Edition 40 - February 1996

Artwork by: Debbie Cook


This tiny acrobat is nearly all tail and the parent birds have to fold their long tails over the back of their heads when they go inside their oval-domed nests, with the entrance hole near the top. This nest, which because of its shape has earned them the country name of 'bottle tit', is usually built in the fork of a tree or bush, at any height from 4 to 70 feet. Working from inside the nest, the tits piece together lichen, cobwebs and animal hair and when the basic structure is complete, they add a lining of countless feathers and camouflage the outside with more cobwebs.

The very deep nest is finished in time for egg-laying in late March to early May and into this stifling, feathery ball are squeezed, at night, up to twelve chicks and two parents!

Long-tailed tits are found on the outskirts of woods and sometimes hedgerows and thickets, but unlike other tits, they rarely visit suburban gardens. They live mainly on insects and spiders which they search for in parties of about half a dozen. In winter they usually keep to woods and at night roost in groups, huddling together on branches.


Artwork: Judie Weedon


Thank you, Debbie, for illustrating this beautiful but lesser-known member of the titmouse family. Having seen a group for the very first time this autumn I have been delighted to witness several visits of flocks to my peanut feeder, especially during the very cold spell over Christmas.

May I take this opportunity to thank not only everyone who has contributed to another bumper issue, but also to those of you who have supported the Newsletter by sending donations or contributing to the collection box at the Post Office. In spite of printing problems with the December issue and I am most grateful to Jim Williams and Rota Press of Combe Martin for stepping in at very short notice - the financial situation remains very healthy. With luck, by the time this is ready, printing problems will not only be resolved but hopefully improved - fingers crossed!

Due to other commitments and the College holiday, may I ask for contributions for the April-Easter issue to be at the Post Office or Chicane as early as possible in March and by Friday, 8th, latest. Thank you.


P.S. Apologies that distribution of this issue has also been delayed, due to the absence of our friendly P.M.G. Thank you, Alan and Nora, for all your help and we hope you have both had an enjoyable and relaxing well-deserved holiday.


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook

A warm welcome to all newcomers to the Village, to:

Ellen [Mrs. Norman's granddaughter] and Paul Maloney who have moved from High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, to Highgate Lodge, together with their family Eloise, Lydia and Nathaniel.

Paul and Trina Bebbington, and daughters Danielle and Kirsty, whose new home is at Harper's Mill. Paul, who works at Foxhunters Garage, and Trina, caring for the elderly in Mortehoe, have come from Wolverhampton.

Also from the Midlands - Birmingham - are the new residents at Besshill, Michael and Bernadette Joyce. Michael is a dentist in Barnstaple and Bernadette a teacher at Bideford.

Liz Coleman, a teacher at Ilfracombe Infant School, has just returned from a year in Canada and is now living at Cutts End. Liz hopes to return to Canada in the not too distant future.

Henry and Jane Goldsmith didn't have far to move from Combe Martin to Spindrift Lodge, formerly Three Steps. Henry is a retired R.A.F. Warrant Officer and Jane a part-time Casualty Nurse at the Tyrell Hospital.

Sadly we said good-bye and good luck to Terry and Mel Chantler who have moved to Milltown, but we welcome to Little Firs Brian and Nicky Ball. Brian and Nicky moved from Farnborough to Combe Martin nearly ten years ago and Brian is the Pharmacist and Chemist at Combe Martin. Like Henry and Jane, they were already 'locals'.




Many members- including two visitors - had braved the snowy conditions to meet and enjoy the talk and demonstration given by Joan McCallam, who showed us how quite a lot of household waste can be made into colourful decorations. Time went all too quickly and we look forward to Joan's next visit to find out what else we can salvage from the refuse! The Christmas tea, provided by the Committee and kind members, was appreciated by all and there was even a small gift for everyone to take home. On the 18th December, four-and-twenty of us [not blackbirds] arrived at the Globe for our annual Christmas Lunch. As always, we were greeted with warmth and friendship, and the staff in the kitchen certainly did us proud. The afternoon was rounded off with carol singing, everyone in fine voice after such an excellent lunch. Thank you, Phil, for providing the accompaniment and the song sheets, although I feared that they might come back singed, as our carollers had to move nearer the candles to see better!!! The Lucky Dip was won by Peggy Gingell.

Our meeting on the 2nd January was a really wonderful start to 1996, with so many members and four visitors - two of whom were W.I. members from Sussex - in attendance. Mavis Pesic proved an excellent speaker, telling us how she first became involved in making a life-sized doll. Her talk was both humorous and educational and meeting "Aunt Lucy" and young "Jessica" was an added bonus. Such exquisite workmanship - admired by all. As we left, it was announced that Jean Oxley, one of our members, will be seen on "Blind Date" on the 3rd February - should put the viewing figures up!

Our next meeting is on the 6th February by which time we hope Kath will be home from her trip to Antarctica to give us another of her excellent slide shows.

