Edition 176 - October 2018

Photo: Susan Richards

Artwork: Judie Weedon


It's been a lovely summer but currently it is wet and windy as Storm Ali passes through followed by Storm Bronagh. The evenings are drawing in and autumn is here.

This issue's cover, the autumnal rainbow scene from Napps, has again been sponsored by Mike and Sue Richards and sincere thanks to them for their continued support of the Newsletter.

There have been some comings and goings in the village of late and we welcome all newcomers and say goodbye to the leavers and wish them all health and happiness in their new homes, and send get well soon messages to anyone not feeling at their best right now.

A big thank you to everyone involved in the Shop's 10th Birthday Party - a lovely, happy event and you even managed to organise a beautiful sunny afternoon!

This is another full and varied issue due to the contributors - thank you all. We send get well wishes to Tony, our scribe from Suffolk, who is a bit under the weather and thank him for contributing 121 short stories over the years!

So, to our next Newsletter. This will cover December and Christmas, as well as the first month of 2019 - can it really be 19 years since we were celebrating the Millennium and wondering if computers would crash and 'planes drop out of the sky? Items with a Christmassy flavour are welcome as soon as possible and by Wednesday, 7th November at the latest please, and don't forget those Christmas messages.

In the meantime, enjoy this issue and think about how YOU could contribute.

Judie - Ed




Looking at my last words in the August Newsletter, I should have had more faith in S.W.W. as they did not impose a hose pipe ban!

The weather changed on the 1st of July with 7.4mm of rain after the last ten days of June having no rainfall. This was a one-day event as the next eighteen days only produced a total of 1.4mm, fifteen of which had no rainfall and the wettest day was the 28th with 16.8mm. I remember on this day that at one point the rain was torrential and falling at a rate of 79mm an hour - it was a good job it only lasted a short period! The total for July amounted to 43.4mm which is below average. The wettest July on my records was in 2009 at 303mm, which was exceptional.

Temperatures continued to be high, the highest day temperature was 29.4 on the 2nd which was 0.1℃ above the day of June 26th. Night temperatures were also high and did not fall into single figures during the month, the coolest night was the 20th at 10.1℃.

The wind speeds were about normal, the highest gust speed of 35mph from the SSW on the 28th. This was the day the barometer fell to the lowest for the month at 996.6 mbars. which was not surprising!

The total sunshine hours for July was 191.77, higher than the average of 177.38 hours for July based on the figures given to me since 2003.

August started off with a continuation of the hot summer weather, the highest temperature of the month was on 5th at 28.3℃ which is just above normal. The hottest August day I have recorded was 34.5℃ in 2003. On the 6th the temperature dropped to 21.5℃ and only managed to make 20℃ or over on four other days during the month. On the 11th, the night temperature was only 7.3℃ the lowest since 0500hrs. on the 22nd of June at 6.3℃.

Rain became more frequent in August although very light early in the month, over the 10th, 11th and 12th combined, we had 33.4mm which replenished my water butts; the wettest day was on the 26th with 21.6mm. The total for August amounted to 101.8 mm and the sunshine hours for the month totaled 150.82. This was fairly low although I see in 2008 we had 127.64 hours. The wind was fairly strong on a good number of days with the highest gust on 26th at 33mph. from the South.

I am late writing this report as I have been away. The weather forecast is not good with ex-hurricane Helene on the way across the Atlantic - probably more on this in the next newsletter.



Artwork: Helen Armstead


Following on from the August edition of the Berrynarbor Newsletter, the Parish Profile has now been approved by the Archdeacon and advertising will have commenced in September. So, we now have to wait for candidates to come forward and hope that this will be sooner rather than later. Meanwhile we are very grateful to our two faithful, Rev. Bill Cole and George Billington with occasional assistance from Pip & Jim's retired clergy and their lay readers for conducting services here in Berrynarbor.

As you know, I retired from playing the organ for church services at the end of July, but with help from a selection of pre-recorded hymns on six CD's, services can at least be conducted to the sound of a church organ. The CD's were originally used at St. Peters Church in Combe Martin, but following an update of their sound equipment, their PCC very kindly passed these CD's over to us here in Berrynarbor. We are, of course, extremely grateful for this gesture; nevertheless, we in Berrynarbor continue to hope that the position of Organist will be filled as soon as possible.

Whilst on the subject of recruitment, we should welcome anyone who would be prepared to take on the position of PCC Secretary, currently undertaken by Sue Neale. This is purely a temporary position for Sue, since she is also heavily involved with Ilfracombe Flower Club and is currently Chairman, Secretary and goodness knows what else, and so we cannot emphasise enough our need for the secretarial post to be filled. There must be someone out there who can come to our rescue with only 6 meetings a year to attend! Please help!!

We welcome everyone to our Harvest Service on Sunday, 7th October and of course our Harvest Supper on Wednesday 10th October, 6.30 for 7.00 p.m. in the Manor Hall. Ticket price remains unchanged at £6.00 for a really super buffet meal and a complimentary glass of wine/beer/cider. Please remember to bring your own knife, fork and spoon on the evening.

On the same subject of Harvest, we should invite all villagers to think about those folk not so well off at this time and to contribute either tins/packets/pasta/rice/cereals or whatever for our annual gift to the Ilfracombe Food Bank, organised/hosted by the Salvation Army in Ilfracombe. There will be a large container placed next to the font at the rear of the Church from 1st October for people wishing to donate to this worthy cause!

Remembrance Sunday will be held on Sunday 11th November commencing at 10.45 a.m., followed by the short act of Remembrance at 11.00 a.m. alongside the village War Memorial in the churchyard. We encourage all villagers to attend this important annual service of remembrance. Berrynarbor School will once again be paying their respects by exhibiting wonderful poems and special commemorative pictures for all to read and view at the end of the service.

We are especially grateful to Graham Lucas for taking on the running of the Berrynarbor Choir, and hope to see any newcomers who may wish to join our fabulous Choir. As usual, choir practice is on Monday evenings commencing at 7.30pm.

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

The Friendship Lunch will be held on the last Wednesday of the month in The Globe Pub at 12.30 p.m.

A Personal Message

I wish to thank all those who contributed gifts and the wonderful signed card following my last Church Service on Sunday 29th July. I was extremely moved and will always cherish the services for which I have played covering so many years. Thank you to everyone for your kind words and appreciation.

As if that were not enough, I was completely hoodwinked into a surprise party at John and Fenella's as a thank you for running the Berrynarbor Choir since 2000. Almost the whole Choir were there and certainly a few tears were shed from yours truly. Thank you, John and Fenella, for hosting this wonderful evening which I shall never forget.

Stuart Neale





It was with sadness we learnt that David had passed away peacefully at home on the 18th July after a long illness bravely borne. A loving husband and father he will be sadly missed by all his family and friends.

Our thoughts are with Pat and James at this time of sorrow.

[Kathy or Kath]
2.1.1923 - 22.8.2018

The Spinners' Prayer

Thanks to the tree for my spinning wheel
Thanks to the sheep for its fleece
Thanks to the Lord for giving me
Hands that work in harmony
Bless all for whom I spin
And fill their hearts with peace.

