Edition 33 - December 1994

Artwork by: Debbie Cook

Artwork: Judie Weedon


Issue No. 33 and Christmas time once more! Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the Newsletter over the last twelve months - sharing the poems you write or enjoy and your interests and hobbies, letting us join with you in your moments of celebration and happiness, and giving us pleasure from your artistic talents; and thanks must also go to the printers, collators and deliverers.




The meeting on 4th October opened with fond memories of Rebecca Hewison, who had recently died, just a month away from her 113th birthday. A truly wonderful lady who used to attend W.I. meetings with her daughter, Mrs. Kett, when she was well into her 100's.

Mrs. Pam Stowe, from the National Canine Defence League, gave an interesting talk on the League, recalling its history and bringing everyone up to date with the progress of the West Down Kennels. In her vote of thanks, Rosemary Gaydon echoed everyone's hopes for the continued success of such a worthwhile cause.

A letter of thanks for a really lovely evening on the 20th September had been received from the Ilfracombe Disabled Fellowship - the BEST EVER, as we were told many times on the night. Grateful thanks to everyone who helped and to Phil and Gary, who provided the entertainment.

A well-attended meeting on the first day of November welcomed back Vi Goodman and Brenda Walton following their spells in hospital, and best wishes were sent to Sylvia Yates, who was still a patient.

The Committee was re-elected 'en bloc', although Margaret Parkin decided to stand down for a while. After a vote of thanks for her never-failing support, she was presented with a piece of pottery for her new home. 'Yours truly' remains as President, with Rosemary Gaydon as Treasurer and, following a very successful first year, Ann Hinchliffe as Minute Secretary. Margaret Kemp, Ivy Richards, Edna Barnes and Trish Hampson make up the Committee and we shall all do our best for everyone and thank members for their support.

The programme for 1995 was available for discussion and arrangements for the Exeter shopping trip and the Christmas Lunch at the Globe on the 19th December, were finalised. The Guest Speaker at the December meeting, on the 6th, will be Mrs. Kelland who will talk about ' Cookery Bygone Days'. I am hoping for some lovely mince pies - the competition - and please don't forget a small gift to add sparkle to this early Christmas event.

The W.I. members would like to wish everyone a Very Happy Christmas and everything you would wish for yourselves in 1995.

Vi Kingdon - President

This is a time for rejoicing,
For thinking of God above,
Go forth and give thanks for the Blessings,
Of His deep and abiding love.





I am very sad to report that Blanche Dummett [nee Bowden] died peacefully at the North Devon District Hospital on Tuesday, 15th November.

Blanche, the widow of Sid[ney] Dummett was born and lived all her 94 years at 2 South Lea. She was a loving and much loved mother, grandma and great-grandma, loved and respected by all her friends in the village. Our thoughts are with her daughter, Sonia, grandchildren, Alexis, Becky and Richard, and great-granddaughter, Amy.




The children, Joy and I have had a very busy term. We are now able to divide the class for part of our hour, the age range being from 4 to 14 years, and we hope by this to encourage and keep the older children with us longer, they are very interested and articulate about 'grown up' issues and have really surprised me by their understanding and hopes for their futures. We welcome three new members - Peter, Phoebe and Evie - who have settled in well with our little group.

At the Christmas Carol Service on Wednesday, 21st December, we shall be taking part with our offering of "The Very Special Visitors" and hope that you will be able to come along. The children will also be presented with their prizes for good attendance.

Joy and Sally B.

The Sunday school teacher was telling her class about the birth of the Baby Jesus. When she came to the bit about there being no room at the inn, one little boy shot up his hand and said, "Well, I blame Joseph, miss, he should have booked."!



A Visual Arts Gallery has opened at The Lantern Centre, High Street, Ilfracombe. There will be a varied programme of exhibitions and everyone is welcome to go and view and admission is free.

