Edition 175 - August 2018

Photo: Judie Weedon

Artwork: Judie Weedon


First, a warm welcome to all newcomers to the village and farewell to those who are leaving - good luck and happiness in your new homes. We also send get well soon messages to those not feeling at their best right now.

Ten years ago, I wrote 'the least said about the weather the better!' I could almost say the same although for a very different reason! The beautiful weather has been a bonus for village events but the prolonged drought is playing havoc with the grass and gardens as well as sapping our energy.

Don't forget the annual Horticultural & Craft Show takes place in just a couple of weeks. Have you got your entries ready? Do, please, give this event your support and good luck to all the gardeners, crafters, cooks, photographers and artists.

Your support for the Easter Barton Party raised £400 for Ovacome [the ovarian cancer charity] and Be and Richard thank all those who attended and donated so generously.

Thanks to everyone's general support, the Newsletter is going ahead and I don't think that in August 1989 anyone thought it would still be going into its 30th year - amazing!

By the next issue, autumn will be creeping up on us. Contributions for October may be handed in as soon as possible and by Wednesday, 12th September - thank you. Thank you, as always, to everyone who has contributed to this issue.

Judie - Ed




My parting words in the last issue, "Keep your umbrella handy", was good advice for May as we had 51.0mm of rain, a little down on the average. In June I was completely wrong as parasols would have been more appropriate! The total rain fall was 7.2mm. This may be the driest month since I started my records in 1994? I put a question mark as I recorded 7mm in April 2011 but in those days my rain gauge only recorded whole millimetres so I cannot be certain, it was definitely a very dry month.

May temperatures were generally about average starting off on the 1st with a daytime temperature of 12.9℃ and low of 3.7℃. The temperatures tended to climb as the month went by reaching 23.8℃ on the 27th, the lowest night temperature was on the 14th at 3.1℃. Wind speeds were down a little with the highest gust on the 1st at 27mph from the SSW. My highest May wind speed was in 2015 at 45mph.

The sunshine hours started in 2003 and for May they were 177.78 hours, the only year higher than this was 2015 at 201.79 hours. June was a bit of a one off, a lovely month when the sun shone for a total of 199.67 hours. This was not a record as it was surpassed only by a small amount in 2016 at 201.78 hours.

The average daytime temperature was 21.4℃ with the 26th being the hottest day of the year so far at 29.3℃. The lowest night temperature was 6.3℃ at 0600 hours on the 22nd. Wind speeds were a little higher than the average with the highest on the 18th at 28mph from the SSW. Please bear in mind that these speeds are here in the Valley and could be much higher in exposed positions elsewhere. The barometer was up and down during the month reaching 1032.9mbars at 0800hrs on the 22nd and a low of 1008.0mbars at 0600hrs on the 14th.

The total rainfall for the first six months of 2018 is 419mm. This is below average. As I write this the heat wave continues and the garden is very dry - how long before we have a hose pipe ban? Happy watering.



Artwork: Helen Armstead


Now that we are in a period of interregnum, we have submitted our Parish Profile, together with the three churches' [ourselves, Combe Martin and Pip & Jim's] personal profile requirements to the Archdeacon of Barnstaple for perusal. These will be passed to the Diocese of Exeter for final approval so that advertising for a new Vicar can commence. As mentioned in the June edition, we are fortunate to have the full support of Reverends Bill Cole and George Billington during this period.

Without going into minute detail, our PCC have to continue to manage the books, so to speak, and much credit goes to our Treasurer, Margaret Sowerby, with considerable support from husband Roger, for keeping our heads above water. Our monthly expenses - which include a considerable sum to the Diocese of Exeter - are in the region of £1,000, which is a huge amount of money set against a relatively small amount of incoming revenue! So, we are indeed very grateful to the people of Berrynarbor who supported our annual Gift Day, held on the 27th June, which raised £620. To make this day even more important, Sue Neale organised a super Treasure Hunt inside the Church and in the surrounding Churchyard for the pupils of Berrynarbor School to enjoy! The day was very hot but a great time was had by all, with prizes for all who took part. A special thank you to the teachers on duty who kept the children on track throughout the morning.

One of the questions set for inside the church was, 'How much does the Marriage Service Fee cost?' The Fee is of course £441.00. However, when asked, one of the children came up with the answer in a very loud voice, "£441,000". Hilarious! Still, we can all make mistakes and putting the decimal in the wrong place didn't really matter one jot in this instance! Well done to all the youngsters.

The Original Chivenor Military Wives Choir gave a concert in our Church on Friday 6th July and what a wonderful event this was! They were supported by Berrynarbor and School Choirs during the programme, and a finale performed by all three Choirs brought a standing ovation from the 200 audience. The Military Wives were simply wonderful and there were six ladies and husbands who came all the way from Oxford to enjoy the concert - how about that!

It was sad to learn of the death of Rosemary Gaydon who lived in Barton Lane with her late husband Bernard for many years, before moving to Combe Martin several years ago. Rosemary was a really lovely lady, and those who knew her will be saddened by her passing. Both Rosemary and Bernard were members of the Russian Orthodox faith and, following permission from the Bishop of Exeter, a Russian Orthodox service was held for the very first time in Berrynarbor Church followed by her burial in the grave of her late husband.

We are still hoping for a replacement Organist to come forward as well as someone to take on the role of Secretary following Jean Pell's departure from the village. Please come forward to at least enquire about this position for it is not a huge amount of work for someone who is organised.

Just a reminder about the Friendship Lunch which is held on the last Wednesday of the month in The Globe commencing at 12.30pm.

All Church Services commence at 11.00 a.m. and are as follows:

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


As readers and members of the church are aware, I shall have retired as Organist by the time you read this newsletter and I sincerely hope that someone has or will have, responded to the plea for someone to come forward to take over this position and that of Choirmaster for St. Peter's.

The post obviously entails playing the organ as well as organising the music and, of course, running the Choir on a weekly basis.

I studied piano at College, many years ago, before taking on the organ. Although a church organ is obviously different to a piano, converting to the organ need not be a huge challenge, so it does not matter if you are a pianist and might like to come forward.

I should be more than happy to help familiarise anyone who wishes to take over this role and to help and advise on the structure of some of the church services.

If you think you might be interested in taking on this role, I should be very happy to discuss the position with you, so please contact me on 01271-883893.

Stuart Neale




ROSEMARY [Anne Priscilla] GAYDON
30.5.1930 - 4.6.2018

How sad it was to learn that Rosemary Gaydon had passed away at her home in Combe Martin on the 4th June 2018, at the age of 88. Her funeral, a Russian Orthodox service, took place at St. Peter's on the 3rd July when she was buried beside her husband, Bernard.

Rosemary and Bernard moved to North Devon in 1980 - a home-coming for Bernard who had been baptised at St. Brannocks Church in Braunton, where his mother was born.

Sadly, Bernard died on the 16th May 1997 following a car accident and Rosemary later moved from their home in Barton Lane to Combe Martin. In her tribute to Bernard, Rosemary told us that the family were well-known in Barnstaple, even having a street named after them in the town.

A delightful lady, Rosemary was always cheerful and welcoming. She had been a member of the local U3A and Berrynarbor W.I., attended the Friendship Lunches and was a subscriber and supporter of the Newsletter. She will be sadly missed by her many friends.



On the 26th of June, the South Western Ambulance Service provided a Defibrillator Awareness Training evening for the village held in the Manor Hall.

Sadly, this was only attended by five people - I felt this was a very poor turn out!

After my experience of last year, I realise how important this machine could be. When I used the machine, it was not put to its full use under the circumstances but provided a useful back up.

