Edition 185 - April 2020

Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook

Artwork: Judie Weedon


When I began thinking about what I should write in my editorial, it was a glorious day - slight frost followed by blue sky and all-day sunshine, but guess what!

We are living in troubling times, but I hope this issue will help relieve the boredom of those self-isolating and staying in. For those unwell, please take care and get better soon, and to newcomers to the village, we welcome you and hope you will be happy in your new homes.

My thanks, as always, to the contributors. To Debbie for the cheerful cover of Bailey in the tulips, Paul for his illustrations and all the regular supporters.

Many of the events planned and advertised will, by the time you read this Newsletter, have been postponed or cancelled, please check. Apologies, things are changing daily and information given at the time of going to print, will, I am sure, be completely out of date.

June will be the next Newsletter and items are welcome as soon as possible and by Friday, 8th May, at the latest please. They can be left at the Shop or Chicane, but preferably e-mailed to me at judiew12@gmail.com. Thank you.

In times of difficulty, Berrynarbor's wonderful community spirit always shines. A big thank you to everyone for their offers of help in so many ways.

My very best wishes to all readers, happy Easter, take care and stay safe.

Judie - Ed



Dear Soup and Pudders,

A massive thank you to you all - all you bakers, stirrers, donators, slurpers, pud makers, munchers, quizzers, guzzlers, rafflers, washer-uppers and helpers!

We raised £1,050, and the charities benefitting this year are the RNLI, Read Easy, Berrynarbor Pre-School, Berrynarbor School, Berrynarbor Newsletter and the Manor Hall Trust.

Maybe see you next year?

Be, Richard and the Soup 'n' Pud Gang




January and February

I cannot believe it is time for me to draft the weather report for January, the month has slipped by so quickly. It may be a new year but sorry to say no new weather pattern. The last four days of December managed to stay dry but the first dry day in January was on the10th and only a total of 7 days without some precipitation. The 9th was the wettest day with 25.8mm and the total rain for the whole month amounted to 132.6mm, below the average of 149mm.

The highest temperature was 13è°C on the 14th [average 13.02°C] and the lowest - 1.4°C on 20th [average -2.35°C]. The highest wind speed was 47mph on the 14th from the SSW [average 43.20 mph] and on the 20th the wind chill factor was -2.8°C. [average -4.7°C. This is a record I only started in 2016]. The total hours of sunshine amounted to 16.31 which was up on the average of 13.99. One outstanding figure for January was the barometric pressure, I recorded a high 1049.7mbars at 0100 hrs. on 20th, the highest I have recorded and near the U.K. highest of 1053.6mbars recorded in Aberdeen on the 31/01/1902. The lowest pressure arrived on the 14th at 986.4mbars courtesy of Storm Brendan.

East Lyn river just below Hillsford Bridge 16/02/20

February has been horrible to say the very least. With three named storms, Ciara, Dennis and Jorge, of which Dennis had the most effect here in the Valley. The Met. Office say it is the wettest February on record, here 210.4mm fell, wettest day 28th at 28.4mm, but according to my records 2000 was much worse with 307mm. My average for the month is 115.49mm, so this year is well above that figure. The highest temperature was 13.3°C [average 13.04°C] on two days the 9th and 16th, and the lowest 0.4°C on 6th, which is warmer than the average for February at 2.09°C. The highest wind speed was during storm Dennis with 57.08mph from the SSW on the 16th [average is 39.60 mph] and the second highest I have recorded since 1994. The Highest was 57è5mph in 2014. The lowest wind chill factor was on the 6th at -0.3°C, positively warm as the average since 2016 was -5.3°C. Sunshine was in short supply with a total of 16.31hrs, well below the February average of 43è7hrs. The barometer was up and down like a yo-yo with the highest on the 5th at 1038.4mbars and a low of 987.9mbars on the 16th during storm Dennis.

One new record I am now being supplied with by a friend is Annual Rainfall Far & Wide, this gives the total rainfall for the following U. K. places for 2019, Bothwell near Glasgow 1032mm., Cretingham, Suffolk 69mm, Carrigart, Donegal, R.o.I. 821mm and Berrynarbor 1259mm - we hold the record, I should say a dubious privilege!

On this note I wish you all a good spring, if we can find a few more hours of sunshine I am sure it would be appreciated!





06.1939 - 02.03.2020

Brian passed away peacefully at home, with his family around him. Much loved husband to Vivian and devoted dad to Charlotte and Mickey, he will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him. The funeral has taken place.

A special thank you to neighbours and friends who have sent cards and messages of sympathy. A very special thanks goes to Dr. James of Combe Coastal Practice and all the carers, support workers, Hospice to Home, district nurses, Rapid Response and palliative care teams. Also Steve at the North Devon Hospice.

It was with sadness we learnt that Brian had passed away and our thoughts are with Vivian, Charlotte and Mickey at this time of grief.

A Tribute to Allan Maynard
7.3.1934 - 10.2.2020

Although they left Glaziers [now Ragstone Cottage], Hagginton Hill in 1987, many of you will remember Allan and Heather Maynard. Allan was Manager of NatWest in Ilfracombe, and shortly before we moved from Middle Lee Farm to Hagginton Hill, Allan was promoted to Manager of the Sidmouth bank. It must have been something we said! We've remained friends ever since.

Allan was born in Weston-super-Mare, but his banking career took him to many towns in the South West and Wales. Having settled in Sidmouth, he stayed as Manager for over 6 years and after retiring, led an active social life. He had for many years been a strong supporter of Rotary, which continued, and he very much enjoyed a round of golf. He and Heather enjoyed travelling, often across the pond to see their daughter and family in Texas, and Allan's cousin in Florida and Martha's Vineyard. But they very much enjoyed their time in Berrynarbor and until two years ago were members of our Wine Circle. [Heather is hoping to rejoin, soon.] All that, together with Heather's entertaining skills, kept him occupied.

About six years ago, Allan developed neuropathy in his left leg which restricted his movements over the years and then he succumbed to cancer of the liver.

Sadly, he died at home on February 10th and his funeral [family only] was held on February 28th. Fortunately, his daughter Ruth, had journeyed from Texas two weeks earlier to be with him and although due to fly home on the day he died, stayed until after the funeral which was a great support to Heather. Ruth's family, husband David and children Jason and Chloe, flew over for the funeral and Ian, their son, and his wife Ann, who live in Weston-super-Mare are regular visitors.

Allan will be very much missed by his family and many friends, and we send love and sympathy to Heather and her family through our Newsletter.

Pam and Alex

And others in the village who knew Allan and Heather when they were at Glaziers, are thinking of Heather and the family at this time of sadness and send their best wishes.


Artwork: Helen Weedon


In the February issue of the Newsletter I wrote about the copious displays of daffodils, both wild and cultivated, that I had observed whilst traversing my local Somerset countryside in early spring last year. Come late April, it was the turn of the bluebells, the most dazzling display witnessed whilst driving along the western flanks of the Malvern Hills which border Worcestershire and Herefordshire. Its woodland floors were awash with the flowers, their density only intensified where glades and patches of large open slopes offered ground that had been transformed into myriads of blue.


