Edition 34 - February 1995

Artwork by: Debbie Cook


Native to Exmoor, it is believed that the Exmoor pony is the only breed to be descended more or less unchanged from its primitive ancestor, the Celtic pony. It is mentioned as a distinct breed in the Domesday Book of 1065.

Although Exmoors can be brown, bay or mouse dun in colour, they have distinctive light or mealy muzzles and under-bellies, and tails with thick fan-like growth at the top. Their winter coat has a unique texture - short, thick and spongy and virtually waterproof.

The definition of a pony is an equine below 14.2 hands high. The Exmoor mare never exceeds 12.2 hands high and the stallion, 12.3. They are strong and hardy and, like the Dartmoor, make excellent riding ponies. The Riding Pony, a fairly recent breed, has evolved by crossing Welsh, Dartmoor and sometimes Exmoor mares with small Thoroughbred or Arab stallions. Exmoors are, however on the decrease with only 200 breeding mares left in the world.


Artwork: Judie Weedon


A happy new year. Christmas is over, except for the bills, and the days are beginning to lengthen again and even if the weather isn't improving, hopefully spring is on its way. However, February and March can bring their surprises, especially for the unsuspecting early flowers - daffodils are already nearly in bloom in the Valley

This issue gives details of a spate of Coffee Mornings - all for excellent causes. A big thank you to Vi and Anne Davies for arranging one to help Newsletter funds, which following this issue will be NIL. However, a well-supported Coffee Morning and the annual subsidy from the Parish Council should produce solvency again! Thank you to the many people who contribute to the collecting boxes in the Post Office, Globe or Meakings in Combe Martin, and to those of you who have sent donations. May I just remind anyone sending a cheque, this should be made payable to "The Berrynarbor Newsletter" [not to me personally] for payment into the account at the Nationwide Anglia in Ilfracombe.

Thank you to all contributors - artistic, literary, puzzling, etc. Please keep them coming - I shall be looking for YOUR item for the April/Easter issue. Finally, Debbie asks for suggestions for her wildlife series - birds, animals, etc., pertinent to Berrynarbor or North Devon. If you have any ideas, please pop them, with your other articles, in the box at the Post Office or to Chicane by Wednesday, 15th March. Thank you.

Judie - Ed




We welcomed Doreen Prater as Competition Judge, and Fiona Hinchliffe as a prospective member to our December meeting. It was disappointing that the speaker was unable to attend, but an impromptu discussion on past cooking methods and recipes made a good introduction to the excellent tea provided by the Committee, and mince pies - subject for the competition - added to the festivities. The winning mince pie was baked by Joyce Elliott. Traditionally, leaving for home, everyone received a gift.

As always, the lunch, provided by the staff at The Globe, was excellent. Festive decorations and a sing-a-long aided by Phil, made it a truly wonderful start to the Christmas week.

Our meeting on 3rd January was so near to the New Year that several members were unable to be there, but for the rest - including a very welcome visitor, Nora Rowlands - it was an afternoon journeying through Norway and then further south to Portugal and Spain, through the lens of Kath Arscott 's camera, with added commentary to guide us on our way. "Where next?" is how Kath is greeted, and we are privileged and grateful to share some of her worldwide trips. The afternoon went too quickly. There were two winners to the competition - articles packed in a match-box. Mary Gingell managed the most, with Margaret Parkin a close second. I wonder if they have as much fun packing for their holidays! Yours truly won the raffle - a first time ever, so if you have not won yet, ladies, take heart

Our next meeting will be on 7th February when Joy Morrow will be our "Clowning About" speaker.

Visitors are always welcome, but I am sorry, we have to charge £1.

Vi Kingdon - President

Birds trill, pipe and whistle
From their choir stalls in the trees.
Surely there's a lesson to be learnt
It's just occurred to me,
If birds can sing in winter-time,
Well then, why can't we?



TUESDAY 14th FEBRUARY 12.30 for 1.00 p.m.