From the 6th to 20th December, there will be a Craft Fair, giving viewers a chance to see unique designs by local crafts people. This will be followed from the 9th to 27th January, by an exhibition, entitled "Drawn by the Light" featuring the work of the award-winning local water colour and pastel artist, Colin Allbrook.

"It is the momentary play of light on the subject that transforms their common place actions into something special."

Whilst visiting The Lantern, why not take a look at the beautiful banners in the Main Hall, or have a coffee or lunch snack at the Genie Cafe?




The Village Shop and Post Office

The recent decision by the Cabinet and the P.M. to leave the Post Office in Public Ownership, has clearly pleased many in the Village, and it seems that the general feeling now is that their village shop is safe. Nora and I are prepared to work towards confirming this situation. We've been reviewing the stock, have changed some lines and are shaving down the prices to reflect "Price Check", a guidance publication for small shopkeepers. We should welcome suggestions and requests for new stock items. Our aim is to offer as comprehensive a Service as possible - especially for those without cars or needing heavy items, such as dog food, milk or bottled water, as delivery is possible. We are hoping to run a dry-cleaning agency and Flowers by Post, but the most obvious lack concerns licenced alcoholic drinks. Given a reasonable call for such items, we could expand in this direction.

With Christmas approaching, we've given thought to our opening hours. At the moment, newspaper deliveries have not been decided, but with Graham Jones's advice, we've decided as follows:

  • Christmas Eve [Saturday] - Close at 1.00 p.m.
  • Christmas Day [Sunday] - Closed all day. No Newspapers
  • Monday Bank Holiday - Closed all day. No Newspapers
  • Remaining Holiday Period to 2nd January - Mornings only unless business merits otherwise. Newspapers as per national delivery

Post Office customers with Pensions and Allowances should note that they will be able to pick-up payments in advance :

  • Christmas £10.00 Bonus - from Monday, 5th December
  • From Monday, 19th December - all payments due up to 25th December
  • From Tuesday, 20th December - all payments due up to 27th December
  • From Friday, 30th December - all payments due up to 2nd January

By the time this is published, Nora and I shall have been running the shop, under Vi Davies's guidance, for three months. Because of the good welcome we were given, we felt at home almost from the beginning, and should like to say, "Thank you all for this, your patience with our mistakes and your continuing custom."

Alan and Nora



Praise Indeed! "As a Berrynarbor lady by birth, I wish to pass out a bouquet to your car park and conveniences, which I visit frequently. They are a great credit to your cleaner and village." Kathleen Joslin, Ilfracombe. Kathleen's grandparents were Tom and Bessie Toms and her mother, their daughter Ethel - an old Berrynarbor family.

Why not take your family to the Pantomime this Christmas? Fairy tale magic and the romance of Christmas combine in CINDERELLA, a traditional pantomime to be held at the Queen's Theatre, Barnstaple from 23rd December to 7th January. Tickets, from £6.00 [£5.00] obtainable from the Ticket Office [24242) daily, Monday to Friday. Performances 7.00 p.m. and matinees, 2.30 p.m. most days.

Keep Fit [low impact aerobics] Young or not-so-young, why not join Miss Muffet on Wednesday afternoons in the Manor Hall, 3.30 to 4.30 p.m. £1.00 per session. Just bring a towel or floor mat and enjoy yourself toning up.



Sally Barten

Johannus Kroes and Rachel [nee Fanner] were married on the 8th October, 1994, in a little church at Humpty Doo, Darwin. They will be arriving in England in December and a Wedding Blessing will be held in St. Peter's Church, Berrynarbor, at 2.00 p.m. on the 27th December, 1994. Rachel's sister, Wendy, was able to be at the Darwin wedding, and also her Uncle David. The rest of her family and friends are looking forward to celebrating their marriage and meeting John soon.
With love and best wishes to you both.

Janet Fanner, youngest daughter of Norman and Sally Barten, has graduated with a B. Ed. Science degree with Honours. The presentation of her degree will take place in Southwark Cathedral on the 21st November.
Congratulations, dear Jan, a well deserved success.



