Edition 194 - October 2021




Artwork: Paul Swailes


EDITORIAL

Weatherwise, August was not too good a month. Why is it that it always seems to change when the schools break up and gets better when they start again?

So far September has been sunny and pretty dry - not really forecast - but there is a definite feel of autumn in the air and the evenings are really drawing in. Don't forget to put your clocks back at the end of October.

With a slight return to normal, classes, groups and events have taken place, but with all the summer visitors, needed, and a rise in cases of the virus, it is wise to stay vigilant and safe.

Hopefully those who have succumbed and those not well, are now on the mend - get better soon. We also send good wishes to newcomers to the village and hope you will be happy in your new homes.

We have a wonderful new Newsletter website! Please do make sure you read the article about it and take a look, I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

As always, I must thank everyone who has contributed - we have an interesting, informative, humorous and enjoyable set of regular articles, but there is always room for the one from YOU! My especial thanks to Paul for his autumnal cover and his usual delightful illustrations. Do please support him and visit his Exhibition on the Pier, Wild White Horses, details are on page 47. Items for the December, Christmas and January edition would be welcome as soon as possible, and by Thursday, 11th November, at the latest. Thank you.

Judie - Ed

1




 
Artwork: Helen Armstead
 

ST PETER'S CHURCH

Stuart and I have been on a much-needed break in North Yorkshire and Scotland, and so this contribution will be a little shorter than usual.

One piece of good news is that the congregation is now allowed to sing during the service. We still have to wear face masks, but singing makes the service so much more enjoyable.

Church services are advertised on the notice boards by the lych gate, as well as in the church porch and top churchyard gate. Whilst we strive to have 4 services each month, occasionally this is reduced to 3 when we are regretfully without a Minister or Lay Reader to conduct the service. We do, however, convey our sincere thanks to Rev John Roles and Rural Dean Rev Rosie Austin who are covering for wedding and funeral services in Berrynarbor during this period of Interregnum.

On a positive note, following a meeting of all three churches within our group [Combe Martin, Berrynarbor and Pip & Jim's] we have prepared our individual Parish Profiles in preparation for interviews with new candidates for the post of Priest in Charge. We are hoping to commence these interviews in November/December.

You may recall Stuart's plea for people to serve on our PCC otherwise Berrynarbor Church will be in serious danger of closing. It is gratifying, therefore, to have had two volunteers to come forward and join us - but we still desperately need a PCC Secretary to help bolster our ranks as soon as possible. Please contact me on 883893 if you are willing to help us! Remember, there are only 6 meetings in the year - which is not a big ask!

Repairs to the church are now completed and our sincere thanks to Kevin Brooks and his team for their hard work over the last year. Also, we now have 5 brand new gas heaters installed by Martin Pollard of Hydronics Plumbing & Heating Ltd., and the condemned heaters have now been removed.

We must also pay great tribute to our Gardener, Simon Partridge, who keeps both churchyards in the most beautiful condition. So many visitors and local residents have passed comment on his efforts throughout this year!

We continue to pray at this time for all those who are sick, awaiting operations or hospital treatment. Our sincere condolences to Lorna Bowden's family, her funeral was held whilst we were away. Also, the Gibbs family at The Lodge, on the loss of Yvonne.

Finally, isn't it great to hear the Church bells ringing once again especially with another Wedding later on this year. Let's hope the weather stays fine for the couple!

Sue Neale

2




 
Artwork: Paul Swailes
 

WEATHER OR NOT

June, July and August

I am back from my northern travels having had a very successful holiday. The last three months have gone by so quickly and the days are already shorter.

I will start by looking at the 1st of June. The morning was dry, warm, bright sun and 4/8ths cloud cover, the overnight temperature of 9.7 Deg C climbed to 26.8 Deg C by 1700hrs, making it the highest temperature of the year so far. The wind was very gentle from the west and reached a maximum of 9 mph. The barometer was falling during the day to 1010.3mbars at 1700hrs and climbed to 1011.2 by 2300hrs.before starting to fall again. The sun managed to shine for 8.37 hours.

Looking at the whole of June, top temperature was on the 1st at 26.8 Deg C [average 27.24 Deg C] with the lowest on the 4th at 5.1 Deg C [average 6.76 Deg C]. The highest wind speed on the 11th was

21.4 mph [average 30.20mph] from the SSW. The wind chill lowest temperature was 5.4 Deg C on the 4th [average 6.62 Deg C]. The wettest day was on the 28th with 8.0mm. Total for the month 25.2mm. [average 78.83mm] with a total for the year by the end of the month at 541.0mm. The barometer was highest on the 12th at 1027.6mbars. and lowest on the 20th at 1006.0mbars. The sunniest day was the 1st with 8.37 hours and total for the month 172.77 hours [average 171.19hours]. Humidity reached a high of 94% at 0700hrs. on the 30th and a low of 39% at 1700hrs.on the 1st.

The July information available is only that automatically recorded as I was away on holiday. I also had technical problems with the wind speeds recorded so those marked with * may be unreliable.

The summary for the month starting with the maximum temperature of 30.2 Deg C at 1300hrs. on the 22nd [average 27.74 Deg C] and a low of 9.3 Deg C at 0500hrs. on the 2nd [average 8.88 Deg C]. The maximum wind speed was 25.2mph* at 0100hrs on the 29th from the SSW [average 29.12mph]. The lowest wind chill was 9.5 Deg C at 0600hrs. on the 2nd [average 8.4 Deg C]. The wettest day was the 4th with 12.6mm and a total for the month of 79.2mm [average 91.03 mm]. Total rainfall for the year so far 620.2mm. The barometer ranged from a high on the 17th at 0900hrs of 1028.7mbars and a low on the 30th at 0530hrs. at 990.8mbars. The sunniest day was the 16th with 8.16 hours and a total for the month of 166.18 hours [average 174.29 hours]. On the 2nd, 16th and 18th, the humidity was 95% and a low on the 21st of 48%.

The 1st August started overcast and damp with full cloud cover and an overnight low temperature of 13.4 Deg C at 0230hrs. During the day we had a couple of light showers [total 0.4mm] and by 1700hrs the temperature was 18.2 Deg C. The wind was mainly light from the SSW before going into the NNE in the afternoon. The barometer reached 1014.9mbars by 1400hrs before starting to fall. The sun managed to shine for 5.1 hours.

Looking at the rest of August the highest temperature was 23.3 Deg C on the 14th [average 26.8 Deg C] and the lowest was 7.6 Deg C on the 27th [average 8.94 Deg C]. The maximum wind speed was on the 13th at 27mph from the south [average 29.86 mph]. The lowest wind chill factor was on the 27th at 7.9 Deg C [average 8.16 Deg C]. The wettest day was the 5th with 12.8mm of rain which was more than a third of the month's total of 34.8mm [average 101.8mm]. This made it the second lowest rainfall for August in my records; in 1995 we only had 11mm. From the 22nd to the end of August we had no measurable precipitation. Total rainfall for 2021 so far is 655.0mm.

In the early part of the month the barometer was mainly low; on the 7th it was 993.3mbars after which it was mainly on the high side with highest reading right at the end of the month at 2359hrs on the 31st at 1031.0mbars rising. The sun was in hiding, as we only had a total of 134.07 hours with the best day being the 10th with 7.71hours [average 165.50]. The humidity ranged between 61% and 95% on many occasions during the month.




Puffins on Berneray, Barra Head, Hebrides

As I complete this article we are enjoying a lovely sunny evenings, long may it continue.

I wish you all a safe and happy Autumn.

Simon

3



IN MEMORIAM


LORNA BOWDEN

10.4.1939 - 9.8.2021

The village was saddened to learn that after suffering poor health for the last few years, Lorna had passed away peacefully on the 8th August. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family at this time of sorrow, with Bob and Jane, Chris and Helen, Richard and Delphine and her six grandchildren.