Please think, if you had someone collapsed would you be able to help them? This might be a complete stranger or a very close loved one. Please also bear in mind that we are a rural location and last year I waited 30 minutes before the first paramedic arrived on the Devon Air Ambulance.




Please come to Combe Coastal Practice for your flu vaccination. We offer this vaccination to the following groups:

  • Patients aged 65 or over or Patients who are aged under 65 with any of the following problems:
  • Asthma or another chronic chest complaint
  • Heart problems
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver Disease
  • Neurological Disease
  • A pregnant woman
  • A carer
  • If you suffer from a serious illness and have a reduced ability to fight infection

For patients who are at risk the best action is to have a flu vaccination every year.

We shall not be sending out letters to all patients to help minimise waste and impact on our environment; it also helps to reduce administration at the practice. You may receive a personalised text message on your mobile promoting the service if you've given us permission to do so; just follow the instructions given in your message.

If your contact details have changed in the last year, please update us so that you can take advantage of this service.

As you can appreciate, in a practice our size, we have thousands of patients to vaccinate. The most practical and effective way to do this is to hold Saturday clinics at Ilfracombe Medical Centre where we can have multiple nurses working. We also have car park attendants working on these days to ensure the smooth running of the car park.

The dates for these flu clinics will be on
Saturday 29 September and Saturday 13 October 2018

Please telephone the surgery numbers below after 11.00 a.m. [to avoid the busiest times] to book now!

We shall be holding flu clinics especially for children and further adult clinics at our branch surgeries. These dates will be confirmed for October and November and in line with vaccination deliveries. If you are unable to leave your home for medical reasons we can arrange for a District Nurse to administer your flu vaccination at home.

Give the surgery a call and speak to our reception team to book now!
We can be contacted by telephone on the following numbers:
01271 863119 or 01271 863840 or 01271 882406 or 01271 870276



Following my article in the June issue of the Newsletter and my appeal to residents to report their problems to the relevant authorities, you will have noticed that we have made progress. So, thank you to those who did that and contacted me. 

It has taken all this time to get the TV reception improved because of an inadequate BBC Reception Advice line where calls are met with disbelief, misinformation and diversion tactics and staff are not technologically knowledgeable enough to understand the symptoms that are reported from here. So, Alex Parke and I worked at getting hold of engineers who would understand the problem.

The best practical help came from Mark Richards from Richards TV shop in Combe Martin who gave us the name of the TV mast engineers who started investigating as soon as we contacted them. Meanwhile Mark came to our house to see for himself what was happening to our TV and brought a colleague to investigate our weird TV signal with some up to date testing equipment. All this was done free of charge because of his professional curiosity in finding out the source of the problem. It was only Berrynarbor that was suffering these symptoms.

Our MP, Peter Heaton- Jones was very supportive and made enquires on our behalf but we always seemed to be slightly ahead of him in getting responses, as by then we were in direct contact with the engineers. I contacted the Director General of the BBC who didn't reply but I assume put someone else on the case as BBC Audience Services started keeping me informed. 

Meanwhile the TV mast engineers were coming up with various theories, the best being that there were leaves and branches getting in the way of the signals, a bit like the British Rail 'leaves on the line' excuse for train delays years ago. Actually, they could have had an effect as our signal comes from Huntshaw Cross near Torrington via masts at Ilfracombe, Combe Martin and the Berrynarbor mast which is also used for mobile phone providers. The greatest stroke of luck was the unannounced arrival at Richards TV shop of the Freeview TV rep on an annual visit so he made direct enquiries on our behalf and then the engineers worked in earnest. They finally believed us that there was a genuine problem. 

To quote BBC Audience Services, "Results of monitoring by engineers over the past few weeks have shown that the signal from the Ilfracombe transmitter has improved since it was last monitored in 2010. The change may be due to an unintended consequence of the current government mandated clearance programme, which is clearing more broadcast spectrum to be sold for new mobile broadband services. They have therefore installed a dual receive system at Berrynarbor, with receive aerials pointing towards both Combe Martin and Ilfracombe. The system will automatically select the strongest signal available for broadcast. We are of course monitoring the system closely."

So, persistence has paid off but please don't be complacent. Years of living in rural areas around the UK have made me cynically hold the theory that such areas of low population do not receive the attention and investment that they deserve no matter who is in charge. So, if those using digital TV [not satellite] do have problems, please report to and seek advice from:

  • Mark Richards at Richard's TV in Combe Martin 01271 882633
  • James Kelly BBC Audience Services PO Box 1922 Darlington DL3 0UR Tel 03700 100 222
  • Arqiva (TV mast provider) Peter Wingate-Saul National Community Relations Manager, Arqiva, Crawley Court, Winchester, SO21 2QA Peter.Wingate-Saul@arqiva.com
  • Peter Heaton-Jones MP, Conservative, North Devon, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA Peter.heatonjones.mp@parliament.uk
  • Or contact me!

Jill Massey



The Save Our Newsletter plea in the June issue has had an incredible response and my very sincere thanks to everyone who has rallied to the cause, with donations both large and small. In the words of a certain supermarket, 'Every Little Helps'! Thank you, the Newsletter is definitely going into its 30th year! This does not, however, imply complacency, donations will continue to be essential and very welcome!

Especial thanks for the legacy from Ron Toms and the proceeds from the Dog Show.

You will all, I am sure, have noticed the lovely new bench by the bus shelter in memory of Ron and placed there by his daughter Sheila and Tony in June. They hope it will give a lot of people a lot of pleasure to sit on for many years to come. The money left over from the donations given at Ron's funeral has kindly been donated to the Newsletter.

Ron was a great supporter of the Newsletter, always putting his hand in his pocket every time I visited him and sending copies off to his friends and relatives.

Thank you, Ron, Sheila and Tony.

The only wet day in weeks and yes, it was the day of the Dog Show! However, dogs large, small and very small, turned up, wagging their tails and bringing their well-behaved owners on short leads with them.

The rain that began gently, became torrential and even those sheltering under the trees got wet through and through, the raffle was hidden under umbrellas and paperwork became soggy, but everyone entered into the spirit of the day, with the winners delighted with their rosettes and prizes.

Thanks to Judge Yvette Gubb, to the sponsors of the class prizes and donators of raffle prizes, but a very big and sincere thank you to Sian and Julia for organising and running the event on behalf of the Parish Council and in support of the Newsletter.



Artwork: Paul Swailes


Celebrating our Community Shop

Our village shop is 10 years old this year! In a climate that sees around 400 commercial village shops close each year, community-owned shops not only represent an essential service, they directly respond to some of the key challenges facing rural communities today like lack of services and isolation. In addition to sourcing local food with lower food miles, community shops save rural residents car journeys to alternative food stores, saving on average an 8-mile round trip. Community shops collectively are estimated to save 4 million miles of car journeys a year.

And according to local estate agents, having a village shop and post office [with a large free car park] adds real value to our house prices here in Berrynarbor - as does the village pub, the School, the Pre-school, as well as the wonderful social facilities offered by our Manor Hall.

So, for all these reasons we shall be celebrating the 10th anniversary of the opening of our award-winning Shop and everyone is invited. The event will take place on Sunday, 2nd September 2018 from 2.00 p.m. at the Shop and in the car park. The local council is very kindly allowing us to close the car park for the day and use the space for seating, eating and greeting! We do hope you will be able to join us.

New Ice Cream now in stock

As a perfect complement to the magnificent weather we have been experiencing, the shop now stocks new delicious flavours of individual-sized pots of ice cream. Made locally by Stapleton's of Torrington, who already supply the Shop with their fabulous yoghurts, these ice creams are made with grass-fed Jersey cows' milk and hand-prepared fruit compotes and sauces. They come in six flavours - rum and raisin, lemon curd, salted caramel, Belgian chocolate, strawberry and Madagascan vanilla. Lovely!

