Edition 26 - October 1993

Artwork by: Debbie Cook

Artwork: Judie Weedon


One of our most common small rodents is the bank vole, and Debbie's delightful illustration for October shows one in 'seasonal' setting.

The bank vole can be seen both in daytime or at night, busily foraging for its food - nuts, seeds, berries, fruit, fungi - which it stores, often using old birds' nests for its larder. It nests both above and below ground and in its short lifetime [about a year] a female will produce several litters. Only a few will survive, however, either being eaten by foxes, owls or other predators, or succumbing to the cold weather in winter.

Voles may be mistaken for mice but differ in having shorter tails and faces with small eyes and ears.

Thank you again, Debbie, and my thanks also to Paul for his illustrations and the many contributors - especially the 'regulars' - to this issue, which I hope you will enjoy reading.

The next issue will be December and Christmas, so please start gathering up your items - news, recipes, poems, Christmas ideas, etc. - now and have them to the Post Office or Chicane by mid-November at the latest.




In response to Tom's plea for information on the Rev. Churchill in the April issue, he has received the following letter from Audrey Flower of Milton Keynes:

    Reading of the Rev. Churchill in the Berrynarbor Newsletter reminds me of a story told to me by my mother, Leah Dennis [nee Ley]. She grew up at Ley Farm and when quite a young girl was hit in the eye with a snowball.

    This proved to be quite a serious matter and the Rev. Churchill took her, by train, to Bristol Eye Infirmary, thereby saving her sight.

    I always understood he was held in high regard by his parishioners, and his long ministry must have been quite a record.

    I occasionally see the Newsletter through the kindness of my cousin, Vera Lewis, and I find it most interesting as I have many happy memories of visits to my relatives at Goosewell and to my Uncle Jack, who was on the staff at Watermouth Castle. In fact, one of the first dances I attended was with Vera and her family in the Manor Hall, and the 'Top of the Pops' at that time was "All by Yourself in the Moonlight"!! It was a very exciting event!


1913 Choir Outing to Woolaconbe with the Rev. Churchill

  • Back Row: Dick Richards, Jack Bradford, Mrs. Neals [Organist], Emmie Hicks, Bessie Harding, Rev. Churchill, Ettie Bowden, J. Goss, Rosie Bray, Glyn Toms, Tom Ley, Ernest Richards
  • Middle Row: Lorna Richards, Lilly Richards, Maud Pearce, Blanche Bowden, Dora Bradford, Lizzie Rice, M[?] White, Lilly Bowden,
  • Front Row: Mr. Neals [Choirmaster], Jack Brooks, Sidney Dummett, Will Bradford, Jack Richards, Ernie Leworthy, Percy Jones

Dick Richards is my grandfather; Aunty Lorna and my father, Jack Richards, are also in the photograph. Dick's brother, Ernest, was the Churchill's chauffeur and his daughter, Lilly Richards, is the mother of Joyce, Bet and John Huxtable. Only two members of the outing are alive today - Lorna Richards [Price] and Blanche Bowden [Dummett], who married Sidney.

Reginald Churchill was the son of the Rev. William Churchill of Dorchester. He had ten brothers and sisters - Cameron, Melville, Stuart, Setan, Orford, William, Mackenzie, Louisa, Caroline and Julia! The first three boys were also priests. William died in 1907, and it is possible that he is the brother who died in Berrynarbor on a rabbit shoot [Page 8, Newsletter No. 21].

Reginald was an engineer before taking Holy Orders and his wife found it very difficult to accept the life of a parish priest 's wife and opted out of public duties and rarely socialised. Her daughter, Elsie, took her place and was very well thought of. Elsie's cousins, Reggie and Roberta Hutchinson, were brought up in the Rectory as part of the family. Elsie never married and retired to Braunton with her father. The family are buried at Berrynarbor.

The Rev. Churchill was very 'low' church and would not allow a cross on the altar. He was a very tall man who dressed in knickerbockers and hose and a curly brimmed trilby hat. On Sundays he wore a suit, but never a clerical 'dog' collar. He was a Rechabite and his choir and Bible class members were expected to take 'the pledge'.

He owned the first car in the parish and one of his hobbies was photography. Many village families have large, family portraits taken by the Rev. Churchill, a lot of them taken in the Rectory drive.