Home made soup + Roll + Butter
Valentine Dessert Coffee

Proceeds in aid of Cancer Research

Tickets: £2.50 available from
Joy Morrow (882531)
Ray Ludlow (883696)
or The Post Office


David Beagley


3. Respected businessman 8
8. Numismatists would want it 4
9. How to get a note at the table 6,4
10. Basic accommodation for apiarists 4
11. Wander about France, in love 4
13. Made fallow 5
17. Re-tan until its character appears 6
18. One who is free to act on his own 6
19. They consumed ten each 5
22. When in a panic, hang loose 4
24. Means of discerning sonic deviations 4
25. The mariner who can 10
26. Tetchy red gyroscopes 4
27. Store of valuables 8


1. A round bird 5
2. Between acts 9
4. Heady stuff if puffed 5
5. Heavenly leg and body 5
6. Ferric sarcasm 5
7. Seen sometimes glass covered 5,3
12. Cut down to size 4
14. Revealing cup of tea in bed? 3,6
15. Reciprocating youth club 8
16. Made to catch the wind 4
20. Diacritical sign 5
21. Winners get theirs in front 5
22. Natural aptitude 5
23. Crows about his garbs 5

Solution in Article 32.





I am sorry to report the deaths of Doreen, Michael and Steve in the period just before Christmas, and our best wishes go to their families and friends at this sad time.

Wythenmead, Barton Lane was home to Doreen, her husband and two daughters, Peggy and Jean. Later, after the death of her husband, she lived at Copper Beech in the Sterridge Valley, before moving to a residential home in Ilfracombe. Doreen was an active member of the Church and when one of her daughters was to be married, with her help, the Choir of St. Peter's was formed to sing at the ceremony.

Steve Brookman, who died suddenly on the 27th December, lived at Croft Lee all his life and he attended the Primary School. He was called for active service at the end of the last War, serving in the Middle East. Latterly Steve drove for Loverings of Combe Martin. Our thoughts are with his five sons and their families.




On a happier note, there is news of three new babies.

First, congratulations and best wishes to Great Granny Marion [Billet) of Riversdale, Grandparents Ann and Roger and proud parents Sally and Brendan on the birth of Rebecca Frances on the 29th November. Rebecca was so anxious to be in time for Christmas, she arrived unexpectedly five weeks early, weighing in at 5 lbs 4 oz, and now, having passed her 'sell by' date, tips the scales at 6 1/2 lbs.

On the 2nd November, another ex-resident of Riversdale Cottage, Tracey (Yeo) and her husband, Jason, who now live in Plymouth, proudly presented Marlene and Dave with their first grandchild. On arrival, baby Dylan William weighed 7 1/2 lbs, but already he has shown his future potential as a basketball player - like his dad - gaining in length and doubling his birth weight. Congratulations and best wishes to you all, not forgetting Great Granny Ivy [White].

Doreen and Alan Prater are delighted to announce the safe arrival of their first grandchild. Congratulations to Sarah [Bowen] - another ex-resident of the Valley! - and Richard on the birth of your son, Shane Ashley on the 10th January. Shane, a third grandson for Stella and Les, weighed in at 7 lbs 2 oz. Best wishes to you all.



May Day Bank Holiday An early reminder to anyone organising an event or planning a long week-end away, the Bank Holiday for this year only has been changed to the second Monday, 8TH MAY, to coincide with V. E. Day celebrations.

Manor Hall Bookings As from 1st February, all bookings for the Manor Hall should be made through Dave Beagley, Brookside Cottage [next to Post Office], Tel: 882002.

Comings and Goings Our good wishes go with David and Olivia Rockingham, who were sad to leave Berrynarbor for a new home in South Devon, and we welcome to Watermouth Cottage, Anna and Bill Scholes . We hope you will both be very happy in your new home.

A belated warm welcome to newcomers, Rod and Hazel, who are now settled in at Langleigh House.

Engagement Another belated message - one of very best wishes - to Samantha [Sam] Bailey and Justin Sadler-Smith on their engagement. Sam is a W.P.C. with Avon and Somerset Police in Bridgewater and Justin a P.C. with the Gloucester Police force, based in Gloucester. Both have recently passed their two-year probationary period and will be taking the first part of their Sergeant's examinations in March. Good luck to you both and best wishes for June when wedding bells are planned.

Keep Fit Having spent the £'s for Christmas, how about spending the lbs gained! Come along - young and not-so-young, and join Miska at the Manor Hall on Wednesdays, 3.30 to 4.30 p.m. for a general work-out, or on Fridays, at the same time, to attack the "bums and tums"! On Wednesdays, at 3.00 p.m., there is the time to "weigh up" and chat over diets in general. £1.00 per session.