Open all day

The peak season is upon us and throughout August the Shop will be open all day. Our opening hours will be Monday through Saturday 08.30 to 17.30 and 09.00 to 12.30 on Sundays. The Post Office counter will be closed on Sundays.

During this busy time of year, you may find that some of our most popular everyday items get sold very quickly. We don't want you to miss out so you can place an order for bread, milk and any other items simply by calling in, or by phoning us [on 01271 883215] or by sending an email to Berrynarborshop@onebillinternet.co.uk.


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


In my story there are two pairs of twins. The first pair, Jean and Mary, lived in a fine house, more like a castle, up on the hill. The family ran a large lending business and appeared very prosperous, with all the right expensive cars, personalised number plates, etc.

The other twins were Jane and Maureen. Now Maureen was a very ordinary girl who was not wishing for anything in particular in life. However, Jane was inclined to be a social climber and wanted to get to know Jean and Mary in the posh house.

Jane would see Jean and Mary in the street and get into conversation with them. A friendship developed and it was not long before Jane, Jean and Mary became firm friends, with Jane spending quite a lot of time at the big house.

Maureen looked on with amusement, but did not want to be involved.

The threesome friendship lasted for some time until one day Maureen said to her sister

    "Have you seen the headlines in the local paper?"
    "No" was the reply, "What's it all about?"
    "Well, your friends have absconded with a hundred thousand pounds of their firm's money. Some friends of yours!"
    "Well," said Jane, "I didn't really know them very well."
    "Why are you blushing then?"

For the young:

  1. What is the name of the river that runs out on the main Combe Martin beach?
  2. What is the name of the river at Berrynarbor?
  3. What is the name of the river at Ilfracombe?
  4. What does an auctioneer hold in his hand?
  5. How high is a Chairman?
  6. If you eat an apple, which is worse, finding a maggot in it or half a maggot?
  7. Why did the chewing gum cross the road?

Answers on page 44

Illustrated by: Paul Swailes

Tony Beauclerk - Stowmarket


will be running in the Memorial Hall [EX34 8LW] from
Saturday, 28th July to Sunday, 12th August.

It will be open daily from 11.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. In addition to our regular exhibitors, we have some exciting new crafts this year, so why not come along and see all the beautiful local arts and crafts for sale and try your luck to win a lovely hand-made quilt as first prize in the grand draw? Delicious refreshments, including home-made cakes and cream teas will be served throughout.

Admission is free.

Parking is available next to the Hall with disabled access if required.

A popular annual event raising funds to help maintain our lovely village hall in the beautiful Fuchsia Valley.

We look forward to seeing you there!




a first taste in education

Topic of learning

We have had a very busy and exciting term. The children have been learning from books; listening to stories, recognising rhyme and using their imagination to bring books to life through role play, songs, music and dance.

For the first half of term the children learnt about their environment from sowing wild flower seeds from Kew Gardens in our garden to watching caterpillars turn into beautiful painted lady butterflies. The story we used was The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Our wild flower garden now looks beautiful and the insects are beginning to visit.




The children also helped the Berry in Bloom team tidy up the flower pots in front of the Manor Hall and Pre-school in readiness for the summer flowers. We hope the team have done well in the recent RHS judging for the Britain in Bloom competition.

Books we have read include the Ilfracombe Academy Save our World books that feature Peter the Puffin, Simon the Seagull and Tilly the Turtle. These stories were made real when we went on our summer trip to lpeCombe Martin beach and Museum taking part in a Seashore Safari when children explored rock pools and hed to tidy up the beach from unwanted plastic. We found lots of life within the rock pools which we need to protect.


To finish our term, we put on a Summer Show to celebrate our learning where the children recalled all the stories they had learnt. Other stories took us on an adventure to the other side of the world - Sailing to Galapagos. Here we found Giant Sea Turtles, Albatross, Iguanas and Laver Crabs. The children ended the show with a performance from the story of The Singing Mermaid.

This story is about a mermaid taken from the ocean and made to sing in a circus. She was promised many things but none of them came true. Eventually the mermaid was rescued by her circus and ocean friends. The children sang and danced to some tunes from The Greatest Showman. I don't think there was a dry eye in the house and the children performed brilliantly and shone like little stars!


Our fabulous Summer Show raised £165.00 and our Quiz Night at The Globe raised £215.00 which was great and fun was had by all.

We also received a donation of £15.00 from The Globe Skittles Teams and we received a kind donation of a new slide from the Gilson family for which we are all truly grateful. All money raised will go toward purchasing new resources for the Pre-school children.

A message from our Committee

We are looking for someone who would be willing to join our Committee. We have a vacancy for a Treasurer.

Each year, a new committee is agreed, and in the case of not being able to form one, it simply means that the Pre-school would have to close. It hasn't happened yet! But we have seen it happen to nearby pre-schools when the parents, and/or community members can't manage to get a committee together.

Therefore, we are seeking someone who would be committed to supporting the Pre-school in a voluntary role, to undertake a DBS check and generally support the running of Pre-school. Meetings are held once a half term and we get together to raise funds at different events.

Thank you for your support. We hope you all enjoy your summer break and we look forward to seeing you back in September for the new term.

From the staff at Berrynarbor Preschool

Sue, Karen and Lynne



Whoever thought these out must be a wizard at Scrabble!



When you rearrange the letters on the left, you get the right!


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


Dear Friends

I was standing outside St. Peter's church door during one of the beautiful summer days we have been blessed with, admiring the view alongside a visitor. A view that has probably not changed for a very long time but even if it has, it is still magnificent! It was and is a small glimpse of the best of local scenery.

"It's a small world" is a statement we often hear, but it does seem to have a ring of truth. The first time I visited Berrynarbor was in 2016, but unknown to me was that my former theological college principal's wife is descended from the Berrie family who lived in Berrynarbor and who were Huguenots. The Huguenots were immigrant Christians who came from France to escape religious persecution in the 16th century, many of them settled in the South West including Berrynarbor.

Imagine the Huguenots, who were 'blow-ins', may well have seen the same magnificent view from the church steps. Not only would they have enjoyed the view, but also the freedom to worship the living God, and so they stayed and settled here in Berrynarbor, and we still have that same freedom today.

Incidentally, the Huguenots were persecuted because they believed what the Bible says, that they were 'saved by their faith in Jesus Christ', which is something that hasn't changed because Christians still believe that today!

Rev. Bill


Dave Beagley


Solution in Article 27.



Enjoying yourself and raising money simultaneously has to be a great mix. More than 250 people poured into the village church on Friday

6th July, to sing and support three important charities: the Manor Hall, St Peter's Church and Motor Neurone Disease. This second Military Wives Concert was their request, as when they were here in November 2016, they had asked to see the village. Well, this year, the weather played its part too; we had a glorious summer's evening and the floral contingent was at its best as well!

The acoustics in this 13th century church are the best in this village and their voices filled it to the rafters with their first song of 'Make You Feel My Love'. Children's voices can sometimes be difficult to hear in a big space, but Berrynarbor School's rendition of 'Fix You', written by Coldplay, brought the house down! The appreciative atmosphere continued when the Village Choir sang, 'I'm Getting Married in the Morning'.

Audience participation was a first, but the WW2 medley was enjoyed as voices could be heard clearly singing 'Lili Marlene' and 'We're Gonna Hang Out the Washing on the Siegfried Line', among others. Enjoyment changed to pure, unadulterated emotion when it came to the final 'Any Dream Will Do' was sung by all choirs; our children's voices could be heard distinctly alongside the adults. It was, truly, one of those goosebump moments. I could have listened to it again and again . . .