A service to celebrate her life taken by Rosie Austin, Rural Dean for North Devon was held at St. Peter's on the 3rd September. The church, full to the capacity allowed, was testament to the love and respect in which Lorna was held. Lorna was all things Berrynarbor!


 

Lorna was primarily a loyal wife, a loving mother to her three boys, a devoted grandmother to her six grandchildren and a teacher to many.

Her father, Jack Richards, moved from No. 22 Hagginton Hill to South Wales to take up work for the Penn Curzon family. There he met and married Lorna's mother, Susan Rebecca Salter. Lorna was born on the 19th April, 1939, growing up and attending school in Milford Haven. South Wales suffered badly during the War and life there was very hard. Her character was largely forged during her formative years in South Wales, Berrynarbor and the East End of London.

As things started to return to normal, Lorna regularly returned to Berrynarbor with her parents by Campbell Steamer to visit her father's family and mix with other children in the village. Her mother died when she was 10 years old and she and her elder sister, Margaret, were brought up by her father and grandmother and she was greatly influenced by her Aunt Muriel, who lived at Wood Park.

As a youngster, Lorna was a very good swimmer and a keen athlete. She followed her sister and aunt into teaching and attended teacher training college in Bristol. Following graduation, her first job was at a school in the East End of London, which she found both challenging and rewarding. Some of the families were so poor, she would take them food and clothing.

During one of her visits to Berrynarbor she met Michael and a few years later, in 1962, they married here in St. Peter's church. Bob was the firstborn and to make ends meet, Lorna opened a small gift shop in the front room of No. 46 the Village, and did some supply teaching, mainly in Braunton. Three years later Chris and Richard came along. However, with three small boys to look after, she gave up the gift shop but continued with the supply teaching. Once the boys were older, she took up a full-time teaching position at Combe Martin, which continued for 30 years.

Lorna was a great supporter of the village. She served on the Parish Council for over 30 years and was their representative on the Manor Hall Management Committee. Together with Jim Brooks, she ran the Youth Club during the 1970's, and for many years organised whist drives every Thursday night in the Penn Curzon Room to raise money for the Manor Hall and was a very keen bridge player. She was also a great supporter to the Village Shop, always shopping there and volunteering when it became a Community Shop.

Lorna's knowledge of the history of the village was immense. She researched the archives at the local library and church records, massing over more than 50 years a huge amount of her own chronicled handwritten records. She was a keen conservationist and to quote her family: 'Mother never wanted any trees to be cut down, but when father needed a trailer load of logs for a customer, it would get a bit heated at home!'

Family life was very important and again to quote her family: 'If you couldn't make the Sunday roast there would be a court of enquiry and wo betide you if you missed the next one!' With her six grandchildren - Samuel, Anna, Jonathan, Tom, Tyler and Archie, their parents, Michael and Lorna, Sunday lunch could be for as many as 14!

Sadly, Loran's health deteriorated during the last few years and despite being diagnosed with dementia, she never forgot the children she taught in the East End of London, Braunton and Combe Martin, her family or the different types of trees which wouldn't let Michael cut down!

Lorna was a quiet, gentle, unassuming person who guided her family and the children she taught by her own honest and high principles. She will be very sadly missed.

 

FOR LESLEY


 

A Celebration of the Life of Lesley Symes, aged 63, was held on a beautiful sunny day, attended by a full house of family and friends allowed at that time.

The Service was simple, beautiful and very poignant, accompanied by Lesley's smile - a lovely photograph taken by Dave shortly after they first met. Planned by herself, Lesley chose the music, hymns and poem, and specifically asked for no eulogy.

Those attending entered to Om Namah Shivaya by Sacred Earth; reflected to Elgar's Cello Concerto played by Jacqueline du Pre and left as Diana Ross sang Touch Me in the Morning. They heard the hymns Morning has Broken and All Things Bright and Beautiful and listened to the poem Prayer for Always Peace.

In his introduction, Celebrant Michael Pearson, said: "We come together to celebrate Lesley's life, to remember all the good things about her life, her dreams and aspirations, her kindness and helpfulness to so many people. The music and words have all been chosen by Lesley to reflect what was important to her. First and foremost, they are about hope, which was so big a part of her approach to life. They also reflect her love of nature, which was seen in her enjoyment of the outdoors, of her dogs, of walking and in her devotion to gardens. Lesley was passionate about social justice and she loved to travel. She was interested in people and believed in kindness and nurturing. She found fulfilment through her relationship with Dave and through her opportunities for creativity through art.

"Lesley was highly thought of and loved by so many people many of whom recall the different ways they knew her and how she touched their lives and helped them."

 

Prayer for Always Peace

I ask all the animals to open their mouths
to howl this prayer for peace
 
I ask all the birds to life their songs to the winds
and sing this prayer for peace
 
I ask all the trees and flowers, all that is green growing
to open their hollow throats where the sap runs
to call this prayer for peace
 
I ask the rocks to ream this prayer for peace
 
I ask the sand to rearrange its grains
and write this prayer for peace
 
I ask the ocean wave to shout this prayer for peace
or whisper it on the lonely listening beaches
where the rivers will send it upstream
in the willing breath of fish
 
I ask the deep wells to give rise to this prayer for peace
 
I ask the holy hills to toll this prayer for peace
 
I ask the stars to shine the spelling
of this prayer for peace
 
and the moon and the sun pause in the sky
as night and day, as right and left, as east and west
as all this is opposite yet may still come into balance
in harmony with this world, and in time
 
I ask for every candleflame to ignite this prayer for peace
so that this prayer is in the world and of the world
and becomes the world and the world is peace.

Rose Flint

Dave would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for the very many messages of sympathy and love for Lesley, and all those who were able to attend with him, the Celebration of her Life.

4



NEWS FROM OUR VILLAGE SHOP

And Breathe!

Wow, didn't we see a lot of visitors to our village over the summer holidays! That gave a much-needed boost to local businesses and our shop was no exception. And while we're delighted to say that with only one or two minor breaches, the vast majority of our visitors respected our social distancing and mask wearing codes. However, the after-effects of so many people coming to Devon did lead to a steep spike in Covid cases and the Government placed us in an 'enhanced response area'.

The shop's current opening times are constantly reviewed with the aim of getting back to normal hours just as soon as we can. At the time of 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 and customers our top priority and so for the time being our opening hours will remain as they are.

Special Offers

We cannot believe that we're already into October. Where has the year gone? So we'll whisper it quietly. You'll probably be turning your thoughts to that significant festive period that is fast approaching over the horizon. We're here to help.

Our October offers are all about fruitcakes [no, not the human kind!]. Now a recipe from around 2000 years ago, as older readers may remember, had pomegranate seeds, pine nuts and raisins mixed into a cake of barley mash. Later, in the Middle Ages fruitcakes with honey, preserved fruit and spices became popular and were even used to sustain crusaders! I'm afraid we're just out of barley mash so instead we have all the ingredients for a more modern version at discounted prices. Check out our bargain prices on flour, caster, demerara light and brown sugars and dried fruits especially reduced for you to prepare your favourite cake treats.

As we move into November, you will be able to stock up your cocktail cabinet, or marinade your delicious cake in, with our drinks offers. If you prefer something a little more sobering, we'll also have Kenco coffee and Exmoor based Miles tea, coffee and hot chocolate at reduced prices too.

Raffle

November will also see the launch of our 2021 seasonal Hampers' Raffle draw. This annual raffle is extremely popular and there are two fabulous hampers to be won - a grocery based one with essentials and treats to go with the festive fayre, and a drinks' hamper to help wash down that Christmas meal or just whenever to spoil yourself. Don't miss out so make sure you get your tickets!

