Edition 47 - April 1997

Artwork by: Debbie Cook


Hares are larger and faster than rabbits, but the main difference is in their breeding habits - rabbits give birth to blind, naked young in burrows, whilst the hare gives birth above ground, in open fields and in a grassy depression called a 'form'. The young, or leverets, are sighted and well-furred and may be born any time between January and November.

The courtship of hares involves spectacular leaping, chasing and boxing and they are usually shy and quite wild in March, their rutting season, hence hare-brained, meaning giddy and foolhardy, and the expression 'mad as a March hare'.

"The March Hare will be much more interesting, and perhaps, as this is May, it won't be raving mad - at least not so mad as it was in March. "

Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll

The hare is a bold swimmer and a magnificent runner ['to kiss the hare's foot' - to be late for anything], unsurpassed for its power to tum and double quickly. Defeated by the tortoise in Aesop's fable, "In real life, of course, it is the hare who wins. Every time. It is my contention that Aesop was writing for the tortoise market .... hare's have no time to read. They are too busy winning the game." [Anita Brookner (1938-) - Hotel du Lac]

Yellowish brown above with a white under-body, the hare has long ears with black tips, and a black and white tail. Its food consists of bark, grain and other vegetation; often a pest to farmers, they are extremely destructive to growing crops. The hare is a solitary creature, active at night.

It is thought to be unlucky for a hare to cross your path because witches were said to transform themselves into hares.

The Bells of Heaven - Ralph Hodgson [1871-1962]

'Twould ring the bells of Heaven
The wildest peal for years,
If Parson lost his senses
And people came to theirs,
And he and they together
Knelt down with angry prayers
For tamed and shabby tigers
And dancing dogs and bears,
And wretched, blind, pit ponies,
And little hunted hares.




The first item on the itinerary for the 4th February was to extend a warm welcome to new member, Dawn Jameson. Then, with no luggage required but a full compliment of passengers, we enjoyed travelling once again with our Kath. Our destinations this time, U.S.A. and Canada, via her wonderful slides. The Grand Canyon - breathtaking and her patience with wild life provided us with some excellent close-ups. All-in-all, a fantastic trip, as echoed by Rosemary Gaydon on behalf of everyone.

A well-attended meeting on the 4th March welcomed four new members, Josie and Joan Bozier, Vera Perry and Kath Waller, as well as a visitor from Kentisbury W.I. Harry Clement [retired Chief Superintendent, Scotland Yard], the Guest Speaker, then held everyone's interest with the basis of his new book, "No Justice for the Poor", a true West Country story about the suspicious death of two little girls in 1862. The book also contains three other true stories and several members purchased copies, which Mr. Clement signed, a keep-sake of a very interesting afternoon. Mr. Clement is also a keen supporter of the Children's Hospice, who gain from his many talks

As it was the Institute's Birthday - and Ruth Gillard was telling me about the first W.I. meeting 35 years ago, so it was an extra special occasion for her - there was cake for tea and many thanks to Maggie Bland for the lovely fruit cake and congratulations to Edna Barnes for winning the competition for iced cakes.

Our next meeting will be on the 1st April when Margaret Kelland hopes to be with us to talk about Cookery Past and Present.

Another date for everyone's diary: Saturday, 14th June, we shall be holding a Coffee Morning in aid of the Hospice at the Manor Hall. Please come.

Wishing one and all a Happy Easter.

Vi Kingdon - President

Easter - a time for rejoicing,
For thinking of God above,
So let us give thanks for the blessings
Of His deep and abiding love.





It is sad to report that Lionel Adams of Lower Trayne died suddenly on the 14th February. Our thoughts are with his wife, Dot and family.


The village was saddened to learn that after his long and very courageous battle, Alan died at home on Sunday, 16th February.

Everyone in the village has been inspired not only by Alan's determination to live life to the full and never give in, but also by the calm and cheerful way Doreen has coped. Our thoughts are with her, Andrew, Richard and Judith and their families.

May the roads rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the hollow of his hand.

Irish Blessing

My family join me in thanking all our friends for their letters and cards. These messages of condolence have been overwhelming and to know how much Alan was admired and loved has sustained us over this very sad time.

A big thank you, too, to all the folks who attended Alan's funeral. It was a lovely service and we are grateful to the Rector, Keith, for his tribute Alan would have loved it!

To date a total of £1,200 has been received for the North Devon Hospice Care Trust. Thank you all for your donations. It is a very worthwhile cause and Alan and I were supported during the last few months by one of the nurses.

I have now to get used to being on my own but with a loving family and friends around I shall not be lonely. I am just sad that Alan was not able to be with me longer to enjoy 'Cherry Hinton' and retirement.

Doreen Prater



Wesley Manse
Castle Street
Combe Martin

March 1997

Dear Friends,

Recently, while driving to an appointment, I was listening to the car radio. The programme had already started so I'm not sure of the title, nor did I catch the name of the man who was talking, but what he said caught my attention. He said he belonged to the 'Iorta Tribe'.

Immediately I thought that perhaps I had mis-heard, or misunderstood his accent, and that he meant the 'Aorta tribe', possibly a group of people who had had major heart surgery. But no, he repeated again that he belonged to the 'Iorta Tribe'. It soon transpired that I, too, belong to the same tribe, because what he was saying was that he often says to himself, 'I ought to do this', or 'I ought to do that' but never does.

Isn't it sad that we often have great ideals, good intentions, good motives but never get round to putting them into action.