The evening finished with refreshments in our Manor Hall. Most of the audience, almost 200, and the Village Choir members chatted, laughed and drank their way through another happy hour! We raised more than £3,400 that night, which included an auction and a raffle, but the Wives are a charity and once their fees and our refreshment costs were deducted, all three charities will each receive £830. I call that a re-sound-ing success!

Judith Adam




After the Half Term break the end of the school year seems to have stampeded towards us, packed full of events and activities.


In June, Blueberry Class had a very hot couple of days at Beam House. They enjoyed a variety of outdoor and water activities including body boarding and trapeze. Elderberry Class ventured a little further afield and spent 4 days at a centre in Okehampton. They, too, had a variety of outdoor activities such as low and high ropes, archery, kayaking and rock climbing. Cranberry Class had a sleepover with their counterparts at West Down School.


This term has been full of music. Class 3 went to the Mix Festival where they experienced a variety of music styles. Throughout this school year, many of our children have been learning to play an instrument either with one of the tutors who visit school, or an external tutor. Instruments range through violin, cello, piano, saxophone, guitar and ukulele. Some children also have singing lessons with Mrs. Barrow, and 5 have been involved in the county-wide Teachers Rock Choir. There have been various opportunities for the children to perform in assemblies, at the school fete, and at school concerts. Some played ukulele and guitar with their tutor, Joe Steer, at Lee Village Fete.

Our concert choir had a very special evening performing at the Military Wives Concert in the village church.

    The Military Wives Concert was a great success. There were 15 of us in the school choir. We sang "Fix You" in 2 parts arranged by Debbie Kent, and "Let it Be" arranged by Mrs. Barrow, and Mrs. Gill accompanied us on piano. We had massive applause from the audience, and many people complimented us. In the Finale we sang "Any Dream Will Do" with the Military Wives and Berrynarbor Village Choir. The whole experience was amazing!

    Ruby B.

Super Sam

After completing SATs, Elderberry Class had just 4 weeks to learn lines and get into character for their musical Super Sam. Their hard work paid off as they performed it brilliantly in the Landmark Theatre to an audience of parents, siblings and friends who all booed, laughed, cheered and clapped throughout the evening.

Ahoy There!

Reception and Key Stage 1 children have had Pirates as their topic this term. They have investigated floating and sinking using a variety of objects and materials. To broaden their understanding of things nautical they have looked at the structure of a fish and explored rock pool habitats on a Beach Safari in Combe Martin, when they also heard about some local coastal history. Maps have been used to locate treasure and the children have learnt about some famous pirates and life at sea. We hope you like the motley crew of pirate puppets pictured below, each endowed with unique personality by its maker.

Reception & Year 1

Year 2

Summer Fete

This was a great evening with plenty of activities to keep everyone amused and entertained. The lovely weather was a bonus, with the Manor Hall and its outside space such an ideal venue. Thank you to everyone who supported this event.

School Grounds

The improvements to the playground are well under way. The children are enjoying the new climbing wall and various other bits and pieces. The gardens have been productive and children have enjoyed sampling freshly podded peas.

Farewell, Adieu and Hello

It's that time of year again when we say farewell to our eldest children. There are 14 moving on to senior school in September. We shall miss them as they have contributed to our school community in so many ways, for example, serving on School Council, serving fruit at dinner times, looking out for the younger children and being good book buddies as they enjoy reading books with the youngest children. As they move on with our best wishes for the next stage of their lives, we welcome 12 little ones into the school. They have been visiting Class 1 for an afternoon a week through June and July so that they will be coming in to something familiar in September.


We have builders in over the holidays to rejuvenate parts of the building so there will be some comings and goings over the next few weeks, hopefully with minimal disruption to village life. Thank you once again for all the support you have given to us throughout the past school year and we hope you all have a relaxing and enjoyable summer.

Sue Carey - Head Teacher


Ilfracombe Tennis Club
Bicclescombe Park
EX34 8EU
Tel: 07975 955994

Adults are invited to join us on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, 9.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. Coaching is provided for beginners and improvers on Thursday mornings [07961 849222] or try your hand with some of our social club members. We stop for refreshments and a chat at approx. 10.45 a.m.

You will receive a very warm welcome



Marshall McLuhan

suggested increased technology would lead to
"more rational, literate, calm and logical argument"
in place of angry, emotional and dismissive argument.


Herbert Marshall McLuhan CC was a Canadian professor, philosopher, and public intellectual. His work is one of the cornerstones of the study of media theory. He was born in Edmonton Canada on the 21st July 1911 and died in Toronto on the 31st December, 1980.


Artwork: Helen Weedon


Frisii is a coastal region along the eastern corner of the North Sea in what today is mostly a large part of the Netherlands, including modern Friesland and smaller parts of northern Germany. As far back as Roman times the Frisii people were renowned for their care and breeding of cattle, preferring to pay a tax of ox hides and ox horns to the Roman government rather than fulfil any military obligations. This was in contrast to other tribes who were less inclined towards pastoral pursuits and saw it as a duty to provide, at the very least, armouries to the Roman army.

According to historical records, the Frisii cattle were pure white and light. This, however, would alter around 100BC when a group of people residing in Hesse [now a Germanic state] were displaced and migrated with their black cattle to the shores of the North Sea close to the Frisii tribe. Although there is no historical confirmation, it is highly likely that cross breeding occurred and led to the foundation of the current black and white Holstein-Friesian breed.

It is worth pointing out that today Holstein generally refers to animals traced from North American blood lines; with the development of the New World, markets began to develop for milk in both North and South America so that dairy breeders turned to the Netherlands for their livestock. Friesian on the other hand denotes animals of traditional European ancestry.

I made reference to black and white Friesians in my last article whilst recalling a summer's evening when I stood upon Cairn Top, having witnessed two separate herds standing within fields running the two hillcrests of Slade Valley. But this is a breed far from restricted to being viewed from only certain locations. On the contrary, you can be sure that if one cattle breed is to be repeatedly spotted by a family on their journey to their holiday destination this summer, it will be the Friesian. Yet this has not always been the case. For although the Frisii people bred this same unadulterated strain of cattle for centuries, it was not until the 19th century that the first Friesians were imported into the east coast ports of England and Scotland. However, the Livestock Journey of 1900 referred to the Dutch cattle as being both 'exceptionally good' and 'remarkably inferior'. No doubt this opinion, along with an epidemic of foot and mouth disease on the continent eight years earlier, partly explains why Friesian cattle that were in the UK in 1908 failed to even get a mention in the census. This took place around a time of agricultural depression which encouraged breed societies to flourish, including the British Holstein Cattle Society, formed in 1909 but soon altered to include the word Friesian. By 1918 Holstein had been dropped, becoming instead the British Cattle Friesian Society; interestingly, four years earlier the official importation of 1914 had allowed ports to once again feel the hooves of Friesian cattle upon their ground.

Whilst it could be argued that these imports were the embryo for establishing the Friesian as a renowned, long lived, dairy breed in the UK, it would take until the 1950's for the breed to begin its great expansion. This continued through to the 1980's, halted in the following decade by an increase Holstein influence in the breed. Just prior to this, in 1988, Holstein was once more added to the Society's name; and whilst Friesian enthusiasts fully understood the need, they were less sympathetic when they merged with the Holstein Breed Society in 1999 to become Holstein UK.