How sad it was to learn that Kath had passed away at home on the 22nd August. A loving and much-loved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, she will be so missed by her family and many friends. Our thoughts are with Carol, Jill and Donna and their families at this very sad time.

The well-attended thanksgiving service for her life, held at St. Peter's on the 19th September, was a beautiful tribute to an interesting and remarkable lady who lived life to the full.

Carol, Jill and Donna would like to thank everyone who attended the service and for the many cards and messages of sympathy they have received.



Yes, it has been a long, hot summer and these beautiful pictures are part of a new collection of 12, inspired by the summer, and the work of our Artist in Residence, Paul Swailes. The collection can be seen at Fortythree - a unique shopping experience - in Fore Street, Ilfracombe.

This shop is a co-operative space full of beautiful handmade products from local makers, including children's clothing, decorative pieces, ceramics, woodwork, paper, sculpture, glasswork, paintings and jewellery. It is open from 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday.

If you are looking for an unusual or original gift for Christmas, this is definitely the place to visit, when you would be supporting Paul, who has so kindly been supporting our Newsletters with his illustrations since issue No. 7, August 1990.

Artwork by: Paul Swailes




New Shop Celebrates 10th Anniversary

On the 2nd of September, villagers gathered at the car park to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the opening of our new Shop and Post Office, and the conditions could not have been kinder with the indifferent weather finally giving way to blue skies as the sun smiled down on the celebrations. It was a great turnout and a wonderful show of support for the shop. In addition to local suppliers who provided refreshments and tasters, many villagers contributed to the fantastic spread of food with their bring and share contributions.

Entertainment was provided by the Red Petticoats clog dancing team and the singing of Chris Pearson. Guests of honour were District Councilor Yvette Gubb who had performed the opening ceremony of the shop back in 2008; Keith Walls, one of the original founders of the community enterprise; Alex Parke who worked so hard to make the new venture a success and John Boxall who played a leading role in the design and build of the new shop.

The Shop Committee is grateful to all those who attended the event. As we say goodbye to the seasonal visitors for another year, we hope that all villagers will support the shop with their custom during the winter months. We look forward to serving you soon.


That Certain Time of Year

We hate to mention it, but it will soon be that certain time of year again! The shop will publish a list of last posting dates so you will know when to post in order to guarantee arrival before the big day. Some, to places far away, may have occurred, so please be aware and ensure you post your items in plenty of time.

The shop can put together gift boxes of local produce for you to send to family and friends. You can post boxes weighing up to 2 kilos to anywhere in the UK for just £2.95.

As we move into November the shop will be taking meat and food orders for the celebrations and it is already stocking Berrynarbor themed cards for the festive period.




The organising group would like to congratulate all the winners and thank everyone who took part or helped run the event in any way. Although entries were down on last year, it still turned into a good day.

Watch out for next year's event as we'll be trying something different!

  • Floral Art - The Globe Cup: Joan Lupton
  • Home Cooking - The Walls Cup: Kim Beaver
  • Handicrafts [Needlework] - The Davis Cup: Judie Weedon
  • Handicrafts - the Watermouth Cup: Tee Phillips
  • Grow Your Own:
    • Sunflowers: Jackie Pierpoint
    • Potatoes: Kim Beaver
  • Art - The George Hippisley Cup: Judie Weedon
  • Photography - The Vi Kingdon Award: Judie Weedon
  • Fruit & Vegetables - The Derrick Kingdon Cup: Kim Beaver
  • Potted Plants - The Lethaby Cup: Julia Fairchild
  • Cut Flowers - The Manor Stores Rose Bowl: Karen Narborough
  • Best Horticultural Exhibit - The Manor Hall Cup: Kim Beaver
  • Best Non-Horticultural Exhibit -
  • The Ray Ludlow Bowl: Judie Weedon
  • Best Exhibit on the Show Theme -
  • The Watermouth Castle Cup: Kim Beaver
  • Overall Children's Winners
    • 6 - 9 years - The Wine Goblet: 1st Salah Gingell
    • 10-13 years - the Mayflower Dish: 1st Georgina Clare Kellaway

Note: Please remember that cups have to be returned, to Berrynarbor Village Shop, by the 1st August 2019.





A new school year, new children, a new member of staff and many other new things to get familiar with this Autumn. First of all, we welcome Sophie Muggleston as our Schools Direct student for the year. She will be working mostly in Key Stage 1.

Building works

No doubt, you will have seen the builders in and out during the summer break. The local authority had funded and organised some extensive work to repair a very damp wall in Class 3. When the walls were uncovered, the contractors found some structural defects so the works were delayed. The room is now safe, dry, functional and in use. The plastering and painting will be completed during the half term break at the end of October. Needless to say, this made the days before term started rather frantic, but everyone pulled together so that we were ready for the children on the first day of term.

First Day Back

What an exciting day that first day was as everyone, except the new children in the Reception Class and their staff, walked up to the end of Barton Lane to watch the Cycle Tour of Britain pass by.

    We went to watch the cycle race and cheer them on. We used musical instruments and flags. The instruments were bells, drums and tambourines. I think the cyclists were very brave. It was hard work and they looked tired and sweaty.



School Uniform

You might have noticed that the children are wearing different uniform than previously. The Governors had been discussing a change in uniform so there was continuity across the two schools. The decision was hastened along when various suppliers ceased stocking our uniforms. Now the children across both Schools have been grouped into Houses and wear coloured polo shirts to denote which House they belong to. These are teamed with light grey jumpers, charcoal grey trousers and skirts, with gingham dresses in House colours an alternative option.

School logo

There is also a new school logo, as heads this article.

Class Names

  • Reception and Year 1 is now Mulberry Class [formerly Strawberry class]
  • Year 2 is now Aspen Class [formerly Cranberry]
  • Years 3 & 4 are now Pine Class [formerly Blueberry]
  • Years 5 and 6 are now Alder Class [formerly Elderberry]

The children will be learning about these trees over the course of the year.

School Values

Throughout the year, the children will also be exploring our newly agreed school values. Our values are:

  •          Truth - honesty, freedom and justice
  •          Respect - responsibility, integrity, co-operation
  •          Courage - questioning, bravery, self-assurance
  •          Endurance - hope, determination, perseverance
  •          Compassion - forgiveness, humility, patience
  •          Confidence - flourish, inner strength, calm
  •          Curiosity - questioning, reasoning, growth mind-set

These values will be the backbone to learning, achievement and mind-set, they will be entrenched throughout the school. This will be visible during collective worship, recognised through personal achievements and rewards, and be the common thread that binds Berrynarbor School and West Down School together. The aim of a clear Ethos and Vision is to create a shared goal which can then be used to identify strengths and can also be a building block to create well rounded children ready for the wide world.

Camping Out

Alder and Pine Classes each had a camp-out night with their counterparts from West Down during the first week of term. Alder had a Wild Night Out at Stowford starting with a day of activities including swimming and followed by a night under canvas. Pine had a night under canvas at Watermouth Cove followed by a day of water-based activities. Great fun was had by all despite the rain in the evening and overnight.

