Edition 188 - October 2020

Artwork: Paul Swailes

Artwork: Judie Weedon


Can this really be the fourth Newsletter since the start of these strange and difficult times? I hope you are keeping safe from Covid, but for those who are unwell, we are thinking of you and hope you feel better soon. We also send good wishes and welcome anyone new to the village or new Newsletter readers.

This October issue, is dedicated to the late Margaret Ludlow as the donations given at her funeral have been given to the Newsletter. Thank you, Ken and Wendy, for this kind thought. Thank you, as well, to Angela [Bartlett] in Singapore, for her whimsical interpretation, on page 24 of the recent problems encountered at Woolacombe and for the new-look recipe page.

It's lovely to report a happy occasion and we send our congratulations and best wishes to June and Gerry who celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on the 17th September. Whilst the 45th anniversary is sapphire, this, the 65th is blue sapphire. In 2017, the term sapphire jubilee or blue sapphire was coined to mark the 65th anniversary of the succession of our Queen, Elizabeth II. Good wishes and thanks to Vicki Woodhouse who has been our Parish Clerk for the last four years, and a warm welcome to Sue Petters, her replacement.

Once again, I must thank everyone who has contributed in any way to this issue, No. 188. It is only with your help and support that the Newsletter continues. That help, perhaps with help from new contributors, will be needed for the December and Christmas [can you believe it!] issue! Items for this will be welcome as soon as possible and by Wednesday, 11th November at the latest. Thank you.

Finally, don't forget to put your clock back an hour before you go to bed on the 24th October, and remember that regulations are changing all the time and events scheduled may well have altered. The community spirit in the village continues live and well and thanks are due to all those who give their time, help and support to others. Stay well and keep safe.

Judie - Ed


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


Berrynarbor Manor Hall Trust CIO 11619090

The Hall is now open again, but obviously with some quite strict covid precautions.

Users will need to fill in and sign a risk assessment, along with a special covid hire agreement, all necessary to comply with the Government guidelines to be 'Covid Secure'.

The rule of 6 does not apply to Educational activities; the Government are keen to keep community buildings open and allow activities for social interaction to continue where there is a demand, providing all guidelines are adhered to. Understandably, there are certain groups where it would be impossible to comply and/or are not comfortable returning at his stage. Parties and other large gatherings are presently not permitted.

Naturally the hall's income is dramatically reduced with lots of planned activities and events sadly cancelled over the summer and into the winter, but thankfully with the Pre-school, Parish Room and Snooker Club rent, along with the Government grant, we have sufficient funds to keep the hall maintained until things improve.

Our already overdue AGM was due to be held in October. We will keep you informed as to when we can safely reschedule.

If in the meantime you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

The Manor Hall Trustees
Chairman: Julia Fairchild [882783]
Treasurer: Alan Hamilton [07905445072]



The Upholstery Group has started meeting again and will, hopefully, continue if there are sufficient people interested in attending. We only need the permitted six for it to be successful.

Whether you are an existing member of the group or a newcomer who would like to come and learn how to restore and renovate old chairs, stools, chaise longue, etc., please give me a ring on [01271] 883600.

Tony [Summers]




31.1.1943 - 6.8.2020

It was with sadness the village learnt that Peter had passed away suddenly, but peacefully, at home on the 6th August. His funeral, at St. Peter's, took place on the 29th August.

Our thoughts and prayers at this sad time are with Margaret and all the family, who would like to thank everyone for their help and support, especially those at the Church.

30.7.28 - 11.8.20

Pat moved to Lee Lodge from Surrey nearly four years ago to be near her daughter Jane of Rose Cottage.

Pat was very happy at Lee Lodge and enjoyed attending church in Berrynarbor and often walked to the Sawmills for a glass of wine or a coffee. She made many friends in the village and attended coffee mornings and village events.

When Lee Lodge closed, she moved to The Warren at Knowle where she had a very happy life, enjoying outings for lunch with Jane and other friends, and enjoyed meeting more new friends and Musical Memories in Ilfracombe.

Pat's funeral took place on the 27th August when Father John Roles conducted a beautiful service.

Villagers missed seeing Pat when she moved to The Warren, and It was with sadness we learnt that she had passed away peacefully on the 11th August Our thoughts are with Jane and the family at this time of sorrow.


20.4.1940 - 16.8.2020

It was sad to learn in a letter from Vernon Jeffery, a fellow member of Kingskerswell & District Garden Society, that Sheila had passed away peacefully in Torbay Hospital, at the age of 80, on the 16th August.

Vernon says that Sheila

    ' . . . has told us of her early years in the village of Berrynarbor and often passed your brilliant Newsletter on to myself and others. She so loved Berrynarbor and all the places nearby and told us such wonderful stories of the people, the school and happenings, 'such larks'! Sheila told me how she worked at a care home in North Devon and at a pet and garden store in Torquay, helped at a large kennels in Coffinswell and lately she has lived in a delightful road called Nut Bush Lane. This lane leads down to Cockington Village where she loved to walk and enjoyed the horses, carriages, spring flowers, the lovely church and the forge. She was most knowledgeable and enjoyed her Garden Club trips in the summer and our Show at the village hall in September.'

Sheila [nee Buchan] spent her formative years here living with her grandparents at Goosewell, her mother having died only months after she was born. Sheila's memories of her life here and attending the village school, have been recorded in the Newsletter, of which she was a long-term supporter, the latest appearing in the April 2019 issue.

Our thoughts are with her friends and all those who knew her at this sad time.


I feel a warmth around me,
like your presence is so near.
And I close my eyes to visualize
your face when you were here.
I endure the times we spent together,
and they are locked inside my heart
As long as I have those memories
we will never be apart.
Even though we cannot speak anymore,
my voice is always there,
because every night before I sleep,
I have you in my prayer.

Louise Bailey


Artwork: Paul Swailes

July and August

July carried on this summer's changeable weather pattern. On the 1st at 0700 hrs we had total cloud cover, drizzle, dull with a fresh breeze, maximum wind speed of 22mph from the SSW. The temperature ranged between 13.5°C and 16.9°C. A total of 1.6mm of rain and the barometer was reading a low of 1003.4 mbars. at 0500hrs. The highest humidity of the day was 93% at 0700hrs and lowest 76% at 1700hrs.

Looking at the rest of July, the highest wind speed was 38mph [average 28mph] from the SSW on the 3rd which is the highest I have in my records for July. The maximum temperature was on the 30th at 26.6°C [average 26.76°C] and a minimum on the 20th at 6.9°C, the same as last year and low for July [average 8.62°C]. The wettest day was the 3rd with 20mm and the total for the month was 74.6mm [average 88.27mm]. Total for the year up to the end of the month was 720.4mm. The barometric pressure ranged from a high on the 11th at 1028.7mbars to a low on the 27th of 1001.2 mbars. Humidity reached 95% on several days and the lowest 54% at 1900hrs.on the 30th. The lowest wind chill factor was 7.2°C [average 6.92°C] at 0530hrs. on the 20th. Judie kindly continues to provide me with the approximate sunshine hours which totalled 149.30 [average166.00] the sunniest day was the 22nd with 8.25hours.