The next time we think 'I ought to visit Mr. . . . in hospital', or 'I ought to help the harassed young mum next door', perhaps we will actually do it!

Jesus said, "As much as you did it to the least of these my brothers and sisters you did it to me. " [Matthew 25 v. 40]

May God bless you in his service,

Peter Ellis
Pastor, Methodist Church




Devon and Cornwall Police statistics reveal that elderly citizens living alone who have become victims of a burglary are possibly at greater risk of further unwelcome visitors than any other members of our society.

In an attempt to reduce this risk, Devon and Cornwall Police introduced a scheme in Barnstaple whereby elderly and vulnerable citizens living alone, and who are in receipt of income support or any other benefit, can request a visit from a specialist who will survey the premises and advise whether additional security measures are required.

Elderly citizens who have experienced a break-in and who meet the conditions regarding benefit payments, may receive the survey, equipment and installation, free of charge. This scheme has been in operation in Barnstaple for more than a year and has proved very successful.

Police Chief Superintendent, Bob Stone, has agreed that this scheme can now be extended, and any resident of Berrynarbor meeting the criteria who requires advice should contact:

Crime Prevention Officer - Dectective Constable John Knowles, Tel: 335233

This scheme, administered by Devon and Cornwall Police, is funded by local Business and Commerce and is code-named 'Peace of Mind' . Your Parish Councillors and Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinators have been briefed by Devon and Cornwall Police regarding the scheme.

Ray Ludlow


Berrynarbor Manor Hall, Wednesdays, 10.30 to 11.30 a.m.
Dates: 16th and 23rd April, 7th, 14th and 21st May
Cost: 5 weeks £10.00 or £2.25 per session
Further details may be obtained from Ilfracombe College, Tel: 864171


Manor Hall, Saturday, 26th April, 2.30 p.m.

Gift Stall + Clothes + Books + Bric-a-Brac + Household Items + Shoes, etc.
Raffle and Refreshments

Proceeds to Animal Charities
Admission: 10p


with Betty Blackmore

WEDNESDAYS, 7.45 to 8.45 p.m. and 8.45 to 9.45 p.m.
Carousel Bar, Pavilion Theatre

THURSDAYS, 3.00 to 4.00 p.m.
Emmanuel Church, Wilder Road, Ilfracombe

£2.00 per session



We seem to have been keeping the health service in business these last couple of months, but it is good to know that all our 'patients' are doing well and on the road to full recovery. Our best wishes to Reg Gosling, Toby Wood, Les Levey, Winnie Barten, Val Morris and Preb. Eppingstone.

Commiserations to Pam Parke who fell while exercising Jake and fractured her left wrist [we reported her breaking her right wrist in one of the early editions of the Newsletter!]. Pam would like to thank the volunteer chauffeurs who have come to her assistance.

At the time of going to print, Celia Draper is due to join the ranks of 'operatees' - we wish her well and hope to see her around and about very soon.



Many thanks for the cards, the phone calls keeping in touch with us whilst Toby was in hospital. It did help to know so many friends were thinking about us and wishing Toby well.

Our many thanks

Joan, Toby and Family

My thanks to everyone for your messages, cards, flowers and best wishes following my recent operation - they were all very much appreciated. I am around and about and making good progress. Thank you.


Since my return from hospital I have been assured of prayers, received get-well cards, many presents and had visitors almost every day. I am most grateful. I see the surgeon on the 10th March, and shall ask for permission to go back to work - I look forward to serving the Parish again. Allow me to use this opportunity to remind you that neither the Rector nor I can visit you in hospital or at home, which we would very much like to do, unless you ask a friend or relation to tell us. On admission to hospital, you should put a tick against the question: Do you wish a Priest or Minister to visit you.


Preb. Epp.

P.S. Permission granted!


Artwork: Alvary Scott


Mothering Sunday, 9th March

We enjoyed a lovely service with the Sunday School on Mothering Sunday. The children read special prayers and poems and eagerly carried bunches of daffodils round the congregation. They had coloured cards for their mothers, and the Rector also distributed cards to all the ladies, who went home with their hands full!

Our next Family Service will be back to the third Sunday of the month, 20th April and 18th May, at 10.30 a.m.

Details for Easter were given in the last Newsletter, but to recap:

  • Good Friday, 2.00 to 3.00 p.m. Hour of quiet prayer, readings and hymns.
  • Easter Day, 10.30 a.m. Sung Eucharist
  • Friday and Saturday, 28th and 29th March - decoration of the Church for Easter.

DON'T FORGET - British Summer Time begins at 3.00 a.m. on Easter Sunday when the clocks go forward an hour.

The P.C.C. will be holding a Coffee Morning in aid of Church Funds on Thursday, 1st May, in the Manor Hall. There will be a raffle, cake stall and bring-and-buy stall. Any gifts will be gratefully received and please come along and support us on the day.

Christian Aid Week is from 11th to 17th May this year. Again there will be no house-to-house collection around the village, but envelopes will be available at the back of the church. There will be another Coffee Morning in the Manor Hall on Saturday, 17th May, and Christians Together will be holding various events in Combe Martin throughout the week.

Flower Festival - arrangements for a Flower Festival to be held in the church during the last week-end in July are now well in hand. The theme will be Wedding Anniversaries and Betty Davis will be holding a meeting for those taking part in the church on Friday, 6th June, at 2.30 p.m. Please contact her as soon as possible if you would like to help and have not volunteered already.