Christmas Food Orders

Rumours and speculation currently abound as to whether some food supplies will be difficult to get hold of over the Christmas period. We shall be working hard to ensure our lines of supply are sound and we should be able to provide you with whatever you need. Make sure you fill out our Christmas food, grocery and meat order forms [available from November] to ensure that you get what you want - without leaving the village! We'll go the extra mile so you don't have to.

5




 

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OUR NEW WEBSITE

Over its 193 editions and 30 years [and counting], the Newsletter has provided a unique, in-depth view of the social history of Berrynarbor. Featuring articles and images from the past along with what was happening in any given year.  Village fetes, fund raising, holidays abroad, births, deaths, hog-roasts, barn dances and marriages - they are all covered in detail!

Traditionally it has been enjoyed in paper form, edition by edition. Then, starting in 2004, it was also available online offering a chance to see the artwork and images in full colour and in more detail.

But what if you are looking for local walks to go on? Or Recipes to cook? Or want to browse through Tom Bartlett's collection of postcards? Or binge on Bailey's adventures Netflix style? That hasn't been easy to do as the articles only appeared in isolation in each edition.  The updated website is the answer, offering a chance to enjoy the content via the traditional edition-by-edition view, but also via article type, allowing you to view all the Rural Reflections in one place, or enjoy all of the Poems, many of which are originals.

The articles have been split up into "Series", "Regulars" and "Groups", each of which can be accessed via the drop-down menus at the top of the website.

  • Series:   Childhood Literature, Editorials, In Memoriam, Locak Characters, Local Walks, Movers and Shakers, Nature Notes, Old Berrynarbor, Poems, Primary School History, Quick Quotes, Recipes, Rural Reflections and Weather or Not
  • Regulars:  Alex Parke, Bailey's Blog, Lorna Bowden, Tony Beauclerk, Trev's Twitters, Vicars Views and Walter's Whispers.
  • Groups: Berry in Bloom, Berrynarbor Ladies Group, Horticultural and Craft Show, Manor Hall, Parish Council, Pre-School, Primary School, St Peter's Church, The Men's Institute, Village Shop and Wine Circle.

Note:  More article types will be added as more content is uploaded.  Currently the site has all the editions back to February 2009 categorised for viewing, but we have plans to go back as far as 2004.

 So now you can:

The Newsletter also has a huge amount of original artwork lovingly created for each and every edition. The new and updated website allows that to be showcased - it really is quite breath-taking when you see it all together - featuring the work of Paul Swailes, Debbie Rigler Cook, Nigel Mason and Peter Rothwell.  Each artist's talent is now showcased in their own section under the Illustrations menu.

Finally, what if you are looking to find out about a relative, read a story from the past, or find out how the village honoured those lost in the World Wars?   The new Search facility allows you to look for what you are interested in and will show you all the editions that contain your search term, with a handy link to take you directly to the article.  It is incredibly powerful.  Give it a go!   Type a name, place or event in the Search page and see what comes back!

You are the one in charge now - enjoy and explore the entire depth of the Newsletter's social history as you want.

We hope you enjoy this unique resource on our village.

JW & JW

Three Generations

The new website marks the third generation of Weedon working on the Newsletter:

  • Judie of course being the Editor and motive force behind over 30 years of the Newsletter. Six editions a year, come rain or shine.

  • James [Judie's son and ex-pupil of the Primary School] the creator of the old website in 2004 who has been publishing each edition online ever since.

  • Harry [Judie's grandson] currently studying for his A-Levels and who has taken the content from the old website and turned it into the 'Data Lake' [to use a current I.T. term] you see now. Undertaken as a project for a Harvard University online IT course he has been taking this summer. We are pleased to say he passed!

7



 

NEWS FROM BERRYNARBOR PRE-SCHOOL

A first taste of education

Welcome back to Preschool. We hope you all had a lovely summer break.We have all worked hard to make sure that the Pre-school is a safe and welcoming environment for your children to return to.

Over the summer our room had a bit of a makeover, with new flooring, newly painted walls and carpentry work done in the bathroom. Work has also been completed outside by the back gate creating the Children's Communication Corner. This is where we will encourage your children to share their learning topics and adventures with you.It was built by the Berry in Bloom team and will help us support the new Early Year Foundation Stage [EYFS] curriculum, focusing on Language and Communication. Work still needs to take place in the garden as we prepare for our new shed.

A letter from the Committee

Berrynarbor Preschool is a Charity, run by a small committee team which allows it to function legally.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 evening meetings being held approximately every 6 weeks and helping hands needed during our fundraising events.

We really hope that all parents and any members of the community can make the AGM to be held in October [date to be confirmed] even if you don't intend to be a committee member, as it is important to understand how Berrynarbor Pre-school runs. We certainly would love to hear any fun ideas for fundraising or you may have some handy contacts who would be interested in becoming a member.This is a great way to make new friends, gain a new skill and be supportive in your child's education and learning journey.

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

Topic of Learning

Everything is new! Even to us. The government has rewritten our Early Year Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum, focusing on Language and Communication.

We have supported the children to settle in, explained our routines and rules, such as hand washing, using hand gel, finding their tray and peg and where to store their lunch bag. With guidance, the children have set some of their own rules to keep themselves safe. They have explored both inside and outside activities and toys.We have chatted with the children, read stories and got to know them, their interests, ideas and built-up good relationships.

We started the term with the topic All about Me; learning about ourselves, family and our friends. We talked about what we like and dislike and used some of our senses, such as taste, sight, smell, hearing and touch. We worked around stories such as Going to Pre-school, Why should we Share and Head to Toe.

As our season changes, we shall explore outside, looking at leaves changing colour and the important job our farmers do at harvest time. Weather permitting, we hope to go on nature walks around the village and explore our environment. Familiar stories will be read such as The Gruffalo and Going on a Bear Hunt.We intend to keep learning simple, fun and at the children learning levels and interests.

Clothes Recycling

We have booked another Bag2School collection date for Tuesday,2nd November. They will take any unwanted clothes, handbags, paired shoes, belts, bed sheets and soft toys.Please place items into a black sack/bag and bring it into Pre-school near the collection date. Unfortunately, they will not take school uniform, pillows or duvets. Start sorting out your wardrobes and drawers for any unwanted clothes and raise some money for us.Thank you

Bee Brick

Thank you to everyone who nominated our Pre-school for a Bee Brick. We received one and have placed it in our garden for the bees to make a new home.Thank you RGB Building Supplies for running the competition. 

A message from our Community Nurse

Immunisation: It's really important that children continue to receive their booster vaccines and MMR vaccine. They are also entitled to the Flu Nasal spray.For more details see the links below:

nhs-vaccinations-and-when-to-have-them

IMM_preschool_A5_booklet_Dec2019.pdf

Best wishes from all the staff at Pre-school

Sue, Lynne, Lisa and Lorraine

8




 

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9



BERRY IN BLOOM

This summer there have been so many visitors in our village and, having spoken to a few, they have said how much they enjoy all the flowers.The hanging baskets made by Sally, Dan and Oli have been great and the new and extended watering systems have kept everything in tiptop condition.

At the time of writing, we are still awaiting the results of the competition but I am hopeful we shall be awarded GOLD again.

Our next task will be to take out all the summer bedding and get in the spring bulbs. So, the annual cycle of spring and autumn goes round again.

Jean has been very busy again this year taking cuttings and raising seed, and once again has very kindly donated half of the takings to Berry in Bloom, an amazing £1910.00. Well done,

Jean, we are so grateful.

We must not forget Gill, in the Sterridge Valley, who has also been growing plants for us.Gill grew all the plants for the tubs and planters at cost price and has also been selling cuttings and young plants at the gate for Berry in Bloom.Thank you, too, Gill for your donation of £250.00.

Once again we are extremely grateful to both of you, and to Arthur and Andy for helping their wives with their efforts.Also thank you to all the villagers for buying the plants.