Photo: Steve McCarthy

It was the Swedish botanist and great plant namer, Carl Linnaeus who was to christen this flower which belongs to the hyacinth family. By then, he had already given the true hyacinth its Latin name, hyacinthoides, which he based upon the Greek God Apollo's apparent wailing at the death of his lover Hyacinth; with a little imagination, Linnaeus opined, Appollo's cry was visible in the flower's head. As for the poor bluebell, which has a flower turning downwards towards the ground, he unfortunately regarded it as being merely an 'unmarked' plant; and so, considering it a plant that had no need of any particular description, he named it hyacanthoides non scripta - a hyacinth with no writing on it.

The plant, also called the wild hyacinth, is better known in Scotland as the harebell. It has many country names across the UK including crow flower, goose gander and culverkeys. It is also called both the wood hyacinth and wood bell for it is at heart a woodland plant ideally suited to deciduous woodlands that offer plenty of light in early spring. Yet this is also a very versatile plant with the ability to grow in a wide range of habitats, with bogs and fens perhaps the only two exceptions. Shade, however, is its main prerequisite in order to thrive as well as continuity of habitat. Humidity adds the third essential ingredient to enable it to flourish and is the most likely reason the plant does so well in the west country, even in open spaces.

Bluebells only grow on Europe's western fringes and cannot be found anywhere south of the Mediterranean or extending north into Scandinavia. This applies not just to the native variety but also to its impostor, the Spanish bluebell which, along with many other plants, began arriving in this country from the continent in the 17th century. London ports were its preferred destination where local nurserymen had become aware of the plant's increasing popularity due to its yielding ability to grow. Soon they were being sold to gardeners as the native bluebell, an unscrupulous business which according to some reports still goes on today. Thankfully the Spanish bluebell can be distinguished from its native counterpart as the Spanish variety is more erect, has blue anthers [the native plant has cream] and, unlike the native bluebell, does not have flowers confined to one side of the spike. Awareness of trading this imitation of the real thing has ironically created another problem with bluebell woods being stripped as part of a big horticultural crime business in order to sell on the true native bluebell. As a result, the area covered by Britain's bluebell woodlands has halved since 1950. For evidence, just take a closer look at a low hedge bank where you may just witness a ghostly reminder of a boundary of a former ancient bluebell woodland. Despite all this, the UK still accounts for more than half of the world's bluebell biomass as the plant adores our damp, Atlantic climate. This means that our bluebell population is of national importance, making us crucially responsible for its future; it is imperative that we become more conscious of its threatened status.

In order for them to flourish, bluebells need to be properly managed. For example, being allowed to grow under a coppiced rotation. It is a hardy plant that can endure 17-year cycles, or even longer, in areas with inadequate light levels and then make a spectacular appearance when the canopy is removed. In stable situations it is able to survive for years and can endure both the wind and the cold. It is also allelopathic, producing chemicals at bulb level which discourage competition from other plants. A truly remarkable species.

In the 16th century starch was obtained from the bulbs to stiffen neckties, whilst strong glue was once sourced from scraping the roots and used for making arrows and for book binding. Modern history, meanwhile, records special 'bluebell trains' that were laid on for city dwellers. The dawn of a new millennium saw the conservation charity Plantlife organise, in 2002, a national poll allowing people to vote for their favourite county flower. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the result in twenty counties found the bluebell to have the majority vote. As a consequence, it has been adopted as the wildflower emblem of the UK and specially rated as Britain's favourite flower.

The poet Gerard Manley Hopkins depicted patches of bluebells as 'falls of sky colour'. But perhaps the most appropriate portrayal is expressed by the nature writer Richard Mabey who described bluebell woods as 'a uniquely British spectacle.' And who can disagree with him?

Happy Easter and enjoy the spring.

Illustrations by:Paul Swailes

Steve McCarthy


Artwork: Steve Angold [Aged 10]


Unfortunately, my contribution for this issue will have be somewhat shortened. There has been a bereavement in Sue's family and in consequence this has meant that we have to travel up to Oxfordshire once or twice a week, a return journey of some 300 miles.

To return to Church matters, we are still awaiting approval from the Diocese to commence the major repair work to the church and hopefully this will, with a respite in the dreadful weather, commence in early spring.

There will, of course, have to be areas of scaffolding erected, but this will not impede access to the church or churchyard in any way whatsoever. Signs will, of course, be positioned near pathways for safety considerations.

Our AGM will be held in the Church vestry on Monday, 30th March commencing with the election of officers. Whilst readers of this Newsletter will not have been aware of this meeting, it is hoped that our AGM will have been well attended. It is of great importance that we welcome new blood onto our PCC since many of our existing members have served for 10 years or more and are not getting any younger!

There are 5 or 6 PCC meetings in a year - so it's not a great ask for new people to join and to share among our 8 members the task of running the Church and Churchyard for the benefit of the village.

As mentioned many times, we urgently need a new Treasurer to take over from Margaret Sowerby - who will be happy to spend time explaining this important role. Please contact our PCC Secretary, Alison Sharples, on 01271-882782.

We continue to pray for those who are unwell in this Parish and our special thoughts are with Viv Fryer and her family. her husband, Brian, having died recently following a lengthy illness. We also hope that both Pip Summers and Jill Jones continue to recover from recent hospital surgery.

Our services for April and Easter are:

  • Sunday, 5th April: Palm Sunday Service, 11.00 a.m.
  • Friday, 10th April: Good Friday Hour of Devotion, 2.00 p.m.
  • Sunday, 12th April: Easter Sunday Service, Holy Communion at 11.00 a.m.

Sunday, 19th April and Sunday, 26th April, follow the normal Church Services which are:

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

Stuart Neale



Dave Beagley


Solution in Article 31.




Spring is Here (?)

Although it has seemed like it at times, we're backing author Hal Borland's view that 'no winter lasts forever' and 'April is a promise that May is bound to keep'. And if that's true, our thoughts can turn at last to the outdoors and our gardens. As seed sowing and perennial cuttings gather pace, the Village Shop can help with top quality compost at a very competitive price with savings when you buy multiple bags. If you struggle with lifting or transportation, just let us know and assistance will be given.

Plant sale

We're looking forward to the Great Berrynarbor Plant Sale which is being held on Sunday 17th May in the Manor Hall. Please try to donate some plants to the sale - herbs, perennials and house plants are always in demand. Donated plants can be delivered to the Manor Hall from 10.00 a.m. on the day or to the Shop beforehand. Doors to the Sale will open at 2.00 p.m. In addition to hundreds of plants on offer, there will be a Berry in Bloom cake stall, refreshments including bacon butties and a fabulous raffle with a myriad of wonderful prizes.

St George's Day

St George has been the patron saint of England for nearly 700 years [it was the very English St Edmund before that] and on his feast day - Thursday, 23rd April - the Shop will be celebrating everything English by having a number of very special offers that you just won't want to miss! Lots of bargains to be grabbed [one day only] but no dragons will be harmed.


And finally, the coronavirus. As the Newsletter goes to press, we are still in the containment phase and the Shop is closely following Government and industry advice to protect staff and customers alike.

If you are a customer and are self-isolating, then the Shop can help with your essential supplies. If you ring the Shop with your requirements [01271 883215], we have a number of volunteers on standby who will arrange for your order to be delivered to your door. We shall do whatever we can to help, however we shall not be able to deliver single items and can only deliver items that are stocked in the shop. If you do not already have an account with us, we will open a temporary one for you which you can settle once your self-isolation is completed. For all telephone orders, we'll ask you to send a confirmation email to us at berrynarborshop@onebillinternet.co.uk.

We go the extra mile so you don't have to!