In their view the Friesian is continuing to demonstrate its general robustness and prove its worth, notable in its fertility so as to provide the black and white cross for Holstein breeders. What's more, the modern Friesian, predominantly a grazing animal, is well able to sustain itself on many lactations on both low lying and upland grasslands, so giving high lifetime yields of quality milk from home produced feeds; and in response to demand, protein percentages were raised successfully across the breed. So, whilst the idea of dual purpose animals has arguably become outmoded, it seems that Friesians are highly suitable for many farmers, especially where grazing is a main feature of the system. Additionally, male animals are highly regarded as producers of high quality lean meat whether crossed with a beef breed or not. Beef-cross heifers have also long been sought after as ideal suckler calf replacements.

So, what of the counter argument? Well, I shall save that for next time and use as my source the opinion of the writer and television presenter Jack Hargreaves. Wikipedia states 'his enduring interest was to comment without nostalgia or sentimentality on accelerating distortions in relations between the city and countryside.' Yet when it came to Friesians, it seems his opinion on the takeover of the countryside was somewhat forthright. But more of that next time. In the meantime, enjoy the rest of the summer.

Stephen McCarthy

Illustrated by: Paul Swailes


Artwork: Harry Weedon


Berrynarbor hosted the Judges for the R.H.S. Britain in Bloom on 11th July.

The village was looking lovely and I am sure that they were impressed with all our efforts. The judging was over a two-hour period and we tried to show them as much of Berrynarbor as we could. Alan and I met them in the car park and talked to them about trying to make the car park and Shop a welcoming area. They met some of the volunteers in the Shop and liked the new herb tubs and the seating area with the telephone box information centre. We then travelled by car up Barton Lane to view the new village signs and the planting in the new stone bed. Then down past the bright and beautiful flower display outside the Sawmills Inn to our lovely Watermouth Harbour and the new Storm in a Teacup Cafe, also bedecked with flowers. We then travelled up the Sterridge Valley so that they could take in the greater part of the village and then back past the School to the car park when they walked around the centre of the village with Ann and Barbara, taking in the War Memorial, the Manor Hall and the Pre-school, where they met some of the children who eagerly showed them what they had been growing in the garden that we helped to renovate last year. Finally, they visited the pub garden to meet with some of Ann's Grow@Jigsaw team who had worked so hard there. Completing their visit, they met some of the Berry in Bloom team over a coffee.

Well done Bloomers and all of you in the village who have helped in whatever way, fingers crossed we'll get GOLD again!

Sunday 22nd July saw Berry in Bloom holding Tea on the Lawn at Middle Lee Farm.  The weather was glorious and the venue lovely for everyone to have a scrummy tea with sandwiches, clotted cream scones and a great selection of homemade cakes, and all for a fiver! A goodly sum of £428.00 was made, some of which will, no doubt, be spent this autumn on bulbs for our spring displays. The raffle raised £140 for the Newsletter. Many thanks to everyone who helped. 

Wendy Applegate


Artwork: Angela Bartlett

Date and Apple Squares

This is an easy recipe that helps use some of the cooking apples that will soon be ready to pick.

  • 225g/8oz butter
  • 140g/5oz cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 140g/5oz chopped stoned dates
  • 280g/10oz light soft brown sugar
  • 175g/6oz plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate soda 100g/4oz porridge oats

Heat the oven to190℃/170℃ fan/gas 5. Grease and line with baking parchment an 18cm square tin.

Tip the apples with 2 tbsps water into a saucepan and simmer on a low heat for about 5 minutes until tender. Add the dates and 50g/2 oz of the soft brown sugar and cook for a further 5 minutes but add a splash more water if it looks like sticking to the pan. Break the apples and dates up with a spoon and leave to cool.

Melt the butter on a low heat. Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda, remaining sugar and porridge oats together in a bowl and pour in the melted butter. Mix well.

Press half the oat/flour mixture in to the bottom of the tin firmly.

Spread over the apple/date mixture. Cover with the remaining oat/flour mixture and press down.

Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden and firm. Cool in the tin before cutting into squares.

Don't like dates? Replace them with raisins and 1 tsp cinnamon maybe.

This recipe freezes well but doesn't stay quite so crisp, still lovely though.

Wendy Applegate



This year's Show, with its theme of Blue Planet, will be held on Saturday, 18th August. The Manor Hall will be open from 2.00 p.m. to view the exhibits when light refreshments will be available and there will be a raffle. Admission £1.50, Children 50p. Schedules are still available from the Shop and Entry Forms should be completed and returned by 6.00 p.m. on Wednesday, 15th August.

Exhibits may be staged between 7.00 and 8.30 p.m. on the Friday, 17th August, or between 9.00 and 10.00 a.m. on the day of the Show. How are your spuds and sunflowers doing? So, lots and lots of entries please, and lots of visitors for the afternoon's Exhibition, Prize Giving and Auction.



'Singing the Blues'

A giant hogweed towered above me. A yellow Labrador was enjoying a paddle in the harbour. But, as I walked along The Warren on a sunny summer's day, I was wondering, "Where have all the butterflies gone?" A couple of velvety dark ringlet butterflies with their subtle pattern of tiny cream circles appeared in the shadier sections of the path, but so far this year sightings of blue butterflies have been sparse.

Hope Bourne, the writer and artist who lived at Great Ferny Ball, Exmoor, wrote in A Moorland Year:

    ". . . a host of blue butterflies flutter and shimmer in the strong sunshine . . . like fragments of sky descended to earth. I watch them entranced as they fly about my feet and amongst the flowers, transported back to childhood when such a flight of butterflies was more frequently to be seen than nowadays."

Vladimir Nabokov, more famous for Lolita and other novels, was also a professional lepidopterist, specialising in the study of blue butterflies and writing several books on the subject.

Illustrated by: Paul Swailes

I reached the Martello tower and a gorgeous view of the sea; an intense blue with, closer to the shore, clear turquoise green water creating a rippling pattern over the rocks below. I witnessed a fly past of cormorants and gannets. A clump of tiny mauve storkbill clung to the base of the tower. As I continued, a neat brown silhouette flew by - a kestrel - a brief hover and she dropped from sight. I retraced my steps to see where she might have landed. Instead I heard a cheerful trill but it took some time to locate the goldfinches balanced on the thistles. Then a female stonechat landed beside them.

On a walk it pays just to stop and listen, tracing any small sounds and movements. At the end of the path, opposite the island called Sexton's Burrow, a scurrying in the undergrowth and a glimpse of small rodents. A wild rockery of centaury, sheep's-bit scabious and lime-green flowered wood sage. [Unlike the similar devil's-bit scabious, sheep's-bit is not a true scabious but a member of the campanulaceae family.]

Returning to the tower I found the peace had been broken by the arrival of speed boats. Helmeted intrepids were hurling themselves off rocks and into the sea. Although the weather was wonderful and the boat cafe was doing a good trade, I had the entire route along the narrow promontory to myself. Perhaps the slightly hidden, dark and overgrown entrance to The Warren appears uninviting. But it does make a lovely local walk.

Sue H




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]

It has been a busy few months for the Parish Council. The Berrynarbor Dog Show was held on Sunday 1st July 2018 which, despite the torrential rain, saw an amazing turnout of people, a total of £225 was raised to support the Berrynarbor Newsletter.  Thanks, must be given to Councillor Mrs Sian Barten for organising the event, Councillor

Mrs Julia Fairchild who did a sterling job of organising and stewarding on the day in the pouring rain and our esteemed judge, Mrs Yvette Gubb, who did the most amazing job of judging and we are truly grateful to her for coming out in such awful weather and undertaking the task with her usual good humour and charm.  Jennifer Barten also judged two classes and thanks must be extended to her too.  The Parish Council hopes to hold an annual dog show for a different cause each year and hopes to build on this success.

