights and roof repairs noted below.
As this Newsletter is going to print, we are organising the replacement of the eight fluorescent lighting tubes which have acted as the main lights for a long time. These are long overdue for renewal, and are being replaced with eight. large, pendant lights, all dimmable. For the time being these new lights and the existing sixteen spotlights [which are already dimmable], should allow a variety of bright or low lighting situations to suit a wide range of occasions. We shall then review what else may be needed when we see how all this works.
Security at the Hall
The recent main Hall lock change went smoothly but given the rather odd incidents over the last year, it is felt that further security improvements are needed, at least as a precaution. So, at the time this Newsletter is going to print, we shall be placing an order to install some CCTV coverage outside. We are also finalising details for some additional movement activated lights at the front, which will be helpful for evening events as well.
As stated above, we can't see funds being available in the short term for a full re-roof of the main hall, so we have been getting quotes for roof repairs that will stop the occasional leaks we suffer from at present, plus stopping the water penetration to the chimney above the old fireplace.
Most of the leaks come from the ridge tiles, so we plan to replace all the ridge tiles, repair the chimney and generally overhaul the roof to replace/refix damaged or loose slates. It would be good to have this done over the summer or early autumn so that it's done before winter. Those who use the hall in winter will know that it isn't just heating that is a major problem, but the complete absence of any insulation, and if at some point we are to insulate the ceiling, then we need to have stopped any further water penetration.
Manor Hall AGM, Wednesday 5th July
The Manor Hall AGM is set for 5th July at 7.30 p.m. This is slightly later in the summer than normal but we have needed to make sure the accounts for 2016/17 will be available. The main other purpose of the AGM is to elect Committee Members. This may only be to serve for a short period as the vesting deed to convert us from the existing charity to the new CIO [Charitable Incorporated Organisation] is now signed and the transition is underway. The AGM evening will, therefore, include a short section which will technically be an AGM of the new charity.This is similarly needed to elect Committee Members to the new charity, which will carry on thereafter.
The new CIO, still a charity and holding the Hall and Parish Room on the original Trusts, has a similar committee structure to the one set up in 1947. This means that five major hall users and/or village institutions will have the right to appoint someone directly onto the management committee, much as now. The five bodies are the Parish Council, the Parochial Church Council, the School, the Men's Institute and Berrynarbor Pre-school. There is also provision for up to five people to be elected at the AGM, plus up to three co-opted places.
On this point, we should like to thank Eileen Hobson for her service on the Committee as she will be standing down at the AGM.
Manor Hall Management Committee
Calling all visitors
Berrynarbor's new Visitors' Information Kiosk is now complete. Housed in a refurbished telephone box and sited in the car park next to the village shop, it has been kitted out with local maps, leaflets for local attractions and activities, and a noticeboard to publicise local events.
Shop Manager Debbie Thomas said: "We should like to say a huge thank you to everyone who helped to renovate the box, especially Alan Eales and Stowford Meadow for their help in moving it to its current position. We're also grateful to the Parish Council for their donation towards the cost of the glass and the customers who bought raffle tickets to help pay for it.
"Now we're looking to make our information kiosk world famous. Visitors are being encouraged to take a photo of themselves either inside or next to it and when they get home tag us @Berrynarbor Community Shop and tell us where they are. We're going to see how many different and far flung places we can get to by the end of the year.
"We want people to go on social media and say: 'I've been to the Berrynarbor Visitors' Information Kiosk; have you?'"
Villager Carol Heymer checks out the new Information Kiosk
NEWS FROM THE VILLAGE SHOP & POST OFFICE
Shop now selling Tea and Cakes
Our village shop has taken delivery of a new counter-top chiller display unit which is being used to show off the delicious cakes and savouries now on offer.
The shop is also serving teas and coffees and at their new picnic tables offer thirsty walkers and visitors a chance to sit down and enjoy our village's hospitality.The recent dry spell and warm weather has shown that these new offerings are proving to be a big hit with visitors. Here's to a beautiful summer!
BERRYNARBOR HORTICULTURAL & CRAFT SHOW 2017
This year's Show will be held on Saturday, 19th August. The theme is in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the first Heart Transplant. The Programme and Entry Forms will be available from the Shop at the end of June.
Seed Potatoes are already selling well, so if you would like to have a go at producing the best haul, go to the Shop and purchase one for £1.00. Jigsaw have already started growing your Sunflowers and they will also be available from the Shop for £1.00.
To inspire your creativity, here are the subjects of the Floral Art, Art, and Photography sections:
Accessories allowed in all classes.Maximum space allowed for classes 1, 2 and 3 is 16" x 16" x 18" high.
1. True Love based on a Love Poem
2. In Celebration of Vera Lynn - the Forces Sweetheart
3. Queen of Hearts
4.A heart-shaped Table Decoration, miniature 6" x 6" x 6"
1. A Romantic Landscape
2. Lovely View
3. The One You Love
4. Painted item on any surface other than paper, card or canvas
Photographs must be maximum 5" x 8", to be affixed to white card or paper size A5 for display. Entries limited to 2 per class.
1. A Romantic Landscape
2. Lovely View
3. True Love
4. For the Love of Food
5. The Coastline
6. Romance [anything goes, may be enhanced in any way]
In Aid of the British Heart Foundation
Design a Save your Heart Hanging Mobile
to be judged by everyone visiting the Show. The winning entry will be the one which attracts the most money from the general public by 3.00 p.m. on the day of the Show. All money will go to the British Heart Foundation.
Do you want to move with less aches and pains or reduce the discomfort of a stiff back?
* Have you heard of Pilates? You may have been told to try Pilates before or maybe you've been told you need it. Is it something you have thought about but not yet investigated?
* Sometimes it just the fear of the unknown that stops us helping ourselves. I want to remove any excuses so that you can try Pilates and see if it's as good as everyone says.
* You can have a free taster class, all you have to do is fill in a form and take part.
Let me remove the unknown. My classes take 1 hour. You would find men, women, young, old, flexible, inflexible, every shape and size in class. Pilates certainly isn't just for the super fit, although it will help them achieve their personal bests at their chosen activity.
We start with a standing warm-up, then we move down onto the mat. Pilates focuses on your breath, just breathing in and out - my students say that it takes just enough concentration to stop them thinking about their daily tasks. We move, lengthen and stretch through the whole body, sometimes we use a band to assist us. The key is that you work to your own pace. Slowly you will see that you are more stable or stronger in an exercise as you start to progress.
