Edition 55 - August 1998

Artwork by: Debbie Cook

Artwork: Judie Weedon


Pigs, it would seem, are 'in' and thanks go to Debbie for her amusing cover and for her charming illustration of A Parable of Nature on the centre pages. I wonder if readers have seen the recent advertisements for Royal Doulton's 'Pigs in Bloom' collection of plates?

"For the first time ever from Royal Doulton a charming new collection featuring gifted artist Debbie Cook's 'Pigs in Bloom Debbie Cook's exquisite work is captured exclusively for the first time on the finest English bone chinA by skilled potters of the renowned Royal Doulton china house".
"Each beautiful portrait, signed by the artist herself. 'Poppy' is the first plate in the collection by inspired animal artist Debbie Cook. The love, skill and understanding she invests in her cherished subjects and their idyllic surroundings are clearly evident."
Royal Doulton

Our congratulations, Debbie. How fortunate we are that in your busy life, you still find time to bring your delightful work to us all through the Newsletter.




A well attended meeting on the 2nd June included two visitors from Arlington W.I. and our very own Joy Morrow and a friend, all to welcome Rosie Don, our speaker and demonstrator, who has a vast experience of exhibition Work. She gave an interesting insight to the many uses of any easy-to-handle mixer, with samples to view and taste. There were joint winners for the Rose competition - Inge Richardson and Betty Brown. A collection for the Friends of the Tyrrell Hospital raised £23.00.

On the 7th July, a beautiful sunny afternoon helped members enjoy their outing: firstly to Appledore, where the Maritime Museum proved of great interest, and then over the bridge to Instow, where a warm welcome was waiting at the Commodore Hotel. The tea was perfect and certainly made a most pleasurable end to the afternoon.

There will be no meeting in August, but looking ahead to September... on the 1st we shall have two Magistrates as our guest speakers and we shall again be entertaining members of the Ilfracombe Disabled Association at the annual party.

Concluding, 70 more Teddies for Tragedies are now on their way and many thanks to all knitters - every stitch giving joy to some little one, something to cuddle in what might seem a cruel world.

Every good wish.

Vi Kingdon - President

There is a rose that loves us all,
As it scrambles over every wall
That dear 'old' rambler, forever true,
Always lovely, looking new.




It is with much sadness that we report the death of Mildred Joslin who passed away peacefully at home, in Ilfracombe, on the 25th May. Our thoughts are with her sisters, Kath and Audrey, and Tom.

Our thoughts have also been with our Rector, Keith, Chris and the family following the sudden and sad death of Keith's father in early June.

Betty and her family have been in our thoughts and prayers following the death of her mother, Win White, on the 14th June. We congratulated Win on her 100th birthday last November. Mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, she will be sadly missed.



I should like to convey my thanks to all who supported the Sale held in the Manor Hall on 27th June and for the generous donations received. The sum of £305.67 was raised and this has been donated to several animal charities.

Mrs. K. Bond - Ludleigh House

Marion and Ray Bolton of Stockland Green [Birmingham] would like to thank everyone for making them feel part of our village family. They were so happy on their recent visit to see Miss Muffet 'on the go again' and wish Graham and Glenys luck, and to have been able to share in the happiness of Shaun and Cathy's wedding. They look forward to their next visit and in the meantime, keeping in touch through the Newsletter.

May I, through the Newsletter thank everyone who joined with me in celebrating my retirement and 65th birthday - to Edith and Don and their staff at Sawmills, the Maurice Lane Trio [Stuart, Gary and Maurice], Karen, Vince and Wayne for their music and the lovely 'Spice Girls' [Joyce, Edith, Denise, Debbie and Alyson], but my especial thanks to the best family in the world!

John Clark - Birdswell Cottages



Have you any memories you would like to share via an exhibition on childhood reading? The exhibition on 20th Century Children's Books is planned for Barnstaple Library in October as part of the National Year of Reading.

"It would really bring the display to life, and show how the things you read when young stay with you. Reading is a hugely important aspect of daily life and we are pleased to have this opportunity to celebrate the pleasures of reading", said North Devon Local Studies Librarian, Jamie Campbell. "At the same time, we get the chance to record some local people's memories."

