Edition 4 - February 1990

Winter in the Sterridge Valley

Riversdale Cottage and on its right - the now demolished Bridge Cottage

Parson's Pightle,
Sterridge Valley.

Prebendary and Mrs. R. O. H. Eppingstone take this belated opportunity to thank all those who sent kind Christmas and New Year cards.

They have come in such numbers, that despite our great gratitude, we cannot thank everyone in person and furthermore would be sure to leave out this one or that one. All this kindness is truly appreciated.

Sincerely ,

Peggy and "Preb"


To the Residents of Berrynarbor

By the time you read this, all material things pertaining to Christmas will be put away, but the spirit will live on in Berrynarbor.

To members of the W. I. - especially Kath Arscott who kept my 'home WWF fires burning' and Rosemary Gaydon who taxied me around - members of both Church and Chapel and the Youth Club, a very BIG thank you for caring so much when I was 'under the weather' . It is a comfort to find so much support and with same I have every hope for a 100% recovery.

I've been counting my Blessings,
The greatest being Good Health.
Together with Friends and Neighbours,
Worth more than fame or wealth.
We know not what our Fate is,
But with someone to share the load,
God's gift is all around us,
Along that uncertain road.

Vi Kingdon


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


Paul and Jackie Lethaby on the birth of their first grandchild, a grandson, Luca, who weighed in at 81bs on the 21st December. Our best wishes to the proud parents, Paulo and Nick [nee Lethaby] Antoniazzi.

Richard Bowden on his engagement to Jane Cox from Highlands Farm, East Down, on Christmas Day. Our very best wishes to them both.

Josef and Hedy Belka, whose latest grandchild, Christopher, was christened at St. Peter's Church, Berrynarbor on Sunday, 28th January.


The village was sad to learn of the death, at the age of 96, of Rosie [Granny] Bray on Christmas Eve. The thoughts of many people have been with Ivy and Gerald and her family at this sad time.

We were also sorry to learn that Len Bowden had been 'hospitalised' but understand that he is on the mend at the Tyrell Hospital and we send him our very best wishes for a complete and speedy recovery.



Sally Barten writes : "My daughter; Rachel, is spending a year travelling around Australia. She spent Christmas with her sister, Wendy, who lives in Brisbane, and is now in Melbourne. Perhaps she will meet the 'Neighbours'! She will be going into the Outback and ballooning near Ayers Rock - all this by someone who hates spiders and heights - a long way from her days in the Manor Stores stacking shelves as a child."

We wish Rachel well on her venture and look forward to receiving more detailed information about her travels.



A suggestion has been put forward that we might like to 'twin' with another village. Thought has been given to this in the past by the Parish Council, but if villagers would be interested [it is understood that it involves not only a real, continuous commitment but a lot of hard work], please do contact the Parish Council - Betty Davis [883541] when it can be discussed again.




Members enjoyed the December meeting which was a combination of social and creative activities. Thanks to Vivian Fryer and Joan McCallam for their efforts in the latter and to the children and teachers for their entertainment. A small gift for everyone to take home made a fitting end to the afternoon after a special tea. Our Coffee Morning was well supported in spite of the poor weather and raised £66 for W.I. funds. The 20th found 32 of us in The Globe for a super lunch and wonderful party atmosphere, where I was presented with a beautiful flower arrangement -- thank you ladies for your kind thoughts and thank you, Margaret Kemps for looking after things when I was unwell.

It was nice to see so many members [and 2 visitors] at our January meeting. I hope that everyone enjoyed the afternoon since 'yours truly' was giving a talk on Charlie Chester's 17 years of 'Soapbox' and also his many creative arts - artist, authors song-writer, etc. Thank you Ivy Richards for that heart-warming vote of thanks.

The next meeting will be on 6th February when Kath Arscott will be showing some of her holiday glides, and knowing the exotic places that she has visited, there should be a real treat in store. 6th March will see Richard Howe from Radio Devon as our guest

Vi Kingdon



Congratulations to Berry Youth Club for entertaining us so well on the 19th December. What a pleasure to see so many children [and helpers] together enjoying themselves and giving us all so much enjoyment. I wonder how many other small villages have over 40 young people who get together regularly and can produce by themselves a lovely, entertaining evening. I hope we shall see more of them.

All proceeds went to the Ethiopian Appeal and the only thing that marred the evening, for me, was that it was not always easy to see due to the lack of a proper stage. Perhaps this is something that might be worth working for?