In response to the article in the August issue of the Berrynarbor Newsletter, we should like to present our views in defence of the Berrynarbor magpies.

Recent intensive research, undertaken by zoologists at Cambridge University, has shown, contrary to belief, that magpies do not affect the numbers of our songbirds.

The decline of our songbirds, and indeed that of many other species, is in fact due to modern intensive farming methods, together with the widespread use of pesticides in our gardens.

There should be no prejudice against magpies, no one should play the 'God game', determining which birds should live and which should die. This balance in nature is maintained between species, it has been this way for a million years, it is eternal.

Ann and Brian Davies




Meetings are held on third Thursdays at Combe Martin Methodist Hall, 7.30 p. m, with everyone welcome. At the next meeting on 15th December, Tom Bartlett will be presenting a Slide Show entitled, "Boscastle to North Devon in Old Postcards", and the evening will finish with a Christmas Social. On 19th January, David Edgecombe will be giving an illustrated talk on "The Barnstaple to Ilfracombe Railway". Further information from the Secretary, Eileen Hobson [882353] .



It is good to report that Betty Davis is home at last, taking it easy, but able to be out and about again.

Kate Kemp has unfortunately suffered a slight stroke whilst on holiday in Tenerife. She is getting on well and hopes to be able to fly home soon.

Preb. and Peggy Eppingstone have both been ' in the wars' recently. Peggy is home again following her operation and recuperation at The Lodge, and Preb., too, is on the mend following a severe stomach upset.

Best wishes to you all for speedy and complete recoveries.



Three days after Peggy's operation, I retired to bed with a stomach virus, going without food for 16 days. Our neighbours, the village, the two Churches, the Buffs, the Royal British Legion [Combe Martin] and people from Ilfracombe were magnificent. We had cards and flowers and you gave up your time to visit and visit. I felt rotten, but I knew before long someone would be there. So I say, thank you, with all the feeling there is. Good old Berrynarbor.

Preb. Eppingstone

My dear Friends,

I can think of no words which would fully express my gratitude for all the prayers, cards, flowers and gifts which I received from you whilst in hospital. How they cheered those three-and-a-half weeks. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

Peggy Eppingstone



With Remembrance Sunday just past, I though the two cards I have just added to my Berrynarbor Collection might be of interest. The first [below], which shows our War Memorial in the Churchyard with wreaths and a laurel-leaf crown, must have been taken around 1919-23, or shortly after its placing there.


The inscription reads:

St. John XV.13

Beyond the memorial can be seen part of the roof of Dormer House, now Miss Muffet's. The only difference in the second card, is that the letters M. M. [Military Medal] have been added after Arthur Snell's name.

We can be proud that, unlike Combe Martin, after the last War, the following inscription was placed on the north facing plinth:


Perhaps someone out there could inform us where, when and how these last six parishioners, including a lady, lost their lives so tragically. How thankful we can all be that such wars are a thing of the past - and hopefully, long will they remain so!

Tom Bartlett - November 1994



The December edition of the Berrynarbor
Newsletter includes notices regarding the
Christmas and New Year Opening,
Holiday Pension and Allowances Arrangements
Village Shop Policy
We are YOUR Village Shop
Please consider us FIRST
for your


Alan and Nora




The school has had a busy start to its year.The younger children have visited The Milky Way, near Clovelly, whilst the Juniors spent a day visiting the Plymouth Dome, the Elizabethan House Museum and enjoying a boat trip around Plymouth Sound. A Harvest Assembly was held in the Church and proceeds sent to this year's charity, the R. S.P.C.A. The older children have been playing football and netball with Georgeham and Parracombe Primary Schools.