The results are more flexibility, better spinal alignment, better
balance - to name just a few. I'm told that some of my students have given up their regular visits to the chiropractor, the physiotherapist and the Bowen therapist as Pilates provides the maintenance needed. Some students report better sleep, feeling lighter, more relaxed and free from a particular ache. Some report better scores at golf as they have more powerful swings now!
One thing is for sure, you will become more aware of your body, how you stand, sit, walk. This will help you reduce the chance of injury.
Whatever your personal goal, let's see how Pilates can get you there.
Take up a free taster class by calling me on 07917 762227 or e-mail email@example.com to find out more.
The first free Taster Class will be on Thursday, 15th June, at the Manor Hall, 7.00 p.m. but please contact me beforehand.
Call 07917 76222
NEWS FROM THE PRIMARY SCHOOL
What wonderful weather we have had through April and May. The children have been making the most of it with many outdoor activities.
The Celebration of Learning for Strawberry and Cranberry Classes at the end of last term was an evening Star Gazing with their families. A great time was had by all and everyone was very grateful for the telescopes that someone had lent.They really enhanced the experience.
On the first day of the new term they went on a Spring Walk around the village. One of the children said it was the best day ever.
Growing Grub is their topic this half term, so part of the school garden will be an area where the children can grow their own produce.There have been Digging Days for each of the three Year Groups when parents and grandparents came into school to work alongside the children in the garden.They are concentrating on growing edibles at the moment, but will be looking ahead to refurbishing flowerbeds and banks. If any of you have young shrubs, perennials, etc., that might be suitable, then Mrs. Wellings would love to hear from you.
Our older children in Key Stage 2 have also been having a busy time with Football Tournaments, Speed Stacking and other sporty things. As a treat for all the hard work the children in Year 5 had done, they had a Wheelie Day early in May when they brought scooters, bikes, wheelies and skateboards into school. They had great fun in the afternoon zooming around the playground.
During May, Years 2 & 6 had their statutory assessments. We are proud of the hard work they have put in and know, that although for some it is an anxious time, they have all tried their best.
In the last issue of the Newsletter, we mentioned our Question of the Week. Here are some more examples of the mind teasers posed each week.
Would you rather be brave and poor, or cowardly and rich?
Can you ever know what it is like to be someone else?
Is there more happiness or sadness in the world?
Can you touch a rainbow?
Can you cast a shadow in a dark room?
Would you rather be an ant or a spider? Why?
Wednesday 26th April marked 20 Years of Service at our school by Mrs. Sophie Bird, one of our Teaching Assistants.The depth of affection the children have for her was evident in the way even the very youngest children managed to keep secret the events planned for the day. At the Morning Assembly there was a presentation of cards and gifts, and at lunchtime we ate al-fresco together in the playground. This was followed by an afternoon of games and sports on the playing field. To top it all off the weather was glorious!
As we move into the second half of the Summer Term, the children are looking forward to residential trips, sports day, Elderberry Class performance and many other events. Year 6 children will be visiting their future Secondary Schools and we shall have our September Intake visiting us regularly each week.
We shall soon be counting and sending off the Sainsbury's Active Kids vouchers, redeeming them for sports equipment. If you have any lurking around, please drop them into us.
The annual School Fete will be held at the Manor Hall on Tuesday, 4th July. Please look for posters nearer the time.
One of our very valued Governors, Colin Humphrey, has decided to retire from the Board of Governors here at West Berry Federation. We thank Colin for all his time and dedication while serving. This leaves a vacancy for a Co-opted Governor. The Board operates as one body across both Berrynarbor and West Down Primary Schools. You don't need any specific qualifications [full training is provided]. but you must be aged 18 or over, with an interest in helping to monitor and raise standards even higher in our already Outstanding schools. We are very keen to recruit individuals with a range of skills on our Governing Board and therefore welcome applications from all walks of life. If you would like more information please e-mail our Clerk, Natalie Stanbury: firstname.lastname@example.org or call Berrynarbor School
 883493 or West Down School  863461.
Sue Carey - Head Teacher
FROM THE PARISH COUNCIL
Berrynarbor Parish Council
Chairman:Adam Stanbury  email@example.com
Gemma Bacon firstname.lastname@example.org
Sian Barten V-Chairman  email@example.com
Adrian Coppin  firstname.lastname@example.org
Julia Fairchild email@example.com
David Kennedy firstname.lastname@example.org
Clare White  email@example.com
Parish Clerk - Victoria Woodhouse [07815 665215] Firstone, Yarnscombe,
Barnstaple, EX31 3LWclerk@berrynarborparishcouncil.org.uk
County Councillor - Andrea Davis 
District Councillors - Yvette Gubb 
Snow Warden - Clive Richards 
Well it's a new year for the Parish Council and our first report must be to congratulate Councillor Adam Stanbury on his re-election as Chairman for 2017-2018 and Councillor Mrs Sian Barten on her re-election as Vice-Chairman. Following on from these elections, it might also be useful to note the election of the following representatives for the year:
v Footpaths Officer - Councillor Mrs Julia Fairchild
v Deputy Footpaths Officer - Councillor Mrs Clare White
v Highway Liaison Officer & Tree Warden - Councillor
v Emergency Plan Officer - Councillor Adrian Coppin
v Combe Martin & District Tourism Association - Councillor
Mrs Jenny Beer
v Berrynarbor Manor Hall - Councillor Mrs Denny Reynolds
v Play Area Inspections - Councillor Mrs Jenny Beer
v Councillor responsible for Planning Applications - Councillor Gemma Bacon
Congratulations to Andrea Davis on her recent re-election as our representative on the County Council.
Councillors Julia Fairchild and Jenny Beer have recently undertaken Flood Warden training.There are properties in Berrynarbor Parish at risk of flooding and the Flood Wardens hope to develop a flood plan to identify potential risks.
The Parish Council has been looking at the condition of the sand bunker in the car park in Castle Hill, is aware that the condition of the container is not ideal and is hoping to procure something a little more substantial and waterproof.
The Parish Council is pleased to be able to continue to support local groups with grants and donations and has already this year agreed to a grant of £1,000 towards the Berrynarbor Newsletter and is providing a stone planter by way of a donation to Berry in Bloom.
Vicki Woodhouse - Clerk to the Parish Council0
GARDEN BONFIRES - THE RULES
There are no laws against having a bonfire, but there are laws for the nuisance they can cause.
You cannot get rid of household waste by burning it. It can be composted or recycled.
You could be fined if you light a bonfire and allow the smoke to drift across the road and become a danger to traffic.
