Edition 170 - October 2017

Photo: www.airnetwork.uk [by permission]

As the weather has been so inclement.
As my last pair of Y-fronts fail to dry on the washing line.
As the humidity levels rise to 90+
And as my weary, old and damp bones cry out for sun.
I send you this photo...
'Storm Clouds over Berrynarbor'


Artwork: Judie Weedon


Looking back at the issues of ten and twenty years ago, some things never change!

In 2007, we were again complaining of a wet summer but unlike today, as I write this we are having torrential rain, we enjoyed a warm and sunny September!

In 1997, you did not have to suffer a message from the editor! We were sadly paying tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales, as we have been this year, 20 years after her death. Our W.I., under Vi Kingdon's Presidency, were enjoying their monthly meetings; Dave Beagley was baffling us with his Crossword; the Wine Circle was about to have a taste of Rioja, presented by Tony Summers; AA of BL had landed safely after her intrepid sky dive; 'Farewell to Hong Kong' was the theme for the Globe [village] float, winning 1st in Class and Best Overall at both Ilfracombe and Barnstaple Carnivals, and Tom told us about the Harvest Festival of the 1st October 1949. PP of DC had not embarked on her Movers and Shakers but told us about A Bit Of Hungarian Slap & Tickle! Also included were News from the Church, Letter from our Rector, Keith, Reports from the Parish Council and Manor Hall, and the Local Walker took us to the White House on Horsey Island . . . things don't change!

My usual thanks to everyone who has contributed to this issue, happiness in your new homes to all arrivals and departures, and get well soon messages for those not feeling at their best just now.

The next issue will be December and Christmas - can it be here again so soon? Items for inclusion will be needed by Wednesday, 8th November and don't forget, your Christmas message in the Newsletter will also be needed by that date. Thank you and best wishes,

Judie - Ed


Artwork: Paul Swailes


Welcome back to all our term-time-only users. We are very pleased to have had the new lights installed and hope you all agree they make the hall a brighter and nicer place to be. Further works will allow the lights to be fully dimmable and this will take place shortly.Repairs to the main hall roof will be carried out over the coming weeks - apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Many of you may already know that Len Narborough has stepped down from the position of Chair. Len has put in a tremendous amount of time and effort on behalf of the Manor Hall and has been instrumental in making some much needed changes to the way things are done and for the future of the hall itself, spear-heading the need for funds and securing funding from Awards 4 All, Fullabrook CIC, Berrynarbor Parish Council and North Devon District Council. He has also acted as the first point of call for any day-to-day problems and has even turned his hand to a bit of drain clearing on behalf of the hall, so a huge thank you to Len for all his hard work. Thanks must also go to Andy Bird who stepped down from the Trustees in August. Andy has spent copious amounts of time

overhauling health and safety at the hall and contributing to funding applications.

We are very pleased to have co-opted some new Trustees, so a very warm welcome to Alan Hamilton and Phil Crompton, who both live in the Sterridge Valley, and to Martin Johns from Hagginton Hill. We are delighted to have some more new faces and look forward to their support to help to continue to improve our lovely hall.

And, finally, we are looking to organise some new events over the coming months, hoping to arrange a few dates for events that are general socials as well as raising a few more pennies for the hall and our other great village groups. It would be lovely to hear from you if there are events you would like to see at the hall that have not previously been arranged, but think would be popular.

Many thanks for your continued support.

The Manor Hall Trustees

Current Trustees:

  • Acting Chairman: Julia Fairchild [882783]
  • Secretary: Natalie Stanbury [882252]
  • Bookings: Alison Sharples [882782]
  • Louise Baddick, Jim Constantine, Karen Coppin [Treasurer],
  • Phil Crompton, Alan Hamilton, Martin Johns, Len Narborough, Denny Reynolds


Artwork: Helen Armstead


As mentioned in the August edition of the Newsletter, we have been welcoming visitors to our church services from this country and overseas. We are not only delighted that this has continued, but from our Church Visitors Book it is clear to see other visitors' comments relating to the beauty of St. Peter's, many of whom have travelled from Canada, America, Australia, New Zealand and other European countries.

On a more pressing note, we are currently in contact with many charitable organisations in an effort to obtain grants for the repair of the church roof, reinstatement of associated masonry and some areas of cast iron guttering which urgently need attention. This has been a long process and we hope that we shall be successful in the not too distant future, and that work can finally begin in earnest!

Michael Rogers, Bill Cole and George Billington continue to take our services with weddings, funerals and baptisms predominant over the last couple of months. We offer our thanks to them all and to the flower team and church cleaning ladies who make the church look so beautiful.

Some great news from our Bellringers! At the Combe Martin Carnivalwith ten bell-ringers and helpers, their float [which depicted our church complete with weather vane and fox] achieved 1st place in the Out of Town category! The bells were in 'mini-ring' mode, all complete with a sign directing everyone to The Globe pub!

As if that were not enough, at the Ilfracombe Carnival on the Sunday of the August Bank Holiday week-end, they did it all over again! This time they won Best Carnival Float and Out of Town Cups with huge support from a combined total of 14 bell-ringers, helpers and children!

So! Huge congratulations to them all especially to all those who helped build the float and not least to Richard Gingell who drove the towing tractor at both events.

It was with much sadness that we learnt of the passing of Joan Berry, one of our regular churchgoers over many years, who spent her remaining days in failing health at Lee Lodge. It is yet another sad blow for Simon who lost his dear Sue only a short while ago and we send our thoughts and prayers to him and the wider family at this time.

Our Harvest Service will be held on Sunday 1st October at 11.00 a.m. and our Harvest Supper on Wednesday 4th October 6.30 for 7.00 p.m. There will be a special combined Music and Quiz competition following the supper, which should be a great deal of fun! Tickets, priced £6.00 to include the super buffet and first drink, will be available from the Shop and Post Office and members of the PCC Committee.

Remembrance Sunday is on the 11th of November with the service commencing promptly at 10.45 a.m. in church, followed by the two-minute Silence by the War Memorial at 11.00 a.m.

And now, leading up to Christmas, which may seem early, but put the dates in your diaries and on your calendars! This year we have pleasure in inviting the Exmoor Carolers to Berrynarbor Church for their jolly renditions of Traditional and Folk Carols on Sunday 10th December commencing at 4.00 p.m. If you haven't seen and heard these Carolers before, do not miss this event! Tickets are £7.50 and will include mulled wine and mince pies following the performance.

A first for Berrynarbor School will be an evening walk around the village with candles and carol singing on Wednesday, 13th December, when they will visit as many residents as possible.

Our Christmas Carol Service, as usual with Berrynarbor School, will be held on Monday, 18th December, commencing at 5.45 p.m. for the younger ones with their carols and songs celebrating the Nativity,followed at 6.30 p.m. by the main Carol Service. This service is usually held on the last Wednesday before Christmas, however, with the School breaking up earlier it was decided to bring the service forward.

More details about all the above celebrations will be included in the December Newsletter.

Our services for October and November will follow the normal pattern commencing at 11.00 a.m.

  • 1st Sunday - Village Service
  • 2nd Sunday - Holy Communion
  • 3rd Sunday - Songs of Praise
  • 4th Sunday - Holy Communion

Please note that on the 5th Sunday in October there will be a Joint Service held at St. Peter's Church, Combe Martin, commencing at 9.30 a.m.

Friendship Lunches will be held on the last Wednesday of the month in October and November, but due to the many other Christmas events, there will not be a Lunch in December.

Illustration by: Paul Swailes

Stuart Neale





It was with sadness we learnt that Joan had passed away at Lee Lodge on the 29th July, just a month after her 93rd birthday, and our thoughts are with all her family at this sad time.

Joan will be fondly remembered as a kind, warm and caring person and will be much missed.

Joan was born in Bedlington in Northumberland on the 21st June 1924. Her father, Thomas, was a coal miner who sadly suffered from being gassed in the First World War, although he somehow managed to carry on working in the mines. It is believed that her mother, Florence, was in service for the local doctor. The family later moved to Washington in County Durham.