Many of you will have seen reports of the development of our new environmental area. Tremendous support from the P. T. A. enabled the area to be cleared over the summer holiday and a pond, fence, pathway and dry-stone wall built. Shrubs were also planted by the County's Ground staff and the children have been busy building habitats of logs and stones and weeding and planting bulbs and a variety of plants in and around the pond. Several villagers have kindly donated plants - thank you to all who have done so. We have also received support for the area from SWEB, British Gas, Shell UK, Ilfracombe and District Round Table, Silverdale Nurseries and St. John's Garden Centre. We are certain this project will develop over the coming years to become a rich resource for the children's work and a real 'outdoor classroom'.

We should be pleased to see you at our Christmas events this year. On Tuesday, 6th December, 10.00 to 11.30 a.m. in school, we shall be holding our Coffee Morning - do call in for coffee and mince pies. On Monday, 12th December at 10.30 a.m. there will be a rehearsal of this year's Nativity performance, in the Manor Hall, to which villagers and parents with pre-school children are invited.



  • H.M.S. Pinafore Ilfracombe College Musical Society's G. & S. production this year is H.M.S. Pinafore, to be performed at the Pavilion Theatre, from Thursday, 1st to Saturday, 3rd December, 7.30 p.m. Tickets [£4 and £2] available from the Chocolate Box, High Street, Ilfracombe or the College [863427].

  • Berrynarbor Youth Club Would anyone be interested in re-starting the Village Youth Club, one evening per week? Support would be available from Ilfracombe College, together with training if required. For further details please ring Dave Rafferty [865824] or Ann Davies [864171]

  • For Sale a 2' 6" bed and mattress. Make an offer! Joy Morrow, Fuchsia Cottage [882531].

  • Wanted Small match boxes and old Christmas cards and any surplus Christmas decorations. Joy Morrow [882531]

  • Joy would also like to hear from any ladies who would be interested in joining/forming a Women's Discussion Group, or if anyone has any ideas for classes that would be of interest and be supported in Berrynarbor.


David Beagley


1. A sight for sore eyes
8. Inert gas atomic no.54
9. In rapid dasuent
11. Is she too calm?
12. "His bill holds more than his belly"
13. Apiarists friends
14. Thie house la barred
17. Famous car in its time
18. A fabric made of grass?
21. In the Lake District
23, A believer in God
24, Do they explode with red smoke?
25. A pupil, under protection
26. Done in a huff


2. Naval battle on a dish
3. Wobbly Sheepdog
4. Could be the driving force, or idler
5. Naked film
6. An oxide of Titanium
7. Sincere lady diarist
10. The lowest tide
12. The cormon English Bat
15. It can call you to the phone
16. A couples favourite dance
19. A Cuban tobacco field
20. Passed out, S.0.5. Now.
22. Artificial water course
24. To be laid down and trodden on.

Solution in Article 23.



A forlorn little group of donkeys gathered at a gate. Oyster catchers strutted about the field jabbing at the ground with their long bills. We were heading for Baggy Point on a brisk November morning. A few flowers remained, tree mallow, yarrow, some violets, a clump of fumitory.

At the end of the lane we found there had been changes since our last visit. Baggy Point Hotel had disappeared and in its place a new house had recently been built - an interesting design with bold and original elevations.

Nearby a whale bone is on display, from a large bull whale washed ashore here in 1915.

Rock samphire was growing abundantly on the cliffs. Glossy and succulent with fleshy leaves, it is recommended as a vegetable and was the diarist, John Evelyn' s favourite. The collection of it from steep cliff faces was referred to in King Lear as, "a dreadful trade" . It used to be taken to London markets in barrels of brine. I cooked some once, but came to the conclusion that it is a very acquired taste!

Along the track were the seed heads of the stinking iris, conspicuous in the autumn. Also known as roast beef plant or gladdon [derived from the Old English and Latin words for a little sword], the plant has dingy mauve flowers, but much more attractive are the seed capsules which split in three parts to reveal six packed rows of bright orange-red seeds. The Hottentot fig from South Africa has become naturalised here.

Geologists are drawn to the area to see the 'raised beach', stretching southwards from the northern end of Baggy Point - said to be one of the finest known examples of its kind.

