Edition 17 - April 1992

Artwork by: Helen Armstead

Helen Armstead's delicate drawings - the first swallow, the Light of Easter, the daffodils, primroses and bird's eggs nesting in the clematis montana - and the verse, are all most appropriate for our April/ Easter issue. Thank you, Helen.



On Saturday, 14th March, a very enjoyable evening was held in the Men's Institute, when a snooker competition was run for a Shield given in memory of the Past President, Leonard Bowden. The Shield was presented to the Club by Mr. Brian Dinnicombe, Mr. Bowden's son-in-law. The winner was Gerry Marangone and the runner-up was Matthew Walls. The referee was Vic Cornish.

John Huxtable




The Parish Council has recently deposited, for safe-keeping, in the Archives at the Record Office in Barnstaple, the first edition copy of the Ordnance Survey map of Berrynarbor Parish 1889, together with other documents. The map, which is to a scale of 25" to the mile, may be viewed by contacting the Record Office, but be prepared, it is like a large carpet when unfolded. The Record Office is open from Monday to Friday and the charge is £1.50 [per day's research] or free if you have a letter giving the Parish Council 's agreement to view.





We are sad to report the death of Mrs. Vi Kett on 11th March, at the age of 84.

Vi, her husband Charles, their two sons and Vi's mother, Mrs. Hewison, moved to Berrynarbor from Norfolk in 1965, and lived here for many years. Both Vi and Charles were staunch members of the Church - Charles being Treasurer for several years - and Vi was a founder member of the St. Peter's Guild.

Our sympathies go to her family, especially her sons David and Andrew and her mother, Rebecca.

We are also sad to report the untimely death on 23rd February of Ann [Antje] Haines and our thoughts are with her husband, Richard, and family Jonathan, Antonie and Rachel.

Over the years, many of the young people [and older ones, too] from the village have helped Ann and Richard at Watermouth Castle during the summer season. They, like very many people, knew Ann as a happy, caring, friendly person and will remember her with affection.



We have news of Rebecca [Hewison], now a grand 110 years young. She has recently helped the headteacher and pupils of Welholme School, Grimsby, to celebrate the school's centenary. Rebecca was one of the first pupils and is believed to be the only surviving pupil from those early days. She still remembers being in line for the cane - for being naughty. "I was the naughtiest girl at the school", she confesses!



Apologies for any inconvenience caused by the change in dates for the Mobile Library. Their new calendar is now available and hopefully the dates in the Diary will be correct.

The schedule is:

  • Sandy Cove 11.55 a.m.
  • Barton Lane 1.20 p.m.
  • The Square 1.50 p.m.
  • Sterridge Valley 2.30 p.m. [road works permitting!]




The February meeting saw members enthralled with their trip to Botswana, guided by Kath Arscott and her faithful cameras. The wild life studies were equal to anything seen on television. Everyone is now asking, "Where next Kath?"

Seven members attended a Cookery Demonstration at Braunton, 'Making the Most of one's Food Mixer and Blender', and some worthwhile tips were noted, plus the pleasure of meeting members from other North Devon Institutes .

March was the Thirtieth Birthday of the Institute. Several members had made Victoria sponges for the competition, and offered them afterwards for tea - many thanks to Maggie, Edna, Brenda, Joan, Jean, Betty and Rosemary. A special 'thank you' to Doreen Prater who came along to judge, not an easy task, and the winner, Jean Priest, will now represent us at the Group Meeting. Our speaker, Mrs. Wendy Peacock, was most interesting and made her subject Antiques [silver in this instance] so easy to follow. Afterwards she and her husband looked and gave advice on several items brought along by members.

In July, the Devon W.I. Federation are holding a Summer Festival at Blundells School, Tiverton. We are hoping to organise a coach trip on the 22nd, so please make a note of the date - family and friends welcome.

May I take this opportunity on behalf of all the members to wish everyone a very happy Easter.

Vi Kingdon - President

Post-winter blues - the news, oh so depressing,
Maybe now is the time to start counting our blessings,
Be glad that the birds are back for Spring,
To hear once again the songs that they sing.