Mary Tucker


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


To our Primary School

May I, as an ex-Govenor of Berrynarbor Primary School offer my congratulations, and I am sure those of all the village, to the Headmaster, Staff, Parents and Pupils of the school on being placed 8th in the National School League and the highest placed school in the region.

I mention parents as there has always been a very supportive Parent-Teacher Association which must be very encouraging for the Headmaster and Staff and adds to the pride we villagers must feel in hearing our school so favourably named, both in the press and on the media.

As one who began her education of Berrynarbor School, may I say thank you to David Chaplin for the continued care and quality of teaching given to our young people.

Brenda Layton

Best wishes to Jack and Joyce Elliott of Goosewell, on the birth of their grand-daughter, Kiera, on the 5th February, 1997, weighing in at 7 lbs 2 oz., a daughter for their son Steve and his wife, Krista.

Congratulations to you all.

Shaun and Catherine

Maureen and Keith are extremely happy to announce the Engagement of their eldest son, Shaun, to Catherine, daughter of the Rev. Alan and Ann Jones of Sudbury, Suffolk, A lovely home-coming surprise after visiting Australia to celebrate Maureen's father's forthcoming 90th birthday.

Jeremy and Lee-Ann

Margaret and Steve King are delighted to announce the Engagement of their youngest son, Jeremy, to Lee-Ann Blevins of St. Albans, originally from South Africa.

Berrynarbor Youth Club

The organisation and effort of the Youth Club's recent 24-hour sponsored event is to be congratulated.

Throughout the event, the young people involved [which were many] participated with commitment and the staff, Alf Gilbertson, Natalie Denzey, Sheena and Marcus Bowden, gave encouragement, support and the much needed supply of refreshments - particularly at 2.00 a.m.!! Well done to you all.

Some Youth Club Members left Standing at 12.00 p.m. on Sunday!


Pictured, L to R: Robert, Tom H. , Mike, Scott, Tom L. Matt, Ed, Jeff, Tracey

First off on the 24 hours were Chris Wassall and Jeff Bowden, and they were followed during the afternoon and evening by Katie Gubb, Alison Jackson, Lucy Roberts, Mark Worth and Charlie Morgan. The 'Overnighters': were Matt, Jeff and Ed Bowden, Nick and Chris Wassall, Lloyd Gove, Mike Jackson, Tom Lerwill, Robert Watkins, Sam Hunter, Tracey Evans, Tom Hassell and Kris Jones. All played very well, with endurance sessions from Kris Jones - 3 hrs 10 mins, and Tom Hassell - 4 hrs 5 mins.

Matt Bowden was our youngest player, at 10, and stayed up all through the night. Jeff Bowden was the only stalwart who remained throughout the 24 hours, during which time he played for a total of 10 hours. Scott Smallridge, due to a self-inflicted badly bruised leg, managed to play for a short while as long as he didn't move too much!

Many thanks to Marcus and Sheena Bowden, Natalie Denzey and Ann Davies who gave up some, or all, of their time to help supervise the event. Thanks also to the Post Office for their help and to everyone for sponsoring the Youth Club Members, and last of all the members themselves for doing it! So far, with more still to come, the amount collected is £280.

Alf Gilbertson - Youth Club Leader

P S. We hope to arrange a 24 hour sponsored 'something' again next year - any ideas?




We would like to thank all those people who have supported us in our recent fund-raising events. By the time the Newsletter goes out, we hope to have had a very successful Easter Coffee Morning with an Egg and Bonnet decorating competition.

Please look out for the many more future events that we have planned.

On Sunday, 13th April, from 12.00 noon to 3.00 p.m. we are holding a Table Top Sale in the Manor Hall. At £3.00 per table, it will be a great chance to sell any unwanted bric-a-brac or clothes, etc., that have been lying around for ages! We shall also have refreshments, a raffle and a cake stall. Any donations for the Pre-School table would be much appreciated.

We are planning a Summer Play Scheme during the school summer holidays, for 3 to 10 year olds. Each session will be from 9.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m., Monday to Friday, and the price will be £4.00 per session, or £3.00 if all 5 mornings are booked. Payment should be made in advance for the week on Monday. We aim to offer a range of suitable games and activities to keep children amused during those long, summer mornings! Anyone interested should contact the Pre-School or Karen on 883093 or 862504.

We currently have vacancies for 3 to 5 year olds at the Pre-School. We are a member of the Nursery Education Voucher scheme newly introduced for April 1997. Anyone wishing to take up a place is welcome to come and take a look around at any time [Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday mornings] or ring Karen on the above numbers.




The School has had a very successful term. Firstly, many people attended the launch of our partnership with the Pre-School to provide facilities for the Under 5's in the village. Hard work by the School and the Pre-School staff led to a children's Teddy Bear Picnic in the Manor Hall to celebrate the tremendous amount of planning and work which has been completed so far. We are in a strong position to go forward and build on the excellent links which already exist to provide high quality for very young children in Berrynarbor.

We were all delighted to receive the news that the School had done so very well in the national results of 11 year olds in English, Mathematics and Science. For us to have been listed as 1st in Devon and equal 8th in the country is certainly a tribute to the hard work of all the staff and children, and the wonderful support we get from parents and the village as a whole. These 'League Tables' represent just part of the School's work, albeit a very important part, and it is also important to recognise all the other qualities of the School, as highlighted in our recent Ofsted Report. Under the Government's current rules, our School will not be appearing in the league tables again for 2 or 3 years, as we shall not have enough 11 year olds to qualify for inclusion [a minimum of 10 is required].