Joan had an older brother, George, and a younger brother, Jack, followed by a sister, Marjorie. Marjorie was able to attend the funeral service on the 8th August, along with Joan's daughter Patricia and grandson Ewen, who both flew over from Australia.

During the Second World War, Joan was called up to serve in the Army, serving at Chilwell Army Camp near Nottingham. Whilst there, she made friends with a girl from London who invited her to stay with her at her parents' home when they had leave. Unbeknown to Joan, a blind date was arranged and this turned out to be William Berry, Bill, who became her husband, marrying in Holy Trinity Church Washington on the 19th June 1948.

After serving with the Signals Branch of the Army during the War, Bill joined the newly-formed communications branch of the Foreign Office and he and Joan were soon on their way to his first posting in Trieste. During this posting, in 1949, Patricia [Trish] was born, and in 1955 during a posting in Jordan, a second daughter, Susan, was born. Over the years they travelled to many different parts of the world but when Bill retired, they moved to enjoy a quiet life in the peace of North Devon, here in Berrynarbor. Sadly, after a long illness, Bill passed away in September 1999.

Looked after by Sue and Simon, Joan continued to live in her home on Mill Lane until earlier this year when, due to ill health, she moved in to Lee Lodge.

Joan was, until it ceased in the village, a member of the W.I. and also the Pensioners' Club in Ilfracombe. With her daughter Sue, who sadly died suddenly in May this year, Joan was a regular member of the congregation at St. Peter's Church and was often to be seen making her way up the hill towards the church, whatever the weather, until ill health prevented her.

An independent person who never wanted to put anyone to any inconvenience, Joan was much loved by all who knew her and was the best Mum-in-law that Simon could have wished.

The family would like to say thank you to everyone for all the messages received and for attending Joan's funeral and a special thank you to all the staff at Lee Lodge for the great care and attention they gave Joan during her time there. Simon would like to add his own thanks for their compassion and support during this very difficult time for him.


A sincere thank you to the many kind people of the Berrynarbor area. Peter would not have wished to be outside of this beautiful area he loved so much.

After time spent in hospital, he was placed in a Wellington [Somerset] Nursing Home. Unfortunately all efforts for Peter to be cared for nearer to home did not come to fruition and he was there for a period of two years. His character, energy and love of walking was Peter! Also his interest for others, now so sadly missed.

All donations were credited to Barnardos and gratefully received.

I thank all those who attended Peter's funeral service at Barnstaple Crematorium and our village church in Berrynarbor, where Peter's ashes are now buried.


Helen West


They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We shall remember them.

Laurence Binyon

Ode of Remembrance was published just a few weeks after the First World War began. Binyon was too old to enlist as a soldier, but volunteered in hospitals helping wounded French soldiers.



I recently heard that David, the husband of my good friend Anthea - we met some 60 years ago on a residential secretarial course in Eastbourne - had died following years of poor health. I have admired the way that in spite of health problems, cheerfully they have never let them curtail their lifestyle, enjoying life to the full.

I was moved by the tribute Anthea paid to David on his 80th birthday and again later at his funeral, and felt I should like to share it with you. It is so good to hear praise for our wonderful National Health Service.

For David By Anthea

I won't be here next year,
I fear.
Three heart attacks -
Time left, nine months max.
How silly, they said,
Don't just sit on your arse,
What you need, like Stonehenge,
Is a by-pass.

I won't be here next year,
I fear.
My carotid has a block;
I'm just a poor old crock.
How silly, they said,
Don't sit there pining,
What you need, like your saucepan
, Is some Teflon lining.

I won't be here next year,
I fear.
I'm failing so fast
I can't possibly last.
How silly they said,
You're not being smart.
What you need, like a lettuce,
Is a good heart.

I won't be here next year,
I fear.
I keep falling, it's a pain,
There's water on my brain.
How silly, they said,
Don't get in a flap,
What you need, like your sink,
Is a tap.

I won't be here next year,
I fear.
Crusty lumps on my skin
Mean I'm rotting within.
How silly, they said,
If we have your approval
We'll need, like your bin-men
To arrange for removal.

I won't be here next year,
I fear.
I have problems to pee;
It's curtains for me.
How silly they said,
It wants no analysis,
What you need - three and a half
hours a day, three days a week
Is dialysis.

Forty years on from the very first blip,
That time when your health really started to dip,
We will fix you, they said;
It's not been a picnic, not without stress, but
What a brilliant job from the great NHS.

This problem's too serious
The outlook is bleak
We can't fix him, they said,
He's so fragile and weak, so
Hold his hand, shed a tear,
He won't be here, next year,
We fear.

To be downcast and sad would be totally wrong
Let's raise a loud cheer he was with us so long.

With my love to Anthea and all the family - Judie Weedon



We weren't given much notice. The year was slipping by fast. Already in early June, the Combe Martin Carnival Committee having overcome various problems, finally decided to hold a 2017 carnival after all.

So our local Bell-ringers, always looking to recruit new people, [Ilfracombe and Combe Martin are especially short of ringers] thought this was far too good an opportunity to miss - let's use the village float to promote bellringing as a great social activity for all ages.

Over many long evenings and weekend sessions, a party of Berrynarbor bell-ringers and a few local sympathisers, spent time building a replica church to sit on the back of the float. We decided, of course, to include a pub to show that visits to such establishments were regularly made after our bell ringing sessions! Combe Martin bell-ringers also offered us their large floral bell to display, and we were offered a 'mini ring' and a training bell to help to demonstrate the art.

So after all that hard work how did we do?

Well to date, I am proud to report that we won the Best Topical Float at Combe Martin, and won both the Best in Show Float and Best Out of Town Float at Ilfracombe a couple of weeks later. The very large cups we won are currently on display in the Shop. So we are now planning a hat trick by finishing off with Barnstaple Carnival on the16th September. If we have brought people's attention to the art of bellringing and encouraged some to give it a go, then all the very hard work has been worthwhile.


I should like to give a special mention to the following people who helped to make the float a winner: Rosemary Larkin spent considerable time fashioning our fabulous stained-glass windows, Keith Thomas who made the most detailed fox weathervane for the church tower and the frame and benches for the bell display. The Devon Association of Bell-ringers Chairman, Christine Ley, brought us a banner, hand bells and training bell to display. Ian Avery drove all the way from Kingsteignton with a mini ring of 6 bells - this model demonstrates how bells are hung and rung; Tony Piper from Lynton helped with the float's construction and also acted as our resident clergyman; Richard Gingell who towed us with his shiny tractor and Be and Salah for their help on the day. Thanks, too, to Fenella and John Boxall for their donation of spare wood and use of their barn; Kevin Brooks for his 'church building' skills; Debbie Thomas for her artistic direction, flower arranging and painting skills; Karen Loftus for her painting skills and keeping the Shop going when everyone else was busy floating. And, of course, everyone else who lent a hand and took part. A final mention and, thanks to Jewson's who kindly donated wood for our project.

Patricia Weston




Artwork: Helen Weedon


The subject of my article last autumn was a sycamore leaf I had collected whilst walking through Worlbury woods close to where I live.On returning home, I had studied the leaf whilst reheating my body with a soothing mug of milky coffee. It was at various stages of its seasonal decay, having colours ranging from pale green through to jet black. It no longer had its perfect five-lobed spiky outline and upon its surface I could make out distinct patches that took on the shapes of animals and continents, rather like one observes clouds in the sky.

To some this may sound a peculiar way to spend one's time whilst sipping a hot beverage, but for me it has its benefits.For I was enjoying the moment, in turn preventing me from cogitating over tasks I needed to accomplish that day or ruminate over what had happened yesterday. The future could wait and I could not alter the past.

In this issue I want to broaden the subject to more than just one leaf and include with it the mention of petals;to be precise, those of the cherry blossom tree. One such tree is situated in my neighbours' front garden, and, in spring and autumn especially, is a pleasure to behold. It has characteristics which, alongside the chrysanthemum, make it a national flower of Japan.It is also a Japanese symbol of clouds due to its blooming en masse. It represents mortality as well, its blossom only lasting for a short period and having a liability to change rapidly - especially if strong spring winds and blustery rain showers prevail.

