Edition 38 - October 1995

Artwork by: Debbie Cook


The stoat, illustrated by Debbie for the front cover on a suggestion from Vida Butler [Newsletter No. 35], is a fierce predator living mainly in woodland, although adaptable to hedgerows, rough grassland and moorland. They are fast - can travel up to 20 m.p.h. - alert and inquisitive. Their diet consists almost entirely of meat, especially rodents, fish, birds, eggs and rabbits, whose frequency of sand-dunes makes them good hunting grounds.

Stoats normally live alone in dens, but pair briefly in summer. The female, which is half the size of the male, produces her litter in April or May. The body is long and slim with short legs and the coat, a reddish-brown back with a white, tinged with yellow belly and a black-tipped tail. In Northern Scotland in winter, the coat turns white and the stoat and the fur are then called ermine, but the tail tip remains black. The white fur and tails are used in the official robes of judges, peers, etc.




With no meeting in August, it was nice to see so many members at the Coffee Morning on the 16th - a jolly morning, catching up with all the news, and making a profit of £100. Many thanks to everyone for their support and hard work. A well attended meeting, including three visitors, on the 5th September, was very kind to the speaker, 'yours truly', when I gave a light-hearted account from my archives, "What's Up Doc?" which even made me smile whilst reliving some of the occasions! Members' tolerance was rewarded at tea-time with a piece of Bobbie's birthday cake, which she wanted to share with everyone.

The rest of the month will be busy with preparations for the party for members of the llfracombe Disabled Association on the 19th, and the receiving of the Federation Anniversary Banner on the 29th. Grateful thanks to Len Coleman for helping us to transport same to Kentisbury in style. "Edwardian Elegance", with a display of costumes, will be the subject of our Speaker, Margaret Trump, on the 3rd October, and, as always, visitors are most welcome, The November meeting will be the Annual Meeting and Election of the Committee.

Vi Kingdon - President

P.S. Thinking about Christmas? Don't forget the Exeter shopping trip on the 22nd Nov,

Autumn sweeps in with colours bold,
Leaves flutter down, brown, russet and gold.
Looking for tit-bits, the birds that have stayed,
Harvest thanksgiving, to God we pray.




After weeks of drought and high temperatures, we were all amazed [including the judges!] at the exhibits which came to the show bench - the vegetables were up on last year but flowers, owing to scorch, were down, but everyone pulled together and made it a lovely Show. My grateful thanks to all exhibitors and helpers for a very happy afternoon, enjoyed by everyone who attended [and 160 pounds was raised for Hall funds].

Linda Brown

The Prize winners were:

The Globe CupFloral ArtSally Johnson
The Walls cupHome CookingVi Kingdon
The Davis CupHandicraftsChristine Jesson
The Watermouth CupHandicrafts - wood/mineralsJohn Weaver
The Watermouth Castle CupWineBernard Allen
The George Hippisley CupCollageCharlotte Fryer
The Vi Kingdon AwardPhotographyAlan Denzey
The Derrick Kingdon CupFruit and VegetablesMargaret Ludlow
The Lethaby CupPotted PlantsEunice Allen
Manor Stores Rose BowlCut FlowersGill McCrae
Management Committee CupBest in ShowBernard Allen*
The P.T.A. cupChildren's ArtPhoebe Hay
The Men's Institute CupChildren's ArtKirsty Richards
The Mayflower DishChildren's ArtMichael McCormick

* for a superb bottle of red fruit wine!



The answers of the competition for the recognition of photos of bits of Berrynarbor, held at the Horticultural Show were:

1. Capel Cottage2. The Olives3. Behind the Church
4. Little Gables5. Hillside Cottage6. Rear of the Manor Hall
7. The Globe8. Swan Cottage9. The Public Toilets
10. The Church11. Tower Cottage12. Pink Heather
13. The Graveyard14. Silver Street, opposite the School15. Parson's Pightle
16. Homeleigh17. Tower Cottage18. Church Lychgate
19. Wild Violets20. The Churchyard

The only one of these not to have been spotted was No. 9 - the roof of the public toilets as seen from Castle Hill.

The winner, with an excellent score of 15 correct answers, was GINNIE NEALE - WELL DONE! Thanks to all participants.

Dave Beagley


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


Nora and Alan Rowlands celebrated their first year at Berrynarbor's Super Mini-Market [and Post Office!] on the 3rd September and the birth of their first grandchild. Young Matthew James weighed in at 81bs 2 oz on the 29th August. Best wishes and congratulations to the proud grandparents and parents, Kevan and Samantha.

Congratulations to Robin and Emma Pickering on the birth of their son, Jack, on the 1st September. Jack, who weighed in at 7 lbs 7 oz, is a true 'local', having already had his head wetted at The Globe!

Everyone will, I am sure, be delighted to learn that Debbie Cook has been commissioned to design a commemorative biscuit tin for Harrods of London! The tin, which will be available by Christmas and on sale throughout 1996, will depict a picnic scene on a punt on the river and will feature all 10 of the Harrods' special Christmas teddies.

You will also be pleased to learn that you will be able to buy calendars featuring Debbie's work for Christmas: A slimline calendar featuring cats and kittens will be available from W.H. Smith's and another slimline calendar featuring teddy bears will be on sale at Woolworths. Larger format calendars of bears are available from catalogues of various charities, e.g. R.S.P.B., Webb Ivory, N.S.P.C.C. Well done, Debbie!