The School also held a successful and well-attended Open Evening when parents and visitors had the chance to look at displays of work linked to this term's project on homes and buildings. Particular focus was made on Science and Technology and showed the types of work covered in each class.

Several of the older children took part in the Primary Schools Swimming Gala at Ilfracombe and enjoyed taking part in competition with other local primary schools.

Thank you to everyone for the continued support of the School - it is much appreciated.

Illustration by: Paul Swailes



It's spring again in England
This country of my birth
Tiny shoots appearing
Pushing through the earth
This fertile land becomes alive
As winter frosts recede
Trees begin to blossom
Farmers sow their seed
Throughout the land this temperate clime
Pervades each dale and hill
The thirsty earth absorbs the gentle rain
And drinks it's fill
'Tis April and the sun is warm
Interspersed with showers
Soon a wealth of colours bloom
When maytime shows her flowers
It's springtime in this lovely land
The country of my birth
A land of mists and gentle rain
Of flowers profuse there is no death
There's nowhere in this wide wide world
That I would rather be
Than in my English homeland
With my English cup of tea

Bettina Brown
Combe Martin



The Parish Council would like some feed-back on how the parishioners of Berrynarbor wish to celebrate the New Year 2000. Do you want a community effort or shall you make your own private arrangements?

If a community project is to be arranged, then planning and fund raising will need to be put in hand soon. I personally think we owe it to the children to make this a very memorable occasion.

Thanks to Alan and Nora, a 'Suggestion Box' will be placed in the Post Office. You can also write to the Clerk, John Vince, at Holly Lodge, Home Park Road, Ilfracombe, or pass messages on through your Parish Councillors.

Lorna Bowden



It was suggested that I write about Berrynarbor School when I was a pupil and as I have started to write, I realise what a contrast there is between 'then' and todays schooling. I began school in September 1948, following in the footsteps of my mother and grandfather. The numbers then were less, between 40 and 50, and all the time I was there, only two of the classrooms were used - the Infants and the Top Class, the middle room was used as a dining room.

The rooms were heated with large black stoves, surrounded by a large fire guard and fed with coke; you roasted if you sat near and were cold at the other side of the room. Winters seemed colder then, we were often sent home In the spring term because it snowed and there would be concern about the bus getting up to Berrydown.

Lunches were sent up each day from the kitchens of the Secondary Modem school in Combe Martin [now Combe Martin Primary School]. I think everyone, unless they lived in the village and went home, had school lunch. Packed lunches were a thing of the future. A lot of food was still on ration so there was no popping into the shop for sweets, crisps and fizzy drinks! I think I was about 10 when sweets finally came off ration and I was allowed to buy whatever sweets I wanted, including chewing gum! On Monday mornings we always paid for our lunches for the week, about 12 1/2p, and Monday was also 'Savings' day, when we all brought our sixpences, 2 1/2p, to buy National Savings stamps. When we were in the top class, we were allowed, on a rota basis, to go across the road to the Post Offce to buy the stamps. One of my clearest memories is going to the Post Office one morning to be told that the King had died and going back to school very upset. On the day of his funeral, the school was closed and we listened on the radio - no television then.

When I started Miss Veall was the Headmistress and when she retired Mrs. Cowperthwaite became head. Miss Richards taught the infant class. Our teachers taught us everything - we had no teachers coming in for music, sport, etc. Our sports lessons were very limited compared with today. The Rector came once a week or so and we went to church for Harvest Festival, Ascension Day, Christmas and other occasions. There was always a big Parish children's Christmas Party in the Manor Hall, for everyone from babies to about 14, which we all greatly enjoyed. This continued until the early '70's, as I took my daughter when she was pre-school age.

The Coronation was another highlight of those years and we spent a lot of time preparing. My grandfather bought a television and about 20 of us sat around watching for the first time. There was also one in the Manor Hall and the village was bedecked with flags and bunting and in the afternoon of Coronation Day, there were sports, games and a tea, and a souvenir mug for every child.

In the top class we still had china inkwells, and we took it in turn to be Ink Monitor. Of course, when I started we had the outside toilets with wooden bench seats, but before I finished they had been up-graded. There were three playgrounds - boys, girls and the big yard, which at first we only used in the summer as it was grass, with plenty of old apple trees to climb, dens to make and regular grass fights when the grass was cut. During the summer term we also used to go on Nature Walks around the village, collecting various flowers, etc. School outings were a rarity, but towards the end of my time at school, we had a visit to Ilfracombe Zoo.

Although we did not have some of the material things today's children take as a matter of course, they were happy days and we had the freedom to wander wherever we wished in safety, and I think we all left that school able to read, write and do mental arithmetic to a set standard. Some of my fellow pupils still live in the village and surrounding area, so how about filling in the bits I have forgotten!