Autumnal winds can also have the same effect on the tree although its more robust leaves can withstand the forces of nature just a little bit longer compared to the delicate blossom petals. A dull shade in overcast weather, the leaves reignite and will absorb a mellow autumn sun when the clouds disperse. However, the cherry tree pales into insignificance when compared to the vibrant seasonal shades of the oak, beech, sweet chestnut and yellow field maple. Indeed, any of these tree species seen en masse provide a stunning scene for the onlooker. Espy as a mixed woodland and the view becomes breathtaking as the observer attempts to take in a host of russet brown, orange, copper, yellow and gold.

For those who seek the best woodlands at this time of year, then the Exploring Woodlands guides, published by Frances Lincoln, are a great help. Some in the series highlight the best woods in southern and southwest England for you to seek out. But for those wishing to stay closer to home, they need only traverse the roads, lanes and paths of North Devon and West Somerset to reap the rewards of this season. Hornet Water, between Dunkery and the sea, is one such place with its cleft boasting the complete set of the aforementioned tree species. But if Exmoor is too far, then perhaps seeking out a row of beech trees stretching up from a Devon hedge bank or a small copse may be within walking distance.Alternatively, a tree of any species might be viewed from one of your own windows, providing an opportunity to observe its subtle transformation. Or if this is not possible, perhaps seeking out one of Halsgrove's books on Exmoor.

Whatever way you choose to enjoy the colours of autumn, hold onto this thought. Although the end of autumn will see the trees bare once more, this is merely Mother Nature's way of resting from her labours since the onset of the snowdrops last February.

Steve McCarthy


Artwork: Paul Swailes


Shop's Basket of Opportunity

Here is a basket of everyday items selected by the Manager at our Village Shop - in fact, there's everything here you need to see you through the day. From shower gel, deodorant, healthy breakfast, mid-morning cuppa and biscuit, help with the household chores, lunch and dinner choices and more besides.

At the time of the Newsletter going to press we compared our prices for these items with that rather large supermarket up on top of the hill in Ilfracombe., and we're embarrassed to say your village shop is more expensive - 14p more expensive! So, for all those of you who can get to Ilfracombe and back [9.4 miles] for less than 14p, you're going to make a killing!

The rest of us will console ourselves with the fact that the cheese, ham, eggs - large and free range too - tea and coffee in this basket are of fantastic quality and from local suppliers. So, for these items our footprint is more like a tiny fingerprint.

Another example of your village shop going the extra mile so you don't have to.

Rotary Mega Draw Tickets now on sale

Don't miss out! Tickets for North Devon Rotary Clubs' mega draw are now available from the village shop. In November, there will be a grand draw night and the winners of dozens of top prizes will be pulled out of the hat. First prize is £300. Now wouldn't that be useful just before Christmas!

Vote for our Village Shop in the Countryside Alliance Award

The 2017 Countryside Alliance Awards, nicknamed the 'Rural Oscars' is now open to public nominations and the Village Shop at Berrynarbor would like as many nominations as possible.

The 13th annual awards will once again give village shops and post offices a platform from which to tell their story, and we shall need your support to help propel us to the top prize!

You can nominate us by sending an email to awards@countryside-alliance.org saying who you are and why you are nominating our shop, whether it's because we have a fabulous range and quality of local produce, inflation-busting special offers, we go the extra mile so you don't have to, or perhaps it's the warm and friendly service you get from those behind the counter or just tell them how important your village Shop and Post Office is to you.

The 2017 Awards will follow the same format as in previous years:

  • September - 12th of November - public nomination via email
  • Regional finalists will be notified in the New Year
  • April - The Grand Final will be held at Parliament. All regional champions will be invited. British Champions will be announced at this event.

For more information see www.countryside-alliance.org/awards.


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


Congratulations to Kirsten and James, who were married at St. Peter's on 5th August. Kirsten is the daughter of Sally and John Baddick of Barton Lane, and James the son of Ken and Hilary Harris from Lincolnshire. Kirsten was attended by her sister Hannah, who was chief bridesmaid, and James's sister Amy. Hannah's son Noah was page boy.

The reception was held at Sandy Cove Hotel and the newly-weds spent their honeymoon at Lake Garda, Italy. Kirsten and James live in Leamington Spa, Kirsten working in the Research Department of Warwick University and James at Jaguar Land Rover.

We wish them both health and happiness in their future together.

Congratulations and best wishes, as well, to Juanita and George Billington who celebrated their Golden Wedding with their family during the week-end of the 19th August.




A Big Thank You to all who entered and supported the Show 2017 held on the 19th August in the Manor Hall.Without you there would not be a Show.

On the day, we covered our costs as well as raising just over £60 for next year. We also raised £47, which we will round up to £50, for the British Heart Foundation on the Charity Section, so a big thank you to those who made a mobile.

We'll soon be planning for next year, so if anyone has any ideas for next year's classes, then please let us know so we can consider them - we are always looking for new ideas.

This year's winners are as follows:

  • Floral Art - The Globe Cup - Sloley Farm
  • Home Cooking - The Walls Cup - Sloley All Stars
  • Handicrafts - The Davis Cup - Mary Gingell
  • Handicrafts - The Watermouth Cup Steph Long
  • Grow Your Own Spud - Kim Beaver
  • Widest Sunflower - Sloley Farm
  • Art - The George Hippisley Cup - Wendy Applegate
  • Photography - The Vi Kingdon Award - Jim Constantine
  • Fruit & Vegetables - The Derrick Kingdon Cup - Tony Summers
  • Potted Plants - The Lethaby Cup - Karen Narborough
  • Cut Flowers - Manor Stores Rose Bowl - Rosie Arnold
  • Best Horticultural Exhibit - The Manor Hall Cup - Tony Summers
  • Best Non-horticultural Exhibit - Ray Ludlow Award - Jim Constantine
  • Best Exhibit on Show Theme - Watermouth Castle Cup - Mary Gingell

Children's Winners
[Cumulative Totals]

  • Under 5 years - The Mayflower Dish - 1stRoxanne Barrow 21 points 2nd Poppy Townsend
  • 6-9 Years - The Wine Goblet - 1st Salah Gingell17 points , 2nd Ruby Barrow 15 points, 3rd = Rosie and May Townsend 10 points
  • 10-13 Years - Men's Institute Cup - 1st Holly Morrish 19 points, 2nd Jasmine Morris17 points, 3rd Ruby Reynolds8 points

The Organising Group would like to congratulate all the winners, thank everyone who took part or helped run the event in any way.

On behalf of those who entered and everyone who came to the Show in the afternoon, a big thank you to Karen and the Organising Group for all their hard work in achieving another first-class show - well done!


Dave Beagley


Solution in Article 21.




'And wine can of their wits the wise beguile, Make the sage frolic and the serious smile,'
Homer, The Odyssey

Some of you will know that although we are only a smallish Devon village, Berrynarbor Wine Circle, BWC, was founded in 1988 and is still going strong. I sense a future celebration ahead! Our new season starts on Wednesday, 18th October and runs to 16th May 2018, so next year's programme will include some additional merriment!

For those of you new to this village, we meet every third Wednesday of the month, but our Christmas event is always on the second Wednesday. Our venue is the Manor Hall and our start time is 8.00 p.m.

We are a happy 'band of travellers', as we sample six wines at every meeting, from far flung points of the globe:the Americas, Europe or Australasia, all for a ridiculously cheap annual registration fee of £5.00 per year, plus the monthly admittance sum of £7.00 per person.In addition to the wines, you can soak up your alcohol intake with bread and cheese and be surrounded by familiar faces or unfamiliar, and, have a great time!What more could you ask for on a Wednesday evening?