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


Congratulations to Iain Spear and Emma Jewell, from Ilfracombe, on their marriage at Ilfracombe Parish Church on the 12th August, followed by a honeymoon visiting Singapore, Hong Kong and the Far East. Iain and Emma, who both work in the family fishery business in Barnstaple, have moved in to Manor Cottage, Birdswell Lane. A warm welcome to you both.

On Saturday, 16th September, Geoff and Ginnie Potts [formerly of Hillside Cottage, Sterridge Valley] made a welcome return to the village for the marriage of their daughter, Carolyn, at St. Peter's Church, where she had been Confirmed. Carolyn and her husband, Simon, who comes from Ashford in Kent, met through their jobs in computing - she demonstrating and he selling. Following their honeymoon on Safari in Africa, they will continue living in London. Our congratulations and best wishes to you all.

The bells at St. Peter's were again ringing on Saturday, 23rd September, for the wedding of Theresa, daughter of Peter and Margaret Hiscox of Cross Park, to Mark Rollason of Ilfracombe. Theresa is a nurse at the North Devon District Hospital and Mark a hairdresser at 'Hairport' in Ilfracombe. Theresa and Mark are spending their honeymoon in the Canaries at Lanzarote, after which they will return to live in Ilfracombe. Congratulations and every good wish for the future.

Warm congratulations to two Barnstaple readers, Celia and Harry Weedon [guess whose in-laws?] who will be celebrating their Diamond Wedding Anniversary on the 3rd November.


Artwork: Alvary Scott


The sun shone on us for our Summer Fayre this year and we had a super evening all round, raising the magnificent sum of just over £1000. This is the first time we have made a four figure profit. Thank you to all our helpers and to everyone who made gifts and supported us on the night - we couldn't manage without you. A special thank you to Thumbelina, for the use of their Bouncy Castle and to Richard Haines for sending along the Watermouth organ for the evening.

We spent a lovely evening being entertained in the Church for the Musical Evening on 22nd August. The Concert was well attended - although we could have fitted in a few more - and £112 was raised towards Church Funds.

The varied programme ran along smoothly thanks to all the preparation and practising put in by our organist, Reg Gosling, together with the participants and the imaginative presentation of Gerry Marangone. Thank you once again to all who took part - too many to mention all by name - and we did enjoy the children's contributions.

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
Thursday. 10.00 a.m.
2nd Sunday each month. 8.00 a.m.

The Rector. the Rev. Keith Wyer [883203] and Prebendary Eppingstone 1882802) 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.

Harvest will be celebrated on Sunday, 8th October, with Evensong and Supper on the following Wednesday, 11th October. The Church will be decorated on Friday, 6th, and gifts of fruit and flowers will be most welcome. Please bring them along as early as possible. The school will not be bringing produce into church this year and our own gifts have been rather sparse of late, so let's make a special effort to have the church over-flowing on the Sunday. Please note, the produce will be sold in the Manor Hall after the Supper.

Services: There will be an 8 o'clock Holy Communion on Sunday, 8th October followed by a Family Service at 10.30 a.m. On the Wednesday, Evensong will be at 6.30 p.m. followed by the Harvest Supper in the Manor Hall at 7.45 p.m. Tickets will be on sale in the Post Office from Monday, 25th September, or in the Church on Sundays, price £3 for adults and £1 for children. Do come and join us. There will be entertainment after the meal and don't forget the sale of produce!

Looking forward to November, Remembrance Sunday will be on the 12th with Holy Communion at 8.00 a.m. and the Special Service at 10.30 a.m. followed by prayers at the War Memorial.

Mary Tucker

Illustrated by: Paul Swailes



The grains of corn were planted
Where plough and rake had been,
And soon, through brown earth pushing
The young green shoots were seen.
Cleared of weeds by harrow,
And watered by the rain,
Aided by the sunshine,
Appears the ripening grain.

The fields of bearded barley,
The graceful hanging oats,
And ears of wheat packed closely,
The cheerful reaper notes.

He sees the cornfields waving,
Yellow and ripe and strong,
And so, his heart rejoicing,
He sings his harvest song.


Illustrated by: Paul Swailes




Your Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinators cordially invite all Berrynarbor residents to a meeting in the Manor Hall on Friday, 13th October, at 7.30 p.m.

A representative of Shorrock [Barnstaple] will be our guest speaker and Col. Bob Gilliat of Ilfracombe Crime Prevention Panel and a Community Policeman will be most welcome guests. There will be an opportunity for informal discussion and our guests will be able to offer advice based upon experience in their respective fields. Do not miss this opportunity to ask questions or express your thoughts on how village residents and property should be protected against the criminal element of our society.




The birds have flown from Ducky Pool,
Laura to a Higher School.
Karen, up the motorway
At Birmingham she hopes to stay.
We wish you luck from here to there,
Both remember, we all care.
Lots of love to you both from Mum and all your friends
[not forgetting Toto, Splash, Sparky and Jack]



No Job Too Small


Ter. (01271) 883150



This year our holiday was spent touring Scandinavia in our motor home. The crossing from Harwich to Gothenburg was calm and we saw many North Sea oil rigs and were impressed by their size. The camp site in Sweden was on the edge of Gothenburg and was the best we came across.