Keep going Youth Club members and your dedicated helpers!

Marion Billett

Thank you Ann [Davis] and colleagues for all the very hard work involved in organising our Youth Club, and special thanks for the very entertaining Christmas Variety Show, which was enjoyed by one and all.

Jenny Holley



News for the 'Village News' section of the North Devon Journal will be most gratefully received by Joy Morrow [882531]. Deadline: Monday noon for publication the following Thursday.

Old Christmas Cards [and birthday and other cards] for recycling as new cards for charity for the Cheshire Homes. Betty Davis will be very pleased to receive any contributions.




Pupils from the School will be taking part in the Mothering Sunday Service on Sunday; 25th March.

In order to shorten many of the primary school pupil's journey to and from school, the bus has been re-routed. This entails it passing through the village via the Post Office, Turn Round and Cross Park between 8.40 and 8.50 a.m. and again in the opposite direction between 3.40 and 3.50 p.m. Villagers are asked to be sympathetic to the fact that cars parked down Silver Street [outside the Post Office and Butchers] at those times can cause congestion and prevent the coach driving through or delay it whilst cars are moved.




At the Carol Service on the 31st December, the Sunday School sang 3 carols, with readings from Elaine [Gubb], Amy [Lewis], Nicolle [Denzey] and Laura [Wilton]. Two prizes were presented by Father John for the highest attendance for the year. First Prize was won by Elaine [Gubb] and 2nd Prize by sister Katie, who was only 1 point behind.

Everyone was treated by the Parochial Church Council to a visit to the Pantomime, where much cheering, hissing and booing went on = a great time was had by all.

Our project for this term has already begun, with a member choosing a child from another country each week. We find the country on the map and learn as much as we can about them. Why not come along and chose a child yourself? 10.30 a.m. every Sunday in the Penn Curzon Room.

Sally Barten, Ann Davis & Elise Fanner



I have just finished counting the money received from the Bells Fund Charity Christmas Card Distribution. The total income was £60.30, from which we had to deduct 4 x 15p stamps for addresses which are too far out of the village, and one where, for the third year running, a bewildered villager posted a card to Seaton, East Devon!

The scheme of distributing cards started three years ago with the idea that teenagers could have fun delivering and learn a bit more about village geography. In the event, it was a sturdy band of pre-teenagers, assisted by a group of perennial teenagers [up to 74] who did the work this year! It reminds me of the social worker's plea: 'Not enough is being done for the apathetic!'

This year the fee was increased from 5p to 10p and this may have been unpopular since there were some 60 or so cards posted without the corresponding fee being paid.

Nevertheless, with the ready co-operation of the Manor Stores and the Post Office, we were able to make a useful donation to the Bells Fund and to deliver over 600 Christmas Cards.

Alan Richardson

On behalf of the Manor Hall Management Team, thank you to all who participated in the 'Village Christmas Post Project'. A special thank you to Alan Richardson for once again organising the venture. £60 was raised towards the Church bells.




Are you interested in having the 'Neighbourhood Watch Scheme' in Berrynarbor? If so, please contact Joy Morrow, Fuchsia Cottage [882531], or leave your name and phone number if she is not at home.


Artwork: Paul Swailes


There are a few places left in the Ceramics Class in the village. For details please contact Jean Carter [882369].

Thank you to everyone who gave in ANY way to our Christmas Tree and Decoration Project for the Manor Hall. The Hall looked festive and will do so in the future.

Application Forms have been received for us to enter the Best Kept Village and Britain in Bloom 1990 competitions.

If you would like to be involved in any way, please contact:

  • Joy Morrow or Josef Belka - Britain in Bloom
  • Ann Davis - Best Kept Village [on behalf of the Youth Club]



The Christmas Party was held in the Club Room on Friday, 22nd December. Carol singing was led by Gerry Marangone and refreshments were arranged by Jaqui and John Weaver and Carol Holland. A draw in aid of the Scanner Appeal Fund raised £150. The winners were: John Clark, Kenny Richards, John Weaver, Len Bowden, Jill, Phil Bridle, Gwen Squires, Noel Stokes and John Huxtable. Various prizes were then auctioned for the Appeal.