Exciting Auditions

Towards the end of August, the Teachers Rock Choir and the Teachers Rock Youth Choir auditioned for Britain's Got Talent. Our very own Mrs Barrow, Fiona, George, Isabel, Benjamin, Ruby and Roxanna are members of the Choirs. Debbie Kent the choir leader writes:

"Obviously, there are no guarantees with 'reality' TV shows such as these, but Thames TV personnel were so impressed they are going to do their very best to promote our mission and help support our application to the shortlisting process for the live shows. Their final words 'What you are doing is unique, we have never seen anything like this before, you are what this show is all about'."

The Year Ahead

We are all getting back into the swing of things and are looking forward to developing the new as well as building on what is already established. The children are enjoying their after-school Sports Clubs, Music Clubs and Sewing Club. Once again, we should just like to say thank you to you all as a community for the support given to the School.

Sue Carey - Head Teacher


Berrynarbor Manor Hall
Wednesdays, 9.00 a.m.

The perfect all-round body exercise class, for all ages and abilities. Specialising in spine, shoulder, neck and knee concerns. We deal with all balance issues and work very much on the abdominal core area. Most of our work takes place on the floor or a chair. All equipment supplied. Wear loose fitting clothing for this fun class. Just bring a bottle of water if you wish.

Other classes at Combe Martin Community Centre on Tuesdays at 9.30 a.m., Bratton Fleming Village Hall on Mondays at 7.00 p.m. or at my studio near Barnstaple for remedial or 'one-to-one or small group sessions.

Any queries telephone: [01271] 343944
mobile: 07934624994


Dave Beagley

Solution in Article 30.


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Len Smith was about to walk past a 'phone box when he decided to give his girlfriend a ring. He entered the box and tool out his wallet and put it on the shelf. He could never remember his girlfriend's number and would always have to look it up in his diary.

He had a chat with her and left the telephone box with his wallet and diary still on the shelf.

The next day Mrs. Mary Norris went to the 'phone box and discovered the wallet and diary.

    "Someone has forgotten these", she thought, "I'll take them to the Police Station tomorrow." She tucked them in her handbag and left.

Mary was a bit forgetful and it was two days later when she remembered the wallet and diary.

Arriving at the Police Station she handed the wallet and diary to the Station Sergeant who took them saying, "I'll put them in the lost property box for now, someone is bound to call in for them later."

However, a week went by and no-one called to collect them.

    "I'd better have a look and see who they belong to," the Sergeant thought and on opening the wallet he discovered it belong to a Len Smith.

In the diary was a list of roads and house numbers.

    "Good gracious!" he said allowed. "These places are all those that have been burgled in the last few months."
    "We can get our man," he said to a nearby constable.

Too late was the simple answer. Len Smith had left the country two days earlier. All was not lost, however, when the police read of his addresses in France. The French Police caught up with Len and he was tried and convicted and sentenced to seven years for his offences - and he is still in jail!

Tony Beauclerk - Stowmarket

Illustrated by: Paul Swailes




A First Taste of Education

We have had a very busy start to our Autumn Term and we should like to welcome all our new families and their children to our Pre-school. We hope they enjoy their learning journey with us.

Topics of learning

We are starting this term with a settling in period and learning about ourselves and our families. We shall explore our senses; taste, sight, smell, hearing and touch. We'll also learn our Pre-school rules; what we can and can't do as well as how to stay safe. We plan to work around some stories such as The Three Little Pigs, Little Blue Tractor, Town Mouse and Country Mouse, The Gruffalo and Going on a Bear Hunt to name but a few.

Outside we'll learn about the change of our season going from summer into autumn; looking at leaves changing colour and hoping to go on nature walks to explore our environment. We shall be building a Bug Hotel and collect seeds from our wild flowers that were sown in the spring and have given us a beautiful summer and autumn display. We hope to distribute these seeds to parents to plant in their gardens.

Finally, we hope to put on a small Christmas performance of songs and carols to celebrate Christmas.


We have booked our next Bag2School collection for Tuesday,

30th October. Bag2School bags will be available at Pre-school and there will be some in the Community Shop and Post Office. They take any unwanted clothes, bags, paired shoes and belts. Unfortunately, they will not take uniforms. So, start sorting out your wardrobes and draws for any unwanted clothes and help raise money for our preschool. Thank you

Used Ink Cartridges

We are still collecting used ink cartridges [exclusions apply so please see the box at Pre-school]. We are also registered to accept laser jet ink cartridges as well, so if anyone uses them in their 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, helping to raise funds for our Pre-school.

Thank you for your support.

The Staff at Berrynarbor Pre-school - Sue, Karen and Lynne


Artwork: Harry Weedon


Summer has come to an end, and what a remarkable summer it has been. The wonderful hot weather meant that providing we kept everything well-watered [no easy task!], the plants loved it and I think the village had one of the best displays of flowers I have seen.

At the time of writing we have still not had the results of the competition but Ann Harris and I will receive them when we go to Yeovil for this year's presentation on October the 4th.

While we wait we shall still be busy as by the end of September we'll be planting up the bulbs for the spring displays and shall, of course, be continuing the litter picks.

Our fund-raising event in July, Tea on the Lawn, held at Middle Lee was a great success and with thanks to all those who helped with that event, and with a kind donation from the Parish Council, our funds are fairly healthy.

Our next fund-raising evening is at the Manor Hall on Friday, 2nd November, in conjunction with Beaford Arts. This will be an evening with a lighthearted and fun talk about Devon's past with Myc Riggulsford followed by a jacket potato and pud supper. Please come along and support us.



Artwork: Angela Bartlett

Honey Cake

After all the eight Honey Cakes entered at this summer's Horticultural and Craft Show were disqualified [!], I have been hell bent on baking a good honey cake and I think this is it.


  • 11 oz/300g unsalted butter cubed and softened
  • 9oz/250g golden caser sugar
  • 4 free range large eggs
  • 5oz/150g self-raising whole meal flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 5oz/150g ground almonds
  • 2oz/50g flaked almonds
  • 6 tbsp good runny honey
    [or set honey, warmed sufficiently to trickle]

Grease and bottom line a 23cm spring form loose bottomed tin or a 20cm loose bottomed tin.

Pre heat the oven to 170C/Gas 3.

Either in a food mixer or using an electric mixer, cream the butter until really soft and fluffy. Add the sugar and cream together thoroughly.

Sift the flour and baking powder together [add the wholemeal chaff back in].

Add the eggs one at a time to the creamed butter and sugar with a spoon of the flour with each egg, beat well together.

Fold in the rest of the flour and the ground almonds and put in to the tin smoothing the top. Sprinkle the flaked almond evenly over the surface.

Stand the tin on a baking sheet [the high butter content might make the cake leak slightly during baking]. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes until springy to the touch and a skewer comes out clean. Pour the honey over while still hot and leave to cool in the tin for 30 minutes. Run a knife round the tin then continue to cool on a rack.

This cake is best eaten the next day but will keep in a tin for a week.

No hope of that in my house!