If a neighbour's bonfire is causing a nuisance, the council can issue an abatement notice that attracts a fine of £5,000 if not adhered to.
So, there are no laws concerning bonfires. But with summer approaching and gardening in full swing - as well as the washing on the line - pyrotechnicians, please think before you light that fire. Save it for the evening or miserable days when neighbours are not enjoying relaxing in their gardens or drying their washing.
NEWS FROM BERRYNARBOR PRE-SCHOOL
A First Taste of Education
At Berrynarbor Pre-School we provide care and education for young children between the ages of 2 and 5. Presently we have spaces available and are now taking bookings for the next academic year.
If you would like to book a place for your child/children, then please visit us or call us on our NEW telephone number, 07932 851052, or
e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Our opening times are 8.30 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. Monday to Friday.
We are flexible and have a range of session times to meet your needs.
For details please see the Manor Hall Diary later in this Newsletter.
We are Ofsted Registered and in receipt of the 2gether Scheme and Early Years Entitlement. We are offering 30 hours' free childcare to eligible families. Further information regarding this funding can be found at www.gov.uk/government/publications/30-hours-free-childcare-eligibility.
Welcome Back to the Summer Term
We should like to say a very big thank you to Berry in Bloom who kindly paid for our garden to have a much need make-over, and Wendy, Alan, Andy, Greg, Barry, Geoff and Tony, who all kindly donated their time. It is now a safe area for the children to dig, grow their plants, as well as pick summer fruits - blueberries, raspberries and strawberries, as well as explore - looking for bugs and insects!
Irwin, our flower pot person, now sits in pride of place overseeing the garden and inspires the children to explore and watch nature. He was kindly donated to us by Greg Elstob.
Last term the children enjoyed the topic of Looking at the Changes in our Seasons. The story of Jack and the Beanstalk came to life with them making a giant display of Jack climbing the beanstalk and planting their own magic bean seeds, and WOW, didn't they grow! The team from Berry in Bloom were very impressed and wanted to know what our secret is - we don't know, you'll have to ask the children! These have been replanted in our new garden and we shall continue to watch them grow and hopefully have some beans to harvest later in the year.
The children learnt about the life cycle of the frog. We were lucky enough to have some frogspawn this year, allowing the children to monitor some of the changes and watch the tadpoles develop. These tadpoles were then put back into the pond to continue to grow into frogs.
The mural created by the children using the earth pigments unique to North Devon is now in place. The children are fascinated by the textures and colours and they use their imagination to explain the picture that they made in conjunction with our autumn term's topic Space.
To support the children's learning, this term we are looking at Going on Holiday, based around travel, transport, travel agents and going round the world visiting different countries. They will be encouraged to listen to new stories, create their own passports and go on many adventures as we explore the world.
This will also give us the opportunity to work on our letters and sounds. Children are encouraged to sound out familiar letters and sounds and begin to form recognisable letters or to make patterns and put meanings to the marks they make. This is all based on the child's individual stage of learning.
From all the Staff at Berrynarbor Pre-School.
Sue, Karen, Charlotte and Lynne
THE WOULD-BE STOCKBROKER
Charles Monrile was born in the little Essex village of Stebbing. He went to a small, private school in the village and later to a local grammar school, where he was always made fun of by the other boys and often felt very downcast.
On leaving school he took a job at a stockbroker's. He marvelled at the way shares could rise and fall very rapidly. He saw clients make or lose a fortune in a day or even within a few hours.
Charles said to himself, "One day, I shall make a fortune out of shares." He worked for this firm for about three years and then decided to have a go on his own. He soon found appropriate premises in London and was gradually able to build up a fair clientele.His commissions brought in a good income and one client in particular was Ann Cross. She was beautiful and responded to his courting. They were soon going out together and he learned that she was extremely wealthy.
After a while, business became less and this worried him. What should he do?
A client deposited a large sum of money with him and asked him to purchase a huge number of shares in a certain company. When the client asked him later had he bought the shares, he lied and said "Yes". In fact he had spent it on Ann Cross by buying her two horses for her carriage as well as champagne.
He soon realised what a fool he had been and that he would never be able to put his client's money back, whom he knew would soon have the police after him!
He confided everything to Ann who, because she loved him so much, said she would help him to get out of the country for a while and later see how things would settle down. It was decided he should go to Madrid in Spain.
"Take lots of my jewellery," said Ann. "Fill your pockets as you will have no time to get the right currencies."
Charles lost no time in getting away. He bribed two men with a fishing boat to take him across the channel and once in France he boarded a train - without paying - to take him towards Spain.
After a few days, sometimes sleeping rough, he was within sight of Madrid He had been there for a week when word got round that this man always pays you in diamonds or gold jewellery.
Soon the local police got to know of this and they took him to the station to question him. They soon realised that he was the Charles Monrile wanted for embezzlement. He was arrested and put in prison to await being sent back to England.
Once back in England, he was tried at the County Court and sent to prison for eighteen months. He was also made bankrupt. Ann knew all about this and as soon as he was free, invited him to go and live with her.
She loved him so much that she would give him anything he wanted. "How about a large house?" she asked. "Oh! I should love that" he replied. Soon they were living in fine style - fine carriages, fine clothes, servants, beautiful gardens. But there was one more thing that Charles wanted. That was a family crest or coat of arms. When he found out that a real coat of arms or crest would have to be registered with the College of Arms, he said, "I'm going to have one anyway!"
He found out that you can have a kind of secondary crest, so he had one made by a jewellery firm. He later adored himself with it on his walking stick, his coach and even on his house.
He thought back to his school days;"If they could see me now!"
Charles and Ann got married. Ann died in 1922 and Charles in 1936.
Tony Beauclerk - Stowmarket
Illustrated by: Paul Swailes
LOCAL WALK - 162
"Blooms Berry":Wild Orchids in the Parish
At the top of the hairpin bends near Smythen Farm, beside the old barn called Bountree, was a little bluebell glade and among the sea of blue were many magenta spikes of early purple orchids. An exquisite sight.
I do hope this colony of orchids has survived but since the Keep Out notices and gates appeared there a few years ago, it has not been possible to view them.
A few still appear each spring on the roadside verge opposite and last May I walked up there to take a look. There were just ten orchids.
Along the short track leading off the road, about half way up the hill I discovered another dozen;the purple contrasting nicely with patches of yellow pimpernels, a diminutive and creeping member of the primrose family.
There were a couple more orchids down the steep wooded slope opposite.