Family information from Mrs. J. Minns of 30 Elizabeth Road, Chichester, PO19 4JF, who would welcome any additional information/ photographs of her great uncle Reginald Churchill.

Lorna B.




As there was no August meeting, it was a welcome sight to see so many members in September, plus two visitors. Forthcoming events were discussed, especially the Coffee Morning to be given in aid of the 'Mission for Seamen' on 23rd October, in the Manor Hall. It is hoped that this event will be well-supported - a really worthy cause.

'Yours truly' then gave a light-hearted talk on life in the W.R.N.S. My grateful thanks for the appreciation shown - it was nice to know that the tears were from laughing, putting aside the daily doom and gloom for a while!

At the October meeting we hope to learn something about Home and Personal Security from Mr. J. Lakin and there will be a resume of the 1994 Programme.

There will be a Christmas shopping trip to Exeter on Wednesday, 24th November at a cost of £4.00. Non-members are welcome, just contact one of the Committee. The Christmas Social Afternoon will be on 7th December.

Every good wish.

Vi Kingdon - President

Nothing in life that is worthy,
Is ever too hard to achieve,
If you have the courage to try it
And you have the faith to believe.



Those unwanted household items? Take them to the skip which will be in the car park on FRIDAY, 12TH NOVEMBER, and again in the new year, on 11th March.

Graham. our genial G.P.O. golfer has taken our advice to heart and on a recent 5-day golfing trip to La Touquet, with a group of players from the North, his putting helped him to win the Tournament by 3 clear shots. Well done, Graham, we told you that 'practice makes perfect'!

Do you play DUPLICATE BRIDGE? Plans are afoot to start, if it has not already done so by the time you read this, a Bridge Club to meet at the Manor Hall on Saturday evenings. Anyone interested in playing is asked to ring 883861.

If you enjoy a friendly game of cards, don't forget the Whist Drive each Thursday evening at 7.30 p.m. in the Manor Hall. For further details contact Lorna Bowden on 883559.

Badminton Club, Manor Hall, Mondays at 7.30 p.m. Interested? Please contact Mary Hughes, 882580.

Margaret and Graham Andrews are holding a COFFEE MORNING to help with the cost of floodlighting St. Peter's church tower on Saturday, 16th October, 10.30 to noon at Tree Tops, Old Coast Road. Everyone welcome.

The Best Kept Village Award will be presented at the Harvest Supper on Wednesday, 6th October, when representatives from the Council for the Protection of Rural England will be present. The village may, as the national press declared, have been "too pretty to win", but nevertheless we should be justly proud of once again taking the Runners-Up Award and thanks must go to everyone for their participation - the centre of the Village, with all the floral displays, was especially beautiful.


Artwork: Helen Armstead


If you are reading the Newsletter on 1st October, DON'T FORGET this is the day for decorating the Church for Harvest Thanksgiving. Donations of fruit, vegetables, flowers and all the time you can give will be very welcome. The Harvest Supper will follow Evensong on Wednesday, 6th October. Tickets: £2.00 adults and £1.00 children are kindly available from the Post Office.

It is hoped to welcome the newly appointed Roman Catholic Priest, Fr. Jack Pack, at the Christians Together Service on the 31st October. Fr. Pack celebrates Mass for the first time in Combe Martin on the 17th October.

Please remember to give names of the Faithful Departed to add to last year's list for calling at the Annual Requiem to be celebrated on the 4th November at 10.00 a.m.

A big thank you to everyone who helped and supported us with our fundraising efforts during August. Our Summer Fayre was the best ever - the final total coming to £940. Collections at the Musical Evenings raised another £220. Our special thanks go to all those who helped to make the Concert on 18th August such a success and to the Ilfracombe Male Voice Choir.


The Eucharist, 10.30 a.m

Evensong, Combe Martin, 6.00* p.m. [once a month the Christians Together go from Church to Church, and there is no Evensong]
*6.30 p.m. until 24.10.93

Holy Communion
Thursdays, 10.00 a.m.
2nd Sunday each month, 8.00 a.m.

The Rector, the Rev. Keith Wyer [883203] and Prebendary Eppingstone [882802) will discuss Baptisms, Confirmations, Marriages, Bereavements and SHOULD be invited to come and pray with the sick.

Prayer and Bible Study, Combe Martin, every Thursday, 7.30 p.m.