John Huxtable



At the meeting held on Monday, 15th January, those present expressed an interest in running the following sports and. activities: Five-a-side football, an Evening Keep Fit Class, Yoga, Basketball and Short Mat Bowls. Various people have now agreed to look into the feasibility of organising these activities and will bring their findings to another meeting to be held on Monday, 12th February, at 7.30 p.m. in the Penn Curzon Room. Everyone is welcome, especially if you wanted to attend the previous meeting but were unable to.

Jenny Taylor



In the December Newsletter, Alan Bacon reported that 6 students from Ilfracombe College had had their poems accepted for the Devon County Poetry Collection of 100 poems. Six from the College [with 120 schools competing] was an achievement in itself, but with 2 of those 6 coming from Berrynarbor, we can be justifiably proud and congratulate Seonaid Anderson and Amy Lewis, whose poems we have much pleasure in printing overleaf.

A note from the Editor of "A Devonshire Hundred" states :

  • "The poems in this anthology were written during the Autumn Term of 1988, in response to an invitation to all county secondary schools and tertiary colleges to submit poems for a book to mark the centenary of Devon County Council. The only rule was that each poem should contain in its title some reference to a Devon place-name.
  • "Over a thousand poems were submitted, some by individual pupils, some as a result of extensive writing projects within schools. The choice of one hundred poems to represent this creative outpouring was not an easy one.
  • ... "I hope the final selection communicates something of this richness and variety, and a vivid sense of what places can mean to the young people who grow up in them."


As I wandered through the jungle,
The jungle of people,
As I struggled through the mass of push chairs,
And sunburned limbs,
Ilfracombe was full,
Eating their strawberries and cream.
When would they go?
With their babies screaming,
Their car horns beeping.
Oh, when would they go?
As I wandered through the empty town,
With the gale blowing strong,
I thought to myself,
Oh, when will they come?
As I wandered past the closed shops,
Not a person in sight,
I said to myself,
Oh, when will they come?
Amy Lewis


Jon Bell's idea
I think it was,
To celebrate the Pavilion's hundredth.
So, with dresses on,
In sunny June,
We promenaded Ilfracombe pier.
Top hats and tails
For the men,
Moustachios, white gloves and canes.
But for the women,
An alteration:
Great frilly dresses, long and full,
Fancy hair-dos,
Parasol and bustle.
Good manners abound:
Curtsey's week.
Top hats doffed, demure glances,
Shop keepers ' laughter as business thrives.
Visitors stare, too shy to join in.
The ball then!
A delightful display,
With men and women exquisitely dressed,
Cotton and silk,
Furbelows and lace,
A riot of colour, elegance and grace.
We all enjoyed
Being Ilfracombe's past.
Perhaps that's where her future lies.
Seonaid Anderson


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


"Donkeys at Watermouth" - these are the donkeys kept by Betsy Leworthy [grandmother of Annie Leworthy whose profile appears later in this issue] near the centre of the village, and walked daily into Ilfracombe to pick up visitors and take them for rides to Lee or Watermouth. Betsy can be seen standing between the two donkeys on the far right. She was hard working all her life and as well as managing the donkeys, she was the village coal merchant at the turn of the Century. Coal would be brought by sailing brig into Watermouth Cove at high tide and directly the tide ran out, horses and carts from the village would run up and down, loading up with coal and unloading it at Betsy's Coal Store, opposite the Globe, for redistribution. Betsy was born c1840 and married John Leworthy, the village blacksmith, about 1861. They had many children but sadly, in those days, the mortality rate was high and five of her children died between the age of 11 months and 5 years. Her tomb stone records: "Beloved children of John and Betsy Leworthy safe in the arms of Jesus" .

Betsy died on the 31st March, 1912, aged 72, a great loss and sadly missed by all the village. Her husband died nearly three years later on the 9th January, 1915, aged 74 years.

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage, January 1990


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


Christmas Eve saw lots of villagers at The Globe to sing carols around the tree in the car park, but after one verse of 'Hark the Herald' the heavens opened and the organ and singers retreated inside the pub where the carols continued. Although conditions were cramped, the event was most enjoyable and hopefully next year the weather will be kinder.

We had a lovely lunchtime on Christmas Day, with locals and visitors getting together to wish each other a Merry Christmas.

The Boxing Day Quiz - Mastermind has nothing on us! Magnus Magnusson - eat your heart out! 38 people fought an intellectual battle to find the Brains of Berrynarbor, however a team from Combe Martin won the first prize! Village teams came 2nd and 3rd and if we study our 'trivia' next time we're sure to beat all comers!