Wendy Applegate


Artwork: Helen Weedon


Jack Hargreaves, OBE, was a writer, broadcaster and presenter who, especially during his later career as a television personality as well as through the books he wrote, set out to rebalance urban assumptions about the character and function of the countryside. For example, as I explained in my last article, he used this medium as a means to dispel notions that Friesian cattle have always been a key feature upon any British rural outlook. He also went as far as to question the need for their importation across the North Sea to begin with. But more of that later. What one cannot doubt, however, was his skill in using his soft and gentle voice to help members of his metropolitan audience appreciate the value and importance of the countryside beyond their 'city walls' - a concept not all urbanites were able to grasp. Not that it was their fault; but more of that later, too.

Hargreaves was born in London in 1911 and, at the age of seventeen, went to study at the Royal Veterinary College at London University. He left, however, to earn a living as a copy writer, journalist and scriptwriter for radio and films. By the late 1930's he had already established the reputation for his pioneering approaches to radio broadcasting, one that motivated him to continue a media career at the cessation of World War Two. He then began living at a variety of addresses in central London and by the late 1940's was moving between any one of these city homes and a caravan in a field on the bank of the River Kennett at Midgham in Berkshire. From here he later moved to a cottage by the River Winterbourne in Bagnor, also in Berkshire, then onto Lower Pennington and then Walhampton, near Lymington, and then to Minstead and East Boldre in the New Forest. His final years were spent at Raven Cottage near Belchalwell, in Dorset.

Hargreaves loved angling, a passion that led to him writing his first book, Fishing for a Year. In it he argued for regression - the pursuit of different fish, in separate places and using various methods throughout the licence seasons. He was bemused at the way fishing had for sociological, technical, financial and population-based reasons become as he saw it tribalised by class and species. "What do they know of fishing," he wrote. "Who know of only one fish and one way to fish him?"

The 1950's was a fruitful time for Hargreaves, a decade in which he became editor of Lilliput and Picture Post as well as being recruited to the National Farmers Union where he went on to organise and develop its Information Department and found the British Farmer Magazine. In 1959 he was headhunted to the new ITV franchised company, Southern Television, taking on the dual roles of Programme Director and Assistant Controller. He would later go on to be a major player in the orchestration of ITV. The year 1949 also saw his television debut when he presented his own television series Gone Fishing. Apprehensive at talking on live television to an audience of millions, albeit on a subject he was passionate about, his director George Egan reassured him that each of these audiences would likely be two or three people sat comfortably in their living room with their pet dog. It was the best advise Hargreaves could have been given deciding as he did to aim his conversation at such mini audiences for the rest of his career.

In the early 1960's and now living near Lymington, Hargreaves began recording the first in a series of programmes for which he was about to become a household name - Out of Town. The first series aired in 1963 and ran until the demise of Southern Television in 1981. It took him little time to grasp how television would work best as a way for him to spread his convincing yet logical message regarding the loss of man's connection with the land. Yet for some people, and urbanites in particular, watching his programme was not about having a need to take on board his rural views. it was merely an opportunity to be calmed by listening to his relaxing, gentle voice. Take my grandmother, for example. A woman who through a tough upbringing was, shall I say, somewhat hard round the edges. I recall one poignant occasion when I was with her in the lounge of my grandparents' townhouse in Walworth. Whilst Nan, still in her checked housecoat, sat in the armchair opposite the television, I instead chose to sit on the poof beside her. No sooner had the programme begun when I noticed those facial lines of stress, anger and bitterness fade away.

"Eze got a lovely voice, that man," Nan commented, her remark directed at me but still looking directly at the screen. "I could listen to 'im all day".

But I guess it was not just about his voice; the programme also allowed her a glimpse into a world that most London working class housewives never saw - except for a two-week working holiday in Marden in Kent doing hop picking.

Between 1966 and 1981 Hargreaves co-presented the children's television programme How, alongside Fred Dinenage, Bunty James and Jon Miller. It was during this period between 1971 and 1973, he was an independent member of the Defence Lands Committee where he made a key contribution to the Nugent Report. This reviewed all the land held by the armed forces and led Hargreaves to conclude that, whilst it might be preferable to use the land for agricultural purposes, military exercises were arguably less harmful to the land than the third option of opening it up to the public for recreational use. To get his point across Hargreaves used his media position to remind his audiences that the countryside was a vital chain in the food process. He was awarded an OBE for his valuable input whilst on the committee.

After the demise of Southern Television in 1981 he teamed up with Lacewing Productions and was commissioned by Channel Four to make a similar series to Out of Town. As a result, sixty Old Country episodes were broadcast between 1983 and 1985. In 1985 he then made twenty-seven new Out of Town episodes for video release. Using footage from original cut film inserts that he had brought form Southern Television, Hargreaves sat in his front room at Raven Cottage and did new voiceovers. These were then added to clips of him introducing each item from his real series was shot in a studio shed. These episodes were late distributed for DVD release.

In 1987 he had published a further book, Out of Town: A Life Relived on Television, followed by The Old Country [1988], and The New Forest: A Portrait in Colour [1992]. It was in the first of these three books that Hargreaves enlightened his readership to Friesian cattle. Now widespread upon the rural landscape, he pointed out that they were unknown in this country when he was born, the oldest herd line he knew not being founded until 1921. Like most other places, it was not until after the Second World War that they become commonplace in his local area, in his case replacing the Shorthorn cattle which he felt were just as useful and productive. He likened the Friesian's take over to a genocidal sweep as of the Greek population in Asia Minor, and was tickled as how Friesians would be seen in the backdrop of films or television serials of Thomas Hardy stories. Assuming as he did that the producers had not bothered to do their homework and so source the appropriate cattle species, it frustrated him that not one of the characters would have known what a Friesian looked like; and who can blame him? For this was a man who throughout his life was passionate about the countryside.

Hargreaves died on the 15th March 1994, his ashes being spread on Burrow Hill above his beloved last home Raven Cottage.

On left: Jack at home at Raven Cottage
Illustration by: Paul Swailes

Stephen McCarthy



The information on Flu from Combe Coastal Practice has been updated. It is important that patients read the following, particularly the over 65's.

We offer influenza vaccination to the following groups:

    Patients aged 65 or over or Patients aged 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.

In August 2018 Public Health England (PHE) published their revised guidance regarding the National Influenza Programme for 2018/19 for Health Practitioners. This sets out the preferred options to the At Risk Groups. It has advised that there will be a change from the 2017/18 guidance whereby all over 65's should now be offered the adjuvanted trivalent influenza vaccine (aTIV) vaccine as opposed to the quadrivalent influenza vaccine (QIV) which was administered last year.

Due to supply issue the surgery has not been able to reserve enough of the aTIV vaccine but we have managed to reserve adequate QIV. Following PHE guidelines we are therefore required to inform you of this and if you are in the over 65 categories ensure you have an informed choice to be vaccinated with the QIV vaccine or seek the aTIV vaccine through another source such as the local pharmacy.

If you choose to be vaccinated at the Surgery with the QIV vaccine we will ensure that your appointment remains in place. If you would rather seek your vaccine via an aTIV supplier we would be grateful if you could let us know.

If you require more information about the 2018/19 National Influenza Programme prior to deciding you can visit the NHS Choices Website here:


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 2018 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.

01271 863119 or 01271 863840 or 01271 882406 or 01271 870276


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


You're sure of a Big Surprise!