Best wishes to Mary Hughes, Sylvia Cataldo and Alan Prater following their recent stays in hospital. We hope you will soon be feeling very much better.



A little known fact about our esteemed Newsletter Editor is her passion for smart green jumpers - and we're not talking about clothes.

Judie collects green frogs indeed, the Weedon house-hold is a veritable lillypad, sporting over 90 of the little rascals in the form of mugs, tea-towels, clocks and bookends. Marble frogs, enamel frogs, plastic frogs - you name it, it croaks!

"I've been collecting them now for about 10 years " says Judie.

"Ever since I heard the silly joke about the wide mouthed frog!"

She added, however, that though the inanimate version is very cute - the real thing holds little charm for her, neither is she partial to frogs' legs.

Judie leaps at the chance to widen her collection and 'hops' to have over 100 before very long.

If you have an unusual collection or hobby, the Newsletter would love to hear from you.

Katie Jones


Pictured above - some of Judie's collection from as far afield as Africa, Holland & USA.

Illustration by: Debbie Cook.



Early Wasp

Along the window ledge, a wasp
still winter-numb, crawls languidly,
not as in summer, when buzzing angrily
he flies about my head, competing
for the juicy peach I am eating.
I view him now with different eyes,
greeting him with pleased surprise
as a first sign of spring,
his gauzy wings outstretched,
his golden body, etched
with black, tiered like a Chinese tower,
his sting with its latent power.
Now he crawls along the sun-warmed board
harmless as a sheathed sword. 

Christina Rainsford

Illustrated by: Debbie Cook


Artwork: Helen Armstead


Christians Together

Wed 1st April7.20 p.m.Baptist Church, Combe Martin
Fri 3rd April3.00 p.m.Parish Church
Wed 8th April7.00 p.m.Parish Church, Combe Martin
Fri 10th April3.00 p.m.United Reformed Church
Wed 15th April7.00 p.m.Methodist Church, Combe Martin
Good Friday10.a.m.Stations of the Cross in the Roman Catholic Church, Combe Martin, & Procession down to Seaside.
Sun 26th April6.30 p.m.Roman Catholic Church, Combe Martin

Tuesday, 24th May
Rogation Blessing of the Countryside by car: leaving from Berrynarbor and stopping here and there for devotions.

Please ring Wardens for further information and transport.

Annual Parochial Church Meeting

Mrs. M Tucker [Churchwarden] , Mrs. B. Davis [Churchwarden and Treasurer), Mrs. M. E. Andrews [Parochial Church Council Secretary] and Mr. C.D. Collins [Vice-ChairmanJ, together with the other Officers and Official, were warmly thanked for a year's hard and successful work, and, together with the Parochial Church Councillors, agreed to serve for another year.

The fabric report gave details of the work recently carried out on the Church and it's grounds including:

the re-roofing and re-leading of the tower and the painting of the flagpole; reconditioning of the stonework, leading and glass of windows; fitting of automatic winder and overhauling the clock; Rentokil treatment of many of the timbers; the refurbishment of chairs and footstools, hassocks and kneelers and other furniture in the Sanctuary, Vestry and Ladychapel. A memorial plaque to Mrs. Snell has been placed on the north wall of the Chancel and work has also been carried out on the lychgate, adjoining walls and the path, and a handrail fitted next to the south porch.

There are still some outstanding repairs and the Rector, Churchwardens and Councillors hope that residents take note of the hard work that hasd been done on their behalf and that they will contribute willingly to the maintenance of the fabric of St. Peter's, and to the spiritual work and witness centred on the Church.

Preb. Eppingstone


Come along to an Easter Coffee Morning and Bonnet Parade

10.30 - 12.00 NOON

Everyone is invited to make an Easter Bonnet
[a prize for everyone]

In aid of Berrynarbor Playgroup & Youth Club



Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


Congratulations to Peter and Mary Jane Newell on the birth of their baby daughter, Amy, a sister for Paul and Sam.


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


The February issue described "The Cottage, Berrynarbor" now known as the Old Court, and mentioned that at the time of the Watermouth Estate Sale in 1920, Mrs. Harris and her daughter were in residence.