Churchwarden - overseer to the poor

James Richards was the third son of James and Elizabeth Richards [nee Rattenbury], who were married at Pilton Church on the 27th March, 1789. There is no record of James Snr. being born in Pilton, but there are family ties with Berrynarbor. As the Bassett family still held Westaway Estate in Pilton, if you worked for them movement between the parishes would be allowed. No parish would accept you unless you had work there or relatives to support you.

James married Mary Draper in Berry Church on the 4th November 1821. His father-in-law, Benjamin Draper, farmed Moules. James leased a piece of land at the bottom of Kenton Lane (Hagginton) and built a cottage, where his eldest children were born. The cottage remained in the family until 'Granny' Richards gave it up in the 1920's.

By 1839, Benjamin Draper had died and James and Mary were installed at Moules [Tithe Record 1839/40] where the family has remained ever since.

James's brother, John Richards, farmed and burnt lime at Henton [East and Middle Hagginton - 1839 Tithe]. He married Honour Popham, the daughter of an old Berrynarbor family and their only son, James, tragically took his own life so the farm passed down to their daughter, Fanny, who married her cousin Thomas Richards - James's youngest son. The Thomas Richards who farmed Hole at this time wag probably another brother.

James Richards is my great, great, great grandfather and Michael's great, great grandfather. All members of the Richards and Bowden families in Berry share a little of his genes.

He is buried, with Mary, beneath the holly tree near the priest's door.

Lorna B.




Congratulations to Bobby and Jane Bowden (nee Rottenbury) on the birth of their son, Samuel Edwin, on the 5th August, weighing in at 6 lb 7 oz. Congratulations, also, to Samuel's proud grandparents - Lorna and Michael, Barbara and Dennis - and great-grandparents, and not forgetting great, great Aunt Lorna [Price]. Best wishes to you all.

Laurie and Peggy Harvey are to be congratulated on their latest grandchild. Young Ethen, 8 lb 7 oz, arrived on the 31st August, a brother for Lloyd. Best wishes to both boys and the proud parents, Liz and Andrew [Harvey-Bryant].

St. Peter's Church will again be the setting for two weddings in October.

Julia Hannam and Robert Fairchild will be getting married on the 2nd October. Julia is a veterinary nurse at the Mullacott Hospital and Rob helps with the family gift trade business in Ilfracombe. They are off to honeymoon in Italy before settling down in Ilfracombe.

Saturday, 9th October, will be the wedding day of Rachel Haines of Watermouth Castle and Peter Busch of New Zealand. Peter, who is in hotel management, and Rachel met in London. Over the summer they have been helping at the Castle and Once Upon a Time but will be off to New Zealand after the wedding.

Good luck, health and happiness to both couples.




After the juice has been extracted from a lemon, don't throw it away. It makes an ideal cosmetic for the elbows! Elbows fit neatly into the halves of lemon which soften and lighten the skin. They will also remove stains from discoloured hands after gardening.



A Trip to the Wild Life Park

When we got to the Wild Life Park we saw the fish... they were in a cemented pond. Then we saw some birds in the trees. When we saw the birds we carried on down the path and saw some tortoises. There were six of them. One was hiding beneath some stones. Next we went and looked at the chipmunks. They were in their little room made of wood. One of them was on their toy wheel. After that we went to see the wallabies. Most of them were laying down. We walked on and watched the sea lions and otters.

Ben Sanders [Age 8]

Then we looked at the parrots. They were in their cages looking at us. When we passed the parrots, Sally saw something in the tree. It was an emu. Then we saw some raccoons eating their Sunday lunch. After that we went to see the monkeys playing on the ropes and the trees. We went to the children's zoo and looked around. When we had seen the children's zoo we went where the owls are kept and then we saw the prairie marmots. We saw them making their burrows and playing on the grass. They were not in cages.

by Katie Gubb [Age 10]

Illustration by: Ben Sanders [age 8]

We went to see the meerkats next. They lived in a desert with some trees, it was full of sand. They had a brick wall around it. Next we walked up to the car to get our lunch and just as we were going to the train ride it started to rain. The train was good fun. When we got off the train it was raining hard, so we went into the cafe and got an ice-cream. We all had some money and went in to the shop. Some of us got note books or pens. When we came out of the shop it was raining so hard we went into the tropical house. We saw spiders, snakes, lizards, fish, frogs, snails and an Indian python. It was good. It was too wet to go in the playground. There was no time to have our faces painted.

