Edition 196 - February 2022





Artwork: Paul Swailes


Artwork: Judie Weedon
 

EDITORIAL

2022 and what a topsy turvy world we live in! Climate change causing catastrophes, a pandemic with partying politicians and problem princes! We have so much to be thankful for living in a beautiful and peaceful part of the country.

The days are drawing out and bulbs pushing their way up whilst last year's flowers are still in bloom! If you are new in the village, we hope you will be happy here in your new home, and if you are feeling under the weather, do get well soon.

On the 6th February Queen Elizabeth II will have been on the throne 70 years. Through those years she has been amazing, giving wonderful service, and we wish her well in her Platinum Jubilee year.

Thanks to regular and all contributors, we have another bumper issue, their support is so appreciated - please keep up the good work and let's be having some new contributors for April. Items for that are welcome as soon as possible and by the Friday, 11th March deadline please.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2022.

Judie - Ed

1



FEBRUARY 6TH 1952

On February 6th 1952 I was a pupil at the Primary School. One day a week we would take our money to school to buy National Savings Stamps, 6d stamps (2.5p) and we would be chosen in turn to go to the Post Office to buy them for the School.

That morning it was my turn. When I went into the Post Office I was quickly told that the King had died, and I was to go back to school and tell the teachers, Mrs Cowperthwaite and Miss Richards.

Everyone was gathered together and told; then I think we listened to the radio for a while. We were probably some of the first in the village to know, but at our young age we possibly did not realise the importance of the event.

Jill Sidebottom

2



 

FROM THE PARISH COUNCIL

We shall start by wishing everyone a Happy New Year! We hope you were able to enjoy the festive period with your families. 

You may have noticed that the Parish Council was able to build on the village festivities this season with the addition of further lights.  This was made possible with the support of our County and District Councillors, by way of grant funding towards the purchase, and the local community for providing an electricity supply. The Parish Council would like to say a big thank you to County Councillor Andrea Davis and North Devon Councillor Joe Tucker for their financial contributions, the residents of Berriview for providing an electricity supply for the new lights in Claude's Garden and the Church for once again allowing the Parish Council to light up the village. Our final thank you is to Chris Townsend and Matt Walls for erecting the lights, it really has been a community effort and we hope you enjoyed the display.

The annual Defibrillator Training with South West Ambulances was due to take place in January. Unfortunately, this has had to be rearranged and we hope to be in a position to advertise a new date in the near future. 

The Parish Council understands that proposals for development can be contentious and there are occasions when a developer may wish to present proposals to the Parish Council prior to submitting a planning application. The Parish Council is currently working on a policy to ensure this process, should it arise, is transparent.

The Parish Council has been pleased to support the Manor Hall in obtaining just over £3,300 in Section 106 funding towards upgrades and refurbishment and we hope the community will benefit from the recent improvements.

Finally, the Parish Council would again like to show its appreciation and convey a further thank you to our County and District Councillors. County Councillor Andrea Davis has agreed to fund the purchase of a tree, a Mazzard Cherry, which we understand to be a local tree, and accompanying plaque to celebrate the Queen's Green Canopy.  District Councillor

Joe Tucker has further agreed to fund the replacement of a bench in the Manor Hall Play Area.

The Parish Council is grateful for the support it receives from the County and District Councillors. 

 Parish Clerk 
Berrynarbor Parish Council 

3



Artwork: Paul Swailes
 

WEATHER OR NOT

November and December

Welcome to 2022 and I wonder what is in store for us this year? One thing which will change is the news that Judie will be laying her pen to rest when she completes her Newsletter number 200 at the end of October. I think she has given the village sterling service with her ever improving editions over the years, thank you so much. I hope you all managed to have an enjoyable Christmas and New Year.

I will start by looking back to the 1st November. The morning was bright with heavy showers and a total rainfall of 4.4mm. The temperature reached 12.8˚C at 1300hrs and lowest 6.5˚C at 2100hrs. The wind was from the SW with a maximum speed of 26mph. The barometer was low at the start of the day at 991.1mbars and ending the day at 997.8mbars rising. The total sunshine amounted 1.85 hours for the day.


Lady Flow: Isle of Rum, Scotland, 2021. An unusual place to play and keep a piano! You can find out more by searching Pianocean.

Looking at the month, the highest temperature was on the 9th at 14.4˚C (average 15.62˚C) and lowest on the 29th at -0.6˚C (average 0.27˚C). The maximum wind speed arrived with the first named storm of the season, Anwen, on the 27th at 52mph from the NNE. This was an unusual direction for us to have such strong winds, I wonder if that was why we had some of our large mature trees brought down? We were a long way off the 98mph recorded in Brizlee Wood, Northumberland. The lowest wind chill of -0.3˚C was at 0400hrs on the 29th. The 2nd was the wettest day with 4.4mm and the total for the month was 42.6mm well down on the average of 155.74mm. The barometer was lowest on the 1st at 991.1mbars and highest on the 22nd at 1034.5mbars. The sunniest day was the 3rd with 3.10 hours and a total for the month of 24.31 hours (average 22.00). The humidity ranged from 95% on four separate days and lowest on the 21st at 67%.

December the 1st started with 1.8mm of rain by 0200hrs before drying up. By dawn it was breezy and dry, the temperature was highest at 0100hrs at 11.2˚C, and fell steadily during the day to a low of 3.6˚C by 2359hrs. The wind reached 28mph from the N at 1300hrs. The barometer was 1009.9mbars and climbed steadily to 1011.6mbars by the end of the day. There was no recordable sunshine.

Looking at the month, the highest temperature was on 30th at 1300hrs 14.4˚C (average 13.25˚C) and the lowest on the 20th at 0001hrs -0.4˚C (average -2.06˚C). The second named storm of the season, Barra, gave us the strongest wind on the 7th at 2200hrs when it gusted at 37mph from the SW (average 39.28mph). The lowest wind chill factor of 0.01˚C arrived on the 19th at 0700hrs. Christmas Day was the wettest day of the month with 14mm and the total for the month was 102.2mm. The barometer ranged between 982.0mbars (Barra) on the 7th to a high on the 17th of 1040.0mbars. The best day for sunshine was on the 2nd with 1.62 hours and a total of 6.87hrs for the month (average 9.54hrs) Humidity varied from 67% on the 2nd and 8th to 95% on the 19th, 20th, 25th and 26th.

Looking at 2021 the three things which stand out to me are the 6mm of rain in April, 194.8mm in May, a high of 14.4˚C on the 30th of December which is my second highest December record since 2016 at 15.1˚C. This is slightly different to the met office records and may be due to the location of my thermometer, accuracy of the thermometer and geographical location in the valley?

The end of year figures for 2021, which may surprise some of you, are:

RAINFALL
  • Wettest day: May 8th 43.4mm
  • Wettest month: May 194.8mm
  • Year Total: 1002.4 Annual average 1339.589mm
TEMPERATURE
  • Highest: September 7th 1600hrs 30.3˚C
  • Lowest: February 11th 0300hrs -3.1˚C March 6th 0700hrs -3.1˚C
  • Lowest wind chill: March 6th and 7th -2.9˚C
WIND SPEED
  • Highest: 52mph Direction NNE
  • Annual average gust: 34.795mph
SUNSHINE HOURS.
  • Sunniest month: July 166.18 hours
  • Least sunny month: December 6.87 hours
  • Total year: 1104.30 hours Annual average: 1175.64 hours
BAROMETRIC PRESSURE
  • Highest: February 27th 1042.3mbars
  • Lowest: January 20th 974.9mbars
HUMIDITY
  • Highest: Many times, 95%
  • Lowest: April 23rd 1900hrs28%

When you read this, we shall be well into 2022 and enjoying more hours of daylight and hopefully no snow and ice. I hope the number of Covid cases are falling with an ever- improving situation.

Take care and all the best.

Simon

GIVE AWAY

I have a Canon Pixma MX530 series printer surplus to my requirements. It has had little use and is in good order, still in original box with all instructions etc. One spare black ink but requires new colour ink. If anyone can make use of it please get in touch with me on 01271 882890.

4




5



COMBE MARTIN MUSEUM

Operation PLUTO

Does anyone in Berrynarbor have recollections of this operation which took place from 1942 onwards at Watermouth? This was the prototype oil pipeline which was laid under the sea between Swansea oil refinery and Watermouth. Watermouth was the forerunner of the 2 main pipelines between Sandown on the Isle of Wight and Kent and Dungeness to locations in France. If you travelled to Ilfracombe at that time, what was your journey like? We should love to hear about your memories. It would be great if we had enough feedback to set up a small exhibition about this piece of the area's wartime history. If you can help, please contact us on combemartinmuseum@gmail.com.

From the Editor:

Information on PLUTO has been covered in quite a few articles in the Newsletter over the years. I have explained to the Museum that by using the search engine on the new website, these can be found, and the information given in earlier editions that have not yet appeared on the website, has been sent to them.

6



Artwork: Steve Angold [Aged 10]
 

ST. PETER'S CHURCH

We are pleased announce that Rev. Mark Ruoff has been appointed as the new Rector for our three parishes.

Mark, his wife Tayla, and their family will be moving from his current parish in Hammersmith to take up his post in June. We were hoping he might commence his duties at Easter, but his daughter is taking her GCSE's and therefore they didn't wish to disrupt her education at such a critical time.

Mark will be travelling down to North Devon for half term [14th to 20th February] and will be taking a Joint Service at Pip & Jim's at 10.30 a.m. on Sunday 20th February, when he would like to meet as many parishioners as possible.

32 adults and two children enjoyed our annual Carol Service, held for the first time at the Morning Service. Tea and coffee, mince pies, stollen and festive biscuits were served afterwards, which enabled everyone to enjoy some social time together.

During these difficult times, we were fortunate in having Rev. Clive Thomas from Ilfracombe to take this service and our sincere thanks to him for helping us out on this occasion.