Vi Kingdon - President

Our lives are filled with simple joys,
And blessings without end.
One of the greatest joys of all,
Is to have, or be, a FRIEND.





The village was saddened by the sudden and untimely death of Sally, who passed away peacefully in her sleep in December. Although she had not lived here long, Sally had already become an active and cheerful member of our village community, borne out by the £450 of donations to St. Peter's Church in her memory. It was, perhaps, a happy coincidence and a reflection on her character, that on the dull and damp day of her funeral, the sun and warmth broke out just long enough to cover the interment.

Our thoughts are with Clifford and the family in their sad loss.

Clifford Johnson, together with Nikki, Derek, Simon, Barbara, Christopher and Michelle, would like to say Thank You to everyone from and around Berrynarbor who sent cards, letters, flowers and kind words of support to us following the loss of Sally a lovely Wife, Mother and Nanny.




Our Christmas services were well-attended and enjoyed by all who came. We were not quite so many as last year: a number of our regular congregation were away visiting relatives and friends and others were suffering from colds and 'flu'!

However, it was good to see so many children at the Carol Service and we all enjoyed the Sunday School's presentation of "The Christmas Angels". Their singing of 'Away in a Manger' at the Sunday morning service on Christmas Eve was an added bonus. Once again, after no flowers during Advent, the Church came alive with the beautiful decorations. Betty Davis would like to thank everyone for the numerous donations she received and, of course, thank you to all those who helped with the arranging. A cheque for £122 has been sent to the Children's Society.

Many people have expressed their appreciation of the Christmas Card which was delivered round the Village. The front was designed by Win Collins and David Beagley did the printing for us. He also supplied the illustration on the back: it came from an old American woodcut dated prior to 1860.

Lent Services - there will be a Communion Service on Ash Wednesday, 21st February, in St. Peter's at 10.00 a.m. when we hope to be joined by members of the Chapel. Then beginning on Wednesday afternoon, 28th February, at 2.30 p.m., our services will be as last year, alternating between the Chapel and the Church. Please see posters for further details. Come and join us whenever you can - there will be a cup of tea afterwards.

Mothering Sunday falls on 17th March this year. There will be Holy Communion at 8.00 a.m. and a special Family Service at 10.30 a.m. with the Sunday School and distribution of posies and cards.

A Cheese and Wine social evening is to be held in the Manor Hall on Friday, 23rd February, 7.30 to 9.30 p.m. We are hoping this will be a grand village get-together and a special welcome is extended to people who have moved into Berrynarbor recently. Clubs, societies, etc., which meet regularly in the village are being invited to arrange table displays. Tickets, at £2.00 each will be on sale the week before in the Post Office, from Margaret Andrews and Mary Tucker, or at the door. There will also be a raffle. Any profits from the evening will be shared between St. Peter's Church and the Exmoor Search and Rescue Team.

Mary Tucker



This year's cough and cold 'flu' bug has hit many villagers, especially over the Christmas period, and we hope that everyone will be feeling better soon.

Peter West and Miska have both suffered 'hand trouble', Peter following an operation on his little finger and Miska when a sharp knife got the better of her. We hope the healing won't take too long and dexterity returned to normal.

It was wonderful to have Alan Prater home again from hospital in time to join in the Christmas celebrations, and we hope he and Doreen have a great holiday in Spain. Also home again after spells in hospital are Mrs. Spear, who is recuperating with family in Ilfracombe, and Mr. Gratton. Look after yourselves and best wishes to you both.




From Devon to Darwin fly love and congratulations to Rachel [nee Fanner] and John Kroes on the birth of their special little girl on 2nd December, 1995. Her name is Molly. From a very proud Grannie Sally B and Godmother Janet.

May we, too, congratulate Rachel, John and Sally and also new grandparents Maureen and Keith Cooper and Sandra and Jim Jackson. Maureen and Keith's granddaughter, Bobbi, weighed in at 6 lbs 2 oz on the 30th October, and Sandra and Jim's granddaughter, Sharron Rose, at 9 lbs 2 oz on the 9th December. Congratulations, too, to the proud parents, Jackie and Neil Cooper and Dorne and Andy Satchwell.

News has just been received of the arrival of Rita and David Duncan's granddaughter, Ella, born, 3 weeks early, on the 14th January, and weighing 4 lbs 2 oz - mother, Angela, and baby are doing fine and so is the proud father, Lance.

Our very best wishes to you all.


Christina Rossetti

Sweet blackbird is silenced with chaffinch and thrush,
Only waistcoated robin still chirps in the bush:
Soft sun-loving swallows have mustered in force,
And winged to the spice-teeming southlands their course.
Plump housekeeper dormouse has tucked himself neat,
Just a brown ball in moss with a morsel to eat:
Armed hedgehog has huddled him into the hedge,
While frogs scarce miss freezing deep down in the sedge.
Soft swallows have left us alone in the lurch,
But robin sits whistling to us from his perch:
If I were red robin, I'd pipe you a tune,
Would make you despise all the beauties of June.
But, since that cannot be, let us draw round the fire,
Munch chestnuts, tell stories, and stir the blaze higher:
We'll comfort pinched robin with crumbs, little man,
Till he'll sing us the very best song that he can.
Illustrations for verses two and three by: Debbie Cook



This contribution to the newsletter should have been in the form of a report on our Australian holiday, however, 48 hours before we were due to fly out from Heathrow, I was rushed into hospital for an emergency operation. I certainly have a guardian angel watching over me, because it would have been a totally different story if we had started our journey.