Memories of the first book you read, a book which stands out in your memory for some reason or what the books of a particular author meant to you could be written into the exhibition. To contribute, contact Jamie on Barnstaple 388607.



Our very best wishes to Jenny Taylor, Pat Martin and Tanya Walls for speedy recoveries following their recent operations. We hope that you, and anyone else who is unwell, will be feeling better very soon.


Artwork: Paul Swailes


Almost 100 of us gathered for the joint Evensong held in St. Peter's on the last Sunday in June, when we were pleased to welcome members from all the churches in Combe Martin. The service was led by our Rector, Keith, the preacher was Alan Edwards of the Baptist church and the village choir was joined by the choir from St. Peter Ad Vincula. Special flowers were arranged by Anne, Betty and Sylvia. Afterwards, in the Manor Hall, a cake was shared - provided by Christine to celebrate Keith's 25 years in the Ministry. Our thanks to everyone who helped to make this such an enjoyable occasion.

The following Monday, Gift Day, was again a good day and the cheerful stream of parishioners more than made up for the dull weather. So far £570 has been raised towards the maintenance of the churchyard and we are looking forward to the Summer Fayre on Tuesday, 4th August. Once again, the PCC will be most grateful for gifts to give as prizes and for contributions to the various stalls. Please contact Betty Davis [883541] or Mary Tucker [883881] if you would like anything collected.

The next Family Services will be on Sundays 16th August and 20th September at 10.30 a.m. Looking ahead: the Harvest Festival will be on Sunday, 4th October, with Evensong and Supper the following Wednesday, 7th October.

Mary Tucker


St. Peter's Church


Manor Hall - Tuesday, 4th August, 6.30 p.m.

Watermouth Organ, Stalls, Side-shows, Skittles, Raffle, Bar-B-Q, Refreshments

Admission FREE Proceeds in aid of Churchyard Fund
Please come along and support us



Perched on my city office-stool
I watched with envy while a cool
And lucky carter handled ice ...
And I was wandering in a trice
Far from the grey and grimy heat
Of that intolerable street
O'er sapphire berg and emerald floe
Beneath the still cold ruby glow
Of everlasting Polar night,
Bewildered by the queer half-light,
Until I stumbled unawares
Upon a creek where big white bears
Plunged headlong down with flourished heels
And floundered after shining seals
Through shivering seas of blinding blue.
And, as I watched them, ere I knew
I'd stripped and I was swimming too
Among the seal-pack, young and hale,
And thrusting on with threshing tail,
With twist and twirl and sudden leap
Through crackling ice and salty deep,
Diving and doubling with my kind,
Until, at last, we left behind
Those big white, blundering bulks of death,
And lay, at length, with panting breath
Upon a far untravelled floe,
Beneath a gentle drift of snow -
Snow drifting gently, fine and white,
Out of the endless Polar night,
Falling and falling evermore
Upon that far untravelled shore,
Till I was buried fathoms deep
Beneath that cold, white drifting sleep
Sleep drifting deep,
Deep drifting sleep
The carter cracked a sudden whip:
I clutched my stool with startled grip,
Awakening to the grimy heat
Of that intolerable street.

Wilfred Wilson Gibson

Illustrated by: Nigel Mason

What a pity that our summer, so far, is not one when we have been wishing to feel cooler!

However, Nigel 's illustration of The Ice Cart is yet another fine example of his creative talent. Many readers will be aware that following an accident, which has laid him up for many months, Nigel is unable to continue working as a decorator and is now looking to use his artistic ability in a career move.

If you need anything - brochure, poster, book, letter heading, anything - illustrated [or just a picture for your own satisfaction], please give Nigel a ring on 882021. He would be delighted to hear from you and to help in any way he can.

Thanks, Nigel, for enhancing our Newsletters and we wish you every success in your new quest.


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


A warm welcome to Geoffrey and Andrea Smith who have moved in to the Coach House at the Old Rectory. Geoffrey, who is a Chiropodist in Ilfracombe, and Andrea have moved from Egham in Surrey. We hope you will both be very happy here in Berrynarbor.

Happiness in your New Home wishes to Karen and Matthew Walls and Becky and Alex who have moved into their new home at Lane End and a very warm welcome to Bernard and June O'Regan who are moving from Lowestoft in Suffolk to Pink Heather.