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


I have always been interested in the theatre and can remember in the war years visiting the Victoria Pavilion where there was a variety of shows with all the well-known names of the time. It was a good theatre that doubled as a dance hall.

Across the road, above the shops, was another hall which I understand had dances, although I never actually attended them.

The Alexandra Theatre was another venue for shows, plays and dancing, although the floor was a little up and downhill!

Now, to get to the photograph. This is of me with Jimmy Cricket. Comedian Jimmy [James Mulgrew (1945)] has an unusual way of putting things: A lady said "Can you see me across the road?" I said, "Go over the road and I'll have a look."

Another was: A man knocked on my door and said "I'm your new neighbour." I said, "I didn't know I'd moved."

Tony Beauclerk - Stowmarket


Artwork: Paul Swailes


We were very much looking forward to a productive 2020 on the fundraising front, but unfortunately

the Coronavirus may curtail some of our planned events.

We have been rigorously following the guide lines that we have been given to keep people safe but of course if you have any concerns or questions please do not hesitate to contact myself or anyone on the committee for further details.

On a more cheerful note, our first fundraiser of the year was a lovely day of pancake eating and flipping. Thank you to all who came along and thank you to the spinners who kindly allowed us to gate crash their session! The Pre-school children came over and enjoyed trying to toss a pancake in the air - needless to say, that particular pancake did not get eaten!

The hallway leading into the Pre-school and the snooker room has had a well overdue makeover. A very big thank you to our Treasurer, Alan, for leading the charge and to Ray, Phil, Nigel, Tim and Gary for kindly giving up their time to help - it looks great!

Our new shed is now finished and in use which has enabled us to keep the hall nice and clear. Our next project is to renew all the front barge boards and guttering so expect to see scaffolding going up soon, please take care around it and apologies for any inconvenience it may cause.

Back by popular demand is our Ladies Fashion Night, the date is Tuesday 28th April at 7.00 p.m. Tickets are available from the Shop and Clathers Clothes Shop on the Harbour in Ilfracombe. Ticket price is £5.00 to include a glass of 'sparkly'. We had a great night last year so please come along and join the fun!

Julia - Chairman and Bookings - and the Trustees



First of all I should like to say well done to Be and Richard for organising another fabulous Soup and Pud Evening. A wonderful village night, full of fun, laughter and good food and all the more amazing as they had only just got back from their travels.

The do was really well attended and raised over £900. We were asked for suggestions on how this money should be allocated. Well I am delighted to report that it has not gone towards the Gingell's next travel project but they have been kind enough to donate £200 to Read Easy Barnstaple.

This is a very worthwhile local charity that I have been working with for the last two years. It provides free, one-to-one tuition for adults who struggle with reading. Sadly, in the Barnstaple area alone there are about 1,500 adults who have a reading level that makes it difficult to cope with life. Everyday tasks and most employment are a challenge. Imagine not being able to catch a bus or train, fill in a form for a prescription, read a menu, find the right aisle in the supermarket, and apply for a job. Not being able to read is life limiting and isolating.

Our coaches are all volunteers, who have been trained to give individual, non-judgmental help for however long it takes. Ideally meeting twice a week for 30 minutes the learner sets the pace. Meetings are held in specially selected, discreetly staffed venues to safeguard both learners and mentors.

To find out more about this life changing charity please check out the Read Easy UK website - readeasy.org.uk. Better still, spread the word. Word of mouth is our greatest tool. If you know someone who is struggling to read, please help and encourage them to phone 07471332096 . It could literally change their life.

Thank you. Do call me on [01271] 882675 if you want further information or would like to help Read Easy Barnstaple

Fenella Boxall



Another big thank you to Be and Richard and all their helpers from the Newsletter and me. The wonderful Soup and Pud Evening and their generous support of the Newsletter is very much appreciated.




The Devon Air Ambulance and the Manor Hall both received donations from collection taken at the Carols in the Square on Christmas Eve. Cat Walker of Devon Air Ambulance writes:

Thank you for the donation of £193. Following another successful year of night flying and support, we have been able to increase our flying time until 2.00 a.m., to help even more people. Your fantastic support will enable us to carry on our life saving work whilst we head towards our next milestone to extend our flying hours even further. This, together with the development of further community landing sites across the county, means we shall be available to help even more people.

We are also continuing to invest further in the clinical development of our aircrew, giving them the skills needed when faced with the most severe medical emergencies. In addition, we continue to invest in our future, which will include the replacement of our aircraft to ensure our development needs are met.



A big thank you to everyone who came with their knitting needles and wool, took part in the raffle and enjoyed cakes and the company of fellow knitters. The Knit and Natter for the Hospice was again a success, with a plentiful supply of technicolour knitted strips, the majority produced during the year, and a donation of £220 being delivered to the Hospice.

Once again, the group welcomed Ali Hunt, Head of Fund Raising, who came and spoke to everyone about the work of the Hospice. She has especially asked to add her thanks to everyone for their continued support in this way for the Hospice.



Artwork: Harry Weedon


This spring the Berry in Bloom team will once again be filling the tubs around the centre of the village with summer flowering plants and putting up the hanging baskets. However, the R.H.S. Britain in Bloom judges are putting great emphasis on encouraging wild flowers and natural planting.

Last autumn we were given permission by the Parish council to plant wild flowers in the first, smaller dog walking field. Because of the terrible wet weather, a path has been laid to allow the walkers to access the larger field. We propose to plant two areas either side of the path. These areas are in the process of having the grass removed/killed to give the plug plants. perennial wild flowers such as ox-eye daisies, a better chance to get established. We are also proposing to scatter wild flower seed. It is hoped this double whammy will show quicker results. It will, however, probably take around three years to reach fruition.

The plug plants will cost £270.00 and Berry in Bloom will fund these. We have applied for a grant from Andrea Davies, our District Councillor, to buy the seeds which will also cost £270. 00. This will be our main project for 2020.

This year to raise funds we should like to have an Open Gardens afternoon. Two dates were suggested, either the 21st or 28th of June. Obviously, this all depends on the good folks of Berrynarbor allowing us to open their gardens. It was proposed to have 5 or 6 of the gardens in the centre of the village open with teas served in the manor hall. If you live fairly centrally, would you be willing to open your garden for 3 hours on a Sunday afternoon? Don't worry, we're not looking for perfection! If you would, please let me know. Tel 07436811657.

Wendy Applegate


Artwork: Angela Bartlett

Easter Creme Egg Brownies

Who doesn't love a chocolate brownie? These brownies are gooey and fudgy, a real treat. You will need:

  • 200g 70% dark chocolate
  • 100g milk chocolate
  • 250g salted butter300g soft light brown sugar
  • 4 large free-range eggs
  • 175g plain flour
  • 200g mini Cadbury Creme eggs (2 bags, whole)
    put in freezer for 1 hour
  • 5 Cadbury Creme eggs
    halved then put in freezer for 1 hour

Chilling the eggs stops them from melting completely during baking.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray 25cm X 25cm.

Melt the milk and dark chocolate, butter and sugar together in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Once melted remove from the heat and cool for 5-10 minutes.

Beat in each egg one by one. Stir in the flour. Pour roughly half the mix into the tin. Evenly spread the whole mini crème eggs over the mix. Top with the remaining butter and smooth with a spatula. Place the 5 crème eggs cut in halves evenly over the mix.

Bake for 30 minutes. The edges should be just browning but the middle should have a bit of wobble! Ovens vary but remember brownies are better slightly underdone.