We drove across Sweden, west to east, and camped in Stockholm in the Athletic Stadium, just a short bus ride from the city centre. I found this a wonderful, interesting, but very expensive city. We had a conducted tour by coach and boat, viewing the different islands which are Stockholm, and then wandered around some very swish department stores [so swish it cost 50p to use the loo!]. The following day we visited the Vasa Museum. The Vasa is a wooden galleon, launched in the 1600's, which capsized and sank in view of the shipyard in which she was built. When brought to the surface nearly 400 years later, she was almost as complete as the day she sank

The ferry to Finland [Turku] was mind-blowing! Not just the size but the design. Coming up from the car deck, we found ourselves in a street of shops, restaurants and pavement cafes and glass lifts whisked up and down to the different decks. We had a smooth trip and a wonderful meal whilst we passed hundreds of islands all the way across this part of the Baltic Sea.

At our camp site, not far from Turku, we encountered Finnish gypsies. The men were bossed about by the women who wore their very attractive costumes of a long, very full black satin skirt and white lacy blouses. Shopping here was an eyeopener. A pint of new potatoes was a pound, and a nip of carrots [3] was also a pound. The indoor market was similar to Barnstaple but nearly all butchers. Laurie fancied sausages until he found [he doesn't speak Finnish but is fluent, if somewhat stupid, in sign language!] that they were made of horse meat! In the museum depicting craftsmen demonstrating their skills, we discovered why the beds in Sweden and Finland are so short - about 4' long. A hundred or so years ago, they believed that if you laid down full length, you would die of congestion!

On our way to Helsinki, we called at a glass factory - shades of Dartington. Much of the land in this area is flat and agricultural, with pine forests and small wooden houses painted a dull red. We spent a couple of days here touring the city by tram, an inexpensive way to orientate oneself. The Royal Yacht was berthed there, but we did not get an invite aboard!

We journeyed east along the coast of Finland and made steady progress towards the Arctic Circle, stopping when we saw something that caught our eye, like Savolinna, situated as most large towns in Finland, at the side of one of the thousands of large lakes. This town had a wonderful castle close by but we were too early to catch a performance of the opera they put on in this dramatic setting. Shopping for food in some remarkably good supermarkets, and a few outside markets, gave Laurie another chance to practise his Mickey Mouse mime act! Finally we arrived at Rivoneme, the Father Christmas village in the Arctic Circle - the biggest tourist trap this side of Disneyland! Photos on Santa's lap - ten pounds; getting baptised into the Sumi [Lap] culture - fifty pounds, with a free glass of champagne, and the most incredible selection of souvenirs in dozens of shops. Petting Santa's reindeer was free, as was the car park! German and Japanese tourists were much in evidence.

We continued north along very good roads, avoiding the many reindeer that are semi domesticated but which seem to have suicidal urges. After Sodankla we turned east along the Russian border and the most northern part of Finland. Our next camp was at Lake Inra, sacred to the Lap community who live there. They used to bury their dead on the islands so the bears couldn't dig up the corpses - there are still bears and wolves in this area. Being so far north, the midnight sun was very strong [so were the millions of mosquitoes!] It was easy to read a book inside the motor home at 1.30 a.m. I have never seen such wonderful light and sky.

We crossed over to Norway to Kirkeness, an ugly, 'edge of the wilderness' type town and almost immediately we made our way across the Norwegian Lapland [Finmark] to Hammerfest, the most northerly town in the world - as far north as the most northern tip of Alaska. We saw thousands of reindeer in this huge, desolate area and many Lapps in national costume selling skins and antlers. Continuing south, the landscape became less desolate and south of Trondeim, it was quite beautiful.

Narvick was not as I expected, but was a large port and industrial town, the head of the railway that brings in ore from Sweden to be shipped all over the world. The big surprise one day was that the road simply ended! This was the first of many car ferries we were to encounter as we went deeper into the fjord area and trips varied from twenty minutes to two hours. Without a doubt, Geranger Fjord was the most interesting. From our camp site by the water's edge, we watched the comings and goings of many ships and ferries; at one time 3 large cruise ships were at anchor. The fjord is about sixty miles from the sea and so narrow that the ships have to swing round on their anchor, and so deep that the QE2 was due to arrive there a week later. We spent the next 12 days travelling the fjord area - up dizzy roads with dozens of hairpin bends, over mountains, through snow piled 10 feet high on the side of the road, and lakes still frozen in spite of the bright sunshine. We went through many tunnels, 25 in one day, some on minor roads unlit and very narrow. The temperature in the valleys was 86F and we were told that it was the best summer since 1978. Every road in Scandinavia carries signs warning of elk - large animals causing many accidents - and we thought they were a myth! After spending three nights in Oslo, a charming city, we crossed into Sweden and Laurie remarked how restful it was to drive on straight roads again!

Our final big surprise, and there had been many, was to arrive in Gothenburg to get the ferry home only to be told there wasn't one - it had been cancelled due to engine trouble! We were, however, put up in a 4 star hotel and I luxuriated in a bath after weeks of showers. Next morning we caught the ferry to Fredrickshaven in Denmark, drove 200 miles across to Esberg and then caught the ferry to Harwich, being given a generous sum to cover our expenses.

After 6,500 miles we were still puzzled by the few British people we met. Could it be the cost or has the spirit of the explorers of old vanished? It is such a fantastic part of this wonderful world we live in and what's more, the toilets are spotless!