Currently, our programme looks like the following:

  • Karen Loftus and Vicki Elden, from our wonderful village shop, present a cheese and wine selection on October 18th.
  • Our 1st professional of this season: Peter Rollinson from Bray Valley Wines, South Molton, will be with us on November 15th.This company has a superb selection.
  • December [13th] is always Committee's Choice. Our six committee members present their choice for your benefit and pleasure. Members supply a superb spread, usually a three-course meal.
  • Call My Wine Bluff based on the BBC programme Call My Bluff is our usual topic for our January [17th] tastings. Three committee members present six wines and we have to guess who is telling the truth!
  • February, March and April are still under discussion; however, a well-known Roscoff, Brittany, wine supermarket is interested in presenting wines from their vast selection during this period. A convenient date for their ferry travel is awaited.
  • Nigel Pound, of Totnes Wines makes a very popular re-appearance for our May event.

We believe we have compiled an enjoyable programme for the masses!Our village hall is a great space, so, on behalf of BWC, I look forward to seeing friends, after a 'summer recess', and greeting many new ones.

Judith Adam - Secretary and Promotional Co-ordinator




The new school year is now well under way. Last September we welcomed 9 girls and 4 boys into the Reception Class. This year the tables have turned and we have welcomed in 3 girls and 9 boys. What a difference a year makes!

They are settling in to school routines and enjoying their topic of Once Upon a Time, along with the children in Year 1. Many of them have an older sibling further up the school and, at least one, a parent who attended the school when they were young.

The Junior aged children in Classes 3 and 4 had their usual night out camping in the first week of term. Blueberry Class camped at Watermouth Cove and were very glad of their food marquee when the rain set in. It made a cosy venue to sit and chat during the evening. Elderberry class went to Stowford for their Wild Night Out. It certainly lived up to its name with the wind and rain. After a late settling down for the night, the torrential rain and distant rumbles of thunder woke everyone at around 4.00 a.m. so there were not many hours of sleep for anyone! Thankfully, they had the weekend to recover and dry out.

Year 6, our oldest children, have a few interesting events planned this term from Creative and Problem Solving at West Buckland, to The Big Bang at Torrington School.

We also have a few PTFA events on the calendar, such as a Treasure Hunt at Watermouth Castle and a Movie Night that all the children will be able to enjoy and we're planning ahead for Christmas already. This year we hope to invite members of the community to join us for a Walking Nativity around the village.  Please look out for posters nearer the time.

Sue Carey - Headteacher




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.

If you would like to book a place for your child/children then please visit us or call us on our Telephone No. 07932 851052 or email preschoolberrynarbor@gmail.com for more information.

Our opening times are 8.30am - 4.00pm Monday to Friday. We are flexible with sessions to meet your needs and these are given in the Manor Hall Diary later in this Newsletter.

We are Ofsted registered and in receipt of the 2 year old funding and Early Years Entitlement. We are offering 30 hours free childcare to eligible families. Further information in regards to this funding can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/30-hours-free-childcare-eligibility

This year's Committee AGM will be held on Monday 2nd October, at 7.00 p.m.in the Pre-school.

Without your input or support preschool cannot open or provide a service.

Autumn Term

Our autumn term has got off to a good start with children excited to learn, make new friends and share their play ideas.

Our Topics of Learning for this term have started with a settling in period, making new friends and learning about people who help us. We have discussed and learnt our Pre-school rules, what we can and can't do as well as how to stay safe. We have worked around stories such as Little Blue Tractor, Gruffalo, Fireman Sam and Octonauts.

We have observed the changes in our season from summer to autumn and have talked about animals that hibernate and how farmers look after their animals. We are hoping to explore our environment by going on nature walks around the village, continue to look after our garden and we have harvested our runner beans!

Later in the term we shall be practising those seasonal songs in readiness for a short performance to celebrate Christmas on Thursday, 7th December. 2.00 to 3.00 p.m. in the Manor Hall.

Clothes Recycling

Bag2School will be collecting from the Pre-school on Tuesday, 17th October. Please bring your filled bag [or bags!] to the Pre-school before this date and help us have a really good collection.More bags are

available at Pre-school, so please tell your family and friends and have a good sort out of your wardrobes and drawers and raise money at the same time for our Pre-school.

In our last clothes collection, we raised £100 which went towards resources and activities for the children.

Used ink cartridges

We are still collecting used ink cartridges. Exclusions apply, so please see the box at preschool. We can get as much as £1 per ink cartridge!! So, if you have any used ink cartridges that are accepted, please place them in the box at Pre-school. We are also registered to accept LaserJet ink cartridges, so if you use them in your work place, we should be grateful to recycle them and fundraise at the same time.

Please tell your friends and family about our two recycling schemes, to raise funds for us.

Thank you from all the staff at Berrynarbor Preschool.

Sue, Karen and Lynne




Artwork: Harry Weedon


It's been fairly quiet for the group in the village through the summer holidays with just watering and dead heading being the main jobs.

Autumn though is the start of a big burst of activity as the summer bedding and hanging baskets are removed and the spring bulbs and bedding are planted ready for a welcome display in the early months of spring.

We get the results of the Britain in Bloom competition on the 5th October at the Presentation, held this year in Torquay.

We hope you can join us for a fun get together on 10th November when we are having a fund-raising Soup and Pud Evening in the Manor Hall. Tickets will be available from the Shop and The Globe in October.We hope you will be there.

Wendy Applegate


Artwork: Angela Bartlett

Toffee Apple Cake

I was given some gorgeous maple syrup all the way from Canada this summer and this is a lovely autumn [fall] inspired cake that uses four tablespoons. This recipe makes quite a large cake and cuts into at least 14 slices.


  • 200g dates, stoned and chopped
  • 200ml milk
  • 3 whole dessert apples
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 250g butter at room temperature
  • 175g soft light brown sugar
  • 4 large free range eggs, at room temperature and lightly beaten
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • Half tsp vanilla extract
  • 275g self-raising flour
  • Half tsp baking powder
  • 75g tart apples such as Granny Smith, peeled chopped and tossed in 3 tbsp of the flour
  • 60g pecans, halved
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar

For the caramel to drizzle over the cake

  • 40gbutter
  • 65g soft dark brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp double cream

Preheat the oven to 180C/gas4.Butter a 30 x 20cm baking tin or equivalent round cake tin and line with baking parchment so that the parchment hangs a little over the edges to help remove the cake after baking.

Put the dates and milk in a small pan and simmer gently for about 4 minutes - don't allow to boil over.Puree the mixture and set aside to cool.

Halve and core the dessert apples and slice fairly thinly dropping them in to a bowl with lemon juice to stop discolouring. These will be used on top of the cake.

Beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy then add the eggs slowly, beating well each time. Add the maple syrup and the vanilla. Stir in the cooled date puree and fold in the flour, baking powder, the chopped tart apples tossed in flour and the pecans.

Scrape the mix into the tin and level the top. Lay the dessert apple slices over the top - in rows if using a rectangular tin, or circles if using a round tin - and sprinkle with the caster sugar.

Bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave in the tin to cool then remove carefully using the paper to help you.

To make the caramel, melt the butter in a pan, add the sugar and mix, stirring a little. Bring to the boil and when it looks like caramel pull the pan off the heat and carefully add the cream - it will spit! Let it calm down, then stir until smooth.

When the cake is cold, drizzle it with the caramel.

This is just right after a walk on a mellow autumn afternoon.

Wendy Applegate



Have you got your tickets for a Beaford Arts extravaganza in the barn at Bodstone Barton? £20 includes dinner and performances by Tangle, the South West's African Caribbean Theatre company. Doors open at 6.45pm, cash bar and raffle.

This promises to be a very different night for Berrynarbor, so, wrap up warm and come and experience some tropical fun! Families welcome and hot dogs for those not brave enough to try Monty's epicurean delights.