The defibrillator awareness training was held in June and the Parish Council would like to thank all those that attended and the Assistant Community Responder Officer from the South West Ambulance Service for leading the session. This is an annual awareness training to show the public how to use the equipment in an emergency so if you missed this year's, please do keep an eye out for the date next year.

At the beginning of the year the Parish Council reported that it had received complaints about the storage of large vehicles and motorhomes in the village car park. Enforcement was carried out by the North Devon Council, which owns the car park, to remove the vehicles; however, the Parish Council has received further complaints that the car park is once again being used to store large vehicles and motorhomes. Not only is the abuse of the village car park unfair on those who pay to store their caravans and motor homes, but it also prevents the community from being able to park to attend functions and use the facilities within the village. This continuous abuse could lead to charges being introduced to manage the facility and prevent long term usage.

The Parish Council has once again received complaints about hedgerows overhanging highways. If you are a landowner please consider your responsibility to maintain your hedgerows and although bird nesting season prevents some hedge cutting from March - August, safety should be maintained. Any overgrown hedgerows affecting highway safety can be reported via Devon County Council's website www.devon.gov.uk.

As reported in the last newsletter, the new village signs are in situ, the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty signs have been added and the stone planter has been built around the Barton Lane sign and planted by Berry In Bloom and thanks must be given to them for the lovely display. The Parish Council would like to say thank you to County Councillor Andrea Davis who contributed £2,000 from her Devon County Council Locality Fund, the AONB which contributed £1,726.37 in grant funding, Councillor Adam Stanbury who donated the stone for the planter and

Mr and Mrs Richards who contributed £300 for the creation of the stone planter. The Parish Council would also like to thank North Devon Wrought Iron Design for creating the signs, A&B Contractors for installing them, Berry Arboriculture for building the stone planter, Really Red for the AONB signs and the landowners who have allowed us to install the signs on their land. The Parish Council has received some lovely feedback and comments from residents about the signs and we really do hope that they will help to promote the area and traditions of Berrynarbor, especially the importance of its setting within the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Vicki Woodhouse - Parish Clerk





1. Speak, 4. Ahead, 10. About, 11. Hateful, 12. Ladybird, 13. Scab, 15. Libido, 17. Bowser, 19. Wick, 20. Affluent, 23. Routine, 24. Ratio, 25. Perry, 26. Using.


2. Proud, 3. Antibody, 5. Hate, 6. Affects, 7. Wallflowers, 8. Charm, 9. Elaboration, 14. Bollards, 16. Because, 18. After, 21. Eaten, 22. Tier.




The Club will be decorating the Amdega Shelter at Rosemoor as part of the Summer Flower Show, 17th to 19th August. The overall theme is the stories of Beatrix Potter, we are doing The Tale of Jeremy Fisher.

There will be flower demonstrations on each day of the Festival and various activities for children to enjoy.

The Club will also be helping to decorate Arlington Church from the 24th to 27th August, with the theme 'Our green and pleasant land'. The church will be open and manned by members from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. each day.

For further information, please ring Sue Neale on [01271] 883893.




SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE[21 October 1772 - 25 June 1874]

Poet, Literary Critic and Philosopher

We were looking for a lunchtime pub on the A38 between Highbridge and Bridgwater - and missed it. [Later we found it was between Bridgwater and Taunton and we must have driven past it!] When we found ourselves in Nether Stowey, on the edge of the Quantock Hills, we couldn't wait for sustenance any longer. Food was 'off' at the recommended pub, but opposite was Coleridge Cottage, that served lunch.

Having satisfied our stomachs, we then toured this tiny cottage, home to Samuel Taylor Coleridge from 1796 - 1799. Here, we learnt, he was at his most prolific poetic creativity, writing The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Kubla Khan, and Frost at Midnight amongst others. With his friend William Wordsworth, who lived nearby, he published a joint volume of poetry, Lyrical Ballads, which turned out to be the start of the English romantic age. Although Wordsworth contributed more poems, Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner was the real star.

This article is not going to be about Samuel Taylor Coleridge's academic achievements, [I always have to be careful to get his name in the right order, not Samuel Coleridge-Taylor who was a renowned composer and conductor in the early 1900's] but largely about his years in Nether Stowey.

So, who was he, and what was he doing in this small village?

Coleridge was born on 21st October 1772 in Ottery St Mary. His father was Rev. John Coleridge, Vicar of St Mary's Church in that town and Headmaster of King's School, a free grammar school set up by Henry VIII. Previously he had been the Master of Hugh Squier's school in South Molton and a lecturer in nearby Molland, which brings the family even closer to Berrynarbor. John Coleridge had 3 children by his first wife, and Samuel was the youngest of 10 children by his second wife, Anne Bowden, who is reputed to be the daughter of a one-time mayor of South Molton.

Young Samuel was a bit of a loner. He 'took no pleasure in boyish sports' and instead read incessantly, and played on his own. His father died when he was only eight and he was sent to Greyfriars in London for the rest of his education. Here he studied and wrote poetry, becoming friends with Charles Lamb, a schoolmate.

His father was pious and innocent according to Samuel, but his relationship with his mother was more of a problem. He was rarely allowed home during term time; as a child he was always seeking attention and in later life was a dependent person, which proved damaging, and whilst in Nether Stowey, wrote of his loneliness at school in the poem Frost at Midnight:

With unclosed lids, already had I dreamt
Of my sweet birth-place, . . .

As a child, he had crippling bouts of depression and anxiety and physically was unhealthy - probably stemming from a bout of rheumatic fever. For this he was treated with laudanum which gave him a lifelong addiction to opium.

In 1791 he attended Jesus College, Cambridge, but left in 1793 and joined the 15th Light Dragoons. Here he suffered severe bouts of depression and after a few months his brothers arranged for him to be discharged as 'insane'. He returned to Jesus College but never received a degree.

Whilst at the college, he met the radically thinking poet, Robert Southey. They had a brief plan to found a utopian commune society, and later that year, 1795, the two friends married sisters, Sara and Edith Fricker. For Samuel, it was a bad choice and he grew to detest his wife, Sara, who was a well-educated woman, brought up in the genteel social life of Bristol.

When, on the last day of 1796, he, Sara and their baby son Hartley arrived at Coleridge Cottage [then named Gilbards], it was dirty, draughty and overrun with mice. Water for all uses had to be drawn from a well in the yard and heated over an open fire. There was no range or oven so Sara had to cook stews and boiled puddings over an open fire. Pies and meat for roasting had to be carried to the baker's and cooked there.

In spite of all this, initially Coleridge at least was happy. He took great delight in his little son. His plan was to be self-sufficient, growing vegetables, and he kept two pigs, three ducks and three geese. His other activities, such as writing, meeting friends and walking on the Quantock Hills, became much more appealing and the garden soon reverted to weeds!

One of his new friends was Tom Poole, a local tanner and farmer with little education, but no country bumpkin! He was a radical thinker, and Samuel looked forward to, and had, many years of support. A gate was made between Coleridge's orchard and Poole's garden for easy access, and Sara was loved by both Poole and his mother. Nowadays, Poole's house offers bed and breakfast.

When Hartley was three, he caught scabies and the cure was to be painted all over with brimstone. Sara had to fumigate the house whilst Coleridge, no help at all, retired to a corner 'undisturbed as a Toad in a Rock'.

Poor Sara, trying to deal with domestic problems, was unable to build up any relationship with the Wordsworths, who frequently enjoyed long walks with her husband. Dorothy sometimes borrowed Sara's clothes - although calling them out of date - and even returned them muddy at the hem from her walks!