Peggy Harvey - Cockhill





For details, please consult
Tel: 01271-882521


Artwork: Angela Bartlett

Combe Martin Harbour [c. 1908 B. Gribble]


This fine photographic postcard shows from left to right:

The Clyde Puffer "Snowflake", built in 1893 by Burrell & Son at Hamilton Hill, Glasgow. "Snowflake" was bought by Captain Claude Irwin of Combe Martin a few months after his ketch sank on 28th October, 1897, off Hangman, after a collision with a steamboat! Between 1893 when she was built until purchased by Captain Irwin, she had a somewhat chequered history, being launched as the "Maid of Lorn" and wrecked off Iona on 17th April, 1896. She was recovered and re-registered in Glasgow by George Webster who sold her to the Hayle, Cornwall, flour merchants, Hoskin, Trevithick & Polkinhorne. They registered her at Penzance renaming her after their best brand of flour "Snowflake", but finding her too small they sold her to Captain Irwin of Combe Martin. "Snowflake" plied the Bristol Channel for the Irwins, taking fruit and vegetables and strawberries grown in Combe Martin over to South Wales and bringing back coal. On Sunday, 23rd August, 1936, she struck a rock in Combe Martin Bay and was beached at Watermouth Harbour. With the help of the salvage steamer, "Florence", she was refloated and towed into Ilfracombe Harbour two days later. Following repairs, she continued service until 1940 when with war restrictions she was sold to a Bristol based company and leased out to the Government as a water carrier. In 1946 she returned to Bristol and was sold for trading around the Greek Islands. In 1953 she was involved in a collision in the harbour at Piraeus and was last heard of at Split, Yugoslavia, in the 1960's.

The ketch "Jane", was built in Swansea in 1851 and bought by the Irwins in 1902. In September 1915, when on a voyage from Lynmouth to Newport with Captain George Irwin, she struck a rock near Nash Light and sank. The entire crew was saved by ropes thrown from the rocks.

The ketch rigged "Olive and Mary" was built by James C. Hoad of Rye, Sussex, in 1877, and served as a Brixham Trawler. It is interesting to note that on 8th April, 1899, she was reported disabled about seven miles off the North Devon coast. The Ilfracombe Lifeboat, "Co-operator No. 2" was launched just after 6.00 a.m. and found the "Olive and Mary" in a terrible state with only a jib, her sails, spare boat and compass having been carried away by the storm. She was towed back to Ilfracombe and in October that year bought by the Irwins. She was involved in a collision in the River Avon in 1905 and towed home by "Snowflake". Some seven years later in 1912, she was caught in a squall in mid-channel and limped home to Combe Marin but struck rocks below the Parade, and with the help of several boatmen and ropes, was pulled off and saved. The Irwins sold her to the local coal merchant, William Laramy, in 1924.

The ketch "Sir T.D. Acland" was built at Bude in 1861 from where she traded until she was wrecked in 1887. Saved and repaired, she was bought by George Irwin in September 1902, and joined the ever-growing number of ketches owned by the Irwin family.

The ketch rigged "Mistletoe", built in Plymouth in 1890 by Hawke Brothers, was bought by Thomas Ley of Combe Martin, who later moved with her to Porlock Weir, finally selling her to an Exeter boat-owner in 1927.

Finally, the three horses and carts shown here would have been delivering local grown strawberries to the boats for consignment to Wales and Bristol - there was a considerable trade of this nature. The lower slopes of the hills were devoted to market gardening, with large quantities of flowers, fruit and vegetables [particularly early potatoes] being grown, testament to the mild climate. Beyond the rough breakwater are the Laver-Stone and Camel-Rock at the foot of Lester Point.

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage, September 1995

May I, on Tom's behalf, appeal to YOU ALL for old photographs, pictures or postcards of the village to enable him to carry on his series. Also, to bring to your notice the two evenings of "Local History on Screen" which Tom will be presenting for the Community College at Parracombe on Friday, 13th October, 8.15 p.m., and Kentisbury on the 20th October at 7.30 p.m.




Get Well Soon - Best wishes to Peter Hinchliffe and Marion Billett, both of whom have had recent spells in hospital, and to Betty Davis, currently having what we hope is only a short stay at the "Pilton Hilton"

Academic Success - Congratulations to all students from the village on their recent successful G C.S.E. and 'A' Level results, and to Mark Greenslade of Barton Lane, who has gained a 2:1 Law degree from the University of Anglia. Best wishes for the future to you all.

A Plea to Pyromaniacs! - If you really must have a bonfire, please give some thought to your neighbours and confine your fire-raising efforts to the evening or when the sun has gone down and we can no longer sit out or work in our gardens. Thank you.

Berry Revels - The Manor Hall Management Committee would like to thank all who helped with or supported the Berry Revels, which was very successful and raised approximately 750 pounds

Wanted! - Any surplus 1lb [or near] jam jars with lids. Will collect. Contact Joy Morrow - 882531.

Man [or Woman) Friday! - Help needed with housework or other little jobs? If anyone in the village, especially the elderly or sick, has any occasional need for such help, please contact Joy Morrow - 882531.

Five at Watermouth - Fans, young and old, of Enid Blyton's "Famous Five" may be interested to know [or perhaps you were there] that at the end of July, the intrepid Julian, Dick, George and Anne, and not forgetting Timmy, were at Widmouth, Watermouth, filming the 13 part series of some of the original 21 stories [first published 51 years ago] which as "Five Have Plenty of Fun" will be shown on ITV this autumn.



"I was interested to read the report in your Newsletter of August re Cock Hill and its occupants. Richard Clogg was my mother's father. There was my mother, Winifred, and her two sisters, Mary and Evelyn. My grandmother, being in ill health, was unable to help, so my mother, as a young girl, took over with her father, the tilling of the fields and walking behind the horse and plough. She would also go with the pony and trap to sell produce at Combe Martin.

"My grandfather is buried at Heanton Punchardon, and I went many a time with my mother to visit his grave. Had she been living now she would have been 109, but sadly we have lost her. She had a very hard life and occasionally she would talk about it to us.