Charlotte Fryer [Age 11]


Artwork: Paul Swailes


The "Berry Belle" sailed successfully into the carnivals taking 2nd prize in its class at Combe Martin, 1st at Ilfracombe and 1st and Best Overall in Barnstaple and we hope it will be equally successful in South Molton [1st Again!]. A magnificent effort and congratulations to all who worked on and sailed in her!


On Saturday, 2nd October, she will be the main attraction at a Barn Dance to be held at Sloley Farm in aid of Children in Need.

Saturday, 9th October, is Pumpkin Competition Day with prizes for the biggest and best-dressed pumpkins. The following day [Sunday, 10th], at 3.00 p.m., these orange beauties will be raced down Pitt Hill, from the Square to the Playing Field. Everyone is welcome to come and join in the fun and take part [players are needed] in the rounders match, men v the ladies, that will follow.

Lynn and Phil will then be sailing off to cruise to the Canaries and Madeira. Have a good holiday - you deserve it!




In the other gardens
And all up the vale,
From the autumn bonfires
See the smoke trail!
Pleasant summer over
And all the summer flowers,
The red fire blazes,
The grey smoke towers.
Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
Fires in the fall!

Robert Louis Stevenson
From a Child's Garden of Verses 

Illustration by: Paul Swailes



Congratulations to all students, especially those from the village, for the excellent G.C.S.E. and 'A' Level results.

Following 'A' Levels:

  • Seonaid Anderson is taking a year out, spending time in America and France and improving on her 'A' Level results before going to the University of Warwick next autumn.
  • Eden Davies is off to the University of Portsmouth to study for a degree in Biology.
  • Sarah Redwood is taking a one-year Secretarial and Business Administration Course and
  • Claire Davis an Art and Design Course, both at the North Devon College.
  • Rebecca Duncan is to study for a B.A. with Qualified Teacher Status at Roehampton.

Over 100 students received awards for academic, sporting and other achievements at the College's recent Presentation Evening - Amy Lewis for Effort in French at G.C.S.E., Seonaid Anderson for 'A' Level Geography, Nicola Richards for Cross-Country and Claire Davis a Special Merit award for her application in Art and her loyalty to the College Choir. The prizes were awarded by Cllr. Mike Knight, Chairman of the D.C.C. Education Committee, who was presented with a gift from the College by Hannah Chantler, Chairman of the Sixth Form Council.

Well done, everyone!

Finally, congratulations to David Anderson on gaining a BSc degree from Exeter University in Maths and Operational Research.



Is there anyone who could spare an hour on a Thursday morning to be a Good Samaritan? A middle-aged man, who due to a road accident is wheel-chair bound, is looking for a male companion to push him from the Day Centre in Ilfracombe to have a natter and noggin' in the 'local'. If you feel you could help, please ring Diane Lloyd on 882424 for further details.


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Watermouth Castle, Ilfracombe


These two postcard views of Watermouth Castle were produced at the turn of the Century by Stengel & Co. of London, and printed in their works at Dresden in Saxony [Germany]. As I have given information on Watermouth Castle in View No. 8 [December 1990], I shall quote from various guides and handbooks of that time.

In Kelly's Directory of 1902, it says: "Watermouth Castle, the seat of Mrs. Basset, lady of the manor and principal landowner, is an embattled mansion of stone, erected about 1825 and delightfully situated on an eminence sheltered by woods and overlooking the Bristol Channel. Immediately below is a picturesque cove, which, at high water, presents the appearance of an inland lake."

Murray's Handbook for Devon & Cornwall (1859) gives: "Watermouth [A.D. Basset, Esq.] , a Gothic building unfinished but commenced about 40 years ago by the father of the present proprietor. The situation is romantic, and the grouping of the neighbouring knolls and ridges strikingly beautiful. The Castle stands at the edge of a green basin, little raised above the sea, but screened from it by a natural embankment of rocks. The richest woods enclose this vale, and a stream runs sparkling through the grass. This beautiful spot is viewed to most advantage from the sea, as the feudal-looking mansion and its verdant pastures are thence seen in connection with the bleak coast of Exmoor and rocks of Ilfracombe."