Artwork: Paul Swailes


Thank you to all who took part in the Carol Singing on Christmas Eve, and the New Year's revellers, who were in fancy dress. Thanks, also, to Gary for providing music on both nights.

OUTBACK [Gary, Nigel, Mary-Jane, Peter and Peter] who have been performing out back in the pub, together with friends and performers from Ilfracombe and Barnstaple, will in future be having regular folk/blues evenings on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month. If there are any locals who would like to play, sing or just come and listen, they will be very welcome.

SHOWTIME is nearly here again and as last year's show was a sell-out, we shall be holding this year's extravaganza over two nights! FRIDAY AND SATURDAY, 10TH and 11TH MARCH. Tickets will be limited and on sale from approximately 14th February at £2.50, including a rum punch - so make sure to book in early for your choice of evening.

The theme this year is "MARITIME/V.E. DAY" , and to create a good atmosphere we again ask the audience to dress appropriately. Rehearsals have started on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings - see Gary for more details. Proceeds this year will be split, partly for the carnival float and hopefully to buy a couple of professional spotlights for the Manor Hall.




Easter Services

If you are housebound, either permanently or temporarily, and would like to take Holy Communion at home, please contact Preb. Eppingstone .

It was lovely to see so many people in church over Christmas. We hope you all enjoyed the services. At the Carol Service on the 21st December, the Sunday School performed their Nativity Play, "The Very special Visitors" and gave a lively rendition of "The Twelve Days of Christmas", with help from members of the congregation and the Rector and Preb. Prizes were awarded for the Best Attendance at Sunday School, and First Prize went to Katie Gubb who did not miss one meeting throughout the year. From the collections, we shall be able to send £165 to the Children's Society. P.S. Two coats, plus accessories, were left in the church over the Christmas period. If they belong to YOU, or you know to whom they belong, please claim them from one of the Churchwardens.

Our next special service will be a Christians Together Evensong on the last Sunday in February - the 26th - at 6.30 p.m. We shall be joined by the congregations of all the churches in Combe Martin. There will be a choir, and refreshments will be served afterwards.

Ash Wednesday is on 1st March this year and Holy communion will be at 10.00 a.m. We shall join the Chapel for Lent Services, beginning on the following Wednesday, 8th March, at 2.30 p.m. These services will alternate between the Chapel and the Church [please see posters later] After each service there are refreshments and a time to talk to one another.

Mothering Sunday is on 26th March and we shall have a special Family Service at 10.30 a.m., with the Sunday School taking part. Please come and join us.

The bell rope fund now stands at £442 with donations still coming in, but we have a little way to go yet to reach the £668 needed. The floodlight to the tower will continue to be on through the winter from 6.00 to 11.00 p.m. We have been given a generous donation to help with the cost, but if you would like to sponsor the light in future, please contact Betty Davies.

Mary Tucker - Churchwarden


The Eucharist, 10.30 a.m

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

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.



No Job Too Small


Tel: (0271) 883150


West Country Poets - by Birth

The second poem by Thomas Hardy in the West Country poets series is "The Walk", written in 1913.

You did not walk with me
Of late to the hill-top tree
By the gated ways,
As in earlier days;
You were weak and lame,
So you never came,
And I went alone, and I did not mind,
Not thinking of you as left behind.

I walked up there today
Just in the former way;
Surveyed around
The familiar ground
By myself again:
What difference, then?
Only that underlying sense
Of the look of a room on returning thence.



Please come to Sally Barten's
TUESDAY 28th FEBRUARY 10.30 a.m. - 12.30 p.m.
Proceeds for Berrynarbor Sunday School



"Now fades the glimmering landscape on sight
And all the air a solemn stillness holds ..."

Thomas Gray

Everything was very quiet and still - the sky lilac and pale blue with pink-tinted clouds and the hills, too, were coloured in soft pastel shades. It was a Sunday afternoon in early January and our vantage point, for enjoying this beautiful panorama, was the hill-top village of Atherington, seven miles south of Barnstaple.


From the village square, we trudged along muddy lanes whose high hedges were punctuated by views across the broad Taw Valley to Chittlehampton Church and beyond it, the southern slopes of Exmoor.