Allow to cool completely in the tin then cut into squares.

I'd rather have these than an Easter egg!

Wendy Applegate



"I'm only interested in everything!"
Les Murray AO [1938-2019]

Les Murray was an Australian poet, anthologist and critic. His career spanned over 40 years and he published nearly 30 volumes of poetry as well as two verse novels and collections of his prose writings.

He was given the award of Office of the Order of Australia.

Born on the 17th October 1893 in Nabiac, Australia, he died on the 29th April 2019 in Taree, Australia. In 1962 he married Valerie Morelli and together they had five children.

"One of the most delightful things about a garden
is the anticipation it provides."

W.E. Johns [1893-1968]


from Kelly's Directory of 1935

Berrynarbor is a parish and village on an eminence on the road to Combe Martin, overlooking the Cove of that name, about 3.5 miles from Ilfracombe station on the Southern railway, in the Barnstaple division of the country, hundred and petty sessional division of Braunton, rural district and county court district of Barnstaple and diocese of Exeter.

The roads in this parish are rugged and the farmhouses very scattered. The church of St. Peter is an ancient edifice of stone, in the Norman, Early English and Perpendicular styles, consisting of chancel, nave, south aisle, south porch and a very fine embattled western tower of Perpendicular date, 96 feet in height, with pinnacles, containing a clock and 6 bells: the chancel and nave are Norman and Early English, and the south aisle Perpendicular: in the church are monuments to the Berry family: the stained east window, erected in 1861, is a memorial to Samuel Thomas Slade Gully and W.A. Slade Gully M.A. and the window in the north wall to Mrs. and Miss Fursdon: there is also a stained window in the south aisle, erected in 1883, to Miss Basset, of Watermouth Castle: in the vestry is an engraved portrait of Bishop Jewell, presented to the church by the Rev. Aubrey Townsend B.D. in 1861: the church is supposed to have been built in the 16th century: it was repaired in 1862, and further in 1880: in 1887 the roof was renovated at the expense of Mrs. Basset: the chancel was restored in 1880, and additional work was carried out in 1890, the total cost from 1880 amounting to £1,085: there are sittings for 300 persons: the lych gate on the south side of the churchyard was erected in 1671: in the churchyard is a cross erected in memory of the men of the parish who fell in the Great War, 1914-18.

The register dates from the year 1540. The living is a rectory, net yearly value £640, including 18 acres of glebe, with residence, in the gift of the Bishop of Exeter and others and held since 1884 by the Rev. Reginald Churchill. There is a Congregational chapel. The Village Hall and Club House, erected in 1908, was the gift of Mrs. Basset. The Manor Hall, erected by Mrs. Penn Curzon in 19113, is used for concerts, meetings etc. John Jewell D.D. Bishop of Salisbury, 1559-71, was born at Bowden farm, in this parish, May 24th, 1522; in 1562 he published his well-known "Apology for the Church of England," and in 1567 and 1569 a "Defence of the Apology;" he died at Monkton Farley, Wilts, 21st Sept. 1571.

Near the church is the manor house, originally built in the reign of Edward IV; part of the front, including the porch, was taken down in 1889, and the porch has been re-erected at Westaway, near Barnstaple; the exterior was formerly ornamented with shields of arms of the Plantagenet, Bonville and other families, and elaborate carved work, all of which has been removed to Westaway, Barnstaple. Watermouth Castle, the residence of Mrs. Penn Curzon C.B.E. is an embattled mansion of stone, erected about 1825 and delightfully situated on an eminence sheltered by woods and overlooking the Bristol Channel. Immediately below is a picturesque cove, which, at high water, presented the appearance of an inland lake. Mrs. Penn Curzon C.B.E. is the principal landowner. The soil is light; subsoil, gravel. The chief crops are oats and barley; a great portion of the land is pasture. The area is 4,982 acres of land, 2 of tidal water and 58 of foreshore; the population in 1931 was 561.

Post, M.O., T. & T.E.D. Office (letters should have Devon added)
(Marked thus * receive letters through Combe Martin.)

M.O. Money Orders, T. Telegrams, T.E.D. Telephone Exchange Department



Churchill Rev. Reginald (rector), Rectry
Coe Mrs. Grace Beatrice, The Lodge
Copeland Harrison, Randy Cleave
Curzon Mrs. Penn C.B.E. Watermouth castle
Duchesne Alfred, The Olde cottage
Forbes Mrs. J. Webster, Watermouth cottage
James Edward Houghton, Watermouth house
Lord George, Woodlands cottage
Morlet Mrs. Long close
Parry Rev. John Horndon M.A. Beech Lee
Roberts Miss, The Woodlands
*Snell Mrs., High Leigh
Symons Archibald Ronald, Dormer cottage
Thomas Miss, Barton hill
Toller C.W.E. Widmouth


*Ashton Jn. farmer, Blurridge
Baker Albt. Jas. shopkpr
Blackmore Chas. Globe P.H.
*Blackmore Jn. carpenter, Berrydown
Bowden Lyster, farmer, Sloley's farm
Bowden Samuel, farmer, Ruggaton
Bowden William, farmer, South Lee
Burgess William, farmer, Bowden
Camp George Henry, blacksmith
*Chugg Thomas, farmer, Brinscott
Draper Nellie (Mrs) laundry
Fry Sidney, farmer, Ettiford
*Gibbs Hy. farmer, Yellaton
Gill Percy, Smithen farm
*Gubb Wm. Jn. farmer, Newberry
Harding Alfd. Jas. farmer, Yetland
*Harding Geo. Hy. shopkpr. Berrydown

Huxtable Alfd. frmr. Woolscott Barton
Huxtable Wm. farmer, North Lea
Irwin William, Hill farm
Lancey Fredk. smallholder
Lerwell William, farmer, Rows farm
Nicholls Hedley, carpntr. Pitt Hill cott
Rice Frank, farmer, Stowford (letters through Muddiford, Barnstaple)
*Rice Fredk. farmr. Bodstone Barton
Richards Albt. farmer, Ea Haggington
Richards Redvers Claude, farmer, Hammon's farm
Richards Frederick I. farmer, Home Barton
Richards Harold, farmer, Moules farm
Rowe Ernest G. farmer, Low. Hodges
Stanbury Frederick, farmer, Hemster
Thyer Percy, farmer, Mill farm
Toms Danl. farmer, Middle Lea
*Weeks Wm. farmer, Indicknowl



Only a handful of articles/items have been repeated during the 30+ years of the Newsletter. But to help while away the time in isolation, see how you get on with this test which was first published in the February 1990 issue. For those of you who have kept every issue, and I know there are some, no peaking at the answers given in the April issue!

This test does not measure your intelligence, fluency with words and certainly not your mathematical ability, just your mental flexibility and creativity!

Each question contains the initials of words that will make it correct. You need to find the missing words, e.g. 16 O in the P is 16 ounces in the pound.