Once again, the annual Midnight Mass Service at 9.30 p.m. was very poorly attended with only 13 stalwarts. Unfortunately, there is a conflict of interest - Singing Carols in the Square, which is a wonderful event for many people. This was always traditionally held on a different evening until a few years ago. Please may I respectfully ask the organisers to consider changing the night to the weekend before Christmas, so that all can enjoy both events at this special time of year?

A big thank you to Pip and Tony for their help in decorating the Church for Christmas; to Elaine Filer for keeping the cobbles weeded; to the team of cleaners who keep the church tidy, plus Carol Hood for doing sterling work cleaning the brass and silver.

Running Berrynarbor Church during the pandemic from the early part of 2020 has been a huge challenge for us all. For the best part of a year there were no services held and our income was virtually zero! We are grateful for those in our parish who have donated money to the church throughout these difficult times but our main financial reserves have been severely depleted with an expenditure outlay of £76,000 for repairs to the exterior of the building and a further £10,000 to replace five internal gas heaters

which were deemed unsafe, not to mention Ecclesiastical Insurance outlay of £3,780 per year for this Grade 2 Listed Building. The responsibility for maintaining the building lies with the elected members of our PCC.

Berrynarbor Church is an essential part of this village. Hosting Church Services, Weddings, Funerals, Baptisms, Bellringers and the maintenance of the two churchyards for the benefit of many residents' loved ones, being just a small fragment of what your church is about! Church Services are advertised on our notice boards and in the village shop.

We continue to pray for all who are sick in the village and hope that 2022 will be a healthier year for us all.

Sue Neale

7



REMEMBERING MARGUERITE STRATTON

Marguerite, along with her husband Eddy [Ted], owned Wheel Farm Country guesthouse at Berry Down from 1980-1987. 

Both were well known in the village at that time as they strove to build up the guesthouse and then the restaurant, which followed after Eddy came 4th in a national competition to create a duck dish to serve at the wedding of Prince Charles to Lady Diana in 1981. They kept in touch with many friends after moving to Bideford in late 1987. 

Mum was well known for her baking and endless scone making for cream teas on the lawn at Wheel Farm. She was always in the village collecting me from school, visiting the then post office just opposite the school and shop just around the corner or the partaking in an event in the Manor Hall. 

Eddy would be remembered for Shudokan Aikido and for being a wonderful chef at Wheel Farm I'm sure, among other things. He sadly passed away in 2000 from mesothelioma which he contracted whilst serving in the army. 

Marguerite moved back to the outskirts of Berrynarbor briefly in 2017 with me and my family. Unfortunately, the dementia she had been diagnosed with in 2015 had progressed a lot by then so she moved into Pinehurst care home in 2018, where she had a beautiful room overlooking the town and sea. Sadly, Marguerite passed away, peacefully, on 17th December 2021. 

I should like to thank the many people in the village and the surrounding area who helped to give her a beautiful send off. 

Emma

8



Artwork: Paul Swailes
 

NEWS FROM OUR VILLAGE SHOP

Thank you!

Can we start by saying a huge thank you to those customers who have been extremely patient and mostly good humoured about having to queue to use the shop, especially in the run up to Christmas and into the New Year. Due to other local Post Offices in the area being closed for various reasons, everyone [or so it seemed] descended upon us for their postage requirements. It was so busy! And with the restrictions on the number of people in the shop at any one time, this inevitably led to far more queueing than we should have liked.

The irony is that these Post Office takings do not benefit our shop. Only items bought in the shop itself contribute to its turnover and viability and while we believe having the Post Office provides a vital service for our villagers, it can be frustrating when people only use it without also buying shop items to help support us.

Winter Olympics

The XXIV Winter Olympics will be taking place between 4th and 20th February, and as its host city is some 8 hours ahead of us here in the UK, you will need to stock up on refreshments that will keep you going through the small hours as you cheer on GB's 60-strong contingent. Come and have a look - we have an attractive range of snacks and comfort foods at very competitive prices.

Valentine's Day

Yes, it's here again! Doesn't time fly? We have a wide range of cards to suit all tastes as well as wines and spirits to celebrate the occasion. And don't forget that box of chocolates for the special one[s] in your life.

Pancakes or Welsh cakes?

Now here's a dilemma! Shrove Tuesday happens to fall on St David's Day this year [1st March], which means that there may have to be a choice between pancakes and Welsh cakes. But don't despair, whichever you choose we have all the ingredients needed.

Pancakes were traditionally eaten on the day before the start of Lent [Ash Wednesday] as a way of using up dairy products before the fasting began. The pancake has been around a long time and was first mentioned in ancient Greece in about 600BC. But it was not until 1445 that Olney, Buckinghamshire, began the tradition of its annual pancake race. Traditionally, their winner gets a kiss from the church bell ringer. Presumably that was until covid came along.

Welsh cakes, also known as bakestones or pics, are a tasty treat anytime but would be especially appropriate on their patron saint's day. Not that St David would be eating Welsh cakes. It is said that he was a teetotal and a vegetarian who lived off water and leeks. Bet he was good fun to be next to!

Traditional Welsh cakes are made using self-raising flour, caster sugar, butter or margarine, sultanas and eggs.

  • 8oz self-raising flour
  • 4 oz margarine or butter
  • 1 or 2 free-range eggs, depending on mixture
  • 2 oz caster sugar
  • 1 or 2 handfuls of sultanas

Method:

  • Sieve the flour into a bowl, then rub in finely the butter or margarine.

  • Add sugar and sultanas and mix.
  • Add 1 egg and mix. The consistency needs to be bound together, if too dry, add another egg.
  • Roll out on a floured board to about 1/4" thick.
  • Cut using a 2" [approx.] cutter. Cook on a greased pan or bake stone, on a medium heat for about 4 to 5 minutes each side.
  • The exact cooking length will depend on what you are cooking on, but keep a close eye - too short a period won't be cooked in the middle, and cooked for too long and they will be dry. When touched during cooking, they should feel springy, but not wet to the touch. No mixture should come out of the middle.
  • Once cooked, dust with caster sugar and enjoy!

9



FINANCE

2021 has been another strange year during which the Newsletter has continued as normal.

Traditionally, F is for February and Finance but, as you are probably aware, I shall be giving up editing and producing the Newsletter following the October issue, No. 200.

As yet no one has come forward to take on the task but readers whose subscriptions for receiving their copies by post now need renewing, have received a letter,

A £5.00 payment, plus any donation they wish to make which will be very welcome, will ensure they receive their Newsletter until October.

Payments can be made by cheque to Berrynarbor Newsletter or BACS Account Berrynarbor Newsletter, Account No. 85446060, Sort Code 30-98-97. Thank you.

Judie

 

10



THOUGHT FOR THE NEW YEAR

It has been a difficult and challenging couple of years, catching most people by surprise, with the changes and uncertainty of Brexit and then the devastating impact of COVID in the world as well as in individual lives. Our way of working and living has had to change and the future is still very unclear.

I was reminded the other day by the opening words of a poem that was read by George VI during his 1939 Christmas speech (apparently handed to him on that occasion by his wife, Queen Elizabeth.

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
"Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown."
And he replied:
"Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way."
So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night.
And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.

We may not know what is going to happen in this coming year but we can know the One who promises to lead us, be with us, help us and give us a deep heart peace even as we go into the unknown. God is not far off, remote or uninterested in our lives but as Christmas has just reminded us - He became one of us and so lived among us, our Immanuel [God with us] in order that we might know Him, trust Him and experience Him living within us by His Spirit, day by day.

John Chaplin

The words spoken by George VI, struck a chord with a country facing the uncertainly of war. They were the preamble to the poem, God Knows, written in 1908, but nobody was able to identify the poet.

Finally at midnight on Boxing Day the BBC announced that the author was Minnie Louise Haskins, a retired LSE academic. The poem was just a small part of a career which had encompassed working in India and the East End, industrial welfare and acadamia.

Minnie Hoskins was born and educated near Bristol where she studied informally at University College, Bristol, while undertaking voluntary work for the local Congregational Church. By 1903 she was working in Lambeth for the Springfield Hall Wesleyan Methodist mission and in 1907 she departed for Madras with the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society to work in the Zenana mission to women.

In 1912, to raise funds, she published a small volume of poetry, The Desert, which included the poem God Knows, originally written in 1908, to which she added the famous preamble.

In 1915, poor health made her return to England where she ran a munitions workers' hostel in Woolwich for six months. This was followed by three years supervising the labour management department of a controlled factory in Silvertown, West Ham. Somehow, she found time to publish a second volume of poetry, The Potter in 1918.

At the age of 43, Minnie studied at the London School of Economics for the Social Science Certificate under Agatha Harrison, who had been appointed in 1917 to the first British academic post devoted to industrial welfare. After gaining the Certificate with Distinction in 1919, Minnie took the Diploma in Sociology, gaining a further Distinction in 1920. From 1919 to 1939 she worked as a tutor in the Social Science Department where the senior tutor described her as:

A woman of unusual capacity and character - a rare understanding and sympathy and infinite patience, combined with a great deal of love and interest in people.

Haskins in later lifeClosely involved with the establishment of the Institute of Industrial Welfare Workers, the precursor to the Institute of Personnel Management, now the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, Minnie edited its monthly bulletin.

This was followed by successful publishing, including two novels and a further volume of poetry.

After her 1939 retirement, Haskins returned to the School during the Second World War, finally retiring in 1944. She died in Kent and Sussex Hospital, Tunbridge Wells on 3rd February 1957. Her words live on, inscribed at the entrance to the George VI memorial chapel in St George's Chapel, Windsor, and in a window at the Queen's Chapel of the Savoy. The poem was read at the funeral of Elizabeth, the Queen Mother in 2002.

