Edition 200 - October 2022

Artwork: Paul Swailes


Philip came to me today,
and said it was time to go.
I looked at him and smiled,
as I whispered "I know."
I then turned and looked behind me,
and seen I was asleep.
All my family were around me
and I could hear them weep.
I gently touched each shoulder
with Philip by my side,
Then I turned away and walked
with My Angel guide.
Philip held my hand
as he led the way,
to a world where Kings and Queens,
are Monarchs every day.
I was given a crown to wear
or a Halo known by some.
The difference is up here
they are worn by everyone.
I felt a sense of peace
my reign had seen its end.
70 years I served my Country,
as the people's friend.
Thank you for the years
for all your time and love.
Now I am one of two again
in our Palace up above.

Joanne Boyle


Artwork: Judie Weedon

God bless her Majesty. Rest in Peace.
God Save the King!


Such sad times.

. . . and it with sadness that I begin this, my final editorship of the Berrynarbor Newsletter.

Over its 33 years and 200 issues, so many people have been involved that for fear of leaving anyone out, I cannot mention and thank you all by name! Hopefully, you will know who YOU are.

Other than the many contributors of articles of such a variety and interest, both past and present, and those who have reported on the activities of their various groups and associations, there have been the printers, collators, proof-readers, distributers, circulators, advertisers and, of course, the artists. And I must not forget those who have generously donated finance - your help has been most necessary! Without you all, the Newsletter could not have continued for so long nor been welcome by its many readers, and I thank you most sincerely, your help has been invaluable and so much appreciated. But finally, to you, the readers, the biggest thank you of all!

A warm welcome is extended to all newcomers to the village and we say a sad farewell to those leaving. And for those not feeling at their best just now, get well soon.

It will seem strange not to be nagging for articles before the deadline in future and although to produce the Newsletter involved many hours of work, it was something I have enjoyed!

Times they are a changing - let's look forward to new and exciting beginnings.

Judie - Ed


Artwork: Paul Swailes


July and August 2022

I cannot believe we are now into September and for me the year so far has flown by. This will be my last Weather or Not as you may be aware Judie is hanging up her editor's hat after two hundred editions. I think you will all agree she has done an amazing job over the years giving a good insight into village life and varying items of interest, she now deserves more free time to relax and enjoy life, thank you Judie.

The dry weather has continued apart from a couple of short wet spells which have not produced enough rain to be effective, so I am not surprised S.W.W. have imposed a hose pipe ban in some areas.

On the 1st of July, the day started with 2.6mm of rain in the small hours and the lowest temperature of 10.7˚C was at 0600hrs. with 4/8th broken cloud and breezy, as the day progressed the temperature reached 17.4˚C at 1700hrs. the top gust of wind 22mph was at 1800hrs from the S.W. The barometer was climbing slowly during the day to reach a high of 1017.4mbars. by 2300hrs. and then started to fall. Total sunshine for the day was 7.17 hours.

Berrynarbor Village Centre - 03/02/2009

Looking at the rest of the month the temperature climbed steadily till the 18th when it reached 35.2˚C [average 27.83˚C] at 1700hrs on the 18th, the highest in my records. The next nearest was August 2003 at 34.5˚C. The lowest temperature came on the 27th at 0600hrs. 7.7˚C [average 8.37˚C], this was quite low for July but not a record. The maximum wind speed was 27mph [average 28.08mph] on the 19th and 31st, both days from the S.W. The lowest wind chill 7.8˚C [average 8.37˚C] was on the 27th at 0600hrs. The wettest day was on the 24th with 10.6mm; the total for the month was 29.2mm [average 90.61mm]. I only have one lower record for July in 2013 at 21mm. Total so far for the year 349.0mm. The barometer ranged between a high of 1034.2mbars. at 0900hrs. on the 8th to a low of 1007.4mbars. at 0600hrs on the 25th. The best day for sunshine was on the 16th with 8.42hrs. total for the month was 186.71 hours [average 173.86] and the total so far this year 777.42 hours. Humidity ranged from 95% on the 5th, 8th, 30th and 31st to a low of 34% on the 18th. Looking at the month our rainfall is again well down and the temperature well up.

The 1st of August overnight lowest temperature was 11.4˚C at 0500hrs. After sunrise there was 4/8th broken cloud, the day warmed up to 21.4˚C by 1400hrs. and the S.W. wind increased to 19mph by the end of the day. There was no rainfall. The barometer started the day at 1019.5mbars. and by midnight had fallen to 1016.5mbars. and falling. The sun managed to shine for 6.71hrs.

The rest of August is again low on rainfall, the wettest day was the 16th with 10.2mm and the total for the month 30.2mm [average 99.4mm]. The total so far this year is only 379.2mm. In my records

the next lowest up to the end of August was in 2006 with 469.00mm. The highest temperature was 32.1˚C [average 26.8˚C] on the 13th at 1900hrs. The lowest was 8.5˚C [average 8.9˚C] on the 6th at 0700hrs. The highest gust of wind was 27mph [average 29.76mph] at 1300hrs. from the S.W. The barometer reached a high of 1027.0mbars. at 1100hrs on the 13th and a low of 998.0mbars. at 1800hrs. on the 24th. The best day for sunshine was on the 8th with 7.74hrs. the total for the month was 160.47hrs. [average 163.84hrs.] and for this year 937.89hrs. The humidity varied between a high of 96% at 1000hrs on the 27th and a low of 33% at 1700hrs. on the 11th.

In 1989 when the Newsletter started, we were beginning to hear about "Global Warming". In my simple records I can see the experts were correct in their predictions.

The above photo was a scene which occurred more frequently in many of our winters years ago, this one taken only 13 years ago is now becoming a much less familiar scene. In the future our summers are likely to resemble the hot dry days of this year and white winters may only be found in past records.

Thank you for putting up with all my weather information over the years, I can now put my rain gauge away and retire. I hope you have a good Autumn, my best wishes to all of you and take care.



Artwork: Peter Rothwell

New Beginnings

Writing for the first time, but for the last edition of Berrynarbor News seems strange and a little sad given I have only recently arrived [early June] and begun to get to know people in the village.

These have been most unusual times, not just in the past few days as I write, with the death of our dear Queen Elizabeth II and the national mourning we have been going through, as well as how that has worked out locally. They have been unusual for all of us and indeed our Parish Church as well, as we adapt to the 'new normal' some months on after the worst waves of Covid-19 have passed.

However, as I am beginning to find my feet and building relationship with our congregations at Berrynarbor, as well as Combe Martin and Pip & Jim's, Ilfracombe, we are beginning to find that new shoots of life are emerging everywhere. For the Parish Church we are thrilled that we have reconnected with Berrynarbor Primary School and my wife, Rev'd. Tandy Ruoff [who has started as a Chaplain at West Buckland School] and I will be taking Assemblies at the church every Thursday morning at 9.30 a.m. I am delighted to say that we shall also be offering parents, grandparents, carers and everyone connected with the school community, a cup of tea, coffee and a pastry from 9.00 to 9.25 a.m. before we begin the Assembly. We hope to be able to get to know many of you in that time and you will be welcome to stay on and participate in the Assembly.

Our Sunday Services have now moved from 11.00 a.m. to 9.30 a.m., which I hope gives you the advantage of having more time on Sundays to go out and get on with other things afterwards. You will receive a warm welcome and a coffee and biscuit following the service. Every other week is a Service of Holy Communion with a Village/Parish Service in between.

As a heads up, please join us for the Harvest Festival Service on Sunday 2nd and the Harvest Festival Supper on Tuesday 4th October at the Manor Hall from 6.00 to 9.00 p.m.

I look forward to meeting many of you in the coming weeks.

Rev'd. Mark Ruoff




17.6.1943 - 24.8.2022

Philip, known as Ben, was born during the War in a nursing home in Ilfracombe on the 17th June, 1943.

He went to Berrynarbor Primary School and then Combe Martin Secondary School.

While still at school, he worked on his father's farm, Ruggaton, tending sheep and cattle when needed.

Times were difficult after the war but Ben made some good friends at school and when they had push bikes, he managed to beg, borrow and find bits of bike. He was very good with his mechanical skills putting the bits together to make a rideable cycle although brakes were a luxury, so a foot on the back wheel sufficed. It saved a lot of walking getting to school cycling down a rough lane.

Generally, a quiet, unassuming person, Ben made and was liked by many friends through the darts and skittles teams he played for, winning many trophies with them over the years as well!

On leaving school he worked on the farm helping his brother and sister in many various jobs - feeding, mucking out and checking stock, hedging, tilling the crops, milking, cleaning milk bottles, harvesting and delivering on the milk round for a while.

He left the farm and went solo, working for various farmers in North Devon and later gardening for a few customers right up until a minor stroke in July. Following a massive stroke on the 7th August, he passed away on the 24th August.

It was with sadness that villagers, many of whom had known Ben for many years, learnt that he had passed away following two strokes and our thoughts are with his brothers, sister and all the family at this time of sorrow.

Ben will be leaving the village he loved at 12.30 p.m. on the 23rd September for his funeral at Barnstaple Crematorium.


Villagers, especially on Berrynarbor Park, were saddened by the news that former resident, Di Hillier, had passed away on the 31st August. Although she had left the village some years ago, and had been unwell for some time, she still read our News and particularly enjoyed Bailey's Blog.