Jill Sidebottom


Provided by the Berrynarbor Old Scholar's Association
for the children of the Parish of Berrynarbor and East Down


Starting top left:

? Chalmers: Bill Huxtable: Ken Richards: Stan Huxtable: Graham Songhurst: Bill Smith: ? : ? Hill: ? : Wilfred Toms: Robin Harding: Garry Huxtable :Richard Armstead: Ivan Huxtable: ? : ? : ? : Derek Newton: ? : ? : Phillip Bowden: ? : Gordon Stanbury: Francis Thorn: Angela Brown: ? : Brian Irwin: Sheila Jewell: Sybil Hockridge: Shirley Charley: Shirley Smallridge: Julie and Paul Bowden: Joan Newton: Yvonne Richards: ? : ? : Sheila Buchan: Larry White: Ian Cook: ? Eileen Stanbury: Marlene Bray: June Greenaway: Michael Warburton: Linda Richards: ? : Jill Sidebottom: Cheryl Layton: John Sidebottom: Raymond Thorne: Michael Mitcham: ? : Maureen Dummet : Mrs. Yeo: ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : Betty Greenaway: Raymond Toms: ? : Linda Thorn: ? : ? : ? : ? : Sonia Stoddart: ? : ? : ? : John Sledmar: ? : Lorraine Thomas: ? : ? : ? : ? : ? :

Photograph and Names supplied by: Lorna Bowden

Can anyone help fill in the gaps?



After a busy first term, I am collecting my thoughts on my first few months in North Devon.

The College is a friendly and thriving institution, which lies at the heart of the local community. I am greatly impressed by the individual achievements of students in a wide range of activities. These include outstanding academic success in the U.K. Mathematical Challenge; fine performances in sport and considerable talent in the creative and performing arts. There is much to build on for the future.

It has been a pleasure to meet members of the wider community outside the College. My impression is that of a warm and caring community which is actively seeking to promote prosperity and quality of life. At a meeting of the Civic Society in Ilfracombe, many views were expressed in a lively debate on future development in the town, but above all I was struck by the clear sense of pride and commitment to the area.

I am beginning to find my way around North Devon. After moving from London, I worked in Northumberland and Cumbria. They are beautiful parts of the country, and I am fortunate to have moved to an area that has just as much to offer. The coastal scenery is breathtaking and there is much to explore.

My wife, Hilary, and our three children, Andrew [11], James [8] and Stuart [6], are still living in our home in Cumbria - they will join me later in the year. All the family are excited at the prospect of moving to North Devon.

Finally, I must offer my thanks to all those who have given me such a warm welcome, especially colleagues, students and parents. It is much appreciated.

David Humphries - Principal, Ilfracombe College




Berrynarbor has certainly been in the news of late - the Western Morning News, who put us into print and picture, and we are all proud of our Best Kept Village status and our Britain in Bloom Award. Not only do we live in a beautiful village surrounded by spectacular and unspoilt scenery, we live in a caring, warm and friendly community.

We can boast a primary school that is the best in the County [and 8th in the country]; a fine Parish Church, some parts of which date back to Norman times; and amongst many other places of interest, two local hostelries, one dating back to 1675, which both serve excellent food! But, unlike many villages that have suffered under todays strict regulations and climate of closure, we can boast an excellent village shop and post office - a daily focal point of the village.

To retain a post office, a certain level of business must be, guaranteed, measured by the value of each of the many and varied services provided by Post Office Counters.

As well as the normal postal services of selling stamps, processing parcels and registering letters, there are the services of paying utility bills for gas, water, electricity and telephone, and other payments which can be lightened by the regular purchase of stamps, these include motor vehicle and television licences . You can also pay your mail order catalogues statements, Council Tax, National Insurance and even Income Tax through the Post Office and, of course, cash your Pension or other Income Benefit. If you are going on holiday, EIII Certificates, travel insurance and money exchange can all be arranged for you. Old and young alike can manage their money by opening a current account at Giro Bank, or save with National Savings, paying in and taking out locally as you require!

Other services include bus passes, fishing licences, council health stamps and flowers by post, so if you are not already using some, or all, of these facilities the Post Office offers, give a thought to doing so in future - keep the transaction level up!

Whilst doing business over the Post Office counter with Alan, our own Postman Pat, take a look around and discover the many items provided at Nora's counter! A full range of groceries, meat, fruit and vegetables, toiletries and household items are always available. Freshly baked bread, milk and cream are delivered daily each morning. Daily papers and an extensive range of magazines and periodicals are on sale, or you can have them delivered in time to read with your breakfast. There is a good selection of wines in the Off Licence section, a comprehensive range of cards for all occasions as well as small gift items and chocolates. You can buy and have your films developed and send your linen and dry cleaning to the laundry. What more could you ask? Well, if you don't see what you are looking for, just ask - it'll be there the next time you look! So -


and they deliver your Newsletter too!



The maiden was chained to the rock. The dragon, breathing fire and poisonous gas, scrunched nearer, his jaws opening like a cave, his fearful teeth putrid. St. George, Tribune of the Emperor Diocletian, proven in battle, totally converted Christian, drew his sword with left, mailed hand, and the cross at the handle brilliantly reflected the sun. In his right hand was his trusted lance. "Flee, or die," cried the maiden. "I will save," called St. George, "both you and the city." He cantered and galloped and his lance pierced the dragon's jaw. They dragged the beast to the city. The king offered great reward, but St. George begged him to believe in the Lord and to be baptised. The king and fifteen thousand of his men, and their wives and children, were baptised that day. The king pledged himself to feed the poor, support the priests and build churches for the faithful

To start the account again - the dragon has poisoned the air of the city so that no one could get near, it had taken for food every sheep and oxen and the people were feeding it their own children, chosen by lot and the lot had fallen on the princess. As far as St. George was concerned, he was rich and brave and sought to protect his fellow Christians, but Diocletian would have none of it and St. George was on his way to martyrdom - he was tortured and killed, but as so often, the blood of the saints was seed of the Church. The body was returned to Lydda, his native town. The Crusaders were greatly inspired by the account of his love of the poor to whom he had distributed all his wealth before surrendering to the Emperor, and by the account of his battle against the dragon, which spoke to them of the battle between St. Michael and the devil. England chose him for Patron Saint, as did soldiers and sailors and the City of Genoa. The Church honours his memory on the 23rd April.