11



9

CROSSWORD CORNER

David Beagley

 

1

2

 

3

 

 

4

5

 

6

 

 

7

 

 

 

 

 

8

 

 

 

 

 

9

10

 

 

 

 

 

11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14

 

 

 

 

15

 

16

 

 

 

 

17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18

 

 

 

 

 

 

19

 

 

 

 

20

 

 

 

 

21

 

 

 

 

 

 

22

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

23

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

24

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

25

 

 

 

 

 

26

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACROSS

DOWN

1. Rogue 2. Gold measure
4. Flashy '60's dresser 3. Amalgamations
10. Copier makers 5. Land surrounded by water
11. Worst looking 6. Stop happening
12. Gate crasher 7. Displays
13. Part of DNA 8. Top lady
15. Permeated 9. Make stronger
17. Scrap store dressers 14. Russian grandma
19. Still 16. Accept as true
20. Donate 18. Prepared
23. Annoyed 21. Moses' brother
24. Large white bird 22. What this is!
25. Lucky number?  
26. Tease  
Solution in Article 42.

12



JUMPING OUT OF A PLANE!

Last year was the worst year I've ever had to face. Learning that my then 14-year-old daughter had a rare bone cancer, Ewings Sarcoma, was shattering news. That it was completely curable gave us hope as a family but we learnt that the treatment journey could take a year and would likely culminate in a life-changing operation. 

Poppy was prescribed 14 sessions of extremely intense chemotherapy, alternating every 2 weeks between 5 and 2-night stays in either Bristol Royal Children's Hospital or Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital. We then also learnt there would be a 6 week stay in Manchester for proton beam therapy. The chemotherapy is one of the worst regimes possible and we were told to expect delays due to infections which would require intravenous antibiotics & also regular blood transfusions. 

Devastating news for anyone to hear but I'm so proud to say that Poppy has faced it with sheer determination and strength. She only had one need for IV antibiotics but wasn't actually ill. She only needed 3 blood transfusions. The treatment lasted exactly seven months. I'm convinced this was due to Poppy's amazing courage and looking after herself well. She decided against the operation as the other treatment had been so successful.

In the middle of all of this, my son Corey [then 17] gave us a scare as he was rushed into hospital with a ridiculously high BP of 268/168 - yes, you read that right! Fortunately, following many tests it was found that there were no underlying issues and he was just unlucky to have unnaturally high bp, this has now been controlled with medication.  Corey has since decided to jump out of a plane in a tandem skydive to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust and he's raised so much already.

Seeing Poppy battle against this so bravely and having had so much support from Young Lives Vs Cancer, it made me wonder what I could do to help. I have a huge fear of heights but have started to overcome that in recent years by going on rollercoasters. I've decided to join Corey and do a skydive on Friday18th March this year, you can read my story and donate if you wish by going to www.justgiving.com and searching for my story by typing Emma Stratton, it's entitled 'Emma's jumping out of a plane',

Emma

Young Lives vs Cancer, previously "CLIC Sargent", is a charity in the United Kingdom formed in 2005. Young Lives vs Cancer is the UK's leading cancer charity for children, young people and their families. Its care teams provide specialist support across the UK. 

13



 

PRIMARY SCHOOL UPDATE

A belated Happy New Year to all our friends in the community. Following the last Newsletter, we are sad to report that we had to cancel our walking nativity procession and other Christmas events due to cases of COVID19 in our school community. We were all very sad not to be able to celebrate this special time of year as a whole community. The children, as ever, rose to the challenge when asked to make lanterns to help us light our way during the planned walking nativity - a selection of photos follow. We think they did a great job and what a shame it was we couldn't use them as planned.

At the time of writing, we are grappling with the continuing pandemic and this is affecting both our pupil and staff populations. We have continued to plan our exciting curriculum for the children - thankyou to all our staff, children and families who are continuing to support us. In addition to all the lovely activities going on in class [please see our website www.westberryfederation.org.uk for more information about our curriculum], we are hoping to take the children on a number of trips this term. It is so important we continue to broaden their horizons and embody our motto, Streams Today, Oceans Tomorrow.

We are looking forward to celebrating World Book Day on the 3rd March with an Around the World fancy dress theme. This is followed by STEM week where we shall be exploring the wonderful world of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. Years 5&6 across the Federation will be going to London - our first long distance trip for quite some time! We shall be complementing our RE curriculum with a trip to Exeter to explore places of worship and our little ones will be out and about in the community at one of our local wildlife parks.

Finally, we are really looking forward to welcoming parents back into school for open books afternoon. This will be the first time parents have been able to visit us since 2020 - even parent evenings have been virtual throughout our time under restriction! We shall also be looking to appoint some new pupil leaders to help us with our charity work, comment on the curriculum and how we can improve further and lead play for our younger pupils. Being the best we can be - committed to making a difference remains our number one priority, despite the continuing pandemic.

Look out for some photos of all these activities in the next edition of the Newsletter. In the meantime, we extend best wishes to all our supporters in the community.

Su Carey, Faye Poynter and the whole Staff Team


 


14




FOR ALL ASPECTS OF GARDEN
MAINTENANCE - NO JOB TOO BIG OR TOO SMALL

CALL JAKE ON;

07849 763281 or 07584 075197
 
Local Lad Local Rates

 
I Mow Down The Competition
******
You Make The Call - I Do The Rest
******
Keep Calm - And Let Me Carry on Gardening!
******
Strimming, Grass Cutting, Hedge Trimming, Planting, Clearance



15



 

NEWS FROM BERRYNARBOR PRE-SCHOOL

A first teste of education

Last term the children helped to plant bulbs and winter flowers in the new planter in the Communication Corner at Pre-school. This area allows the children to share their learning with their parents, grandparents and carers. We wait to see what colour the flowers will be in spring. We also made bird feeders, filling pine cones with seed cake which the birds seem to love.

Our learning covered celebrations such as Halloween, Bonfire Night, Diwali and Christmas. Room on the Broom story - still a favourite with the children, as they enjoyed repeating the familiar phrases and rhymes. Cats, bats and pumpkin pictures of different sizes developed the children's Maths knowledge. Bonfire Night where safety was discussed, along with a role play camp fire, toasting marshmallows and drinking hot chocolate. Yummy! We celebrated the festival of light - Diwali - making diyas candle holders, cards and henna hand print pictures. We celebrated Christmas with the story of Christmas, songs, music and crafts not forgetting all the glitter!

As we start our Spring Term, we welcome all our new children and their families who join us and hope they enjoy their learning journey.

Spring Term Topic of learning

As we move into winter, our topic this term will cover the changes in our weather, how to care for ourselves and how to care for farm animals in the cold.

We shall introduce new stories, support good listening, extend vocabulary by introducing new words and build upon role play scenarios.

The children have already chosen a story - The Little Blue Tractor.

Using the Early Year Foundation Stage criteria, we shall:

  • Support children to manage their emotions, develop a positive sense of self, set themselves simple goals, have confidence in their own abilities, to persist and wait for what they want and direct attention as necessary.
  • Through conversation, story-telling and role play, children will share their ideas with support and modelling from us. We shall use sensitive questioning that invites them to elaborate and become comfortable using a rich range of vocabulary and language structures.
  • Repeated and varied opportunity to explore and play with small world activities, puzzles, arts and crafts. To practice using small tools, with feedback and support from us that allow the children to develop skills in control and confidence.

We hope to share some of our learning via the Communication Corner/garden by the back gate. Please come along and see what the children have done.

Events

We were all truly blown away by everyone's support and contribution towards our fundraising events last term. In these difficult times, we had to find different ways to fundraise while keeping everyone safe.

Bingo Evening

We managed to hold a Bingo Evening; socially distanced and well organised by our committee with Lynne and Harriet from the Old Station Inn calling the numbers. We managed to raise £243.50

Christmas Raffle

Our Christmas raffle was a great success raising a brilliant £925.00!!

Thanks go to Sarah for organising this event, acquiring all the amazing prizes, advertising the event and running the draw with Jody. We have such a generous community and hope that if you took part, you were a winner.

All these funds go towards improving the Pre-school room both inside and outside as well as purchasing new activities.

Best wishes from all at Pre-school

16



Artwork: Paul Swailes
 

MANOR HALL TRUST

In December we hosted another wreath making afternoon. It was well attended and we had a fun afternoon with many lovely wreaths and festive table decorations created. A big thank you to Sue Neale who generously gave up her time to give us her expert guidance on making them.

On Sunday 5th December we hosted a Christmas Craft Fayre. Despite continued restrictions, many people came and enjoyed the festive offerings. Thanks again to all our kind helpers on the day. Our thanks also go to Father Christmas who turned up and showed a remarkable resemblance to Tony Kitchin!


Winter is generally a quiet time in the hall and sadly as covid continues to affect us, some events which we should normally enjoy around now have had to be cancelled or postponed.

Once again, we appreciate and send our grateful thanks to the Newsletter for a donation from the Christmas Messages and Wendy for the donation from the Christmas Eve carol singing.

2022 is another year of continued maintenance and improvements. If you would like to know more about what goes on in our village hall and would be interested in helping in anyway, we should very much welcome any enquiries.

Julia Fairchild - Chairman [882783]
Alan Hamilton
- Treasurer [07905445072]
Bookings
- yvonnefrancis10@gmail.com

17



JACKDAW TIME OF DAY
Virginia Evans

Four o'clock
on a winter afternoon
Is jackdaw time of day
 
They fly over the church and
Over the woods
In sociable groups
Djaaking
 
Not raucously rawking like
argumentative rooks
Or crossly cawing like
Complaining crows
 
jackdaws just amiably gossiply
Djaaking.

Illustrated by: Paul Swailes

18




19




20



 

BERRYNARBOR WINE CIRCLE

In water one sees one's own face, but in wine one beholds
the heart of another. French Proverb

Covid-criteria suggested that as a large gathering, of nearly 40 people, we were better off doing our own thing for our Christmas event this year. We are so lucky in this village to have such a lovely well-maintained space as our Manor Hall, and, usually, most members walk to this venue; however, on this occasion most were laden with baskets and boxes of home-prepared food for this do!

Proceedings began with a French Rose Champagne, a first for many of us. We'd never heard of Marchand Delpech Laborie, but it went down well! We followed this with another first, a Welsh white: Glyndwr Regional Dry; many of us were agreeably surprised! At this point, we should usually have another white, but we changed direction and followed this with three fruity reds: a Portuguese Marques de Borba, 2018, a Tall Gum Reserve, 2020, obviously an Ozzie red, then a Vilarissa Grande Reserve, 2019, another Portuguese product. This last red was a punchy 15%.