Di, together with her husband Biker Brian, were very active members of the village and following Brian's untimely death, the annual Bikey's Bash, a wonderful garden cream tea event raising money for the North Devon Hospice who had given Brian such care, was eagerly looked forward to. Thousands of pounds were raised over the years.

Our thoughts are with Sharon and Chris, and Geoff and Karen, and all the family at this very sad time.


Bet, nee Huxtable, was born and lived for many years in Shirwell, at North Hill Farm. On the death of her father in 1949, Bet and her brother John moved to Berrynarbor, No. 37, with their mother, Lilian Huxtable, a teacher at the Primary School, to live with her grandmother. Bet had lived in the village, later at No. 61, for some 70 years.

Full of fun, Bet was an active member and supporter of all things village. For very many years she took great care of the church, St. Peter's, opening and closing it daily, as well as working at The Globe and the Sandy Cove Hotel.

A very enthusiastic member of the Carnival Club [as her picture shows], she was Captain of the Darts team and thoroughly enjoyed spending time with the Wednesday Girls putting the world to rights!

Bet was the family matriarch. She had two sons, David by her first husband Bill Gammon, lives with his family in Southampton; and Kevin, who still lives at No. 61 by her marriage to Jim Brooks. Two grandsons, Gareth and Jay, have been followed by five great-grandchildren, and two great-great-granddaughters!

Sadly missed - loved by her family, Jay's poem that follows and which was read at Bet's funeral, is a warm tribute summing up Bet's joy of life, wicked sense of humour and love for her family.

Just over three hours' drive to Berrynarbor
First to spot the fox on the church, easy for the driver
Months' worth of work and plentiful crops, all gone in an instant the second we dropped
Berries, tomatoes, sweetcorn and peas, devoured in minutes the garden was robbed
You would hear Gran call, you ruddy fools,
They're my beetroots, not your cricket balls!
Gran's gravy, so delicious and thick, and this another of her recipes she hid
Despite our desire to replicate, it is probably best left under the pan lid
Food a plenty, many a cake upon a plate
Vinegared cucumber and post-pub sandwiches lying in wait
Captain of the darts team, brandy and lemonade at the pub
Some wonderful times spent with the ladies from Wednesday night club
Ye Olde Globe carnival float, at the centre sat Bet
Year on year winners, of a massive rosette

Cats from the village were drawn to number 61
All being fed whilst Gran's cats sat in the sun!

A stay at Gran's was a test for your back,
Those sloping beds and rock-hard pillows, more like a torture rack
Going back in time, but never given a thought
The Castle, crabbing, even, all part of the magic that Gran and Jim brought
From vegetables and Nativities, for Gran knitting was always a passion
New-born cardigans and bullseye balaclavas, we have to question, was she ever in fashion?
There was the sneaky, chuckling 2-fingered salute
Behind mum and dad's back, little offensive, but she found it a hoot
Random packages sent through the post,
Stickers and paper chains, it's the thought that counts most
Time in the kitchen with BBC Radio Devon
Country music, dosie-do's and Gran was in heaven!
The last hug and kiss, always on the lips
Big waves to Gran, we'll forever cherish those trips


Illustrated by: Paul Swailes


Artwork: David Duncan


We were pleased to welcome our new vicar to Berrynarbor for church services following his installation in June this year and he is settling in very well indeed. Mark also attended our PCC meeting in July with many new ideas for our Church and School.

As mentioned in the August Newsletter, Mark suggested changing the timings for our Church services and following consultation with our parishioners, it was agreed that all services will now start at 9.30 a.m. Whilst the new timing may present some difficulty for some older churchgoers, we must try and make this work - bearing in mind that Mark has to fit his busy schedule in with both Combe Martin and Pip & Jim's Churches together with us here in Berrynarbor. The new timings will, of course, give more free time to parishioners in Berrynarbor following church services on a Sunday. Rev. Mark's contact details are now available on the notice board adjacent to the Lych Gate.

James Electrics have now completed the work on our faulty internal spotlights, now replaced with new efficient LED lighting units. We are in the process of applying Smart Water anti-theft chemical to many parts of the church [exterior and interior] as requested by our Church Insurance Company. Our Gardener, Simon, continues to maintain the two churchyards to a very high standard, and during the recent heat wave it is so relaxing to sit on the bench near the Church porch donated by Jill McCrae in memory of her husband Iain and admire the beautiful view over the village.

We have enjoyed having church weddings in June and July and look forward to another happy couple to 'tie the knot' in September.

Harvest time will soon be upon us and we look forward to having our Harvest Festival Service on October 2nd followed by our Harvest Supper on October 5th, held in the Manor Hall. As usual, there will be a superb Buffet on offer together with wine, beer, cider, soft drinks, tea and coffee. The popular team quiz will once again provide lots of laughter. Tickets for this popular event are available, if any are left, from the Village Shop and PCC committee members.

Rev Mark is determined to regenerate the Christmas season involving Berrynarbor School by introducing a special Carol Service in our beautiful church prior to Christmas.

We shall be changing the time of the Christmas Eve Service to work alongside the Village Carols in the Square.

We pray for all those who are sick in our village - and especially at this time for all the refugees fleeing the war zone throughout the Ukraine and the people of Pakistan who are enduring dreadful flooding following exceptional monsoon rain. An inspiring footnote to this is that we recently welcomed a young Ukrainian lady by the name of Lillia to our Church Village Service. Lillia had expressed a wish to visit Berrynarbor Church with her Carer at this difficult time for all Ukrainian people.

Finally, on behalf of St. Peter's, I should like to thank Judie for printing our church notices in the wonderful newsletter - it will be sadly missed. Enjoy your retirement, Judie!

Sue Neale



Do you love poetry? Do you write poetry? Do you write poetry in secret? Would you love to share your poetry with others but are scared because you are convinced you are a bad poet? The good news is, you are not alone. There are loads of us out there like you scribbling away in attics and at kitchen tables sticking all that wonderful talent in a box under the bed or in a computer file, so, I should like to bring us all together to share our writing, to talk about the stuff we love, to encourage each other, to meet other writers, and to relax and enjoy each other's company. That is why I have created The Bad Poets' Society.

You don't have to be bad, you don't have to be good, you don't even have to write poetry if prose or story telling is your thing, you just have to have a good time in the company of other people who love to write but don't take it too seriously. You will be happy to learn it will cost you nothing. No fees or putting money 'in the pot'. You don't have to bring anything [except any of your work you would like to share] but if you happen to rock up with a packet of hobnobs or a bottle of vino plonko that's fine by me!

There are no rules - this is a new group so I am hoping it will be led by its members and evolve naturally. All suggestions/ideas will be welcome.

If I can get enough people interested it will probably be once a month at my home in Combe Martin on a Thursday or Friday night.

If you think you like the sound of the Bad Poets' Society and fancy joining in, I should love you to email me so I know if we can get it up and running. janeysavin@gmail.com

Jane Savin


Artwork: Paul Swailes


Christmas is Coming

With this summer's stunning temperatures and long sunny days still warm in the memory, it seems strange to turn one's attention to the end of the year and the Christmas festivities. But now we are already into October and our Shop is gearing up for the celebrations.

We have a fabulous [and we think unrivalled] selection of Christmas cards, many with a local theme. You won't get better anywhere else [promise]. Also make sure you fill in your food and drink order forms so that you can avoid those awful last minute supermarket stampedes and relax knowing that all is in hand at your fabulous Village Community Shop. Order forms are available in the shop now.

We will again be running our very popular December raffle with two wonderful prizes. The first prize is a fabulous Christmas hamper packed full of goodies and the second is a drinks combo - something to wash down those festive treats!


Will you step up and help out as a volunteer for half a day a week
or every fortnight and keep our Shop open? We are urgently
looking for new recruits to join our small team of volunteers
to serve our community.

Warning: without extra help it is quite likely that the Shop
will have to reduce its opening hours or close on certain
half days. And we don't want that to happen!

The Shop's future is up to you!

Why not come and join the volunteers? Just pop into the shop and have a word with Karen, Susan or Jackie.

It's really sad to know that this is the last edition of the Berrynarbor Newsletter. It will be missed, as will Judie's unique way of 'encouraging' contributors to send her items for inclusion! We should like to add our heartfelt thanks to her for her hard work and dedication over the years.

But as we lose the Newsletter, we need to sound a warning to everyone about the viability of our village's Community Shop. Throughout the pandemic, the shop has remained open and the staff have worked tirelessly to serve our community. But now it's your turn, we've been there for you and now we need you! So, will you be there for us?

We know these are tough times for everyone and with the rise in the cost of food and energy prices, there is tremendous pressure on household budgets. The Shop too, like so many other community shops and amenities, has seen costs rise quickly. And while we're rolling our sleeves up and working hard to try to mitigate these increases, constantly reviewing where we are price-wise to ensure we remain competitive, we can't do it without you.

Of course, we can't compete with the major supermarkets' loss leaders or their buying power. We have never been able to. So, what can we give you that they can't?

  • We add value to your house! According to the National Association of Estate Agents having an amenity like our wonderful community shop adds at least 5% to the value of your house. So what's it worth to you?
  • The highest quality local produce - 30% of all our food is produced within 30 miles of Berrynarbor, thereby reducing our [and your] carbon footprint and supporting the South-West economy.
  • You can also save fuel (and stress) by taking a lovely walk each day to the shop - never take the views for granted. This not only keeps you fit but you get to chat to someone rather than a computer beeping and telling you off for putting something unexpected in the bagging area [thank you for that one Fenella]!
  • We can make up orders for you. Just phone through what you require (to 883215) and we will let you know when it's ready to collect
  • A place to come and meet other villagers and chat together about what's going on in Berrynarbor, buy tickets for local events and find out more about the village's clubs and activities.