When we reached the Point itself, where the sandstone cliffs rise more than 300 feet, we paused to watch a group of thirty or so cormorants swimming towards the shore. Immediately below, a solitary shag was diving for fish. We counted how long it remained under the water - about thirty seconds, but this agile diver is capable of staying under water for three minutes.

Although similar when seen from a distance, shags are smaller than cormorants with a shorter neck and their black plumage has a greenish lustre instead of the bronze-black of the cormorant.

We made our way up to the Coastguard Lookout - a wooden post with footholds for climbing. Near it, the ground had dropped down a few feet in a neat semi-circle. Peering over the edge I was intrigued to find this had provided a sheltered dining room for sheep. A lot of them were huddled together around two mangers of hay.

Turning the corner, the path continues along Napps Cliff. Here there are wonderful views out to the great expanse of Woolacombe Bay and Morte Point in one direction, and in the other, Croyde Bay with Westward Ho! beyond.

Sue H


Artwork: David Duncan


We are still A-PEALING!

Berrynarbor Church has a peal of six bells cast in 1722 by Evan Evans of Chepstow. No. 3 bell was re-cast by J. Taylor in 1893. The bells were re-hung from wooden to steel frames in 1928 by Harry Stokes of Woodbury. They were completely overhauled and refurbished in 1989-90 by Robert Parker of Taunton. Almost two years ago, a fund was started to buy new bell ropes. The fund now stands at £323.

Because the old ropes are in such a desperate state and delivery time of new ones is 12 weeks, the PCC have agreed to put in an order now. To buy ropes which will last, we need £668, so we are still £345 short! Money keeps coming in slowly and a Coffee Morning will be held in the New Year [date to be announced] . There are envelopes in the back of the church for donations, please take one and let's keep the bells ringing!


Wednesday, 21st December, 6.30 p.m.
Carol Service with Sunday School

Christmas Eve
Midnight Mass, 11.30 p.m.

Christmas Day
Eucharist with Carols, 10.30 a.m.


A warm welcome is extended to you all. Please come and join us. Collections at the Carol Service and Midnight Mass will go to the Children's Society.

Epiphany was the great feast of the Church before Christmas took its place, it is the 6th January, and this is the night to take down decorations.

Illustration by: Kevin McLintock




  • Best Kept Village and Britain in Bloom

    The Parish Council values and supports both competitions and warmly congratulates all those involved in this year's achievements.

  • 50th Anniversary of V. E. Day - 8th May 1995

    The Parish Council feels that this day should be commemorated in the Village, and is open to suggestions as to how this should be done. If you have ideas, please pass them on to one of the Councillors or to the Clerk, John Vince (862362). Similarly, if any individual or organisation would like to be involved in arranging an event, please let us know as soon as possible.

  • Vandalism

    There has been a spate of minor vandalism recently, particularly in the children's playground, the bus shelter and the public conveniences. If you see anything of this nature taking place, please telephone the Police immediately. It's your money that pays to repair any damage!




Our first two meetings have been extremely well attended - with Tony Summers introducing us to some really special wines from Spain and Pam and Alex Parke presenting wines from Italy.

We look forward to meeting you at our next two meetings. On Wednesday, 14th December, Wickhams of Bideford will introduce Quality Wines for Christmas, and on the 18th January, members will present their Own Favourite Wines. Everyone welcome - contribution per meeting, £3.00. Further information may be obtained from Alex Parke [883758], Tony Summers [883600], or Tom Bartlett [883408].


Artwork: Angela Bartlett

Watermouth Beach [The Cove/ Smallmouth Bay]


I have chosen the first card not only for the fine views, but also for the greeting it conveys. The card was published by "The Knight Collection" around 1908 - no, not our North Devon Knight family - famous for their photographic views.