We tend not to include dessert wines at our monthly Wine Circle events, because, quite simply, we don't have desserts! Our Christmas event is a very different matter and based around a three-course meal, therefore, a dessert wine was appropriate. A Leacock's Saint John Madeira was an excellent finale: for the meal, the evening and our final meeting of 2021.

Call My Wine Bluff is a highlight on our seasonal calendar; it is, quite literally, a laugh a minute about our liquid quiz! I think I can say safely that everybody looks forward to this annual event. Six wines are tasted, BUT these are completely foil-wrapped, concealing all clues as to their content. The panel, usually three committee members, provide three options for each bottle.

Questions are posed: who gave the correct description, what was its price and its year? It's not rocket science, but it is a guessing game for most! None of us are connoisseurs or afficionados. Jokers can be used, a max of five points awarded per wine and the winners are given a small prize.

The whites started with an Australian 2016 Riesling, this grape type is perceived, usually, as being German or Austrian; the Rawsons Retreat should have been £9.99, but was £4.99. Hungarian wines are unfamiliar sights on retail shelves or otherwise; however, the next was a 2019 Royal Tokaji Dry, £10.99 (£12.99). The final white was a 2014 Muscadet Le Pallet, £9.33 instead of £13.99.

A Remy Febras Cotes du Rhone, 2017, followed, £5.99, instead of £9.99. An organic, 2020, Chinon Lulu L'Alouette, from the Loire was our fifth; it should have been £12.99, but Tony Summers, Chairman and Bluff-organiser, had paid £9.99. The Spanish red finale was a 2016 Bardos del Duero and the dearest surprise of the night: £14.99 instead of £17.99.

It was a Majestic evening and a great deal of fun'

We hope to see you next month: Wednesday, 16th February, Nigel Pound, ex-Totnes Wines, will provide chat and wine!

Judith Adam - Promotional Co-ordinator

21



FEBRUARY

George Walter Thornbury

The time when skies are free from cloud,
Though still the robin whistles loud
In the bare garden croft.
The catkin, on the hazel tree,
Mistakes for summer flower the bee,
And round it hovers oft.

22




STORM IN A TEACUP

VACANCIES

Come and work with a fabulous group of ladies in our busy little boat cafe! We are looking for reliable people with a hospitality and customer focussed background to join our hardworking, fun and friendly team.

Roles include working in a busy kitchen, Barista duties, front of house, including taking orders, serving, clearing and cleaning.

Experience preferred but not absolutely necessary.

We have full and part-time positions available, these include weekdays and weekends.

Look forward to hearing from you!

PM or e-mail laura.storminateacup@gmail.com
with your details. Thank you, Laura

Keep a look-out for our sailing times 2022!


23



Artwork: Harry Weedon
 

BERRY IN BLOOM

Happy new year to all of you. Let's hope that 2022 is happy and healthy for us all.

Berry in Bloom held a Christmas themed Fun Quiz in December with mince pies, sausage rolls, pigs in blankets and other seasonal goodies. Phil was once again our Quiz Master and the musical bingo round he set with Christmas carols was fiendish, so well done to anyone who got a full house. Thank you to the shop for providing us with lots of goodies for a Christmas hamper. After expenses we made around £300.

The carol singing in the square with mulled wine and mince pies was very well attended. It was a fine evening, although a bit of panic set in as it poured with rain all that afternoon and at one time we thought we might have to open the Manor Hall. Thank you to everyone who donated wine, 34 bottles and we still had only enough to go round! Thanks to Nic at The Globe for the mince pies plus extra donated by Berry in Bloom and the new Christmas lights provided by the Parish Council added to the atmosphere. There was a collection made of £364.00. Half went to the Manor Hall and half to the Devon Air Ambulance. A lovely way to start Christmas.

We were donated some plugs of the common but beautiful primrose and have planted them in the grass verge at the car park. Let's hope we shall soon see their cheerful little flowers telling us spring has arrived.

This coming year we are hoping to recruit some new members, as the old saying goes 'tempus fugit' and some of the bloomers are beginning to show their age! So, would any of you young villagers like to come and help keep the village looking ship-shape and well loved? If you think you can, just contact me, Wendy Applegate, on 07436811657.

24



Artwork: Angela Bartlett
 

Artwork: Angela Bartlett

25



WALLY THE WOLF

In 1900 there was the first sighting of Wall the Wolf. It was at Hagginton Hill where he was observed, as he plodded his way to the village.

At first people were afraid of him and would give him a wide berth, but soon though, children would walk alongside him without being worried at all.

Soon Wally became part of village life and folk would put food out for him, although sometimes he would provide himself with a baby rabbit or so.

Wally was so friendly and was photographed with villagers sitting on the church steps with him. There was talk of a photograph of this taken on an old plate camera, although the whereabouts of this is not known.

Wally lived in the village for some time, sleeping, it is thought, under a garden shed in Barton Lane.

Unfortunately, having lived a good life and being loved by everyone, he was found one day dead on the edge of the water at Newberry beach. It was presumed that he had fallen off the cliff.

Lovely old Wally, he was sadly missed.

Tony Beauclerk - Stowmarket

Illustrated by - Paul Swailes

26




27




28



THE MEN'S TRIP 1962

Edith Clayton - Price 6d Proceeds to Holme Village Hall

There's one day in the year that's important,
On this day there must not be a slip.
It's thought of, it's talked of, it's dreamed of for weeks
And this day is known as the Men's Trip.
 
First, there's a meeting for the members
To make sure that they all want to go.
Well, of course they're all ready to get a day off
So what's the meeting for, I don't know!
 
Well, they settle it first that they are going,
Then there's a meeting to get to know where.
The Lake District's always been popular
But last year it were Shrewsbury Fair.
 
But some didn't like it, the beer was two bob,
An they all felt that they had been done.
Harry Hinchliffe said "Damn it all, I'll pay 1/6 but I
Want tanner change for some fun!"
 
So, this year the Lake District were favoured,
It were settled without any fuss.
Then they all met once more by arrangement
To see who would see about bus.
 
Harold goes down to Baddeleys, then come up to Bob.
An then Bob goes belting to Roy,
Roy pops round to Ernest's and Ernest tells Rex,
And their hearts are all leaping with joy.
 
"But there's one fly in the ointment!" says Harold,
There be some empty seat, so they say.
I say I'll fill your bus up with women!"
Bob says, "We want no women that day!"
 
"Women are all right in their places,
If we are wanting some cakes for a stall,
Some parkin or toffee for the bonfire,
But when you've said that, you've said all!"
 
Roy says "Let's have do an give 'em hot dogs,
And if they don't like 'em klthey are funny ones.
Bob says, "Put my Edith down for some sausages."
Frank says, "Helen, I'm sure 'er'l do onions."
 
"Nay lad, that's my wife's privilege,
and I would not dare to vex.
Up to now Elsie's allus done the onions."
"And Elsie ull do 'em," says Rex.
 
I've digressed from my theme, was on about trip
They'ne provisionally ordered the bus.
Next on the Agenda is fixing the date,
So they met cos they had that to discuss.
 
Bob says "I am not fussy on which day we go
As long as there's plenty to sup."
So they all study hard and thrash it well out
And they think that they'ne got it fixed up.

But Arthur Hadfield, consulting his diary
Says, "I'm sorry but I'll be away,
For I've booked for my lodgings near Buxton
And I hope to be fishing that day."
 
Now Arthur, grand chap, says "I don't want to spoil things
So just leave me out of coach."
But they all said "Nay, lad, we're depending on thee
To keep sober when we've had too much!"
 
Percy says "Can't we have it a bit later on?
There's been some grand days then I remember."
So at last it was settled and all was fixed up
For the 29th of September.
 
There's a meeting then for fixing the time
And a notice to put in the Co-op.
Then they all run round asking the other if they've seen it
In the window of the shop.
 
Then comes Friday night and they all have their bath,
On other Friday nights they're really quite clean.
But they fettle their feet and they cut their toenails
You'd think they were going to see the Queen.
 
And as soon as the alarm goes, Bob hops out of bed,
Gulps his tea, and fessons his shirt.
Then he brushes his trousers and looks at his shoes
To make sure they are quite free from dirt.

He's had all his ties out of the drawer day before
To see which goes with his suit best,
For if owt didn't match, well! It would be crime
The folk in Lakeland, you see, might be vexed.
 
An then the bus comes in . . . such excitement!
You ne'er saw such a fuss an palaver.
They all dash for bus wi ten minutes to spare,
An they all sit and wait for yar Arthur!
 
Then the bus goes out and we're left on our own,
But we are in no desperate plight.
We relax and do just what we like
And they all come back happy at night.
 
They'ne had their one day, its been perfect,
There hasn't been one single slip,
And we hope that they all have a good Do next year
When they go once again on Men's Trip!


Illustrated by: Paul Swailes

Contributed by Bob Hobson

29



NATURE NOTES NO. 9
A tough time for nesting birds in 2021
Tim Davis

In December the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) released its first assessment of the 2021 breeding season. Two surveys carried out across the country every year, the Constant Effort Sites (CES) scheme and the Nest Record Scheme (NRS), both suggest it was a disastrous year for many of our smaller birds.

In the CES, which has been running since 1983, bird ringers monitor birds in exactly the same places, over the same time period, at regular intervals through the breeding season at over 140 sites throughout Britain and Ireland. This standardised approach allows population trends to be calculated, including the abundance of both adults and juveniles, for 24 species of common songbird. Of these, 18 produced significantly fewer young last year, the outcomes being consistently poor for migrant warblers and resident tits, thrushes and finches alike.

Meanwhile the NRS gathers information on the breeding success of birds by asking experienced volunteers to find and follow the progress of individual birds' nests (without inadvertently disturbing those nests). Each year, hundreds of volunteers submit observations of nests they have monitored. This information is combined to assess the impacts that changes in the environment, such as habitat loss and a warming climate, have on the number of fledglings that birds can rear. Some people watch a single nestbox in their back garden, while others find and monitor multiple nests of a whole range of species. As with all BTO surveys, the welfare of birds is paramount, and all nest recorders follow an established Code of Conduct designed to ensure that monitoring a nest does not influence its outcome.