The following month when walking into Combe Martin I was delighted to find a colony of common spotted orchids on the high roadside bank between the bus shelter [opposite the end of Barton Lane] and Newberry Close.
I counted thirty-seven of these pink orchids which form a more triangular spike than the looser arrangement of florets of the early purples.
With field scabious and wild strawberry flowers nature had created a very pleasing garden. A few yards back blue meadow cranesbills had naturalised along a field boundary with ox-eye daisies.
Suddenly a female sparrow-hawk had shot out from the dark lane leading to the Sandy Cove;landed briefly in a tree before flying across the road to the alarm of a flurry of small birds.
Last December The Devonshire Association published its magnum opus, A New Flora of Devon.
A mighty tome literally - the book weighs half a stone and is a comprehensive and beautifully presented guide to Devon's wild flowers and their habitats.
Illustrated by: Paul Swailes
BERRY IN BLOOM & BEST KEPT VILLAGE
Hooray, summer seems to be here at last, after lots of dry, sunny weather, but definitely with a chilly wind. The tubs looked lovely in the spring although nobody could see them for the six weeks of the road works that coincided with the flowering, but that's all done now and the village is looking great.
During this period, the group has been hard at work helping the Pre-school refurbish their small garden.This needed some work from six of our beefy men and they have done a great job.Thank you to Alan, Andy, Greg, Tony, Barry and Geoff. The children are keen to grow some of their own fruit and vegetables and we are glad to help them.We also supplied them with gardening gloves and litter pickers and they have undertaken the task of keeping the play park area litter free. Well done children!
In the car park, the group has cut down a huge winter flowering clematis that had outgrown the trellis on which it was growing and opened up the area where the benches and tables are.
Down at the flower bed opposite the Sawmills, we have removed two huge phormiums that had also outgrown their space and had a good tidy up.
As we are not having Open Gardens this year, we have decided to have a mini fete and tea party at the Lodge.Phil and Lynn have a beautiful garden and a £5.00 entrance fee will get you a yummy Berrynarbor cream tea with masses of cakes and scones and hopefully a sunny afternoon socializing on the lawns.We do hope you will support us and come along and enjoy yourselves on Sunday June the 25th from 2.00 p.m. onwards.
Judging for Berry in Bloom [Britain in Bloom] is on 5th July.Wish us luck!
Raspberry and White Chocolate Blondies
These lovely white chocolate and raspberry squares are SO easy to make. They are ideal to keep in a tin or the freezer ready for when someone pops round for tea.
375g golden caster sugar
1and half tsp vanilla extract
3 free range eggs
260g plain flour
300g white chocolate broken into pieces
150g frozen or fresh raspberries
25g mini marshmallows
[The recipe says mini marshmallows BUT I had more success with Bobby's marshmallows cut up, available from our shop, as they melted nicely over the top of the Blondies.]
Preheat the oven to gas 4/180C/160C fan and line the base and sides of a 20cm/8inch loose-bottomed square tin with baking parchment.
In a large bowl, combine the melted butter and sugar and mix well.Add the vanilla extract and the eggs and mix well. Then fold in the flour and white chocolate and finally, gently stir in the raspberries until just combined.
Spoon the Blondie mix in to the lined cake tin, making sure the corners of the tin are filled and level the surface. Bake for one hour, covering the top with foil if it starts to look too brown.
Remove from the oven and scatter the marshmallows over the top.Return to the oven and bake for a further ten minutes. Remove and leave in the tin to cool completely. Once cooled, remove and cut into sixteen squares.
I found these were a bit denser than brownies, but white chocolate and raspberry denseness is good with me, yum!
RURAL REFLECTIONS - 79
William Henry Hudson was born in 1841 and spent his childhood along the shoreline of the Rio de la Plata [river of silver] that separated Uruguay and Argentina. Roaming the farms and ranches, he observed the surrounding wild flora and fauna and in particular the birds that launched, flew over or came to roost upon the area's vast plains.
At the age of fifteen he contracted a fever that affected his heart, something he felt would significantly reduce his life expectancy.He was to eventually live until aged eighty-one. One can only speculate whether his concern drove him to consolidate his passion for wildlife;having reached his late twenties, no doubt to his surprise, he decided to move to London to become a naturalist.
Compared to his contemporaries he was very much a free spirit and soon became an advocate for the back-to-nature movement. Spurred on by his enthusiasm, he made copious notes of his observations which he subsequently combined into essays. However, in complete contrast to the majority of his fellow naturalists, Hudson became renowned for his skill in portraying vivid pictures of his observations through short pieces of work.
One such piece is titled Geese - Great Norfolk, from a collection, Adventures Among Birds, published in 1932. In it he describes how, over a two-week period, he observed fifty or more geese come to roost with overloaded crops full of corn. Then one evening, to his utter amazement, he saw at least four thousand geese appear on the horizon "like a great crimson globe hanging just below the black roof tops of Wells". Once above the flat sands, the gaggle circled whilst waiting for stragglers to join before dramatically descending to roost. Hudson describes the event as "the most magnificent spectacle in wild bird life I have ever witnessed in England".
The spectacle clearly aroused Hudson. But this was only half of the story. For on one evening prior to this display he had noticed a lone injured goose standing some way from the marshland. Unable to venture with its counterparts to collect corn, Hudson's heart sank upon seeing the bird raise its head towards the geese above, as they returned with their abundance of corn. But it's hope of a small offering from their takings was diminished as they came in to roost upon the marshland, for it soon became clear that each individual was protective of their corn; and when, on the evening of that magical spectacle, not one of over 4000 geese were prepared to share a mere clutch of corn, the goose knew it was truly ostracised. With that the lone creature set off towards the sand.
The story coincides with my own recent observations close to our bungalow. Across the road are a pair of wood pigeons nesting within the row of tall leylandii.Meanwhile, a collared dove is sat upon her nest in our mahonia, content as we pass by only a few feet away and safe in the knowledge that she is well camouflaged. However, this year there are a pair of magpies hunting the area for eggs. Their success appears to depend upon which breed of bird is patrolling their patch. Get too close to the dove's nest and an aggressive response is instigated that soon forces the magpies to flee. But watch them enter the leylandii and one sees a violent tossing of branches; one can only assume that the magpies are willing to take the pigeons head on in their attempt to steal an egg - a trait with which magpies are steadfastly labelled.
But let us end on a positive note and return to William Hudson, someone who no doubt gained immense fulfilment and reward from an unexpected life span which enabled him to absorb in his surroundings.