We are hoping to start our own fund-raising now that most of the covid restrictions have eased, and Phil has agreed to be Quiz Master once again for a Fun Quiz and Supper on Saturday,

16th October in the Manor Hall.Tickets are on sale in the Village Shop.Supper will be good old cottage pie with a vegetarian option and a cupcake to follow. Teams of roughly up to 8.Doors open at 6.45 for a 7.15 p.m. start. Hope to see you there.

10




 

Artwork: Angela Bartlet

11



NATURE NOTES NO. 7

Tracking the Cuckoo's Decline

Tim Davis

Over my years in the Sterridge Valley, I have often been asked why cuckoos are now rarely heard and, much less likely, seen. Time was when the first cuckoo of spring would be reported in TheTimes newspaper. Once a common sight in the UK, their numbers have dwindled to the extent that the cuckoo is now a Red-listed Bird of Conservation Concern. Surveys over the past 25 years have revealed that we have lost over half of our breeding cuckoos.

In efforts to find out why they are declining, the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) began satellite-tagging cuckoos in 2011.This enabled them to be tracked from their breeding areas in the UK to wintering grounds in the Congolese rainforests of Africa. A lot of vital knowledge has since been gained, such as how the different routes taken to and from the UK year on year by individual cuckoos are linked to declines, and some of the pressures they face on migration. It has also revealed that they are in the UK for a surprisingly short time (most only arrive in late April but start leaving again as early as June).

Breeding season surveys have shown, too, that Cuckoos are doing better in some areas of the country than in others, the decline in England being greater than in Scotland and Wales. Why this should be is not clear, so a greater understanding of all aspects of the cuckoo's annual cycle is needed in order to get a better idea of the factors driving the decline.


 

Male Cuckoo, Lundy, May 2021 [photo by Dean Jones]

 

Whilst much has been learned, much remains to be discovered.Researchers are now looking closely at how dependent cuckoos are on - and how much their migration is linked to - the rains of the weather system known as the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) as the birds move out of their wintering areas and begin their long journey back to the UK via West Africa.

At present the study has focused on male cuckoos as they are larger than females and better able to carry the 5-gram tags more easily. The tags are solar-powered, transmitting for 10 hours and then going into 'sleep' mode for 48 hours to allow the solar panel to recharge the battery. Once smaller tags are available, females and juvenile birds will also be ringed, yielding new insights into how their migrations differ from the males tracked so far. 

In addition, identifying areas of importance for wintering cuckoos will allow study of pressures there which may throw more light on the losses of British cuckoos.

You can read more on the BTO's website (www.bto.org) by entering 'Cuckoo Tracking Project' in the search box on the home page.

12



 

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13



 

BERRYNARBOR WINE CIRCLE

Lord Byron, The Deformed Transformed

Wednesday, 20th October is on the horizon and I'm pleased to say that the Wine Circle has plans!The Manor Hall is capacious; our members are looking forward to returning safely to our first meeting, hosted by our able Chairman, Tony Summers.

Bray Valley Wines, South Molton, is, thankfully, a pandemic-survivor. Charlie Cotton, its knowledgeable founder, has put us in his diary for Wednesday, 17th November.

The 'bewitching hour' starts at 8.00 p.m. for both events, but it will continue until we've all tasted . . . thought about them . . . and decided we'd like to try some more in roughly four weeks' time!

We hope you will join us. It's a great way of drinking, thinking, chatting and laughing!

Judith Adam - Promotional Co-ordinator

14



MYSTERY SOLVED?

Whilst uploading back editions of the Newsletter for the new and improved website [see: www.berrynarbor-news.co.uk] I came across an article with a picture that left me totally befuddled. It was in the December 2011 edition [No 135] with a picture entitled 'Sheep in the Sterridge Valley', written by Lorna Bowden. 


 

The more I stared at the picture, the more familiar it seemed - yet I could not for the life of me work out where it was taken.   That, despite spending the formative years of my childhood pedalling manically up and down the Sterridge on push bikes in the company of the valley gang of the day - Guy Harding, Philip Worth, the three Coopers [Shaun, Neil and Dean], Warren Bailey and, more often than not, Nick Constantine - an interloper from the 'wrong' side of Two Rocks!

The photo featured what looked like Barn Cottage, but there was no sign of what my sister Helen and I always referred to as The Ice Cream house.  Why the Ice Cream House?Because during the 1970's it was painted in the same colours as a block of Neapolitan ice cream!   

But I digress.  If it really was Barn Cottage on the right-hand side of the road, where was what is more commonly known as Derrivale?  It should have been on the left- hand side of the road.  Plus, the road towards Barn Cottage from Tree Tops is pretty much flat.  The road in the photo seemed to be sloping sharply up hill . . . and where had the cottage shown on the left disappeared to?  There are no buildings opposite Tree Tops.  Just a wall of earth.

It finally clicked. Somehowsomewhere the photo had been mirrored horizontally.  It was indeed Barn Cottage, but it should have been on the left-hand side of the road and not the right.  The cottage shown on the left was really Woodvale and should have been on the right.   Mystery solved!

 


 

With my brain unscrambled, it is back to converting and categorising old editions of the Newsletter for me.  Having started with the August 2021 edition, I have currently converted 59 taking the site content back to No. 135, December 2011.  So just another 134 editions to go then.    The first edition published online was October 2004 - No 92, so we can definitely get that far back.  Going beyond that might be tricky since only hard copies exist of those first 91 editions.  But even so, 100 editions on the web is a good target - wish me luck!

 James W [formerly of Chicane]

PS - If you have not seen the new website, do take a look.  The Search page is very powerful.  Try entering your surname or that of a relative, or a local place name.  You will be amazed at what turns up and we only have about 25% of the total Newsletter content on the site currently. The Newsletter is a massive source of information on the village.  Memories, social history, photos, stories and more, resulting from the hard graft by the editor, her contributors and the newsletter artists.  Now preserved online in a more digestible form for all to enjoy, and hopefully as a research tool for years to come.

PPS - Having been thinking about the Valley gang, I feel a belated apology is due to Les Bowen for all the times footballs banged into his van, parked outside his workshop where Riverside is now.With current traffic levels, it seems odd to think of playing football on that stretch of road, but we were always out there.  I distinctly remember a side mirror getting broken on one occasion, with much scurrying home in the aftermath.  Must have been Shaun's fault I reckon, he was usually the ring leader in our adventures!

15



 

MANOR HALL MATTERS

Finally, we welcome back our regular user groups this Autumn with no restrictions or boring risk assessments.The only safety concession to the 'C' word is slightly smaller numbers for the larger gatherings.

Over the summer, the Pre-school had its turn with updating - freshly painted walls, new flooring and some general updating in the toilets were completed.

We are delighted to report that our Summer Fete was able to go ahead this year and we were blessed with a lovely day. We send our very grateful thanks to all our helpers who made this day so successful with a very respectable total of £1750 raised. It was a fun-filled family afternoon with locals and holidaymakers alike enjoying a drink and a burger, the skittles, coconut shy and other games were popular and as usual Wendy and Co's cake stall was a big draw with all their homemade cakes selling out fast.


 

 

Our next fundraiser is our Fashion Show on Thursday, 21st October at 7.00 p.m. in the hall. Once again, the popular Ilfracombe ladies fashion shop, Clathers, will be presenting their autumn collection.Tickets are £5, to include nibbles and a glass of prosecco, and are available from Sharon on 07823881455, numbers

will be limited, so get your tickets soon to avoid disappointment.

On Friday, 5th November, the hall will be hosting The Moscow Drug Club in association with Beaford Arts [don't panic, we are not turning to drugs to supplement our income!]. This is a very successful 5-piece band of professional musicians and performers combing jazz, cabaret and storytelling. This will be a BYO drinks [nibbles provided] evening- look out for the posters for more details and booking information.

On Saturday 5th December we will be holding a Christmas Fayre, table are available to hire and for full details please contact Caroline on 07525040060.