In 2021 these two schemes showed that breeding success was well below average across the UK thanks to the poor weather in late spring and early summer. Birds either failed to fledge young, in part due to a lack of insects, or their fledglings succumbed to the cold, wet conditions after leaving the nest. In May, for example, rainfall across much of the South West was more than double the long-term average and it was also an especially chilly month, following a cold but exceptionally dry April.

Populations of most passerine species can bounce back quickly with a run of good breeding seasons, so let's hope that 2022 proves to be a bumper year for all of our songbirds.

For information about all BTO surveys, and how to take part, visit www.bto.org

Nuthatch - the combination of a very cold April and a wet May caused the failure of a breeding attempt in a Sterridge Valley nestbox last year (photo by Mark Darlaston)

Greenfinch, House Martin and Swift move into the Red

With UK population declines for Greenfinch (67% since 1969),

House Martin (57% since 1969) and Swift (58% since 1995), all have now sadly joined the Red List of 'Birds of Conservation Concern'. The fifth review of the status of birds in the UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man, published in December, provides an assessment of the status of 245 species with breeding, passage (i.e. migrant) or wintering populations in the UK. The full Red List has grown by three to 70 species, now including Yellowhammer, Lapwing, Skylark, Puffin and Nightingale. The assessments are based largely on data gathered by volunteers through BTO-led surveys.

For more about the ups and downs of our bird populations, visit www.bto.org/our-science/publications/birds-conservation-concern

30




31



OLD MRS. PELLINGTON'S NEW YEAR BLESSING

Little Dorothy Williams was only 14 years old but already the nicest young girl you could ever wish to meet. Polite. Kind. Considerate. Generous. Pretty. And bright with it too. Eager to help other people at the drop of a hat. Quite an extraordinary girl really. Her mum called her 'Sam' after the Good Samaritan. But everyone else in the village called her Dot or Dotty.

It was a bit nippy the morning Dorothy went into town on the bus to shop. She loved Christmas shopping, and had been saving up her meagre pocket money all year. She only had one present to buy. For her mum. They lived alone. She also planned to buy a Santa figurine for herself that she had seen ages ago in a gift shop window.

Dorothy was happy and excited as she skipped along the high street pavement after buying her mum the perfect pair of red cashmere mittens. Just as she reached the gift shop to get the figurine, she spotted old Mrs. Pellington, one of her neighbours, standing by the taxi rank holding a big heavy bag and looking most forlorn.

Poor Mrs. Pellington was well over 90 and had a weak heart. Dorothy had been helping her clean the house and chatting with her for hours after school almost every day for the past year. They both liked each other well.

  • "Are you alright Mrs. Pellington?"
  • "No love. I can't get home. The last bus has gone and I've no money for the taxi. He won't take me anyway because I've lost my face mask."
  • "Lucky we met then Mrs. Pellington. I've got a spare mask and I'm taking a taxi back to the village myself."

Truth was that Dorothy was planning to walk home after spending her last £10 on the Santa figurine. Never mind, she thought. She helped her old lady friend into the back seat and they set off back to Mrs. Pellington's tiny cottage.

It was getting terribly cold and dark as she carried the heavy bag into the cottage and put it on the kitchen table. There was a frozen chicken for her Christmas dinner, potatoes and some Brussel sprouts in the bag. Much too much for a weak old lady to struggle with. She then smiled at Mrs. Pellington and helped her to sit in her favourite armchair. In fact, it was her only armchair.

  • "I'll make you a nice cup of tea and light the fire for you."

Mrs. Pellington stared at Dorothy with love in her eyes and such a sincere and friendly smile so intense it could melt your heart.

  • "Thank you, darling girl. You are so kind to me. I wish you were my daughter."

The small front room soon got warm and, when Dotty saw that the old lady was happy again, she gave her a kiss and left.

  • "Hello Sam. Spent all your money then?"
  • "Yes mum. I'm as poor as a church mouse again."
  • "Don't worry dear, it's the Christmas Eve market in the village tomorrow and we'll sell all the mince pies and plum puddings I've made and buy one of farmer John's fat turkeys for our dinner."

The village Christmas Eve market was always a joyous event. Everyone brought something to sell or trade with their neighbours. The trees and fences around the cobbled church courtyard would be festooned with bright coloured lights, and the wooden stalls would glisten with coloured candles and shiny decorations. A true festive occasion that made everyone feel good. Free hot mugs of gluhwein were always there to drink and the vicar's wife, whose father was Dutch, would walk around dressed as a Swart Piet ** handing out sweet biscuits and candy. Colonel Parker, who makes his own gin to sell on his market stall, plays the same Bing Crosby Christmas CD every year on his portable player. He always drinks more than he sells, which makes people laugh when he starts to talk nonsense. Mrs. Williams and Dorothy would have a good time.

** Zwarte Piet is the companion of Saint Nicholas in the folklore of the Low Countries. The earliest known illustration of the character comes from an 1850 book by Amsterdam schoolteacher Jan Schenkman in which he was depicted as a black Moor from Spain.

That Christmas Eve, all Mrs. Williams mince pies and puddings were soon sold and there was even money left over after buying their Christmas turkey. Dorothy's mum said she could use some to buy one of Mrs. Philips Lemon Drizzle cakes to give to old Mrs. Pellington.

  • "Oh, haven't you heard Dotty?" said Mrs Philips, "Sally Pellington died last night. Covid, they think. She wasn't well you know. So sad. Such a lovely old lady."

Dorothy nearly dropped the cake and started to cry. She ran back to her mum and sobbed uncontrollably in her arms.

Everyone in the village turned up for the church service the day after Boxing Day. Dorothy and her mum sat in the front pew. The vicar told how Sally Pellington had no living relatives. No brothers or sisters. No children. She had lived by herself for nearly ten years since her husband, Fred Pellington, had died. A lonely old lady who never missed church on a Sunday, but had few friends apart from young Dorothy. It was a short service, not much to be said, and then Mrs. Pellington was laid to rest alongside her husband in the village graveyard.

Dorothy was much troubled by her friend's death. The day after the funeral, she bought a dozen white roses from Lidl - on special offer - and laid them on the grave. She spoke to Mrs. Pellington as if she were still alive and told her that she loved her and missed her very much.

That night she slept a troubled sleep. She dreamt that her old friend came back from the dead and gave her a beautiful gold necklace with an angel pendant to thank her for her kindness with the taxi ride home.

At least Dorothy thought it was a dream until her mum changed the bed linen and found an angel pendant necklace under her pillow.

  • "Is this what you bought yourself for Christmas Sam?" her mum asked.
  • "What? No! I've never seen it before. Well, I did see one in a dream last night."
  • "In your dreams? This is a real necklace Sam. And it looks expensive. Where did you get it?"
  • "I don't know how it got there mum. Honest! I dreamt that Mrs. Pellington came to see me and gave it to me."
  • "Mrs. Pellington is dead Sam."
  • "I know mum."
  • "Then we had better take it to the police station in town."
  • "Why mum? I'd like to keep it . . . please."
  • "We'll keep it for now, and I'll ask around the village to see if anyone has lost a necklace. It must be quite valuable."

The angel pendant necklace stayed on the mantlepiece for several days. No one in the village claimed it.



Illustrated by: Debbie Rigler-Cook

On New Year's Day there was a jumble sale in the village hall. Dorothy went with her mum who bought a well-worn leather jacket, sheepskin lined, for just £5. Perfect for the winter. A pile of books caught Dorothy's eye. She had seen the same ones in Mrs.Pellington's living room. "Must be from the house clearance," Dorothy thought.

There was a shoe box next to the books. She opened it to find old wedding and holiday photographs and postcards from France and Spain. The best photograph of all was a professional studio portrait of a beautiful young girl. Printed on the photograph was 'Sally Marshall 1947'.

There it was! Mrs. Pellington, nee Marshall, was wearing the gold necklace with the angel pendant.

  • "Mum! Mum! Look!" Dorothy cried.
  • "Oh, my goodness," exclaimed her mother.

Shocked and confused, they walked slowly back home. It was getting late and the temperature was falling. Mrs. Williams lit the fire and piled it high with logs. Mother and daughter both pulled their armchairs close to the warmth. They rested the angel pendant necklace on top of the table between them and sat staring at it and pondering over what this could all mean. Mrs. Pellington had died the night before Christmas Eve. There was no way she could have given Dorothy the necklace. Or was there?

Suddenly the room lights went out and they were left with just the flickering glow of the long woodfire flames. As Mrs. Williams went to get up to check the fuse box, her mouth fell open and her eyes widened. She saw a ghostly apparition standing by the kitchen door. Dorothy turned to see what had scared her mum so much.

  • "Mrs. Pellington!" Dorothy gasped.
  • "Don't be afraid Dotty. I can't stay long. They have let me come back to tell you about the necklace. My father gave it to me for my eighteenth birthday. Now it is yours my dear child. You have been such a sweet angel to me Dotty. So kind and thoughtful. Wear it and it will give you an even greater gift. The gift of Peace and Happiness. I love you, Dotty. Have a long and happy life."

The ghost of Mrs. Pellington then faded and disappeared. The lights came back on. All was as it was. Mrs. Williams held her daughter tight for quite a while. They sat in silence with just the crackle and sparks of logs burning away.

  • "Did that really happen mummy? Did I really see Mrs. Pellington again?"
  • "I think so Sam. Miracles do happen if you're a believer. Mrs. Pellington was here. I saw her too and felt her strong presence. She truly loved you Sam as much as I do. And now you have the most wonderful gift to celebrate the New Year. Happiness. So, let's rejoice and face the coming years with pride."

Mike M

32



BERRY BLUE BOOBS

New Year's Day the start of the new year
What can we do that will raise a cheer?
Something wild to shock everyone.
Something different, something fun.
 