By 1798, things were bad for the Coleridges. Samuel had gone to Germany with the Wordsworth's. It was planned that Sara should go with them, but her second baby, Berkeley, was born in May of that year, which prevented her travelling. Once in Germany, Samuel left the Wordsworth's and enrolled as a student at Gӧttingen University.

Whilst there, the baby, Berkeley, became very ill following a smallpox vaccine. His lungs were affected and after staying up with Berkeley many nights, Sara too became ill. She was also running short of money and moved back to Bristol where there was better medical help. Her illness caused her hair to lose its gloss and fall out and she took to wearing a wig. In spite of her constant care, Berkeley died in his mother's arms in February 1799. When Samuel eventually heard of his baby's death, he didn't hurry home. It was July before he returned, and even then, because of his guilty neglect, only after a stay in London. Sara felt utterly abandoned.

In the souvenir guide to Coleridge Cottage, there is a copy of a very moving letter she wrote to her husband desperately asking for him to come home. It was the beginning of the end of their relationship and of their happiness in Nether Stowey.

The Wordsworth's tenancy had expired and they moved back to their beloved Lake District. Coleridge became a successful journalist with London's Morning Post. On the pretext of wanting to save his marriage, but more so because he wanted to be near Wordsworth, he and Sara moved to Keswick. By this time, however, William was now achieving poetic success and was becoming tired of Samuel turning up at his home, depressed and ill.

In 1804 Coleridge accepted the post of secretary to the Governor of Malta and on his return two years later returned to the Lake District. He finally separated from Sara in1808 after a long infatuation with the sister of Wordsworth's wife, Mary. He became increasingly dependent on opium and by 1816 was accepted as a patient into the home of London surgeon, James Gillman, who partially controlled his addiction. Samuel lived with the Gillman's in Highgate until his death in 1834. Sara, two years older than Samuel, lived until 1845. During his lifetime, he added greatly to the English language.

As examples, I give two quotes from The Ancient Mariner:

    "Water, water everywhere
    Nor any drop to drink"


    "He prayeth best who loveth best
    All things both great and small;.
    For the dear God who loveth us,
    He made and loveth all."

In spite of a successful London career, writing for newspapers, lecturing, compiling tomes on his literary thoughts and even writing the occasional poem, Coleridge never regained the magical touch of his three years in Coleridge Cottage.

The cottage is now owned by the National Trust and is just a pleasant day's outing for Berrynarbor folk. Why not give it a go? We found it by accident - but it was well worth the visit.

PP of DC



Guess who we met on our cruise of the Norwegian fjords - Tony and Norma Holland!

We had a good chat and they send their best wishes to all at Berry.

Bob and Eileen

And we, in Berry, send our very best wishes to you. It is lovely to see you both looking so well.



This poem [or is it a lament?] was sent in by Maureen [Scott-Nash]. By John Gordon, it was first published in the Daily Telegraph in February and is reproduced with John's kind permission.

They showed me two sealed boxes and invited me to choose,
It really was so simple, how could anyone refuse?
The one was labelled Brexit, the other one Remain,
Pick one I was told, your chance may never come again.
I understand the labels, but they don't help me decide.
Before I choose I'd like some clues - what is it that's inside?
It's clear as day said Mrs. May, an idiot could figure,
Labels are too small for you? Perhaps you'd like them bigger?
Oh I can read the labels I hurry to explain,
I need to know the contents or I'm tempted to abstain.
Take Brexit for example, what does that indicate?
Oh Brexit - that means Brexit - please try to concentrate!

OK then I try again, Remain - what's that about?
She says it's obvious to me, can there be any doubt?
Well yes there can, and rather than give meaningless replies
Give us the facts, we'd like brass tacks - evasion sounds like lies.
So in the end I gave my vote, a little box I ticked,
But as events unfolded, I wondered what I'd picked.
While politicians argue, and as confusion grows
We might begin to wonder if anybody knows.

John Gordon



The Silver Mine will be open on
Saturday, 4th August, 2018
from 10.00 a.m. until 4.00 p.m.

There will be above ground tours, refreshments and the Museum will be open. There will, however, be no underground tours.



Combe Martin Carnival week is here! Thanks to all who are involved in the Berrynarbor float, we can't wait to see it! There is room for more floats, walking entries and classic cars, so spread the word!

We also need marshals and helpers, particularly on Parade Night, so if you can spare time, it would be very much appreciated. Please give me a shout if you have any questions - Emma Stratton 07887 855532.

  • Saturday, 4th August - Opening Day at Hollands Park BBQ, stalls, family games, bouncy castle, etc. 1.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m. [approx.]
  • Sunday, 5th August - Duck Race at the beach, 2.00 p.m. Duck Desk opens at 12.30 p.m.
  • Monday, 6th August - Fairy Princess at the Village Hall, 6.00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, 7th August - Bingo, Village Hall, Doors open 7.00 p.m. for Eyes Down at 8.00 p.m. Raffle Quiz Night: Pack of Cards, 8.00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, 8th August - Carnival Parade, Holdstone Way, 7.30 p.m.
  • Thursday, 9th August - Raft/Kayak Race & BBQ at beach. Register from 3.30 p.m. Live music at Castle Inn from 10.00 p.m. Entertainment at The Dolphin [tbc]
  • Friday, 10th August - Wheelbarrow Fiesta and Fireworks Leaves Holdstone Way, 7.30 p.m. Fireworks at approximate 10.00 p.m. Children's Pavement Art to be confirmed
  • Saturday, 11th August - Car Show at the Pack of Cards 10.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. Followed by Duck Race at 3.00 p.m. Duck Desk opens at 1.00 p.m.

    Flower Festival Museum Activities on the beach to be confirmed.


Artwork: Paul Swailes


We are happy to report that the main hall roof has had some remedial repairs to stop the leak we have been experiencing for some time. We are now in the process of acquiring advice and quotes for a new heating system for which we very much hope to be able to give you a schedule of works in the next edition of the Newsletter- fingers crossed!

We are delighted that our recent push for new Trustee members has resulted in a successful recruitment of 3 new members. This will hopefully take pressure off our current team and bring fresh ideas and skills.

A huge thank you to Judith Adam and her helpers on the second successful Military Wives Choir Evening, from which we received a very welcome share of the profits of £830 - an amazing achievement!

At our July meeting we welcomed David Rowe, a successful bid writer and fund finder, who is generously giving us his time and knowledge free to help us access funding. Again, we hope to be able to report some positive news on funding this autumn.

Please can we politely remind car owners that the clearly inadequate parking facilities at the Hall needs to be used with consideration, and it is strictly for the use of people that are in the Hall buildings and is not to be used as a car park while visiting other places in the village.

Finally, we will be holding a fundraiser in the Hall, Auction of Promises on Saturday 10th November. Previously, this has been a very successful way of fundraising and if you have something you can give in the way of a Promise or Gift to be auctioned, please contact a trustee - thank you.

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


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


"Not long after, and while it was still twilight, the grandfather also went to bed, for he was up every morning at sunrise, and the sun came climbing up over the mountains at a very early hour during these summer months. The wind grew so tempestuously during the night, and blew in such gusts against the walls, that the hut trembled and the old beams groaned and creaked. It came howling and wailing down the chimney like voices of those in pain, and it raged with such fury among the old fir trees that here and there a branch was snapped and fell. In the middle of the night, the old man got up. "The child will be frightened," he murmured half aloud. He mounted the ladder and went and stood by the child's bed.