Yet it is something that we can all do - a point I have been raising in a number of recent issues. I do not doubt that a mere glance at the calendar in your kitchen would reflect a wealth of commitments. Some will be compulsory, others through choice.
There is, however, one commitment that may not be on your calendar. It requires personal discipline to ensure it is not pushed to one side;and. if carried out with frequency, would become an integral part of your daily timetable - an opportunity to just sit and be in the present moment, no matter how small that segment of time may be. In my case, like Hudson, to be at one with nature.
BERRYNARBOR WINE CIRCLE
In March, quite by chance I heard a Wine Talk one Saturday morning on Radio Devon and the presenter said he regularly did presentations to clubs, groups, W.I's, etc. to spread his love of wine. I therefore got in touch to invite him to do a presentation for us, which he kindly accepted. He could not do our normal meeting date of 19th April but could manage 26th. To say I twisted his arm off could be an understatement!
Nigel Pound is the boss of Totnes Wines, a true independent wine merchant, and has been in the wine trade for over 30 years. His presentation was entitled A Few of My Current Favourites, and one could easily see, or taste, why they were favourites;they were excellent!
He brought us seven wines to sample, one more than we usually have and gave a detailed description of each with many amusing anecdotes and tales associated with them.
The wines were a sparkling wine from Saumur made by the Champagne Method, not white wine injected with carbon dioxide the way that Prosecco is. An Albarino from Galicia; an Italian white from the Veneto area and a white Burgundy from Macon. The red wines were a typical Bordeaux claret but from the Graves area south of Bordeaux rather than the more usual Medoc; Biberius Roble from Ribero del Duero and a merlot called Paisaje de Tupungato from Mendoza in Argentina.
The favourites on the night for those I spoke to seemed to be the Albarino of the white wines and the Ribero del Duero of the reds but of course individuals may have had their own, different preferences.
To listen to someone who is an expert in his trade is always interesting and informative and Nigel certainly was. One of the main bits of knowledge to come from the evening was that if you tend to have a headache after drinking wine, particularly red wine, it is probably not a hang over, but from the sulphites that are added to preserve the wine. This is particularly true of New World wines, as sulphur has to be added at virtually every stage because of the climate and then the vast distances it has to travel to get to us. Incidentally, it doesn't travel already bottled, in most cases it comes in a container lined with an enormous plastic bag then bottled in Europe, requiring yet more sulphur! The moral of the story is, if you want to avoid headaches, only buy wine that was bottled on the estate. Also, NEVER buy what is called British Wine. This is the commercial equivalent of the DIY home brew wine kits of the 60's and 70's. It is grape concentrate from virtually anywhere in Europe that is then fermented in the UK and bottled. Do not confuse it though with English wine which is proper wine, grown and produced in England that can be superb but usually expensive.
Although 15 of our regulars were unable to attend, 50 people did and all had an excellent social evening with many newcomers asking for details of how to become regular members and even the presenter saying he would love to come again. What a successful evening!
Tony Summers - Chairman
'Eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart.' Ecclesiastes 9:7
May seems to appear in print a lot currently, but May for us means the end of yet another season!We began our meeting with our AGM, which our Chairman, Tony Summers, managed to complete in record time, literally, 3 minutes 15 seconds! Formal proceedings complete, we were now able to taste his Wine and Food Pairings.Tony used Majestic's for the wine and decided to see what Berry Brothers & Rudd would suggest for pairings.
We began with a dry sherry: La Gitana, a Spanish Manzanilla. This was matched with roasted and lightly salted almonds and marinated anchovies - delicious all round!We followed this with a Muscadet Sevre et Maine, 2015: a great summer-drinking option and good with bi-valves, pan-roasted chicken, cheeses, fondue. Our third white was another Spaniard: Albarino Caixas perfect with seafood, light dishes or as an aperitif.We sampled it with a chicken pate - a delightful match.
Reds followed:Parilla 2014, by Vinalba of Argentina is a Malbec, a perfect match with steak or grilled sausages.Santa Rita Medalla Real is a Cabernet Sauvignon from the Maipo Valley in Chile and great with a soft creamy goat's cheese. This combination was suggested by a Majestic's staff member and it worked very well!Our final May tasting was a Cote du Rhone Village, 2014: Les Hautes Vignes Cairanne, great with Tony's barbequed and seasoned sausages.
The results were a resounding success.There were no favourites as all wines were enjoyed by most! The wines were between £7.99 and £11.99 per bottle, the latter achieved as a reduction due to their Mix 6 offer.
Holidays are on the horizon and, therefore, we resume in October: Wednesday 18th, at the Manor Hall, to be precise.New Berrynarborians will receive a warm welcome and a drink!
Judith Adam - Secretary and Programme Co-ordinator
"Matthew encountered the stationmaster locking up the ticket office preparatory to going home for supper, and asked him if the five-thirty train would soon be along. "The five-thirty train has been in and gone half an hour ago," answered that brisk official. "But there was a passenger dropped off for you - a little girl. She's sitting out there on the shingles.
"I'm not expecting a girl," said Matthew blankly, "It's a boy I've come for. He should be here."
The stationmaster whistled. "Guess there's some mistake," he said."
So, Anne Shirley finds herself at Green Gables with Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert.
Anne of Green Gables was the first novel by Canadian author L.M. Montgomery.
Lucy Maud Montgomery was born on Prince Edward Island on the 30th November 1874. Sadly, her mother died when she was only 21 months old and her father, stricken with grief, gave custody to her maternal grandparents. Her early life was very lonely and Montgomery credits this period in which she created many imaginary friends to cope with her loneliness, for developing her creativity.
Anne of Green Gables was published in 1908 and was an immediate success, and this was followed by a further four books about Anne, reflecting a lot of her own life - at college in Charlottetown and working as a teacher in various Prince Edward Island schools. She stopped writing about Anne around 1920, saying that she had tired of the character, but returned some 15 years later to write Anne of Windy Willows and Anne of Ingleside.
As a fashionable young woman with 'slim, good looks', she attracted many suitors but did not marry until 1911. With her husband, Ewen Macdonald [1870-1943], a Presbyterian Minister, she moved to the Manse in Leaskdale, where she wrote her next eleven books. They had three sons, but sadly the second was still born. Coping with the duties of church life, motherhood and her husband's deteriorating health, Montgomery suffered several bouts of depression.
She was honoured as the first female in Canada to be made a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in England, and was invested with an O.B.E. in 1935.
She died on the 24th April, 1942, and was buried at the Cavendish Community Cemetery. It has been said that perhaps she took her own life.