"Perhaps you can find space to put this in the newsletter, as I am her son, living in Ilfracombe. My mother was a Berrynarbor lady and I married a Berrynarbor girl."

Tom Tucker

Cockhills of Berry

The Cockhill family was here when church records began. In 1584, John Cockhill married Jane Halse. The last record I can find is that of Anne Cockhill who buried her husband, Mr. Cockhill, in 1704. The title "Mr." was only given to gentry. In 1641, a John Cockhill was taxed two pounds against his land, and in 1638 he was church warden - an important position in the community.

My sincere thanks to the Rector and Church Wardens for allowing me access to the Church Records. Also, thank you Nigel for capturing the true, rural character of our beautiful old village - not a flower tub in sight, thank goodness!

Lorna B.




Best Kept Village and Britain in Bloom: Berrynarbor again reached the Finals in the judging for the Best Kept Village competition run by the Devon Branch of the Council for the Protection of Rural England. First place this year, however, went to East Budleigh, with Ogwell as runner-up. We scored maximum points in the section for "local commitment and initiative in the care and maintenance of the village", so congratulations to everyone who helped in this effort. Mrs. Vi Davies and her band of helpers are to be congratulated on the displays they produced this year for the Britain in Bloom contest - their hard work was rewarded by the award of an Abbiss Certificate. The Parish Council wishes to thank all who played any part in the village's entry into these two competitions.

Manor Hall Car Park: Please note that the Manor Hall car park is solely for the use of drivers attending events in the Manor Hall. The Parish Council seeks residents' co-operation in not parking there unless attending a function, and not directing visitors to use it. The village is fortunate in having a large, free, public car park, only a short distance from the village centre.


West Country Poets - Ted Hughes


While the rain fell on the November woodland shoulder of Exmoor
While the traffic jam along the road honked and shouted
Because the farmers were parking wherever they could
And scrambling to the bank-top to stare through the tree-fringe
Which was leafless,
The stag ran through his private forest.
While the rain drummed on the roofs of the parked cars
And the kids inside cried and daubed their chocolate and fought
And mothers and aunts and grandmothers
Were a tangle of undoing sandwiches and screwed-round gossiping heads
Steaming up the windows,
The stag loped through his favourite valley.
While the blue horsemen down in the boggy meadow
Sodden nearly black, on sodden horses,
Spaced as at a military parade,
Moved a few paces to the right and a few to the left and felt rather foolish
Looking at the brown impassable river,
The stag came over the last hill of Exmoor.
While everybody high-kneed it to the bank-top all along the road
Where steady men in oilskins were stationed at binoculars,
And horsemen by the river galloped anxiously this way and that
And the cry of hounds came tumbling invisibly with their echoes
         down through the draggle of trees,
Swinging across the wall of dark woodland,
The stag dropped into strange country.
And turned at the river
Hearing the hound-pack smash the undergrowth, hearing the bell-note
Of the voice that carried all the others,
Then while his limbs all cried different directions to his lungs,
        which only wanted to rest,
The blue horsemen on the bank opposite
Pulled aside the camouflage of their terrible planet.

Illustrated by: Nigel Mason
And the stag doubled back weeping and looking for home up a valley and down a valley
While the strange trees struck at him and the brambles lashed him,
And the strange earth came galloping after him carrying the loll-tongued hounds to fling all over him
And his heart became just a club beating his ribs and his own hooves shouted with hounds' voices,
And the crowd on the road got back into their cars
Wet-through and disappointed.

This second Ted Hughes poem, delightfully illustrated by Nigel Mason, concludes the series on West Country Poets. Thoughts for future series include love poetry, birds and beasts. Have YOU any suggestions? Please let me have your ideas, together with a suitable poem.



Artwork: Paul Swailes


We say goodbye to Hilary and John Tossell and best wishes on your move - to be nearer the world of antiques - to Somerset.

Mr. and Mrs. Puttick have moved into Mandalay, Hagginton Hill, and Mr. and Mrs. Jones to Rose Cottage. Roger and Debbie Luckham, and William and Rachel, are the new residents at "Prospect", Birdswell. We wish you all a very warm welcome to the Village.



At Knap Down high above Combe Martin, a goat grazed placidly, tethered by the roadside. A black sow marched her five piglets across the road. Of these, two were large and chunky, three much smaller ones brought up the rear of the procession.

We took the track to Girt Down. Painted ladies and red admirals were on the creeping thistles; a few small coppers on hemp agrimony and gatekeepers on the fleabane and brambles. The painted ladies cannot survive the British winter. They originate in North Africa and come over here in great flocks. They especially like open downs, heaths and coastal areas.

The small coppers have a second brood in August and after warm summers a third brood may emerge with adults flying late into October. Their favourite habitats are ancient grazed grassland, heaths and cliffs.

Beyond the broad, walled track with sweeping views over Combe Martin Bay, the footpath actually passes through sheep pens. And then the vegetation changes completely from the variety of flowers, hedgerow trees and brambles to dense carpets of gorse and heather. The poet Edward Thomas, on a cycling tour of the Quantock Hills in 1913, wrote that the gorse blossom was "like flames sown by the sun".

Here there was deep magenta bell heather mixed thoroughly with ling - mauve and smaller flowers. The botanical name for ling is calluna vulgaris, calluna being derived from a Greek word meaning 'to brush', because the plants were once used to make brooms.