Atherington has a lot of thatched cottages, some tucked away in pretty clusters, and the whole village is dominated by its tall-towered church, St. Mary' a landmark for many miles around. It was founded by Athelstan, the grandson of King Alfred.

When in the 19th Century the church was restored under the supervision of the architect of Truro cathedral, J. L. Pearson, the cost of the restoration work [estimated at £3, 000] was met by Mrs. Bassett of Watermouth Castle. The organ was presented by the Bassett family in 1897, and was originally situated at Watermouth Castle.

Indeed there are many Bassett connections. The greatest attraction is the lofty and richly carved oak screen in the north aisle, with an enclosed rood loft above - the sole remaining one in Devon. A narrow, winding stone stairway leads up to it. The screen was the work of two carvers from Chittlehampton in 1535.

The screen and rood loft were previously in a chapel at Umberleigh, but when this was demolished in 1800, the Bassett family was responsible for installing it in Atherington Church and hence the north aisle became known as the "Bassett Aisle".

Evidence of earlier Bassetts is to be found in the monuments. In the north aisle of the chancel is a 16th Century altar tomb with inlaid brass figures representing Sir John Bassett and on either side, his wives Ann and Honor. At the feet of each wife are brasses depicting the children, packed closely together in groups of seven and five. There is also the effigy of a knight dating from approximately 1225.

Also in the north chancel aisle is a window containing medieval glass. The pews in the nave have ancient and elaborately crocketed bench ends, the edges shaped in a series of curled leaf patterns, a design more usually associated with the sides of pinnacles.

A very interesting church, a pleasant village and splendid extensive views - much to look at and admire.



Efforts to find a leader for the Youth Club have so far failed to find a volunteer. However, an experienced helper has come forward willing to attend most - but not all - Wednesday evenings [the preferable evening with regard to Manor Hall availability]. There is a lot of equipment lying idle!

Would anyone interested in this position, please contact Ann Davies on 883837.



Whether you are 'for' or 'against' the magpie, it should be noted that:

"It is illegal to kill or injure any bird or protected animal unless you are authorised to do so under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. "

Home Office Publication 12462 Home J080099NJ

ALL birds [and the majority of animals] are protected by law. To comply with the Wildlife and Countryside Act, permission must be obtained from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food for a bird, on a particular property, to be defined as "vermin".



After use at the end of the summer, hanging baskets make ideal bird-feeders in the winter. If they are bracketed to the wall and in the shelter of the house, they will be safe from predators. Remove the old plants and take out the liner. Put a small plate - or something similar - in the bottom and use this for putting out scraps of food and solid fat. Or, you can use the chains of the hanging basket to suspend a flat flowerpot tray on which to place food.

Illustrations by: Paul Swailes


Please support A COFFEE MORNING

in aid of
Saturday 4th March 10.00 12.00 noon
Bring and Buy - Cake Stalls - Raffle
Any donations most welcome
Contact Vi Davis (882696)


Artwork: Angela Bartlett

Original Log Cabin, Watermouth Cove

Following my article in December on Watermouth Beach, I received a letter from Ian Lawson, who as a child had grown up at the Cove as his grandparents were tenants there for over 30 years until c1941. Ian tells me that they rented Watermouth Cove from the Penn Curzons and says what a beautiful place it was in those days and looking back on it states: "It was nothing short of paradise"

The Lovering's business at the Cove started with the wonderful old log cabin, where strawberry and cream teas were served. Outside on the grass were tables and iron frame chairs, whilst behind the log cabin a marquee was erected where visitors could have their refreshments if they wished. Much later the marquee was replaced by an asbestos constructed cafe and kiosk, where visitors then had to pay an entrance fee and could purchase sweets and cigarettes. Toilets were situated behind the cabin, complete with 'penny in the slot' brass lock machines. The car park was a small field, where the "In" and "Out" ramps are now, and beyond that was another field which curved around and stretched right down to the Harbour. This latter field was known as "The Warren" and was alive with rabbits and pheasants.

Ian's mother was a Lovering prior to her marriage, and Ian spent much of his childhood at Watermouth [from Easter to October] - and what a happy childhood it was! He can remember that two of the small boats that made trips belonged to his grandfather, Dick Lovering, who would row out from Combe Martin in the morning and back again in the evening. He would often go back with him and remembers stopping on the way to catch fish for supper!