You will immediately note how open the Cove Beach is and the several rowing boats which were then largely used for rowing visitors over to Broad Sands beach and for viewing the caves, and sightseeing short trips around the bay. The Cove Beach became enclosed when the wall was built to give an enclosed pool of sea water, even when the tide was right out. I believe that this work was carried out just prior to, or after, the last War. Perhaps some of our older residents can remember when.

In the 1800's, visitors were drawn to Watermouth to view both Smallmouth and Briary Caves, and would have used the stone steps carved out of the rockface, as shown in the second card, posted in 1937 just after the coronation of King George VI. The steps are still there, reached by entering a small gate, although completely missed by most visitors as they take a walk out to the headland or bathe and build sandcastles beside the natural pool.


Wishing you all a great festive Christmas and a healthy New Year 1995.

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage, November 1994




Artwork: Peter Rothwell


The Pumpkin Competition And what is the well-dressed pumpkin wearing in Berrynarbor this year? The winners of the very expertly decorated Berrynarbor specimens were: 1st Gary and Mishka [Miss Muffets] - Cinderella's Coach, 2nd Neil and Val - Hot! Hot! Hot! and 3rd Olinda - Ugly Duckling. The heaviest, weighing in at 461bs, was entered by Joy [Bet Brooks's sister], with Josef's 281b'er in 2nd place and Ken and Jenny's entry 3rd, at 18.5 lbs. Sally Johnston guessed the weight of the pumpkin [29.5 lbs] and Kenny Stevens the marrow [101 lbs] .

The weather on the Sunday was again glorious for the race from the Square down Pitt Hill to the playing field. Stuart Neale stormed home from an entry of over 20 pumpkins, and the rounders match [over 40's v under 40's] was a draw. Approximately £150 [including a generous donation from the W. I.] was raised for Children in Need and thanks go to all who made this a most enjoyable week-end.

Friday, 23rd December - Draw at 9.30 p.m.

Christmas Eve
Carols in the Car Park at 7.30 p.m.
Sing-a-long-a Gary and Phil - Extension to 11.30 p.m.

Christmas Day
11.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m.

Boxing Day
Quiz Night with our Resident Quiz Mistress, Lynne

New Year's Eve
Super Heroes and heroines ate invited to the Fancy Dress
Party - Free buffet and entertainment

Phil and Lynne wish everyone a Happy Christmas


[An Occasional Series]

Having once again completed moving home, I am now trying to restore my various 'Collections' as before. I thought some notes on each might be interesting to villagers. As I am now a Postmaster myself, I felt I should start with the Stamp Collections, and cover what I can offer in the Post Office.

The range of stamps and the variety of collections are innumerable, but most divide up like this:

  • Mint stamps - i.e. perfect, unused with full glue
  • Used stamps - the best, carrying minimal signs of cancellation
  • Foreign stamps - with themes, such as Flowers, Trains, Elizabeth II, Famous people , etc .
  • British stamps - as above.

From here, collectors can specialise by country or time period, or introduce an interest in postal history, or special use, such as on postcards or airmail envelopes.

I started a 'collection' for my two sons in 1968 with Elizabeth II mint and used items. When the R. A.F. posted me to the U.S.A., it became difficult to keep up, so I joined the Post Office Philatelic Bureau, which operates out of Edinburgh. They can send all manner of new stamps directly to subscribers and will select blocks, traffic light or gutter pairs specials as required.

I started with single stamps and tried to obtain used stamps from my letters. This soon proved impossible, so further arrangements were agreed with the Bureau to receive FIRST DAY COVERS, which generate 'used ' stamps which are very carefully postmarked and often with a thematic, matching, cancellation mark.

Once the collection became slightly valuable, I took more interest, and reviews of catalogues soon showed that ordinary stamps have little value beyond their face value, but PRESENTATION PACKS, do appreciate and are sellable; so I swapped over to collecting these. The Post Office then introduced an ANNUAL YEAR BOOK covering all the year's stamps with photographs and text about the subject matter, the design and printing, and various STAMP BOOKS with themes such as Northern Ireland, Railways, Agatha Christie and Beatrix Potter. I bought these too.