Then on Saturday, 11th December we shall be having a Christmas Wreath and Table Decoration workshop kindly demonstrated by Sue Neale. Refreshments and most equipment necessary, will be included to make a gorgeous wreath for your front door and or a festive table decoration to adorn your Christmas Day table. Please contact me, Julia, on 01271 882783 to book a place.

So, along with a Quiz Night on the 16tth October run by the Berry in Bloom team, there is a busy time ahead in our lovely village hall - we look forward to welcoming you all.

Julia Fairchild - Chairman [882783]

Alan Hamilton - Treasurer [07905445072]

16




 

17



BAILEY'S BLOG

So, this month I want to talk about invasions or should I say invaders. I am not talking about the Grockles again or Blow-ins. I am actually talking about the four-legged variety, or in some cases six-legged. I have found myself defending my land on more than one occasion over the last few weeks.

First there were those pesky red ants. They took over a particularly nice bit of our garden where I liked to bury my bones. They trailed all over the area making great big mounds, causing me to have to find a new graveyard.


 
Then there were the butterflies and the bees. The Mr. has been doing his utmost to support wild life in the garden, leaving sections with pretty wildflowers and grasses. The insects love it. I have lost count of the number of butterflies that have invaded. Alfie, the cat, likes to try and paw them but I don't find them very exciting. On the other hand, I have tried pawing bees. They make a very annoying noise. I am always very gentle but it sends the Mrs. into a total frenzy telling me to stop in case I get stung.I am pleased to say that I have not had that problem yet.


 

I have been hurt by a particularly spikey ball though. It looked just like the one I stole from the Mrs. She used to sit on the sofa and roll her foot over it most evenings. I thought it was wasted on her so I pinched it to add to my collection. That was a particularly nice, small white one, but the one that hurt me was a bigger brown one.I discovered it hiding under a log and tried gently rolling it into the garden. Unfortunately, it turned out not to be a ball at all, nor did it want to be played with! I ended up with spikes on my nose, not that anyone seemed worried about me. All attention was on the 'rescue hedgehog mission'. Julia headed up the mission and even took away some of Alfie's food to give to the spikey ball.Apparently, she made a special home for him. I have been on guard ever since, but he has not invaded our garden again.


 

Finally, there were the sheep. Now you know how much I have wanted to befriend these woolly creatures that look just like me.I was so excited that they had turned up to play, but the Mrs. didn't share my enthusiasm. On the contrary, she seemed truly shocked to discover four of them munching away on our lawn one Sunday morning when we got back from our walk on the beach.


 
I had to stay firmly locked in the boot of the car, whilst she played with them. First, they ran one way and then another. The Mrs. might have grown up in Wales but she clearly didn't have a clue how to herd sheep. If only she had let me out, I would have sorted it in minutes.Instead, she enlisted the help of Sal and Chris from Barn Cottage. They clearly had more idea than her, but even so it took them quite some time. Picture the scene, the three of them scuttling along the road with their arms widespread, calling the sheep on.The sheep were clearly unimpressed and proceeded to leave their mark all the way along the Sterridge Valley. It should be noted that their 'deposits' stayed - no embarrassing poo bags for them! They did eventually get home and I am sad to say they haven't attempted another great escape since. Now that's one invasion I would love to see again!


 

Illustrations: Paul Swailes


18



END OF SUMMER

Mid-August and the summer flowers are fading
Replaced by seed heads hard and brown
Or floating fluffy shafts of down
 
Bees, butterflies and other insects
busy now after spring's late start
find other flowers
 
In the hedgerows dancing fuchsias dangle
and soft pink hemp agrimony
stands strong and tall
 
dreamy flaxen headed meadowsweet floats;
lacy hogweed and red campion linger...
In the meadows
 
knapweed and vetches still flourish
bunches of ragwort glow
and on the walls
 
stalwart Mexican daisies never stop
geraniums, some roses and the glorious
hanging baskets bloom on
 
high and mighty buddleia boasts its big
purple spears above banks of
fiery glowing montbretia
 
hydrangea's multi flowered heads have
suddenly dramatically opened
in beautiful bright
 
changing colours: from greenish white to
creamy yellow;
from shades of palest pink to lilac, purple,
deepest red and blue
 
Late August - summer's flowers are fading fast
early morning mists are creeping in
the scent of autumn's in the air
 

Virginia Evans, Lee Copse

19



ALICE IN WONDERLAND

Ilfracombe Flower Club was asked to help decorate one of the garden shelters at RHS Rosemoor to coincide with their Summer Flower Show. The theme was 'Alice in Wonderland'. Three other flower clubs were involved - Barnstaple, Atlantic and South Molton.

I rang all the other Chairmen to ascertain which story each club was interpreting so that we didn't double up!

Ilfracombe chose the Queen of Hearts, who Stole the Tarts. Over the preceding months we planned our exhibit and the week before set-up, we 'mocked up' in our conservatory, as it was pouring with rain!

We had a team of seven - each with a specific task - arriving at Rosemoor at 10 o'clock. All the foliage and flowers had to be checked by one of the gardeners, and certain imported flowers were rejected for fear of bringing in disease to the Garden. This included 3 bunches of Supermarket roses which had been purchased by Jenny, specifically for the Queen's dress!She was extremely upset!Fortunately, these were later re-instated!

We all set to work and by 11 o'clock it was taking shape.The weather was kind to us thank goodness and the visitors started to file past, intrigued at the work in progress. Our colour theme was red, green, white/cream. We used Carnations, Roses, Gemini, Chrysanthemums and Gladioli - supplemented by a few garden flowers with RHS Rosemoor generously giving £300 to each club to cover costs.


 

 

By 2 o'clock we had finished, pleased with our efforts and it gave us time to inspect the other club's work! We hope to participate next year, but Rosemoor are keeping the theme under wraps!

We are looking forward to reopening the club on 14th September with our first demonstration since arch 2020!New members always welcome.For further information ring me on [01271] 883893

Sue Neale

20



BERRYNARBOR HORTICULTURAL & CRAFT SHOW

Sadly, due to the current circumstances this village event has not been able to be held for a couple of years - it has been missed!

However, so that this popular event can carry on into the future, a NEW COMMITTEE is needed.Could YOU help?

There are sufficient funds available, so no fund-raising is necessary now, and help will be available to show what is needed to be done and how the event has run in the past.

So that this event can be held next year, please put your name forward at the Community Shop, or speak to me if you would like more information.

Karen Loftus

21



A BIG THANK YOU!

On behalf of Lee and myself, we should like to thank everyone who sent well wishes and prayers following on from Louis' accident back in June.A super big thank you to Jim, Jenny, Scott and Linda for helping out when it happened.

Thankfully, after eight weeks of intense rehab, Louis is now back in a pair of rugby boots and had his first game under the Exeter Chiefs Academy last week.

It was quite overwhelming to have so many people ask after him which makes part of living in a lovely village so special.

Jenny

22




 

23



FROM THE GLOBE

I'd like to write individually to all of you who have supported The Globe since this pandemic began, but it would cut into precious time needed to run this valuable village asset.Last year and this have been unprecedented times, as no public house, in living memory, has had to deal with lockdowns, meaning numerous months of closure, and restrictions that include social distancing, which necessitates fewer tables, essential booking and unfortunate and unavoidable delays.

Sadly, my staff, as with thousands of others up and down the country, have enduredimpatience, rudeness and intolerance from visiting holidaymakers. Members of staff can only serve one table at a time and running is not an option! The hospitality industry has been stretched and pushed to almost breaking point, nationwide.Many pubs have closed, some may become residential homes and, therefore, the closure is a permanent loss to a village.

'Spread booking' has been another issue: several places are booked for a meal; one is chosen, but the other venues are not cancelled, and, therefore, businesses, including ours, suffer with financial loss: if a table is reserved, we do not double-book it as a 'just in-case'.

Drinking, choosing to eat at a later hour, then accusing the landlord or owner that they have waited hours for their meal and then see fit to walk away without paying, has occurred at The Globe, also, but only once, thankfully.It won't happen again!


 
On a cheerful note, we have received so many compliments about the food, staff, garden and the pub itself; people have been pleased to see and eat in a 'traditional English country pub'.It has been at the heart of this village for centuries.To see the pub busy is satisfying; it has been worth the fight.I have fought and appreciate greatly the local support and help to keep it open and want The Globe to continue as a traditional English country pub for many more years.

Nic

24



 

FROM THE PARISH COUNCIL

 

BERRYNARBOR PARISH COUNCIL

berrynarborparishcouncil.org.uk

Chairman: Adam Stanbury [01271] 882252

Councillors: Gemma Bacon, Sian Barten, Jenny Beer, Andy Burch, Adrian Coppin, Bernadette Joyce, Jody Latham, Nic Wright

Parish Clerk: Victoria Woodhouse

County Councillor: Andrea Davis

District Councillor: Joe Tucker

Snow Warden: Adrian Coppin


 

Congratulations to our Parish Council Clerk, Vicki Woodhouse, on the early but safe delivery of a son.We send our best wishes to the family.

Vicki will continue working as Clerk for the Parish Council, but will not be attending meetings at present.Please continue to contact her with any items you wish to bring forward or questions that she can answer.

If you have any items that you wish to raise with the Parish Council, please in the first place direct your query to the Chair or Clerk, e-mail:clerk@berrynarborparishcouncil.org.uk.

 

 

The Parish Council would like to remind all property/land owners with road-side frontage, that it is your responsibility to maintain these.

We have had a number of complaints about the lack of visibility and impact on road safety due to overgrown hedges and banks, and we politely ask you to ensure that your hedges and banks are in good order and cut back.


 

The next Parish Council Meeting will be on Tuesday, 12th October, at 7.00 p.m. in the Manor Hall.Members of the public are welcome to attend.

25



PARKING AT WATERMOUTH HARBOUR

Just to let all visitors to the Harbour know that new car parking arrangements are in operation.The system uses cameras to check vehicles entering and leaving the harbour car park and the charge is £1 an hour, 24/7.

Make sure you have some change with you and you purchase a ticket from the pay machine!

26



RABBITS - THE SURVIVORS!

Living in Berrynarbor through the war years, a chance of additional food was much appreciated!

It was not long before a friend of mine and I came up with a solution.We borrowed Stan Huxtable's shot fun [a twelve bore] and made for Ruggaton Farm.


 

There were dozens of rabbits there and it was possible to shoot two at a time!

We took plenty home and the way to have them was to cut them in pieces, boil, and fry in butter.You say BUTTTER in war time!Well, we had a friend in the Air Force at Chivenor who could 'borrow' a bit of that!


 

Illustrations by: Paul Swailes

Rabbits are coming back despite myxomatosis and near Ipswich there is a colony on a roundabout.I suppose their survival is assured as it would be too dangerous to use a shot gun there.Pretty little things, aren't they?

Tony Beauclerk - Stowmarket

27



RURAL REFLECTIONS - 101

The other day I came across a quote relating to the sun's disappearance beneath the western horizon just after the moon had risen: "Her hour of rest is haunted, her heart chilled by the cold face of her dead sister".The concept that the face of our neighbouring satellite is "dead and cold" is an interesting euphemism which I am certain would have been utterly discounted by our farming ancestors, for in their eyes, quite literally, the moon's 28-day cycle was very much alive.Indeed, the four phases of the moon, from New Moon to Full Moon and then round to the next New Moon, have long been considered a prominent factor in planting schedules. Furthermore, with evidence now backed up by modern scientific research, lunar farming is just as relevant today with many modern-day farmers endorsing the practice by utilising lunar rhythms as a tool for navigating planting periods and harvest dates.

It is a well-known fact that the moon's magnetic forces affect the tides of our oceans and lead to a swelling in two tidal bulges on the opposite sides of the earth. These bulges then cause the side of the earth closest to the moon to be swelled by gravity while the earth's opposite side is swelled by inertia.

Put simply, the moon dictates when the tide comes in and when it goes out.Perhaps less well known is that these same forces have an effect on ground water tables, with the moon's gravitational pull generating greater water content in the soil, a process which in turn enhances seed sprouting and plant growth. Evidence of such benefits to a plant's metabolism as a result of the moon has been proven through scientific research on trees where, during certain phases of the moon's cycle, a tree may have either a spurt in its initial growth or an increase in its germination rate. This effect also extends to a variety of plants such as root growth in sunflowers and beans and the extra absorption of oxygen in plants such as potatoes, carrots and sunflowers.

To explain in simple terms the four phases [or quarters] of the moon's cycle, it can be best to describe how much of the moon [it's 'face'] can be seen in the sky. The first phase is from when the moon rises in the west so close the sun's rising that the moon cannot be observed with the naked eye and ends when all of the right-hand side of its face can be seen. During this period the moon exerts a force on the earth's water opposite to that of the earth's gravity.This is considered to be a time when the ground is consequently fertile and wet and therefore an opportunity for lunar farmers to plant above ground and in particular leafy crops.With each passing day of the lunar month's second quarter, a little more of the moon's face is revealed in the sky, with its last day occurring when we see the Full Moon. Over this period the moon will still exert a pulling force on the earth's gravity, making it an ideal time for planting plants within enclosed seeds such as beans, tomatoes or peas. These first two quarters, from New Moon to Full Moon, are known as the moon's waxing phase. Lunar farmers see this period as being suitable for transplanting and sowing any short-lived plants. It is also believed to be a desirable time for planting plants with the intention to harvest flowers, leaves, seeds or fruits.

The moon's waning phase occurs during its third and fourth quarters, from Full Moon round to the next New Moon. In this period its gravitational pull on the earth lessens and, as a consequence, tides decrease and the earth's soil becomes drier. During the third quarter, a period that begins on the day after the Full Moon and finishes when we see only the left-hand face of the moon, the earth's gravity becomes focused on a root-ward direction. Lunar farmers will therefore use this time to plant longer lived crops such as perennials and root crops such as potatoes and carrots. Finally, during the last quarter of the moon's 28-day cycle, its lunar gravity [or 'pull'] is at its weakest. This allows the earth's own gravity to exert its strongest force, in turn pushing water tables to their lowest depths in the soil. With the soil drier and therefore easier to work. lunar farmers regard the moon's last phase as the best time for harvesting, transplanting and pruning. They also see it as an ideal time for soil improvement such as soil turning, weeding and adding compost.

As mentioned earlier, the value of accounting for lunar cycles in farming practices has been carried over from traditional wisdom. Moreover, so much did our agricultural ancestors place more emphasis on the lunar months rather than the solar year, they even christened each month's Full Moon with a name that had its roots in nature. For example, five months of the year had Full Moons named after animals. January's was traditionally known as the Wolf Moon, named after the howling wolves, while March has the Worm Moon because of the earthworms that come out at the end of winter. The Full Moon in July is known as the Buck Moon to signify the new antlers that appear on deer bucks' foreheads around this time and in August we see the Sturgeon Moon, named after the large number of fish in the lakes where the Algonquin tribes of East Canada fished. Finally, the Beaver Moon, which this year will rise on 19th November, is according to folklore named after beavers who become active while preparing for the coming winter.


 

Illustrated by: Paul Swailes

The names of two Full Moons traditionally relate to flowers.April's is known as the Pink Moon from the pink flowers of phlox that emerge in early spring whilst the Full Moon in May is simply called the Flower Moon to reflect the abundance of flowers that bloom during this month. A further two Full Moons have links with the weather, February's known as the Snow Moon and December's the Cold Moon. Some North American tribes named February's Full Moon the Hunger Moon due to the scarce food sources during midwinter, while June's is called the Strawberry Moon to reflect the little red berries that ripen at this time. On 20th October this year we will see the rising of the Hunter's Moon, a Full Moon that represented a traditional time when people in the northern hemisphere spent the month preparing for the coming winter by hunting, slaughtering and preparing meats. The Full Moon in July is also known as the Hay Moon while other names for August's include the Barley Moon and Grain Moon. Corn, meanwhile, is a feature of three Full Moons. In May we see the Corn Planting Moon, in August the Green Corn Moon and in September the Corn Moon. Finally, there is the Harvest Moon which, as I mentioned in last October's article, is the only Full Moon that can occur in one of two months, September or October, depending on which month's Full Moon is closest to the autumnal equinox.For example, this year's Harvest Moon occurred on 21st September, with the equinox on the following day, while last year's rose on the 3rd October.

Farming by the lunar calendar, however, both traditionally and in modern times, is not just limited to crops. On North Ronaldsay, for example, sheep shearing is always done on the first New Moon closest to the end of July or beginning of August.It is intriguing that this ancient custom is carried out on a breed that is one of the few links to the primitive sheep that first came to our isles. But more of this next time.

Steve McCarthy

28



AUTUMN

As October nights draw in,
Reach for the firelighters; seek warmth from within.
Close the curtains; snuggle in for the night
As the owls hoot and the merlins take flight.
 
The trees undress each and every day.
Ever-changing colours, their limbs bow and sway.
Until a colourful carpet lies on the lawn.
Rich golden hues our gardens adorn.
 
The hedgehogs adore it, the squirrels too
Foraging around, so much to do.
There's food to be stored, time cannot wait
Now is the time to prepare to hibernate.
 
Stay warm and safe in each of your homes
Villagers of Berrynarbor, you are never alone.
Outside nature is slowly changing its face
Enhancing our enjoyment of this very special place.
 

Pam Robinson

Illustrated by: Paul Swailes

29



CHILDHOOD LITERATURE


 

Quentin Blake

'It had been an unhappy day for little Kay Harker.To begin with, at breakfast time the governess had received a letter from his guardian, Sir Theopompous, the chemical powder merchant, to say that he would be there for lunch, but would like lunch at 2 p.m., as the trains did not suit.This made the governess cross, or, as she called it, 'put out'.On giving the order to Jane, the cook, for a very good lunch at two o'clock, instead of one, Jane was put out, for it was her afternoon off and she did not like to be put upon.Ellen, the maid, was also put out, because if you have lunch so late, it is teatime before you have finished washing up. Jane and Ellen between them put the governess much further out, and then it was lesson time:Divinity, French, History and Latin.

Kay's magical adventures seeking his great-grandfather's lost treasure start.

Probably better known as the Poet Laureate and for his poems than his novels, the fantasy story The Midnight Folk and its sequel, The Box of Delights, which The Times claims are 'two of the greatest children's books ever written', first published in 1927, are the work of John Masefield.


 

John Edward Masefield was born in Ledbury, Herefordshire, on the 1st June 1878. When he was six, his mother died giving birth to his sister and he was sent to live with his aunt.His father died shortly after following a mental breakdown.

For three years to 1891, Masefield was an unhappy boarder at Kings School, Warwick, leaving to board HMS Conway to train for a life at sea, but also as his aunt intended, to break his addiction to reading.However, he found that during his three years on the Conway, he was able to spend much time reading, writing and listening to stories about sea-lore, that his love of storytelling grew.

His second ship, the Gilcruix, was bound for Chile and sailing through extreme weather, seeing flying fish, porpoises and birds, he was struck by the beauty of nature.Hospitalised from sunstroke, he eventually returned to England as a steamship passenger.

In 1895 he went back to sea on a windjammer destined for New York, but as a result of his lack of ambition to be a sailor and his desire to write, he jumped ship when they docked.For several months he roamed the countryside, living as a vagrant before returning to New York where he found work as a barkeeper's assistant.In December of that year, he read Duncan Campbell Scott's poem, The Piper of Aril.Never before having cared much for poetry, this impressed him so much that he was, so to speak, hooked!

When Masefield was 23, he met his future wife, Constance de la Cherois Crommelin [1867-1960], 13 years his senior.They married in London in June 1903.Despite the difference in their ages, she was a good match for him, educated in English Literature and classics, and a mathematics teacher. Their daughter, Isabel Judith, known as Judith, was born in 1904 [d.1988] and their son, Lewis, in 1910, who was killed in action in Africa in 1942.

In 1902, Masefield was in charge of the fine art section of the Arts and Industrial Exhibition in Wolverhampton, by which time some of his poems were being published, including his first collection, Sea-Water Ballads, in which the well-known Sea Fever appeared.This was followed in the next years by many best-selling books of poems, novels and plays.

Although exempted from service in the First World War, due to his age, he served briefly in France as a hospital orderly.At around that time, he moved his country retreat to Berkshire, the setting inspiring a number of poems and sonnets.

During the war, Masefield undertook two invited lecture tours in the United States increasing his ability as a public speaker.At the end of his second tour, both Yale and Harvard Universities conferred honorary doctorates of letters on him and in 1921, Oxford University awarded him an honorary doctorate in Literature.

During the 1920's he was an accomplished and respected published writer, both of novels and poetry.The family were able to settle at Boar's Hill, a rural setting not far from Oxford, where he enjoyed bee-keeping, goat-herding and poultry-keeping.

On the death of Robert Bridges in 1930, a new Poet Laureate was needed and on the recommendation of Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald, King George V appointed Masefield to the post, a position he remained in until his death in 1967. Following his appointment, the King awarded him the Order of Merit, and many

British universities honorary degrees.He took his appointment seriously and produced a great number of poems for royal occasions.These were sent to The Times for publication, his modesty shown by his inclusion of a self-addressed, stamped envelope with each submission.

It was not until he was in his early 70's that he slowed down, mainly due to ill health.Following a long illness, Constance died in 1960 at the age of 93, which Masefield found distressing, having spent a long year watching the woman he loved die.

In the autumn of 1966, he developed gangrene in his ankle which spread and he died of the infection on the 12th May 1967.

In accordance with his wishes, he was cremated, and his ashes placed in Poet's Corner in Westminster Abbey.However, sometime later the following verse was found addressed to his 'Heirs, Administrators and Assigns.'


Let no religious rite be done or read
In any place for me when I am dead,
But burn my body into ash, and scatter
The ash in secret into running water,
Or on the windy down, and let none see;
And then thank God that there's an end of me.


 

30



MOVERS AND SHAKERS NO. 95

MAX WOOSEY

"The Boy in the Tent"

Aged 11

Just a few miles away in Braunton, a young lad prepares for another night sleeping in his tent in the family garden. Hopefully there won't be a thunderstorm, a high wind won't unhitch his tent and it's unlikely to be either a hot sticky night or freezing. Yet since 20th March 2020, more than 500 nights, he's weathered all that - and not given in. Even when he caught Covid, he insisted on staying out and his supportive mum valiantly slept alongside. Latterly he's been joined by the family labradoodle, Digby, who's inclined to lick Max's face at all hours!


 

So why does he do it? Well, his parents were helping to care for a family friend, Rick Abbott, who was dying of cancer.They were all impressed by the care Rick had from the North Devon Hospice that enabled him to stay in his home. Sadly, he died on Valentine's Day 2020, but beforehand, having been a keen adventurer, camper and outdoor sports enthusiast, he gave his tent to Max, telling him to have an adventure. Little did he know that Max's adventure would lead to the vast sum of over £600,000 - and still rising - being raised for that Hospice.

Max had only one camping expedition on Exmoor with his dad when lockdown hit the country, but the camping bug had hit and he badgered his parents to let him put his tent up in the garden. "That's what Rick would have wanted," he persisted.

The original idea was that he would sleep out for just a few days, and maybe raise £100 for the Hospice, but as lockdown dragged on, and donations poured in to his JustGiving page, he continued his adventure. He found freedom too.No one could tell him to put the light out and go to sleep! He doesn't know when he will stop, perhaps if it's no longer fun, but reckons that even if he gets very rich, he won't want posh hotels. "A tent will do me!" he declares.

Max's 'Adventure' has taken him to some unexpected places. Coming up to his 500th night out, he was invited to pitch his tent on the lawn of 10 Downing Street where he met Boris Johnson, who had already sent messages of support. Dilyn the dog gave him an equally enthusiastic welcome, resulting in Max having to chase him around the garden to retrieve two of his cuddly toys: Spike the lemur and Heidi the lioness. "That was bizarre," said Max.


 

Talking of lions, he was also invited by the charity 'Action for Children' to pitch his tent next to the lions at London Zoo on July 9th this year. Dr Tim O'Neill, the charity's Managing Director of children's services, felt that such an adventurer would inspire other children to sleep out and raise money. This they did, about a thousand from all over the world. He was even interviewed on NBC's breakfast show in the USA in the run up to the event, called 'The Big Camp Out'. As a result, children from the United States joined in. In total, over £1/2 million was raised.

When Max's own fund-raising reached half a million pounds, he was delighted to get messages of support from Bear Grylls and Johnny Wilkinson, and a video message from Exeter Chiefs' Jack Nowell, together with a shirt signed by the whole team.He loved the latter for when he is older, he either wants to be an adventurer or a rugby player!

He has now gone through 10 tents and other camping gear, much of it offered by businesses. He couldn't have managed it without the support of his dad, Mark, a Royal Marine, and his mum Rachel, an accountant. Says his mum, "We are all so proud of Max . . . We've received messages from people from far and wide, including local people who are so grateful for the fantastic care our Hospice provides".


 

Since the start of the pandemic, Max has contributed enormously to North Devon Hospice through his 'stickability'. For how long is his decision. His mum has told him numerous times that he doesn't have to stay outside any more, and that he's already achieved something special, but to date he always says "No". If you want to contribute, you don't have to pitch your tent! Just go onto his page on www.justgiving.com. I think this brave lad deserves our support - and Rick Abbott would have been justly proud of his achievement.

PP of DC

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PRIMARY SCHOOL UPDATE

We hope you have had a lovely summer break. We welcomed the children back to school from Monday, 6th September. The return to school has signalled a further return to normality.

We should like to thank Sarah Hutchings and her team for running another successful summer club for our children. This year we had record numbers come along to enjoy fun activities together over the summer. In between running summer club, Sarah somehow managed to find the time to get married and is now Mrs. Higgins - congratulations Mrs. and Mr. Higgins!

We worked hard to make sure the school environment was ready for all the children to return to. We very much hope that they can enjoy a more settled year this year. At the time of writing, we no longer needed to maintain bubbles, children have been mixing and playing together across the school. We are very excited to be able to allow them to be together again and hope to re-establish the family culture of children caring for each other. We are already seeing our older children helping our new little ones and it has been wonderful to see our family together again.

Speaking of little ones - we are very pleased to welcome our new children to Reception.They have settled into school life with ease. Well done to all our new starters and all our children for such a fab start to the year.

With the end of restrictions, we are looking forward to continuing to offer our exciting and interesting curriculum.Our staff will continue to specialise in their own subject areas and will be able to move freely between our two schools - allowing us to teach in person once again.

Our children have been learning a wide variety of subjects, from traditional tales and nursery rhymes in Key Stage 1 to the life and work of Vincent Van Gough in Years 5 and 6.We have also been cracking on with literacy and numeracy skills. Pupils across all Years have been learning and thinking about how to reimagine Disney's short story "The Feast" from a different perspective - remembering to include a few adverbial phrases, alliteration, dialogue, noun phrases, similes, pathetic fallacy, onomatopoeia and relative clauses.Well done all of you!

Despite the obvious problems COVID19 brought for us, we have discovered a silver lining by implementing a staggered drop off and pick up time at the beginning and end to the school day. This has not only aided a more orderly start to the day for children - we hope that you have noticed this has eased congestion in the village too. We shall continue with the staggered timings as it works so well for us and hopefully helps you as residents in our community too.

We are tentatively starting to plan trips, visits and community events. We have not planned to arrange anything in the community until after the October half term, but we very much hope to allow wider community events leading up to Christmas - fingers crossed we shall be inviting our senior members of the community to the renowned Senior Dudes evening. Watch this space!

We are also so looking forward to start offering residentials and all the other extra-curricular experiences which enrich school life for our children and families. We have been able to provide bikeability sessions for our Year 6 pupils this half term - a further signal we are returning to our usual rhythm.

Please do visit our website for further details of all we do - the children have been working on their very own section of the site. It includes information for new starters and even has a staff "Top Trumps" segment. Coming soon!

Finally, in our last update we mentioned our filming session on Saunton beach with our Year 6 leavers. If you haven't already seen it - check out our Federation YouTube page here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kqBVn8zMZs

With best wishes,

Su Carey, Faye Poynter and the whole Staff Team

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MARWOOD HILL GARDEN


 

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REMEMBERING PETER AND JEAN PELL

The families of Peter and Jean warmly extend an

open invitation to all Pete and Jean's friends and neighbours in the Sterridge Valley and Berrynarbor

to a celebration of their lives in the Manor Hall

on Sunday 24th October from 12.00 noon onwards.

Tea and sandwiches will be offered in the afternoon,

with hot food and drinks in the evening.

Various activities are being planned, and the

Men's Institute will open the door to the snooker room

for those who would like a frame or two.

For more information and to book a place,

contact Jean's son Ben Ede by email at ede4000@googlemail.com.

 

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CHRISTMAS GREETINGS THROUGH THE NEWSLETTER

Although it might seem early to be thinking about Christmas it is, however, time to let you know that once again your Christmas greetings for friends and neighbours in the village can be sent via the December Newsletter.

This now traditional way to send those greetings is both popular and simple.

To everyone, especially newcomers, if you would like to do this, just decide on your message and leave it, with a donation, either at Chicane or the Shop by Thursday, 11th November at the latest, thank you.

The donations, after covering the costs of printing, will again be shared between the Newsletter and the Manor Hall, both benefiting by your donations which have always been very generous, so please carry on with that tradition!

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.


 

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OLD BERRYNARBOR - VIEW NO. 193

In Berrynarbor, 63 Silver Street

This view of 63 Silver Street, better known as Brookside Cottage, was taken by John William Garratt c1904.

At that time, the cottage was thatched and the young girl seen would have been either Polly or Lucy Draper, daughters of Ben and Polly Draper, who also had a son Ephraim.

When the Watermouth Castle Estate went up for sale in 1920, No. 63 Silver Street was described as:

"Lot 58 - A Good Thatched Cottage with Piggery, Workshop, Garden & Premises situate in the village and being in the occupation of Mr. B. Draper as a Quarterly Tennant."

The property sold for £100 and was purchase by Ben Draper.

At a much later date, the thatched roof was replaced with corrugate iron sheets.Fortunately, the very old and rusted roof was replaced by a new slated roof in the 1980's for Mrs. Whitehouse, who then owned the property.

Vera and Fred Whitehouse moved into Brookside in 1948, having come from Hagley, Birmingham, shortly after their marriage. Fred, who was 22 years Vera's senior. Stalwarts of the church, Fred, who was a member of the Church Choir, died in 1970.Vera moved first into the Susan Day Home in Ilfracombe in 1989 and then Edenmore.She died on the 2nd January 1992.

The present owners, Mike and Jo Lane have done much to improve the property which now has a garage and parking for two vehicles.

Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage, September 2021

e-mail: tomandinge40@gmail.com

 


 

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