During her lifetime she published 20 novels, over 500 short stories, an autobiography and a book of poetry.
Biographies of her life make interesting reading as information regarding her life often differs.
There have been many films and serialisations of Anne's story with a current new 9-episode one on Netflix, which has received good reviews and although it mainly stays true to the book, purists will not be happy that a bit has been added!The point was made that at that period in history, orphans sent to a farm would often not have been treated well.
When I was but a callow youth - wa'da you mean, I couldn't have been! I, like my mates, spent some time birds' nesting in Watermouth Harbour.
At this time, Monkey Island [Sexton's Burrows*] was home to a large colony of Oyster Catchers. They used to dive bomb a fella when he was near their nests.
As I remember, the most prolific gulls were Common Gulls, the next common were the Lesser and Greater Black Backed, and the least common, the Herring Gulls. How things have changed!
The oyster catchers here are now non-existent, I can't remember the last time I saw a common gull and the black backs are few and far between. But, the herring gulls have taken over. They have the unfortunate habit of taking other gulls' eggs, although most gulls will do this but they seem to be more successful. It just goes to show how the strongest seem to survive, whether it be by driving the other gulls away, or by rubbish dumps, or by pinching your fish 'n' chips. You have to say, as much as I dislike them, they are survivors. Cheers.
*Sexton's Burrows is a narrow rocky peninsular which forms a natural breakwater to the harbour of Watermouth Bay on the North Devon coast.
Shite-hawk [also spelled shitehawk] or shit-hawk or shitty hawk, is a slang name applied to various birds of prey that exhibit scavenging behaviour, originally and primary the black kite, although the term has also been applied to other birds such as the herring gull.
I'd like to point out an error in 'MOVERS AND SHAKERS NO. 68 - Edward Capern' by 'PP of DC'. The writer states that Lady Ilfra Goldberg appeared on Spotlight to talk about Edward Capern;in fact I am the author who appeared on Spotlight.I have just published 'The Postman Poet', ISBN 0951687948, a book about Capern's life, and 'Poems by Edward Capern, Selected by Liz Shakespeare', ISBN 0951687956.
Ilfra Goldberg wrote a biography of Capern eight years ago which is now out of print.
I was in touch with Ilfra throughout the three years I was writing the book and she was looking forward to coming to the book and CD launch in Bideford on March 25th. Sadly she died suddenly and unexpectedly just two weeks before. It is partly in view of this that I would like the article to be corrected, if possible, to save any upset to her family.
With best wishes,Liz Shakespeare
Our apologies for this error. How sad to learn of Ilfra's sudden death.As Editor of the Newsletter, I should not want her family to be upset in any way by the article, which was written and published in good faith.Judie
MOVERS AND SHAKERS NO. 69
Lady Rosamund Christie
Tapeley Park, Instow
1861 - 19 November 1935
A year ago, Judith Adam arranged a visit to Tapeley Park gardens, and a special visit to the house.
Here, we were entertained by Hector Christie, who in his own words sees himself as 'caretaker', not owner of this stately home with its Italianate gardens, and splendid views across the North Devon coast to Lundy.
During his talk, he told us how he'd acquired Tapeley. A builder, Captain William Clevland, who spotted the site through his binoculars whilst sailing up the Torridge estuary, built the original house in 1702. In 1855 it passed to the Christie family by marriage and eventually Hector's aunt, Rosamund Christie, whose father founded the famous opera at Glyndebourne, inherited and ran it frugally until her death in 1988.
She was known fondly by locals for conducting tours with her parrot perched on her head, but as Hector insists, the Christies have always had an unconventional strain. After her death, Hector, aged24, and his younger brother, Gus, inherited between them both Glyndebourne and Tapeley Park.From an early age, Hector showed a passion for farming and football, leaving his more responsible brother, Gus, to run the opera house. Gus still runs Glyndebourne very successfully. As Hector said later, he never regretted his choice as the idea of catering for some of the world's most famous singers would bring him out in spots!
He also mentioned an earlier Lady Rosamund Christie, his Great Grandmother, for whom he had great admiration. I hope I have her year of birth right as several sites said it was unknown and one even gave it as between 1839 and 1881!
Lady Rosamund was the daughter of Isaac Newton Wallop, 5th Earl of Portsmouth, and his wife Eveline, a Fortescue of Castle Hill, Filleigh. Lady Rosamund first saw Tapeley in 1881. Her home was the splendid stately Eggesford House [which became a ruin, but has sincebeen part restored] so she was not impressed, writing in her diary:
"When I first saw Tapeley it was the winter of 1881 before my marriage to Augustus Langham Christie.It was a Georgian stucco house, very plain and dreary in appearance, for many of the front windows had been blocked [to avoid the window tax presumably] and the sunk apertures painted black with half drawn paint blinds, cord and tassels, looked very dull. The terrace walk and garden did not exist and the drive pproached between iron railings".
Augustus and Rosamund were married in 1882, but after only 3 months of marriage, she banished him to one of his other properties, Saunton Court, because, according to Hector, "He used to kick the furniture with his hobnailed boots" - presumably if something had upset him.
She began to transform Tapeley, hiring a well-known architect, John Belcher to advise her on re-modelling the house in Queen Anne style. He had designed many London projects, including the Mappin and Webb building. The white stucco was removed to reveal the red brick exterior, and the porticos and pediment added. The Dairy was restored and the beautiful Italian Garden dug out. Because work was paid for out of her housekeeping, the project lasted from1894 to 1916, but the professional relationship between Lady Rosamund and John Belcher remained a good one, and after his death she hada plaque put on the wall in his memory.
To the interior was added a grand staircase, whilst several good fireplaces and plaster ceilings were retained. As an admirer of William Morris, she spent her life bargain hunting at auctions with the result that Tapeley housed the second largest collection of William Morris furniture in the country and her searches led her to become especially friendly with Morris's chief craftsman, George Jack.
Her husband Augustus died in 1930 and as an act of revenge against his wife he bequeathed his estates to a distant cousin in Canada, cutting out their son John. Rosamund overturned the will in court on the grounds of his unsound mind when he made the will.
She died on 19th November 1935, having achieved a remarkable success of Tapeley house and gardens.
Lady Rosamund Christie
The gardens are open now until October 30th, and are well worth a visit to see the formal and informal terraces, the walled kitchen garden and the permaculture garden planted with companion plants for vegetables and fruit and using no chemical fertiliser, herbicides or pesticides. Dogs on leads are welcome.