Preb. Epp.

Paola Uccello [c. 1397-1475] Italian painter, active in Florence and celebrated use of perspective. His works include St.George and the Dragon [c1460], now in the National Gallery in London. His most famous work is a series of 3 paintings of the Battle of Romano [c1455] painted for the Medici Family.


Saint George and the Dragon

by Paolo Uccello, about 1397 - 1475
Date made, about 1470, Oil on canvas
Bought, 1857
Inventory number NG6294

© The National Gallery, London
Licenced under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Raphael [1483-1520] Italian painter and architect. From 1504 to 1508, Raphael lived mainly in Florence where his work became more sophisticated under the influence of Leonardo and Michaelangelo. In 1508 Pope Julius II called him to Rome where he remained until his premature death at the age of 37.

Following the success of his prestigious papal commission the fresco decoration of a series of rooms in the Vatican, Raphael was in such demand that he was probably aided by a team of assistants.


Saint George and the Dragon

Raphael, c 1506
Medium, oil on panel
Credit line, Andrew W. Mellon Collection
Accession Number 1937.1.26

© National Gallery of Art, Washington
Licenced under CCO 1.0 UNIVERSAL


Artwork: Paul Swailes


The staging was delivered on time and many of you will have by now seen it in use at the B.B.C's performances on the 14th and 15th March. We are hoping to leave it erected permanently so that it is available for everyone to use but you will appreciate that we have storage problems to overcome with the new chairs, etc. We now have a permanent 'theatrical' licence. If you are planning this type of event, we can obtain a one-off licence to cover your performance but a permanent licence Would be too expensive. The seating plan is displayed on the noticeboard in the Hall. Please keep to the plan and the conditions listed at the bottom to ensure that we have no problems with the Authorities.

Regular users will be pleased to know that there will be no increase in the charges for hiring the Hall this year. However, the Treasurer has informed us that budget forecasts indicate than an increase will be necessary in 1998!

Sometimes hirers of the Hall take the tablecloths, teacloths away to wash them. We have had the situation where they have not been retumed for some weeks and other organisations have found that there are no cloths available for their events. PLEASE DO NOT REMOVE ANY CLOTHS FROM THE HALL! Arrangements were made some time ago for all cloths to be washed when necessary and a suitable container should soon be available in the kitchen into which those cloths which need washing can be placed.

The Berry Revels will be held on Tuesday, 5th August, this year. Please come and support us as the success of this event provides the cash to purchase new equipment, etc. Make a note in your diary, now.

The Management Committee's A.G.M. will be held in the Hall on Tuesday, 6th May, at 7.30 p.m. All villagers are invited to come along and give suggestions for ways the use of the Hall could be improved. Coffee and biscuits will be provided [hints of bribery?].

Tom Tucker


Artwork: Angela Bartlett

In Berrynarbor - North Lee Farm

This fine photographic postcard taken by the Bristol based photographer, W. Garratt, c. 1904-1906, shows Mrs. Huxtable feeding the chickens outside her North Lee Farmhouse. North Lee Farmhouse is situated at the foot of Hagginton Hill and is where Edna Barber now lives, just across from Sally Barten's 'Berry Home'. The outbuildings and old 'linhey', complete with slate slab steps, were removed about the time Sally's home and the cottage next door were built, in the late 70s, early 80's.

North Lee Farm was sold at the first Watermouth Estate Sale on Tuesday, 17th August, 1920, at Bridge Hall, Barnstaple, with the completion date of 25th March, 1921. The following particulars were then given:


LOT 22 [coloured Blue on Plan] North Lee, a Very Excellent SMALL HOLDING, Comprising: A Slated Dwelling House, convenient Outbuildings, Meadow, Pasture, and Arable Lands, containing together about 36a. Ir. 16p. in the occupation of Messrs. R. Huxtable and L.J. Bowden as Yearly Lady-Day Tenants, and in hand.

The apportioned Tithe on this Lot is £6.5s.6d The Timber to be taken in the sum of £3.0s.0d. There are two Water-taps on this Lot.

Mr. Huxtable purchased Lot 22, North Lee, at the Sale for £1,100.0s.0d. and their line of ownership continued right up until the last listing that I have, that is Kelly's 1939 Directory. Can anyone tell me when the Huxtables moved out and of any subsequent owners until Edna moved in back around 1970?

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage, March 1997



'Middle Age is when your children leave home one by one and return two by two; when your car is not your own and you put a padlock on the drinks cupboard!'

"One of the pleasures of middle age is to find out that one WAS right, and that one was much righter than one knew at say 17 or 23. "

Ezra Pound [1885-1972]



ord, thou knowest better than I know myself that I am growing older and will some day be old. Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every occasion. Release me from craving to straighten out everyone's affairs. Make me thoughtful but not moody; helpful but not bossy.

Keep my mind from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point. Seal my lips on my aches and pains. They are increasing, and love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by.

I dare not ask for improved memory, but for a growing humility, and a lessening cocksuredness when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken.