  1. 26 L of the A
  2. 7 W of the W
  3. 1001 AN
  4. 12 S of the Z
  5. 54 C in a D
  6. 9 P in the SS
  7. 88 PK
  8. 13 S on the AF
  9. 32 DF at which WF
  10. 18 H on a GC
  11. 90 D in a RA
  12. 200 P for PG in M
  1. 7S on a FPP
  2. 4Q in a G
  3. 3 BM [SHT R]
  4. 24 H in a D
  5. 1H on a U
  6. 7 D in a PC
  7. 57 HV
  8. 11 P in a FT
  9. 1 PH on a F
  10. 29 D in F in a LY
  11. 64 S on a CB
  12. 40 D and N of the GF
  1. 76 T in the BP
  2. 147 is MB in S
  3. 125 T go IC
  4. 3 TT is 1 H 'n' E
  5. 21 P in a TTM
  6. 65 the A to R
  7. 7 L and 5 F
  8. 12 D of C
  9. 15 M on a DMC
  10. O T on a MC
  11. 999 is PFA

Answers in the next Newsletter


A celebration of North Devon's woodlands

Although better known for his seascapes, Paul also enjoys painting other aspects of North Devon and its natural environment. In this new collection he has taken his inspiration from local woodlands and some of the less travelled byways around the area.

He has worked in mixed media, mostly acrylics, on acid free heavyweight Daler Rowney paper which has been responsibly sourced and bears the Forest Stewardship Council mark. He has continued to employ his signature mark making techniques to capture the scenes in a contemporary way.

In the shade of Giants

All 12 pictures are mounted and supplied in modern white frames ready for display. They are available at FortyThree, the Ilfracombe Artisan Shop in Fore Street, Ilfracombe, unless previously sold.

The recent storms have inspired Paul to paint a further series of images to highlight the dynamic nature of the seas around our coasts - in awe of the Sea. For further information on these paintings, contact Paul direct. They will be available from April.

e-mail: paulrswailes@gmail.com
Phone: [01271] 866075 Mobile: 07860 944018


Paul will also be participating in the Ilfracombe Art Trail which takes place over the week-end of 9th and 10th May, at home at The Georgian House, 10 Montpelier Terrace, Ilfracombe. There will also be on display, quilts made by his wife, Chris, including a king size 'Storm at Sea' quilt, convergance quilts or wall hangings, together with the single bed size Country Cottage with hidden figures in the windows and a range of patterns making up the pathways.





How were your first 3 months of 2020? We began ours with a 45-minute cross country run around Mill Park! The weather stayed dry and sunny and we raised an incredible £1500, a portion of which went to the North Devon Hospice.

Another highlight was watching Ilfracombe Academy's performance of We Will Rock You. We were seriously impressed by their talent. 

World Book Day this year was phenomenal! We all dressed up as word warriors and had to solve the mystery of which a member of staff had been pilfering from our extensive lexicon of superior vocabulary! The day made us recognise how important language is and how powerful words can be. 

At this time of year our excitement is building as our residentials are coming up. We will tell you all about those adventures in our next update. 

Berrynarbor School Pupil Leaders



Braving the Elements

I have loved all the attention I have received since my last blog, thank you. Sitting outside the community shop is no longer a chore when so many people go past and call my name. I hold my head with pride and feel quite famous, although the Mrs. does the opposite, shaking her head in shame saying I'm infamous. I'm not sure what the difference is but I feel good.

It's been a wet few months for walks. I have noticed they seem to get shorter when it's blowing a gale. Not sure what the problem is especially when the Mr. and Mrs. go out all wrapped up. They don their waterproofs including these great big rubber boot things. The Mrs. makes such a fuss when the Mr. comes back and makes a mess on the carpet. They should realise it's much more fun barefoot. You can enjoy the mud between your toes. However, she complains about my muddy paws too. Doesn't she realise people pay a fortune for animal print fabrics? The Mr. and I are simply adding pattern to an otherwise boring carpet.

I don't know why everyone keeps complaining about the weather. The more it rains the better chance I have of getting messy. There is nothing like the joy of jumping in puddles and racing through the mud. The only problem is I know it will end in that snake attack when we get back. They unleash it from the wall and allow it to spray all over me and it's flippin' freezing. I would like to see them endure a cold shower like that. I do try and share the experience by shaking all over them when it's finished which I find highly amusing. Sadly, they do not share my joy. These humans just don't have a sense of humour!

It's not easy staying clean when you are as hairy as me. To be honest the only time I am truly clean is after a trip to the vicarage where Josey gives me a wonderful pampering. After that I really do look like the dog's b... . . . . . if you know what I mean. Ok now I have probably said too much. I am back on that theme again so it must be time to finish. Take care. Look out for me round and about and don't forget to run if you see me coming towards you with muddy paws!




Mingling Matters . . .

As I've said before, the Wine Circle is a great village organisation to meet others who are not your neighbours. It was with concern, therefore, that we learnt that some new members felt that they weren't mingling. It's easy to get stuck in a rut and to sit with people you know; however, we've put paid to that and February's meeting was Call my Wine Bluff and a perfect subject to split friends and/or neighbours and to sit at tables of six instead of rows of 12. It worked so well we shall be doing it again!

For those of you that don't know, our Bluff night means that a panel of three each spout a possible description of six wines. Obviously, there is only one correct one for each.

We sampled a French Haut-Poitou Sauvignon Blanc, a Lyrarakis Assyrtiko from Crete and a Spanish Caixas Albarino. Our first two reds were South African: a Barista Pinotage and a Rustenburg Stellanbosch Grenache. A Spanish Matsu El Picaro ended the evening. The favourites were the Frenchman, which was fresh, crisp and fruity, typical of a Sauv Blanc and the Barista. Barista is Italian for bartender; however, today it's synonymous with coffee houses. This Barista wine smelled of coffee and tasted of the same, but it was a great red.

Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyard, and which incorporates itself with the grapes, to be changed into wine; a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy. Benjamin Franklin

I like to select appropriate quotations from my little book! We've had plenty of rain over the vineyards and everywhere else over the last six months and let's hope that this year's crops will enable us to be happy and mingle once again!

Life has been curtailed as we know it. Unsurprisingly, it was agreed that the Wine Circle would not hold March's meeting due to this Coronavirus outbreak. If the situation continues as it is, I suspect that April's and May's meetings, on the 15th and the 20th, will follow suit. We will keep you posted, as they say.

Judith Adam - Promotional Co-ordinator & Secretary


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


I wonder what was the last piece of good news you received. Perhaps the birth of your child or grandchild? A promotion at work? Someone said they love you? Or perhaps simply that the supermarket has now got hand sanitizer and loo rolls back in stock! We all love getting good news, whether that be something that affects us personally, or just somebody we care for.

Easter is the season of good news. Perhaps you've heard Christians talk about the Gospel - it's an old English term that simply means Good News. It is the heart of the Christian faith, and is what we celebrate at Easter.

On the face of it we celebrate the death of Jesus - Good Friday - and His subsequent rising from the dead - Easter Sunday - which of course is true, but it is more than a clever trick or just a fact of history. Easter is good news because it is the evidence and means by which God declares that each of us are precious to Him, that the sin that separates us from Him has been forgiven, and that death - the final enemy - has been defeated.

Easter is the great celebration that for those that belong to Jesus - those that follow Him - that we are no longer marked by our mistakes, our poor choices, or our thoughtlessness, but instead we are marked by the forgiveness of Jesus, and given a fresh start in His Kingdom. Jesus' resurrection proves that even death cannot separate us from the love of God. There is no better news in all the world.

Join us at St. Peter's, Berrynarbor at 2.00 p.m. on Good Friday, 10th, for a service of readings and music to help us reflect on the death of Jesus. And then again on Easter Sunday,12th at 11.00 a.m. as we celebrate Jesus' resurrection, and victory over sin and death.

May you know God's immeasurable joy.