The picture below, taken between 1906 and 1919 [can anyone pin-point a date?] by Phillipse & Lees of Ilfracombe, shows Miss Harris with members of her dancing class outside the west-facing front of The Cottage.

  • Back Row: Willy Harding, Rosie Bray, Fred Ley, Annie Ley, Jim Ley, Vida Squire, Ern Richards, Emmie Hicks, Bert Hicks, Bessie Harding, Arch Richards
  • Seated: Reg Huxtable, Edie Ley, ? , Miss Harris, Bessie Bowden, Archie Harding
  • Front Row: Rosie Huxtable, Fred Richards, ?, Walter Snell, Mabel Snell, Willy Nichols, Hettie Bowden.

Unfortunately, it has not been possible to identify two of the young ladies. If you can help by naming either the lady in the large and fetching hat sitting beside Miss Harris, or the young lady in the front row with her hands clasped, I should be delighted to hear from you.

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage, April 1992

See the responses to Tom's enquiry in Edition 18 here.




Artwork: Peter Rothwell


Due to popular demand, the live band 'PANIK' will again be performing at The Sawmills, on Friday, 10th April. As usual, the band consists of professional musicians from top bands such as 'The Kinks'. Come early to get a good seat. Admission free!

The Christmas Party held for the children from Berrynarbor School was a huge success. The food, entertainment and presents were partly funded by raffles and draws held throughout the year. For the children's pleasure, we intend to do the same for them this coming Christmas The fund-raising starts NOW with the Easter Draw, which will take place at approximately 9.30 p.m. on Friday, 17th April [Good Friday]. Please give generously in any way you can throughout the year - your contributions will help to make the children's Christmas a happy one.

* All money received goes towards the party *

The family and staff at The Sawmills, would like to wish Barry Kift and Christine Rumson all the best for their wedding on 16th May - and our best wishes, too


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


  • 1 lb almond paste
  • 8 oz plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 8 oz currants, cleaned
  • 4 oz sultanas, cleaned
  • 3 oz chopped mixed peel
  • 4 oz glace cherries, quartered
  • 6 oz butter
  • 6 oz caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • Milk to mix [if required]
  • Egg white or apricot glaze

Grease and line a 7" cake tin. Shape 1/3rd of the almond paste into a round slightly smaller than the cake tin. Sift together the flour, salt and spices.

Mix the currants, sultanas, peel and cherries.

Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy, then beat in the eggs, one at a time. Fold in the flour mixture, adding a little milk, if required, to give a dropping consistency. Fold in the fruit.

Put half the mixture into the prepared tin and place the round of almond paste on top. Cover with the rest of the mixture, spreading it evenly. Bake in a preheated cool oven [150C/300F, Gas 2] for to 2 and 1/2 to 3 hours, until the cake is a rich brown and firm to the touch.

From half the remaining paste, shape eleven small balls. Shape the rest into a round to fit the top of the cake. Brush the top surface with egg white or apricot glaze and place the almond paste round in position. Smooth it slightly with a rolling pin and pinch the edges into scallops with finger and thumb. Score the surface with a knife. Arrange the almost paste balls around the edge and, if like for extra glaze, brush the whole with egg white. Grill until light golden brown, and finish with a ribbon and a bow when cold.

Simnel Cake used to be served only on Mother' s Day, but is now more often associated with Easter Sunday.


Kitchen Alchemy


I should wear a long black robe
and a tall and pointed hat,
Iike the alchemists of old
in their eager search for gold,
muttering weird incantations
for their secret transmutations
of this substance into that.
For I feel akin to them
when ingredients I take
to my complete surprise
become a cake!




A Coffee Morning will be held at the Manor Hall on Election Day, Thursday, 9th April, from 10.00 a.m. to 12.00 noon. Cake Stall, Bring-and-Buy and Draw. proceeds in aid of Church Funds.


Artwork: Paul Swailes


Residents are invited to the Annual General Meeting to be held in the Manor Hall at 7.30 p.m. on Tuesday, 7th April. Anyone interested in becoming a member of the Committee, please contact Vi Davies [882696].