But did you know?

  • If you come in just to use the Post Office it doesn't benefit the Shop in any way. It is separate. While we are delighted to be able to offer this excellent facility to our community, we should ask that you also consider spending a few pounds within the Shop while you're here. The irony of course is that if the Shop were to close, the Post Office would close with it.
  • If you just come into the Shop to buy a daily paper, that makes the Shop around 20p a week. That's not enough for us to survive!
  • Without more villagers using the Shop more regularly there is a distinct possibility in the not-too-distant future we'll struggle to remain open. It really could be a case of 'Use Us or Lose Us'.
  • If you are a regular user of the Shop - thank you! If so, please be our ambassador and chat to your neighbours, village friends and perhaps fellow club members to see if they do. And if they don't, tell them why you do and encourage them to do the same.

And finally, is IT you?

With this being the final edition of the newsletter, the Shop will be looking to spread its latest news and offerings via social media and email. But we don't have the skills to do it ourselves. Could you help? Could you build us an attractive home page, manage updates and use all the channels available to help us keep in touch with our villagers, customers and visitors? If so, please get in touch with Paul Weston via the Shop at Berrynarborshop@onebillinternet.co.uk.





07849 763281 or 07584 075197
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  • 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


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


August is usually a quiet month in the hall due to summer holidays, however we still kept busy with the Pub Night, Pam and Co's Coffee Afternoon and Karen's Quiz Night.

With the future of The Globe still up in the air we had another Pub Night on 9th September and raised a glass to Queen Elizabeth. We should like to thank all those who came and supported the nights, and special thanks to Shaun and Sam, Ray and Tom for being in charge of the BBQ's. We shall of course keep an eye on what happens with The Globe and organise more pub nights if the situation remains the same.

The Trustees voted in at the June AGM are:

  • Chair: Sharon Gleeson
  • Treasurer: Alan Hamilton
  • Bookings: Yvonne Francis
  • Social: Pam Robinson
  • Julia Fairchild and Martin Johns

We are all volunteers committed to maintaining the village hall.

Please see the list below of events we, the Manor Hall Trustees, are planning between now and Christmas:

  • 19th October & 23rd November: Coffee Afternoons, 2.00-4.00 p.m.
  • 1st October: Music & Supper Night [tickets available at the Shop]
  • 28th October: Craft afternoon
  • 1st November: David Edgcombe 'Character of our Coast'
  • 11th November: Beaford Arts 'Moscow Drugs Club'
  • 19th November: Christmas Fayre
  • 18th December: Bring & Share Lunch

In addition to the Trustee-led activities, we are always thankful when others host their own events and donate their profits to the Hall. The Quiz evenings organised by Karen, Phil and Lyn fall into this category and are now providing a regular financial support for which we are very grateful. Other people have also organised their own one-off events and are kindly donating their profits to the Hall, for which we are very grateful.

Please keep supporting all the activities that you can and don't forget if you want to hire the Hall, please contact Yvonne at yvonnefrancis10@gmail.com or 07961692411.

Finally, but importantly, the Manor Hall Trustees would like to express their sincere thanks to Judie for her generous support over the years.

Sharon Gleeson




We returned to school on the 1st September and were so impressed by the children. They made the return to school look effortless. Very well done to all those children making that very big first step into school. We were so proud of you all. We were also very pleased to welcome a new family to the school who also have recently moved to the village - do say hello to the Barnett family if you see them.

At the time of writing, we were reflecting as a school on the sad passing of Queen Elizabeth II. We spent some time in class reflecting on her extraordinary time as the UK's longest reigning monarch; as well as her role as mother, grandmother and great grandmother, and of course extending respect and condolences to the Royal Family.

Some of you may know our wonderful Kitchen Manager, Diane, left our school at the end of the summer term. We shall certainly miss her and the way she looked after us all with her delicious dinners. Good luck for all you do in the future, Diane. We are pleased to have appointed Sue Hayes as our Kitchen Manager. Sue brings with her a vast amount of experience and will lead on menu development across our Federation.

Welcome to Reverend Mark, our new Vicar. We are really looking forward to working with Mark, coming back to assemblies in the church and further strengthening that link between our School and

St. Peters. Thank you to Stuart Neale and St. Peter's for organising the gift of a Good News Bible for each of our Year 6 leavers in July. It is very much appreciated. Both Stuart and Reverend Mark attended the Leavers' Assembly and were very impressed by our confident children.

We are super excited about the year ahead, with lots of lovely activities and events planned for the children. We shall be supporting "Hello Yellow" the children's mental health charity by wearing something yellow and raising funds for this cause. We shall be holding our first celebration of learning of the year and parents will be coming along to this - a chance for our younger members of the school to show parents what they have been doing and to perform to an audience. The PTFA are holding a Quiz on the evening on the 7th October to raise funds for our lovely school. Look out for posters in the village - all welcome.

As we head into winter, we are very conscious of the problems this will pose for many people. As a school, we employ a Pastoral Co-ordinator to work with families in many areas, including assessing

grants and extra financial help. If you know someone who may need further help either due to the cost-of-living crisis or otherwise please have a look at these links from Devon County Council. Applying for the Pupil Premium grant successfully can also mean that families are eligible for further funding.

With this being our final submission for the Newsletter - we should like to thank Judie for all her tireless work and commitment as editor. It has been an invaluable source of information on village life and a great way for us to communicate with the village. We shall continue to update our website so that you can continue to keep up with our news. Enjoy a well-earned break, Judie!





At Berrynarbor Pre-school, we provide care and education for young children between the ages of 2

and 5. We still have sessions available for new children to join us. If your child is between 2 and 5 years, please get in touch and book a viewing to see our setting and what we can offer your child in their 'first taste of education'. Call on 07932 851052 or email preschoolberrynarbor@gmail.com for information.

Our Opening Times are 8.30am - 4.00pm Monday to Friday.

We are flexible and have a range of session times to meet your needs.

We are Ofsted registered and in receipt of the 2-year-old funding and Early Years Entitlement. We offer 30 hours free childcare to eligible families. Further information in regards to this funding can be found at 30 hours free childcare - GOV.UK

Autumn Term 22

A warm welcome back to Pre-school after a lovely sunny summer. We welcome all our new children and look forward to getting to know them as they start their learning journey with us.

Our Topics this Half Term

Me, My Family and Friends, Pre-school rules, keeping safe, Autumn and Halloween.

We started the term with All about Me, getting to know our children, their families, pets and interests. We moved on to explore Our Senses; touch, see, hear, smell and taste. This topic encouraged, kind hands, sharing, good listening and eating well. We talked about good oral health and how to clean our teeth which is very important even at this young age.

As part of the children's settling in, we helped the children recognise their written names such as those on their peg and tray. We encouraged them to explore the setting both inside and outside. We offered support and encouragement in independence with self-care and engaged in conversations about Pre-school rules, keeping safe, our feelings and discussed new learning ideas and interests. We have guided role play and to develop an enjoyment for books through storytelling and songs.

A message from the Pre-school Committee

We are always looking for parents to join on our Pre-school Committee. The Pre-school cannot operate without their support and positions such as a Chair, Secretary and Treasurer are vital other positions, such as fundraising, are also important as we run as a charity.

Initially, a DBS [Police check] needs to be completed and then an Ofsted/EY2 application. We meet around 4-5 times a year in the evening. You could also be involved in proof-reading policies and help make decisions about the Pre-school. Our AGM is held every October [date to be set] with all parents welcome. If you are interested in becoming a committee member, please speak with either a committee member or a member of staff.

A Message from our Community Nurse - Immunisation

It's really important that children continue to receive their booster vaccines and MMR vaccine. They are also entitled to the Flu Nasal spray.

For more details see the links below:

  • Gov Pre-school immunisations - a guide to vaccinations
  • NHS Vaccinations & immunisations | Toddler | Start for Life
  • Best wishes from the Committee and Pre-school Staff





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    On behalf of the Parish Council, I should like to reiterate my sincere condolences to the Royal Family on the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, our longest reigning monarch.

    The nation has come together to mourn the loss and acknowledge the lifelong service given by the Queen.

    With the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, we welcome King Charles III. The Accession Council met at St James's Palace on Saturday 10th September 2022 to proclaim our new Sovereign. The Accession Council also made an order requiring High Sheriffs to cause the Proclamation to be read in the areas of their jurisdiction, following which many local Proclamations have been read in North Devon.

    "God Save the King."

    Following the passing of the Queen, the Parish Council's September meeting had to be cancelled as periods of national mourning cannot be included within the legal notice.

    Unfortunately, this issue of the Newsletter will be the last as the long serving Editor, Judie Weedon, has decided to retire and a replacement has not been forthcoming. As Chairman of the Parish Council, I should like to offer my wholehearted thanks to Judie for all her work in producing so many Village Newsletters.

    Cllr Adam Stanbury - Chairman

    • Chairman: Adam Stanbury
    • Vice Chairman: Adrian Coppin
    • Clerk to the Parish Council: Victoria Woodhouse
    • County Councillor: Andrea Davis
    • District Councillor: Joe Tucker


    David Beagley













































































































































































    1.       Crosswise 2.       Swim
    4.       Go up 3.       Apportion
    10. Praise 5. Very small insects
    11. Permit 6. Annual rainstorms
    12. Beat 7. Return to original state
    13. A few 8. Fire
    15. Delicate 9. Keeping it
    17. Orbiter 14. Erect dinosaur
    19. Those 16. Lives in Spain or Portugal
    20. Home pictures [6-2] 18. Concern
    23. Sir Laurence, actor 21. Distance
    24. Void 22. Travel
    25. Leg joints  
    26. Go colour
    Solution in Article 34.