The house is open only for 20 or more visitors and has to be booked at least three weeks in advance, but is a good chance to find out more of the history and see some of the remarkable pieces of William Morris furniture. All information is available on the Tapeley website, including outdoor performances of Pride and Prejudice in June and Peter Pan in August. Enjoy!
SPRING AND SUMMER FORAGING
In the previous foraging article I mentioned wild foods from fields, woods and hedgerows. This time I'd like to cover Lee stream, as I shall refer to it, down to Watermouth Harbour and the seashore beyond. As there are very few edible plants that grow in, or by, our stream, this one will cover flora and fauna. We have several different springs that feed the main stream before it gets to South Lee.
The furthest from the sea starts just before the road at Lynton Cross and the next at Bodstone Gullies, near Berrydown Cross along with Rectory Stream heading almost down from Rockville, now known as Buddicombe and not forgetting the Cockhill and Lower Rows springs.
As a boy, I explored almost every yard of these waterways and I do remember the odd watercress bed, but if you wish to pick watercress, it must come from a clean running water source free from all livestock.
This so called modern superfood, which is very high in vitamin C, has been used for hundreds of years to pepper up pottage and stews. Today we tend to use it as a salad garnish, or make it into a wonderful soup.It's at its best during the spring and summer months.
Another very underrated plant that grows alongside a river or in damp places in the spring is ramsons or wild garlic.The young stems and leaves can be finely chopped and used sparingly to flavour food. I have seen recently on television even the starry white flowers and the little green seed heads used for flavour and decoration.
This might sound like a nature walk, but back to the river!To my knowledge there are three main species of fish in the stream. The first being the freshwater bullhead or miller's thumb. These are non-edible but a favourite of the heron and kingfisher. The second is the freshwater eel. Now Gary mentions his and Mickey Mitcham's tussle with this creature of the deep, in A Potted History of Berrynarbor, but prepared and cooked properly they are good eating and quite a valuable fish.
The third is the brown trout, though why it's called the brown trout, I will never know because it's probably one of our most colourful fish. I first learned to fish for these at the age of nine after watching a Combe Martin lad fishing just below Mill Pond using a method called trotting or free lining, using a small worm and without any weights. Generally, our trout weigh about five ounces, but there are larger fish.
We have also migratory fish entering the stream. Elvers, which I remember congregating under the small harbour bridge in the boatyard at high tides in spring and autumn, later maturing into large freshwater eels. Brook lamprey, a small brown eel like fish the size of a pencil would spawn in groups just below the bridge into Big Meadow, now Watermouth Valley Camping Park. These fish are not for eating.
In the 1960's, just below the entrance bridge to Watermoth Cove, I caught a silver sea trout which was over a foot in length, with beautiful pink flesh, referred to as harvest peal by the fishermen of the Taw and Torridge. I'm sure they could venture further up the stream to spawn, but only as far as Mill Pond weir waterfall and they would also require sunlit gravel beds.
In the summer, at the low water mark on the left hand side of the harbour, is a large sandbar where it was a good place to catch brown sand shrimp wading up past your knees and using a traditional wooden shrimp net. These cooked, peeled and made into buttered potted shrimp are delicious on toast.
On the rocks close by, winkles can be gathered. Although not popular today because they are a bit fiddly, these were collected in large numbers in years gone by. Like all seafood, they contain lots of vitamins and minerals and winkles in particular, iodine, which helped to combat the effects of goitres caused by poor quality well water.
I have eaten most types of shell fish and molluscs, which I enjoy, but limpets I've only tried once! They are like eating an old school rubber! Best to leave them on the rocks!
Large brown edible crab, prawns and the occasional lobster can be found in the gullies and deeper crevices and larger rock pools at very low water tides using a four foot crabbing iron crook and prawn net.The best place for this is Broadsands to Golden Cove but be careful, don't get cut off by the tide!
On most of our steep cliff headlands grows rock samphire which needs simmering for half an hour with a small splash of vinegar before eating. But a caution on gathering this from Shakespeare's King Lear, "It's a dreadful trade". For me marsh samphire is a better plant to pick and eat! You can find this at Crow Point near Braunton, or at Bossington Decoy, West Porlock. Snip the top three inches off the top with scissors, wash with fresh water, steam or boil for only a few minutes and while still hot add butter and pepper. No added salt is needed. Best picking time is June to September.
Finally, I must mention seaweeds. They are such a useful group of plants and can be used in many ways. From fertiliser to beer and glass making, plus culinary use. Once again this 'super food' is being used by celebrity chefs to create something special and charge accordingly!
The four that can be found on our shores are sugar kelp, locally known as 'ore tags'. When cutting these at low water, make sure you pick the small younger fronds. Finely chopped, fresh kelp can be added to salads, fish dishes and omelettes. It can also be added to savoury pies, tarts and even biscuits, as recently seen in a National Trust shop in South Wales!
Carragheen seaweed, is generally found in the deeper rock pools and contains natural vegetable gelatines, used, in its natural state, to thicken soups, stews, jellies and blancmange.
Sea lettuce is a delicate green seaweed, almost cellophane like. Although not plentiful, it can be found at Broadsands and at Lee Bay. It likes sheltered coves. I have never collected or eaten sea lettuce but I
understand it can be deep fried, fresh, in a light tempura batter. Sounds good! I might try that!
Finally, we come to laver. It can be quite plentiful around our coast and best picked off rocks or boulders between low and half tide marks. Love it or loathe it, it's probably the most eaten seaweed in the world. It's picked and eaten from Spain to Shetland, along the west coast, and many other countries in the world too. In Japan and North America, it is called Nori and if you've ever eaten sushi, the dark outer coating of this rice and fish dish is one hundred per cent laver, dried and pressed into paper form. Japan actually imports some laver products from Gower, South Wales. In South Wales it's known and pronounced as Lava Bread. I find their way of cooking it very strong and salty. Once cooked, if you wish it can have some oatmeal added and shaped into flattened cakes, traditionally fried with fresh cockles, bacon and eggs for breakfast, whereas we in North Devon prepare it a little differently.
Our own family way is to wash it thoroughly in fresh water, squeeze almost dry, put it into a very large saucepan. Add a third of a pint of malt vinegar, half a teaspoon of ground white pepper and a knob of butter. Put as much laver in the pan as you can, it will quickly reduce by two thirds, so add some more laver. Cook on a very low simmer, stir regularly. Make sure it doesn't stick to the pan, add a little water if needs be. Cook for an hour and a quarter. When cooked and cold it can be frozen but two heaped dessertspoons served hot with a farmhouse hogs pudding, eggs and bacon on fried bread is as good as it gets! A real North Devon breakfast or 'Food of the Gods'.