Banfield's A Guide to Ilfracombe, Lynton and Clovelly, c1845, states: "Watermouth, the property of Joseph Davie Basset, Esq., possesses many extensive and interesting views, and is an object of no small attraction. The rocks at Small-mouth, which can only be seen at low water, justly claim a considerable portion of the stranger's attention and the distant view of Combmartin bay gives to it a character differing from most other points; the approach to which, is by a short deviation from the path, after passing Watermouth House, by crossing the rustic bridge. "


"The view, on approaching Berrynarbor, is one of great interest, and the church, which bears every appearance of antiquity, adds much to it. Near it is the old manor house, formerly belonging to the de Birys, but now converted into a farm-house. Its exterior is ornamented with several shields, bearing the arms of Plantagenet, Bonville and other persons of distinction. At the extremity of the parish is a farm called Bowden, celebrated as having been the birth place of John Jewel, Bishop of Salisbury, in the year 1522, where his family had resided for many generations."

Since 1978 the Castle has belonged to Richard Haines and he and his family have worked hard and unstintingly into building it into one of the country's top Leisure Complexes, of which we should all feel justly proud. We thank Richard for putting us firmly on the map and wish him and his family well for the future.

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage, October 1993

For the next Newsletter I should like to write an article about our Chapel and would welcome any information and old pictures from any source. Thank you. T.B.


Bob & Theresa


Weekly Delivery
4 videos for £5.00
Every Thursday

The Square 6.30-7.30p.m.
Sterridge Valley 7.45-8.15p.m.

If you would like home delivery or have a special request - that film you've always wanted to see - please 'phone 862767



There is this old Irish custom that takes place once a year: It's an ecumenical affair with Catholic priest, church of Ireland vicar and Presbyterian minister all shoving in their 4-penny'orth, and it is held in the extensive grounds of a private house.

The world, his wife and their animals are there. A child clutches a hamster, hen or pet rabbit. The family cow placidly chews the cud. The Arab stallion and the 'Thelwell' pony eye each other disdainfully. The Billy-goat stands regally alone. And, surprisingly, the multitude of dogs and cats lay down their arms [claws and paws] and tolerate each other, after all, it is a time of blessing, of peace... that is, until we arrive!

Some of you may remember my labrador, Seamus. We were late, as usual, and it was obvious from the beginning that he had missed the vital blessing. He had not got the idea of it at all. His opening challenge set up a volley of barks, squawks, hisses, neighs and restless stamping of feet. I tried to pretend that he belonged to the person standing next to me.

I could no longer pretend when "Donal the milk", alias the S.P.C.A. officer [notice the lack of royalty!] suddenly shouted, "Holy Jesus! Hannibal has broken free. I'll get him, Mrs. P., just you hold on to Seamus. "Hannibal was the fearsome bull-terrier, usually kept chained on these, and indeed on most other occasions. Unfortunately, both dogs, long-term enemies, spotted each other simultaneously, and I held on to the lead with dogged determination.

A report in the next issue of the Donegal Democrat noted : "... it [the animal blessing] passed without incident other than when a lady [fortunately I was not recognised from my undignified position![, clinging grimly to the lead of her boisterous yellow labrador, was pulled between the legs of the S.P.C.A. officer. Clearly the dog had not got the spirit of the occasion ... " at all at all.

PP of DC



It is very sad to report that after running for 45 years, 20 in Berrynarbor, the Club closed in June due to lack of support.

The Club met every Friday at the Manor Hall under the guidance of Stan Linehan. A convivial evening was spent 'taking your partners' for modern dancing in sequence and both experienced dancers and total newcomers to this skill, were made very welcome. For 80p per night, including refreshments and tuition, the evening was excellent value.

What a pity that like so many pleasures, it is a thing of the past [and the regular income for the Manor Hall]. Stan and his wife, Ivy, must be thanked for all their hard work and efforts over so many years.

In spite of his disappointment, Stan says that if in future dancers would like to reform the Club [30 members would be needed], he would be delighted and happy to start again. Please let him know on 882762 if you and your friends are interested.



Many congratulations to Ron Toms on the magnificent sum of £540.00 raised by him for the Historic Churches Trust, surpassing last year's total by some £40.00. Ron would like to thank everyone who sponsored him and his especial thanks to Josef Belka for taking him around.

May we thank everyone concerned with Tracy and Darren's wedding on the 3rd July, for their help in making it such a success. We should also like to take this opportunity to apologise for any inconvenience caused to anyone due to photographs being taken in the Sterridge Valley.