Rev. Peter Churcher




Berrynarbor Parish Council
Chairman - Adam Stanbury [882252]

Gemma Bacon [883341]

Adrian Coppin [882647]

Bernadette Joyce

Lesley Lowe

Martin Johns

Jody Latham

Nic Wright

Parish Clerk - Victoria Woodhouse [07815 665215] - clerk@berrynarborparishcouncil.org.uk

County Councillor - Andrea Davis [883865]
District Councillor - Joe Tucker Frederick.tucker@northdevon.gov.uk [328890]

Snow Warden - Clive Richards [883406]

Housing Needs Survey 

As explained in the last Newsletter, the Parish Council wishes to establish the extent of housing need in the Parish and the support for small affordable housing development.  A Housing Need Survey in partnership with Devon Communities Together, has now been posted to every household in the parish.   It is really important that as many households as possible complete and return the form so that the Parish Council can be given as comprehensive a picture as possible of housing need. The figures obtained will help to plan for the future and ensure that, if a need is identified, the correct number and size of homes are built in the parish for local people.

The survey is being administered by the Rural Housing Enabler at Devon Communities Together. They will process the information and all personal details will remain confidential. No individual will be able to be identified from the survey report.


The Parish Council's lease for the defibrillator comes to an end in April 2020 and the Parish Council is pleased to confirm that it has agreed to renew the assisted defibrillator package with the South Western Ambulance Service for another four years.

Grass Cutting, Garden Maintenance and Footpath Clearance Contract 2020-2021 

Berry Arboriculture has again been awarded the parish Grass Cutting, Garden Maintenance and Footpath Clearance Contract for 2020/2021. The Contractor continues to provide an excellent service to the Parish Council.

Police Crime Commissioner's Communications and Engagement Officer 

The Parish Council received a short presentation from the Police and Crime Commissioner's Communications and Engagement Officer at its March meeting.  The Officer has said that if any community groups would like to receive a presentation he is happy for his details to be passed on. The main items to note were that Police numbers are increasing, they are trying to address the issues with the non-emergency telephone number 111 by introducing a facility to report this via a web-chat. It was explained that those Officers answering 111 are also the same Officers that answer the 999 calls which obviously take precedent and the Crime Commissioner was currently looking for a temporary building to house Barnstaple's force following the announcement of the closure of Barnstaple's station whilst looking to build elsewhere.  

 Devon County Council's Road Warden Scheme 

The Parish Council is considering joining Devon County Council's Road Warden Scheme and ask if there is anyone in the community that would like to nominate themselves to become a Road Warden.  Devon County Council will provide training and following the training you would be able to carry out pothole repairs, clean signs and drainage and set up road closures for special events. Further information can be found via DCC's website https://www.devon.gov.uk/communities/opportunities/road-warden-scheme

Annual Parish & Council Meetings

The Annual Parish Meeting is scheduled to be held on Tuesday 14th April 2020. The Parish Council is monitoring the situation and the Government's Guidance but it might be that the meeting and some Council meetings will need to be postponed. Updates will be available on the Parish Council's website and noticeboards. The Parish Council ask that if you do experience any symptoms, a new or persistent cough or a temperature, you do not attend Parish Council meetings.  The Government's latest advice can be found via Public Health England's website and the Parish Council urge you to stay up-to-date with the latest advice, and also urge any vulnerable members of the community to minimise any risks to themselves.     

Finally, Sian Barten has recently resigned from the Parish Council. The Council would like to thank Sian for her commitment, enthusiasm and knowledge over the last few years and wish her well for the future.

Mrs Victoria Woodhouse BA (Hons)  - Parish Clerk 


LOVE Devon helps brings communities together

It may not be nice outside, but there's a warm glow spreading out across the whole of Devon. From coast to countryside, villages and towns to cities, LOVE Devon is bringing communities together to support themselves and each other and to celebrate everything that is good and glorious about living and working in this part of the world.

LOVE Devon was established by Devon Communities Together which is approaching its 60th birthday. The independent charity was set up with the intention of helping communities to help themselves, and LOVE Devon was established as a way of raising awareness and raising much-needed funds to support the charity.

The charity's key objectives are more important than ever - to ensure Devon's communities are given the support they need to address the issues that affect them; to help them become more resourceful and resilient and to build places that are healthier, more vibrant and inclusive with improved well-being.

LOVE Devon is unashamedly proud of its people and places and there's a whole raft of enterprises. Projects include the Village Halls Service which keeps the buildings at the heart of any community beating and the Big Energy Saving Network which tackles the issue of fuel poverty that is worse in rural areas where there is limited access to the mains gas network.

There are important challenges facing everyone in Devon including affordable housing, entrepreneurship, rural isolation and loneliness, the environment and sustainability. But for every challenge, LOVE Devon has a creative way of approaching it. If you LOVE Devon, get involved! Join in with fundraising, access help and advice or simply spread the word. Go to Facebook (www.facebook.com/lovedevon2016/), Twitter (@LoveDevon) or Instagram (@Loving_Devon) or the website www.devoncommunities.org.uk


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


Berrynarbor village!

If you are self-isolating and need help with anything like shopping, urgent supplies, posting mail, then myself, Nic, and my team will help if we can.

If in the event we have to close during this period due to Coronavirus and the village is in shut down mode, we shall be opening the kitchen lunch and dinner service, 7 days a week, to supply food and deliver it in and around the village.

We shall not charge for this service, only for the food and it will be a limited menu of good home cooked meals.

Telephone 01271 882465 or 07904657208 from
10.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. / 5.30 to 8.00 p.m.




The children have enjoyed this term's topic, Winter. They have explored ice, made an arctic display, learnt about the animals that live there and how people should dress to keep safe and warm in cold.

Maths has been taught with children beginning to recognise numbers, sort items into order, simple sums, name 2D shapes, say the opposite and know the position of an item. We added stories to extend the children's knowledge and vocabulary. These were then recalled and acted out by the children in their play.

We celebrated World Book Day with the children dressing up as characters of their choice and read new and exciting books, and they enjoyed Pancake Day practicing tossing pancakes with Julia in the Manor Hall.

We have supported the children in talking about keeping well especially with recent news events, trying to prevent the spread of germs as much as possible. We have encouraged more and better hand washing regimes within our setting.

School Visits

We enjoyed our visits to the Primary school this term. Thank you to Mrs. Welling who provided fun activities, such as shaving foam, snow dough, and shared stories as well as allowing the Pre-school children to explore the classroom and have a small taste of school life there.

Thank you to Wendy and the Berry in Bloom team who kindly donated plants and compost to help with our gardening project. The children planted up lovely winter pansy to give to their mums or someone special and helped to tidy up the garden in readiness for spring.


Thank you to everyone who supported our Bags2School collection. We are pleased to say that we raised £100.00 which will go towards getting a climbing frame for the children.

We have another fundraising event: our Quiz Evening on Friday 27th March.

From the staff at preschool
Sue, Karen, Lynne and Emma




1. Angina, 4. Family, 8. True, 9. Bakelite, 10. Matrimony, 13. Lords, 15. Unite, 16. Set up, 18. Rendering, 21. Chauffeur, 22. Stye, 23. Raging, 24. Candid.


1. Autumn, 2. Gauntlet, 3. Album, 5. Acetylene, 6. Iris, 7. Yields, 11. Ibuprofen, 12. Onion, 14. Radiated, 16. Saucer, 17. Agreed, 19. Doric, 20. Pang.