Any queries please ring Tania on 07531515482>/p>



The little pond down in the middle of our garden has now been enlarged and renovated into a Japanese pagoda Zen meditation centre where, on a quiet sunny day, one can sit in complete tranquillity listening to the grass grow around you and watch the small red and gold fishes dart around as they eye up the pond skaters from below.Cheeky robins come to perch on the young cherry tree and watch you watching the fishes. Fat rabbits come bobbing over to drop mini balls of mess under the bright blue hydrangea bush where the squirrels had stored their nuts.And large frogs often appear on the big green floating leaves of the pink lilies for a croak or two after it has been raining, which it seems to do a lot here lately in the Sterridge Valley. Wildlife utopia. But there is more life in a garden pond than first meets the eye as we found out during the renovation.

To make the new pond we first had to clear out the old one in which a couple of dozen protected newts lived down in the muddy messy bottom. They weren't the only squatters in our old pond. Thousands of tadpoles crowded around the sides of the pond near the surface and, hidden under the muddy dead and soggy leaves, were other evil beasties . . .the dreaded Dragonfly Larvae.

These ugly and greedy creatures, just over an inch in length, feed on the innocent and pretty black tadpoles. They sink their teeth into them and suck out the insides. Luckily there are a lot of tadpoles and many manage to grow legs fast and strong enough to hop out of the pond to go and live in the long grass down by the lake. When there are no more tadpoles left to eat, the larvae find worms and snails and the occasional small fish supper. The nasty larvae stay in the pond munching away for over a year, sometimes two years, before they too escape and hang around the long leaves and stems of plants and eventually turn into beautiful big Dragonflies.


Extreme close up by Kvejlend


Dragonfly larvae by Warren Photographic

I was just 5 or 6 when I saw the first one.Jill, who lived in the prefab across the road from ours, was 8 and she had taken me newt hunting in the muddy pond at the bottom of the field behind the old folks' lawn bowling club. Jill wasn't really a girl then. That only happened much later when she morphed from wicked Tom Boy into a beautiful blond-haired Barnstaple Dancing Queen. Jill was fun when she was 8. She was probably more fun when she was 18, but as I was still a younger school boy, I didn't know her so well then.More's the pity!

 For the newt hunt Jill brought along some jam jars and a little fishing net.Newts are not so easy to catch when you're a kid, especially in a big muddy pond.They are difficult to see unless you have really good sharp eyes. You have to wait quietly until they come up to the surface for air or to naff a pond skater. Even then, it's difficult because they are surprisingly quick. Just as you go for them they dive back down again. But they usually eat water lice and fleas and those funny small worms that live in the muck at the bottom of the pond. So, you wait quietly until you see a bubble or two come up from the mud, and then it's in with the net to dig out a newt, and a lot of mud! I was excited and happy when I got two fat newts that day, well Jill got the two newts for me actually. But I picked them out of the net and, after playing with them a bit - newt bellies are all nice and soft and slimy - and looking into their big round green and black eyes, I dropped them into my jar of pond water to take home. That's when this bright blue sparkling giant suddenly appeared and hovered above the surface for just a split second before zipping off and disappearing, like a flash of lightning, into the tall green pond reeds.It frightened me. 

"What was that?" I asked Jill.

"Don't worry, it's just a tooth fairy," she explained."It probably stopped to have a drink before going on its way to find and pick up some kid's baby tooth and leave a silver sixpence under his pillow."

"My mum only found a halfpenny after I left my best tooth under the pillow."

"Well, Michael, that's because you are a very naughty and difficult boy sometimes and you have to be a very helpful and good kid to get a silver sixpence."

All the way home I promised myself I should be good from now on. I wanted to get a silver sixpence.It sounded like a fortune to me. I could get a fat, red gobstopper for a halfpenny from the sweet shop in Bear Street. Sixpence would buy me half the shop!

 Now I have my own muddy pond at the bottom of the garden. Some call it Lake Sterrano because it's slightly bigger than the newt pond I knew back in 1950, and with a lot more bright blue sparkling giants flying around it. Dragonflies don't look quite as big to me now as they did when I was five, but they are still a very impressive size with long blue azure bodies and huge strong gossamer wings.  Absolute beauties.

In August, these massive dragonflies regularly come to float stealthily at shoulder height up and down the courtyard outside our kitchen window, like colourfully painted zeppelins hunting for the right target.

Magical majestic male creatures with huge bulging eyes searching left and right, stopping, turning, reversing and, if they can't find what they are looking for, jetting off back to their pond to see if there is any better action there, unless they do find that one special damselfly that they can clamp onto for a bit of fascinating mid-air copulation. Then they both indulge in some crafty acrobatic aeronautics, bending and twisting their long flexible bodies so that his little naughty bit gets inserted properly and the dirty deed can be done. The insect equivalent of joining the mile-high club after a bit of erotic mid-air wrestling. How do they do that? They can actually be at it for nearly an hour, flying around locked in lusty tandem formation before the lucky girls can go back to the pond with happy smiles on their faces and drop their crop of fertilized eggs in the water, whilst the tired old Mr. Dragonfly, in need of a well-deserved rest, finds somewhere quiet to land like a silent glider with his wings spread out wide and proud. Then, after a short rest, he'll be up and at it again. I don't blame him. There is no time to lose because, unfortunately, for the wonderful dragonfly and his damsel mates, they only live for a couple of months at the most. But in that time, apart from their excessive appetite for extended periods of aeronautical free love, they are ferocious predators tracking mosquitoes, wasps and bees easily in their spherical view of the world and munching away at them ravenously.

  When the Beauties stop flying and hunting and entertaining us and disappear to die, we have to go back to the bottom of the pond for the much longer and nastier stage in the fascinating lives of the Dragonflies.

The Circle of Life. Pond Life.


Blue Dragonfly by Patrick Zephyr





1. Treatments, 8. Tractor, 9. Rodeo, 10. Back, 11. Idea, 12. Yam, 14. Losing, 15. Skated, 18. Sub, 20. Lout, 21. Abet, 23. Ruing, 24. Asperse, 25. Stretchers.


1. Trances, 2. Eats, 3. Tirade, 4. Earmarks, 5. Teddy, 6. Stabilisers, 7. Commodities, 13. Analogue, 16. Tabards, 17. Judaic.


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


"Who would wave a flag to be rescued if they had a desert island of their own?"

John, Susan, Titty and Roger [Walker] are staying on holiday at a farm in the Lake District.Nancy and Peggy [Blackett] live nearby. When they meet they agree to join forces against a common enemy, the Blackett's uncle James, whom they call Captain Flint. So, begins Swallows and Amazons and the sequels that follow, telling the tales of outdoor adventures - sailing, camping, fishing, exploration and piracy - of the two families.

Written by Arthur Mitchell Ransome and published in 1930, Swallows and Amazons was followed by Swallowdale [1931], Peter Duck [1932], Winter Holiday [1933], Coot Club [1934], Pigeon Post [1936], We Didn't Mean to Go to Sea [1937], Secret water [1939], The Big Six [1940], Missee Lee [1941], The Picts and the Martyrs [1943], Great Norther [1947] and unfinished, Coots in the North.

Arthur Ransome was born in Leeds in 1884, the eldest of four children - 2 sisters and a brother, who was killed in the First World War in 1918. He was educated at Windermere and Rugby. Due to poor eyesight, lack of athletic skill and limited academic achievement, schooling was not an enjoyable experience. In 1902, he abandoned a chemistry degree to become a publisher's office boy in London, using this time to practice writing and producing in 1907 his significant first of many books.

In 1909, he married Ivy Constance Walker and they had one daughter, Tabitha. Not a happy marriage, Ivy objected to the amount of time Arthur spent writing and in 1913, to escape, he left Ivy and Tabitha and went to Russia. Here he was ideally placed to observe and report on the Russian Revolution, knowing many of the leading Bolsheviks, including Lenin, Radek, Trotsky and Trotsky's secretary Evgenia Shvelpina. These friendships led to persistent but unproved accusations that he was a spy for both the Bolsheviks and Britain.

In 1924, he divorced Ivy and married Evgenia, returning to England to live in the Lake District. He was, in the late 1920's, a foreign correspondent and well-respected angling columnist for the Manchester Guardian, before he began writing Swallows and Amazons and its successors.