Linda and George Camplin



No Job Too Small


Tel: (01271) 883150



The skies cleared and during a fine, bright day on 11th September, members of churches and chapels and their Sunday schools, walked from church to church through Combe Martin and Berrynarbor to raise money for maintaining the fabric of Historic Churches in Devon.

Ron Toms, of the U. R. Chapel, well-known for his magnificent annual efforts on behalf of the Trust, topped his last year's total and collected the sum of £540. Win Collins of St. Peter's and Katie Gubb - on behalf of Berrynarbor Sunday School - raised a further £80.

Half of these amounts will go to their respective churches and half to the Trust, who distribute their funds in grants to needy churches of all denominations.

A big thank you to all the sponsors and walkers who helped to raise such a marvellous total for Berrynarbor.

Win Collins



"From the moment I picked up this book to the moment I put it down, I was convulsed with laughter - one day I intend reading it!"

S.J. Perelman


Artwork: Paul Swailes


Horticultural Show What a glorious sunny day for the Show! 45 people entered the Show with a total of over 357 individual entries. We think everyone enjoyed the day and the venue [with the Hall redecoration completed], and due to everyone's kind generosity, over £144 was raised for Hall funds.

The Cup Winners were:

Globe Cup [Floral Art]Sue Wright
Walls Cup [Cookery]Vi Kingdon
Davis Cup [Handicrafts]Mrs. Barcus
P.T.A. cup [Class 3]Michael Hammett
Men's Institute Cup [Class 2]Loanna Chugg
Mayflower Dish [Class 1]Jake Lynch
Watermouth Cup [Wine-making]Charles Ferry
George Hippisley Cup [Art]Helen Armstead
Vi Kingdon Award [Photography]Joan Miller
Derrick Kingdon Cup [Fruit and Veg.]Ray Toms
Lethaby Cup [Potted Plants]Vi Kingdon
Manor Stores Rose Bowl [Cut Flowers]Mr. and Mrs. Parkhouse
Best in ShowSue Wright

Please support this Show in 1994 - the date is usually the first Saturday in September.

Berry Revels In spite of 'iffy' weather, the Berry Revels showed a profit of £681.76, which will be a welcome aid to Hall funds. A great big THANK YOU to everyone who helped to make this event a success, especially Ginny Neale and Vi Davies.

Decoration of the Hall is complete. PLEASE do take care of the newly painted walls and new floor surface. Try to pick up items rather than slide them across the floor. Please note all instructions for using the ceiling fans, heaters and the extractor fan and make sure that all lights are switched off when you leave! Thank you.

The Manor Hall received a kind donation from the Modern Sequence Dance Club and this has been used to purchase six new bridge tables. Thank you, Stan and Ivy.

It is with regret that we announce the resignation of Roy Perry as Chairman of the Committee. Roy has given so generously of his time and energy over the past three years. Well done, Roy, and thank you! Brian Mountain has been elected as the new Chairman.

If you would like to join in the management of your Village Hall, please don't hesitate to come on to the team. Contact Brian [883032], Vi Davies [882696] or me [882531] .

Joy Morrow



The Primary School would like to thank everyone who participated in the W.H. Smith's book scheme. The target of 5,000 vouchers was hard to reach, but by joining forces with some of the other primary schools in the area, they will be able to share the £500 of books.

There will be a Save a Life class in the Manor Hall on Wednesday, 20th October, at 2.30 p.m. The session will last about 1.5 hours and will give the basics for possibly saving a life. There will be a 'free will' offering in aid of St. John Ambulance. Everyone weIcome. If you can't make this class but would like a chance to learn some basics, please contact Joy [882531].

Berrvnarbor Playqroup are holding a Table Top and Jumble sale on SATURDAY, 13TH NOVEMBER - 1.30 p.m. Sellers, 2.00 p.m. Buyers. Good jumble needed. If you would like it collected, 'phone Julie on 883235 or Jennie on 882167.

An old heavy woollen blanket is required as a fire blanket. Can anyone help us with this?

Friday, 10th December, at 10.00 a.m. we shall be holding our Christmas Play/Panto and Coffee Morning. Raffle, Craft & Cake Stall - donations for same would be greatly appreciated. Please contact Julie or Jennie.