Artwork: Angela Bartlett



"Congratulations flew fast and furious, for it had unquestionably been one of the most successful 'shows' ever undertaken by the squadron." This quote comes from the book Biggles Learns to Fly, just one of nearly 100 Biggles short stories and novels.

James Bigglesworth, nick-named Biggles, is a fictional pilot and adventurer and hero of the adventure stories written for young readers by Capt. W.E. Johns, who continued to write Biggles books until his death in 1968.

William Earl Johns was born in Bengeo, Hertford, on the 5th February 1893, the eldest son of Richard Eastman Johns, a fabric tailor, and Elizabeth, nee Earl. His early ambition was to be a soldier.

Not a natural scholar, from the age of 12, Johns attended Hertford Grammar School. In 1907 he began a 4-year apprenticeship to a county municipal surveyor and in 1912 was appointed a sanitary inspector in Swaffham, Norfolk. In October 1914, he married Maude Hunt, the daughter of the Rev. John Hunt, vicar of Little Dunham, Norfolk, and in March 1915, William Earl Carmichael Johns, known as Jack, their only son, was born.

Johns had a distinguished military career, beginning in 1913 when he enlisted in the Territorial Army as a Trooper in the King's Own Royal Regiment [Norfolk Yeomanry] and finishing in 1931 when he relinquished his commission from the Reserves.The Norfolk Yeomanry fought at Gallipoli until they were withdrawn to Egypt. In 1916 he was transferred to the Machine Gun Corps and while serving in Greece contracted malaria. On his release from hospital, he was commissioned into the Royal Flying Corps and posted back to England in 1917 for flight training, fist at Coley Park, Reading, and then at Thetford in Norfolk, close to where Maude and Jack were living.

In April 1918, Johns was appointed flying instructor at Marske-by-the-Sea in Yorkshire. The aircraft at that time were most unreliable and he wrote off three planes in three days through engine failure - crashing into the sea, then the sand, and then through a fellow officer's back door. Later, he was caught in fog over the  Tees, missed Hartlepool and narrowly escaped flying into a cliff. Shooting one's own propeller off with a forward-mounted machine-gun with malfunctioning 

He performed six weeks of active duty as a bomber pilot with No. 55 Squadron RAF, close to the average in the latter part of the war. This squadron was part of the Independent Air Force, a section of the Royal Air Force that had been formed for the purpose of bombing strategic targets deep inside Germany.

On the 16th September 1918 he was piloting one of six De Havilland DH4s on their way to bomb Mannheim when his aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire and he was forced to drop out of formation. He jettisoned his single 250-pound [110 kg] bomb and turned for home, but was attacked by a number of Fokker D.VII fighters. During a lengthy, but one-sided battle, Johns' observer and rear-gunner, Second Lieutenant Alfred Edward Amey, was badly wounded and the aircraft shot down. Johns and Amey were taken prisoner by German troops. Johns had received a leg wound during the battle and was slightly injured in the crash, but Amey died of his injuries later that day. Johns remained a prisoner of war until after the Armistice of 11th November 1918.

After the war, Johns remained in the Royal Air Force, apparently with the substantive rank of Pilot Officer.  His promotion to the rank of  Flying Officer came in November 1920. He worked in central London as a recruiting officer and rejected T. E. Lawrence [of Arabia] as an RAF recruit for obviously giving a false name, but was later ordered to accept him.

By 1923, Johns had left his wife. His RAF commission had been extended a further four years and he had moved to >Birmingham, again working as a recruitment officer. It was here he met Doris 'Dol' May Leigh [1900-1969], daughter of Alfred Broughton Leigh. They moved to Newcastle upon Tyne when Johns was posted there. He never divorced Maude Hunt, but Doris was known as Mrs Johns until her death. He continued to pay for his wife and son's upkeep and for her nursing care, she suffered from acute arthritis.

On 15 October 1927, he was transferred to the Reserves and four years later, in October 1931, he relinquished his commission.

Johns' writing career began in 1922 when he wrote under the name William Earle, but later adopted the now familiar name of Capt. W.E. Johns. His final RAF rank of flying officer, equivalent to an army lieutenant, captain is commonly used for the commander of a vessel or aircraft.

Johns' opposition to appeasement is apparent in some of his writing, and more advanced in his thinking, for the time, was the story of Biggles Air Commodore [1937] which alludes to Japanese preparations for conquest of British colonies in the Far East.

Apart from Biggles, his other multi-volume fiction series were the 6-book Steeley series [1936-1939], the 11-book series Worrals [1941-1950], the 10-book series Gimlet [1943-1954] and 10-book science fiction series of Tiger Clinton [1954-1963].

From 1953 until his death on the 21st June 1968, and his cremation, Johns lived at Park House, Hampton Court Road, Hampton Court in Middlesex.

Judie Weedon



A Head for Heights

At certain times, when travelling towards Marazion from the direction of Penzance, you may witness a strange sight - a procession of people appearing to walk across the sea to St. Michael's Mount. As you get nearer you will realise this has been an illusion for at low tide it is possible to reach the island by crossing a stone causeway. At high tide small boats are on hand to ferry visitors across.

We walked over the large smooth slabs of stone, arranged randomly, to the harbour and row of cottages below the castle. In 1044 a Benedictine monastery was founded there by the monks of Mont St. Michel, Brittany. [The two mounts resemble each other.] From the 12th century its potential as a fortress was recognised and eventually in 1425 the Crown annexed it and the monks were ejected. In 1657 the St. Aubyn family bought it and still have a connection with the castle though since 1954 the island has been owned by the National Trust.


Illustrated by: Paul Swailes

We climbed up the winding paths, through the sub-tropical gardens; a vertiginous walk but we enjoyed taking in the wide sweep of Mount's Bay. Many of the people we passed were treading very gingerly, watching their feet. A few years ago, the advert for a new head gardener on St. Michael's Mount stated that as well as horticultural expertise, he or she should have a good head for heights and preferably an ability - or willingness - to abseil.

The lower slopes were sprinkled with sky blue spring squill. The tide still being out, we returned via the causeway stopping at intervals to scan the sea. To the east we observed the stately silhouette of a great northern diver [the loon in North America]. To the west along Marazion beach several whimbrel rested on their spring passage Similar to but smaller than curlews with a slightly shorter bill, the whimbrel can best be distinguished by the dark stripes on its crown.

It is always fun to visit one of the islands off our coast, no matter how small, but there is evidence that St. Michael's Mount was once joined to the mainland as tree stumps have been discovered in the sea around it.

Sue H



It's Time to Act!

Pledge for Nature is a new campaign, launched at the end of January 2020, that aims to support and encourage communities in northern Devon to help nature to flourish. Actions might include creating flower and insect-rich habitats, planting new woodlands, and improving our spaces for wildlife.

Getting involved with the campaign is a great way to get practical tips on what you can do and to find out about many local projects and initiatives you can join.

Pledge for Nature is being co-ordinated by the North Devon Biosphere, a cross sector partnership that is working to protect North Devon's unique natural environment. It is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Devon County Council and a successful Crowd funder.

Pledgers are invited to sign up to take action for nature at www.biosphere.org.uk/pledge-for-nature.'




With many villagers currently self-isolating, there should be time for crafters to indulge in their art, knitting, embroidery, etc., and if the weather would improve, gardeners can still tend to their plants and gardens!

However, even if restrictions are lifted, this great village event cannot carry on without a group of volunteers to run it. Sadly, so far, my plea has fallen on deaf ears!