Keep me reasonably sweet; not a sour old person, but one who is easy to live with. Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places and talents in unexpected people. And give me, O Lord, the grace to tell them so.

Anon. [found in an old Bible]

"One of the alarming things about being in your 50's is that when you were younger, you assumed people of this age were grown up, and you realise it's complete nonsense. "

John Cleese

"You will recognise, my boy, the first sign of old age: it is when you go out into the streets of London and realise for the first time how young the policemen look."

Sir Edward Seymour Hicks [1871-1949]



Everything is farther away than it used to be. It is even twice as far to the corner and they have added a hill. I have given up running for the bus; it leaves earlier than it used to.

It seems to me they are making stairs steeper than in the old days and have you noticed the smaller print they use in newspapers? There is no sense in asking anyone to read aloud any more, everybody speaks in such a low voice I can hardly hear them.

The material in dresses is so skimpy now, especially around the hips and waist, that it is almost impossible to reach one's shoelaces. And the sizes don't run the way they used to. The 12's and 14's are so much smaller.

Even people are changing. They are so much younger than they used to be when I was their age. On the other hand, people my own age are so much older than I am. I ran into an old classmate the other day and she had aged so much that she didn't recognise me.

I got to thinking about the poor dear whilst I was combing my hair this morning and in doing so I glanced at my own reflection. Really now, they don't even make good mirrors like they used to.

You are old, Father William, the young man said,
And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head
Do you think at your age, it is right?

Lewis Carroll - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

"I will never be an old man. To me, old age is always fifteen years older than I am. "

Bemard M. Baruch [1870-1965]



I have become a little older and a few changes have come into my life. Frankly, I've become quite a frivolous old girl! I am seeing seven gentlemen every day! Once I have woken and had my cup of tea, Will Power helps me to get out of bed and I go and see either John or Lew. During the morning I enjoy a tipple with those two Irish rogues, Phil O'San and Ben O'Lin, and when they leave Arthur Ritis shows up and stays the rest of the day. He doesn't like to stay in one place very long, so he takes me from joint to joint. After such a busy day, I'm really tired so Algy Pan soothes my aches and pains and then I hop into bed with Ben Gers. What a life!

P.S. The vicar came to call the other day. He said that at my age I should be thinking about the hereafter. I told him, "Oh, I do, all the time. No matter where I am, in the sitting room, upstairs or in the kitchen, I ask myself 'What am I here after?'"

Artwork by: Nigel Mason


Just a line to say I'm living
That I'm not among the dead
Though I'm getting more forgetful
And mixed up in the head.
I've got used to my arthritis,
To my dentures I'm resigned,
I can manage my bifocals
But God I miss my mind.
For sometimes I can't remember
When I stand at the foot of the stairs
If I must go up for something
Or have I just come down from there?
And before the fridge so often
My poor mind is filled with doubt -
Have I just put food away,
Or have I come to take it out?
And there's time when it is dark,
With my nightcap on my head -
I don't know if I'm retiring
Or just getting out of bed?
So, if it's my turn to write to you -
There's no need for getting sore.
I may think that I've written
And don't want to be a bore!


Illustrations by: Paul Swailes


I am old and I am grey
knowing one day I will pass away.
Now, dear children, take my advice
When I am gone have the time of your life.
Take my possessions, get rid of them all,
Start stripping the bedroom, paint, ceiling and wall.
Have a new suite, a fireplace too,
Make it cosy for all of you.
It's so nice to be quiet, peaceful too,
A courting room for Tim and Sue.
How I'd like to be a fly on the wall
So I could pop in and see you all.
So take my advice and do as I bid,
It won't take more than a few hundred quid.

Yvonne 'O'

When I am dead, my dearest
Sing no sad songs for me;
Plant thou no roses at my head,
Nor shady cypress tree
Be the green grass above me
With showers and dewdrops wet;
And if thou wilt, remember,
And if thou wilt, forget.
I shall not see the shadows,
I shall not feel the rain;
I shall not hear the nightingale
Sing on, as if in pain;
And dreaming through the twilight
That doth not rise nor set,
Haply I may remember,
And haply may forget.

Christina Georgina Rossetti

Illustration by: Paul Swailes

Contributions from Joy, Esme, Judith and Others



29thCoffee and Hot X Bun Moring, Manor Hall, 10.30 a.m.
30thBritish Summer Time begins
Easter Sunday
1stW.I. Meeting: Cookery Past and Present - Mrs.Kelland
2ndMobile Library in Village from 11.55 a.m.
8thParish Council Meeting 7.30 p.m., Manor Hall
10thU3A Luncheon: Woolacombe Bay Hotel - Mr. A. Loates 'There are Lies, Damned Lies and Exclusives'
13thPre-School Table Top Sale, Manor Hall, 12.00 noon to 3.00 p.m.
14thCollege and Primary School: Start of Summer Term
16thMobile Library in Village from 11.55 a.m.
Wine Circle, Manor Hall, 8.00 p.m. A.G.M. and Germany revisited - Tom Bartlett
20thSt. Peter's Family Service, 10.30 a.m.
26thSpring Sale, Manor Hall, 2.30 p.m. Admission: 10p
27thChristians Together United Service, 6.30 p.m. St. Peter Ad Vincula, Combe Martin. Everyone welcome
29thW.I. Chichester Group Meeting, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
30thMobile Library in Village from 11.55 a.m.
1stElection Day
P.C.C. Coffee Moming, 10.30 a.m., Manor Hall
4thRogation Sunday Service, 6.30 p.m. 'Beating the Bounds' starting at Berrynarbor. Everyone welcome
6thW.I. Meeting: Discussion - Resolutions for National A.G.M.
Manor Hall Management Committee A.G.M., Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
8thU3A Luncheon: Lee Bay Hotel - Mr. Dick Powell, Behind the Iron Curtain by Motorcycle
11thStart of Christian Aid Week
13thParish Council A.G.M., 7.00 p.m. Manor Hall
14thMobile Library in Village from 11.55 a.m.
17thSt Peter's: Coffee Morning Manor Hall, 10.30 a.m.
18thSt. Peter's: Family Service, 10.30 a.m.
Christians United Service, 6.30 p.m. Methodist Church, Combe Martin.
21stWine Circle: Manor Hall, 8 00 p.m. Summer Choices - Alan Rowlands
22ndWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
to Friday, 30th: College and Primary School Half Term
28thMobile Library in Village from 11.55 a.m.
6thSt. Peter's: Meeting re. Flower Festival, 2.30 p.m. in Church