Enjoy your foraging!
MEMORIES OF BERRYNARBOR
A friend recently sent me a copy of A Potted History of Berrynarbor which has stirred a host of memories of folk I used to know over the years.
I didn't know Gary Songhurst but I do remember Graham Songhurst in a school group photo taken about 1949 in the big yard at Berry School. I remember his mother, Jill Songhurst, and her Tea Gardens at Pink Heather. She was such a kind lady who cheerfully raised funds for the Tyrrell Hospital League of Friends and campaigned to 'Keep the Tyrrell' when it was threatened with closure in the 60's/70's when the new hospital, NDDH, was planned to replace the North Devon Infirmary and Alexandra Hospital, and smaller hospitals were under threat. Bicclescombe Maternity/Convalescent Home had already closed.
Then memories of Farmer Lerwill, George Hobbs, our postman, and his wife, and Mr. Graves, Miss Parry and the Draper sisters, oh how theysung in their 'own choir' at the back of the church, with the real choir up front in fits of giggles!
I remember one evening service in the 50's, it might have been the Harvest Service, when the Rev. Flamank was hammering home his message from the pulpit when all of a sudden the pulpit gate flew open and he fell down the steps! He wasn't hurt, but I don't know how the choir managed to keep going. The sidesmen, Jim Huxtable [father of Bill and Ivan] of Woolscott Farm, and Len Bowden, and Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Jones and daughter Heather of Crofts Lee, amongst others, tried hard to stifle their laughter. My grandmother, Mrs. Ford, actually chuckled for she was quite a strict person but when taken by surprise she was great fun. Sadly over her last8 or so years she became very difficult - nowadays it would be called Alzheimer's but back then it was senile dementia.
Mrs. Flamank, the Rector's wife, was a lady I shall never forget for her kindness and help. She recognised Gran's behaviour and insisted on getting me help. I joined the Red Cross when Mrs. Blackwell, who lived in Barton Lane, was Commandant of the local branch, and she got me on to First Aid and Home Nursing courses and I gained experience at the Tyrrell. She introduced me to the local golf club and I was taught to play and the SSAFA Health Visitor regularly helped me to get out of the situation at home. There was such a stigma in those days and life was hell for those coping with it. People could be so cruel and unkind to Gran - they were not happy years.
Tony's article in the April Newsletter and Paul Swailes' line drawings evoked a host of other thoughts of Hagginton Hill as seen from Barton Lane, the steep gardens and fields leading up to East Hagginton Farm, past Grattons, the woods and after the farm up to Goosewell where I lived with my grandparents. Our cottages were a little way up before a row of cottages, opposite of which was a field where a well provided water to us and East Hagginton.If the summer was hot and water ran short, we had to take buckets down the lane to a pipe coming out of a wall which never ran dry, and carry our water home. The pipe was by the home of Mr. and Mrs. Leworthy and their two sons, Colin and Eric. Next down were Mr. and Mrs. Challacombe and their son Frank, followed by Gordon and Vera Newton and family - Derek, Joan and Bernard. I remember Joan became 'mother' to the family when Vera died.
Tony mentioned his school friends, one being Don Blake, who with his mother and brother Ian, came from Wanstead to next door to us during the late 1930's until after the war. I remember rosy cheeked Mrs. Blake,with Pip the dog, chatting over the garden wall, The cottages had a large, smooth grey slate step and I recall watching the boys and them teaching me snail racing. We had a Pekinese dog that slept on my pram but was not so popular with folk who wanted to see 'Ruth's little girl'. I was very upset years later when Babe was run over. Gran refused to have another dog. Grampy had his dog, Towser, and his ferrets out in the back shed. But I went twenty years before I had my big dog. During my late teens I had a black cat called Sooty that from Mrs. Lilian Huxtable at 37 the Village, mother of Betty and John, they were older than me and very kind. But Sooty was a wanderer and he sometimes didn't return home for days. A good 'mouser' he would go over the fields and bring home all manner of prey.
Returning to the Blake family, I still have the book they gave me in 1947 - Birds, Trees and Flowers. I remember the bright yellow covered National Geographical magazines, Mrs. Blake was a great part of my young life but it was shock and sadness when she died and Gran lost a friend. The boys kept in touch over the years, The last time I saw Don was in the mid 70's. We lost touch but at the end of the 80's/90, I met a young man on a course called Andrew Blake and it turned out to be Ian's son. Andrew was looking for a career change and left to go to New Zealand. The Blake's were good people.
Sheila Twose - Torquay
ILFRACOMBE FLOWER CLUB
A very big thank you to all who supported our fund raising event in the Manor Hall.
We made £500 - a fantastic amount and more that we had hoped. Thank you to all those who donated raffle prizes, plants, cakes, etc.
We'll be having another fun-raising do in the autumn, a Quiz at the George and Dragon, Ilfracombe - date to be confirmed.
Our next demonstration will be in September, so enjoy the summer break!
OLD BERRYNARBOR - NO. 167
Sports at Woolacombe
Although not Berrynarbor, I thought these views depicting tennis and rounders at the start of the last century, were appropriate with the summer sports season underway and Wimbledon in early July.
The first postcard was published by the Knight Collection c1906-8 and shows tennis being played. Today, the Barton Pharmacy stands on the rounded corner site. The spectators, mainly ladies in long dresses and hats, are peering over the wooden fence surround.
The second postcard, printed in Saxony [Germany] c1903 by Stengel & Co. clearly shows the position of the tennis courts and The Parade. The postcard has been published by F. Beer of the Post Office and Library at Woolcombe, and has aJuly 15 1909 Woolacombe postmark.
The third postcard shows "Rounders" being played on the beach and has a January 4 1909 Woolacombe postmark. Note the large house on the left with columns, for a short time called White Breakers before reverting to its original name of Parade House. The house was built for Lady Chichester and her daughter Rosalie, who became the sole heir of Arlington Court in 1881 on the death of her father Sir Bruce Chichester.
Rosalie requested to be taken to Parade House where she died in 1949.
Note in the postcard that there are four ladies dressed in white, long dresses who are obviously also playing! Three white bell tents can be seen on the right.
The postcard below shows the 'View from the Golf Links Woolacombe'. This was the sixth of six views of Woolacombe published by William Garratt of Bristol. The Woolacombe Bay Hotel is shown in all its glory!
Tower Cottage, May 2017 e-mail: email@example.com