Great Hangman rose up to the West whilst on the other side the ground dropped down to Sherrycombe, where we could see walkers making hesitant and somewhat skidding progress down its steep sides. But we were continuing straight ahead to the viewpoint at Blackstone Point.

The cliff path comes to a dead end here but the terrain is wonderfully bleak and uncompromising and of course there are good views across the Channel. On this occasion it was becoming very gusty, so it seemed wiser in any case to be heading inland.

Once back at Knap Down, we turned down the lane opposite to look at what remains of the old silver mine. One is not allowed to go right up to the ruin, but you can get a good view of the picturesque chimney from the lane or from across the little, narrow field strips, dotted with horses.


C. Tom Bartlett Postcard Collection

Mining only ceased in the latter part of the last century but it went back a long way. It is intriguing to think that Phoenician traders came to Combe Martin to buy its silver and lead and it is claimed that Combe Martin silver financed the Battle of Agincourt.

Sue H




This is a 19th Century print depicting Bowden Farm, the birthplace of Berrynarbor's most famous son, Bishop Jewell, in 1522. His life is well documented, unlike the print, of which very little is known. Who was the artist? When was it drawn? Can anyone please help with any information?

Terry Babbington [01268-758757]

Terry hopes to be down in the village in October, so if you can throw any light on this print, please either leave the information at the Post Office or Chicane. Thank you.




The Society has now begun its Winter Programme. Meetings are held on the third Thursday of the month, 7.30 p.m. at the Methodist Hall, Combe Martin. Everyone is welcome. Membership £3 per annum. Further information may be obtained from Secretary, Eileen Hobson [882353] or Chairman, Moose Boyer [883101].

  • Thursday, 19th October: Combe Martin Church - the Rev. Keith Wyer
  • Thursday, 16th November: Local History in Sound - J. Coulter



I don't know how the name 'Ruggaton' developed. It has a Norse/Viking flavour, as does Hagginton. The suffix "ton" indicates an early settlement.

Records show the Withie family "at Ruggaton, Berry Narbert" in the reign of Edward III [1312-1327]. They were landed gentry and married into some of the oldest Devonshire families. About 1498, John Withie married Elizabeth, daughter of the Lord of the Manor, Nicholas Berry. 150 years later, his descendant, Robert Withie, married Agnes, daughter of John Berry, Lord of the Manor 22/6/1656. In 1548 John Withie of Ruggaton married "Johane Juell" of Bowden, whilst his brother, Anthony, married "Christian Juell" in 1556. They were Bishop Jewel's sisters.

Ruggaton evolved at the junction of two ancient tracks which were part of the old cross-country routes. These were the main 'highways' before the construction of the new 'toll' roads in the middle of the last century. Many of these lanes still exist, though overgrown, others are reduced to bridle ways and footpaths.

The 1809 Ordinance Survey shows 5 buildings grouped around the junction. This is borne out in the 1839 Tithe document which lists 5 dwellings serving 3 farms:

1.Little Ruggaton20 acresThomas Huxtable
2.Clark's Ruggaton33 acresHugh Clark
3.Great Ruggaton79 acresJames Watts

Because the map accompanying the document is very difficult to read on microfiche, the boundaries of each farm can only be guessed, by the field names. Little Ruggaton is probably what we call Lower Court - Marcus and Sheena's cottage. The fields would be those fronting the cottage and stretching down to the valley.

The 1841 Census shows five families living at Ruggaton - a total of 31 people. In 1861 there were still five families, including Thomas Huxtable [aged 70 years] and the Clark family.

When Sam Bowden went to Ruggaton earlier this century, the three farms had become one.

Lorna B.

WANTED - John Weaver is anxious to obtain a 40 gallon steel drum in order that he can remake the Bar-B-Q, used at village functions. If you can help, please contact him on 882301.



[Apart from the gatepost, seat and wheelbarrow!)

One year down and 'X' to go was celebrated in the Post Office on the 3rd September with cake and sherry, and a good time was had by all. The cake was made by Anthony, the new baker at the Village Bakery in Combe Martin, and the sherry by barefoot Spaniards in Jerez.

Throughout the year we have been well supported by visitors and villagers, though it has been hard to see [almost] everyone else but us taking summer hols in such glorious weather. We provided foreign money exchange for a few travellers and hope to extend this to Holiday Insurance through the Post Office in the future. Both these new services are very competitive and have distinct advantages. Our new venture in photography and processing went quite well, and prints from our "Colour Care" took many prizes in the Village Horticultural Show. Please keep snapping!

Lottery fever seems to continue almost unabated, and we joined in with our scratch cards and newspaper inserts. We shall be replacing these soon with Post Office Charity Scratch Cards, together with a collection service for Littlewoods Pools cards. The first batch will support the Roy Castle Cancer Appeal, so we expect this to go down well.

Our fresh ham and cooked meats from Turton's of Ilfracombe resulted from last year's appeal for stocking ideas [we sell tights, but they're only half as glamorous!]. With our new clear freezer top, we can now display frozen goods better, so Ivan Clarke, in his new business of wholesale meats supplies, will once more be supplying us. If you catch it before we freeze it, you could even have it fresh - "Meat up at the Freezer"!

October will see the Wine Circle resume its meetings. We've kept up the supplies through the drought season and continued to lubricate the parts that the Globe failed to reach. Rowlands Brook flows on, but I must stop.