Let's swim in the sea and raise a penny or two
That's something different, we girls could do.
You never know it might be something we like
And money raised can go toward a South West Blood Bike.
 
We donned our fancy dress and drove to Hele Bay.
Crazy young ladies, I hear you all say.
The Berry Blue Boobs was the name of our team.
Five nervous ladies the likes you've never seen.
 
But we were determined to do this thing right
We were prepared, against our nerves we would fight.
Holding hands, we ran into the sea
Never realising just how cold it would be.
 
We raced into the sea with all of the crowd
Determined to make our families proud.
We battled the waves not making a fuss
Everyone was cheering, encouraging each one of us.
 
And when we had finished and were back on dry land
Warming our bodies, brushing off the sand.
We were thrilled with our achievement of what we had done.
What a way to start the year, what a way to have fun.
 
After the event we were delighted with all the support.
We got far more money than we would ever have thought.
£700 was the total amount that we raised.
When we told South West Blood Bikes, they were truly amazed.
 
So next New Year's Day you know what you can do
Dig out a swimsuit and you can come too.
Berry Blue Boobs will be out there once again.
With a bigger group of ladies, all a little insane!
 

Pam R


Genuinely, huge thanks for your support from

Tee, Michelle, Pam, Jenny and Terri

33



Artwork: Helen Weedon
 

RURAL REFLECTIONS - 103

In my 100th article I reflected upon the material I had covered in previous contributions and, in so doing, found that they fell into distinct categories. For example, whilst some were about wildflowers, insects or trees, others related to the seasons or the weather. Another topic was also featured, albeit unintentionally, when I realised that the last twenty-plus years since that first offering have also followed me, quite literally, through the course of six property moves. The first was our move from Brighton to Ilfracombe in 2000 and then ten years later a brief stay in Combe Martin before heading to Riddlecombe. Just over twelve months later we upped sticks again, this time to Yelland. An unexpected job loss led to a further move to Weston-super-Mare within eighteen months.

The reasons for our move away from North Devon - and sacrificing as a consequence living in rural surroundings - have been mentioned in previous jottings, but for the relevance of this article it is worth recapping the three main reasons that led to our move to Weston. Firstly, we were specifically looking at locations along the M5 corridor where we felt there would be better job opportunities. Secondly, we had both previously lived in large conurbations and felt confident we should be able to adapt back to an urban lifestyle. But, most significant of all, we adore the Art Deco period with its unique architecture and decor - and stepping into the bungalow that we found was like entering a time warp back to the 1930's.

However, despite finding what we thought was our ideal property, it did not turn out to be our forever home. On reflection, the appeal of the bungalow perhaps outweighed its location, for it is fair to say we did not do our research. For example, we failed to acknowledge that the fields of the Somerset Levels are "what they say on the tin", dead flat, and in our view, lacking in character. As time progressed, we began to realise how we had come to take for granted North Devon's rolling pasture. So, with a strong yearn to once more live within a scenic rural environment, we placed our bungalow on the market. This time though there would be no swift exchange of contracts, for we had learnt the vital importance of spending time doing one's geographical homework. What's more, unlike our move to Weston which was driven by a desire to be close to the M5, this next search was to have no boundaries. And so, over the next eighteen months our quest for a new home took us as far north as Worcestershire and down as far as Cornwall. We excluded North Devon as we have a philosophy that one should never move back.

Like anyone else seeking somewhere to live, we had certain specifications that we hoped both the property and the location would meet. To our joy Brown Bracken, situated just on the outskirts of Minehead, ticked most of the boxes. It was in a rural setting without being remote; the lounge has an open fire; amenities are close at hand; it has a good-sized back garden for our three Labradors; local dog walks are in abundance; the bungalow has character [including a serving hatch - so handy!]; and the kitchen had the facility to have Aggie - our Aga - reinstalled. But, most important of all the bungalow and its location provided the three essentials that our Art Deco paradise could not offer. Privacy, tranquility and an outlook.

These three specifications were to pay valuable dividends for me personally when, twelve months after moving, my life would temporarily go on hold. Thankfully, my mental shut down was very short lived - just three weeks - but I am certain it would have lasted longer had I not had the environment in which I now live to recuperate. It is hard to put into words what actually happened. I can only say that it felt as though my brain had pulled down its shutters and placed a notice saying "closed until further notice"; and just before doing so, it sent a message of warning to my body: "Your adrenaline tank is empty. Refueling can only commence with rest and relaxation. Until then, you will be unable to give of yourself to others." To give an example, I could not even face talking to people. Sending text messages to friends and family was as much as I could cope with, and did indeed help, offering as they did kind words of comfort and advice.


Illustrated by: Paul Swailes

Interestingly it was suggested to me by more than one person that a daily walk would be beneficial. But even that felt too much. Something inside me said that I needed to just stay within the comfort of my own home where I could receive the support of my husband and to be able to rest and relax. As the days passed by and after many hours of sleep, I felt ready to venture outside and potter in the garden. This pottering, however, was continuously curtailed by the need to take breaks; not because I felt exhausted but because I just wanted to take in my rural surroundings. Often, I would sit indoors looking across the valley to the woodland and gorse on the southern slopes of North Hill, located on the northwest border of Exmoor. I would appreciate too how St Michael's parish church and its surrounding cottages nestled into the hillside, adding the perfect accompaniment to the vista - rather like Berrynarbor. I also spent many an hour sat beneath our veranda enjoying the array of birds as they flew back and forth from either the cotoneaster bushes or the magnolia tree to the feeders.

It was during this time that I took the opportunity to reflect upon the cumulative events that had led to my mental exhaustion. It also reminded me how fortunate I was to be living in such an ideal setting. But, most of all, it made me realise how I had taken my eye off the ball; rather ironic when one considers that the move to Brown Bracken had initially encouraged me to just sit and take in all that was around me. But during the summer and early autumn of last year, a busy social schedule amongst other things meant that I just did not relax as much as I should have. I am reluctant to say could not, for I feel that can often be used as an excuse. Ultimately, despite all that was going on at the time I could have still ensured that I took time to sit and just be.

At the time of writing this article there appear to be changes afoot with the weather. Gone are the wet, gloomy days of December and early January. For the third consecutive day the skies are cloudless so that when I look out of the window at seven o'clock in the morning and then do so again at half past four, I can sense once more how daylight is very gradually on the increase. It acts as a reminder of how this extra daylight will benefit our gardens, pots, window boxes, allotments and our surrounding countryside in the weeks and months to come; and this year I am going to ensure I do not miss an ounce of it. For making the time to sit and enjoy the very moment is so important for our wellbeing.

Steve McCarthy

34



Artwork: Angela Bartlett
 

CHILDHOOD LITERATURE

"Tom said to himself that it was not such a hollow world, after all. He had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it - namely, that in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to attain."

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is an 1876 novel by Mark Twain about a boy growing up along the Mississippi River. Tom has several adventures, often with his friend, Huckleberry Finn. Originally a commercial failure, the book finished up being the best-selling of any of Twain's works during his lifetime. Considered to be a masterpiece of American literature, it was one of the first novels to be written on a typewriter.

Samuel Langhorne Clemens, known by his pen name Mark Twain, was born on the 30th November 1835, in Florida, Missouri, the sixth of the seven children of John [1798-1847] and Jane [1803-1890]. He was of English [Cornish] and Scots-Irish descent. Sadly, he and only 3 of his siblings survived beyond childhood.

When Twain was 4, the family moved to Hannibal, Missouri, on the Mississippi River, a port town that inspired the fictional 9St. Petersburg in his books, at a time when slavery was legal in Missouri.

Following his father's death of pneumonia, Twain left school in the fifth grade, and began work as an apprentice typesetter, often contributing articles in the Hannibal Journal. He left Hannibal when he was 18, working as a printer in New York, Philadelphia, St. Louis and Cincinnati, joining the printers' trade union, educating himself in public libraries in the evenings.

The one ambition of his boyhood friends and himself, living by the Mississippi, was to be a steamboat man, and to be a Pilot was the best position of all. Following this ambition, Twain was taken on as a cub-pilot by Horace Bixby, who taught him the river between New Orleans and St. Louis. Twain studied the Mississippi, learning its landmarks, how to navigate its currents and how to read the river and its constantly shifting channels, reefs, submerged snags and rocks that would damage the strongest of vessels. It took more than two years before he got his pilot's licence. Piloting gage him his pen name, from 'mark twain' the cry for a measured river depth of two fathoms [12 feet] which was safe water for a steamboat. He continued to work on the river until 1861 when the Civil War broke out.

After travelling west, becoming a miner in Virginia City, a job he failed at, he turned to journalism, where he met with some publishing success, using his pen name for the first time in 1863 on a humorous travel account.

On a newspaper funded trip to the Mediterranean in 1867, he befriended a fellow passenger, Charles Langdon, who showed him a picture of his sister Olivia. Twain later claimed he had fallen in love at first sight!

After corresponding with each other, and having rejected his first proposal of marriage, Olivia and Twain were married in New York in February 1870. She came from a 'wealthy but liberal' family and through her, Twain met many influential abolitionists, socialists, atheists and activists, including Harriet Beecher Stowe.

For a couple of years, 1869-1871, they lived in Buffalo, New York, during which time they lost their only son Langdon from diphtheria when he was 19 months old. There followed three daughters; Susy [1872-1896], Clara [1874-1962] and Jean [1880-1909].

Twain lived live to the full. His interests, other than writing and journalism, were many and varied. He was fascinated by science and scientific inquiry, he patented three inventions - a history trivia game, detachable straps for garments [to replace suspenders], and a self-pasting scrapbook, the pages of which had a self-pasting adhesive when dampened of which over 25,000 sold. He was an early advocate of fingerprinting as a forensic technique. He was also in great demand as a speaker, performing solo humorous talks similar to today's stand-up comedy, all over the world, including England, London.

Like his father before him, Twain was a poor businessman, both making money and losing it, declaring bankruptcy following the failure of the Paige typesetting machine in which he had invested heavily. In 1891 the family moved from their expensive home in Hartford, moving to Europe, living in France, Germany, Italy and England, mainly in London. But, having the ability to pay off his debts, the family returned to American in October 1900.