As the bulk grew, it became necessary to put the covers and stamps away safely and I purchased various albums. Undoubtedly, those offered by the Post Office exactly match the requirements and, though costing a lot, they do look nice and provide protection and display.

Now I'm a postmaster, I feel I should provide a Stamp Collecting Service for Berrynarbor and have begun to stock all values of new issues, the presentation and Annual Packs, Albums and inset sheets. I shall also operate a First Day Cover service for envelopes and Postcards.

The next new stamps issue is CATS, with the First Day on 17th January, 1995. If YOU would like to begin with these [or if I can help those who already have a collection], or if you would like to see any items, please ask and I shall be pleased to help you.

Alan Rowlands


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


Our good luck and best wishes go with Ken and Jenny Holly and Marcus on their move to Knowle. Happily, they will be continuing their ties with the Village - Jenny with her hairdressing service and helping at The Globe, and Ken as Caretaker at the school.



The Charity Distribution of Christmas Cards will take place, as usual, this year.

The Manor Hall Management Committee will be organising the distribution for a contribution of 10p per card. The collecting box will be in the Post Office from 9th to 16th December. Funds will go to the Village Hall.



A simple and inexpensive table decoration can be made from that old wine bottle. If you wish, first spray the bottle with gold or silver paint.

Soak a circular piece of oasis well and then either push the bottle neck through it, or cut it in half, cut out a groove in each half and fix it to the bottle neck with a rubber band.

Decorate the oasis by adding holly, ivy and fresh flowers. Fix a seasonal coloured candle in the bottle neck. If you are using fresh flowers, be sure to keep the oasis damp. Alternatively, use 'dry' oasis and dried flowers, fir cones and tinsel, etc.

An edible Christmas tree! This makes a lovely table decoration that looks and is, good enough to eat!

You will need an oasis cone, foil, jellied fruits and cocktail sticks, long fronds of ivy and a ribbon bow to finish.

Cut the oasis cone until it fits snugly in the rim of the pot you wish to use. Cover with foil and secure with sticky tape. Wind the ivy around the cone, keeping it in place with dressmaking pins - make sure no sharp ends protrude. Spear the jellied fruits on cocktail sticks and plunge them firmly into the cone until it is covered. Finish with a large bow tied around the pot.


West Country Poets - By Birth

THOMAS HARDY [1840-1928]

Born in Dorset, the son of a stonemason, Thomas Hardy trained as an architect, a career he abandoned after the success of his fourth novel, Far From the Madding Crowd. He set the majority of his novels in the surrounding counties of his birth, an area he named Wessex. Most of his novels and his poems portray intense human relationships played out in a harshly indifferent world and reveal his love and observation of nature. He experimented with rhythms and verse forms and his Collected Poems [1930] contains over 900 poems. He married twice, first Emma Gifford and after her death, Florence Dugdale, herself a writer of children's books.

The Oxen

Christmas Eve, and twelve of the clock,
'Now they are all on their knees ,
An elder said as we sat in a flock
By the embers in hearthside ease.

We pictured the meek mild creatures where
They dwelt in their strawy pen,
Nor did it occur to one of us there
To doubt they were kneeling then.

So fair a fancy few would weave
In these years! Yet, I feel,
If someone said on Christmas Eve,
'Come; see the oxen kneel,
'In the lonely barton by yonder coomb
Our childhood used to know, '
I should go with him in the gloom,
Hoping it might be so.