It could be said that Ruggaton Wood runs all the way up from the Sterridge Valley, past Orchard Park and Parker's Farm, to stop just short of the A3123 opposite Wheel Farm Cottages across the main road. On Google Earth it appears as a long thin strip of forest. Above the dense part of the woodland that forms one side of the valley, the green grassy hills and rolling countryside were probably once all forest too before many thousands of trees were cut down and the farmers carved out fields for their cows and sheep to graze on. From our Lower Rowes gardens, the way up through the wood is a steep and tiring walk even for the fittest of men. No picnic! But one which offers wonderful scenic views and a few hidden surprises for the brave seasoned hiker. 

Our recent summer holiday visitors were enthusiastic amblers. 

Theo and Harriet Duijkers are Dutch. They live in the Southern part of The Netherlands where there are no hills. Everything is flat there. They arrived late one sunny July Sunday afternoon, and this was their first ever visit to the West Country. However, Theo had been studying North Devon carefully on Google Earth to find the very best and most interesting coastal walks and came fully equipped and prepared for the job. Theo and his wife had brought their backpacks, hats, Alpine walking boots and sticks, and the all-weather heavy rain protection jackets they normally take when on their Austrian winter holidays. They had been told by their Dutch friends to expect a lot of rain in England.

They used their boots and Alpine sticks every day but, with this unusually long and hot summer, the only time they had to put on their storm jackets was during a boat trip to Lundy Island during which 80% of the passengers turned a lighter shade of green and filled up the sick bags the crew had handed them as they left Ilfracombe harbour. They walked all around Lundy island but struggled to stay upright in the strong gale-force winds and rain.

But Theo and Harriet had started their walking excursion days with the easy stuff. 


A stroll down to Combe Martin. A long walk along Woolacombe Beach to Putsborough and Baggy Point. A full day exploring the Valley of the Rocks and Lynmouth's infamously dangerous hills. Then two days hiking across the most barren and rocky parts of Dartmoor, after which they came back to the valley for a night's rest before they went off yet again on a 16 mile march along the rugged coastal pathways of Hartland. Exhausting excursions.  A determined Dutch couple.

So, it was not surprising that they were looking quite knackered the next morning at breakfast.  I suggested that they might enjoy an easier ramble along the lane and up the Sterridge Valley river. 

Harriet was much too tired and decided to sit all afternoon under the chestnut tree and read a book whilst Theo, still full of energy, strapped his camera, complete with 4-kilo telescopic lens, over his shoulder and sauntered off with a smile and a wave, a small bottle of water and a couple of Penguin bars. 

Not too far along the lane he met a group of alpacas resting under the shade of a tree by the river.  When he reached the sharp hairpin bend below Smythen Farm, he hopped over the gate into the field and hiked ever upwards. Near the top of the hill, as he stood in the middle of a field looking back down to our farm and taking photographs of a lively herd of cattle, he suddenly realised that these were not docile milking cows but young bulls.  Disturbed by this strange intruder, the bulls turned and looked up at him.  Theo shouldn't have been wearing that red T-shirt!

As all the young bulls raced up towards him, Theo sprinted across the field and escaped just in time over the hedge and into the woods with his heart beating fast. He sat on a fallen log to catch his breath and looked around him in the woods. He spied an old car wreck deeper in and further up the woods and made his way over to take some photographs. He wondered how the ancient rusted relic had got into the middle of the woods. There was a kind of a path but no signs that a road had ever been there.  A mystery. 

But could this be the crashed hulk of a participant in the Ruggaton Wood Winchers Challenge 50 years ago? Or was it a car that rolled backwards down from the A3123 until it collided with some trees? Theo seems to think that the wreck was a 1955 Standard 8. I am not so sure. 

Anyways, Theo's 'Horror Hike' didn't stop there as he then attempted to walk back down through the woods, across the river, and up our garden to the safety of his holiday cottage. Unfortunately, the brave man lost his footing near the bottom of the steep and dense Ruggaton Wood and tumbled head first and heavy through thick brambles and thorns to arrive back in front of his wife and us bruised and bleeding and with his fine Alpine walking clothes ripped and dirty.

One sunny Devon holiday adventure he will not forget in a hurry!




Artwork: Peter Rothwell


Illustration: Paul Swailes

Dear friends,

There was a time, especially in the countryside, when Harvest time was very important. There are many historic photographs of whole families out in the fields helping farmers to bring in what hopefully was a bountiful harvest. The farmers and community would gather in church and chapel for Harvest Thanksgiving. It was a wonderful example of community at its best.

Today different kinds of crops mature at different times of the year, farms have become totally mechanised, not to mention safety regulations banning anyone other than farm workers from helping. But should modern methods, or anything else, stop us from being a better community, or from giving thanks to God? You may expect me to say "Of course not!"

Our lifestyles have changed, just like farming methods, and although we continue to try and live as a community, God doesn't get much of a look in! We have changed but God hasn't, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow". (Hebrews 13:8) He still enjoys receiving our thanks and our praise.

"There is a story about God visiting a church. As he arrived at the church the morning service was about to begin. God decided he would say something, but someone stood up and started talking; God waited patiently, and when the person finished speaking, God decided to say something, but everyone started singing; God waited patiently, and so it went on like that for an hour. But no-one heard God speak to them."

As we enter autumn and on into winter, why not spend some time listening for that still small voice, be patient though, just like God is.


"Be still, and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10)

Rev Bill Cole




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]

August is generally a recess for Local Councils and although it has been a quieter time, Councillors have still been working hard on local projects.

A site meeting was recently held with Devon County to discuss the replacement of the bus shelter on the A399. A wooden style one has been agreed and it is hoped to place the order for it shortly, but funding streams are still being pursued at this time.

A Working Party has met with the North Devon Council to discuss the possibilities of either transferring or a long lease on the public toilets and car park in Berrynarbor. The Parish Council is still awaiting the options from the North Devon Council and it is hoped these will be presented in early October.

The Parish Council has raised concerns with the MP about the lack of internet speed and mobile phone and tv signal in the parish. Work is being undertaken to look at improvements and the Parish Council is in the process of organising a meeting with the MP to discuss these matters. The date will be advertised on the Parish Council's website www.berrynarborparishcouncil.org.uk in due course.

Now that the bird nesting season is over for the year, the Parish Council would ask landowners to ensure their hedges are cut. The Council has received several complaints about overgrown hedges especially in the Sterridge Valley area.

Vicki Woodhouse - Parish Clerk





Berrynarbor Wine Circle was born in 1988; it doesn't take a mathematician to work out that we've been going for 30 years. That's quite a period of time for anything these days! Geoff and I joined in October, 2007, about a month after we moved here; we've been members ever since and look forward to our October to May Wednesday evenings. We are not wine buffs, none of us are; we just enjoy sampling and learning about the different varieties of wine available, worldwide.

Our celebratory year begins at 8.00 p.m., 17th October, in the Manor Hall.