The 50's and 60's Dance went with a swing. Two well-known local musicians played for us!! The 4-girl backing group showed great talents, as well as their knickers! By next year they promise they'll learn the dance steps as well. Roger and Hilary won the prestigious Jive Contest and Pat Martin managed to get the most balloons up her jumper. An excellent time was had by all.

New Year Eve saw everyone in fancy dress [or their pyjamas] and with everyone full of the New Year's Eve spirit [and beer], the dancing and singing went on until midnight. Auld Lang Syne was sung to the accompaniment of party poppers and blow outs, the revellers linked arms to wish everyone a Happy New Year, and that is what we wish all our customers for the coming year.

Phil and Lynne

We shall be holding a Valentine's Dance some time in February, so look out for posters in the village giving more information.

May your 'regulars' in turn wish you, Phil and Lynne, a Happy New Year and thank you for all your hospitality.



5thBadminton, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
6thW.I. Meeting: Kath Arscott Holiday Slides
7thSouth Molton Recyling Collection, 11.00-1.00 p.m.
8thU3A Luncheon: Imperial Hotel, Ilfracombe - Kath Arscott - Galapagos Adventure
12thBadminton, Manor Hall 7.30 p.m.
Sports Activities Meeting, Penn Curzon Room, 7.30 p.m.
13thParish Council Meeting, 7.15 p.m.
14thMobile Library in Village from 12.05 p.m.
19th - 23rdSchool and College Half Term
19thBadminton, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
21stWine Appreciation Group, 8.00 p.m. Manor Hall
The Wines of Hungary, Talk & Tastings, Alan Richardson. Contribution £2.50
26thBadminton, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
28thAsh Wednesday Holy Communion 10.00 a.m.
Mobile Library in Village from 12005 p.m.
5thBadminton, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
6thW.I. Meeting - Richard Howe, Radio Devon
7thSouth Molton Recycling Collection, 11.00-1.00 p.m.
8thU3A Luncheon Granville Hotel, Ilfracombe AGM
12thBadminton, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
13thParish Council Meeting, 7.15 p.m.
14thMobile Library in Village from 12.05 p.m.
19thBadminton, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
21stWine Appreciation Group, 8.00 p.m. Manor Hall
"Are the French still able to offer good value for money?"
Talk & Tastings - Andy Hodge; Woolacombe Wines.
Contribution £2.50.
25thMothering Sunday: 8.00 a.m. Holy Communion
10.30 a.m. Family Service with Primary School
26thBadminton, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
28thMobile Library in Village from 12.05 p.m.
2ndBadminton; Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
14thSouth Molton Recycling Collection, 11.00-1.00 p.m.
6thSchool and College Break Up for Easter

Advance Diary Dates

Hospice Care [Combe Martin] :

25th April: Antique Roadshow with Mark Parkhouse
5th May: Return Visit of Havering Music Makers

Fuller details of both these events will appear in the April Newsletter.



To help while away the long evenings of February, see how YOU can get on with the Ultimate Test! It does not measure your intelligence, your fluency with words and certainly not your mathematical ability. It will, however, give you some idea of your mental flexibility and creativity. A small prize will be awarded to the person with the most correct answers submitted on the Entry Form enclosed with this Newsletter. Just complete it and make sure it is posted in the box in either the Manor Stores or Post Office by 15th March at the latest. The winner and correct answers will be given in the April issue.

Instructions: Each question below contains the initials of words that will make it correct. You have to find the missing words.

E.g. "16 O in the P" - Answer: "16 Ounces in the Pound"

1.26 L of the A19.57 HV
2.7 W of the W20.11 P in a FT
3.1001 AN21.1 PH on a F
4.12 S of the Z22.29 D in F in a LY
5.54 C in a D23.64 S on a CB
6.9 P in the SS24.40 D and N of the GF
7.88 PK25.76 T in the BP
8.13 S on the AF26.147 is MB in S
9.32 DF at which WF27.125 T go IC
10.18 H on a GC28.3 TT is 1 H 'n' E
11.90 D in a RA29.21 P in a TTM,
12.200P for PG in M30.65 the A to R
13.7S on a FPP31.7 L and 5 F
14.4Q in a G32.12 D of C
15.3 BM [SHTR]33.15 M on a DMC
16.24H in a D34.O T on a MC
17.IH on a U35.999 is PFA
18.5 D in a ZC