Alan and Nora - Grandparents [New]



Our thanks to everyone for your kind messages of concern for Elise, who was taken ill in Athens while Inter-railing. She's been in hospital there on her own for over a week, needing oxygen and antibiotics to fight a chest infection, and will hopefully be flown home next week. It has been an ordeal, as no-one there speaks English and there is a chronic shortage of nurses. It took them 4 days to realise that she needed a shower [which was impossible while connected to all the paraphernalia, drips, etc.]!! She had planned to travel the world for a year or more and had booked a flight to Bangkok, on her own, later in October - then on to Bali, Australia, New Zealand and possibly the U.S.A after that - but this may now have to be postponed.

Elaine and John [24.9.95]

Elise is now home again and progressing well, but this experience has not dampened her enthusiasm for travel and she hopes to be off again at the end of October!



With V.J. Celebrations just over, I thought these two pictures of the activities organised in Berrynarbor 50 years ago might be of interest. There was a tea in the Manor Hall and sports in Ivor Richards's field.

The first picture shows Mr. and Mrs. Jack Draper [Laurel's parents] standing next to the Rev. Mylchrest, at that time Rector of Berrynarbor.

The family group shows John and Freda Sharp, Vera Sidebottom and Kathleen Faulkener [nee Conibear] with toddlers Jill and Pat. Behind the group is Yvonne [Richards] and in front, with the Union Jack, is my sister, Noel.



Brenda Layton 




Back in July we had another very successful fete. Despite the weather threatening to spoil things, it all proved to be well worth the effort. This was the most successful yet, in terms of money raised, and due to the hard work of the P.T.A. and the great support of the parents, other locals and holidaymakers, money can now be spent for the benefit of the children.

Also in July Berrynarbor hosted the small schools sports. Again the weather threatened to spoil things with everyone having to run for the trees on a couple of occasions! The children all took part with great enthusiasm and were rewarded with many certificates.

The Summer Term also saw the school playing host to a group of elderly people from Weare Gifford. They were shown around the new environmental area, treated to entertainment from the children and given refreshments to round off a busy visit on a very hot day.

The Summer Term was very busy then, and the Autumn Term seems to be turning out equally so. There are due to be residential visits to Bristol and Beaford. Never mind, it will soon be Christmas!!


Artwork: Paul Swailes


Once again the float had its annual airing and the cowboys who built "Wells Fargo" were riding on it as well. Congratulations to all the team who surpassed all previous efforts by winning Best in Class and Best Float Overall in Combe Martin, Ilfracombe and Barnstaple. A special thanks to Brian and Jill Mountain for the under-cover area in which to build it, Herbert Parkin for the tractor and Nigel Mason for the brilliant artwork which brought it all to life.


[Well done, again, The Globe, but watch out! Paul Bowden and the "blind-stoned cowboys", who came 2nd, will be 'gunning' for you next year as they intend to rob you of that coveted 1st!]


The Children in Need Pumpkin Competition will be held in October:

  • Saturday, 14th, at 9.00 p.m. - BEST DRESSED AND HEAVIEST
  • Sunday, 15th, at 3.00 p.m. - RACE DOWN PITT HILL and ROUNDERS in the field afterwards




Once again, a full programme has been arranged commencing in October and continuing through to April. Wine Tasting meetings are held monthly at Berrynarbor Manor Hall on the third Wednesday of the month, commencing at 8.00 p.m. The programme is varied with a mixture of professional input and presentations by members, covering wine producing areas from all over the world.

At the A.G.M., held in April, the retiring Committee were re-elected unchanged. Membership fees and monthly contributions of three pounds, also remain unchanged and it is hoped to welcome new members at our first meeting on 18th October, when Tony Summers will be giving a presentation on "Wines from Chile". "Comparative Tastings" by Alex Parke will be the topic for the November meeting on the 15th.

If you are interested or require more information, please contact either the Chairman, Alex Parke, [883758] or Secretary, Tony Summers, [883600].

Tom Bartlett [Publicity Officer - 883408]



2ndBadminton Club, 7.30 p.m. Manor Hall
3rdW.I. Meeting : Margaret Trump - "Edwardian Elegance"
4thMobile Library in Village from 11.55 a.m.
5thWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
Annual Governors' Report to Parents and P.T.A A.G.M, Ilfracombe College, 7.30 p.m.
6thDecoration of Church for Harvest Festival
8thSt. Peter's Church - Holy Communion, 8.00 a.m. Family Harvest Service, 10.30 a.m.
9thBadminton Club, 7.30 p.m. Manor Hall
10thParish Council Meeting, 7.30 p.m., Manor Hall
11thHarvest Evensong 6.30 p.m., Harvest Supper, 7.45 p.m. Sale of Produce
12thU3A Luncheon: Valley of the Rocks Hotel, Lynton - Jim Bates, Ilfracombe Architecture
Whist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
13thNeighbourhood Watch Meeting Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
14thChildren in Need Pumpkin Competition - The Globe, 9.00 p.m.
15thPumpkin Race down Pitt Hill, 3.00 p.m., followed by Rounders
16thBadminton Club, 7.30 p.m. Manor Hall
18thHoly Communion, 8.00 a.m. [St. Luke]
Mobile Library in Village from 11.55 a.m.
Wine Circle, Manor Hall, 8.00 p.m. Tony Summers - "Wines from Chile"
19thWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
Combe Martin Historical Society, Methodist Hall, 7.30 p.m.
20thNon-Pupil Day - Ilfracombe College
22ndChristians Together, Combe Martin, 6.30 p.m.
23rdto Friday, 27th October: College and Primary School HALF TERM
26thWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
28thUckfield Ringers Peal, 9.30 a.m.
30thNon-Pupil Day - Berrynarbor Primary School
Badminton Club, 7.30 p.m. Manor Hall
1stAll Saints Day, Holy Communion, 10.00 a.m. Combe Martin
Mobile Library in Village from 11.55 a.m.
2ndAll Souls Day, Holy Communion 10.00 a.m.
Whist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
5thGuy Fawkes Day
6thBadminton Club, 7.30 p.m. Manor Hall
7thW.I. Institute Annual Meeting and Election of Committee
9thU3A Luncheon: Fortescue Arms, Mortehoe - Ann Rhodes "Travels in China"
Whist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
12thRemembrance Sunday Service, St. Peter's, 10.30 a.m.
13th Badminton Club, 7.30 p.m. Manor Hall
14thParish Council Meeting 7.30 p.m. Manor Hall
15thMobile Library in Village from 11.55 a.m.
Wine Circle, Manor Hall, 8.00 p.m. - Alex Parke "Comparative Tastings"
16thWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
Combe Martin Historical Society, Methodist Hall, 7.30 p.m. "Local History in Sound" - J. Coulter
20thBadminton Club, 7.30 p.m. Manor Hall
23rdWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
26thChristians Together, Combe Martin, 6.30 p.m. [Stir-Up Sunday]
27thBadminton Club, 7.30 p.m. Manor Hall
29thMobile Library in Village from 11.55 a.m.
30thWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
5thW.I. Meeting: Joan McCallam - Christmas Decorations