Members of the Wine Circle were saddened by the death, earlier this year, of Alan Richardson, who formed the group in 1988 - his great knowledge of and enthusiasm for wines will be greatly missed. However, knowing that it would have been his wish for the Circle to carry on, a number of members met and decided to form a committee and continue Alan's good work.

Alex Parke was elected Chairman, with Jill McCrae as Treasurer, Tony Summers [Secretary], Tom Bartlett [Publicity], and Inge Richardson, Michael Morrow and Iain McCrae.

Meetings will continue to be held monthly between October and April on the third Wednesday of each month, at the Manor Hall from 8.00 p.m. Presentations will be mainly by guest speakers, with occasional meetings by 'volunteer' members. The usual contribution for a meeting is £3.00 per member or £3.50 per non-member. Membership is open to everyone who enjoys drinking wine and new members are always welcome, just contact the Chairman or Secretary [ 'phone numbers below].

The Programme for 1993-94 will be:

  • 20th October - August Barnett's Best Wines - Ivor Francis
  • 17th November - Wines from Tesco - Alex Parke
  • 15th December - Wines for Christmas
  • 19th January - Members' Favourite Wines
  • 16th February - Australian Wines - Andy Hodge [Drink Link]
  • 16th March - Wines from Spain
  • 20th April - Comparison of English & German Wines - Pam Parke and Tom Bartlett

Chairman: Alex Parke 883758]

Secretary: Tony Summers [883600]

Tom Bartlett


The North Devon Spinners

The North Devon Spinners was founded in January 1982. We currently have 24 members, some of whom were founder members. One of the most interesting features to me is the way we each produce our own craft style from the handspun wool whilst using fleece from many different breeds of sheep. The wool is knitted, crocheted or woven.

Shetland fleece is used to produce the very fine fibre for shawls, etc. Our Devon breeds of Exmoor Horn and Closewool are favourites but many more unusual fleeces are brought to our meetings and are much admired. We then look forward to the finished garment. Sometimes we use other fibres such as silk and flax, or make felt from an unspun fleece.

We use natural dye stuff and recently held a 'dyeing day' at Barn Cottage. It was a wet morning, but our spirits were soon revived by the beautiful wafts of scented steam coming from the crock containing eucalyptus leaves which had been on the boil for an hour. This produced a lovely yellow dye. Spent dahlia heads, achillea and madder root were all successful too. We all kept on looking in the dye-pots with excitement and expectation. During the day we also had a demonstration on indigo dyeing. When you lift the wool from the dye pot it is a bright green, but as you hold it in the oxygen, it turns to an indigo blue.

I am glad to say that the sun came out later in the morning and dried our many colourful skeins of wool. We all had a most enjoyable day.

We meet on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of every month [except August and Christmas week] from 2.00 to 5.00 p.m. at the Manor Hall. We are a friendly group. Come and join us if you are interested, or maybe call in and see us at work.

Kathy Arscott



1stDecoration of St. Peter's for Harvest Thanksgiving
2ndBarn Dance at Sloley Farm
3rdHarvest Eucharist - Family & Children's Service
5thW.I. Meeting: Home & Personal Security - Mr. J. Lakin
6thMobile Library in Village from 11.55 a.m.
Harvest Evensong, 7.00 p.m.
Harvest Supper, 8.00 p.m.
9thPumpkin Competition at The Globe
10thPumpkin Race and Rounders Match, The Square, 3.00 p.m.
12thParish Council Meeting, 7.30 p.m. Manor Hall
14thU3A Luncheon: Valley of Rocks Hotel, Lynton - Lynton and its Coast - Dr. E.T. Mold
16thCOFFEE MORNING, Tree Tops, 10.30 a.m. to Noon
20thMobile Library in Village from 11.55 a.m.
Wine Circle, 8.00 p.m. Manor Hall - Augustus Barnett's Best Wines - Ivor Francis
23rdW.I. COFFEE MORNING, Manor Hall, 10.30 a.m.
24thBritish Summer Time Ends 2.00 a.m. Clocks GO BACK one hour. Don't be early for church!
Evensong at Combe Martin 6.00 p.m. [not 6.30 p.m.]
25thto 29 College and Primary School - Half Term
28th Feast of St. Simon and St. Jude.
Ladies' Link "Traidcraft " , Combe Martin Church Hall
31stChristians Together, 6.30 p.m., venue to be announced
1stAll Saints Day
2ndAll Souls Day. W.I. Annual Meeting
3rdMobile Library in Village from 11.55 a.m.
4thAnnual Requiem, 10.00 a.m.
9thParish Council Meeting, 7.30 p.m., Manor Hall
11thU3A Luncheon: Watersmeet Hotel, Woolacombe - Representative of National Rivers Authority
13thPlaygroup Table Top and Jumble Sale, Manor Hall from 1.30 p.m.
14thRemembrance Sunday: Royal British Legion Order of Service, 10.30 a.m. Afternoon Parade, Combe Martin
17thMobile Library in Village from 11.55 a.m.
Wine Circle, 8.00 p.m., Manor Hall: Wines from Tesco's - Alex Parke
24thW.I. Christmas Shopping Trip to Exeter
25thSanky and Moody Service, Ilfracombe Emmanuel Church, 7.30 p.m.
28thAdvent Sunday
1stMobile Library in Village from 11.55 a.m.
7thW.I. Christmas Social Afternoon