  1. To carry on collecting tins, cans, bottles, glass Jars and newspapers for the South Molton Recycling Collection - first Wednesday each month.
  2. Please keep the articles coming - you know what we are looking for now, but articles on interesting hobbies etc. would be very welcome. Deadline: 15th March in the boxes in the Post Office or Manor Stores or direct to Judie [Chicane, Sterridge Valley]



Hannah, better known as Annie, Leworthy was born on 20th June, 1897, at Manor House, Berrynarbor [in the room now known as the Men's Institute - it was much later, in 1913, that the Manor Hall was built], daughter of Alfie and Hannah [nee Rooke] Leworthy, who had been married on 2nd April 1887, when he was just 21 and she 22. Alfie's parents were John, a blacksmith of Berrynarbor, and Betsy [nee Willis] who probably came from Combe Martin. Hannah was the daughter of John and Ellen Rooke.

In the early 1900's, when Annie was still quite young, Manor House became so dilapidated that Squire Bassett offered her father and grandfather the use of Manor Cottage, which up to that time had been used as an additional residence by the Bassetts. Annie attended the village school until the 30th June, 1911, when at 14 she was allowed to leave, having obtained the necessary "Certificate of Leaving" signed by the Divisional Superintendent and the School Attendance Officer, Mr. Litten. [A copy of the Certificate is printed below]

Annie first went to work for Mrs. Bassett at Watermouth Castle until at some time during the First World War her mother was taken sick and she returned to Manor Cottage to care for her and the rest of the family. Her mother died on 5th March 1923, aged 56; and Annie continued looking after her father and brother, Alfie, until he married and moved to Hagginton Hill.

Annie had two brothers, Bill, older than herself, and Alfie, younger. Bill was a gardener at Watermouth Castle but during the War joined the Royal Marine Light Infantry. On his return, he married and moved to Combe Martin. According to Lewis Smith, Alfie went to work for Devon County Council in 1916, at the age of 14, and helped with the building of the new road from Saw Mills to Sandy Cove in 1919-20. This had become necessary due to the landslide in January 1919 above Golden Cove taking the Old Coast Road and hundreds of tons of shale and limestone into the sea, 250 feet below. Alfie was well known as he drove one of the DCC large steam rollers all over North Devon; right up to County Gate, and was particularly proud of the fact that he had helped to roll the large runways and aprons at Chivenor Aerodrome. During the Second World War, he helped with the PLUTO project, at Watermouth and Berrynarbor, and rolled a large area of land to the side of Rose Cottage to enable the fuel tankers to turn round!

Annie was a regular attender at Church Services and was, for many years, a member of the Choir. She never married and thanks largely to her constant care, her father who worked most of his life as a gardener at Watermouth Castle - lived to the ripe old age of 87, dying on the 6th June, 1953.

It was about this time that 6 year old Jennifer Stuckey [Annie's great-niece] came to live with her at Manor Cottage, after Jennifer's mother, Lillian; had tragically died of leukaemia in 1952. Jennifer began school in the village and went on in the early '60's to Ilfracombe Grammar School; where she was Head Girl. She won a scholarship to Liverpool University and obtained a degree in Physical Education and English Literature. Following this she began teaching at Battle in Sussex, where she still lives today.

Annie had taken in one or two visitors to supplement their limited income and during the War had taken evacuees from London. When Jennifer left, Annie remained alone, except for her cat, at Manor Cottage. She would be one of the first customers at the butcher [then run by Reg and Betty Davis] and would always have her 'shillingsworth' of meat, including some liver for the cat. She never did get the hang of decimalisation and continued asking for her 'shillingsworth' right up until 1982, when through age and ill-health, she moved into Belmont Grange Old People's Home, where she remained until June 1989 when she transferred to Wilderbrook Nursing Home. She died on the 22nd September, 1989, at the age of 92.

Annie and her Family Outside Manor Cottage, c1907

Left to Right: ANNIE, Hannah [Annie] - Mother, Alfie - Father, Florrie - Sister [mother of Lillian], Alfie - Brother, Bill - Brother, Effie - Sister and Not known - probably a friend of Bill.

For a great deal of help with this article and the loan of pictures, my thanks to Annie's great- nephew, John Tossle, and his wife Hilary, who live at Manor Cottage with their daughter, Lara; also to Reg and Betty Davis and to Alf Stuckey of Ilfracombe. Once again, my apologies for any inaccuracies in this profile.

Tom Bartlett