    Following an initiative of the Community Department of Ilfracombe College [as it was then] for villages in the area to produce their own newsletter/magazine, and with the blessing of the Parish Council, the Berrynarbor Newsletter, with a short-term committee of

    Tom Bartlett, Josef Belka, Vi Davies, Elaine Fanner, Margaret King and Judie Weedon, was launched in August 1989.

    The first issues of the bi-monthly A5 booklet publication contained 20 pages were produced with stencils and an erratic and inky duplicator, the 300 copies, printed by courtesy of Ilfracombe College, being collated and stapled by hand. Since 2002 It has been printed professionally, first by Len Goddard of Combe Martin and then for the last 11 years by David Beagley - the Mover and Shaker of Edition 199.

    Over the years it has contained news of local interest, forthcoming events and reports of events past, articles on the village history and topics of general interest, together with a crossword to keep puzzlers happy! Many of these articles have been illustrated by four willing local artists - Debbie Rigler Cook, Nigel Mason, the late Peter Rothwell and Paul Swailes, latterly it's Artist in Residence. Only by the wonderful support of the contributors, especially the regular ones and the many readers, has it been able to continue for 33 years.

    Established as a 'freebie' publication, it has been financed by a continued grant from the Parish Council and by donations from the Parochial Church Council and readers themselves, some 100 of whom have received it by post for which they have paid an annual subscription. Advertising, the policy for which has been to keep it to a minimum and for local businesses only, and fund-raising events have helped to boost the coffers.

    Since 2004, the Newsletter has had its own website - www.berrynarbor-news.co.uk which is now being updated with all editions, from 1 to 199 included, just this, the 200th to be added. The early editions published on the website were cut down versions of the hardcopy, but latterly the website has featured the entire newsletter. Since space is not a premium online, it has been possible to add high resolution versions of the artwork and images that make the newsletter so special. The website has also allowed the categorising of the articles, allowing series to be viewed as a whole rather than edition by edition. Galleries have also been included for the aforementioned artists and also for Tom's Postcards, which really come to life online allowing the finer details of each to be appreciated.

    The plan is to keep the website running once the Newsletter [in its current form] stops being published. There is however a cost associated with this, both in terms of the domain name of Berrynarbor-news.co.uk and also for the web hosting. How this will be funded remains to be resolved, but the website is a valuable asset for the village, containing 33 years of social history spread over 6500 articles and with 5500 images. Over time the content will become ever more precious - it is hoped it will become a reference for future generations to enjoy.


    1,687 Bridge Card Game Illustrations & Clip Art - iStock 


    We are a small [10-14] group pf average skill players who meet each Thursday at 2.00 p.m. in the Manor Hall.

    We should like to increase our membership
    and even learners would be welcomed.


    Then please telephone Keith on [01271] 883762



    Planters Built
    General Repairs

    007950 925004



    Organist and Choirmaster at St. Peter's since 2000, and for many years Organist at St. Peter's, Combe Martin, I had a surprise communication in July from Hillary Richards, Churchwarden at Combe Martin, inviting me to play the organ for a film company called Eagle Vs Bat, which I gratefully accepted.

    Combe Martin residents, Tom and Erica Angell, are creators of a children's television show for which they were asking for permission to film inside Combe Martin Church for a series called 'The Sound Collector', about a little deaf individual who collects sounds. The locations of the series are live action and two small puppets are the stars. These will be added in animation after filming of each episode is complete. The filming required specific sounds to be recorded and it was decided to start by using the sound of the church bells at Combe Martin, and later the sound of the pipe organ.

    So, the day cometh and I was asked to play some music, some soft, some louder, but having to avoid infringing composers' copyright. In the final analysis, I decided to play something that was literally in my head, a sort of jazz technique/improvisation but not actually playing jazz music. The morning session went very well indeed and was duly recorded for the series.

    The little puppet was a masterpiece of design, about 20cms in height, and its anatomy was fully mobile using internal armature to enable it to be placed in any location within the live action, but adjacent to the sound it was collecting. The series will be shown on ITV next year, so watch this space!

    Finally, I wish to thank Tom, Erica and all the film crew for their kindness and appreciation on the day.

    Stuart Neale


    Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


    Greetings and good wishes to Jill McCrae on gaining another 'O' Level, 90 years young on the 24th August.

    Congratulations to Tom and Inge who reached their Diamond Wedding Anniversary, 60 years since their wedding in the UK on the 1st September and on the 7th in Germany. And belated good wishes to Alan and Nora Rowlands who recently celebrated their Diamond Wedding.

    Congratulations to Harry Weedon, who having excelled at 'A' Level Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry, has won a place to study Engineering at Peterhouse Cambridge. Peterhouse is the oldest college at Cambridge, being attended by such notables as Lord Kelvin, Charles Babbage and David Mitchell. It was chosen by Harry as it is where the Cambridge Cycling Club meet each week!




    I am sure I write on behalf of all your readers when I say a HUGE thank-you to you for all the amazing Berrynarbor Newsletters you have produced for the village over the years. We shall miss receiving them anymore, and I sincerely hope someone will come along and take-up the challenge to continue your commitment to keep everyone informed of Berry's goings-on. Thank you, Judie - enjoy a bit more time for yourself and your family! You should feel incredibly proud of your amazing, much appreciated job - well done!

    Marian Delve - former resident of Bessemer Thatch




    Ten-Acre Vineyard is tucked away down a track off the Old Torrington Road, Winkleigh. If you can form a group, the owner-founder, Toby McKinnel will give you an informative and amusing insight into his artisan wine-making business, overlooking soft Devonian hills and Dartmoor. His career, spanning 22 years, began in Hungary, having purchased a property, he discovered at a later date that it came with a vineyard!

    He grows three types of grapes: Rondo, Madeleine Angevin and Pearl of Zala. He is the only grower in the UK to grow the latter: a Hungarian vine. His white wines are vintage in style, meaning that they, usually, taste different from year to year; he doesn't play with them to try and ensure that this year's are the same as last. Thirteen Wine Circle members had a tour and tasting of his produce: still and sparkling. It was a delightful visit and even the sun managed to shine, at times, on what had been mainly a very wet September week. We followed this with lunch at The Kings Arms, Winkleigh. Winkleigh village has been fortunate; Faye and Rich became new owners in March 2018. Their attention, service and food were excellent and the pub, generally, had a buzz to it. It's a shame it's an hour away!

    "Wine - the intellectual part of the meal". Alexandre Dumas

    The Circle's new season, 2022-23, begins on Wednesday, 19th October, with a Tour of Italy. 16th November is The Wine Society; 14th December is our Christmas Do. 18th January will be a view of the Magnificent Rhone Valley. Our ever-popular and hilarious Call My Bluff will be the highlight of February, on the 15th, and Nigel Pound presents on 15th March. Confirmation of presenters for our final two months, April and May, will occur in 2023.

    We always meet in the Manor Hall, at 8.00 p.m. There is plenty of space for new members - you will receive a warm welcome and a few glasses!

    Judith Adam - Promotional Co-ordinator



    I have been thinking long and hard about what I should write in this final edition of our village magazine. I could regale you with my usual tales of mishaps and misadventures, experienced over the summer. [Yes, I admit there have been a few!] For example, the incident with the dam-building at Watermouth when a rock got lodged in my mouth or the day I escaped and sneaked into Jenny and Lee's house and stole Yogi's food right under Jenny's nose! However, this will be my last opportunity to really talk to you and I have decided I ought to take a more serious tone . . . or try anyway!

    This newsletter has always been about reaching the community, talking about that community; sharing events and activities in the community and celebrating the community. When you look back over all the editions over the years, especially now that they are on-line, you realise this newsletter has provided a social history of the village. I hope in some small way I have highlighted the vital role us dogs play in that community too. We are an important part of Berrynarbor; a quirky crew who all play their part in making this village a special place. You could analyse the number and types of dogs that have lived here over the years and if you did, I can guarantee I am the first ever Clumberdoodle. [Always said I was unique!] We come in all shapes and sizes; each with our own personalities. Some big and boisterous, some small and playful. Our barks, temperaments, and abilities all vary. The little ones can be the most vocal, whilst the collies are incredibly smart. Some love ball games, whilst others favour sticks. Some walk to heal whilst others pull their long-suffering owners all around the village! [I hold my paw up to that one!]

    We are all very special in our own way just like all you villagers. Some of you are quiet and keep yourselves to yourselves whilst others are lively and enjoy all the community events. Some stand out like Wendy, renowned baker, Ollie, Dan and Sal, great gardeners, the Bridles, quiz masters extraordinaire, Karen, Susan and Jackie great shop keepers, Seretse the great story teller and lover of nature, George the Vicar, Alan the floorer, Victoria the dog whisperer and Judie editor of this village newsletter. We all play our part in making this village a great place to live; a wonderful community. And whilst this might be the last newsletter and my last blog, we will go on playing together, supporting each other, and sometimes annoying each other. [Yes, Dora I will continue to annoy you!] It's what village life is all about.

    Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook

    Thank you, Debbie, for the lovely picture of me and all my friends and thank you, Judie for giving me the chance over the last two years to put forward a doggy perspective of life in this village. I am going to miss your deadlines but please keep the treats coming! Sadly, it is time for me to hang up all my leads, and woof off!

    See you around.



    This Little Piggy went to market
    This Little Piggy stayed at home
    This Little Piggy had roast beef
    This Little Piggy had none
    And this Little Piggy went OUCH, OUCH, OUCH!
    All the way home

    That was all the sympathy I got from my good friend Jan in Norfolk, followed by six more clever verses, when I had to have my little toe amputated recently. There isn't room for all her verses, nor the reason for my loss, but it made me wonder about the origin of this beloved nursery rhyme. Google helped!

    The rhyme has been told in different languages all round the world. It originated in a melody of 1728 called The Nurse's Song, but not until 1760 did the full version appear in the famous Tom Thumb's Little Story-Book, together with Baa Baa Black Sheep, Hickory, Dickory Dock, Pat-A-Cake and so on. The author of 'Piggy' is unknown.

    As we all know, it is associated with wiggling a child's various toes, the last one being the 'pinky' when the bottom of the foot is tickled, resulting in many squeals and giggles. It's a good way to teach infants and toddlers to count to five and often causes as much fun for the ones doing the tickling!

    But give a little thought to what it is saying - the darker interpretation of this little rhyme. The 'little piggy going to market' is not off to the supermarket! It probably means he's going to be slaughtered and become a juicy pork joint, or breakfast bacon. The 'little piggy staying at home' could mean that he's not yet mature enough to be eaten. The one eating roast beef needs to be fattened up and the poor little one with none is probably too small for anything other than to be eaten by the farmer's family. And what of the one crying wee, wee, wee? He's probably just terrified!

    So try not to think about its meaning when next you wiggle a little one's toes - and remember that for them, "Innocence is Bliss!" Jan, however, wasn't going to let me get away with innocence. Her final verse read:

    So now I say to Brave Little Piggy,
    Find a box with cotton wool,
    To wrap your toe and keep it in,
    So you can look at it and smile,
    Remembering days when you could sing
    "Wee wee wee" all the way home!

    I didn't keep the toe, and she's still a very good friend!

    Pam Parke


    Artwork: Angela Bartlett

    YES, OR NO?

    As I stood on the car park overlooking Newberry Beach, what should I see?

    Lying there, apparently without a care were two mermaids. Did I say mermaids? Yes, there were two! I clambered down to the beach to make their acquaintance and say hello.

    "Hello!" one replied, and I was glad I was able to talk to them. "We are not really mermaids," Jill said, "These are just pull-on tails, held on with Velcro. I must explain to you that we are both to appear next week at the Water Show in London, so we are just getting our hands in, so to speak." What a fool I felt!

    Of course, there are not really mermaids - or are there?


    Illustrated by: Paul Swailes

    Tony Beauclerk - Stowmarket


    Artwork: Helen Weedon


    According to Google the meaning of the word aspire is to direct one's hopes or ambitions towards achieving something. This definition led me to question whether the word applies to everyone. After some consideration I came to the conclusion that it depends on the extent to which the word is interpreted. Personally, I know many people who do not regard themselves as ambitious, something that I feel is a direct consequence of us living in a culture where the word is linked to one's work status. Yet if, for example, a person has a disability [employed or otherwise] which impedes them from doing everyday activities, then aspiring to successfully carry out day-to-day tasks can be regarded as an achievement; and having lived with epilepsy all my life. I feel I have some background knowledge on the subject. But I digress . . .

    Google's definition of the word aspire also led me to consider people in society who do good deeds for their fellow citizens - something that the pandemic has undoubtedly brought to the fore. The more I contemplated this, the more it seemed to me that such people fall into two groups; those who are somewhat conceited and boastful and those who are modest and humble. Although I feel the former group are a minority in our society, I have, unfortunately, come into contact with quite a number of people who aspire to seek the highest mountain top to tell their stories of great deeds to anyone who is willing [or not] to hear them. Such proclamations are, I feel, for two reasons. Firstly, they enable the person's alter ego to swell to an even larger size than what it already is, but more significantly, it allows them to receive as much gratitude as is possible from all those connected with the good deeds they undertake.

    To me, this is the key difference between these people and those who are humble and modest; for this latter group do not carry out their good deeds with the intent of seeking praise. [It is important to remember, however, that it is acceptable to receive praise when it is given rather than bat it away.] There is one such 'person' who I know that is modest, giving pleasure to everyone all year round - or at least to those with whom they come into contact - and never expect gratitude: our natural world. However, that is not to say there are those of us who give thanks for the beauty of nature in our own way whether it be through prayer, meditation or whilst in direct contact with our natural surroundings; and whilst our countryside may not expect obligatory praise for the contentment and satisfaction it provides, it would do us no harm to at least give nature the respect it deserves, rather that inflict any further damage upon it. One can only live in hope that as a society we have culturally reached a turning point to recognise the past consequences of the damage already inflicted upon our natural surroundings.

    But back to the subject of praise; and, more significantly, the fact that this will be my last Rural Reflections article and so time to say thank you to all those who have helped, contributed towards and encouraged me to write over 100 articles during the last twenty-two years. Firstly, you the readers, and not forgetting those who have passed away, without whom there would have been no articles; your positive comments have made me feel that my efforts to devise and compose my contributions have been worthwhile. Secondly, to Paul and Debbie who have produced wonderful illustrations [often at short notice!] to accompany my articles. Thirdly, my husband Dean for typing up 106 articles, the fingers of his two hands being somewhat quicker on the keyboard than the index finger of my left hand and thumb on my right hand [the latter only used if a capital letter would have been required!].

    And finally to Judie, especially for her bi-monthly nagging [her word, not mine] for another submission. Judie, there were times in the past when I wondered if I should call it a day. But it was my loyalty to you and my admiration of your dedication to this newsletter that kept me going and ensured another article was forthcoming. So, from Dean and myself, a huge thanks for all the effort and unrelenting hard work you have given to the Berrynarbor Newsletter over the past years.

    Illustrated by: Paul Swailes

    Steve McCarthy




    Change can be challenging
    Causing pain and confusion
    But thinking things can always be the same
    is sadly, pure delusion.
    As nature shows,
    our world is ever-changing.
    Each new day starts afresh.
    Our environment ever-rearranging.
    Whilst life goes on,
    death can impact too,
    throwing turmoil into daily life.
    Emotions over-taking you.
    We have to bend and adapt to life's changes,
    acknowledging when they're gone.
    Some things just have to be accepted
    it's no good holding on.
    Change can be simple;
    a chance to modify.
    Or it can be traumatic;
    a fact I can't deny.
    Embracing change can be tough
    but therapeutic sometimes as well.
    Allowing time to revaluate.
    Appreciating things that compel.
    We have to accept life's rich tapestry
    with its ups and its downs.
    Absorbing it's changing patterns.
    Creating smiles as well as frowns.
    But feeling you have to make changes
    just for changes sake.
    Be careful, my dear friend
    for that could be a big mistake!

    Pam Robinson

    Illustrations by: Paul Swailes


    with Tim Davis

    Swans don't sing, I hear you cry! But they do - after a fashion - though not quite with the operatic, pre-death aria ascribed to them by the Ancient Greeks.

    With autumn in full swing and winter just around the corner, now is the time of year when Britain's full complement of wild swans will be present on our wetlands and surrounding fields, in particular those of conservation organisations such as the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT), RSPB and the Wildlife Trusts. The UK is host to three species: the very familiar mute swan which is a native resident with its famous Royal connection, the whooper swan and, the smallest of the three, Bewick's swan, which like the whooper is a winter visitor from far northern climes.

    Mute swans are actually far from mute. Cygnets make loud whistling calls, but once they reach adulthood their main noises become grunts and snorts, especially during the breeding season. One of the best places locally to watch - and hear - mute swans is Wrafton Pond, easily reached along the Tarka Trail from its starting point at Velator in Braunton. One or two pairs nest here each year and the male's vocalisations, when defending its territory or seeing off a rival suitor, can be quite alarming!

    Both whooper and Bewick's swans are vocal throughout the year, especially when on water and in flight. The calls of these two winter visitors are however quite different.

    Bewick's swans make a soft, almost musical bugling call. They breed on tundra in Arctic Russia from where they make a 3,500-kilometre journey to the warmer winter climes of the UK, mainly in eastern England, Lancashire and around the WWT Slimbridge reserve on the Severn Estuary. Whilst numbers visiting Slimbridge have fallen in recent years, last winter's total of 128 birds included 33 juveniles, which made it the most successful breeding season since 1966. A winter visit to Slimbridge provides the opportunity to see the swans up close, especially during the late afternoon feeds on the Rushy Pen - which you can enjoy whilst seated in a heated observatory, hot chocolate in hand.

    Whooper swans are highly vocal, their loud trumpeting calls like a 1920s car horn! They breed in Iceland and fly non-stop at very high altitudes to wintering grounds in Scotland, Northern Ireland, northern England and East Anglia. A few 'overshoot' their intended destination - especially if there is a strong tail wind - and turn up in Devon from time to time, like the six birds [pictured] which spent a short time on Lundy. Others have appeared on Braunton Marshes.