John [our Parish Clerk] and Ann Vince will be returning shortly to South Devon to live at Teignmouth where they will be nearer to their families at Brixham, and Colyton. We thank John for all his hard work on behalf of the village and wish him and Ann every happiness in their new home. John's position as Clerk will be taken by Michelle Beaumont, to whom we send congratulations and good luck wishes.

David Chaplin, Headteacher of our Primary School, is moving on to new climes. We congratulate him on his new appointment to the County Advisory team, wish him well and thank him most sincerely for his superb stewardship of our school. Together with his staff, his loving care and encouragement of the pupils and support for the parents have put us well and truly on the map! Thank you, David, and good luck.

Best wishes to Barbara Johnson who will be taking over as Acting Head in the Autumn Term.


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


The Rectory
Combe Martin

Dear Friends,

Weather permitting, we are now full swing into the holiday season. I expect that one or two people reading this are preparing for their holiday. Doesn't it take a lot of planning? It reminds me of a story I once came across about a lord of a manor who had a fool who used to make him laugh. One day, the fool made the lord of the manor laugh so much that he gave the fool a staff with the instructions that he must carry this staff until he meet a bigger fool than himself, and then, only then, could he hand on the staff.

A couple of years later, the lord of the manor was taken seriously ill. In fact he was on the point of death. The fool went up to the bedchamber to see his lord, who said that he must shortly go and leave him.

  • "And where will you go?" asked the fool.
  • "Into another world" said his lord.
  • "And when will you return? Within a month?"
  • "No."
  • "When then?"
  • "Never."
  • "Never? And what preparations have you made?" "None at all."
  • "No!" said the fool. "None at all? Here, take my staff. You are going away for ever and have no care of how you shall fare in that other world from which you will never return! Take my staff, for I am not guilty of any such folly as this."

Life is a gift from God which is meant to prepare us for eternity with Him in the context of love. How are your preparations going?

With all good wishes.

Your Friend and Rector,

Keith Wyer


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


Jancy Davies who took part in the Macmillan Miles riding Snippit and raised £118 for cancer relief.

Brother, Eden, who has been awarded a First Class Bsc. [Hons] degree in Biology from the University of Portsmouth. Eden, who hopes to continue his graduate studies, was also awarded the John Hesketh Environmental Biology prize and jointly awarded the Wiley-Steencroft Prize in Marine Biology.

Craig Bolt has received a 2:2 Bsc. [Hons] degree in Psychology from Lancaster University. Craig, an ex-pupil of Berrynarbor Primary School and Ilfracombe College, is the elder son of Sheila and Tony [who now live at Morethoe] and grandson of Gladys and Ron Toms of Birdswell Cottages.




Following the distribution of a letter/questionnaire to every house in the parish, an Open Meeting was held on 13th July in the Manor Hall. Apologies were received from Graham Andrews and Lorna Bowden represented the Parish Council. Although overall attendance was sparse, those present gave enthusiastic support for planned events and put forward other interesting ideas to celebrate the Millennium.

Following a call for volunteers to form an official committee to co-ordinate and organise the events, the following put their names forward: Gordon and Mary Hughes, Tom Bartlett, Denise Lane, Alan Rowlands, Tom Tucker, Neil Morris, Bill Scholes, Gary Songhurst and Lorna Bowden, Matthew Walls and Len Coleman who would represent the Parish Council.

Future developments will be reported through the Newsletter.



Where are they now?

Sadly, the request from Hilppa Loikkanen from Finland for news of her mother, Jon Marjorie Nyholm, and her half-sister, Sarah Lindsay, has had no result. On her behalf, one final plea to anyone who can help to contact Judie on 883544.

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Mr. and Mrs. Pugsley from Kingsteignton, frequent visitors to North Devon. Mr. Pugsley's mother was born in Berrynarbor but sadly he has no other information. Does anyone have any recollection of the Galliford family, and Phyllis who was born here in 1902? [I believe the family later moved to the North Molton area.] If you can help, please again ring me on 883544.

Special Constables

There is a current need for Special Constables and if anyone feels they could help or would like more information, please contact Ilfracombe Police Station.