In the twenty years that we have lived in Berrynarbor, Doreen and I have experienced such warmth and friendship, and this was certainly demonstrated during my three weeks in hospital and subsequent convalescence, and in particular the love and affection shown to us when we managed to attend the Christmas Carol Service.

We both wish to say a big 'thank you' for all your cards, prayers and get well telephone calls, and we are pleased to report that I am continuing to make steady progress.

Our trip to Australia has understandably been put on hold, but we are optimistic that we might be able to take this holiday in the not too distance future - watch this space ... !

Best wishes for 1996.

Alan and Doreen Prater



Let me begin by thanking firstly, Lorna Bowden for her information on Little Ruggaton in the October issue, and secondly, Mrs. Johnston of Barnstaple, who 'phoned me saying that the 19thC drawing that I submitted for the same issue was not, in her opinion, Bowden Farm. She knew the farm many years ago and felt it could not be the same building, even allowing for some artistic licence. So where is it? Little Ruggaton perhaps? Maybe the hill formation in the background might give a clue.

Now for this issue's contribution. The anonymously published photographic postcard from my collection depicts an old AEC charabanc parked by the lych gate, registration No. T6970, and, judging by the solid tyres, from around the time of WWI. It has apparently been nicknamed 'Jumbo' and the sign on its side reads: 'SHAPCOTT Combe Martin Phone 3Xl'. Can anybody identify anyone? The young man at the front and the lady at the back appear to be locals; the passengers, all ladies, appear to be a sight-seeing group, possibly from a local W.I. or something similar. And can anyone shed any light on the charabanc or its owners, Shapcott? I have never seen this name on any other picture of local charabancs. If anyone can help with identification, I should be delighted to hear from you.

Wanted: A copy of the book 'Notes on Combe Martin' privately published in 1902 by K. Toms. Condition is immaterial, but must be complete. Your price paid for original copy!

Terry Babbington
38 Park Road, Thundersley,
Essex, SS7 3PP
or ring 01268-758757



  • Berrynarbor Primary School - The Coffee Morning raised £230.80 and the Book Fair a further £43.32. Many thanks to everyone who contributed in some way.

  • Wanted - Small matchboxes, and does anyone have a foot spa/massager they would care to lend me? Please call me on 882531.

    I have also ordered a directory of 'Who wants What' entitled "Waste Not". If you want to know where to send unwanted cards, used stamps, etc., to be put to good use, please ring me for details [882531].

  • Joy Morrow

  • VILLAGE COFFEE MORNING - There will be a Village Coffee Morning in the Manor Hall on Saturday, 17th February, from 10.30 a.m. Everyone welcome. Cake stall, Raffle, Bric-a-brac.

  • A Berry in Summer - Congratulations to Fanmor Productions and Neil Morris on the charming video portrayal of Berrynarbor last summer. This 25 minutes' viewing is a MUST, so if you have not been able to obtain a copy for yourself, DO find someone who has and borrow it!

  • North Devon Conservative Association - Berrynarbor Branch extend to you a cordial invitation to their Coffee Morning to be held in the Manor Hall on Saturday, 10th February, at 10.00 a.m. This will be followed by the 1996 A.G.M. at 11.00 a.m. All are welcome.

  • Christmas Raffle - The Christmas Raffle at the Post Office was a great success with nearly £60 being sent to the Salvation Army and Children in Need. Angela Levis was in luck again and won the Harrods Teddy Bear Biscuit Tin kindly donated by Debbie, and the other winners were Sue Wright, Mary Leckie and Joan Wood. Thank you, Debbie, and thank you Alan and Nora.

  • Thank You - I should like to express my thanks and appreciation to all who supported the Charity Sale held on 9th December. A sum of £183 has been donated to animal welfare.

    Mrs. K. Bond


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


And the bride walked to the church! But it was only a few steps for Miska to St. Peter's when she married Gary Branch on Saturday, 2nd December. However, the newly-weds flew off for their honeymoon when they spent twelve days in Phuket in Thailand before going on to Bangkok where they met up with Heather and Les Levi.

Miska, who comes from Rayleigh in Essex, and Gary, from East Barnet, Hertfordshire, met 'on board' six years ago when Gary was Head Waiter and Miska a dancer, and it was the village's good fortune when they moved to Berrynarbor in April, 1994. Our congratulations to you both and best wishes for your future happiness.

Gary and Miska would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their kindness and help and for making them both feel so welcome in Berrynarbor.