Bill and Ben - Flowerpot Men

Residents and holidaymakers strolling, or even driving, up the Sterridge Valley cannot fail to have noticed a fine young man cutting the hedge at Hillside Cottage. Over the summer he has matured considerably - his hair has grown and hairs have sprouted on his manly chest - but the task in hand seems to have come to a standstill! Looking over to his right are his brothers - Watering-can Bill and Herbie, driving his totally "recycled" car, JOST 1, in his thyme, parsley and sage green outfit. These are the ingenious creations of Riner Jost.

Riner first saw "flowerpot men" during his youth in Germany, although they were smaller and less elaborate. Having seen a life-size and very real-looking lady in her dressing-gown, fluffy slippers, curlers and all, in Beverley Hills [so real that you felt she was indeed about to pick up the newspaper at her feet and thrown into the garden by the delivery boy], Riner felt "I should like to make something like that". So, he set about providing amusement for the young Jackson family from the Valley and produced something for everyone to "smile at as you go by".

Ben, to give him a name, is quite a feat of engineering as anyone who has tried to copy him will have found out. He stands over 6 feet tall and weighs approximately 11 stone. Steel rods provide his 'skeleton' and each of the plastic flowerpots - not the terracotta ones - has had to have a hole 'melted' in the centre for the rods to pass through, and sponge has been packed in each pot to prevent the limbs from 'concertinaing' into each other.

Although a labour of love, these figures take some 30 hours to make and even though many of the parts are recycled items, the cost is well into three figures. Riner has now made four, three are on display in his garden and one was made for a friend. If you have not already met these characters, do take a walk up the Valley and say 'hello'.

A frustrated sailor, Riner's venture is a home-made sand yacht, which made its debut on Saunton Sands on the 12th September. A light breeze of about 30 m.p.h. was effective "pff- frightening" was his comment! Sand yachts, with their 3 wheels and hydraulic brakes, and 5 metre fixed sail height, are about 3 metres in length and 2 metres wide, capable of speeds of up to 70 m.p.h. and when you are almost prone on the ground, this is FAST! Manufactured yachts can cost up to nearly four thousand pounds

Sand yachting as a pastime is as old as yachting itself, with British Champions as far back as Victorian times.

What, I wonder, will Riner be up to next in his Workshop!

Illustrated by: Paul Swailes



Can you name the following sweets and chocolates?

1.All that glistens2.Travelling player
3.Galaxy of stars4.Clever Clogs
5.The red planet6.Special things
7.Wobbly youngsters8.Friday to Sunday
9.Evil spell10.What the lady loves
11.26 miles12.Cs & Ms
13.Charlie's favourite game14.Nine
15.Black and white16.Roar
17.Playing cupid18.Making money for the Empire?
19.Nonsense!20.Star cluster
21.Whinny and neigh22.Sprinkled vinegar
23.Miaow24.Powerful shredded meat?
25.Doubly good

Answers below


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


  • 1 lb Blackberries
  • 4 oz Sugar
  • 3/4 pint Gin
  1. Use large, ripe, juicy berries, which may be fresh or frozen without sugar. Put fresh or thawed fruit into a screw-top jar and crush the fruit slightly.
  2. Add sugar and gin.
  3. Seal and leave for 3 months, shaking the jar each day for the first 4 weeks.
  4. Filter into bottles, seal and label.



Can you name the following sweets and chocolates?

1.All Gold2.Minstrel3.Milky Way
7.Jelly Babies8.Weekend [Asst]9.Black Magic
10.Milk Tray11.Marathon12.Hundreds & Thousands
13.Polo14.After Eight15.Contrast
16.Lion [bar]17.Matchmakers18.Mint imperial
22.Acid Drops23.Kit Kat24.Extra Strong Mints


Artwork: Judie Weedon


Apologies that for the first time the Newsletter has not been out for the first of the month. I hope, however, that this "bumper" issue will in some way compensate.

My thanks to all the contributors and artists. Keep the articles coming! Items for the December and Christmas issue should be in the Post Office or at Chicane by MONDAY, 13TH NOVEMBER. Please try and think what YOU could contribute - a recipe, poem, tip, holiday memory, etc.