Illustration by: Paul Swailes



1stWhist Drive, 7.30 p.m., Manor Hall to Saturday, 3rd - HMS Pinafore, Pavilion Theatre
3rdU. R.C. Christmas Bazaar, 2.30 p.m., Manor Hall
5thBadminton Club, 8.00 p.m.
6thW.I. Meeting: Cookery Bygone Days - Mrs. Kelland
to 20th December - Craft Fair at The Lantern
8thU3A Luncheon: Christmas Party at Woolacombe Bay Hotel
Whist Drive, 7.30 p.m., Manor Hall
9thCharity Christmas Card Posting Box in the Post Office to 16th December
11thChristingle Service, Combe Martin Parish Church, 3.00 p.m.
12thBadminton Club, 8.00 p.m.
13thParish Council Meeting, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
14thMobile Library in Village from 11.55 a.m.
RAOB Carol Service, St. Peter's, 7.30 p.m.
Wine Circle, 8.00 p.m., Manor Hall [Note change of Wednesday]
15thWhist Drive, 7.30 p.m. Manor Hall
Combe Martin Historical Society, 7.30 p.m. Combe Martin Methodist Hall
18thChristians Together Carol Service, Combe Martin Parish Church, 6.30 p.m.
19thW.I. Christmas Lunch at The Globe, 12.30 for 1.00 p.m.
Badminton Club, 8.00 p.m.
20thCollege Annual Carol Service, Parish Church, Ilfracombe - families and friends welcome
21stCollege and Primary School: End of Term
St.Peter's Carol Service, 6.30 p.m.
22ndWhist Drive, 7.30 p.m., Manor Hall
24thChristmas Eve: Carols at The Globe, 7.30 p.m.
25thCHRISTMAS DAY: Eucharist with Carols, 10.30 a.m.
26thBoxing Day: Quiz Night at The Globe
29thWhist Drive, 7.30 p.m., Manor Hall
31stNEW YEAR'S EVE: 'Super Heroes' to meet at The Globe
3rdW.I. Meeting: Kath's Travels - Talk and Slide Show, Kath Arscott
5thCollege and Primary School: Start of Spring Term
Whist Drive, 7.30 p.m., Manor Hall
9thBadminton Club, 8.00 p.m.
10thParish Council Meeting, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
11thMobile Library in Village from 11.55 a.m.
12thU3A Luncheon: Lee Bay Hotel - Dr. Vagg, Chiropractor
16thBadminton Club, 8.00 p.m.
18thWine Circle, Manor Hall, 8.00 p.m.
19thWhist Drive, 7.30 p.m., Manor Hall
Combe Martin Historical Society, Methodist Hall, Combe Martin, 7.30 p.m.
23rdBadminton Club, 8.00 p.m.
25thMobile Library in Village from 11.55 a.m.
26thWhist Drive, 7.30 p.m., Manor Hall
30thBadminton Club, 8.00 p.m.
2ndWhist Drive, 7.30 p.m., Manor Hall
6thBadminton Club, 8.00 p.m.



It was Christmas 1975 and Trixie, our poodle, had been ill and the vet required a 'sample'! Not easy, but we sallied forth, in the dark, bowl at the ready. On our return, task completed, we met up with the Rotary Carol Singers.

The pavements were icy, progress was slow - holding the bowl steady - when the occupant of one house rushed out and put money in it, before a surprised me could say anything. Now when I hear 'spend a penny', I think of that night and how Trixie had epitomised the saying!

Vi Kingdon



Tinsel trees are all aglow
Holly wreathes hang on the door
Robin comes to say 'Hello'
It's Christmas!
Children's faces beaming bright
With expectation and delight
For presents hiding out of sight
It's Christmas!
And so at church we kneel and pray
And think of that eventful day
When Jesus in a manger lay
That's Christmas!

Bettina Brown - Combe Martin


Artwork: Judie Weedon

The next issue of the Newsletter will be February and items for inclusion should be at the Post Office or Chicane by mid-January and by Monday, 16th January, at the latest please. Thank you all for your contributions - please keep them coming!

Finally, on everyone's behalf, I must thank Debbie for finding the time, in addition to her wild life series, to enchant us all with another beautiful cover for our Newsletter. Let's hope that we shall all be as contented as her Christmas Cat - with St. Peter's and Hagginton Hill depicted in the background - this festive season.

Wishing you all a

and a