If you could give a little time to help run this event, please do get in touch with me. If you have been put off by the list of what running the show involves, don't worry, the jobs can be split between members of the group and I am prepared to help as much as I can.

As I mentioned in the last newsletter, there is enough money in the kitty to run another show, so no fundraising is necessary. Please give serious thought to helping out, it would be such a shame to see this well-supported long-standing show disappear.

Please speak to me in the Shop or ring me on [01271] 889131. Thank you.




[11.10.52 - ]

Traditional Devon Butcher

I've known Mike for almost as many years as he's been running his shop in Ilfracombe High Street, and am always cheered by his welcoming, "Good morning Mrs. P. - it's a lovely day", or similar. At a time when Ilfracombe is losing so many shops - and seemingly gaining a coffee culture! - it is good that a traditional shop is continuing.

So how did he become a butcher? Well, it runs in the family. His father and grandfather were in the same line!

Mike was born in Beckenham, Kent to Lesley and Victoria Turton. He was the second child. Elisabeth was the oldest and later came Lawrence and Caroline.

After a secondary education, Mike left school at 16 and worked at Trust House Forte as an apprentice chef. The family lived above his father's shop in Beckenham, and from a very early age, Mike was in the shop at every opportunity.

In 1969, however, his parents decided on a change of lifestyle and moved to Ilfracombe. They bought a guest house in Oxford Grove and the family moved with them. It wasn't too long before they realised that this wasn't really the life they wanted: the butcher's business was too deeply ingrained. They sold up and bought Mr. C.H. Chapple's Butchery shop at 146 High Street in the town. Some of you may remember the former owner. They had a ready-made member of staff, Mike!

Mr. and Mrs. Turton senior ran the shop for 20 years until 1989 when they retired. Early on, they introduced the sale of cooked meats and cheese which really spurred on their business, and that Mike has continued to this day.

In 1974 Mike married Sylvia Gear and they had two sons, Daniel and Aarron, and a daughter Stacey. Aarron became an Environmental Health Officer and when we opened our shop, he came to give it the hygiene all clear. Daniel is a Chartered Accountant and Ilfracombe Councillor. One of his children, Evie, helps Granddad in the shop on Saturdays during school holidays. Stacey lives and works in Cheltenham for a Government Apprenticeship Company. Sadly, Sylvia died in 2005, aged just 50, having been incapacitated for some time.

Luckily, Mike later found happiness with Julie, his second wife, who has been a great help. If you've tasted any of the pasties, scones, pies or pastries temptingly spread out in the shop, they are made by Julie with occasional help from her mum.

"And a great job she does of it, too", adds Mike. They have a daughter, Courtney, now aged 13.

Local suppliers also benefit from his business. He buys everything from the West Country. His Devon Ruby Red Beef and lambs are from just up the road in Combe Martin, but bacon, poultry, game, venison, cheeses and sea food don't use up many miles to get here. His cooked meats are all made on the premises. When I showed him the August 2012 write-up about John Dennis, it reminded him of how well he'd got on with John's father, Philip, who when he owned a turkey farm, used to supply Turton's with Christmas turkeys.

Mike doesn't have too much time to relax, but when I asked him about hobbies, he replied, "Family first, then walking, gardening, D.I.Y, cycling, fishing, dancing". Oh! And he'd just returned from a week's skiing! So, it can't be all work, but after the hours he puts in over Bank Holidays, particularly Christmas, he must need some activities to unwind.

The butchery and farming professions have been hit hard by vegetarianism and veganism, and I dared to ask him how he felt about this. He replied diplomatically, "The public must make their own choice".

Apart from his business, he is always ready to help local charities with their fund-raising and community work. I remember him being particularly helpful when I did a fund-raising dinner some years ago. He has also given professional talks and demonstrations to local women's organisations.

When you walk the length of Ilfracombe's High Street, it is disconcerting to see how many premises stand empty. It's striking that three of the few long-standing shops are family owned - Pam Norman and Nick Pedlar, as well as Mike. They have survived not only for several generations but also the opening of local supermarkets. Mike wants to emphasise how much he appreciates his customers, old and new.

Many of us will dash into the supermarket because of easy parking and getting most of the shopping under one roof, but particularly in the present hard times, all our High Street shops will appreciate more support from all of us.

So, Mike may not be a national 'Mover and Shaker', but locally he would be greatly missed. It is good that he supports nearby suppliers and that he can tell you exactly from which farm his products come. As we move through the seasons, he adapts his fare, be it flavours of sausages, meat for barbecues, provision of laver, etc., all to enhance our taste buds! He says that he has now been in the butchery business for nearly 50 years. Long may he continue!

PP of DC



Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Easter Wishes

Again, for Easter I have chosen 3 early postcards from my collection. The first giving Easter Greetings was printed in Germany, series 825. Whilst I do not have details of the publisher, I should guess that the card dates back to c1906. It shows two young girls leaning on a large pink Easter egg, with a lamb breaking out. In the background are spring flowers and pussy willow.



The second card is dated 1911 and has not been posted. The card shows three rabbits with the eldest reading a book, and wishing A Happy Easter. The card, published by Wildt & Kray of London E.C., under their series 1183, is printed in Bavaria.

A Happy Eastertide, the third card, again published by Wildt & Kray of London, has an Oxford, March 20th 1907 postmark. Showing a young lad with hat in hand and pushing an egg carriage containing young chicks on board. The message on the back reads:

"Dear Eileen
With my best love.
Will send a piece of music later.
Thanks for your pc."

I should again like to wish all readers a Very Happy Easter 2020 and thank Judie for the production of our Newsletter since the first publication in August 1989!

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage, March 2020
e-mail: tomandinge40@gmail.com



This is a challenging time for everyone and our priority is the health and safety of our visitors, our volunteers and our staff. We shall continue to follow the Government advice and respond accordingly. However, we feel there are great benefits in allowing people to relax and enjoy the beauty of the garden in a wide-open space.

ONLY if we are allowed to stay open, the Gardens and the Walled Garden Nursery will remain open to visitors and season ticket holders, from 10.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m., Monday to Friday.

Admissions and the Tea Room WILL NOT be open.

Entry can be paid for either by placing it in the Honesty Box [on the wall by the entrance] or paid for in the Garden Nursery.



5th St. Peter's Church: Palm Sunday Service, 11.00 a.m.
7th Mobile Library in Village from 11.40 a.m.
10th Good Friday St. Peter's Church: Hour of Devotion 2.00 pm
12th Easter Sunday St. Peter's Church, Service, 11.00 a.m.
14th Primary School & Ilfracombe Academy: Start of Sumer Term
Parish Council Meeting, Manor Hall, 7.00 p.m.
15th Wine Circle, Manor Hall, 8.00 p.m.
23rd Village Shop: St. George's Day - Special Bargains!
28th Manor Hall: Ladies' Fashion Night, 7.00 p.m.
4th May Bank Holiday
5th Mobile Library in Village from 11.40 a.m.
8th Deadline for Newsletter Items for June Issue
12th Parish Council Meeting, 7.00 p.m., Manor Hall
17th Village Shop Annual Great Berrynarbor Plant Sale, Manor Hall, 2.00 p.m.
20th Wine Circle, Manor Hall, 8.00 p.m.
25th to 29th Ilfracombe Academy & Primary School: Half Term
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]
1st and 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.
FridaysPrimary 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