  • We shall be welcoming Chris Bullimore of the WineBeer Supermarket in Roscoff, Brittany.
  • November sees Majestic returning, with a new member of Barnstaple's team.
  • December has been chosen to mark our 30th, with a Christmas celebration at Comyn Farm.
  • January is the annual and hilarious 'Call My Wine Bluff' evening.
  • In February, we have the pleasure of David Rowe's company. He was Recreational Wine Tutor at Petroc.
  • Bray Valley Wines, South Molton, will be sending a new member of their team.
  • Nigel Pound, owner of Totnes Wine and Radio Devon's Wine Guru appears again, in April.
  • May is the final month of our 2018-19 season, and, therefore, we begin with a very brief AGM, followed by Members' Choices.

We meet every 3rd Wednesday of each month, but our Christmas event is the 2nd Wednesday. For those new to the village, it is a great way of meeting people other than your neighbours. Our charges are minimal: an annual fee of £5 per person, usually paid in October, and a monthly charge of £7 per person that covers our overheads: the hall fee, the wine and cheese and biscuits.

NEW MEMBERS ARE VERY WELCOME. Conviviality is completely free of charge!

Judith Adam
Promotional Co-ordinator & Secretary


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


Our Annual General Meeting was held on the 4th September and attended by 15 members of the public.

Officers: We said goodbye with a big thank you to Denny Reynolds, Phil Compton, Louise Baddick, Jim Constantine and Len Narborough.

Remaining as Trustees are Karen, Alison, Alan, Martin, Ben and myself, and we welcome Helen Knox, our new Secretary, and Mandy Sykes, our Health and Safety Officer. We have a busy time ahead of us - it is both positive and exciting!

This month we also said goodbye and thank you to Abby, our cleaner for the past ten years and welcome Gary Sykes, our new Cleaner and Caretaker.

Work to improve the Hall and facilities is on-going and it is hoped to start work on new heating shortly.

Our next fundraising social event is on Saturday, 10th November, when we are holding a small Auction of Promises evening coupled with a light supper [bring your own drinks!] - posters giving full details will be out in early October. If you are able to make a Promise, please do get in touch with one of the Trustees.

If you have any suggestions for events, either as a fund raiser or a nice social evening, please do not hesitate to contact any of the Trustees and we'll be happy to try and organise it.

Julia - Chairman

  • Chairman: Julia Fairchild [882783]
  • Secretary: Helen Knox
  • Bookings: Alison Sharples [882782]
  • Treasurer: Alan Hamilton
  • Health & Safety: Mandy Sykes
  • Martin Johns, Ben Heath



"Fashion fades but style is eternal."

Yves Saint Laurent

Yves Henri Donat Mathieu-Saint-Laurent, professionally known as Yves Saint-Laurent, was a French fashion designer who, in 1961, founded his eponymous fashion label. He is regarded as being among the foremost fashion designers in the twentieth century.




An annoying housefly has been buzzing around in my bathroom now for more than a month. Which was all the more annoying because I thought that houseflies were only supposed to live for a week. This one seems to be a very persistent pensioner!

He wasn't a fruit fly, or a horsefly, or a blow fly, or a fat blue bottle. Just an ordinary housefly.  And just the one of them.

I first noticed the little black intruder one morning as I was cleaning my teeth.  He landed on the mirror in front of me. I slowly put my toothbrush down and carefully reached inside my pyjama pocket for a tissue. He looked quite docile there on the mirror, probably enchanted by his own reflection, so I thought it would be easy to catch him in the tissue, squish him to heaven, and then send him to a watery grave down the toilet. I nearly got him. But as I quickly went to press my tissue against the glass, super-fast in my opinion, he flew away and buzzed around my head before cruising up to the ceiling. These little fellows have magic eyeballs, a couple thousand of them, and they see things coming from almost any angle.

So, no wonder he got away. He seemed quite happy on the ceiling where I couldn't actually reach him even if I had a rolled-up copy of Woman's Own handy to attack him with. I finished cleaning my teeth and left the bathroom to get on with my daily chores.

The next day he was back again! Almost in the same place on the mirror. I thought that I would change kill tactics and, as my mouth was completely full of pink Euthymol, spat the lot at him in the hope that some of it would hit his wings and slow him down and I would be able to finish him off with a sheet of toilet paper. But he got away again.  Back onto the ceiling.

I used more than one sheet of toilet paper to clean the mirror, washed my mouth out, and left the bathroom thinking of a new plan to exterminate him if he was still there the next day. He was! 

He seemed to love it in my bathroom, although there is no food for him to eat in there, only soap which I am sure is not part of a housefly's daily diet.

These irritating horrors prefer to suck up sugary fluids and puke all over the lemon drizzle cake when we have the neighbours for afternoon tea. They then fill their bellies with my Tesco's Finest snack and sit on the plate wiping their legs, which act as food sensors, before moving on to the next piece of tasty cake. 

One day I put all immediate offensive action to the back of my mind, as we were off to Boots in Barnstaple, and simply added an aerosol fly spray to the shopping list. That did not prove to be the Final Solution. 

My wife was not keen on the risk of breathing in any kind of chemical insecticide whilst she was on the loo. She preferred that I apply the more traditional fly assassination technique of a rolled-up magazine, but not her Woman's Own. She suggested I use one of the many old Sunday Times colour supplements that were accumulating in the book rack. He escaped every whack. Over the next week or so I tried towel flicking and wet flannel throwing, but failed at every attempt to murder my bathroom housefly with his clever mobile head and pair of large compound eyes.

Even worse was that I was getting used to chasing him around my bathroom and, one day when I couldn't find him in there, I felt disappointed. He came back the next day and buzzed around happily again as if to say, 'I knew you'd miss me!' It made me even more determined to win this never-ending battle of wits.

I went onto Google to find out why it was becoming so difficult to get rid of my unwanted guest. I read that the housefly, whose real name is Diptera of the sub-order Cyclorrhapha, has advanced mechanosensory organs known as 'halteres' and high-speed sensors of such fine rotational movement that they can perform advanced aerobatics. It sounded as if this wonderfully elusive creature had flown in from outer space. It also said that my unwanted friend was part of the family of Endopterygotes, which is a very difficult and posh name to remember. 

Call a fly a fly, I say. 

It has always irritated me that all these different kinds of insect are given Latin names. Why is that?  I'm sure that the Greeks were not the first to discover or invent flies. Or were they?  It's more likely that it was the same pseudo-intellectual boffins who also gave flowers Latin names that I can never remember. The same people that, years ago, made doctors write prescriptions in Latin so that we wouldn't actually know what kind of medicines they were ordering up for us. Annoying. It's a kind of linguistic bigotry. 

I guess that in today's incredibly stupid, politically sensitive world some unwitting MP might soon be castigated, slagged off in the gutter press, and thrown out of his or her party simply for calling endopterygota 'bloody flies'. 

All I know is that these 'bloody flies' have been around now for over 200 million years (maybe they did come from outer space!) and nobody has yet found a permanent, easy and effective way to get rid of them. I gave up trying to get rid of my personal 'musca domestica'.

I just waited until he died of old age and fell on the bathroom floor so that I could wash him away down the shower drain.


©Image by : Sue Palmer
Copyright Sue Palmer


The Fly

Little Fly
Thy summer's play,
My thoughtless hand
Has brush'd away.
Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?
For I dance
And drink and sing;
Till some blind hand
Shall brush my wing.