    What further differences are there between the three species? Adult mute swans have red and black bills, while whooper and Bewick's have yellow and black bills, a key difference being the greater extent of yellow on the whooper's bill - which you might be able to pick out in the photo montage. Mutes and whoopers are roughly the same size in length and wingspan, while Bewick's are smaller (about four-fifths the size of the other two), with a distinctly shorter and straighter neck than a whooper's.

    Altogether there are seven species of swan worldwide, the other four being trumpeter (the largest of all and found in North America), tundra (arctic North America), black-necked (Falkland Islands and southern South America) and black (Australia). All occur in wildfowl collections in the UK. Of these, black swans, which have long been a feature (and the emblem) of Dawlish in South Devon, were first imported into the UK in the late 18th century and first bred in the wild in 1851 in Surrey. They now occur widely as introductions or escapes. Black swans are also known to form hybrid pairs with mute swans and produce offspring - known as 'blute swans'!

    Clockwise from top left:
    Bewick's swans (photo: Jeff Hazell), mute swan (photo: Alick Simmons) and whooper swans on Lundy (photo: Nigel Dalby)

    My Swansong

    As a teenager growing up in Barnstaple in the late 1960's I was totally unaware of the riches of the wildlife around me until I met someone who introduced me to Lundy, and subsequently to the joys of 'birdwatching with a purpose' (e.g. carrying out monthly counts of wildfowl and wading birds on the Taw/Torridge Estuary) and to discovering the many wild places that took me to. Little did I know that this would open the door to a 40-year career working for the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), The Wildfowl Trust and WWF International before returning to North Devon in 2001 to establish, with Tim Jones, our nature-focused consultancy.

    Over the past 21 years living in the Sterridge Valley, once again involved in estuary counts, recording birds and other wildlife at home, on Lundy and around North Devon, and more recently doing bird surveys for the National Trust on some of their coastal land holdings, the enormity of habitat loss and wildlife declines through human activity has hit us with the force of a brick - whether here in North Devon, elsewhere in the UK, or further afield. A recent assessment by Tim J of more than 50 years of counts on the Taw/Torridge Estuary revealed a 68% decline in average peak numbers of wintering waterbirds. And where 20 years ago the skies above the valley in spring and summer would be filled with locally breeding Swallows and House Martins and a dozen or more Swifts, nowadays the Swallows and martins are many fewer in number and Swifts have all but gone.

    Collectively in the valley and village, we live within the North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) but sometimes we risk confusing what we think of as 'beautiful', with what is good for nature. In these times of a rapidly changing climate and declining insect and bird populations, we can all do our bit. That might mean thinking about how to make a bit more space for wildlife in our gardens, farm fields, hedges and verges - letting rough corners stay rough, allowing a bit of gorse or furze here and there, or restoring ponds or wet flushes that can help resist drought. A lot has changed with agricultural policy and farming practices. Encounters with Yellowhammers for instance, once common across North Devon, are now rare as the seed-producing crops on which they used to depend in winter have largely disappeared.

    There are of course plenty of good things happening. One example is the recent clear-felling of swathes of mature Sitka spruce and western hemlock from Woolscott Cleave. In spite of the dramatic change in appearance, this will allow natural regeneration of native broad-leaved trees such as silver birch, hazel, rowan and willow, along with sweet chestnut which may take the place of the stricken ash, supplemented by some additional planting of oak.

    As awareness of our fast-diminishing wildlife grows, a question I am increasingly asked is, 'What can I do to help?' If you have a garden, no matter how small, create a pond and/or a wildflower meadow, even if it's only a small patch. You will be amazed at how quickly your pond will attract wildlife, from pondskaters and whirligig beetles to dragonflies and damselflies, toads, frogs and newts. If you don't have a garden, a window box planted with nectar-rich flowering plants will attract pollinating insects, especially bees. If neither of these opportunities work for you, you can support nature-recovery projects by donating or subscribing to organisations such as Devon Wildlife Trust, the Woodland Trust, Plantlife, Buglife and the RSPB.

    Good luck.

    Tim Davis





    1. Abeam 4. Climb 10. Extol 11. Licence 12. Overcome 13. Some 15. Dainty 17. Planet 19. Them 20. Colour TV 23. Olivier 24. Annul 25. Knees 26. Green


    2. Bathe 3. Allocate 5. Lice 6. Monsoon 7. Recondition 8. Flame 9. Retentively 14. Allosaur 16. Iberian 18. Worry 21. Range 22. Ride



    Summer is over and Autumn is well and truly on its way - there are still lots of colours here at Marwood Hill Gardens, from Salvias to the black-eyed Geranium!

    Excitingly in the woodland many of the trees are showing fabulous oranges, yellows and reds, recalling memories of warm hats, scarves and fluffy winter boots!

    Catch up over coffee and home-made cake [the Tea Room has been experimenting with lots of new flavours!] or a cream tea in the picturesque Garden Tea Room, open till the end of October.

    Please check our website for more information: www.marwoodhillgarden.co.uk
    or call us on 01271 342528.




    Walk in ancient woods
    Feel the life beneath your feet
    the complex web of roots and fungi
    networking, supporting
    Stop and look up
    at the towering oak
    the broad branched beech
    the quivering ailing ash
    Sheltering the understorey
    providing homes and food
    for birds and other animals
    for insects lichen fungi . . .
    Their fallen branches - and
    ancestors and cousins - lie
    decaying on the ground
    dead . . . but full of life . . .
    The woods are full of life
    life that owes its being to the trees
    What history have they witnessed
    what dramas have they lived through . . .
    And still strong they stand

    Virginia Evans

    Illustration by: Paul Swailes



    Artwork: Harry Weedon


    Hello, my name is Sally and I live at Barn Cottage, Sterridge Valley with Chris, Dan and Oli.

    Wendy has asked me to write a few words as when she very sadly left the village this summer she asked someone to step forward to lead Berry In Bloom. No one has, and so, she asked if I [alongside other members in the village] would step in to continue helping make the village 'blooming' attractive, for both residents and visitors.

    Myself, Chris, Dan, Oli and helpers have produced some of the hanging baskets in the village, which we shall do again this coming year, but unfortunately, due to personal circumstances and commitments, I am not able to push forward an entry to Britain in Bloom and if anyone living in the village feels passionately about that, could they kindly step forward to steer it.

    Myself, Dan, Oli and Jon [one of the boys' enablers] will continue to offer tidying services to the Shop and other areas, on request, and myself and other volunteers will endeavour to keep the village a clean, green and blooming marvellous place to live. Kate Stephenson will continue to organise the litter picking.

    I shall be ordering the plug plants soon for next spring delivery so if anyone would like to order any baskets for next year, please do get in touch so that I can give you the prices for the various sizes. Tel: 07714796081.

    We should like to take this opportunity to thank Wendy and Colin and all the volunteers for their years of dedication to keeping Berry in Bloom and making it a 'blooming' beautiful place to live and visit. You are very much missed.

    Also, I'm sure I speak for so many residents of the village in saying a massive thank you to Judie and the contributors for the years spent producing the newsletter. Thank you, it's an unenviable task and you have done it tirelessly and efficiently, we're sure it's going to be missed.

    Sal of BC


    Artwork: Angela Bartlett

    Artwork: Angela Bartlett

    Wendy Applegate



    My son Harry and I have often discussed cycling from our home in Milton Keynes down to my parents in Berrynarbor, but it's always been a bit tongue in cheek. "Wouldn't it be great" . . . safe in the knowledge it probably wouldn't ever happen. Then at the end of July we found ourselves with a couple of spare days ahead of a trip down to North Devon. My wife Emma had to work, but Harry and I were both free. Could we? Should we? Shall we? Why not!

    It was 3.00 p.m. on a Tuesday and we were due to have a family lunch at midday on the Friday at The Muddiford Inn - which by the way was excellent! That meant we needed to arrive in North Devon on the Thursday night to avoid turning up tired and sweaty just before heading out for lunch. A plan was hatched and a route planned using the cycling app Strava. With a total distance of over 200 miles, we thought we should split the ride over 3 days. OK, to be more accurate, I thought we should split over 3 days, Harry being younger [18], fitter and a strong Cyclocross racer and Time Trialist, was keen to try it in 2 days . . . thankfully he took pity on me.

    A few quick phone calls and we had managed to book overnight stays at hotels that were happy for us to store our road bikes in our room. Stop one on Tuesday night would be at Cotswold Water Park near Cirencester and stop two on Wednesday evening at Bridgewater. The latter being chosen to give us a good night's rest prior taking on the Quantocks and Exmoor.

    A stunning evening riding through the Cotswolds

    >Exmoor. One of us was finding it easy going!

    By now it was approaching 4.00 p.m. and with 70 miles to do before nightfall we rushed around packing what we could fit into our two cycling back packs. Essentials being food, drinks powder and gels for energy, a spare set of cycling kit each, enough chargers and cables to recharge our phones, Garmin bike computers, lights and radars [we run radar rear lights that alert us when there are cars behind us along with an indication of their distance and closing speed - an essential fourth sense on busy roads]. Oh, and some clean clothes for evenings and toiletries. Tools, spare inner tubes were wedged in our saddle bags.

    So around 90 mins after coming up with the plan . . . and with a two-day head start on our support vehicle, we set off on our adventure.

    • Leg 1 - Milton Keynes to Cotswold Water Park. 70.82 miles. 2,992 ft of elevation. Average speed 16.3 mph. Moving time 4:21:06.

      Ride notes: Set off a bit later than ideal, but a lovely evening riding into the sunset. The Cotswolds didn't disappoint. Some wonderful quiet roads on a beautiful still evening.