In 1939, the Lawson's heard that War had been declared on a radio in a visitor's car. For a while the business carried on, but in 1940/41, the Army came and took over the place and at that point they decided to call it a day, particularly as practically all the catering equipment had either been pilfered or broken by the Army. The asbestos cafe was bought by someone in Berrynarbor, dismantled and reassembled as a small bungalow in Barton Lane, just up from the Church. Ivy White [nee Bray] remembers leaving school in 1939 and working all summer in the cafe as a waitress, serving strawberry and cream teas to all the visitors. Her first task each day was to walk up to collect the fresh clotted cream from the Watts's at Castle Farm [Lydford].


My thanks to Ian of Combe Martin for the above information and photographs.

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage, January 1995

The signs on the side of the log cabin read: " TEAS PROVIDED" and "BAWDEN'S high class MINERAL WATERS made in our Factory, HORNE ROAD, ILFRACOMBE" and just look at those strawberries heaped on the two plates set before Ian's Great Grandfather, Irwin Lovering, taken c1900.




The Christmas rush now over, there's time to reflect a little on how well it went. Stamp sales were good, with over 3,000 sold; the "Berrynarbor" Christmas cards sold out and the R.N.L.I. and Poor Clare's Convent at Lynton benefited from our charity card sales.

The big news was the success of our application for an Off Licence. Attending court at South Molton was somewhat daunting, but the magistrates granted our request and we now carry most spirits, a good stock of wines, a few beers and stay open a little longer on Sundays for lunchtime sales.

The Wine Circle introduced us to "Rowlands Brook" Australian wines, but any resemblance to our water in taste or looks is wholly coincidental! Rowlands Brook is now our 'house' wine.

The Dry Cleaning and Laundry Service is operational, but pick-up is at dawn on Mondays, so users should please drop off their items on Saturday or Sunday mornings at the latest. Goods are returned the following Monday.

We are now stocking, at your suggestion, more cheeses, local sausages and loose ham, and there is scope for us to obtain other meat items to order, as we have a daily delivery arranged. The range of fresh milk has also been increased to include milk in poly bottles and cartons at slightly reduced prices.

Thank you for your continuing support.

Alan and Nora Rowlands



"What do you mean we don't communicate? Just yesterday I faxed you a reply to the recorded message you left on your answering machine. "

The Wall Street Journal



Illustrated by: Paul Swailes

To-day, I saw the catkins blow,
Altho' the hills are white with snow.
White throstles sang "The sun is good";
They waved their banners in the wood.
They come to greet the lurking Spring
As messengers from Winter's King.
And thus they wave while Winter reigns,
While his cold grip still holds the plains.
Oh, tho' the hills are white with snow,
To-day I saw the catkins blow.

Dorothy Una Ratcliffe



It is the first mild day of March:
Each minute sweeter than before,
The redbreast sings from the tall larch
That stands before our door.
There is a blessing in the air,
Which seems a sense of joy to yield
To the bare trees, and mountains bare;
And grass in the green field.

William Wordsworth



The story of the Twinning between Combe Martin and Cormelles-le-Royal, dating from the first exploratory visit in 1976, is well known and has led in, some cases, to deep family friendships for many people whose knowledge of the way of life of ordinary people across the Channel now transcends politicians' rhetoric, European rules and media hype and exaggeration.

In recent years, the Cormelles people entered into a second twinning with a small village in Northern Bavaria called Rothlein [pronounced rootline], and when the visit to France took place in May 1994, the Germans were present the same week-end. During those few days there was time for acquaintances to be made - in particular with the Burgermeister, Edgar Englebrecht, the Twinning Leader, Rudi Silch, and their wives.

During our summer holiday, Margaret and I made an unannounced visit to Rothlein, arriving on a Sunday afternoon. We were made most welcome and even taken to a party!

Rothlein calls itself a modern village with traditions and really consists of 3 small communities - Heidenfeld, Hirschfeld and Rothlein itself. There is a power station and some small workshops, but most people seem to work in the nearby town of Schweinfurt.

It is clear that there is an interest in Twinning with an English place and where better than one already linked with their French partner? There are some links with Germany already - the South West of England has Lower Saxony as its partner, Ilfracombe twins with Herxheim and the North Devon Folk Group have their link with Sulzback-Rosenberg, another Bavarian town over a hundred miles to the east.

Distances are, of course, much greater than those involved with a visit to Cormelles-Le-Royal, where a day trip is possible. Perhaps it is significant that the Red Petticoats and the Morris Men visit every four years with a return visit in the second year.

In Cormelles there is a second twinning association, one for each Twin - it may be that we could do something similar.

The Parish Councils of both Berrynarbor and Combe Martin are aware of this article. Like me they are anxious to know if there is any interest in such an enterprise. A family, a couple, a person on their own, it matters not a bit.

If you would like to explore this a bit more, please let me know and I will arrange an informal 'get together' so that we can ask all the questions and perhaps come up with an answer or two.

Please drop me a line or make a phone call to 883385. Don't be afraid to leave your name and number if the answerphone is on.

This might be that 'something great' we need in our lives!

Graham E. Andrews
Tree Tops, Old Coast Road, Berrynarbor, EX34 9RZ



Do you with to have advice on COMPOSTING, or are you interested in a COMMUNITY COMPOSTING scheme in the village?

If so, come to the Penn Curzon Room of the Manor Hall at 7.00 p.m. on Tuesday, 14th February, when Mr. Ken Orchard of the Devon Community Composting Initiative will be speaking to the Parish Council and the Public, and will also be able to answer questions. No charge for admission or advice.



Refuse Collection - Changes are being made in the refuse collection service in the area. Our day of Wednesday remains unaltered, but the time may change.

Over the next few weeks the new schedule should settle down and from then on the collection time should remain constant. However, for the time being, we are advised to make sure that sacks are out ready for collection by 8.00 a.m.

A Charity Bric-a-Brac & Jumble Sale is to be held at The Lodge on SATURDAY, 4TH FEBRUARY, at 2.00 p.m. Raffle * Cake Stall [please donate a cake] * Refreshments. If you have any unwanted quality items or donations for the raffle, please contact Judith on 883246. Proceeds in aid of the Roy Castle Cause for Cancer Appeal.

North Devon Conservative Association - Berrynarbor Branch - The A.G.M. will be held on SATURDAY, 11TH FEBRUARY, 1995 at the Manor Hall, commencing with a Coffee Morning at 10.30 a.m., followed by the A.G. M. at 11.30 a.m. Our members, members' friends and all others are invited to attend.

Academic Success Congratulations to:

    Sean Padden of Hilarion, Barton Lane, who has graduated from Bournemouth University with a HND in Business and Finance, and Keith and Ian Redwood. Keith is at Huddersfield University undertaking a Masters degree in Computer Science, having been awarded a 2:1 B.A. Hons. degree in Sociology and Psychology, also at Huddersfield. Ian is on a 2-year Masters degree [combining work with study] at the University of Westminster, where he gained a 2:1 degree in Combined Studies [Business, Marketing and Advertising] last year.

Miss Muffet Tea-Rooms & Garden - We shall be introducing a small selection of crafts to the Tea-Rooms this season, and where possible would like to keep a 'local' theme. If you have anything you make that you would like to sell, please contact us on 883209.

Miska and Gary




The Lodge Country House Hotel [Doreen, Judith and Alan Prater] are pleased to announce the Opening of their new Restaurant [for non-residents] on the 1st February. Details of their Charity Opening Night have been circulated. Why not book a table for a Valentine Celebration on Saturday, 11th February? The table d'hote menu costs £10.50 per person and special occasions, parties and buffets are catered for. Sample menus are available on request and for bookings and further details, contact Judith on 883246.

Good luck and best wishes with your new venture.



Place names are a fascinating link with our past and often a memorial to those who walked this land before us. Many places in our Parish relate to family names. The Moules, Hammonds, Morris's, Hills, Holes, Hodges, Roves, Thorns, Chichesters, Sloleys, Cockhills, Stowfords, Vellacotts, Somers and Bowdens are all commemorated by their farm names. Some have been swallowed up by larger farms, such as Howards Vellacott and Morrishes and another, Somers, has been changed [Castle Hill]. Many of these families were well established when church records began in 1540, and some survive today. The Harpers bequeathed their name to the old mill under Smythen, and the Sterries will always be remembered through Sterridge Valley.

In the last century, Census Returns record cottages with family names, such as Hick's Hamlet, Pile Cottage, Flemming's Tennement, etc. Pink Heather was known as Blindwill's. What problems he must have faced negotiating the steep path to his front door - bless him!

But what of BerryNarbor? Whose history stems from this name? In 1085 the Domesday Book records it as Hurtesberie, derived from HEORT'S BURH, the Old English for "the place of Heort" . How long ago did he live here? Probably in pre-Saxon and maybe pre-Christian times. The Saxon Queen Edith [wife of Edward the Confessor] held the Manor before the conquest, when Wulfric and Godric were the Saxon owners of Hagginton. William the Conqueror bestowed them on Walter of Donai, who was followed by Robert de Backentune. By the late 12th Century, they had passed to the de Nerberts, from whom the suffix Narbor originated.

When Henry III favoured his knight, Ralph, with the Manor, he took the name of his new home. Ralph de Biry's descendants succeeded until 1708 - followed by the Bassett family.

Names ending with "ton" are usually of Saxon origin, meaning a hamlet or village, such as Stapleton, Yellaton and Ruggaton. The remains of several cottages at Ruggaton certainly bear this out. There is little documentation of these early homesteads, although a law suit entered into in 1196 between William de Poiniard and William de Nerbert resulted in de Nerbert giving up his claim to East Hagginton and de Poiniard giving up his claim to "Yellaton, Indicknowle, Hempster, 2 ferlongs in Stapleton and the mill with the road in Hagginton, with the hamlet that is between Bethune Mill and the old ditch" . This hamlet must be Hele and the old ditch the ancient earth fort on Hillsborough.

I feel strongly that places should retain their old names, and perhaps in the future we can name somewhere Heort's Burh or Edith's Place, and please forget about Rectory Hill and call it by its "proper" name - Jan Bragg's Hill. Perhaps I'll even try to persuade you to revert to the local version of Hagginton - always known as Henton Lane, Henton Farm and West Henton. Why Henton, I don't know, except that a hundred years or so ago, many of the population were still illiterate. They used the names as passed down by their forefathers and when they did learn to read, they chose to stick to the "old way". I hope we all know where Knackershole is?

Lorna B.



Evenings for the next few weeks are best spent by the fire. So, warm and relaxed, try your hand at this quiz, contributed by Doreen Prater. If you would like to enter for a prize, put your answers on a postcard or piece of paper and pop it in the box at the Post Office. Make sure that you give your name and address [in BLOCK CAPITALS] and say if you are 12 years old or under.

Entries should be received by Wednesday, 15th March.

1.Always left out [10]2.Optician's flower [4]
3. Smart animal [9]4. Tandem rider [5]
5. End of the spectrum [6]6. Fastidious sprinkler [8]
7. What poor spinsters should do [8]8. Red again mixed up [8]
9. Sounds cold to me [7]10. Foggy affection [11]
11. For shepherds [5]12. Many crush them, if they stir [13]
13. Operatic heroine in a nautical apron [9]14. Girl added [7]
15. What Mrs. Tell said [5, 7]16. One of the mob from the hill [8]
17. Cunning gauntlet [8]18. Used at greyhound track [8]
19 . A big one in a muddle [7]20. It's a big fiddle [5]
21. A wine for Christmas [9]22. Toilet fastener [ 5]
23. Miss Blandish's order cancelled [6]24. Feline coin foundry [7]
25. Not from the hilltops [4, 2, 3, 6]26. Young horse's hoof [9]
27. Not for a daughter [9]28. It's a mean one [7]
29. Neil dance, a medley [9]30. Can't you remember who I am? [6, 2, 3]
31.Alone in an onion bed [7]32. Toffee Bunch [9]
33. Eros by any other name [4]34. Card game for St. George [10]
35. Avalanche [8]36. Why did the bull rush? [7]
37. O, why three peas? [5]38. Warm the lady [7]
39. Pea missing from confused pulpit [5]40. North and south in your wage packet [5]
41. Evaporated, to wear for a wedding [9]42. Confused, I call [5]
43. Perplexed in Leith St. [7]44. Sounds like a witches motorbike [5]
45. It does not just shine in the Holy Land [4, 2, 9]




Meetings are held on third Thursdays at Combe Martin Methodist Hall, 7.30 p.m. Everyone welcome. At the next meeting on 16th February, Peter Christie, the Historian from Bideford, will be giving an illustrated talk on "Strange Goings-On in North Devon", which promises to be enlightening! On 16th March, John Kinsman presents his illustrated "Ilfracombe Then and Now"! Further information from Tom [883408] or Eileen Hobson [882353].


in aid of

10.00 - 12.00 noon


Any donations most welcome

Contact: Vi Davis 882696






Our Christmas meeting was the best attended ever, with over 50 present for the great presentation given by Wickhams of Bideford, and together with the eats supplied by members, it made it a really festive occasion. Our January meeting saw members bringing their favourite wines and this was again well attended and most professionally co-ordinated by Tony Summers. On Thursday, 15th February, Eddie Shilton presents "New World of Wines" and then on 15th March, "Safeways Award Winning Wines" will be presented by member and Safeway Manager, Michael Jones. New members are always welcome and further information can be obtained from Alex Parke [883758], Tony Summers [883600] or Tom [883408].



Whist Drive, 7.30 p.m. Manor Hall
4thCharity Jumble Sale, The Lodge, 2.00 p.m.
6thBadminton Club, 8.00 p.m.
7thW. I. Meeting: "Clowning About" - Joy Morrow
8thMobile Library in Village from 11.55 a.m.
9thWhist Drive, 7.30 p.m. Manor Hall
11thConservative Association [Berrynarbor Branch] Coffee Morning and A.G. M. Manor Hall, 10.30 a.m.
13thBadminton Club, 8.00 p.m.
14thSt. Valentine's Day. Valentine Day Lunch, 12.30 for 1 p.m., Manor Hall.
Parish Council Meeting, Manor Hall, preceded by "Community Composting", 7.00 p.m.
15thWine Circle, Manor Hall 8 p.m. "New World of Wines"
16thWhist Drive, 7.30 p.m. Manor Hall.
Combe Martin Historical Society: Peter Christie "Strange Goings on in North Devon", 7.30 p.m. C. M. Methodist Hall
20thto Friday, 24th February: Primary School and College - Half Term.
Badminton Club, 8.00 p.m.
22ndMobile Library in Village from 11.55 a.m.
23rdWhist Drive, 7.30 p.m. Manor Hall
24thChristians Together Meeting
26thChristians Together Service, 6.30 p.m. St. Peter's
27thBadminton Club, 8.00 p.m.
28thShrove Tuesday. Pancake Coffee Morning, 2 The Lees, 10.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.
1stAsh Wednesday - Holy Communion, 10.00 a.m.
2ndWhist Drive, 7.30 p.m. Manor Hall
4thNEWSLETTER COFFEE MORNING, Manor Hall, 10.00 a.m. to 12.00 noon
6thBadminton Club, 8.00 p.n.
7thW.I. Birthday Meeting: "Life as an Air Hostess" - Margaret Power
8thMobile Library in Village from 11.55 a.m.
9thWhist Drive 7.30 p.m. Manor Hall
13thBadminton Club, 8.00 p.m.
15thWine Circle, 8.00 p.m. Manor Hall: Safeways Award Winning Wines
16thWhist Drive, 7.30 p.m. Manor Hall.
Combe Martin Historical Society, 7.30 p.m. C. Martin Methodist Hall: "Ilfracombe Then and Now" - John Kinsman
17thSt. Patrick's Day
20thBadminton Club, 8.00 p.m.
22ndMobile Library in Village from 11.55 a.m.
23rdWhist Drive, 7.30 p.m. Manor Hall
26thMothering Sunday. British Summer Time begins
27thBadminton Club, 8,00 p.m.
30thWhist Drive, 7.30 p.m., Manor Hall
1stBritain in Bloom Coffee Morning, 10 - 12, Manor Hall
3rdBadminton Club, 8.00 p.m.
4thW.I. Meeting: "Exmoor" - Michael Hesman
5thMobile Library in Village from 11.55 a.m.
6thPrimary School and College Break Up for Easter
Whist Drive, 7.30 p.m. Manor Hall