If thought is life
And strength and breath;
And the want
Of thought is death;
Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live,
Or if I die.

William Blake 1757 - 1827

Receipt of Mike's piece about his reluctant fly and the William Blake poem coincided with the unveiling of the stone marking William Blake's grave on the 191st anniversary of the poet and painter's death in 1827. It also marked the conclusion of 14 years of detective work and campaigning for Carol and Louis Garrido, two of his admirers. Their fascination for the man who wrote The Tyger and Jerusalem, England's unofficial national anthem. as well as his art and engravings, led them to visit Bunhill Fields in London to find his grave. They discovered only a stone saying that the remains of Blake and his wife Catherine, lay nearby.

After two years of research, they pin-pointed the exact spot and after years of fundraising, the Blake Society has now been able to mark the spot with an official memorial.

Blake trained as an engraver, illustrating books and reproductions of art in churches around London, but went on to produce his own illuminated books and his prophetic works based on his own invented mythology. He was interested in the past, present and future, in ancient, pre-Christian culture and ancient history, as well as the working conditions of children and the state of Britain at that moment. He looked forward to the future and what it might look like.


A Treasure Almost Lost!

When the National Trust were sorting through the house contents at Arlington Court in 1949/50, those in charge of the project made an amazing discovery.

    'One morning we spent cleaning away old rubbish. There were a few broken frames, fragments of glass and trashy Pears Annual Illustrations in a dusty heap on top of a wardrobe in the housemaid's pantry. We debated to tell the Custodian or throw away the lot, then decided we might as well complete the work ourselves. So I climbed on to a chair and handed the junk down. I held out one picture and said, "I do believe this is a reproduction of a William Blake drawing." It proved to be better than that; a largewatercolour drawing typical Old Testament scene, signed and dated 1821. The frame was contemporary and the name of Blake's framer, Linnell, written on the back in the handwriting of Miss Chichester's grandfather, Colonel Chichester, the builder of Arlington Court. Furthermore, when we took the back off some newspaper stuffing was dated 1820.'

When visiting or revisiting Arlington Court, make sure you have alook at this significant find!


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


""Why in all those myst'ry tales we've read, it's not been the police that found the murd'rers at all. It's been ordinary people same as you an' me jus' usin' common sense an' picking up cigarette ends an' such like . . .

Tell you what it is," he said, warming to his theme, "policeman have gotter be stupid 'cause of their clothes, I mean, all the policemen's clothes are made so big that they've gotter be very big men to fit 'em an' big men are always stupid 'cause of their strength all goin to their bodies 'stead of their brains. That stands to reason, dun't it?""

The wise words of William Brown! William is the leader of a group of friends - Ginger, Henry and Douglas, and his scruffy mongrel Jumble - who call themselves the Outlaws. Stories of the Outlaws usually start when they set out to do something - put on a play, collect scrap metal for the war effort or look after Violet Elizabeth Bott [she of "I'll scream and scream until I make myself sick", fame. Somehow, the friends always get into trouble and their well-meaning efforts often result in broken windows and hysterics among Mrs. Brown's friends.

The irrepressible Just William is the work of Richmal Crompton.

Richmal attended St. Elphin's Boarding School, for the daughters of the clergy. To further her chosen career as a school teacher, she won a scholarship to Royal Holloway College, University of London, graduating with a BA Honours degree in Classics in 1914. She took part in the Women's Suffrage movement.

Following her degree, she returned to St. Elphin's to teach Classics, moving in 1927 to Bromley High School, south east London, where she began her writing career. She was an excellent and committed teacher but in 1923 she contracted poliomyelitis resulting in losing the use of her right leg and being confined to a wheelchair. She gave up her teaching career and began to write full time. Sometime later, when she was in her forties, Richmal suffered breast cancer resulting in a mastectomy.

Although she was an aunt and great aunt to her brother John's family, she never married or had children of her own.

Her William stories. and other literature, were extremely successful and three years after retiring from teaching she was able to afford to have a house built, The Glebe, in Bromley Common, for her mother and herself.

During the Second World War, in spite of her disabilities, Richmal volunteered with the Fire Service.

She died in 1969 and her ashes are interred at Eltham Cemetery and Crematorium.

Although she saw her real work as writing adult fiction, none were as successful as the William books, some 39 in all, which have sold over twelve million copies in the UK, been translated into 9 languages and adapted for films, stage plays and numerous radio and television series.

Judie Weedon




1. Originates, 8. Eminent, 9. Radio, 10. Gram, 11. Know, 12. Rut, 14. Blithe, 15. Clothe, 18. Rip, 20. Robe, 21. Hang, 23. Nanak, 24. Abstain, 25. Accelerate.


1. Origami, 2. Iced, 3. Intend, 4. Aardwolf, 5. Elder, 6. Neighboring, 7. Bootlegging, 13. Cherokee, 17. Ablaze, 19. Panic, 22. Asia.



Sylvia and Cynthia at Baggy Point but no sign of Scilla

There was a thin but persistent drizzle as I walked out to Baggy Point in mid-July and more joggers than walkers. Til then there had been a long dry spell and the steep slopes above and below the coast path were parched tawny brown.

A harsh, scratchy call drew my attention to three whitethroats, perched on brambles and thorns. Some Latin names are easier to remember than others. The whitethroat is Sylvia communis. A throaty kronk was heard as a raven passed low overhead; in from the sea. 'Kronk' was Henry Williamson's name for this magnificent corvid.

Turning the corner at the end of the headland I paused to take in one of the best views in North Devon; ahead the sweep of Woolacombe Bay and Morte Point and in the other direction Croyde Bay and Saunton Sands.

Illustrated by: Paul Swailes

It had stopped raining and the sun had come out and as I turned back I was surprised to find sixty black sheep, with huge horns, had arrived and were basking near the cliff edge below the coastguards' climbing pole. Not a single bleat came from this solemn assembly, just a cool stare. A cargo vessel of the Swedish/Norwegian shipping line, Wallenius Wilhelmsen, had appeared on the horizon past Lundy.

An easy downhill stroll along the track where tangles of thin red threads of the parasitic plant dodder draped over the gorse bushes with here and there clusters of little pale pink flowers. The sun was now blazing and painted lady butterflies - Cynthia cardui - were on the wing. I was delighted when a hummingbird hawkmoth flew by. Smaller and less showy than a lot of the hawkmoths, it nevertheless has its own charm, making an audible hum as it hovers in front of flowers to feed.

Macroglossum stellatarum has brown and yellow wings and a mouse-like face. Later I was able to observe another hummingbird hawkmoth opposite Baggy House. What a treat.

Once on the cliff top at the end of the headland, I found a single example of the pale blue flower, Spring squill [Scilla Verna]. I have looked out for it whenever I have returned to Baggy Point, between March and May, but I have never discovered it there again and have not seen it anywhere else in North Devon either. Yet Scilla Verna is very common on the cliffs of West and North Cornwall, in similar habitats to North Devon. Autumn squill [Scilla Autumnalis] is similar but has straight leaves and no bracts, whereas Spring squill has bluish bracts and curly leaves.