Badminton Club, Mondays - Manor Hall
Whist Drive, Thursdays - Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.


"With a one-inch map ... to far-off churches" J.B.

"Do not miss this most satisfying little building" the guidebook urged. "Here is a perfect rural Georgian interior." It was this enthusiastic description which first led us to Molland Church. Recently we made a return visit to the small village on a hillside, below the Southern slopes of Exmoor.

As one enters St. Mary's at Molland the unevenly plastered walls and high box pews reveal a church which escaped the zealous attentions of the Victorian 'restorers'. The north aisle is dominated by a three-decker pulpit with a canopy above. In the lowest deck sat the Parish Clerk. When I saw the height of the pews it occurred to me that it would be easy for an occupant of such a pew to drift off to sleep unnoticed during a tedious sermon. But apparently the parish clerk was provided with a staff, which had a wooden ball at one end and feathers at the other. He was on the look out for wandering attentions among the congregation and would awaken the men by applying the wooden ball to their heads whilst the women received the feathers in their faces.

The plain wooden furnishings [perhaps not Georgian after all but "typical of the Queen Anne period" according to the church's own historian] contrast with the sophistication of the screen dividing the nave from the chancel, with its inverted curved low central gate; the ornate series of 17th and 18th Century monuments and the royal coat of arms.

The pillars dividing the nave from the north aisle lean very noticeably and once caused such consternation in a church inspector that he made a hasty retreat to the churchyard to write his report. Look out for the little figure in a niche tucked away in one of the north arcade pillars. The pretty wrought iron standards which once carried oil lamps have been effectively adapted for modem lighting.

Sadly, Molland was among a number of churches across North Cornwall and Devon which, last autumn, experienced thefts of furniture and silver. It is always a joy to find these remote churches unlocked, but they are so vulnerable.

Each one is a small museum and art gallery as well as a place of worship. In his autobiographical poem, 'Summoned by Bells', John Betjeman speculated,

"Who knew what undiscovered glories hung
Waiting in locked-up churches..."

We wandered about the quiet lanes and woodland tracks on the outskirts of the village. It was a dull but fairly mild afternoon in late February. Near the imposing stone buildings of West Molland Barton, a haughty group of brown geese processed across the road.


The Meet at Molland, 1951 - from the Tom Bartlett Postcard Collection

West Molland was the home of the brothers, Henry and James Quartly, who were responsible for establishing the strain of Red Devon cattle by selective breeding.

In a field gateway was a covey of partridges; attractive birds with their orange-brown faces, pale grey underparts, short reddish tails and flanks barred with chestnut and streaked white. [The male has a dark horseshoe mark on its lower breast.] Some of them took off suddenly with a whirring of wing beats, low and rapidly, skimming over the hedge.

Sue H




Once again the Manor Hall was transformed into a theatre for the Berry Concert Cast's annual show. Over the two nights, 14th and 15th March, packed audiences were taken on a round-the-world holiday by Gary's International Tours [GIT].

The show commenced with everyone being welcomed on board an aircraft, but It soon became apparent that instead travel would be in a second-hand bus driven by a very short-sighted driver. Added to this problem was the official guide, who insisted on trying the local booze at every stop and as the show progressed, became very much in need of a guide herself.

Weeks of turning out for rehearsals at the Sawmills Inn on cold, dark, rain-soaked nights, encouraged and cajoled by Producer/Director Gary Songhurst and Musical Director, Stuart Neale, produced a show of a very high standard. No act can be singled out, everyone was great and visiting back stage just showed the comradeship and team spirit.

Not to be forgotten are the back stage staff who worked hard to set up the show and ensure its smooth running. I have been asked to thank some people: Brian Mountain and the Manor Hall Committee for their support, the people who generously gave raffle prizes, Don, Edith and Karen of the Sawmills who ran the theatre bar and have donated the profits, but also to you, the people of Berrynarbor, marvellous audiences, and because of your support the Special Care Baby Unit at the North Devon Hospital will receive a cheque for over £1,000. See you next year.


Congratulations to everyone involved in 'Berry Goes on Holiday'. It was a great evening's entertainment.


Artwork: Judie Weedon


Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this issue, especially Debbie for the front cover and Nigel and Paul for their illustrations. Items for the June issue will be needed by Friday, 9th May, at the latest. Thank you.