Shrove Tuesday, 20th February


Illustrated by: Paul Swailes

Everyone is welcome at Sally's "Berry Home" for Coffee and Pancakes [50p] which will be served from 10.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m., with the draw for the raffle taking place at 12.15 p.m.

The star attraction of the Raffle will be Rainer Jost's latest flowerpot man, which he has kindly made and given to raise funds for the Sunday School. This latest creation, pictured here, and to be displayed in the Post Office, will be ready for planting out in early March.

Should you be unable to partake of pancakes, but would like to support the Sunday School, raffle tickets will be on sale beforehand and may be obtained from Sally [882746], Joy [882531] and the Post Office.

Please give generously!



Rainer and Jill Jost have recently purchased the Exmoor Brass Rubbing and Hobbycraft Centre situated at the foot of Watersmeet Road, Lynmouth.

A brave decision, giving Rainer the opportunity to channel his creative knowledge and long-time interest in brass rubbing into his own business, and hopefully giving him a little more freedom to be more sociable!

Jill has a keen interest in crafts and hopes her rather rusty business and teaching skills will stand her in good stead. An accident some years ago has left her incapacitated and the business will enable her to work at her own pace. Rainer and Jill will be up and rubbing from 30th March, and we wish them both happiness and every success in their new venture.



They sat on the sand dune together, yet apart with their own thoughts, watching the waves break on the shore, just a few hundred years from where they had camped with their children more than a quarter of a century ago. He remembered the large black ants that had invaded the sugar, and heard the echoes down the years of his wife saying, as she handed round the mugs of tea, "One ant or two?" The sound of the long ago laughter drifted on the wind.

Five ghosts passed by, splashing along the water's edge - two girls, a boy, a man carrying an inflatable dingy, and his young wife, all making their way to the mouth of the estuary. He watched as the man towed the boy in the dinghy through the shallow water over a sand bank that gave the impression that he was walking on water, which caused much laughter from the onlookers.

The double-decker bridge looked just the same - road on top, railway underneath - the railway that ran up to the station, where he took his youngest daughter and the young lad for his birthday treat, a ride on a Portuguese train. He sat there staring into the past, sad of soul and moist of eye. "Dear God, where had the time gone?" He loved them all so very, very much, but had never been able to convey to them his deep love, they meant more to him than life itself.

"Time we were going, dear" his wife said, and he stood and helped her to her feet, to retrace their steps wearily over the dunes.

Laurie Harvey


Illustrated by: Nigel Mason



Although it was a spasmodically drizzly Saturday in early January, there were a lot of people on the beach at Instow - flying kites, throwing sticks for dogs or simply promenading and enjoying the fine views of Appledore across the Torridge estuary.

It was not until the nineteenth century that the road along the estuary was constructed and the continental style villas built along it with their louvered shutters and long balconies. Among these is a square Modern Movement house discreetly set back from the road and reminiscent of the designs of Le Corbusier.

Opposite the Quay is the old railway signal box, preserved from demolition by popular local demand. Along some of the lanes, running at right angles from the beach, are rows of old cottages which pre-date the development of Instow as a resort.


'Instow, near Bideford' c1902 - from the Tom Bartlett Collection

At the furthest end from the Quay and beyond the sand dunes [a summertime Mecca for butterflies], is the cricket ground, facing Crow Point and the place where the Taw and Torridge estuaries meet, notable for its large, deeply thatched and buttressed cricket pavilion. Even the little hut, bearing the score board and built on to a war-time 'pill box', is thatched'.

We turned up Kiln Close Lane to Anstey Way where there is a Wesleyan Chapel built in 1838 and near it, the tiny church of All Saints, designed and donated in the 1930's by the architect B.N.H. Orphoot. It is positioned just below the main road in a peaceful little garden and its exterior gives it a Mediterranean appearance - plain white walls, semi-circular at one end with a simple bell tower and a cross, composed of layers of thin grey slates pressed into the wall. The windows are narrow and round-arched - the one above the door has a fish-scale pattern, with a laurel leaf motif beneath it.

Once inside there is a surprise because the interior has many Art Deco features - the light fittings and frosted glass shades; the fluted front of the altar, decorated above by a band of deep blue, red and gold mosaic. The walls are of cream painted brick and the church is furnished with rows of rush seated chairs. The exposed mahogany roof timbers were salvaged from a Victorian ship, HMS Revenge, which was broken up for scrap at Appledore. This modest little church fascinates us. It is so unexpected and has a distinctive atmosphere.

From there we crossed the Bideford-Barnstaple road and headed for Instow Old Town, which is about three quarters of a mile inland from Instow Quay and Sands. First we came to St. John's Church opposite an imposing farmhouse. Instow takes its name from the church, being a corruption of Johannestow or John's Place. The south wall is twelfth century and in 1547, at the time of the Reformation, a second aisle was added on the north side. Here there are windows with Tudor arches and a wagon-roof with carved bosses, producing a light effect and contrasting with the dark and heavy beams of the other aisle. The font is Norman.

Further up the hill is the village school and an attractive group of cottages, including the Old Schoolhouse and former blacksmith's and 'Knills', with its picturesque arrangement of walls and roofs. From here there are sweeping views over East Yelland and Instow Barton Marshes. The quaint circular stone building perched on a hill above the school is the ruin of a former windmill.

Sue H



The Beetle Drive on 20th February could have been better attended - due, it is understood, to the fact that few people knew what a beetle drive was!

However, those who participated had a great time, so much so that it is hoped to hold a second event in the near future. So, if YOU don't know what a beetle drive is, go along, find out and have a good time into the bargain!




Use of Grid References by Emergency Services

Westcountry Ambulance Service NHS Trust is constantly seeking ways of reducing response times when ambulances are requested in an emergency. On the whole they are able to locate property addresses in cities, towns and even villages without too much delay, even at night. Isolated farmsteads and hamlets are not always so easily identified and, In these instances, an accurate grid reference would be of considerable assistance. The Trust will supply cards, to be kept by the telephone, on which the full address and grid reference of rural properties can be recorded. These can be obtained from John Vince, Clerk to the Parish Council, free of charge, by phoning 862362. Help can also be given, if needed, in establishing the grid references of properties.

Annual Parish Meeting

An advance note for your diaries - the Annual Parish Meeting will be held in the Manor Hall on Tuesday, 9th April, commencing at 7.00 p.m. If you have an interest in the Village, or a concern you wish to express, please come.



From the Ilfracombe Chronicle, Saturday February 1st 1896, Page 8

PRESENTATION On Monday last a deputation, consisting of the Rev. R. Churchill [Rector of Berrynarbor], C.H. Basset, Esq., Watermouth Castle [Chairman of the School Committee], Mr. Councillor Jones and Messrs. Lewis and Lancey, waited on Mr. Clift, until recently the Headmaster of the National School at Berrynarbor, to present him, on behalf of the parishioners, with a purse of gold, as token of esteem and respect, and of their appreciation of the manner in which he has discharged the duties of the school in the eleven years during which he has presided over it. Each member of the deputation bore testimony to the high state of efficiency to which Mr. Clift, working under the usual difficulties in rural districts, had brought to the school. Mr. Lewis and Mr. Lancey, as representing the parents of the scholars, said that the training given by Mr. Clift to the children had been such as to create the greatest satisfaction in the minds of all. The whole neighbourhood deeply regretted his removal, and wished him, in a new sphere, all success and happiness. Mr. Clift made a suitable reply, thanking the donors for their generous gift, and the parents for their support and sympathy so freely given during his long term of work amongst them. He had never had the slightest friction with any of the parents, but had been able to work happily and pleasantly within the School and outside it.

* With thanks to Ilfracombe Museum

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage, Jan. 1996




Riversdale Cottage Sterridge Valley [and the now demolished Bridge Cottage] in the snow in c1946 as depicted on the cover of the first February issue of the Newsletter, 1990, and Riversdale Cottage, fifty years on, February 1996.



Registered Charity No. 1049559

I am writing to let your readers know about a new Devon Charity recently set up to provide desperately needed support for young people with autism.

Autism is a life-long mental disability that impairs the natural instinct to relate to and communicate with others. Both children and adults with autism are unable to make sense of the world around them as other people do. They cannot understand why or how speech and gesture are used, nor can they take part in the usual two-way process of communication that most people take for granted. Their frustration may give rise to moods of deep despair, outbursts of uncontrolled temper, obsessional and other challenging behaviour. Such conduct can rule and ruin the lives of the whole family, leaving some parents unable to cope.

North Devon is already the home of Broomhayes, a highly specialised 52 week residential school for children with autism and severely challenging behaviour [currently providing employment for over 120 staff], and students are referred to Broomhayes from the entire country.

Most local children with autism are able to attend specialist day schools in the area. Sadly, there is no specialist adult provision in Devon for young people when they leave school. For parents there is the ceaseless worry about what will happen when they are no longer able to take care of their son or daughter themselves. There are over 30 children with a diagnosis of autism living in North Devon.

The Tarka Home Trust is a registered charity committed to providing homes, further education and work opportunities for people with autism living in Devon.

We are appealing to groups, clubs and organisations who sometimes raise money for charitable causes, to consider a fund-raising event to help The Tarka Home Trust. We can supply brochures, badges and displays and are willing to give freely of our time to come and talk about the complex condition of autism and the work of The Trust. Once up and running, the venture will be self supporting.

If you would like to know more, call in, write or telephone Philip Roberts [01598-710692] at sentry House, Bratton Fleming.



... Oh yes there is! But if you tell people you've been, they'll just laugh!

So, what's the joke? Wigan is over 15 miles from the coast, so how can it have a pier? Well, the story goes that a train-load of holiday makers on their way to Southport stopped close to the signal box at Wigan. In this area the ground was liable to flooding, and across it ran a gantry carrying coal wagons. One of the travellers called up to the signalman, "Hey, are we at Southport yet?" "Southport! Not b....y likely! This 'ere is Wigan Pier!" The joke spread, aided and abetted by a local music hall performer - George Formby Snr.

There the story might have ended, had it not been for a town councillor with vision. In the 1960's, canalside warehouses and a redundant cotton mill, were due to be demolished and the area redeveloped. "Why don't we restore the whole site, make it a tourist attraction and call it Wigan Pier?" he said. And they have done just that.

It must be one of Lancashire's best kept secrets. Sadly, one cannot pop there for the day: it is about 260 miles up-country, but the brown and white Tourist Board signs off the M6 north of Manchester point the way. Don't 'pop in' anyway. It's worth at least 3 hours of your time. You won't regret it.

The site covers 8 acres, connected by a waterbus and is totally accessible for disabled visitors. The group of warehouses incorporates 11sets showing 'The Way We Were in 1900', ranging from seaside holidays and school rooms to market place and coalmines. There's a Magic Lantern show and a taproom that still smells of stale beer! The resident Wigan Pier Theatre Company give performances throughout the day; 4 'promenade plays' which, if you wish, involve you; Music Hall in the Palace of Varieties; a Victorian schoolroom lesson [definitely a must!] and other entertainment. You can even join them for a week-end of murder and mystery. If at this stage you are flagging, then the Pantry and Parlour at the Pier, or the Orwell Pub and Restaurant [yes, George Orwell was another famous son of Wigan] will refresh. Suitably strengthened, head for the waterbus and Trencherfield Mill. Who could fail to be impressed by the largest working steam engine in the world, or wonder at the amount of noise emanating from just a few working cotton looms, when in their heyday, there would have been 'undreds of 'em crashing along! You might even pick up a bargain at the Courtaulds factory shop. In fine weather, there are towpath walks, and children's play areas, but the nice thing is if the weather is lousy, you can still have a great time. It is open all year [closed Fridays, except Good Friday] with reductions for children, 'Snowbirds' and families. 'Phone 01942323666 for further information. In case you're wondering .. no, I don't have shares, nor did I get in for nowt .. but ee, folks, 'twere a reet good day out!

PP of DC


The Berrynarbor Football Team 1976

  • Standing: Jamie Hepper, Rob King, Guy Harding, David Stevens, Nick Constantine, Jeremy Hann, Anthony Hepper, Barry Hepper (Coach) and Warren Bailey
  • Kneeling: Shaun Cooper, Neil Cooper, James Weedon, Peter Stevens and Simon Hann

Twenty Years On - Where are they Now?

After initially moving to Braunton, Jamie, Anthony and Barry moved to Plymouth and contact has been lost, although it is understood that Anthony works for British Aerospace and Jamie is in the retail clothes trade.

After gaining a BSc in Biology at Sussex University, Rob was awarded an MSc in Biological Research from Queen's College, Cambridge, which was followed by two years with Merk, Sharpe & Doehme. He is currently on the technical Sales staff of a Japanese company [manufacturing sophisticated laboratory equipment] based in London, where he and Nicola live.

As a Second Officer with Cable and Wireless ships, Guy is travelling the world on a "3 months on/2 months off' basis, with Canada or Japan his next port of call. He and his fiancee, Caroline, are based in London and plan to marry this coming August.

After eight years in the Navy, David took a career turn and trained as a teacher, his specialist subject being Design and Technology. Gosport is home to him, his wife and two children.

A vacation job as a bar manager in the Lake District, whilst on a Graphic Design degree at Lancashire Polytechnic, set Nick on a different course and he is now, with his girlfriend Alison, training as Pub Managers with Whitbreads in Bolton. They hope to be managing a pub of their own in the near future.

Having qualified as a Doctor at "Barts" in London, Jeremy has since been working at Sheffield Hospital, where he met his wife Gill, an anaesthetist. He is shortly to start work as a G.P. in a Sheffield practice.

Warren left school to take an Apprenticeship with N.T.Shapland [Shapland and Petter] in Barnstaple, gaining a HND in Electrical Engineering. Between rounds of golf - handicap 8 - he is still with the company, working on the electrical side as a Maintenance Foreman. He and Dawn live in Barnstaple.

Following a Business Studies degree in Marketing and Advertising at Lancaster University and a year's Exchange to Plattsburg University on the Canadian/American border, Shaun now works for Brayleino, the largest advertising agency in the South West. A regular visitor to the Village, he and Cathy, a teacher at Chelffam Mill School, live in Pilton.

Neil, like Warren, completed an Apprenticeship with N.T. Shapland, and is now working for them as a Site Fixer in London. He, Jackie and baby Bobbi all hope to move to London in the near future.

Since completing a BSc in Software Engineering at Birmingham University, James has been working for EDS, one of the country's largest Software houses, in Milton Keynes. His job has given him the opportunity to travel, and he has worked in Holland and Canada and commutes on a fairly regular basis to Houston, Texas.

Peter, who qualified as a Chef and was Head Chef at the Cliffe Hydro, now lives and works in Ilfracombe.

Simon and his wife, Philippa - an Art Therapist - both studied for Art degrees at Camberwell College of Art in London. After a P.G.C.E. at Plymouth, Simon is currently in London teaching boys with emotional and behavioural difficulties. He and Philippa hope to return to the West Country in the not too distant future.

Good Luck to you all!



Spec: 1 A pro-forma box to assist the Quiller [ensuring uniformity of scrolls] and 2 A collection box for Newsletter donations ... and there they are, made and ready for use, by courtesy of John Weaver.

These are not the only boxes that John, who came to Berrynarbor from the Midlands where he was a heavy machinery mechanical engineer, produces - there are delicate jewellery boxes [always referred to as boxes even though they come in all shapes - ovals, rounds, etc.].

John took up the hobby of woodturning, very different from the metal turning of his previous trade, some three years ago, after moving to the Valley. In his workshop are two wood lathes and a metal lathe, and latterly for more delicate work, he has been turning his own chisels. Here he creates all sorts of intriguing "goodies": beautiful bowls, children's toys - a delightful 'bug' with flapping wings light and curtain pulls, massagers [!], a tiny 'housewife' for needles and thread, etc. ['Huzifs' originated as equipment given to soldiers serving in the First World War] and delicate lace bobbins.

In the world of lace-making, bobbins are today as much collectors' items as the lace itself. They were, and are, made of wood or bone, weighted by a ring, or 'spangle' of glass beads. Spangled bobbins are used when making Torchon lace, when heavier thread is used, but for the very fine-thread Honiton lace, the bobbins are unspangled. On an intricate piece of lace, up to 2,000 bobbins may be used. In the past, they were popular tokens of affection, often inscribed with names and dates, love vows or religious quotations.

John reckons to spend a couple of hours a day, if possible, 'turning': a bobbin takes him about half to three-quarters of an hour to create and he is planning to try his hand at bone bobbins - the bone [or horn] used is usually the thigh bone of ox or beef.

John's supply of hardwoods - mainly yew, ash and elm - is 'local', which he begs, borrows and sometimes even steals, from friends and neighbours! 'Seasoning', or drying out, in the workshop are logs of ash, the ends sealed with wax to prevent the moisture coming out too quickly - a rate of 1" per year is ideal.

Last November, Jackie and John visited Australia and guess what flew in, yes, some more exotic pieces of wood - jarra and the fascinating nut of the banksia tree.


Illustrations by: Paul Swailes

Pictured here is the nut and how it can be 'turned' into a small vase for dried flowers or, sliced through and with the addition of other tiny nuts and seeds, a delightful 'fridge magnet. When not in his workshop, just off the kitchen, John is IN the kitchen where he turns his hand to cooking high class cuisine! Cedars, like Riversdale Cottage, is a busy place.


Artwork: Angela Bartlett

Berrynarbor Temperance Hall c1931


This rare photograph provided with information by Mrs. Vera Lewis, shows the fine long building of the Temperance Hall, just at the back of Orchard House, which can be seen in the centre of the photo. Sadly, as mentioned in previous articles, all that remains of the Hall today are parts of the now crumbling walls with grass growing where floors had previously been.

Below is a report from the Ilfracombe Chronicle c1900:

BERRYNARBOR - A very successful entertainment was given in the Temperance Hall in aid of the Church Choir Fund. The hall was well filled, and all seemed to enjoy the performance, which was entirely by local talent. The first, or musical part, reflected great credit on Miss Bray, the organist, who must have given a great deal of time and care in training the choir so perfectly, the plantation songs were much admired. The second part consisted of amateur theatricals, the numerous scenes being thoroughly enjoyed. The actors, who had been trained by Mr. Brown, did full justice to their several parts.

The Programme was:

  1. Pianoforte Solo - Miss Bray - "Glee"
  2. "Let the Hills Resound" - Choir: Duet
  3. "Could a man be Secure" - Messrs. E. Harding and E. Huxtable
  4. Dialect Tale - "E didn't knaw 'is zell" - Mr. A. Brown
  5. "Daddy's gone to London Town" - Song - Miss Huxtable
  6. Plantation Song - "Playing on the Old Banjo "
  7. Choir Song - "Daddy"
  8. Miss Bray - Song - "Tim Gee Gee"
  9. Miss Richards - Song - "I wouldn 't Care"
  10. Mr. E. Huxtable - Plantation Song - "Good Night"
  11. Choir Song - "Moya Town"
  12. Miss Huxtable - Song in character - "Fifty Years Ago"
  13. Mr. S Huxtable - Song - "Twenty Forty"
  14. Mr. Harding - Song - "Victoria in Memoriam"

The Rev. Churchill "A Rise in Life"


  • Betsy Stubbs [a widow] - Reginald Lancey
  • Polly Stubbs [her daughter] - Miss Richards
  • Letty Lorigo [a gipsy] - Mrs. Lewis
  • Betsy Mason [a deaf old lady] - Mrs. E. Pedrick
  • Samuel Slithers [a sharpener] - George Ley
  • Sergeant Batters [a one-armed soldier] - Thomas Ley
  • An Old Man - D. Jones
  • An Old Woman - Fred Ford

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage, January 1996



1stWhist Drive Manor Hall 7.30 p.m.
3rdTable Top Sale Manor Hall 2.00 p.m.
5thBadminton Club 7.30 p.m. Manor Hall
6thW.I. Meeting: "Travel with Kathie" Slides and Talk - Kath Arscott
7thMobile Library in Village from 11.55 a.m.
8thU3A Meeting: Granville Hotel Ilfracombe - A.G.M.
10thConservative Association Coffee Morning & A.G.M., 10.00 a.m., Manor Hall
12thto Friday, 16th: College & Primary School - Half Term
Badminton Club, 7.30 p.m., Manor Hall
13thParish Council Meeting, 7.30 p.m. Manor Hall
14thSt. Valentine's Day
15thWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
Combe Martin Historical Society: Restoration of West Challacombe Farm - the National Trust, Combe Martin Methodist Hall, 7.30 p.m.
17thVILLAGE COFFEE MORNING, Manor Hall, 10.30 a.m.
19thBadminton Club, 7.30 p.m., Manor Hall
20thShrove Tuesday
Pancake & Coffee Morning, Berry Home 10.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.
21stAsh Wednesday: Holy Communion St. Peter's and U.R.C. 10.00 a.m.
Mobile Library in Village from 11.55 a.m.
Wine Circle, Manor Hall, 8.00 p.m. - Wickham's Wines
22ndWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
23rdCheese and Wine Evening, Manor Hall 7.30 to 9.30 p.m.
25thLent: Evensong for Christians Together, St. Peter's
26thBadminton Club, 7.30 p.m. Manor Hall
28thLent Service, U.R.C., 2.30 p.m.
29thWhist Drive Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
4thBadminton Club, 7.30 p.m., Manor Hall
5thW.I. Meeting : 34th Birthday Talk & Slides - Devon Air Ambulance
6thMobile Library in Village from 11.55 a.m.
7thWhist Drive Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
11thBadminton Club, 7.30 p.m. Manor Hall
12thParish Council Meeting, Manor Hall 7.30 p.m.
13thLent Service U.R.C. 2.30 p.m.
14thU3A Meeting
Whist Drive Manor Hall 7.30 p.m.
17thSt. Patrick's Day Mothering Sunday: Holy Communion, 8.00 a.m.
Family Service, 10.30 a.m.
Christians Together, Baptist Chapel 6.30 p.m.
18thBadminton Club, 7.30 p.m. Manor Hall
20thMobile Library in Village from 11.55 a.m.
Lent Service, St. Peter's, 2.30 p.m.
Wine Circle, Manor Hall 8.00 p.m. - Thresher's Wines
21stWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
Combe Martin Historical Society: Coastal Resorts of North Devon - J. Travis, Combe Martin Methodist Hall 7.30 p.m.
25thBadminton Club, 7.30 p.m. Manor Hall
27thLent Service: U.R.C. 2.30 p.m.
28thCollege and Primary School: End of Spring Term
31sthPalm Sunday
3rdMobile Library in Village from 11.55 a.m.
4thWhist Drive Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
5thGOOD FRIDAY Lent Service St. Peter's 2.00 p.m.



The Hedger and Bodger

When autumn came in the countryside there arrived along the hedgerows, the exponent of an ancient craft that survives to this day. The importance of the hedge as a windbreak and stock fence ensured, and ensures, that the Hedger's skills were passed down many generations. Working at a rate of up to 30 yards a day, and armed with stout Ieather "mittens, billhook and slasher", the Hedger part-cuts, bends, stakes and binds the living part of the hedge, literally weaving this natural barrier with it's own wild harvest of fruit, berries and herbs.

Deep in the English beech woods, the itinerant Bodger set up camp. Contrary to the modern association of the name, the Bodger was a highly skilled craftsman, using simple "shave horses" and "pole lathes" to fashion the legs of Windsor chairs. Selling directly to the furniture makers for assembly and finishing, the Bodger's role unwittingly pre-empted the mass assembly lines adopted later throughout the industry.



"A Committee is a group that keeps Minutes and loses Hours"

Oh give us your pity - we're on a committee 
Which means that both morning and night,
We attend and amend and contend and defend
Without a conclusion in sight.
We confer and concur, we defer and demur,
And reiterate all of our thoughts;
We revise the agenda with frequent addenda,
And consider a load of reports.
We compose and propose, we support and oppose,
And the points of procedure are fun!
But though various notions are brought up as motions,
There's terribly little gets done!
We resolve and absolve, but we never dissolve
Since it's out of the question for us;
What a shattering pity to end our committee
Where else could we make such a fuss?