August 1st started with light showers overnight and at 0700hrs we had 6/8ths cloud cover. Maximum wind speed of 18mph from the SSW. The temperature ranged between 13.0°C and 19.4°C. A total of 3.6mm of rain and the barometer was reading a high of 1018.3mbars at 2300hrs. Humidity ranged between 94% at 0700hrs and 69% at 1500hrs.

Looking at the rest of August starting with the maximum wind speed on the 25th by courtesy of storm Francis 52mph [average 27.93mph] from the SSW. This is the highest August wind speed in my records with the next nearest in 2008 at 33.4mph. It also stripped the leaves and remaining flowers off my runner and French beans! The highest temperature was on the 12th at 27.9°C [average 25.77°C] and lowest on the 31st at 7.6°C [average 8.66°C]. The wettest day was on the 27th with 20.8mm, the total for the month was 100.5mm [average 98.07mm]. Total for the year up to the end of August was 820.8mm*. The barometer ranged between 1021.3mbars on the 8th and a low of 991.5mbars on the 21st courtesy of storm Ellen. Humidity reached a high of 96% on the 16th and a low of 59% on the 30th. The total sunshine was 134.95 hours [average 158.00] and the sunniest day was on the 15th with 8.45 hours.

Global warming does seem to be producing more extreme weather conditions?

I hope we all have a more settled autumn and stay safe during this pandemic.


*Rainfall: for those readers with a keen eye there is a 0.1mm discrepancy between the totals for July and August due to my system working more decimal points.

This giant cobweb appeared on the 8th August due to a very light drizzle collecting on it and making it visible. It measured approximately 100 x 60 cms.




Artwork: Alvary Scott


Following the Government announcement that church buildings will be able to reopen for public worship from 4th July, it is hoped that services will commence in some form come September or October.

As mentioned in the August Newsletter, notices will be placed on the church gates and entrance porch to advise parishioners attending church, as well as visitors, to maintain social distancing and the sanitising of hands on entry and exit.

At the time of writing, the singing of hymns will not be permitted, and we can only hope that this will change in the near future.

There are no weddings planned for this year but funeral services are permitted with the limitation of 30 persons in church, but again, regretfully, no singing will be allowed until we receive the go ahead from the Diocese.

To just reflect on wedding services, we must sympathise greatly with couples who have had to re-arrange or delay what must be one of the most important days in their lives, not to mention the financial cost to them in having to cancel their wedding reception and honeymoon plans. Two such couples have had to cancel their wedding day service in Berrynarbor, which should have taken place earlier this year. How sad.

Our AGM, which was to have taken place at the end of March and was then re-scheduled to take place on the 21st September, has again, due to Government regulations, been postponed. Once we are able to hold this meeting, we'll keep you informed.

Following approval from the Archdeacon of Barnstaple for our Faculty application to carry out all the repair work on the church building, and at this time, we await scaffolding to be erected so that repairs to the roof, guttering and masonry can proceed. Western Steeplejacks have completed their work on the tower, and an upgraded heavy-duty earth wire has been connected to the tower's lightning conductor by James Electrics.

Please note, there will be special notices in place adjacent to the main cobbled path, and special cordoned security tape alongside to advise members of the public to keep well clear of any building/repair work in progress.

Our special prayers go to Margaret and Peter John Hiscox on the recent death of their husband and father, whose burial service was held in Berrynarbor churchyard on Wednesday 29th August. We continue to pray for our magnificent NHS, Ambulance Service and our Police Force, and all those in our community especially Carol Lucas and June Marangone who are unwell at this time.

Finally, we convey our thanks to Simon for keeping our churchyard, both old and new, in such pristine condition. We also thank Chris and his colleagues for the removal of a diseased holly tree, some branches of which were overhanging the roadway in Barton Lane. Chris had to obtain permission from the District Planning Office prior to the tree's removal, since trees in our churchyard are under a protection order.

Stuart Neale



Dave Beagley


Solution in Article 25.




It's nice to be back at school after 6 months of lockdown. We all feel very safe back in this environment, but things are a bit different.

We have to go to school at different times depending on our houses, there are three time slots at the beginning and the end of the day. Our lessons are the same, however, now our teachers come to our classroom instead of us going to them. We have to stay in our 'bubbles' so we don't get to see the other year groups very often. 

We wash our hands all the time! 

Since the start of term, Year 6's have completed their Bikeability course and are all now safe on the road. All of the Reception children have joined and are happy in school, loving their lessons.

We have had 2 puppies visit school.  One was a jack and the other one was a sausage dog crossed with a terrier. The whole school got to see and play with them, as we are doing an English topic on puppies. 

Everyone is enjoying being with friends again. 

Written by - Rosie and Ruby, Year 6.




I read the article by Pam Parke on the Oliver family and St John's nursery with great interest as it brought back fond memories of my childhood in Croyde.

Colonel and Mrs Oliver were friends of my parents as well as customers of their garage business, which at that time was adjoining the Manor House pub. Mrs Oliver had a hobby making models out of shells from the beach, in particular ladies in crinoline dresses made from several layers of limpet shells. These would be sold to visitors to the area as souvenirs. She used to pay us children for collecting cowrie shells for her from the shingle between the rocks at Croyde Bay or Downend. I think it was 6d per dozen cowries - that's old money, not decimal!

I didn't know the other Olivers at Pickwell Manor but I think that would have been when I was in the Infants' class at Georgeham Primary School; however, I do remember going to buy tomatoes from the market garden around the back of the Manor when I was older.

By the time I was in the Juniors' section in the early '50's, it was the Weedon family with children Anne and Michael who lived at Pickwell Manor and we would occasionally cycle to Pickwell to play with them. I remember them having a huge St Bernard dog that would look out of the glazed door at me when I rang the doorbell. It looked like a large lion's head! There was a tale that there was a tunnel that connected the Manor House with Baggy Hole, the large cave at Baggy Point, but despite thorough explorations of the house we never found it! What a surprise!

They owned a pre-war Rolls Royce and one day damaged a door which my father had to remove and respray. He spent days at it, spraying, rubbing down and polishing repeatedly to get a really good deep shine. Unfortunately, when he replaced the door on the car, the colour and shine was far better than the faded remainder of the car so that he ended up having to machine polish all the rest of it! A brilliant job but not a very good deal for him!

Another reason to cycle to Pickwell was to deliver telegrams for Croyde Post Office. When a telegram arrived at Croyde,

Cecil Parsons, the postmaster, would see if there were any children nearby on Croyde Bridge - a general meeting place for the youngsters of the village - and offer them sixpence to deliver it. If local this was good pocket money, but if for Pickwell, it was about half an hour cycle ride, virtually all uphill!

Happy days. Thank you, Pam, for re-kindling fond memories.

Tony S




I spy pies We have some super special offers coming up as we move into autumn [where did that summer go?] including the very popular Jon Thorner pies now only £5.50. These sumptuous pies come in a variety of delicious Beef and Chicken flavours so hurry while stocks last.