Twain's later life was spent in Manhattan. From 1896 he suffered a long period of serious depression which began with the death, of meningitis, of his daughter Susy, followed by the death of Olivia in 1904 and Jean in 1909, as well as a very close friend in 1906.

In 1907, Twain was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Letters [D. LItt.] by the University of Oxford.

Twain was born two weeks after Halley's Comet's closest approach in 1835, and in 1909 he said: "I came in with Halley's Comet. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don't go out with Halley's Comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: "Now here are these two unaccountable freaks, they came in together, they must go out together."

His prediction was accurate, Twain died of a heart attack on the 21st April 1910, in Stormfield, his home in Redding, Connecticut, one day after the comet's closest approach to earth.

35



BAILEY'S BLOG

Another day and another year! Not sure why you humans make such a fuss about a new year. It is only one for you but it's seven for us dogs!

Talking about making a fuss! The Mrs. made a huge fuss about going in the sea on New Year's Day. Couldn't do it on her own mind, had to run in holding hands with her friends. And the noise! A big count down to the event and then squeals as they hit the water! I have never heard such a racket! What's the big deal though? I run in the sea all year round and nobody stands cheering for me. I also don't get a congratulatory cuddle from the Mr. or a warm cup of homemade soup afterwards. On the contrary I get told off for shaking myself dry over everyone!

I have said it before, it really is a case of one rule for you and another for us dogs. Take the issue of eating. Apparently too many changes to a diet can upset our systems. Hence, I seem to have more or less the same thing every day, unless the Mrs. isn't looking and then the Mr. gives me treats from his plate. You humans have so much more variety. You have no idea how tempting all those smells are when you are cooking and eating so many different meals. It's not surprising that we dogs go sniffing the bins or unearthing grubs in the garden. We like variety too you know!

Then there's the rule about sitting or should I say seating. You choose when you sit and where you sit, be it on the soft comfy-looking bed, the kitchen stools, settee or even on the toilet. Not the same for us dogs. You frequently tell us to sit at the most inconvenient moments. For example, when there's a good-looking pup on the other side of the road who I just want to get to, I am told to sit! Or when there is a treat that is ready and waiting to be eaten! I have to sit! You make us sit everywhere and anywhere; on the pavement, on the floor, in the boot of the car, at the kerb! No soft, comfy bed or settees for us dogs. Well, not unless we sneak on when you're not looking or you are a push-over like my Mr. who according to the Mrs. let's me get away with murder! Truth be known, I am becoming quite proficient at jumping onto comfy things and becoming inconspicuous. I have mastered the door to the guest room and frequently jump onto the bed in there when nobody's

looking and I don't think anyone noticed that I sneaked onto a chair at The Globe the other day! Hey Ho! Well rules are supposed to be broken, aren't they? Here's to breaking a few more in 2022.

Happy New Year everyone!


36



THE CANINE CARE CARD

The Canine Care Card is a free service, open to all dog owners, which helps to ensure the future of our pet dogs, in the event of us either passing away, receiving a life-changing diagnosis or moving into a care home. This can often be a great concern to some people who perhaps do not have a family member or friend in a position to look after their dog should the worst happen. By signing up to the service, Dogs Trust can offer peace of mind, reassuring you that your faithful friend will be well cared for by the charity, with a view to finding them a loving new home in the future.

If you would like further information about the Canine Care Card, please go online to www.dogstrust.org.uk/caninecarecard or contact the Trust's Supporter Relations Officer, Amy Bingham, at amy.bingham@dogstrust.org.uk or phone [01271] 817716.

37



MOVERS & SHAKERS NO. 97

JOHN EVANS

Lord of the Manor and Steward of Royal Coldridge Deer Park
1470 - 1511 [approximately]

The period between Christmas and New Year is always a 'silly news' season, so unless you read the Telegraph on 29th December last, you may not have heard of John Evans, who occupied the whole of Page 3.

Here was the story of a strong possibility that Richard lll [whose bones were found by Philippa Langley under a car park in Leicester in 2012] did not murder his young nephews, the 'Princes in the Tower', more than 5 centuries ago.

The fate of 12-year-old Edward of York, [King Edward V of England for 2 1/2 months in 1483] and his 9-year-old brother, Richard of Shrewsbury, is historically well-known.

But now, the village of Coldridge, just off the A377 and roughly half way between Barnstaple and Exeter, has suddenly acquired fame, and a story to rival a mystery found in a Dan Brown novel. It seems that instead of murdering these young boys, claiming they were illegitimate, Richard lll might be innocent. There is growing evidence that instead of killing Edward, a deal was struck with the boy's mother to send him under an assumed name to the estate of his half-brother, Thomas Grey, Marquess of Dorset.

At that time, Coldridge would only have been accessed by cart track, and being in the heart of rural Devon would keep the young prince in isolation. Interestingly, the boys' mother, Elizabeth Woodville and her daughters travelled there in 1484 having left the sanctuary of Westminster Abbey.

So how does this link with John Evans? Well, the village church of St Matthew is the clue, and John Dike, a 79-year-old retired electrical engineer and Coldridge resident for 22 years, seems to have become the project's leader.

As a keen historian he was writing a history of the village about five years ago when he noticed unusual features about the church. Having started research, he was soon contacted by Philippa Langley who had formed a Missing Princes Project.

In the 1920's, Beatrix Creswell, a notable church historian, had puzzled why such an isolated village should have such a significant church, containing a stained-glass portrait of Edward V. There are only two other glass portraits of Edward: one in Little Malvern Priory, Worcestershire and another in Canterbury Cathedral. Trying to establish the true identity of John Evans is at the heart of the new theory.

We couldn't resist a visit to this ancient church. Sadly, we missed the opportunity of a guide, so we tried to find the various 'pointers' ourselves.

The church has spectacular medieval wood carvings in abundance. The unrestored rood screen is what is claimed to be one of the best in the country. The pulpit has fine carvings, too. The main attraction of course was the stained-glass portrait of a crowned Edward V which was installed by John Evans. It centres a plain glass window in the Evans Chapel. Above its head floats a huge crown featuring the 'Falcon and Fetterlock' motif of Edward V. [The latter is a sort of shackle, resembling a padlock.] The crown is lined with ermine, flecked with 41 deer as ermine spots, unusual, because they are usually stoats' tails. John Dike commented,

"This was made in 1511. Take 41 off that and it takes you back to 1470, which is the birth of Edward V." The window is above the tomb of John Evans [now empty] and on top, his effigy. He dictated where he wanted his tomb to be built. He appears to be looking up at the window. His name on the stone shield reads 'Evas' with the 'n' definitely missing. This could be the engraver's mistake, or it could represent 'EV' [Edward V] and the Latin 'ASA' meaning 'in sanctuary'. Below this inscription is the word 'KING' etched backwards, possibly medieval graffiti. Underneath are nine lines which could symbolise1509 the year that Henry Vll died and Edward might regain the throne.

In the church is another stained-glass portrait of a man holding a crown, very similar to the one above Edward's portrait. At the bottom of the figure is a fleur-de-lis and barely discernible he is wearing an ermine collar - only worn by the nobility. Could this be Edward V? If it is, it is a coincidence that he could have been the same age as John when he died.

So what else is there to connect St Matthew's Church with the House of York? Well, the White Rose of York features widely in wood carvings and on the Barnstaple floor tiles throughout the church. We found a tiny Yorkist 'Sunne in Splendour' in the window to the right of the door, but couldn't find the one in the ceiling. We were pleased to find one of the three carvings of a Tudor woman with a snake-like tongue, possibly a slur against Margaret Beaufort, the mother of Henry Vll, who figured largely in putting Henry on the throne.


 

 
Images above courtest of:
Pam Parke

 

 

 
Images above courtesy of:
St. Mathew's Church

As for his brother, there was another rebellion in 1497 when the leader claimed to be Richard of Shrewsbury. He was later named Perkin Warbeck. It is possible that Warbeck/Richard may have

sought hospitality at Coldridge on his ways through Crediton to Exeter. The attack failed - but perhaps this leads to another line of investigation!

Coldridge is still fairly isolated with no main roads running through it, just a myriad of minor roads. So, we were pleased that the sun was shining at midday for us to find north and the way home!

All the above facts seem very Dan Brown-ish. They sound quite convincing, and maybe we shall hear more from John Dike and Philippa Langley as the plot unfolds. Coldridge may become a homage centre for Edward V or maybe slide back into its comfortable country village anonymity. Either way it's because a man called John Evans, with no known history, suddenly appeared in their village over 5 centuries ago. Watch this space!

PP of DC

38



QUICK QUOTES

"Doubt is uncomfortable but certainty is absurd."

Voltaire [21.11.1694-30.5.1778]

Francois-Marie Arouet, known by his nom de plume Voltaire, was a French Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher famous for his wit, his criticism of Christianity-especially the Roman Catholic Church-as well as his advocacy of freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and separation of church and state




"Explain everything as simply as possible - but no simpler."

Einstein [14.3.1879-18.4.1955]

Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist, widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest physicists of all time. Einstein is best known for developing the theory of relativity, but he also made important contributions to the development of the theory of quantum mechanics.

39



CARBON FIBRE - HOW IT ALL BEGAN

Carbon fibres these days are commonplace. Most households have some, whether they in a piece of sports equipment, a golf club or tennis racket, or part of a car or other machine. But they have only been commonplace since say the mid-eighties, and I think that the story of their development [in which I was involved in the early seventies] is interesting if not amusing.

It is said to have started with a meeting of engineers in RAE Farnborough [Royal Aircraft Establishment], who were discussing what was needed for the next structural material for aircraft. It had to be light and strong, of course, but above all, it had to be stiff.