Sue H





Specialists in Dioramas and occupiers of The Cabin in Bucks Mills, Bideford

[1892 - 1972]
Artist and Model-maker

[1898 -1989]
Poet and Artist

Firstly, we should visit The Cabin, in the picturesque village of Bucks Mills, about 8 miles beyond Bideford, off the A39. A long narrow woody lane leads steeply to the car park from where it is a pleasant stroll past pretty cottages to the small square, and a tarmac path leading down to the beach. If you stop at the first corner of this path, you will see Clovelly to the right, Peppercombe to your left and Lundy Island standing proudly in the distance. But look down the path and you will see, tucked into the cliffside, a very small stone building, once a fisherman's store, and for many years the two-roomed summer residence and art studio of Judith Ackland and Mary Stella Edwards. They lived and worked together as artists for sixty years.

Judith was born at Stowford House in Bideford in 1892, the daughter of Doctor Charles Kingsley Acland. She had three sisters, two of whom died young of consumption. Her third sister became an accomplished cellist.

Judith was a water-colour artist, and held her first exhibition in Bideford, but went on to exhibit in many well-known art galleries including the Royal Academy.

She went to Bideford Art School for several years before moving to London to continue her studies at the Regent Street Polytechnic [now part of the University of Westminster]. Here she met fellow student Mary Edwards and from then on, their partnership lasted until the sudden death of Judith in1972.

Mary Stella Edwards was born 6 years later in 1898, in Hampstead, the daughter of Richard Cromwell Edwards. He was an architect, and soon moved the family to Staines in Middlesex. Mary also worked with water-colours, although she regarded herself more as a poetess, and over the years produced five books of poetry. Nevertheless, her artwork was so good that it joins Judith's in several major art collections around the country.

Much of the two women's work was produced in and around Bideford, although they travelled all around Britain, producing a wide range of paintings from the Lake District, Yorkshire, Wales and London. Some of their work is now exhibited as major collections in the Victoria and Albert Museum, National Museum of Wales and the Abbot Art Gallery in Kendal.

In 1945 Judith patented 'Jackanda', a form of model-making, using wire and compressed cotton wool as the base materials. She carved figures so cleverly and lifelike that in photographs they are often mistaken for real people! Her models needed backgrounds so she and Mary set them in dioramas, three-dimensional backgrounds, illustrated here in Mary Stella Edwards by Judith Ackland.

Latterly, they spent much of their time making dioramas, usually based on an historical theme. Five of these are now on permanent exhibition at the Windsor Guildhall.

But they always returned to their Cabin in the summer. It had been part of the Wallace Carey Estate and in 1913, Judith's mother took over the tenancy. In 1938, Judith inherited the tenancy and when, ten years later, it became available to buy, paid six hundred and twenty-five pounds for it.

Known earlier as Look-Out Cottage, she and Mary renamed it The Cabin. It was a very basic property with just two rooms: living area with kitchen on upper level and bedroom below. It had no electricity. Surrounded by rugged natural scenery, shingle beaches and towering cliffs it was, in Mary's own words, an ideal spot "for the spring light on the high land". The furnishings were very Spartan, only a dresser with pretty patterned china giving colour in the living area, together with a wood burning stove and an old cupboard stuffed with natural and man-made odds and ends. Downstairs was a single bed with pull out bed underneath, a few sticks of furniture and a rail with coat hangers in a corner.

And how do we know all this? Well, Judith and Mary locked up the cabin in 1971, intending to return shortly. Unfortunately, Judith died suddenly and Mary, devastated by this, never again returned to their seaside studio. Later, she set up the Ackland and Edwards Trust to look after the property, who occasionally organised art classes there. In 2008, The Cabin was gifted to the National Trust on condition that it was still used as a retreat and now it is sometimes open to the public and short art courses are held during the summer. The interior is just as it was left in 1971, plus a few cobwebs!

Mary then donated a large collection of drawings, water-colours and dioramas to the Burton Art Gallery, which hopes to arrange an exhibition of some of these next year. Details will be on www.theburton.org. Entry to the gallery is free.

Judith and Mary could not have been written about separately. They were like-minded, dedicated to their artistic achievements and frugal in personal comforts. They left us all with some very beautiful works of art in remembrance.

Special thanks to The Burton at Bideford for their information.

PP of DC



Yes, it's rather early to be thinking about Christmas but cards are already on sale and the charity catalogues are popping through the letter box. It won't be too long!

Sending your seasonal greetings to friends and neighbours here in the village through the Newsletter has become traditional and popular, and you will be able to do so 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, 7th 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. Your donations have always been very generous, so please carry on with that tradition as well!



1st to 12th: Lee Arts & Crafts Fair, Lee Hall, 11.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. daily
7th St. Peter's Church: Harvest Service, 11.00 a.m.
10th St. Peter's Church: Harvest Supper, Manor Hall, 6.30 for 7.00 p.m.
17th Wine Circle: 8.00 p.m., Manor Hall - Chris Bullimore, WineBeer Supermarket, Roscoff
19th to 29th Ilfracombe Academy: Half Term
22nd to 2nd November Primary School: Half Term
30th Pre-School: Bags2school Collection - items to school by this date
Mobile Library in Village from 11.40 a.m.
31st Friendship Lunch, The Globe, 12.30 p.m. All welcome.
2nd Berry in Bloom: Talk, Jacket Pot & Pud Evening, Manor Hall
10th Manor Hall: Light Supper and Auction of Promises
11th St. Peter's Church: Remembrance Sunday Service, 10.45 a.m.
21st Wine Circle: 8.00 p.m., Manor Hall - Majestic Wines
27th Mobile Library in Village from 11.40 a.m.
28th Friendship Lunch, The Globe, 12.30 p.m. All welcome

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


Whitecote, Pitt Hill


This view of Whitecote, 33 Pitt Hill, has been taken by William Garratt, probably as early as 1902-3. As far as I am aware, it has not been published as a postcard. The card has a plain back and endorses my belief that the Bristol photographer may have stayed at this address on his many visits to Berrynarbor.

I now have four views of this cottage taken by him and this is, without any doubt, the earliest as there is no porch over the front door. Note the Victorian costume of both the children and the adults, as well as the broom that possibly the mother is holding and the jug, presumably of milk, on the step beside what appears to be a young boy.

As mentioned in previous issues, Whitecote was described in the 1920 Watermouth Estate Sale as:

    "Lot 62 - All that Slated Cottage, Stable, Trap House, Piggery, Potato House, Large Garden and Premises situate and being No. 33 Pitt Hill, in the occupation of Mr. Nicholls as a Quarterly Tenant. Note: the garden of this Lot is a very fine building site. The Apportioned tithe on this Lot is 1s.9d. This Lot gets its Water from a Tap in the road."

At the Sale on 17th August, 1920, at Bridge Hall, Barnstaple, the cottage was sold for the relatively high price of £260 with completion on 25th March 1921.

It remains to this day a very desirable property with both Tim and Jill Massey loving living there.

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


Berrynarbor Newsletter No. 64
February 2000

Garratt No. 21 'In Berrynarbor'

Garratt No. 148

Garratt No. 112