It was a peaceful stroll through the woods between Brendon and Rockford. The pebbles sparkled through the clear bright waters of the East Lyn River, and we amused ourselves spotting the trout - which were plentiful - just below the surface.

Several silver-washed fritillaries, large and gold with a bold pattern of black spots and streaks, fluttered about a patch of brambles. A pleasure to come across at any time, but especially in a year when there has been such a shortage of butterflies. [Colonies of this species are commonest in the West.]

Yellow cow wheat was the most abundant plant flowering beside the path and there was betony, a purple flowered member of the deadnettle family, with strong rectangular stems.

Countisbury Church, c1906
From the Tom Bartlett Postcard Collection

Some tiny puffballs were clinging to a tree trunk - but not the edible variety unfortunatelly!

After crossing the river at Rockford and joining the road, we plodded up the steep hill to the isolated church of St. Brendan [with an 'a' - the village name is spelt with an 'o']. St. Brendon, often known as Brendan the Navigator, was born near Tralee in Ireland, whereas the village name of Brendon is supposed to have been derived from the Anglo-Saxon 'bryn' or 'brun' , meaning brown or bramble and 'dun', a hill. The churchyard commands a wide view and many surnames familiar to Berrynarbor are recorded on tomb stones there.

As there was a sudden improvement in the weather later in the afternoon, we stopped off at Countisbury Church before returning home, and walked out to Foreland Point [a fine viewpoint for Lynmouth and Porlock Bay]. The flowers of the heather and gorse were so densely packed and blended together that the slopes of Butter Hill looked unnaturally vivid.

A deep croaking alerted us to a pair of ravens and as a grand finale to our outing, we were able to watch a peregrine falcon 'stooping' after prey at great speed, like an arrow, with its long pointed wings folded back.

Sue H



Beliefs which go back a long way lie behind many of our present-day attitudes to birds.

As recently as 1855, mothers in the West Riding of Yorkshire are said to have kept their children in order by threatening that 'the black raven will come'. A long forgotten reference to the raven on the standard of the Vikings, whose approach was dreaded in that part of the country 1000 years before.

We talk of being 'ravenous' without perhaps realising that it refers to the proverbial appetite of the raven.

During the last War, people took a lively interest in the tame ravens kept at the Tower of London. According to legend, if the ravens leave the Tower, Britain will be invaded. The belief in the raven as a protector goes back at least as far as the 13th Century, when a raven's head was supposed to have been buried on Tower Hill, in order to guard the people of the Capital against their enemies.



I am making this appeal on behalf of a small but very deserving group of people - those who, for one reason or another, are not assisted by 'in-ear' aids and are, therefore, in a completely silent world. Being deaf gives one a very poor quality of life and yet many can be helped by bone conduction hearing.

At present, anyone in the West Country suitable for this operation, has to be transferred to Chepstow and Cardiff. Our surgeons at the North Devon District Hospital are qualified to undertake this operation but are denied the chance through lack of equipment.

The sum required is £6,000 - a large sum to find, but one I feel sure that together we can achieve.

If everyone reading this would send just £1, the target would soon be met. Please make cheques to Bone Anchored Hearing Equipment Account and send them to Lloyds Bank PLC, 109 High Street, Ilfracombe, or to me.

Freda Sharp, S.R.N.
Cofton, King Street, Combe Martin