"Outside the moon was struggling with dark, fast-driving clouds, which at one moment left it clear and shining, and the next swept over it, and all again was dark. Just now the moonlight was falling through the round window straight on to Heidi's bed. She lay under the heavy coverlid, her cheeks rosy with sleep, her head peacefully resting on her little round arm, and with a happy expression on her baby face as if dreaming of something pleasant. The old man stood looking down on the sleeping child until the moon again disappeared behind the clouds and he could see no more, then he went back to bed."

Johanna Spyri's delightful story of Heidi, the girl from the alps, is by far the most popular work of Swiss literature. It has been translated from German into 50 languages, been filmed more than a dozen times and more than 50 million copies of Heidi books have been sold world-wide. Johanna Spyri, nee Heusser, was born in 1827 and raised in the small village of Hirzel, southeast of Zurich. The daughter of a country doctor and a writer of religious poetry and hymns. With her three brothers and three sisters, Johanna grew up in a sheltered upper-class family environment. When she 16 she was sent to a residential school in the French-speaking city of Yverdon and after graduating she returned home, helping her mother, teaching her little siblings, and reading.

Her choice to remain in Hirzel with her parents might have been for safety as politically, these were turbulent times in Switzerland with a short civil war, followed in 1847 by the foundation of a modern, democratic, federal national state.Johanna married Johann Bernard Spyri, a lawyer, journalist and workaholic, in 1852, when she was 25. He did not show much interest in his wife and the marriage was not very happy.

During her pregnancy with her only child, Bernard, she suffered from depression, which continued for several years. Bernard sadly died early of consumption at the age of 28, in 1884, the same year that his father also died.

It was a family friend who encouraged Johanna to write and she published her first story in 1871.

From that date to 1901, she published 27 books and 4 booklets containing a total of 48 stories and novels. She had a rather critical view on Switzerland's society in the late 19th century and today her works, apart from the Heidi story, probably find more interest to historians than those interested in literature. She had a special interest in the situation of children and young women who at that time were regarded as small, imperfect adults. It was, therefore, quite revolutionary that she took sides with the children as having their own world and their own needs differing widely from the world of adults.

Johanna Spyri died in Zurich, where she is buried, on the 7th July 1901.

Judie Weedon



This is an e-mail I have received from Joel Gellard. If you feel you could help in any way, or have suggestions to make, please either contact him direct or me on [01271] 883544 or e-mail: judiew12@gmail.com.


Joel Gellard - Researcher
True North, Marshalls Mill, Marshall Street, Leeds, LS119YJ
e-mail: jgellard@truenorth.tv

I'm involved in making a documentary series 'Devon & Cornwall' for More 4.

It's a follow up to our series 'the Yorkshire Dales and the Lakes', the second series of which has just started on More 4. Here's a link to the programme:http://www.channel4.com/programmes/the-yorkshire-dales-and-the-lakes .

It's a positive and gently paced programme which gives the rest of the country an idea what it's like to live and work in such beautiful and remote locations. We aim to be filming from JUNE until OCTOBER, in chunks around the counties. We focus on interesting characters and communities, the benefits they take from living in the area, and challenges they face together.

We're looking to find interesting characters, especially those who have a historical tie to the area, or an occupation that could not exist anywhere else. This could be YOU or someone you are aware of. Other things that may be of interest:

  • Passion for their role and heritage
  • Key members of the community
  • People who hold more than one role in the community
  • People who often initiate or coordinate events
  • People who have a specific skill or talent
  • People whose situation is changing, perhaps because of changes to their profession or environment

If you're interested, or have any suggestions, or any questions, please get in touch on jgellard@truenorth.tv or 07765 141 819

All suggestions and signposts welcome, including of course your feelings about potentially being filmed by a small crew of friendly northerners!

Joel Gellard 


For the Young - Answers

1. Umber, 2. Sterridge, 3. Wilder, 4. Gavel, 5. No, that's his name, 6. Half a maggot and knowing where the other half is! 7. It was stuck to the chicken's foot.



1st to 12th: Lee Arts & Crafts Fair, Lee Hall, 11.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. daily
4th Combe Martin Silver Mine Open Day, 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.
Start of Combe Martin Carnival Week, for details see article 35.
7th Mobile Library in Village from 11.40 a.m.
17th to 19th: Ilfracombe Flower Club Display at Rosemoor
18th Horticultural & Craft Show: Exhibition of Entries, Manor Hall, 2.00 p.m.
24th to 27th: Ilfracombe Flower Club Display at Arlington Church
29th Friendship Lunch, The Globe, 12.30 p.m.
2nd Shop 10 Years' Celebration, 2.00 p.m. Shop and Car Park
3rd Primary School: Start of Autumn Term
4th Mobile Library in Village from 11.40 a.m.
5th Ilfracombe Academy: Start of Autumn Term
26th Friendship Lunch, The Globe, 12.30 p.m.
2nd Mobile Library in Village from 11.40 a.m.

Manor Hall Diary
MondaysUpholstery, 9.00 to 1.00 p.m.
Craft Group, 1.45 p.m.
Badminton, 7.30 p.m.
TuesdaysN.D. Spinners [2nd & 4th]
3rd: Craft Art Group, 9.30 a.m.
WednesdaysPilates Body Workout, 9.00 a.m.
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



Attendance Officer on Pitt Hill


This view of the School Attendance Officer, Mr. Hooper, for Ilfracombe, Combe Martin and Berrynarbor, shows him walking up Pitt Hill. This photographic picture was taken, yet again, by William Garratt around 1903-4 and is numbered 11. Note the roof of Rose Cottage on lower right, whilst on lower left the cottages 30 and 31 Pitt Hill can just be seen. Here we also have a great picture of the houses on Hagginton Hill, which was formerly known as Heanton Hill.

The message on the reverse side of the card is very interesting:

". . . and peered into the window of the only other shop the place contains, where you see biscuits and ribbon and pencils and sweets all on the same counter. We wanted some sweets but the flies were so numerous. On the way home, we went by the inland road, past all these white cottages."

The shop mentioned is undoubtedly Dormer Cottage Shop as run by Mr. Klee who was of German extraction.

It should be noted that the Attendance Officer would look into the reasons why any children were not attending school and would inform the parents that their children must attend school regularly unless the doctor had said they should stay at home because of illness or fever.

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage, July 2018
e-mail: tomandinge40@gmail.com

The Attendance Officer

The post of School Attendance Officer originated with the 1870 Education Act and his job description was to track student attendance and enforce rules about truancy, which varied according to each school's guidelines and local laws. They sometimes even tracked down specific students who had a habit of missing school.

The Attendance Officers, responsible for the enforcement of compulsory attendance, changed their approach to truancy under the influence of child welfare legislation and changing views of the child in the first decade of the 20th century. Some of the changes of their work emerged as a direct response to the implementing the law in relation to child welfare but at the same time, attendance officers themselves increasingly aspired to a new welfare role which emphasised support and help for the needy family in place of the punitive role they had previously undertaken. But it was not easy for them to change their image from the familiar one of the 'kid-catcher'.

Today, all schools must record details of pupils' attendance and absence at school. They do so at the beginning of morning and afternoon sessions and if a child is absent, the parent must tell the school why. The school will record the absence. The Education Welfare Service [EWS] gets this information for each pupil. The Department of Education also receives annually attendance data for each school.

By law, all children of compulsory school age [normally four to 16] must receive a suitable full-time education. For most parents, this means registering their child at a school - though some choose to make other arrangements to provide a suitable, full-time education.

Once a child is registered at a school, the parent[s] are legally responsible for making sure they go regularly.  If the child doesn't go to school, parents could get fined or be prosecuted in court. 

The Education Authority is responsible for investigating if they believe a child is not getting educated at home or at school.