If you load a piece of metal towards the maximum it will carry before it breaks, it will stretch by over 1%. Imagine an aircraft wing like an iron bar with the weight of the fuselage in the centre. If the bar is only thick enough just to carry the weight, the bottom edge will stretch and the top edge compress until the wing is U shaped. "What we need." they said, "Is something that is not only strong, but stiff, will not bend. The stiffest thing we know is the bond between two carbon atoms". We have lots of strings of carbon atoms about us, any fibre is one, but they all contain other atoms like oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen which weaken them. "Suppose we could remove everything but the carbon, we should be left with a string of carbon atoms, and that is what we want! Who can help?

Courtaulds know everything about fibres; Morgan Crucible know about carbon and high temperature; Rolls-Royce know about engineering. Let's get the three of them competing to make a process to create Carbon Fibre!"

At Courtaulds we started with our Courtelle acrylic fibre. This was carefully oxidized, then heated to about 1500 Deg C, then in short lengths in a tubular carbon furnace to about 2500 Deg C. That needed to be done in an atmosphere of argon to stop it burning. As you can imagine, this was very difficult and expensive. The furnace was a graphite tube about 5 inches wide by 4 foot long. Graphite is the only material that does not melt at that temperature. It was wrapped in graphite wool inside a water-cooled steel jacket and when we passed about 3000 amps along the tube, it got hot enough! Eventually we learned how to get a rope of the fibre through holes at the inlet and outlet of the furnace that were flooded with argon so that the whole lot did not burn up. We could then make the fibre in continuous lengths.

In spite of there being only about 2 parts per million of oxygen inside the furnace, the carbon tube would burn-up in about 70 hours and we should have to re-build the furnace. RAE Farnborough would order a few 10s of Kgms that we sold at a loss at about £250 a Kgm. In about 4 months they said. "That went very well. Sell us another 50 or so Kgms."

We would say, "Certainly, but we have increased the production speed, it is now stronger and we can make it in longer lengths". "Good Heavens! You have changed things. We will have to start the test program again! We obviously cannot use anything that has been changed since it was fully tested, for if it fails. something might fall out of the sky, but we can only afford a few more Kgm for testing."

Courtaulds could not afford to continue this very expensive research unless there was a real expectation of selling a much larger quantity at a more reasonable price. Then someone had a good idea. What needs to be strong, straight, does not bend, and will not cause a tragedy if it breaks? How about a golf club? It might be expensive but an enthusiastic golfer will pay a lot for a rigid club that might increase the length and straightness of his drive. The idea was taken up, and soon spread to other sports equipment. Our production went from laboratory scale, to a true small production plant with an output of up to several tonnes a year, and the price was reduced by a factor of 10.

At about the same time [late 1960s], Rolls Royce had developed a successful carbon fibre plant, with the intention of using the fibre in the fan blades of the new RB211 engine. Of course, to use carbon fibre you have to make a composite of it with resin and the strength and other properties depend critically on the way the fibres are aligned in the resin. The blades fitted the design and the engine worked. Unfortunately, when someone fired a dead duck into it, the blades proved to be too brittle and they broke. You could not tolerate that in an aircraft in flight!

The cost of unsuccessfully developing both the carbon fibre plant and the new engine broke Rolls Royce. They were only saved by being bought by the Government. Ironically, it was not too long before the layout of the carbon fibre in the resin was improved so that the blades were not so brittle, and now carbon fibre blades in aircraft engines, and in other critical parts, are commonplace.

It is also now cheap enough so that carbon fibre reinforced resin can be used in any equipment where lightness, rigidity and strength are at a premium.

The moral of this story, if you want one, is that high tec development is slow and expensive. You must be sure that you have a market into which you can sell your product at a reasonable price, while you are still doing the development!

Alex Parke

40



Artwork: Angela Bartlett
 

OLD BERRYNARBOR - VIEW NO. 195

Watermouth, Berrynarbor


This photographic postcard was published around 1955-60 by an unknown publisher, who used purple print for the words POST CARD on the reverse.

It shows a long line of identical caravans and one small white portable caravan in the foreground. I should think that it had been taken in July or August, as the field on the right has been recently mown and the hay has been left in small piles to dry.

This second card, showing Smallmouth Cave, Watermouth, is in colour and has been published by The Knight Collection and is numbered 235/4.


The card, which has a Bideford postmark of 7.15 PM 12 Jan 1915 shows a young visitor rowing a small boat with the local owner holding the boat steady for the photograph to be taken. The message on the reverse side reads:

My dear Jinnie

I shall be very pleased to see you & Pippy to-morrow & very pleased for you both to stay the night & will meet the 4.30 train. Sorry Sissie cannot come.

Love Dorothy.

The card was sent to a Miss Simmonds at Cranleigh, a village and civil parish, about 8 miles southeast of Guildford in Surrey, claimed by some to be the largest village in England.

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage, January 2022
e-mail: tomandinge40@fmail.com

In my collection I have more than one original copies of postcards of Berrynarbor, anyone is interested in purchasing any, please contact me on [01271] 883408. Tom

41



CROSSWORD ANSWERS

Across:

1. Scamp 4. Hippy 10. Xerox 11. Ugliest 12. Intruder
13. Gene 15. Imbued 17. Ragtag 19. Idle 20. Bequeath
23. Needled 24. Heron 25. Seven 26. Taunt

Down:

2. Carat 3. Mixtures 5. Isle 6. Prevent 7. Exhibitions8. Queen 9. Strengthen 14. Babushka 16. Believe
18. Ready 21. Aaron 22. Clue

42



NEWSLETTER WEBSITE - UPDATE

Work continues to make all the back editions of the Newsletter available on the website. Since the December Newsletter, a further 17 editions have been uploaded, covering from June 2004 back to February 2002. So that makes a grand total of 121 editions that can be viewed online.

Unfortunately, the last edition we had an electronic backup of was October 2004, so every edition uploaded since then has had to be recreated manually from the ground up.

This is a time-consuming two-person process, with a number of steps along the way:

  • Source original copies. Happily, the editor has a set of pristine hard copies that we are using.
  • Scanning. This is done using a mobile phone mounted in a custom harness. The scanning is performed using Microsoft Lens - a mobile phone app that uses OCR (Optical Character Recognition) techniques to recreate the document.
  • Reformatting to plain text. Whilst Microsoft Lens is able to recognise text (although it is by no means fool proof) it struggles with the layout. So any formatting is removed. Sections that could not be scanned (usually as the text is interspersed with images) are retyped by hand.
  • MS Word document. This step takes the plain text and coverts it to a basic Microsoft Word document, with articles titles, paragraphs, footers and some basic indentation, but no images. This is the candidate 'framework' of the re-created edition.
  • Convert to HTML format. Websites are written in HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language). Happily, Microsoft Word has an option to export a document into HTML format, so this step is simply a case of saving the new document as a filtered HTML file.
  • Split into articles. The new website allows articles to be shown either in the edition they were published in, or as part of series. This means they must be stored as individual files. So we go from a single input file to somewhere between 35 and 45 files, each representing a single article. The articles are grouped in a folder - one folder per edition.
  • Adding images and formatting. This is the point where we add in any images and custom formatting. Where possible, we use the original images allowing the site to offer much better quality than could be printed in the original hardcopies. The editor scans and emails these ready for inclusion in the edition. The images are cropped and sized as required. Where the originals are no longer available, we use a scanned copy from the printed hard copy. Sadly this is a much lower resolution, but often it is the best we can do.
  • Tagging the articles. The details of which articles relate to a specific series are stored in a database, so this step creates entries in the database for each of the articles in the edition, tagging them to the right series.
  • Create Searchable content. The new website has a search feature that can identify every edition and article that features a name or phrase. This step loads each article into the database to allow the content to be searched
  • Upload ... and hope the Editor approves. The final step requires all the article files, images and the updated database to be uploaded to the internet. There are typically around 70 files required for each edition (40 articles and 30 images).

As you will have gathered, it's a fair amount of work. Each edition takes between 5 and 8 hours to replicate. It's tempting to wish that we had kept better backups, but then you realise that the Newsletter pre-dates Microsoft Word, PC's and even the internet! So, in reality the only backup possible is the hard copy printout.

Technical facts - just in case anyone is interested!

  1. The Website is a Webapp written in Python.
  2. Jinja templates are used for the screen presentation.
  3. The site utilises Bootstrap to make it responsive - meaning it adapts its layout based on the size of the screen being used to view it (i.e. mobile phone, tablet of PC).
  4. It uses a SQLlite database to log the editions, articles, artwork and maintain the searchable content.
  5. It is hosted on Microsoft Azure in the cloud.
  6. At the time of publishing, the site consists of 7709 files across 260 folders, using 565MB of disk storage.

James W


Scanning an edition using an iPhone. The phones sits in a custom 'cradle' (in grey) which is used to position the camera the right height above the printed hard copy and which can easily slide left and right to scan both pages... and yes, it is made from Lego!

43



DIARY DATES

  • The Mobile Library will be in the village on the 8th February and the 8th March.
  • The Parish Council meets at 7.00 p.m. at the Manor Hall on Tuesdays 10th February and 10th March
  • Half Term for the Primary School and Ilfracombe Academy is from Monday to Friday, 21st to 25th February.
  • The Wine Circle meets at 8.00 p.m. at the Manor Hall on Wednesdays 16th February and 16th March.

It is sad that due to a decline in membership, the North Devon Spinners will no longer be carrying out this ancient craft here in the Manor Hall.

Manor Hall Diary

Mondays

Upholstery, 9.00 to 1.00 p.m. Craft Group, 2.00 p.m. Badminton, 7.30 p.m.

Tuesdays

1st & 3rd: Craft Art Group, 10.00 a.m.

Wednesdays

Pilates, 9.00 a.m. U3A 11.00 a.m.

Thursdays

Watercolour Painting 10.00 a.m. [10-week terms]

Fridays

 

Penn Curzon Room

Pre-School: Daily - Term time only Morning Session: 8.30/9.00a.m. - 12.00 noon Afternoon Session: 12.00 to 3.00/3.30 or 4.00 pm

All Day: 8.30/9.00 a.m. to 3.00/3.30/4.00 p.m.

Mobile Library

Village Shop: 11.55-12.20 p.m. Sterridge Valley: 12.35-1.00 p.m.

44