The first edition was illustrated by Steven Spurrier but Ransome did not like his style and so it was published without illustrations. Spurrier was followed by Clifford Webb but after Ransome successfully illustrated Peter Duck himself, he decided to do his own illustrating for all the books, including those already published.

Arthur Ransome died in June 1967 and he and Evgenia are buried together at St. Paul's Church, Rusland, in the Lake District. Interestingly, his sister's children, when at home in Leeds, shared a governess with their second cousin, Peter Middleton, grandfather of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. A second film - the first in 1974 - of Swallows and Amazons was released in August 2016.

Judie Weedon



The weekend of 5th and 6th August was busy in Berrynarbor, playing host to three national motoring events, at Sloley Park, Ruggaton and Barton Hill.

For more than 15 years, the North Devon Atlantic Classic Motorcycle Club has held a two-day scramble event at Sloley Park, part of the British Classic Championship. This was the 5th Round for the 2017 Championship.

The Club provides two-wheeled enjoyment of classic motorcycles in the South West.

Part of the proceeds of the events are given away and in the last year £5,000 has been donated to local charities.

Up the Valley, Ruggaton was holding an event for Challenge South West, formed in 2003 for off-road enthusiasts interested in off-road winch events, testing their vehicles and their team's skills.They do not intentionally destroy the environment and hold events to cater for all levels of skill and ability.

During the year, some 7 or 8 challenge events are held all over the south west, which provide extra practice for the main single event De-Cider Trophy. The meeting at Ruggaton, now in its 10th year, is one of such events and usually attracts about 8 drivers and navigators, the navigator being significant when the terrain is such that the vehicle has to be winched up the gradient!

The prestigious De-Cider event, with about 20 vehicles competing, also provides the funds needed to run events, covering the cost of insurance and other costs, and has gained the Club one of the best reputations for the way they run events, and look after their marshals who travel from all over the UK to help out.

The Club also offers Camping Weekends, Training Days and Non-Competitive events, Dealership Open Days and Main Ring Demonstrations at 4 x 4 Shows.

Like at all motoring events, safety is paramount and vehicles are rigorously scrutinised, have roll cages, and on-site medical assistance is provided.

Challenge South West, like many other motorsport clubs, has recently joined the Institute of Professional Drivers, which means competitors must purchase and hold an annual competition licence, and the running of events tightened even further.

On the western slopes of the Valley, at Barton Hill, members of the All Wheel Drivers' Club were competing in Round 6 of their National Safari Championship. Competitive Safaris involve specially modified 4 x 4 vehicles taking a specially laid out course at high speed. There are classes for a wide variety of vehicles from standard production class through to purpose built specials with a variety of engine sizes. Each vehicle must complete a prescribed number of runs over the course during the day with the fastest cumulative time revealing the winner. All vehicles must comply with the technical regulations with safety features such as roll cages, harnesses and crash helmets mandatory. Some 30 4-wheel vehicles, usually running with both a driver and navigator, took part.

With between 650 and 700 members, the All Wheel Drivers' Club was formed in 1968 to allow people to use their off-road vehicles, regardless of make or model. Today, the Club is the largest all-makes off-road club in the UK and members organise events to allow others to put their vehicles through their paces.

Events are organised all year round and are held on private land, permitted and insured by the Motor Sport Association. Visitors and spectators are welcome at all events and there are no charges for admittance. They do so at their own risk.

So, professionally run, the house-keeping of the event is immaculate, always clearing up and making the land good again. No rights of way are crossed.

This year, noticing the pink silage bales supporting Cancer Research, competitors and their families put their hands in their pockets and raised an on-the-spot donation to the charity of £100.

The final rounds of this year's Championship, 10 rounds in all, are being held in Wales and at Minehead and Tiverton.

The Club will be returning in 2018, the 50th anniversary year of the Club.

Thanks to Derrick Phillips, Peter Bowden and Valerie Black for their help. More information on all three Clubs can be found on the internet at: www.amca.uk, www.challenge-south-west.co.uk, and www.awdc.co.uk.


the Birthplace of Bishop Jewel

We live at Bowden Farm Cottage, which is the other half of Bowden Farm. When we moved here two years ago, we were very interested to find out all the history of the house. We found and purchased the picture that was published in the August newsletter on an American website. The artist is Mrs. Ann Tyrell. She was part of a ladies' art group who sketched throughout the year and the best artwork was then published in a book with an explanation of where the sketch was and a brief history. The picture we have is one sketch from the book. We have studied it in detail and can see that it is a true likeness, from the back of the house, using artistic licence. Unfortunately, we do not know the year it was sketched.

We are interested to find out about John Jewel's life, for example, as this was a poor farmhouse, who funded his studies in Oxford at the age of 13?


The explanation for Ann Tyrell's sketch reads as follows:

    'XXVIII Bowden, Berrynarbor, Devonshire (Mrs. Ann Tyrell.)

    On the north coast of Devonshire, not far from Ilfracombe, amidst the most picturesque scenery, lies the village of Berrynarbor. The accompanying sketch represents a farm house in that parish, called Bowden, celebrated as the birthplace of John Jewel, (A.D. 1522) afterwards Bishop of Salisbury, and author of the "Apology of the Church of England", which so delighted Queen Elizabeth that she commanded it to be read in every church within the kingdom, and it is still sometimes found in company with Fox's Book of Martyrs, chained to a desk in our old village churches. 'Jewel', says old Fuller, 'was his name, and precious were his virtues'. His family had dwelt at Bowden for many generations. It is now a poor farm house, and there are no other memorials of the Bishop about the place.'

Tee and Lloyd

Following up on Fuller's quote, the internet takes one to The Life of Dr. Jewel, Bishop of Salisbury from the Works of the Reverend Augustus M. Toplady, B.A. [4.11.1740-11.8.1778], late vicar of Broad Hembury, Devon. An interesting read of which the following are excerpts.

    'We learn from Dr. Fuller* that this great prelate was a native of Devonshire;"John Jewel bearing the Christian name of his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, was born at Buden (or Bowden, of which estate his ancestors had been near two hundred years in possession), in the parish of Berynarbor, near Ilfracombe, in that county. His mother's surname was Bellamy, who with her husband lived happily 50 years in holy wedlock; and at their deaths left ten children behind them."'

    'He was chiefly bred in the school of Barnstaple;where John Harding, afterwards his Popish antagonist, was his school fellow. At thirteen years old, he was admitted into Merton College, Oxford; under the tuition of Dr. John Parkhurst, afterwards the ingenious and evangelical bishop of Norwich. Such was his sedulity (rising always at four in the morning and not going to rest until ten at night), that he was never punished for any one of his exercises, and but once for absence from chapel. Hence he was removed to Corpus Christi College, where he proved an excellent poet, linguist and orator. Such was his memory that he could repeat all Horace by heart;and he gave many other surprizing proofs of quickness and retention.'

    'In July 1559, Mr. Jewel was appointed one of the Queen's [Elizabeth I] commissioners to visit the dioceses of Sarum, Exeter, Bristol, Bath and Wells and Gloucester;and to weed them as much as possible of Popery. And, not many months after [viz. Jan 21, 1559-60) as a reward for his distinguished learning and merit, he was consecrated bishop of Salisbury.'

    'With respect to his person, he was of a thin habit of body, which natural thinness was increased by his abstemious way of living, his want of exercise, and his intense studies. So that in the latter part of his life, he was almost a breathing skeleton.'

    *Dr. Thomas Fuller, D.D. [1608-1661] - 'Worthies of England'



"A little thought and a little kindness are often worth more than a great deal of money."

John Ruskin

John Ruskin [1819-1900] Leading English art critic of the Victorian era, as well as an art patron, draughtsman, watercolourist, prominent social thinker and philanthropist.

"True ignorance is not the absence of knowledge but the refusal to acquire it."

Karl Popper

Sir Karl Raimund Popper CH FBA FRS [1902-1994] was an Austrian Jewish-British philosopher and professor. He is generally regarded as one of the 20th century's greatest philosophers of science.


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


When your children play you up, the law says you must not slap them, but there are other ways to get around this. The following have been told to me by frustrated parents.