Garden and Home Maintenance

Reliable, experienced workman welcomes grasscutting, painting, and home maintenance. Also repairs, carpentry and woodturning.

No job too small. Tel: 883806 or call at 15 Hagginton Hill, Berrynarbor.

[References available if required]



Like pomanders, tussie mussies were originally carried to ward off the evils of infection, and were made of sweet- smelling herbs. The name 'tussle mussie' goes back to at least the early 1400' s - "Tyte Tust or tusmose of flowers and other herbs".

They are similar to the nosegays carried by judges and Colonial women often carried them to Sunday Meetings. In Victorian times, they were used to send messages with flowers, and they are still popular today, both here and in America, in the form of small flower arrangements given as gifts. They can be made of fresh or dried flowers and foliage, using as many sweet-smelling herbs as possible.

To make a tussie mussie

Take a rosebud [I] and arrange round it a frill of feathery leaves - lad's love [II] and tie together with one end of a ball of wool. Surround it with circles of thyme or marjoram, then spikes of rosemary and lavender (III & IV], securing each ring with the wool. Continue until it is the size and shape needed and looks like a Victorian nosegay. Surround it with a collar of well-shaped stiff leaves [V] - e.g. sage, geranium] and tie the wool neatly.

No two tussie mussies are ever alike, either in smell or looks, even when made by the same person from identical ingredients. This is their charm.

  Illustrated by: Paul Swailes



  1. 21.
  2. USSR, Canada, China, USA, Brazil.
  3. Marylebone, Fenchurch Street, Kings Cross, Liverpool Street.
  4. 15.
  5. 6.
    1. Ale.
    2. Guiness.
    3. Lager.
    4. Claret.
    5. Stout.
    6. Pernod.
  6. Last name in the London telephone directory.
  7. Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield.
    1. Silver.
    2. Ruby.
    3. Diamond.
  8. 28.
  9. 66.
    1. Waitress.
    2. Families.
    3. Steamer.
  10. India.
  11. London telephone exchanges.
  12. Pigs.



"All suddenly the wind comes soft and Spring is here again;
And the hawthorn quickens with buds of green..."

Rupert Brooke

On a mild but damp afternoon in mid-March, we followed the course of the River Sterridge, through the section of forest reached by way of the entrance at the first hairpin bend, just beyond Harper's Mill.

Parsley fern grew by the bridge. A tree creeper was spiralling around a tree trunk, ascending rapidly searching the bark for insects and grubs with its beak. The mouselike, streaky brown bird [with silvery white plumage underneath] would plummet suddenly to quickly reappear on a neighbouring tree trunk.

Wellington boots are essential on this walk as it is boggy in places and there is a certain amount of ducking beneath and clambering over fallen trees. But the Sterridge looks very picturesque here.

Moss was everywhere, covering the boulders and rocks at the edge of the river; tree trunks and fallen branches were clad with it. It came in a great variety of forms; some star-shaped, some lacy, others looking like tiny feathery ferns. In places along its route, the river divides in two and where it reunites there are little sparkling waterfalls.

At the base of some of the trees grew one of the most appealing of early spring flowers - wood sorrel, with bright green shamrock leaves and delicate white flowers ; the petals faintly veined in pinkish grey.

On some damp, decaying branches, we found neat, scarlet cup fungus, peziza coccinea - the only vivid colour among all this lush verdancy.

As we made our way back towards the road, a party of long tailed tits made its presence known by a lot of frenetic activity and tsirrupping trills of sound. The long black and white tail accounts for three inches of this pretty bird's five-and-a-half inch length. The small round body is mainly pink - the head is white with bold black stripes above the eyes. The young of the first brood co-operate in helping their parents rear the second brood. The birds disappeared as suddenly as they had arrived. On the way home we paused to watch the colony of rabbits in the field next to Pink Heather.

Sue H



Sadly, no-one has recorded further sightings of kingfishers, but Kath Arscott reports that she recently saw a Dipper standing on a stone in the stream at Middle Lee.