    • Leg 2 - Cotswold Water Park to Bridgewater. 80.12 miles. 3,530 ft of elevation. Average speed 15.5 mph. Moving time 5:09:43.

      Ride notes: The longest leg. Not quite as picturesque as Leg 1, but Malmesbury was quaint and descending down through Cheddar Gorge was fab! Bridgewater in rush hour wasn't the best, but the Holiday Inn Express was clean, tidy and the pub over the road served a good pint. Shortest Leg tomorrow but with loads of climbing over Exmoor. Just what these tired old legs need on day 3!

    • Leg 3 - Bridgewater to Berrynarbor. 57.24 miles. 4,918 ft of elevation. Average speed 13.8 mph. Moving time 4:04:46.

      The climbing day. The Quantocks weren't too bad and were dispatched early doors. Then coffee with my cousin [best coffee of the trip I might add!] and on to Exmoor. As expected, it was a beast. The climb from the Elworthy road up towards Raleigh's Cross was particularly tough, but we made it. Following a quick refuel for a cream tea at Simonsbath, we finally rolled into Berrynarbor late afternoon on the Thursday, an hour or two ahead of our support vehicle which had left Milton Keynes late that morning.

    It was a bit surreal riding down into Berrynarbor from Diggers Cross knowing we had ridden all the way to get there. It felt more like three long rides on consecutive days than a single journey, but it was definitely an excellent adventure with my favourite cycling buddy. On the way we managed to have breakfast with my big sis' Helen, nephew Jamal and Helen's partner John on the Wednesday am, and coffee near Bishops Lydeard on the Thursday with my cousin Katie and family to say "Hello" to my aunt Caroline and cousin Sarah's daughter Izzy, over visiting from the US.

    Journey's end (almost!) at Digger's Cross.

    The weather was perfect on all three days being overcast, but warm with no rain. We had no mechanical issues or punctures and everywhere we stopped for food or coffee and cake turned out to be little gems. On the way we enjoyed an entirely new perspective on the country we live in - quite different from the usual 'tunnel vision' of the A420, M4, M5 and North Devon Link Road. I doubt we could have arranged it any better with a years' worth of planning - sometimes things just work out!

    PS - No, we didn't ride home again! Harry did another 100+ miles around North Devon over the following weekend, whilst I took a well-earned rest from the saddle!

    Ride Totals: 208.18 miles, 11,400 ft of climbing, Total ride time: 13 hours, 35 minutes.

    James Weedon


    Artwork: Angela Bartlett


    "I can hate you more, but I'll never love you less." "Any problem can be solved between people if only they can trust each other" "cause when there's life there's still hope"

    These quotes come, in a change from previous articles, from the work of a current day storyteller, Michael Morpurgo in his novel War Horse. Sir Michael Morpurgo is a British novelist, playwright, librettist and poet known for his many children's novels.

    From 2003 to 2005 he was the Children's Laureate, receiving an OBE in 2006. He was appointed a knighthood in the 2018 New Year's Honour List for Literature and Charity. His latest book, There Once Is A Queen, illustrated by Michael Foreman, was published in 2022. But let Michael tell you more -

    Much ado about . . . me

    "I was born a really long time ago 5th October 1943 in St. Alban's in Hertfordshire. My mother was there too, strangely enough, but my father was away at the war, in Baghdad. I had one older brother, Pieter. We both were evacuated to Northumberland when we were little, away from the bombs. After the war it was all change at home, not that I remember much of it. My mother wanted to be with a man she had met while my father was away in the army. He was called Jack Morpurgo. So my father came home to find there was no place for him. There was a divorce. Jack Morpurgo married my mother, and so became our stepfather. We lived in London then. We went to primary school at St. Matthews in the Warwick Road, then were sent off to boarding school in Sussex - the Abbey, Ashurst Wood. I was there for six years, hated being away from home, loved rugby and singing. Then I went off to a school in Canterbury. The King's School, where I got more used to being away from home and still loved rugby and singing. We wore strange uniforms, wing collars, black jackets, boaters. And when I was older I got to wear a scarlet gown which made me feel very important.

    I went into the army, to Sandhurst, where officers are trained. Liked the uniforms and the good food and the friends I made, but hated being shouted at. Decided the army life was not for me. Met a girl called Clare who agreed with me and we got married, really young, because we loved one another. Had children really young, three of them. Went off to university at King's College, London, to start all over again. I got my degree, just, and decided to be a teacher. I had done a little bit before and liked it. So found myself in front of a class of children for the first time. Scary! But I loved reading stories to them. They seemed to like that too. We moved around a lot from school to school, which was quite unsettling for everyone, but finally ended up teaching in a little village primary school in Kent, at Wickhambreaux, where I ran out of other writers stories to read, so started making up some of my own.

    Then Clare and I decided to start all over again, again! She was a teacher too by this time. We thought that what children needed most were wonderful and memorable experiences that would really help them find out about the world around them and find out more about themselves too. So we set up a charity called Farms for City Children, moved to Iddesleigh, bought a big house called Nethercott where the children could stay, made a partnership with a farming family we had got to know and invited our first city children down to the farm. The charity has been running now for forty years. Over 90,000 children have come to the three farms where the charity now runs, in Wales at Lower Treginnis Farm, in Gloucestershire at Wick Court, and of course where we started it all, at Nethercott in Devon.

    Clare and I worked at this for over twenty-five years, before handing it over to young, more energetic people, all wonderful people who run it now. The three farms still go on, with about 3,000 city and town children coming to stay with their teachers for a week working down on the farm. Clare and I remain involved but not out on the farm any more.

    During all this time our children were growing up, of course. We now have eight grandchildren, with a great-grandchild on the way! And during all this time I was writing away, becoming a writer, a storyteller. Here in Devon I wrote nearly all my books, 130 I think, not that numbers count. And with all of them, I was much helped in my writing by many friends and writers, especially by Ted Hughes, the great poet, who lived nearby and fished on the river that runs through the farm. He became a good friend, and was a great inspiration to me to keep writing when I was finding it hard. And he and his wife Carol were always a source of great support to Farms for City Children.

    Well that's just about all the much ado of my life, summed up in a nutshell. If you do want to find our more, then read Maggie Fergusson's biography of me, called War Child to War Horse.

    Judie Weedon



    We are Kathryn and Mark and have recently moved into Cherry Tree Cottage and are thrilled to be part of the Berrynarbor community and touched by the warmth of greeting received in welcoming us to 'the Valley'. Mark is a would-be poet who is not a best-selling author either side of the Atlantic. Still, he perseveres, and offers this in part explanation for our move.

    ...So, he sits atop Hill Barton
    To look out, pour over
    The wonder of the land about him
    Early morn and the sun
    Begins to stretch thru the valley
    Cast light and magic leeside and vale
    The people consider a stretch and yawn
    But submit this side of dawn
    And turn once more for blissful sleep
    Nothing to disturb their slumber
    But the bumble of a bee
    Or partridge hacking cough
    Sleep they do
    Resist freckledom
    But he, but he
    Rose early
    Call of the land
    A need to glory
    On Sterridge Valley
    Combe bound stream
    Bubbles and babbles beneath him
    Rushing t'ward the sea, the sea
    And birdsong
    Enlivens the day
    Green upon green upon green
    Greet his eyes
    The steep banked hills training his vision
    On all yet to come,
    Breath deep breath deep
    This great beauty
    The day, his anew
    And life is upon him . . .

    Mark Rogers

    Illustrated by: Paul Swailes



    [12th December 1938 -]

    Exceptional Mover and Shaker!

    I've now highlighted one hundred Movers and Shakers - but have left the best 'til last! Certainly since 1989, when she started our popular Newsletter, Judie has moved and shaken many of us in and around the village into contributing to it!

    Now it is drawing to a close and will be sadly missed. For Judie, however, other than helping with completion of the website, her massive workload of urging, editing, compiling and getting the newsletter to the printers in time - and then making sure people get their copy - will be a distant memory!

    Over the years though, there has been a lot more happening in Judie's life than the Newsletter.

    She was born in Northwood, Middlesex - a pre-war baby [just!] to parents Barbara and Tom Pickup. Her father, a Manufacturers' Agent, liaised between the Lancashire cotton mills and notable outlets in London such as Heals. His London office pre-dated the Great Fire, so in Judie's words, "the floor was a bit wonky!" Barbara, who had always been interested in Fine Arts, gained a diploma in the History of Art from the University of London at the age of 61 no less! In latter years she ran an art appreciation group for the U3A from her home in Barton Lane, Berrynarbor, which some of you may remember. Judie has an older sister, Caroline, who has lived in the United States since 1969, has 4 children.

    But back to Judie. She was educated from kindergarten to sixth form at the independent private St Helen's School in Northwood as a day pupil although the school also took boarders. On its present website it states "preparing students to be the leaders of tomorrow". Nothing changes! On leaving, she completed a year's residential Secretarial course in Eastbourne before working as a secretary at Milton Antiseptic [sterilisers of babies' bottles etc]. This was then followed by the post of Secretary to the Company Secretary of Universal Asbestos. She soon learned that her new boss had had 3 secretaries in the past six months! He immediately tested her by demanding a change of perhaps one word in the script she'd just typed meaning the whole item had to be re-done. So, one day she confronted him with drafts of all he'd previously dictated, asking if any changes were necessary before she typed them. He'd met his match! After this, she stayed for 5 years, and they became friends for life.