On one occasion when his children played up, they were sent to their bedrooms. The kids thought, 'What a good idea, we can play on our computers or watch television.' Not so! Father pulled out the appropriate fuses and lo! darkness - no computer, no television!


Another dad related the following. His children kept slamming doors. Despite numerous requests for them not to do so, they continued.

The answer? He took the doors off their bedrooms and the bathroom and stood them in the garage for a week. Of course, out came the usual cry, "It's not fair!"

"That's your problem," said the dad, "Your mother and I have an en suite."

Another way is limiting pocket money or stopping taking them to school in the car. Whoops, I may have trodden on a few corns here, but the walk would do them good!

A punishment which amused me some thirty years ago was this. Some vandals in Ilfracombe took picnic seats and table from a pub. The police had watched this on their closed-circuit TV. They waited until the vandals had got as far as Hele, then intercepted them and made them carry them all the way back to the pub. The culprits didn't do that again!


However, punishments can go wrong. In the days when most people smoked a man kept a bottle of lighter fuel to fill his cigarette lighter. This refined petrol could also be used for cleaning grease or other marks off clothes and the man's daughter would pinch his lighter fuel for this, leaving the bottle empty. The father took his revenge by putting water in the lighter fuel bottle.

Need I say, he forgot he had done this and filled his lighter with water!

Illustrations by: Paul Swailes

Tony Beauclerk - Stowmarket



In Search of Little Green Men

We had gone to Kings Nympton to look for little green men. Not visitors from outer space but the faces carved on the oak ceiling bosses at the church there.

We were inspired by Roger Deakin's book, Wildwood A Journey Through Trees. In the chapter The Sacred Groves of Devon, he describes going to Kings Nympton where he had an 'appointment with the Green Man' at St. James church, then lying on his back along a pew, peering up into the half light of the nave roof at the 'gingham' of beams, each joint finished with a decorative boss about a foot square.

He commented, 'with the Green Man concealment is everything, hiding high in the church roof . . .adjusting to the dimness I began to make out the leaf masked face of the Green Man looking back in half a dozen shapes.'

'He is a reticent figure,' wrote Roger Deakin, 'always half hidden in the woodwork or carved stone like a wren in a hedge.'

This description so intrigued me I felt I wanted to see for myself. We took a torch but it was not needed as sunshine flooded through the windows that day. Binoculars though enabled us to see the detail and variety of the Green Men.

With its copper spire; 18th century box pews and reredos;fine 15th century rood screen [here, also, faces may be found among the leaf carvings];Jacobean panelling and chancel ceiling oddly painted in the early 19th century with sky and clouds, St. James is an interesting church well worth a visit. In keeping with the plant theme, the hinges on the doors of the box pews are in the form of acorns.

From the large car park beside the Parish Hall at the edge of Kings Nympton, we had a pleasant walk through the attractive village, entering the churchyard near The Grove Inn.

Several villages in the area have Nympton or Nymet in their names, derived from Nemet, a Celtic word meaning a sacred grove.

We entered the South Porch, with its staggering total of thirty-six roof bosses, and crossed the granite threshold, which was originally part of a Celtic cross and looking up soon found the Green Men staring down.

The face may be surrounded by or entirely made up of leaves. Or branches or vines may sprout from eyes, nose and mouth The former type is called a foliate head;the latter a disgorging head.

The origins are mysterious but pre-date Roman times and examples have been found in many cultures around the world.

The Green Man may symbolise a close interdependence between man and nature. The Celts had a veneration for sacred trees and believed the head was the repository of the soul.

In time, the Green Man provided a bridge between Christianity and a pagan past, but the heyday of the Green Man occurred between the 12th and 15th centuries which coincided with the building of a lot of churches. Eventually he became more of a decorative motif than a symbolic one.

Closer to home two small examples may be found in Combe Martin's St. Peter ad Vincula - one carved on the rood screen and more unusually, a Green Woman in Mediaeval headdress at the top of one of the stone pillars. Although I know they are there, it always takes me a while to find them. Roger Deakin was right when he said the Green Man tends to be hidden 'like a wren in a hedge'.

Illustrations by: Paul Swailes

Sue H




Council Achieves Award

Berrynarbor Parish Council has received a prestigious award as part of the Local Council Award Scheme. The Scheme highlights that not only does the Council meet the requirements for operating lawfully, it also goes beyond its legal obligations, leading its community and continuously seeking opportunities to improve and develop further. The achievement confirms that Berrynarbor Parish Council achieves good practice in governance, community engagement and council improvement.

Defibrillator - Can you help?

The Parish Council needs to ensure that the Defibrillator is in good working order and is looking for members of the community to help carry out visual checks of the equipment and report any issues to the Council. If this is something you feel you can help with, please contact the Parish Clerk.

Parish Council Website

The Combe Martin, Berrynarbor and East Down Police produce monthly newsletters which can be found on the Parish Council's website at www.berrynarborparishcouncil.org.uk along with other parish related information. If you are part of a community group within the parish, and would like to add your group's information and contact details to the website, please do let us know.

Vicki Woodhouse - Clerk to the Parish Council

Berrynarbor Parish Council
Chairman - Adam Stanbury [882252]

Gemma Bacon [883341]

Jenny Beer

Julia Fairchild [882783]

Denny Reynolds

Vice-Chairman - Sian Barten [882222]

Adrian Coppin [882647]

David Kennedy [07791 781283]

Clare White [882959]

Parish Clerk - Victoria Woodhouse - clerk@berrynarborparishcouncil.org.uk

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

Snow Warden - Clive Richards [883406]


Artwork: Paul Swailes


Coming Events:

  • During National Curry Week, we'll be running our Curry and Drink for £10 offer every night: So, that's from Sunday 8th - Saturday 14th October [inc.]. But.don't forget, the Curry and Drink for £10 is EVERY FrIday- Eat In or Take Away.
  • We shall be decorating for Hallowe'en, so please pop in for some sweets if you are trick or treating.  Free squash for the kids, too, to keep them refreshed on their walk!
  • Our All You Can Eat Nights are on Saturdays 28th October and 25th November, look out for details nearer the time.
  • . . . and our Christmas Menu is now ready for posting/emailing, so get in touch if you would like to book for a Christmas meal during December.

For other events please keep an eye out for posters, emails (if you're on the database) and chalkboards. See you soon.

Karen & Team




Although it may seem rather early to be thinking about Christmas, cards are already on sale but fortunately no advertising on the television as yet! However, it won't be too long!

Sending your seasonal greetings to friends and neighbours here in the village through the Newsletter has become both traditional and popular, and you will be able to do so once again this year.

To everyone, especially newcomers, if you would like to do this, it is very simple. Just decide on your message and leave it, with a donation, either at Chicane or the Shop and by Wednesday, 8th November at the latest, please.

After covering the costs of printing, donations will be shared between the Newsletter and the much-needed funds for the Manor Hall and the Church.Donations have always been very generous, so please carry on with that tradition as well!

A Reminder - Last posting dates for overseas surface mail: Australia and New Zealand passed on 28th September U.S.A., Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa: 13th October Eastern Europe: 3rd November Western Europe: 17th November




[1875 - December 1959]

Businessman, philanthropist and co-founder of The Burton at Bideford
[formerly The Burton Art Gallery and Museum]

Thomas Burton adapted from a sketch by his daughter, Mary

This month, I had in mind to write about the two lifelong friends, Judith Ackland and Mary Stella Edwards, who used as their art studio The Cabin at Bucks Mills. As I knew there was a connection with The Burton Art Gallery, Warren Collum, the Collections and Exhibitions Officer, agreed to see me and offer help. My 'better half' came with me and towards the end of the meeting, casually asked, "How did the Burton Art Gallery get its name?" [It's difficult to use the new name of The Burton at Bideford after so many years, but it changed in April 2016 at the recommendation of the Charities Commission when it became a registered charity.]

The rest of the meeting was centred on Thomas Burton, and it became clear to me that logically, he should come first - but I shan't forget those two ladies!

In partnership with his friend Hubert Coop, a successful artist, he built the Burton Art Gallery as a memorial to his only daughter Mary, another established artist, who died of cancer at the age of only 44.

Born in Sussex in 1875, Thomas Burton moved with his family to Warminster in Wiltshire, where at the age of 19 he joined the Wesleyan Methodist Church and just three years later became a lay preacher. Shortly afterwards he moved to South Molton to work in a grocer's shop Yeovil, to manage a tea company. Still only 23, he moved to Bideford where he met and married Bertha Bishop, the daughter of a local antiques dealer. Their one daughter, Mary, was born in 1904.

Over the next few years, Thomas built up a chain of grocery shops in the West Country. Fired with success, he then moved to the London area where he did the same over the next nine years. The shops were such a success that Lord Leverhulme bought the West Country group, and Mac Fisheries his London stores.

Appledore Quay by Hubert Coop

Returning to Bideford at the age of 44, this successful businessman rapidly re-entered in to the life of the town. He became a director of several local companies, and there were few groups and interests that didn't benefit from his leadership. He was a School Governor, Councillor, Mayor, Alderman and eventually in 1950, an Honorary Freeman of the Borough. He took special interest in the poor, widows, the sick and unemployed, and many who benefitted from his generosity, didn't know who had helped them. He also campaigned for the sale of British goods in Bideford shops,"...they are the finest in the world...especially local products".

After his daughter's death in 1949, Thomas and his wife decided that in view of her artistic talents, Mary's memorial should be an Art Gallery in Bideford. His friend Hubert Coop wrote to the Bideford Gazette in October of that year,"It's a happy chance that two old townsmen have come together to make a last effort to leave the town richer than they found it..." He then helped Thomas to build the Burton Art Gallery, which was officially opened on 31st October, 1951.

The Burton at Bideford [rear view from Victoria Park] & French-style Bistro

In 1994 the Gallery was extended and refurbished, making it four times larger than its original size.There are now three exhibition areas, a museum, a craft gallery and French-style bistro. It is planned to extend The Burton at Bideford considerably and include a library once the money is raised, but meanwhile there is much to see. Other than paintings, you may find Napoleonic Model Ships, Silverware [some of it from Devon], a Bideford fresco and the attractive craft gallery. Mary Stella Edwards also donated water colours, drawings, dioramas and Jackanda figures, but more of these in a later newsletter.

It is worth keeping an eye on the Gallery's website [www.burtongallery.co.uk] for news of special exhibitions and events. After all, it's only 22 miles away - and a pretty ride.

Thomas's friend, Hubert Coop, was born in 1893 in Olney, Buckinghamshire, the son of the Rev Thomas Coop. Educated in Birmingham and Wolverhampton, he was elected to the Royal Society of British Artists at the young age of 22. He came to Bideford in the late 1920's, and stayed there! During his lifetime, he amassed a fine collection of paintings [both his own work and those of others], porcelain and antiques and because he felt that Bideford would appreciate his collection, he left it to the town on condition that it would be 'properly housed'. It became part of the permanent collection of the new Burton Art Gallery. He died in 1953 at the age of 80.

In December 1959, Thomas Burton died aged 84, but over the past 66 years, he and Hubert Coop brought to Bideford not only a community venue, but also a place to celebrate, nurture and exhibit all kinds of artists. That is quite a legacy, and a very moving tribute not only to Thomas's daughter, but also to this generous philanthropist and his artist friend!

PP of DC



1st St. Peter's Church: Harvest Service, 11.00 a.m.
2nd Pre-School A.G.M. 7.00 p.m. Penn Curzon Room
4th St. Peter's Church: Harvest Supper, Manor Hall, 6.30 for 7.00 p.m.
Food & Theatre, Bodstone Barton, 6.45 p.m.
6th Ilfracombe Academy: Non-pupil Day
10th Parish Council Meeting, Manor Hall, 7.00 p.m.
18th Wine Circle, Manor Hall, 8.00 p.m. Cheese & Wine from the Shop
21st to Sunday 29th inc. Marwood Hill Gardens open
23rd to 27th inc. Ilfracombe Academy: Half Term
to 3rd November inc. Primary School: Half Term
24th Mobile Library in Village from 11.40 a.m.
25th Friendship Lunch, The Globe, 12.00 for 12.30 p.m.
29th St. Peter's Church: Joint Service at Combe Martin, 9.30 a.m.
10th Berry in Bloom: Soup and Pud Evening, Manor Hall
12th St. Peter's Church: Remembrance Service, 10.45 a.m.
14th Parish Council Meeting, Manor Hall, 7.00 p.m.
15th Wine Circle, 8.00 p.m., Manor Hall: Peter Rollinson, Bray Valley Wines
21st Mobile Library in Village from 11.40 a.m.
29th Friendship Lunch, The Globe 12.00 to 12.30 p.m.

Manor Hall Diary
MondaysUpholstery, 9.00 to 1.00 p.m.
Craft Group, 1.45 p.m.
Badminton, 7.30 p.m.
TuesdaysN.D. Spinners [2nd & 4th]
3rd: Craft Art Group, 9.30 a.m.
WednesdaysPilates Body Workout, 9.00 a.m.
Primary School p.m.
ThursdaysWatercolour Painting 10.00 a.m. [10 week terms]
Pilates, 7.00 to 8.00 p.m.
FridaysToddlers Soft Play and Activity a.m.
Primary School p.m.
Penn Curzon RoomPre-School: Daily - Term time only
Morning Session: 8.30/9.00 - 12.00 p.m.
Afternoon Session: 12.00 to 3.00/3.30/4.00 p.m.
All Day: 8.30/9.00 a.m. to 3.00/3.30/4.00 p.m.
Mobile Library
Village Shop: 11.40-12.10 p.m. Sterridge Valley: 12.25-12.55 p.m.

School, Pre-School and Toddler Group - Term Time only


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Berrynarbor Mill

This month I have chosen a postcard of Berrynarbor Mill [Berry Mills, now Mill Park] taken by the Bristol photographer William Garratt around 1903. The photographic postcard shows Miss Jewell sitting with her dog beside the overshot mill wheel. Her father, John Jewell, was the miller there between 1883 and 1906.

Wheat grown in the fields around Berrynarbor would be gathered in, threshed and brought to the mill where it would be ground into flour. The flour would then be taken home for making bread. Each cottage would have a small bread oven beside their open fireplace. Any wheat grains that fell where the wheat was stored was raked up as 'rakings' and taken to the mill to be ground for pig meal.

Note that there is no water coming from the overshot mill wheel as the miller would only open a sluice to allow water to feed into the top of the wheel when grinding corn.

Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Smith took over the Mill around 1905 and Lewis Smith was born there on the 9th October 1916. Lewis, whom many of us knew, and who died in 1989, had a brother Park and sister Evelyn and the family all moved to the larger West Hagginton Farm in October 1919.

George Burgess then took over as miller from 1919 until the mills and dairy farm were sold. The sale was on Thursday, 5th June, 1924 at the auction of portions of the Watermouth Estate, held at the Manor Hall, Berrynarbor, by John Smale, F.A.I.

The Mill was listed as:

    Lot 6 : Berry Mills - a very desirable Grist Mill and Dairy Farm. Comprising Slated Dwelling House containing: Sitting Room,Kitchen, Back Kitchen, Dairy and Four Bedrooms, with Garden, Mill and Water Wheel, Tiled Six-stall Shippen, Dutch Barn, Tiled Piggery, Tiled Shippen, Slated Two-stall Stabled, Tiled Calf House, and about 16a, 2r.29p of Rich Watered Meadow, Pasture and Woodlands, as now in the occupation of Mr. C.H. Burgess at a Yearly Michaelmas Tenant.

James Chugg was the purchaser remaining there until at least 1939.

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage, August 2017
E-mail: tomandinge40@gmail.com

Note: A tribute to Lewis Smith and a different postcard picture of the Mill appeared in the first issue of the Newsletter in August 1989. See: here