Dippers are comparatively rare and are usually found by fast-running streams. The idea that they defy the laws of gravity and walk along the bottom of streams has been ridiculed, but naturalists have proved that when the bird walks upstream with its head down looking for food, the force of a fast current against its slanting back keeps it on the bottom. However, it is more likely to be seen entering the water either by wading or diving, or swimming buoyantly on the surface.



1stSouth Molton Recycling.
3rdto 4th. Betty Blackmore's Show, 7.30 p.m. Pavilion, Ifracombe
5thPassion Sunday, Eucharist, 10.30 a.m.
7thW.I. Meeting: Mrs. Skinner - Home Economics.
Manor Hall Management Committee A.G.M., 7.30 p.m.
8thMobile Library in Village from 11.55 a.m.
9thElection Day. St. Peter's Church Coffee Morning, Manor Hall, 10.00 - 12.00 noon.
U3A Luncheon, Granville Hotel, Ilfracombe - Mrs. Elinor Taylor, "Look, Hear"
10thSchool & College break up for Easter,
'Panik' at the Sawmills!
12thPalm Sunday, Eucharist, 10.30 a.m. [Distribution of palm crosses]
13th Yogi Bear [children's show], 1.30 and 4.00 p.m., Pavilion Theatre, Ilfracombe.
14thParish Council Meeting, 7.30 p.m.
15thWine Appreciation Group [last for winter]: Wines for Summer Drinking from Augustus Barnett, introduced by Ivor Francis. Contribution £3.00.
16thMaundy Thursday, Holy Communion, 7.00 p.m.
17thGood Friday: Service 2.00 to 3.00 p.m. St. Peter's
18thHoly Saturday: Combe Martin Parish Church, 7.30 p.m. Service of Light & Blessing of Paschal Candles
18thto 22nd ATTCO's Easter Show, pavilion Theatre, Ilfracombe [in aid of brain injured children]
19thEaster Sunday Holy Communion 8.00 a.m. Eucharist 10.30 a.m., Evensong 6.30 p.m. Combe Martin
20thEaster Monday
22ndMobile Library in Village from 11.55 a.m.
26thLow Sunday: Combe Martin Roman Catholic Church, 6.30 p.m.
27thW.I. Group Meeting, Kentisbury, 7.30 p.m.
28thSchool and College: Start of Summer Term
4thMay Bank Holiday
5thW. I. Resolutions - General Discussion
6thSouth Molton Recycling. Mobile Library Village from 11.55 a.m.
12thParish Council Meeting, 7.30 p.m.
14thU3A Luncheon, Torrs Hotel, Lynmouth - Sir Niall Campbell of Barcaldine and Glenure, "Murder in the Families"
20thMobile Library in Village from 11.55 a.m.
24thRogation Sunday: Eucharist, 10.30 a.m.
25thto 29th Half-Term for School & College
28thAscension Day: Holy Communion, 10.00 a.m.
31stEucharist, 10.30 a.m.
Confirmation at West Down Parish Church, 6.30 p.m. - everyone welcome.
2ndW.I. Meeting: Gardening Year at St. John's - Miss L. Dark
3rdSouth Molton Recycling. Mobile Library in Village from 11.55 a.m.


Artwork: Judie Weedon


My sincere thanks to Graham and Maureen and Sue and Melvyn for continuing to deliver the newsletter for us [and also for 'pushing' the collecting boxes which have produced a nice bit of extra income to help cover the costs].

For anyone not having their papers delivered, extra copies are always available, from the 1st of the month of issue, at the Post Office, the Butchers, Sawmills, the Globe and Meakings in Combe Martin, or from Chicane.

I am also very grateful to the many people who fill me in with snippets of news!

A very big thank you, too, to our artists - Helen Armstead, Debbie Cook and Paul Swailes - whose talented work has enhanced this and previous issues and will, hopefully, continue to do so.

Now we have the artists/ illustrators, how about the writers/ authors? Please see if YOU could put pen to paper and tell us of your hobbies, holidays, humorous happenings, or share a tasty recipe, gardening tip or your favourite poem. Please pop contributions for the June Issue in the box at the Post Office [or direct to Chicane] by mid-May at the latest.