    Judie and Ken married in Northwood in 1962, so this year on March 22nd they celebrated their Diamond Wedding, acknowledged by the Queen. This isn't the only time that Judie has made the acquaintance of Her Majesty. In 2013 she was invited by an unknown nominator [perhaps for her stalwart work on our newsletter?] to the prestigious Garden Party at Buckingham Palace which she very much enjoyed.

    Ken worked for Coutant Electronics [now TDK-Lambda], makers of electronic equipment, for many years. He was first employed in Reading - which meant a move from their first home in Bletchley, buying a bungalow near Pangbourne. Here, both their children, Helen and James were born. Helen followed her mum in enjoying dance and music, studying for a degree in Performance Arts at Middlesex University, majoring in dance, and also attaining Grade VIII French Horn with distinction. For some years she taught 'A' Level Dance at both schools and colleges, but now works for the Arts and Humanities Research Council. She has 3 boys. James when young took up racing 1/8th off-road radio-controlled cars and, backed by his father, entered events all over the country and abroad, twice becoming British Champion in this class! He studied Software Engineering at Birmingham University and was responsible for getting our Newsletter on the web in 2004. His interest has passed to his teenage son, Harry, who has designed the programme for updating the website for all of our newsletters, on which James is currently working. If you've not looked at the site yet [usual address: www.berrynarbor-newsletter.co.uk] have a go. It's well worth it! For details see October 2021.

    Ken was moved by Coutant to Ilfracombe in 1969 where he became Manufacturing Manager and subsequently Managing Director. The move to Devon meant the Weedons had to decide where to live. They contacted Brighton Gay [remember them?] and liked Berrynarbor, particularly the Sterridge Valley. "Well", said the estate agent, "Today I've received planning permission for a site for a 3-bedroomed bungalow, just there." And so 'Chicane' was born!

    Over the years, Judie has been involved in many projects. Ken joined Round Table, and then Rotary where he became President in 1984. Judie joined Ladies Circle, becoming Ilfracombe Chairman in 1975/6 and Area Chairman for Devon in 1976/77. [There were 22 Circles in Devon then, now there are just 2!].

    For 24 years, she worked as PA/Secretary at Ilfracombe College [now The Ilfracombe Academy] to 3 Headmasters: John Gale, Alan Bacon and David Humphries. Having retired, she volunteered for the National Trust at Arlington Court where she stayed for 23 years until 2020, completing during her time the first on-line inventories of both the House and Carriage Collection. For 10 of those years, she also volunteered at Marwood Hill Gardens.

    During the past 33 years Judie has edited and produced 199 [this being 200] editions of our Newsletter, giving a 'unique in-depth view of the social history of Berrynarbor'. Initially for a brief period there was a small committee, but it soon became a one-person job. Over the years, she arranged various fund-raising events. The first was 'A Country Collection', a 5-day event showing the work of the newsletter artists; then were two 'Take it Home' craft days where folk could try stained glass work, paint pebbles, flower arrange, make cake decorations etc. and take home their results; and finally a 'Pamper Day' appropriately on Valentine's Day, with massages, haircuts, a manicure or pedicure and all things to beautify!. This added quite a lot of extra work to an already busy schedule but welcome Newsletter funds.

    Over the years, people from around the UK and beyond have got in touch with Judie having read the newsletter. One recent contact was Nancy Wilson who lives in California [coincidentally just 3 miles from Judie's niece] asking if she knew anything about the Boltons as she was researching Hilda Bolton's sister Kathleen [details: June 2022]. Judie remembered a piece written by Tony Beauclerk for April 2019 about the Biltons and put two and two together. She even visited Mortehoe Cemetery and found the Boltons' unmarked grave. Nancy was delighted, and the newsletter [and Judie!] was a winner!

    Following all this activity, does Judie have time for hobbies? Well, she started the weekly Monday Craft Group [leadership recently passed to Annie Smith], and then the twice monthly art group. Results produced in both these groups feature largely in the beautiful art and beadwork on display in her home.

    She has also been a supporter of Berry in Bloom and the village litter picks, plays skittles in Combe Martin, still has an interest in dancing - and has been to a live performance of 'Strictly' - yet somehow has found time for all her family.

    I don't know how you've managed to fit it all in, Judie, but what a Mover and Shaker - par excellence! We shall miss our Newsletter, but are grateful for your huge input over the years. Thank you from all your readers - and may you now have even more time for your many crafts and hobbies!

    PP of DC



    Artwork: Angela Bartlett

    From Angela: A short note to thank you for doing the Newsletter all these years. You've done an amazing job, and it's greatly appreciated.



    1st Manor Hall Trust: Music and Supper Night
    2nd St. Peter's Church: Harvest Festival Service
    4th St. Peter's Church: Harvest Festival Supper, Manor Hall
    11th Parish Council Meeting, 7.00 p.m. Manor Hall
    18th Mobile Library in Village from 11.55 a.m.
    19th Manor Hall Trust: Coffee Afternoon, 2.00 to 4.00 p.m.
    Wine Circle: Manor Hall, 8.00 p.m. Tour of Italy
    24th To 28th inc. Ilfracombe Academy: Half Term
    To 2th November, inc. Primary School: Half Term
    28th Manor Hall Trust: Craft Afternoon
    1st Manor Hall Trust: Character of our Coast, David Edgcombe
    8th Parish Council Meeting, 7.00 p.m. Manor Hall
    11th Manor Hall Trust: Beaford Arts: 'Moscow Drugs Club'
    15th Mobile Library in Village from 11.55 a.m.
    16th Wine Circle: Manor Hall, 8.00 p.m. The Wine Society
    19th Manor Hall Trust: Christmas Fayre
    23rd Manor Hall Trust: Coffee Afternoon, 2.00 to 4.00 p.m.

    Manor Hall Diary
    MondaysUpholstery, 9.00 to 1.00 p.m.
    Craft Group, 1.45 p.m.
    Badminton, 7.30 p.m.
    Tuesdays1st and 3rd: Craft Art Group, 9.30 a.m.
    WednesdaysPilates Body Workout, 9.00 a.m.
    U3A Art 11.00 a.m.
    ThursdaysWatercolour Painting 10.00 a.m. [10 week terms]
    Fridays9.30-10.30 Yoga
    Penn Curzon RoomPre-School: Daily - Term time only
    Morning Session: 8.30/9.00 - 12.00 p.m.
    Afternoon Session: 12.00 to 3.00/3.30 or 4.00 p.m.
    All Day: 8.30/9.00 a.m. to 3.00/3.30/4.00 p.m.
    Mobile Library
    Village Shop: 11.55-12.20 p.m. Sterridge Valley: 12.35-13.00 p.m.



    We're glad you enjoy your fireworks, even though they shake the house. You scare all the animals from us dogs to a country mouse.

    Don't worry our hearts nearly stop or we think it is our last night. We think the end of the world has come, you give us such a fright. Please keep it to public displays this year and stick to just that one time

    I really am your very best friend, but you're definitely not mine!


    Artwork: Angela Bartlett

    Pitt Hill and Hagginton Hill

    For this October issue I have chosen two early upright postcards of Pitt Hill and Hagginton Hill, both taken by William Garratt.

    The first card, numbered 37, shows two young girls outside Whitecote, 33 Pitt Hill. This is the first cottage on your left as you come up Pitt Hill into the village, and looks much the same today. The older girl is holding a jug and I presume waiting for the milkman to arrive!

    The postcard has an August 27th 1904 postmark and has been sent to Miss Hicks, 30 Egerton Rd, St. Judes, Plymouth.

    The message reads:

      "Dear Em This is N Leys house that use to be. don't think I have sent it before. Thanks so much for hat & jacket it fits lovely. When you have finished with that other hat Aunt E told me about that you was going to give me. I will pay the postage. With love to you all Em."

    The second postcard, numbered 31, shows two ladies standing outside a cottage on Hagginton Hill, with the heading 'Country Gossip'. One lady is holding an earthenware jug with another jug on the ground, presumably for water; the other lady is holding a large wicker basket.

    It has an October 12th 1904 postmark and has been sent to Miss J. Jennings, East View, North Road, Bradworthy.

    The message reads:

      "Dear J. Thanks very much for P.C. but please when you send one again you must put 1 [penny] stamp instead of an 1/2 one as we have to pay the other end. Love to all R Hope you will like it."

    This being the final Newsletter, I should like to thank Judie for all her hard work editing, compiling and effort put in since our very first Newsletter way back in August 1989.

    Tom Bartlett
    Tower Cottage, September 2022
    e-mail: tomandinge40@gmail.com



    Thanks to Louise Powers for the following photo of the Primary School get-together held back in August.

    From left to right:

    • Tanya Walls, Philippa France [Sidebottom], Rachel Sprosen [Taylor], Nina Woodcock [Sherwin], Win Sherwin, Louise Powers [Walls], Richard Sullivan [Headmaster], Margaret Walls, Jill Sidebottom, Lyn Sullivan and Caroline Sullivan.



    Fear not - all 200 Editions of this much-loved publication are available online for your enjoyment - including the very first publications from 1989!

    Featuring over 6500 articles and 5750 images - all specific to our favourite North Devon village.

    The website remains a work in progress, with improvements being made to the layout of many of the editions to take advantage of the increased space online and with replacement of images with high resolution versions where the originals are still available.

    Keep an eye on Berrynarbor Happenings and Berrynarbor Memories on Facebook
    where we will post about major updates as they happen.



    Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook