Edition 44 - October 1996

Artwork by: Debbie Cook

Artwork: Judie Weedon


For this issue's cover, Debbie has returned to one of her favourites - the fox.

The preferred habitat of the common or red fox is woodland, but they have become very adaptable and significant numbers are now found in the suburbs of London and other cities, although they try to keep out of sight. Part of the fox's adaptation has been to scrounge food, often from dustbins and other refuse receptacles.

Nocturnal by nature, foxes are comparatively small. Their body length is about 60cm, but their tail, or brush, constitutes a further 40cm. The fur is sandy brown to red above, with greyish white underparts and black markings on the front limbs and on the back of the ears. The tail, a coveted possession of the huntsman in the past, is usually tipped with white. Their diet is varied - small mammals, such as squirrels and rabbits, small birds and their eggs, grass, fruit and also insects.

The British fox is, perhaps, the most astute of all our wild animals. High intelligence marks all the species and it certainly lives up to its reputation both as the 'bad guy', as portrayed in children's literature - Brer Fox and the Foxy Gentleman who even got Jemima Puddle-duck to collect the ingredients for her own 'stuffing'! - and for its cleverness and cunning. Its tricks to baffle hounds are incredible - crossing a stream repeatedly to destroy its own scent, running through flocks of sheep for the same purpose, climbing up impossible places and hiding where it would not seem possible for it to conceal itself - and its daring in getting food at times is astonishing!

Debbie has pictured a young adult, one of this year's cubs, now almost fully grown and on the brink of leaving the lair to find a territory of its own.

Thank you, Debbie, and all contributors. The next issue will be December and Christmas - how quickly the festive season comes round! Please hand in your seasonal offers, as well as the regular features, to the Post Office or Chicane by mid-November and by Friday, 14th, at the latest.





On the 26th July, 26 of us set out for an enjoyable trip to Little Torrington to view the Flower Festival at St. Giles Church. It was really beautiful, and a credit to all the floral art creators. The tea that followed was excellent, and anyone leaving the hall feeling hungry only had themselves to blame! Everyone was full of praise for the W.I. members who were on duty, both in the church and at the tea. On the way home we stopped off at the Tarka Mill, and as there was a sale on, there were some very good bargains to be had.

Although we have no official meeting in August, members met up at the various Fetes, and thank you, Sylvia Yates, for the hard work you put into the very successful bottle stall at the Berry Revels. Ivy Richards and Margaret Kemp, as always, had the raffle well in hand, Margaret Parkin the barbecue and Eunice Allen the plant stall.

A well represented meeting on the 3rd September had the pleasure of welcoming Michael Hesman, who showed slides of beautiful gardens and flowers, from stately homes to his own garden, and finishing with slides of sunsets, for which Devon is famous - a colourful end to an interesting afternoon.

Thanks to all members who helped and participated in the Horticultural Show on the 7th September, and congratulations to Ethel Tidsbury for winning the knitting section at her first attempt, as well as much praise from onlookers! I do hope that even more members will take part next year, keeping up the W.I. tradition.

On 17th September we shall be holding our annual party for members of the Ilfracombe Disabled Association and on the 1st October we hope to meet Mr. Punch and his friends, brought along by Steve Walker. Please come and re-live your childhood, remembering those 'hazy lazy days of summer' on the sands. Cheerio for now.

Vi Kingdon - President

You may have cares and duties,
There are dozens of things to be done
But don't let the day come to an end
Without some laughter and fun.


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


Celebrations were in order when Guy Harding and Caroline Mee were married at St. Brannock's Church, Braunton, on the 3rd August. Following a honeymoon in the Caribbean, Guy, a 2nd Officer with Cable and Wireless, is now off to Singapore for a couple of months, leaving his new bride at home teaching English at a Junior School in South East London.

Also honeymooning in the Caribbean are Dean Cooper and Vanessa Heather who celebrated their marriage at All Saints Church, Cranham, Essex, on Friday, 6th September. Neil was Best Man and Shaun, who was an usher, read the Blessing. Dean, a partner in a building company based in Gravesend, and Vanessa, a secretary with Barclays in the City, live in London.

We were happy to welcome Sam and Em to Cutts End in the August Newsletter and delighted to be able to congratulate them on their marriage on the 7th September. A family celebration is planned for next year when Em hopes to take all Sam's family on a visit to meet her family in Thailand.

Congratulations and very best wishes for a healthy and happy future to you all.

Congratulations and very best wishes to Audrey and Tom Tucker of Cambridge Grove, Ilfracombe, who will be celebrating sixty years of marriage, their Diamond Wedding, on the 10th October.

Tom and Audrey were married in Ilfracombe Christ Church [sadly now no longer], twenty-five years - almost to the day - after Audrey's parents, and fifty years on from the marriage of her grandparents.

Audrey and Tom will be celebrating the occasion quietly at home but hope that their many friends will accept their invitation to drop in and join them in a glass of sherry and a piece of cake - all are welcome. Or please give them a ring on 862568.

A day celebrating with family and friends at Moules Farm marked the Ruby Wedding [40 years on!] of Norman and Angela Richards. Congratulations and best wishes to you both.


Artwork: Steve Angold [Aged 10]


Harvest Thanksgiving

The Church will be decorated for the Harvest Festival on Friday and Saturday, 4th and 5th October. Please bring gifts of flowers and produce to the church on Friday morning if possible, or let the churchwardens or any member of the PCC know if you would like anything collected. Gifts of produce will be particularly appreciated.

On Sunday, 6th October, there will be Holy Communion at 8.00 a.m. and a Family Communion at 10.30 a.m., when we shall be joined by the children from the Sunday School. This is always a happy occasion, please come if you can. Everyone is most welcome.

Harvest Evensong and Supper will take place on Wednesday, 9th October. The service will be at 6.30 p.m. followed by supper at 7.45 p.m. Tickets will be on sale at the Post Office or in church from Sunday, 22nd September, price £3.00 for adults and £1.00 for children. Please try to buy your ticket in good time this year! After supper, the produce will be auctioned and proceeds will go to Children in Distress. There will be a display giving information about this charity at the back of the church.

Some of our regular helpers will be away over Harvest this year, so if there is anyone who would like to lend a hand with decorating the church or helping at the supper, please let us know.

Family Service

There will be another Family Service on Sunday, 20th October, and everyone is most welcome to come and join us. Over 50 of us enjoyed a lively service on 15th September, and there was a short communion service afterwards for those who wished to stay.

Remembrance Sunday falls on 10th November this year. There will be Holy Communion at 8.00 a.m. and the special Remembrance Service will be at 10.30 a.m. followed by prayers at the War Memorial.

Rectors' Board

St. Peter's has received a most generous gift. The board recording the names of the Rectors of the Parish has been refurbished with the dates and lettering being beautifully repainted in gold by Gerry Marangone. I am told there were over 800 numbers and letters - so this was quite a task! The board has been much enhanced and the names are now clearly legible. Has anyone any information about the rectors who have served Berrynarbor down the centuries? There are 42 names in all, starting with Nicholas de Plymptone in 1261. At a well-attended service on 1st September, the board was re-dedicated by Prebendary Eppingstone, and at the same time four new kneelers were blessed and placed in the choir stalls.

Coffee Morning

A coffee morning will be held in the Manor Hall on Saturday, 9th November, starting at 10.30 a.m. There will be a raffle and various stalls - cakes, bring and buy, etc. We are raising money to pay St. Peter's share of the cost of new banners to advertise the summer fetes in the village, and also to boost the Flower Fund in good time for Christmas.

Mary Tucker

Illustration by: Paul Swailes


Buy your
and support your local

12p each from
Eunice Allen, Bali-Hai, Sterridge Valley
call or 'phone 882491
Birthday and other cards 25p each




Congratulations to Mark and Allyson on the birth of their daughter, Gemma Louise, on the 2nd August. Gemma weighed in at 7 lbs 1 oz and is the first grandchild for Laurel and Celia Draper and Sheila and John Brain. Best wishes to you all.

Linda and Fred Brown are delighted to announce the arrival of their latest grandchildren, twin boys born on the 17th September. George [the 'giant'] weighed in at 6 lbs 11 oz and Thomas at 5 lbs 1oz., sons for Jill and Paul and brothers for Hannah. Congratulations and best wishes to you all.

Not a new arrival, but an unexpected one! Jill and Rainer Jost could not believe their eyes recently when their daughter, Tanya, and their new granddaughter, Courtney, arrived unexpectedly from Fiji - what a wonderful surprise!




It's strange how the calendar works - two years ago the Show was the same day we took over the Post Office and the event passed us by completely. Last year, Nora and I entered and even won a number of classes, having drummed up entries, at the last minute, from our 'bottom drawers'! This year we managed to plan ahead to specifically generate various entries. It seems from this that we're gaining time for leisure, but in fact the show has slipped a week due to 365 being a peculiar number - specially with the odd 366 thrown in!

The organisers did 'their thing' really well. Programmes and entry sheets were out well in time, the hall was bedecked and nicely arranged to show the exhibits to their best advantage, and the sun shone for a marvellous day out. Overall entries were down, but nevertheless standards were pretty well maintained, with the flower classes particularly colourful and interesting. The Baddick family and Chris Jesson seemed to have entries in all classes and they showed the way - if you don't enter, you can't win. If you do enter, you can, and they did!

The vegetable and fruit classes had their share of giant examples, but for the most part colour, appearance and impressive similarity won the day. Josef did his thing as usual - especially in influencing the raffle draw - and David Beagley handed out free wine from his championship stock. The entries from the school showed how excellently free ranging arts and crafts are encouraged and developed among our school children, while Stuart Neale's signal box was a model example of skilled craftsmanship and perfection in miniature.

The photographic section completed the Show with an excellent selection of classes and entries. The Toms' Family portrait won their class, and my planning ahead with a picture of spring time flowers also produced the desired result. Next year Nora intends to start her knitting a week earlier!

Thanks are due to everyone who supported this event, whether organising, entering, attending, serving, donating their produce for Manor Hall funds or buying at the auction, they all help make the Show a high spot of the village year - and long may it remain so.

Alan R.

The Globe CupFloral ArtChris Jesson
The Walls CupHome CookingMrs. Judges
The Davis CupHandicraftsChris Jesson
The Watermouth CupHandicraftsStuart Neale
The P.T.A. CupSchool - Class 3Tom Harrison
The Men's Institute CupSchool - Class 2Kiri Courtney
The Mayflower DishSchool - Class 1Eleasha McDonald
The Watermouth Castle CupHome-made WineDavid Beagley
The George Hippisley CupArtLouise Baddick
The Vi Kingdon AwardPhotographyDavid Beagley
The Derrick Kingdon CupFruit and VegetablesRon Toms
The Lethaby CupPotted PlantsRon Toms
The Manor Stores Rose BowlCut FlowersJill Mountain
The Management Committee CupBest Exhibit in ShowChris Jesson

Another year, another Show, and although visually a pretty one, the number of entrants was down on previous years, which was a disappointment. My thanks to those stalwarts who turn up each year and save the day!

We have over 600 people living in the village and unbelievably only 30 people entered the Show. The small sub-committee that run this event work extremely hard, and it is questionable whether their commitment is warranted. If the residents of the village feel that the Show is part of village life and would like it to continue, they must give it the support it deserves, and hopefully the Management Committee of the Manor Hall can come up with some new ideas.

Linda Brown - Committee Chairman



Hillside Cottage

Dear Mrs. Weedon,

Thank you so very much for your kind and generous donation from the print sale of the Berrynarbor Newsletter covers. The North Devon Branch R.S.P.C.A. were very involved with the "Sea Empress" oiled birds saga, the casualties brought from Lundy were transported in our Branch Animal Ambulance to West Hatch, having been initially treated at Winslade Wildlife Sanctuary or Mortehoe. We also collected some birds from the Hartland area.

The whole episode cost the Branch £350, none of which we shall get back, other than by donations such as yours. The Body Shop Appeal raised £115, but that went to Headquarters in Horsham.

The Animal Ambulance is in constant use at the moment collecting injured birds and wildlife, there seems to be so much carnage on our roads, but at least the general public care enough to ring our R.H.Q. number and we can do something about it.

I loved your newsletters, so friendly and personal, but most professional as well - a Branch newsletter like that would be a great asset.

Please thank everyone for thinking of us.

Yours sincerely,

Mrs. Jane McPhee, Hon. Sec. North Devon Branch



For the benefit of newcomers, the Mobile Library visits the village fortnightly. Dates are given in the Newsletter Diary, but the times and 'stops' are as follows:

Sandy Cove - 11.55 a.m.
The Square - 1.50 p.m.
Barton Lane - 1.20 p.m.
Sterridge Valley - 2.30 p.m.


Artwork: Angela Bartlett

Berrynarbor Home Guard circa 1940

The photograph below of the Berrynarbor Home Guard was taken around 1940, with the entire contingent grouped outside the Manor Hall. Whilst I cannot at the moment give any details of their drills or activities, I am hoping that one of the surviving members will come forward and give me the information, so that I can publish it in a subsequent issue.


Below are the names of those 'present and correct', which to the best of my knowledge are right, but I really should welcome any corrections, additions or further information.

From left to right:

  • Top Row - Jim Floyde*, Lionel Dummett*, Frank Challacombe, Frank Brookman* ???, Ron Toms, Denzil Draper*, Commander Peachey, Alf Brooks*

  • Middle Row - Sydney Dummett*, Gordon Boyen*, Jack Snell* , Jerry Bowclare*, Reg Huxtable*, Eddy Nicholls, Arthur Jones* , Alfie Leaworthy, Dick Floyde* ? Penhale*, Fred Huxtable*, Jack Draper*

  • Seated - John Vallance, Percy Thorne*, ? Osborne, V.C. [?l, ? Hacker [?], Sgt. Newman*, Sid Perrin*, Walter Snell*, ???

* Deceased

If anyone can correct my articles on the Post Office or can add information, especially those ex-owners still living in the village - Keith and Maureen Cooper, Betty Davis, etc. please do get in touch with me, I should love to hear from you. Thanks.

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage, September 1996


1985 1988 1994 1996

Congratulations and thanks from the Parish Council to
all who contributed in any way to another winning year.
All residents are warmly invited to a
at the Manor Hall on Saturday, 12th October at 7.30 p.m.
to share in the presentation of the award
at 8.00 p.m. by Lord Knutsford


Artwork: Harry Weedon


Once again we received a Runners-Up Certificate with the following comments from the Judge:

  • "The colour displays at the entrance to the village heralded the riot of colour which I saw throughout the village.
  • Residents' front gardens were very good and the cottages without front gardens managed to supply a blaze of colour with containers, baskets and climbing plants.
  • The village inn and hotel had made good use of many containers filled with flowers and other traders also contributed.
  • The Church, bus stop and village hall were well looked after and tended with no litter or graffiti to be seen.
  • A worthy effort and everyone in the village is to be congratulated."

My thanks to the many planters, waterers and everyone who has helped to keep our village blooming so beautifully all summer.

Vi Davies

Thank you, Vi, for all your hard work and commitment and as a tribute to everyone for their contributions to the Best Kept Village and Berrynarbor in Bloom, I hope you will enjoy the centrepage spread of photographs of the Village taken this summer. This special addition to the Newsletter has been made possible by the generous donations received from readers, and it was felt that this was a way to repay you for your support and encouragement.

Thank you.




Shown in the photographs are:

Left hand Page: Riversdale Cottage [Marion Billett], St. Peter's Church from the Lych Gate, Josefs petunias and Berrynarbor Caravan Park [Kate and 'Mole' Kemp]

Right hand Page: Riversdale Cottage, The Globe [Phil and Lynn Bridle], The Seat by Claude's Garden and St. Peter's Church from Barton Lane.


Centre Pages: 43 and 39 The Village [Stuart and Ginny Neale's and Josef and Heddi Belka's, Bessemer Thatch [Heather and Les Levi], The Public Loos! [with grateful thanks to Grace for keeping them so clean], St. Peter's Church from Hagginton Hill, Tower Cottage [Tom and Inge Bartlett] and Miss Muffet's Tea Rooms [Gary and Miska Branch]


Artwork: Paul Swailes


The Berry Revels took place on 20th August. The weather cleared and we had a good night. Takings during the evening amounted to £841.57, which compares favourably with previous years. Our thanks to everyone who turned out to help and to those who kindly donated the various prizes. Special thanks are due to PAT SAYER, who took on the job of organising it all.

The question of parking in the Manor Hall car park continues to raise controversy and apparently has done so for many years. There is no question that the Manor Hall was given to the village for the benefit of all Berryites', however, the Hall is offered to hirers with car parking facilities and if the hirer arrives to find that all the parking spaces have already been taken, they are likely to go elsewhere next time. As our budget forecast for 1996-97 indicates that rental income and Parish Council grant will barely cover the costs of running the Hall, any loss of income will result in higher rents to village organisations, e.g. the Playgroup, Sunday School, Primary School, W.I., etc. Something we would rather not see. We know from contact with other village hall management committees that the rents we charge are amongst the lowest in the area.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP IT THIS WAY. If the Hall is being used on a particular evening, PLEASE park somewhere else. [We are lucky in having a large, free car park no more than 100 yards from the centre of the village!]

Finally, we have lost two stalwarts from the Management Committee. Joy Morrow and Ginny Neale have both resigned after serving on the Committee for many years. If there are any community spirited villagers out there who are willing to join us and help to both manage the Hall and assist with the various activities we organise to raise funds to keep the Hall in good repair, PLEASE contact Brian Mountain on 883032.


Laurence Binyon

Now is the time for the burning of the leaves.
They go to the fire; the nostril pricks with smoke
Wandering slowly into a weeping mist.
Brittle and blotched, ragged and rotten sheaves!
A flame seizes the smouldering ruin and bites
On stubborn stalks that crackle as they resist.
The last hollyhock's fallen tower is dust;
All the spices of June are a bitter reek,
All the extravagant riches spent and mean.
All burns! The reddest rose is a ghost;
Sparks whirl up, to expire in the mist: the wild
Fingers of fire are making corruption clean.
Now is the time for stripping the spirit bare,
Time for the burning of days ended and done,
Idle solace of things that have gone before
Rootless hope and fruitless desire are there;
Let them go to the fire, with never a look behind.
The world that was ours is a world that is ours no more.
They will come again, the leaf and the flower, to arise
From squalor of rottenness into the old splendour,
And magical scents to a wondering memory bring;
The same glory, to shine upon different eyes.
Earth cares for her own ruins, naught for ours.
Nothing is certain, only the certain spring.

Illustrated by: Paul Swailes



It was disappointing to learn that Betty Davis's trip to Oxford was to no avail and following her return she has had another spell in Barnstaple. However, it is hoped that by the time you read this, she will be home again and on the mend.

It is good to report that George Davey of Ropes End is home and continuing to improve [but don't rush it George!] following a worrying time with an unexpected emergency trip to and several weeks' stay in the N.D.D.H.

John Gubb, who suffered a damaged hip in a motor accident at Watermouth is home again after three weeks' hospitalisation. We hope he will soon have made a full recovery and be able to return to his College studies.

Mark Daglish has been in the thick of it just lately! First he had to recover from a broken arm, then the shock of becoming a father - with the inevitable broken nights' sleep - and then when the baby was only a few weeks old, he had the anxious time when Allyson was rushed into hospital for a week, including an ambulance trip to Exeter for a scan. Fortunately the diagnosis was not as serious as it had at first been thought, and Allyson is home again and she, baby Gemma and Mark are all doing well.

Sadly Jackie Bayes suffered another set back on top of her post car accident problems when her mother died recently. We are thinking of you Jackie, and hope that the coming months will become calmer and easier for you.

To you all, and your 'Carers', best wishes for full and speedy recoveries. We hope you'll be feeling better soon.


David Beagley


1. Emotion 9
8. Thorny flowers 5
9. Flatter 7
11. Early stages 6
12. Liberty 7
13. Cudgel 4
14. Decay 3
17. Conclusion 3
18. Slight pain 4
21. Took away rights 7
23. Up to date 6
24. Being courageous 7
25. Brother's daughter 5
26. Covered up again 9


2. Type of duck 5
3. Rang 6
4. Night before 3
5. Tread heavily on 7
6. Attribute 7
7. Amazed 9
10. God of war 4
12. The sky 9
15. Later 7
16. One who fascinates 7
19. Ale 4
20. Finds the answer 6
22. Premium bond computer 5
24. Attempt 3

Solution in Article 32.


A REMINDER of the Local History on Screen Evening on Tuesday, 29th October, at 7.30 p.m. in the Manor Hall [£1.00 per person] when "Postcard Views of North Devon" will be presented by Tom Bartlett. Please support both Tom and Ilfracombe College's Community Activities in our Village. There will also be a Christmas Workshop in the Manor Hall on Friday 29th November, from 2.00 to 5.00 p.m.


The Years Between

Who was the Devon lad who won a lassie's heart?
Who taught her that the 'bright lights'
Were stars that shine at night.
And the beauty of the countryside, o'er hill and dale,
Was the place to live, if love was to prevail.
When first we wed, the jobs were few,
Dreams were shelved, and Town won through
A flat overlooking railway yard
No beauty there, but times were hard.
The sparkle of those dear brown eyes,
As motor bike he chose to buy,
Better jobs he thought within his grasp,
Travel independence found at last.
Evening classes, new schemes to start,
Typing notes, I learnt how a building gets its heart!
Then, flat became a house, and bike became a car,
Not Devon yet, but Surrey, the nearest for views so far.
Every year we made the trip, once if not twice,
To the Valley of his dreams, renewing family ties.
January 1976 - dawned that wonderful day,
We left Surrey and to Devon, back to stay.
Sadly family gone, but so much to do,
Finding job, growing veg. and flowers of every hue.
Helping Village on committees, and first Horticultural Show,
Life was so happy for this man, his eyes like stars did glow.
He had such dreams for the future, but fate can be so cruel,
So young to die; but sharing those dreams has added fuel
To my staying on, and doing the best I can
To keep a welcome in the Valley, in memory of Derrick - my man!
Yes, Derrick was the Devon lad who won this lassie's heart,
And taught me that the 'bright lights'
Are stars that shine at night.
That the beauty of the countryside is the place to live,
For those years we spent together, my THANKS to God I give

Vi Kingdon

Derrick William Kingdon, [1929-1983]
Educated at Berrynarbor and Combe Martin Schools



The Sunday Services for the Berrynarbor United Reformed Church will be starting in the afternoons at 3.00 p.m. as from Sunday, 6th October.

Ron Toms would like to thank everyone who sponsored him for his walk when he raised £720 for the Church, and a special thanks to Josef Belka who drove him to the far flung corners of the village, not as part of his walk but in his efforts to raise sponsorship!

Advance Notice: There will be a Coffee Morning in the Manor Hall on Saturday, 7th December, from 10.30 a.m. to 12.00 noon. Various stalls cakes, bring-and-buy, raffle, etc.


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


We are delighted to report that Robert, eldest son of Steve and Margaret King [now of Bognor Regis] became engaged at Easter to Nicola Jones from Beckenham in Kent. The wedding date is set for August next year. Very best wishes to you both.

Congratulations to Ron Toms who, as mentioned above, has once again raised a fantastic sum of money for the U.R.C. This was Ron's 8th walk, having started in 1989 when the money he raised was divided between the church and the Historic Churches Trust. Since 1994, the money raised has gone entirely to our Chapel. Each year the previous year's sum raised has been surpassed and this year's £720 brings his total to an incredible £4,200. Well done, Ron!

Congratulations to Alan, our PMG, on his Gold Medal Award - no, not from Atlanta, but for the Veterans 6 metre sail Windsurfing event at Axminster Lake.


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


Farewell to Mr. and Mrs. Puttick and family who are leaving Mandalay, on Hagginton Hill, for the 'wilds' of Wales, where Mr. Puttick hopes to resume his engineering career.

We are pleased to welcome Peter and Kathleen Waller to 'Seaview', Barton Lane, who have moved from Essex, and also another new arrival to Barton Lane, Mrs. Williams who has moved in to 'Breezes'.



"In the sunshine, by the shady verge of woods,
by the sweet waters where the wild dove sips"

Richard Jefferies

Exmoor did not impress Daniel Defoe. In his book, Journey through England, written in 1724, he describes travelling north from Taunton in order to 'take a view of the coast'. He complained that Exmoor 'lay in the way' and that, 'it gives, indeed, but a melancholy view, being a vast tract of barren and desolate lands...'

We were heading for some of this desolate landscape via Badgworthy Water. The valley changes character several times, gradually becoming wilder and lonelier. First we passed through gentle meadows between Malmsmead and Cloud Farm. Here a variety of deciduous trees lined the river. From Cloud Farm, the valley narrows and the sides are steeper and in early summer the banks of the river are dense with rhododendron blossom.

In 1969 a memorial stone to R.D. Blackmore was placed beside the path. Which of the isolated little combes branching off from Badgworthy was the actual Doone Valley, is open to dispute, but it is generally identified as either Hoccombe or Lank Combe.

Next we came to Badgworthy Wood, with its oddly contorted oak trees and carpeted with yellow cow wheat flowers. At the far end of the oak wood was a foot bridge and the tributary of Lank Combe. Along this stretch of the river there were many slender, bright blue damsel flies, hovering above the water to catch insects.

Illustrated by: Nigel Mason

At the junction with Hoccombe Combe, there are mounds covered with bracken and grass - the remains of a Medieval village. A little further on, two red deer appeared on the horizon, on the opposite side of the river. One stag walked down the hill towards us and then disappeared in Clannacombe conifer plantation. The other continued along the top of the ridge before eventually dipping out of sight.

Between Badgworthy Hill and Tom's Hill Barrows we crossed another foot bridge, and in doing so passed from Devon into Somerset, for Badgworthy Water forms the county boundary. As we started the climb up Great Tom's Hill, with its rocky outcrops, we looked back and saw movement and colour in one of the bushes. It was a male redstart - a stunning summer visitor. It has a slate blue-grey crown and back, rusty red tail and rump, orange breast, black cheeks and throat and a white forehead. Its bobbing habit and constantly flickering tail drew our attention to this handsome woodland bird. At the top of the hill we turned northwards over the open moor. On the rough grassland below South Common, we encountered ten red deer hinds and their calves lying in the sun. They stood up warily, started to move off, but soon began grazing. [A red deer hind has a single calf in early summer.]

We finally emerged in the lane beside Oare Church with its Georgian box pews [the squire's having seats on three sides], 12th Century font and 15th Century wagon type roof in the nave and inner chancel. There is a piscina in the shape of a head held by two hands [believed to be Saint Decumen]. R.D. Blackmore's grandfather was rector of Oare for 33 years from 1809. During the latter part of this time, Blackmore was a school boy at Blundell's and spent holidays in the area he was to help make so famous.

From the church it is a short walk back to Malmsmead along the lane above Oare Water.

Sue H



Summer gone, autumn here and winter approaching, the future of the Youth Club 'springs' to mind. For 18 months now, Alf [Althea] Broadhead of Bowden Farm and Robin Pickering of Castle Hill, have shared the organisation and supervision load. They've done remarkably well, keeping alive the only regular activity provided specifically for the teenage youth of the village. However, Robin is now finding it hard to generate the time needed, and Alf, though very eager to continue, has her new baby demanding her time and attention. We owe these two young parents a sincere 'thank you' for everything they have done, but the best way of thanking them would be for more adults to come forward to help with the Youth Club NOW! This would relieve the load and ensure that the Club continues, if only once a week, on Wednesday evenings, 6.30 to 9.30 p.m.

It would be appreciated if anyone who is interested or who feels they might be able to help out in some way could leave their name at the Post Office for passing on to Alf, or if you would like to find out more about the Club, please go along to any Wednesday evening [not 16th October], Manor Hall, 6.30 p.m. - the sooner, the better!

Alan Rowlands [PMG]


SUMMER 1976...

... and we found ourselves holidaying in this beautiful part of 'God's Country'. Like so many, we immediately fell in love with Berrynarbor, went back to our home in Berkshire, sold up and moved down in the September. Here we are now, twenty years later retiring from 'The Lodge'. During these happy and memorable years we have been fortunate enough to welcome countless visitors and friends to relax and recharge their batteries! Now it is our turn to recharge ours!! We move out on the 26th September, but hopefully not far away, although at the time of writing we have yet to find a suitable property.

The new owners are John and Joyce Mabin who, together with their son, Tim, are moving back to North Devon after being in Germany for many years.

We wish them every happiness and good luck in their new life.

Through our village Chronicle, we should like to say a big THANK YOU for the love, friendship and support given to us. God bless you all.

Doreen and Alan Prater

P.S. £140, to be sent to the Children's Hospice, was raised at the Garage Sale.



I was astonished and appalled to read in the North Devon Journal this week [12th September] that Braunton Burrows has lost its thirty year status as a national nature reserve! As the future of the Burrows and its wildlife are in jeopardy, I wondered whether any publicity could be given to the dilemma.

As from last Thursday, the programme of conservation management ceased - an abrupt and total withdrawal. It seems so drastic. It is this work which has been keeping the scrub and grass in check and allowed the 400 plus different species of flowering plants - some of them rare - to flourish.

When I've heard, so often, of people losing some precious local piece of open space, interesting and important to them but not of national significance, I've felt very sorry for them, but relieved that we had our wonderful burrows and marsh and moors.

I've realised that designating an area a 'site of special scientific importance' does not necessarily make it immune from development unfortunately, but because the Burrows has such a rich flora and fauna, has an international reputation and is recognised by UNESCO, I naively thought it was sacrosanct.

If, like the writer, you feel strongly about the loss of this nature reserve, please write to English Nature [Chairman Lord Cranbrook] or add your voice of protest to that of our local M.P., Nick Harvey.



Yellow the bracken
Golden the sheaves,
Rosy the apples,
Crimson the leaves;
Mist on the hillside,
Clouds grey and white.
Autumn, good morning!
Summer, good night!

Florence Hoatson

Illustrated by: Paul Swailes




From the Chairman, Ilfracombe College Board of Governors

On behalf of all the Governors, past and present, who have had the privilege of working alongside Alan Bacon for the furtherance and betterment of Ilfracombe College, I thank him for the 14 years of his life devoted to the welfare of our children, and wish him every success in his appointment as Area Education Officer for North Devon. To Anne, too, thanks are due for her steadfast support of Alan at all times.

Thanks and presentations were made to Alan and Anne Bacon at the College Presentation Evening on Friday, 20th September, at the Pavilion Theatre, Ilfracombe. Students received awards for their academic and sporting achievements and Nicola Richards, of East Hagginton, received a Special Merit Award for her commitment and success in Athletics, at which she has represented the College, North Devon and Devon.




Once again a full programme has been arranged commencing in October and continuing through to April. Wine Tasting meetings are held monthly at the Manor Hall on the third Wednesday of each month 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. in April, the retiring committee was re-elected 'en bloc', and both membership fees and monthly contributions of £3.00 remain unchanged.

We hope to welcome new members at our first meeting on Wednesday, 16th October, when Threshers Wines will be giving a presentation. Anyone interested should contact either the Chairman, Alex Parke [883758] or Secretary, Tony Summers [883600] for information.

Tom Bartlett - Publicity Officer [883408]

Programme 1996-1997

  • 16th October - Wine Presentation by - Threshers
  • 20th November - 'Encore de la FRANCE' - Tony Summers
  • 11th December [2nd Wed.] - Wines for Christmas - Andy Hodge
  • 15th January - Members Favourite Wines - All Members
  • 19th February - "Blind Tastings" - Jan and Mike
  • 19th March - Wine Presentation by - Jolly's
  • 16th April - AGM & Germany Revisited - Tom Bartlett
  • 21st May - Summer Choices - Alan Rowlands



Ilfracombe & District

Charity No. 267436

You may have seen in the Press that Age Concern, Ilfracombe & District, has been given an opportunity to extend its services into outlying communities and villages, made possible by a grant by the National Lottery Charities Board.

Lack of money has, until now, prevented us from visiting outlying areas. The Lottery funds will enable us to rectify this, and we hope to arrange meetings in local halls and explain the services we offer.

'Well, what does Age Concern Do?" Our aim is to visit outlying villages, supply information about ourselves and, hopefully, enrol members and volunteers, with a view to the latter liaising with Ilfracombe to enable members to receive any information and advice required. "We may not know the answer to your problem, but we can usually find someone who does!"

It is hoped that a meeting to discuss Age Concern's offer of help in our village can be arranged in the near future. Details will be given in the Newsletter. If you are interested in the work of Age Concern or becoming a volunteer and would like more information, please ring Ilfracombe 862131.



1stW.I. Meeting: Meet Mr. Punch - Steve Walker
2ndMobile Library in Village from 11.55 a.m.
3rdWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
4thand 5th Decoration of St. Peter's for Harvest Thanksgiving
6thSt. Peter's: Harvest Thanksgiving - 8.00 a.m. Communion,
Family Communion 10.30 a.m.
U.R.C. Winter Services begin, 3.00 .m.
7thBadminton Club, 7.30 p.m., Manor Hall
8thParish Council Meeting, 7.30 p.m., Manor Hall
9thSt. Peter's: Harvest Evensong and Supper, 6.30 p.m.
10thU3A Luncheon. Whist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
12th'Best Kept Village' Coffee Evening, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
14thBadminton Club, 7.30 p.m., Manor Hall
16thMobile Library in Village from 11.55 a.m.
Wine Circle: Manor Hall, 8.00 p.m. £3.00 - Wine Presentation by Threshers
17thW.I. Party for Ilfracombe Disabled Association.
Whist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
18thIlfracombe College and Primary School Non-Pupil Day
20thSt. Peter's: Family Service
21stto Friday, 25th October: Half-term.
Badminton Club, 7.30 p.m. Manor Hall
24thWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
28thBadminton Club, 7.30 p.m., Manor Hall
29th'Local History on Screen' - Tom Bartlett. Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
30thMobile Library in Village from 11.55 a.m.
31stWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
4thBadminton Club 7.30 p.m. Manor Hall
5thW.I. Meeting: Annual General Meeting.
Guy Fawkes Day
7thWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
St. Peter's: Coffee Morning, Manor Hall, 10.30 a.m.
10thRemembrance Sunday: Holy Communion 8.00 a.m.
Remembrance Service 10.30 a.m.
13thMobile Library in Village from 11.55 a.m.
14thU3A Luncheon. Whist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
18thBadminton Club, 7.30 p.m., Manor Hall
20thWine Circle, Manor Hall, 8.00 p.m. £3.00: 'Encore de la France' Tony Summers
21stWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
25thBadminton Club, 7.30 p.m., Manor Hall
27thMobile Library in Village from 11.55 a.m.
28thWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
29th'Christmas Workshop' - Jennifer Dellow: Manor Hall, 2.00 to 5.00 p.m. £3.00
2ndBadminton Club, 7.30 p.m., Manor Hall
5thWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
7thU.R.C. Christmas Coffee Morning, Manor Hall, 10.30 a.m. to 12.00 noon