Look out for our drinks offer in November which will give you a perfect excuse to stock up for the festive season which is now racing towards us! November will also see the launch of our ever- popular end of year raffle with fantastic hampers to be won - watch for the in-store posters!

Our wonderful staff work tirelessly to bring the best value grocery items to our village shop and they have put together a Manager's Pick shopping basket of essential goodies that are cheaper here than in well known, large supermarkets in the area. And, of course, we have a lot more locally produced fresh produce so that we keep our carbon footprint as small as possible - still going the extra mile so you don't have to.

Will they no come back again? Since the lockdown started, the shop has been pleased to add to its customers a number of villagers and other locals who, sadly, have only paid us rare visits in the past. We have warmly welcomed everybody and we hope that the fact that the shop has been there for everyone throughout these difficult times will mean that everyone will be there for us during the winter months.

Karen and her team work extremely hard to make the shop and its content as competitive as they can and we hope they have convinced the many new faces that relied on us then, that they can rely on us now and in the future. If everyone in our wonderful village was to spend just £5 a week in our shop, this valuable resource would go from strength to strength.

The shop's current opening times are constantly reviewed with the aim of getting back to normal hours [remember them?] just as soon as we can. At this newsletter's deadline, many restrictions still remain in place because of the coronavirus. We shall continue to make the safety and well-being of staff our top priority and until we can safely arrange for our volunteers to return to work we shall continue to operate within restricted hours. Any change to these opening hours will be advertised at the shop, on social media and by e-mail to our customer list.

You can telephone through orders during the morning [01271 883215] and we'll call you back to let you know when you can collect in the afternoon. For those who are having to self-isolate, we can arrange for your order to be delivered. Stay safe everyone!




a first taste of education

We were excited to welcome the children back to Pre-school. It has been an uncertain time for us all and we were looking forward to welcome and settle the children, explain new routines, find new activities and games as well as support their learning and wellbeing.

We have all worked hard to make sure that the Pre-school is a safe and welcoming environment for our children to return to. We have followed Government guidelines and we sought advice from the Early Year Alliance. Risk assessments have been completed and strategies put in place to ensure the safety of all, children, parents, staff and the wider community.


All staff have returned to work and are looking forward to the new term. We should like to welcome a new member of staff; Lisa Cox who has joined the team.

A Letter from the Committee

Berrynarbor Preschool is a Charity, run by a small Committee which allows the Pre-school to legally function. The Committee is made up of volunteers, mainly parents of the Pre-school children but we also invite members of the community.

As the new school year has started, we are looking for new members to join the team and help us ensure Berrynarbor Pre-school can offer its services to the local families that access it. This does take up a small amount of time, with an evening meeting being held approximately every 6 weeks and helping hands needed during our fundraising events.

This is a great way to make new friends, gain a new skill and be supportive in your child's education and learning journey.

We hope our AGM can be held in the Manor Hall to meet with the social distancing guideline. Date to be confirmed.

Without your input or support Pre-school cannot open or run or provide a service.

Topics of learning

We had a gentle start to this term's learning. We want to make sure every child is settled and happy in their new learning environment. We supported by explaining our new routines, such as lots of hand washing, using hand gel, splitting children in to small groups or 'bubbles'. The children set their own new Pre-school rules that keep them safe. They have had the opportunity to explore both inside and outside toys and activities. For us, we

have got to know your children, their interests, ideas and are building up good relationships with them.

Outside we have looked at the changes of the season, going from summer into autumn; looked at leaves changing colour and the important job our farmers do at harvest time. We hope to go on a nature walk to explore our environment.

Staff kept themselves busy during lockdown and into the summer holidays creating resources for the children to use such:

Story sacks

A cable reel table for small world

Bag2school Collection

We have booked our next Bag2School collection for

Tuesday 6th October. They will take any unwanted clothes, bags, paired shoes, belts and soft toys. Please place item into a black sack/bag and bring it into Pre-school. Unfortunately, they will not take school uniform.

So, start sorting out your wardrobes and drawers for any unwanted clothes and raise some money for Pre-school. Thank you.

From all the staff at Pre-school

Sue, Karen, Lynne, Emma and Lisa

and a mud kitchen.




Berrynarbor Parish Council
Chairman - Adam Stanbury [882252]

Gemma Bacon [883341]

Adrian Coppin [882647]

Bernadette Joyce

Lesley Lowe

Jenny Beer [882171]

Martin Johns

Jody Latham

Nic Wright

Parish Clerk - Ms Sue Petters - clerk@berrynarborparishcouncil.org.uk
County Councillor - Andrea Davis andreadavis@devon.gov.uk
District Councillor - Joe Tucker Frederick.tucker@northdevon.gov.uk
Snow Warden - Clive Richards [883406]

    Adam Stanbury - Chairman. Highway Liaison Officer. Tree Warden
    Gemma Bacon - Checking Planning Applications. Footpath Office. Play area Inspection
    Adrian Coppin - Vice Chairman. Emergency Plan Officer. Highway Liaison Officer. Tree Warden
    Martin Johns - Representative on Manor Hall Management Committee. Deputy Planning Lead
    Lesley Lowe - Invoice Checking. Combe Martin & District Tourism Association, Deputy Planning Lead. Defibrillator

Berrynarbor Parish Council is pleased to welcome Sue Petters who has been appointed as the Parish Clerk & Responsible Financial Officer and after a handover period will take up the reigns at the end of the month. 

Most of you will now be aware that the Manor Hall Play Area and equipment in the Recreation Field is now open. The Council asks you to remember to follow Government guidance when using the play areas and maintain social distancing throughout your visit.  The Parish Council has also re-opened the public toilets. 

A reminder that from Monday 14th September 2020 until further notice, it will be against the law to meet indoors or outdoors in groups greater than 6. You can find the latest local information, including the number of confirmed cases throughout Devon, on Devon County Council's website: https://www.devon.gov.uk/coronavirus-advice-in-devon/.

The Parish Council is still pursuing the possible lease on the car park in Berrynarbor and will hold a public consultation in due course as agreed. However, in the meantime the Parish Council has been asked to consider requesting exemptions within the car park from the North Devon Council to allow residents without parking to park in the car park.  The Parish Council discussed this at its recent meeting and felt that if the Parish Council was to agree it would need to be fair for the whole parish and therefore the Parish Council will be investigating the need for exemptions.

Concerns have been received that the hedges in and around the village, especially in the Sterridge Valley, are overgrown and the Parish Council would ask Landowners to consider cutting any hedges overhanging the highway.

Due to current restrictions, the Parish Council continues to meet virtually. All Agendas for the Parish Council meetings are published on the Parish Council's website and include a link to the Zoom meeting.  The Parish Council looks forward to the day it can hold physical meetings but until then stay safe and follow the latest guidelines.


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


Dear friends at Berrynarbor,

I hope you are all keeping well. Since the last letter little has changed.

As I write to you, gatherings have been reduced from 30 to 6 to help lower the R number. Time will tell, but I hope that this is successful so that we can come out of these restrictions safely as soon as possible.

As you read this, the church is hoping to be able to hold, before too long, its APCM. In case you're not sure what that is, it is our annual meeting to review the past year and look forward to the next. Who knows what that might bring? It is an important part of our reflecting and looking forward. Talking of looking forward, we are hoping to resume services as soon as possible and will obviously let you know as soon as we can.

In some way I feel October is a bit on a non-month. It's officially Autumn now, whether the weather agrees or not, where little new or different happens. However, that is in itself a novel and delightful thing. It gives us time to slow down. As the world turns from the green of abundance to the autumnal colours of restraint, it encourages us to slow down too.

Life can be so busy we fail to stop and reflect. Make sure you take time to slow down too. To think about what you are doing and why. To remember and give thanks for the good things in your life and to think about what change is needed. And in all these things, to remember that God is king, and has called us to live as such. For only then can we know true rest and true peace.

God bless.

Rev. Peter & all at St. Peters




A tiny seed is planted, fed and watered
Over the months it's further nurtured
A stalk appears and climbs up high
Tall and graceful reaching for the sky
Each day it continues to grow
Until one day its flower starts to show.
The biggest thing I have ever seen
With its golden head and stalk so green.
Standing proud, golden and glowing
For a while I wonder if it'll ever stop growing.
It makes me smile each time I sit down
Laughing in the wind with its golden crown.
Neighbours smile too as they go past
How long will it grace us, how long will it last?
From a tiny seed to a giant on the hill
Even now you have gone I remember you still.

Pam Robinson


Illustrated by: Judie Weedon



It's been a challenging, few months. I am told that I am supposed to be growing up and coming out of the puppy stage. The question is why? I like being a cute puppy. Ok, so I am not the tiny teddy bear I was but I would argue I am still very soft and cuddly. However, over the last few months I seem to have earned a few new labels that are less cute. I am a little ashamed, [although I did find it fun at the time] to admit I have been pushing boundaries. But then isn't that what growing up is all about?

In an attempt to clean me up, after my shenanigans, they have scalped me. Have you seen me? I look like a convict; alI I need is a number around my neck! Mind, I gather some of my behaviour might be considered unlawful; petty theft, wilful damage of stolen goods and dare I admit to it . . . MURDER!

Let's confess to the minor offences first. I nick socks - small, big, white, multi-coloured, clean or dirty, I am not fussy. I confess to even nicking the Mr.'s smelly ones. It's not a fetish, it's just my thing! Such fun watching the Mrs. complaining that the Mr. has only put one in the laundry and trying to match pairs. Even more fun when they spot me and there's a chase around the garden. Have you seen our hilly garden? I win every time!

Then there's the destruction urge. I really can't help myself. Things taste SO good and my teeth are pretty sharp. The latest was a very colourful, small, inflatable ball. The lad wasn't too impressed when I skillfully intercepted it on Woolacombe beach. [Those hours of watching Jordon Henderson with the Mr. on the settee pay off you know!] The lad was very good about it, said I could keep it after it changed shape in my mouth. So that wasn't technically theft at all!

Finally, murder, or causing death by accident. Should I really tell you all this? Hopefully George, next door, will put in a good word for me if I confess now. It really was an accident. You see I am naturally inquisitive and one might argue I was trying to be helpful and kind. The feathery thing was flapping and clearly needed help getting back into his pen with his friends and relatives.

How was I to know once it was in my mouth it would die of shock? I was trying to be gentle, honest! Man-slaughter or chicken-slaughter to be precise. I should say I am not proud of my actions. The Mrs. was appalled and Dougie and Derek's Mrs. was reduced to tears! But like I say it was an accident.

So, incorrigible, naughty and [worst of all] bad boy are my new labels. But hey. isn't it said that the girls love a bad boy?

Right , , , time to go. I am off to improve my digging skills. If I ever get imprisoned, I am sure they'll come in handy! Stay safe folk!


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


When Betty and I lived at Billericay, we understood that there was a water main which ran through our back garden. We got in touch with the local water authority who said they would come out to look at the matter.

Their official turned up bringing with him a couple of detectors. Well, they were in fact, two pieces of coat hanger, about a foot in length with about three inches bent at a right angle!

The man started walking up and down our garden with the two pieces of wire pointing straight ahead.

Presently, the wires parted, pointing left and right.

"That's where your water main is" said the man.

Probes were put down into the wet clay soil and sure enough, the pipe was found.

If you suspect any pipes running through your garden or even the mains pipe coming into your house, then try this method. It will make a bit of fun anyway! I think it's some sort of magnetism.

By the way, I was given a boomerang by an aunt. How do I get rid of it?

Illustrated by: Paul Swailes

Tony Beauclerk - Stowmarket


Artwork: Harry Weedon


Spring came early this year and what a glorious spring and early summer it was and a great help to us all as we went into lockdown. How glad we were to be living in beautiful Berrynarbor.

In our small way Berry in Bloom tried to help by planting up the tubs and putting up the hanging baskets as usual. A splash of colour as villagers took their daily exercise. A little bit of normality.

This year we have not been able to hold our usual fund-raising summer events and we are not certain we shall be able to have our annual Quiz and Supper Night in February next year and we need around £2,000 a year to maintain the displays. We could have been in trouble for next year BUT Jean Lashford has single handedly donated £930.00 to Berry in Bloom. This money was raised by Jean from the sale of plants at her gate halfway up Barton lane. All these plants she grew from cuttings, seeds and some plants re-cycled from the Berry in Bloom tubs. and we should like to give her a huge thank you. She also gave the same sum to the hospice, they were thrilled too . Well done Jean! I know many of us enjoyed a wander up the lane to see what goodies we could buy when we were not allowed to visit garden centres.

The dog walking area - before ...

We are also indebted to Pat and Maureen from Fuchsia Cottage who donated £227.00 towards the planting of the wild flowers in the dog walking field. We are pleased that after a late start the flowers are blooming nicely, the bees are buzzing and hopefully the flowers will set seed for next year. Thank you, villagers, and finally thank you to the Parish Council for their continued support.


... and after


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Artwork: Angela Bartlett



The above illustration came about following the amusing incident when due to the effects of Storm Ellen and the high tides, the Woolacombe beach huts were washed out to sea. Rarely does North Devon news make Singapore, but this one did!






Winners of the Petplan Equine Intermediate I Bronze Championship Caitlin Burgess and Chocotof from Berrynarbor, were thrilled to win in a very competitive class at Hartpury College, Gloucestershire on Saturday 22nd August 2020.

With some very exceptional partnerships demonstrating their skills when competing for the Petplan Equine Intermediate I Bronze title, it was quite an achievement to finish top of the rankings.

At only 19, Caitlin and Stan, Chocotof's stable name, are just starting their journey at the upper youth levels having made their International debut last year in the Junior division at Keysoe CDI. Commenting on her partner, she said, "Stan is the biggest personality, he's so happy and he loves his job, but he also likes to go up in the air and show his acrobatic skills too!" Caitlin also has clear goals in place; "We're aiming for the FEI Young Rider European Championships next year, and maybe going on to Under 25s Grand Prix. We used lockdown to start training the harder movements and he's showing lots of exciting promise."

The combination qualified last summer and won their ticket to the Championship which was originally scheduled for April. Stan, a 13-year-old 16.1hh gelding sired by Lord Leatherdale, is Caitlin's pride and joy and the partnership certainly impressed the judges with a powerful performance, achieving the winning score of 73.28%.

The Petplan Equine Area Festival series sponsored by one of the UK's leading horse insurance providers, gives amateur riders the opportunity to experience the thrill of competing in top competition style conditions in classes from Preliminary to Intermediate II level.

"We are so very proud that the Petplan Equine Area Festivals have become the most participated in series ever run by British Dressage. In 2019 an incredible 6,463 dressage tests were ridden, this is so rewarding and demonstrates that the Area Festivals really do have a special place in competitors' hearts. We are so pleased British Dressage has been able to reschedule the Championships, it is testament to the riders' dedication that even though the competition is taking place under certain limitations, they are prepared to adapt and are so keen to attend. We are often quite amazed by some of the stories we hear about the commitment shown by riders and their horses who compete at the Area Festivals. We really appreciate the effort that our dressage riders put into making the Petplan Equine Area Festivals such a success and would especially like to congratulate Caitlin and Stan on their fantastic win and wish them the very best of luck for the future," commented Kate Hopkins Marketing Consultant at Petplan.

Photograph: Kevin Sparrow

Congratulations Caitlin. We'll look forward to hearing about your further achievements with Stan. Good luck!




1. Sonic, 4. Contain, 8. Ash, 9. Yeast, 10. Exposed, 11. How, 12. Paste, 13. Unify, 15. Urn, 16. Papyrus, 18. Icing, 20. Emu, 21. Rattled, 22. Means.


1. Soy, 2. Nears, 3. Cathedral, 4. Chew, 5. Neptunium, 6. Ash, 7. Noddy, 12. Paper, 14. Ibiza, 15. Used, 17. Pat, 19. Gas.


Artwork: Helen Weedon


The Harvest Moon is the full moon that appears in the sky closest to the autumnal equinox. It is more frequently seen in September, the equinox occurring on or near to the 23rd and is observed every three years in October. This year it can be witnessed on the 1st October; the same date, by coincidence, that the first Harvest church service took place in 1843, conducted by the Reverend Robert Hawker in his parish church in Morwenstowe. But more of this eccentric character later.

Most people are likely to have heard of the Harvest Moon. Many are also no doubt aware it is the name associated with an autumnal full moon. Perhaps less well known is that every full moon has a name dependent upon the month in which it falls, some years have 13 full moons, the extra being known as a Blue Moon. This October is one such month, the second full moon rising on the 31st. If the Harvest Moon occurs in September then it is also known as the Corn or Barley Moon whilst October's full moon is known as the Hunter's Moon.

Tracking the changing seasons by following the lunar months, rather than the solar year, was common in ancient times and is the reason why full moon names have their roots in nature and their origins in ancient cultures. However, of all these names, it is the origins of the Harvest Moon that is open to debate. Some sources claim it came from Native American month names which, according to the Old Farmer's Almanac, were adopted and incorporated into our modern calendar. European experts, meanwhile, are keen to point out that the Harvest Month is recorded as early as the 700's in both Anglo-Saxon and Old High German languages.

So why is it that the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox is known as the Harvest Moon? After all, the word harvest usually refers to the corn crops reaped from July through to October. One theory connects it to historical records which reveal that its name represented a time when farmers harvested the last of their summer crops in the final evenings of prolonged light before winter came along. In this case, however, the term 'prolonged light' does not relate to the period when the sun is setting and the proceeding dusk. On the contrary, it is referring to the characteristics of the full moon that are unique to this time of year. For the Harvest Moon typically appears bigger, brighter and more colourful than the average full moon.

This is due to two factors. Firstly, its placement in the sky compared to other times of year. Secondly, throughout most of the year the moon rises an average of fifty minutes later each day.

But on several nights before and after the Harvest Full Moon, it may rise as little as 23 minutes later. This allows it to rise soon after sunset for several evenings in a row so that to the naked eye there appears to be a succession of full moons. More significantly, it provides an abundance of bright moonlight early in the evening which is a valuable aid to farmers when harvesting their crops.

Of course, modern harvesting bears no resemblance to traditional methods. I was reminded of these old-fashioned techniques recently when reading Before The Lake - Memories of Chew Valley, in which the editor, Leslie Ross, has collated recollections of people who lived and farmed in the Somerset valley before it became a lake in 1956. One contributor recalled harvest time and hay making, explaining how men from the local coal pits, working fewer hours in summer time due to the lower demand for coal, would be keen to help out. The contributor describes these men as 'useful, strong, capable and willing', adding that they 'enjoyed the change of working in the open fields'.


Illustrated by: Paul Swailes

Although not paid well, the coal workers were at the same time grateful for the tea, cider and food brought out by the womenfolk, the contributor emphasising how their home-made bread, cheese, pickles and cakes were served with 'secret pride'. She adds that all the local children would also join in at harvest time, recalling how they tussled over who would ride on the horses drawing the wagons laden with the haystacks and who would sit on top of them!

Trevor Robinson is another author who refers to harvest time in his book Working with the Curlew - A Farmhand's Life. Having initially spent his farming life in Yorkshire, he later moved to a farm near Leominster where over time he came to realise how the farming calendar was programmed in such a way as to bring together all the different forms of agriculture to a common meeting point, whether they be stock or arable. Of all these occasions, Robinson is keen to emphasise that the end of harvesting, a time he describes as 'when all the harvest was in under cover', was one 'of great relief, (having a) sense of achievement (as if) the whole year seemed to climax at this point.' He acknowledges, too, how the Harvest Festival, or Harvest Home as some locals called it, had a great meaning for the farming community. What's more, whilst openly admitting his own scepticism of the spiritual realm, he confesses how heart-warming he still found the Church's recognition of this key event in the rural calendar - and is prepared to admit to singing with great gusto, the hymn We Plough the Fields and Scatter.

Harvesting one's crops can perhaps also be used as a metaphor for our own lives, the drawing in of the evenings a period for us to reflect upon what we have worked for over the last six months and to consider what fruits we have reaped from the labours of our efforts. Are there any loose ends that need tying up in order to be ready to set new goals for the months when the hours of darkness outweigh those of daylight?

I can imagine the Reverend Robert Hawker using the concept of harvesting one's crops as a spiritual metaphor for one of his sermons at a Harvest Service. Maybe he used it at that inaugural service is 1843? He conceived the idea of such a service as a means of giving thanks to God for providing such a bountiful crop to his parishioners that year, inviting them to a Harvest Service where the bread used at the Communion was to be made from the first cut of local corn. These services became an annual event and in time led to the introduction of the Harvest Festival that we know today.

When he came to Morewenstowe Vicarage in 1834, Parson Hawker, as he became known, found that the verger had burnt most of the old chancel screen when tidying up the church in preparation for his arrival. Parson Hawker soon set to, rescuing the remains and fixing them up across the chancel arch. In so doing he managed to use the dusty chancel as an area in which to conduct his services, wearing throughout a yellow vestment and scarlet gloves, no doubt startling the church warden when a pair of scarlet hands were thrust through the screen to collect the offertory bags! In the same year of his first Harvest Service, Parson Hawker also introduced the weekly offering in church. Both eccentric and innovative, there was much more to this Reverend who rose to the challenge of plying his trade in this rural, remote parish with a coastline renowned for shipwrecks and the subsequent unchristian practice of smuggling. But more of this next time.

Steven McCarthy




[28th March 1942 - ]

Head of the Norman Family's Greengrocery Business in Ilfracombe

For as long as I have known Ilfracombe [over 45 years!], Norman's have been selling greengrocery in the town. Way back in the '60's, they were on the right-hand side of the Candar Arcade, Number 3, until it was burnt down 37 years ago. Now Ilfracombe's library, housing and offices have taken up that space, and Normans have moved along the High Street to Number 40. But how did this business start, and who was involved?

The Norman Family
Brian, Trevor, Lisa, Paula and Pam [2004]

For many years, Pam's in-laws, Alf and Kath Norman, were market gardeners at Brookside Nurseries in Combe Martin, helped by their son, Brian. They sold their produce to hotels, restaurants, cafes, residential homes and boarding houses. On Saturday mornings they had a stall in the market at the Alexandra Theatre [now due to become a Premier Inn], which was at the top of Market Street, just before the archway to the High Street. This was a lively event, with lots of local growers selling their produce. On Saturday afternoons, they sold from their van to private houses where customers left baskets on their doorsteps with a list of the fruit and vegetables they needed.

So how did Pam become involved? Well, she met and fell for Brian. They married in Arlington Church in 1963, and once Pam was part of the family, she became part of the business! Brian worked hard in the nursery and became well-known for 'Brian's tomatoes', Combe Martin potatoes, and runner beans. But that wasn't all! In the evenings Alf, Kath and Pam helped Brian pick strawberries, pack lettuces and harvest anything ready for sale.

This was a far cry for the girl born in Arlington in March 1942 to Sidney and Loveday Bowden, who on leaving Combe Martin Secondary Modern School had a sedate job in Leonard Sanders Ladieswear shop in Combe Martin. But she took it all in her stride!

A year after her marriage, Alf and Kath opened the shop in the Candar Arcade, helped by Pam, of course. Brian continued his work in the nursery, growing lots of produce to sell in their shop. By then, Pam and Brian had produced their first born, Paula Ann. During the winter months, Kath and Pam worked alternate days so that one of them could look after baby Paula. At the weekends when the family all had to work, Paula was looked after by Pam's Mum and Dad. During the summer months, Kath 'granny-sat' whilst also running a bed and breakfast business. The shop employed summer staff.

They were lucky with wholesalers. Fyffes [bananas] and Tom Huxtable [general stock] both had depots in Barnstaple. Then there were local suppliers: Pickwell Manor for tomatoes and Pickwell Barton for sprouts, Georgeham for mushrooms, flowers from Lee, laver from Ilfracombe, clotted cream straight from the farm in Combe Martin and a host of vegetables from Braunton! In later years, wholesalers called at the shop to supply their needs.

Today, although local suppliers are still used where available, their main wholesaler travels from Bristol 5 days a week.

Pam and Paula [2009]

In 1970, Trevor was born. He was soon part of the business! He started working in the gardens at about the age of 12, picking strawberries, lettuce and runner beans. His happiest memory of that time was driving the tractor back home when work was done! On leaving school he went straight into working in the shop in the mornings and the gardens in the afternoons. He past his driving test just one month after his 17th birthday and from then on helped his Dad driving to the fruit market in Bristol.

Three times a week during the summer months, they would leave home at 3.00 a.m. and on their return, there was a days' work ahead! As the shop became busier, they needed a bigger lorry. Trevor passed his HGV test at the age of 21.

"Dad wouldn't take his test so it always seemed funny putting 'L' plates on for my him and sitting next to him so he could be legal to drive," noted Trevor.

When he married Sarah Willis in 2005, she was immediately roped in to serving customers. As she enjoyed book-keeping, she looked after the monthly accounts, running the payroll and paying bills. They have two sons, Zak and Aaron, and already Zac, only 14, is helping out.

In 1970, Pam and Brian took over the shop. Kath died four years later after a short illness and Alf died ten years later.

Paula married Derek Hobman when she was 19. She has always worked in the shop. Her daughter Lisa has followed, after training at Bicton Agricultural College. This enabled floristry to be added to the business.

The shop in Candar Arcade continued until August 31st 1983, Paula's 20th birthday. Pam and Brian were 'phoned in the middle of the night by the police to tell them about a massive fire there. As they neared Ilfracombe, the sky was lit up with flames and smoke. The shop, together with the whole Arcade, was completely burnt down and they lost everything including monthly account books. Fortunately, as it was a lock-up shop, any spare stock was kept at their nursery. So, a day later, they set up a stall in Paula's in-laws' garage, sending out orders from there. A week later they moved temporarily to an available shop in Portland Street. In late November 1983 they bought 40 High Street and have stayed there ever since.

The High Street Shop

Sadly, Brian died on 1st October 2009. This seriously affected the whole family, and a year later, Pam handed over the business to her two children, Paula and Trevor. Trevor, who had spent his whole adult life working daily with his father, found it hard to manage the shop and garden without him and instead maintains the vehicles. Paula is now a grandmother. Hopefully the family role of providing lfracombe and surroundings with green-grocery will be taken up by her daughter Lisa and then by her grand-children.

During the pandemic, you may have noticed that the shop has remained closed. Safe social distancing isn't possible in a small shop. But no one is idle. Normally Paula would employ up to eight staff, but even in this pandemic, three are still needed, two of whom have been part of the work family for over thirty years. Even Pam has been called back to help with many orders from old and new customers from Ilfracombe, Combe Martin and Berrynarbor, who receive orders with no charge for delivery.

What a dedicated family, spanning four generations! They've had their problems, but have managed to overcome them. Over the years they have supported many charities, but Pathfield School in Barnstaple has benefited most. Pam admits that she's not had much time for hobbies, the shop has taken it all!

And final words from Paula, "We are now living with Covid. The shop front door is closed. We offer a free delivery service which has been very successful, thanks again to all who support us".

Thanks, too, to the Norman Family for consistently providing us with fruit, vegetables and flowers for more than 60 years, as well as contributing material for this article! Without you all, there would be a massive hole in the High Street!

PP of DC




Wine, taken in moderation, makes life, for a moment, better, and when the moment passes
life does not for that reason become worse.
Bernard Levin

Lockdown seems a long time ago, but Covid-19 has changed most things in life and continues to do so. Unsurprisingly, it changed some people's drinking habits. Being confined, economic hardship and job uncertainties meant that some needed 'Alcoholic Attention'. Many of us are fortunate in this village and we stuck to our couple per evening; however, we have friends who were shielding and admitted their garage was regularly visited by a Naked Wines' fairy, but they kept finding empty cases of wine! They began to wonder if the Angels were having more than their fair share!

As we couldn't eat out, visit friends or family, pub takeaways and home-cooked food became the daily norm. Wine seemed to be more special, or important somehow, with yet another evening meal or Sunday lunch at home. Wine may be just grape juice, but some of it can be memorable!

Returning to village activities may be difficult for some or keenly awaited by others. October 21st sees the first of our new 2020-21 season. We are fortunate to have our meetings in the Manor Hall; it has plenty of space: social distancing and sampling are perfectly possible. Tables will be sanitised; usual groups will be retained; and using our own glasses will provide another Covid-safe aspect.

Thanks to lockdown, we have a full programme for this season, as professional speakers were all postponed in March. October was the only month with a vacancy, but because of the uncertainty of life itself, we felt that this could be useful, and, we knew we could fill this by committee members if October proved to be a positive go-ahead. We hope to start, as mentioned, on the 21st, with Wines We Have Enjoyed During Lockdown. There must be some!

New members will be given a warm welcome. We may be observing Covid rules, but conviviality can still abound.

Judith Adam - Promotional Co-ordinator & Secretary

Footnote: Sadly, the timetable expected to start in October and submitted to the Newsletter before the September '6-only ruling', will no longer go ahead.



The 25th July 2020 marked the centenary of the birth of a remarkable 20th Century scientist, Rosalind Elsie Franklin.

Born in Nottinghill, London, and educated at St. Paul's Girl's School and Newnham College, Cambridge, she was best known for her work on the discovery of the double-helical nature of DNA.

Possibly being inadvertently denied the honour of receiving a Nobel Prize for this achievement, [as did her male colleagues on this work, Watson, Crick and Wilkins] over the years her fame in that field has increased, and as a woman, as well as being Jewish and unmarried, her impact in the early days of molecular biology was, and still is, impressive.

As an accomplished X-ray crystallographer, it is said that her photographs are among the most beautiful of any substance ever taken.

From 1953 she published a series of papers on the crystal structure of viruses, particularly the tobacco mosaic virus [TMV], the first disease shown to be due to a virus.

At the time of her death from ovarian cancer in 1958 at the age of 37, Rosalind Franklin was working on the molecular structure of the polio and other viruses at Birbeck College, University of London.

She died at the Royal Marsden Hospital on the 16th April 1958 and is buried at the United Synagogue Cemetery, Willesden.

  • DNA - Deoxyribonucleic acid is a molecule composed of two polynucleotide chains that coil around each other to form a double helix carrying genetic instructions for the development, functioning, growth and reproduction of all known organisms and many viruses. DNA and ribonucleic acid are nucleic acids.

  • TMV - is a virus that is commonly found in tobacco plants which causes splotchy or twisted leaves, strange mottling symptoms [a mosaic], slowed growth, and reduced yields. Mosaic virus has spread to several other species of plants besides tobacco, and some people believe cannabis plants may be able to catch mosaic virus, too. Note: Mosaic virus won't hurt you, but plants that get infected by mosaic virus may not grow as fast or yield as well as they should.

Source - Wikipedia



While walking the woodland trails of Woolscott Cleave during 'lockdown spring', it wasn't only birds that I was enjoying watching and listening to. Insect life too holds much fascination, though this often involves training one's eyes to look downwards rather than upwards!

One particularly startling - and beautiful - creature I came across in late June was a female Sabre Wasp (or Giant Ichneumon) Rhyssa persuasoria (pictured). The largest ichneumon in Britain - females can grow to 4 centimetres in length, plus another 4 cm for the needle-like ovipositor - it is also readily identified by the white spots along its black abdomen and its orange-red legs. Despite its fearsome appearance, it is completely harmless to humans and pets.

Adults can be encountered mainly in July and August, along woodland paths and clearings. They feed on sugars and starch obtained from honeydew or pine needles. Far from being a 'stinger', the ovipositor is used to drill deep into wood and lay eggs on the larvae of other insects, such as Wood Wasps, living within the timber, which become a food supply. The Sabre Wasp's larvae overwinter in the wood, pupating in spring and emerging as adults.

Sabre Wasps occur widely across Britain in mixed and coniferous woodland, such as Woolscott Cleave. Sadly, the specimen I encountered had evidently been in a tussle with a would-be predator, having lost several of its legs.

Tim Davis



Tommy Titmarsh was the unhappiest young lad in the village.

He was tall and skinny, with big ears and a very long Roman nose, just like his mother's. All the kids at school used to laugh at him and call him Tommy Crooked Conk.

Now he was 18 and nothing seemed to go right in his life. Last month, Tommy's dad ran off with the butcher's fat daughter - he never gave Tommy any pocket money anyway. His elder sister, who also had a big nose, married Ernie the Milkman and every morning when she delivered the blue top to his doorstep, she would stick out her tongue and make a funny face at him.

Yesterday, his one lovely goldfish had been eaten by the neighbour's cat and, in the afternoon, he ripped a gaping hole in the crutch of his only pair of trousers climbing over a barbed wire fence. As he rushed home, he tripped on a molehill and fell face first into a huge cow pat, his long nose sinking deep into the smelly wet mess.

To top it all, his mother was about to kick the bucket.  She was the wicked witch of Pinchpot village. Tommy took her a cold cup of tea, with the four spoons of sugar she liked, as she lay groaning in bed.

"I'm going Tommy! They're coming to carry me off." she cried. "Before they do son, you have been so kind to me that I want to grant you one last wish."

"I wish I could be lucky, if only just for one day." Tommy replied.

"Lucky? Okay." His mum took out her wand from under the pillow and waved it above Tommy's head. With her last breath, she shouted, " Iffygriddlegrumpyfortunegoodysocks!" Her right leg then shot out and kicked the yellow plastic bucket at the bottom of the bed. She never liked steel buckets. They would clang too loud when knocked over.

Now sad and alone in the world, Tommy walked into town to tell Morti the gravedigger. As he walked, head down, along the pavement, he suddenly saw a bright shiny 50p on the ground.

"That's lucky!" he thought and picked it up to put in his pocket.

He stopped at the grocer's shop and spent the 50p on the biggest Jaffa orange he had ever seen.

"My last one, that is." said the grocer.

"I'll give you a fiver for it." said the man behind Tommy.

"That's lucky!" thought Tommy, as he pocketed the fiver.

In the window of the betting shop next door, he saw there was a horse called Magic Wand running in the 2.50 at Chepstow, with odds of 100-1. Tommy put his fiver on it to win, and it passed the post first.

"That's lucky!" cried a happy Tommy. He now had £505 and, never having had a girlfriend before, he decided to pay a visit to Miss Prunella Petticoat's Seductive House of Glorious Ill Repute.

"And what can I do for you today, young man?" asked Prunella.

"I want to kiss the most beautiful girl you have," an excited Tommy replied.

"Well the most beautiful girl we have today just arrived from India yesterday."

"That's lucky!" thought Tommy.

"She's in the main bedroom. Give me all your money and you can go up to see her."

When Tommy opened the door and saw the girl, he was gobsmacked. What a stunner! She had the most perfect figure. Narrow waist. Curvy hips. Long legs. Flawless dark skin. Deep brown enchanting eyes.  Wide red sensual lips. A heart-warming smile. And a very cute nose.

"You are the most beautiful girl that I have ever seen." Tommy cried.

"Well thank you kind sir." said the Indian goddess.

"There is just one problem." Tommy frowned. "That big round red dot on your forehead."

"Oh, that's not a problem," smiled the Hindu beauty. "Here, use this coin to scratch off my bindi."

Tommy took the coin and scratched the red dot away. 

"Wow! This really is my lucky day! I've just won a brand-new Ford Fiesta!" 

Mike Miles

Illustrations by: Paul Swailes


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Ameliaranne Stiggins was sad. Though spring was in the air and the bluebells out and all the birds singing, Ameliaranne could think of nothing but - BOOTS! And even the twenty-five ringlets which bobbed about her neck looked sad and limp.

The Squire was giving a treat to the village children next week. A green and yellow bus was coming from town to take them to the bluebell woods, and after they had picked as many bluebells as they could carry they were to have tea in Farmer Brown's barn, and then they were going to look for eggs, and feed the calves, and play hide-and-seek in the farmyard.

When the invitation came for the six Stigginses, Mrs. Stiggins got out the family's boots. "Ameliaranne and Richard and Rosalind can go," she said, "but Jenny and Joey and Wee William must stop at home. Their boots are through and not worth mending, and there'll be no money to buy new ones this month, and trapesing about that farmyard would finish 'em out and out!" [From Ameliaranne Keeps Shop (1928)]

Ameliaranne Stiggins is the eldest daughter of a poor washerwoman. She has five brothers and sisters - Richard, Rosabel, Jenny, Joey and Wee William. The simple stories tell of new or difficult situations in which Amedliaranne finds herself and how she solves them with her imagination and ingenuity.

Published between 1920 and 1950 by George G. Harrap of London, the series of 20 books were unusually written by 8 different female authors. The original tale, written in 1920 and 7 others, the last in 1941, were written by Constance Heward [1884-1968]*. In spite of the diffeent authors the stories are surprisingly consistent, largely ahieved by the effective and charming illustrations by a single illustrator, Susan Beatrice Pearce.

Best known for her work on the Ameliarrane tales, Pearce was born in South London in 1878, and educated at King Edward's School Southwark. Also creating drawings for greetings cards, she was known to her friends as Trissy, and continued to use her maiden name professionally after she married Walter Webster in late 1919. She died in Fulham in 1980 at the age of 102.

* Sadly, no information can be found about Constance Heward, the originator of these books.

From Helen

    Last time I was home I discovered this little book my mum had as a child. Attracted by the adorable illustrations, I picked it up and started reading. I was soon drawn in to the story of Ameliaranne and her siblings and devoured it cover to cover sat at the kitchen table.

    After I finished, I was struck by several things. First the hero of this story is a girl. A young, poor, working class girl just 8 years old. She uses her wit and intelligence to not only identify the fraudster but to trick him and catch him out. She is clever and smart.

    This little girl works hard to earn money so her younger siblings can have boots to wear so they can go on the picnic trip. She displays empathy, has clarity on what's right and what's wrong, is honest, strong and hard working. She is a girl, she tricks the adult man.

    Ummm! What no Prince required? No pink, no Princess aspirations? No, it would seem not. And guess what? This story is nearly 100 years old.

    Now that got me thinking about how far, or not, feminism and equality has really come and how the images and stories we are bombarded with influence our thinking . . . there's not a stereotype in sight with Ameliaranne, and I'm now off to recommend her to all my friends with kids!

Judie Weedon




23rd to Friday, 30th October: Ilfracombe Academy Half Term
25th British Summer Time ends 1.00 a.m.
26th to Friday, 6th November: Primary School Half Term

Manor Hall Diary
MondaysUpholstery, 9.00 to 1.00 p.m.
ThursdaysWatercolour Painting 10.00 a.m. [10 week terms]
Pilates, 7.00 to 8.00 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
20th October and 17th November - Village Shop: 11.40-12.10 p.m. Sterridge Valley: 12.25-12.55 p.m.



It might seem early to be thinking about Christmas and it's likely to be rather different this year. Charities are already sending out leaflets with their cards to order. But what regulations will be in force and will we be able to get together.

There is, however, one normal way of keeping in touch with friends and neighbours. Sending your seasonal greetings to friends and neighbours here in the village through the Newsletter has become traditional and popular, and you can do so again this year.

To everyone, especially newcomers, if you would like to do this, it is very simple. Decide on your message and leave it, with a donation, either at Chicane or the Shop and by Wednesday, 11th November at the latest, please.

Traditionally, after covering the costs of printing, donations will be shared between the Newsletter and the Manor Hall. Your donations have always been very generous, so please carry on with that tradition as well!

If you are sending parcels for Christmas abroad, a reminder that last posting dates for overseas surface mail are NOW or during October and early November.


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


For this issue I have chosen a very early Garratt, black and white printed postcard of 'Our Village Shop', the General Stores, c1903-4, or No. 44/45 Dormer Cottage and Dormer House.

This upright picture shows a youthful looking Mr. Klee, the owner, in his long apron and cap watching the two children. Note the adverts on the windows for Fry's Chocolate and Fry's Pure Cocoa and the suspended one for Homelight, which was lamp oil.

The windows are packed with groceries and Mr. Klee is holding a scoop and a bag he must have just filled!

One of the two postcards I have of this view, has been posted to Miss G. Short of Holloway Bakery, Bath. It is very interesting in that it has actually been written and then sent by Mr. Klee and states: "Berrynarbor Hope to give you a visit one day next week. Little girl Reg sister when she was staying with us. F. Klee".

Frederick Thomas Klee is first listed as Shopkeeper in the 1906 Kelly's Directory, and also in the directories of 1914 and 1919. In late 1919 and 1923, Charles S. Ewens is listed as Shopkeeper, followed from 1924 through to 1939, by Albert James Baker.

The cottage was originally sold in the Watermouth Estate sale of 17th August 1920 by John Smale, F.A., at Bridge Hall, Barnstaple as Lot 47: A Tiled and Gabled Cottage No. 45 and adjoining Slated 4-roomed Cottage and Tiled Shop No. 44 and including A Large Garden in Castle Street." This entire lot sold for £320.

Many long-term residents of the village will remember Dave and Vi Goodman who lived in Dormer House. Dave was born in Greenwich in 1917 and came to Berrynarbor during the war with the PLUTO Project, when he met and married Vi, nee Toms, who was born in Berrynarbor. Their only son, Terry, was born in 1949 and attended our school. When Dave died in April 1987, Vi moved in to the adjoining Dormer Cottage where she lived until her death in 2002.

Dormer House has been home to quite a few families and, of course, Miss Muffet's Tea Rooms.

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

Please Note: I have many original but duplicate postcards which I am willing to sell. Please contact me if you are interested.


The Berrynarbor Newsletter is printed by
David Beagley
If you want any printing
posters, booklets, tickets, pictures, etc.
call David on 07513229901