Spanish Classes

Is anyone interested in Spanish Conversation classes over the winter months? If sufficient people are interested, it is intended to run the classes in Berrynarbor on a weekly basis. The emphasis would be on pronunciation and speech but with sufficient grammar and vocabulary to give the ability to speak and understand sufficient Spanish to add a little extra to a Spanish holiday. If the interest is maintained, classes would continue each winter to allow students to improve to whatever level suits them.

Anyone interested should please contact Tony Summers on 883600

Silver Street Closure

Please note that Silver Street [in the vicinity of the Post Office] will be closed for one day on Monday, 1st September, for repairs by South West Water.

Quick Quote: "Laughter is the shortest distance between two people."

Victor Borge


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


Congratulations and best wishes
for your future happiness
to our newly-wed couples


Cathy and Shaun Cooper who celebrated their marriage at St. Peter's Church on Saturday, 23rd May, followed by a honeymoon in Cornwall


Louise Walls and David Powers who were married on Roatan, a small island off the coast of Honduras, on the 16th June. Louise has now completed her voluntary service in Belize, and she and David, an RAF pilot, are currently based in Anglesey but following a short move in the near future to Scotland, hope to take up a more permanent posting in Norfolk

and to

Nathalie Denzey and Chris Draper, from Ilfracombe, on their marriage at St. Peter's on Saturday, 18th July.



Although, as custom decrees, the wedding is usually hosted at the bride's home town, there was never any doubt in my mind that my wedding would be anywhere else but Berrynarbor. There are so many people in Berrynarbor who have influenced and given me so much that, although the place may change, memories don't, nor does the kindness of people. For these reasons Berrynarbor would play host to our wedding.

After Keith Wyer agreed to marry us in the church, the wheels were set in motion for an ideal venue. We didn't need to look too far, with the help of Pat Sayer, the Manor Hall would provide an ideal setting for a true village wedding. Cathy loves tradition, and on finding a picture of a Victorian wedding cake, festooned with icing sugar roses and ivy, the search began again for an expert who wouldn't be daunted by such a challenge. In no time at all we found Vivien Fryer, who gallantly undertook this without hesitation [although a cry was heard as we drove away from the house!]. Once again the village came up trumps - Vivian's craftsmanship exceeded our wildest dreams, the cake was magnificent and everyone who saw it remarked on its beauty, and it tasted as good as it looked!

Keeping on the theme of food, it was a priority that our friends and family should feel full and merry on our day, particularly as their journeys had brought them from New York and Barcelona, Glasgow and all over England. Jo Dunbavin's company title 'Kitchen Wizardry'; best sums up her approach - professionalism and talent and she and her team worked tirelessly to serve the most delicious banquet and evening barbecue.

There were so many other details that made the day so special. Phil building the bar and helping us with his advice and support, along with all the guest houses in the village who made our friends feel that the whole week-end was special. Every wedding needs flowers and Betty Davis, along with her bunch of helpers, ensured that with their talents the church looked magical. None of this can be forgotten because one man [like the shopkeeper in Mr. Ben] kept popping up with his smile and camera - Neil Morris 'all in one' film production company ensured that all our memories of our village wedding will live with us for the rest of our lives.

In addition to these marvellous people, my Best Man, Howard, with whom I studied in the USA many years ago, was absolutely brilliant - a real fried who was there when I needed him most.

Since the wedding, many people have asked us which particular part of the day was our favourite, but it is impossible to select one. However, there were plenty, starting with the wedding service when Keith wrapped our hands together, walking out of the vestry to the sounds of Handel's rejouissance, the church bells and after the service, standing at the top of the steps and seeing so many friends and family made me shout out loud, "We got married!" We felt so alive and happy. Soon after this we were showered in confetti and the new Mr. and Mrs. Cooper led a procession up to the Manor Hall.

What a day! It only leaves me to say on behalf of my lovely wife and myself, a big thank you to both sets of parents and, of course, Berrynarbor.

Shaun Cooper



August is traditionally the month for the corn harvest, although modern farming has proved to mean the loss of hay ricks, binding, threshing and the like. Unfortunately, along with these things we have also lost much of the feasting and partying associated with this time, including the corn dolly and the neck.

It is believed that Dolly is a corruption of 'idol ', coming from the pagan practice of making images to placate the minor gods of fertility. Dollies were intricate tassle-like devices woven from straw or reed. The art of making them is still going but by less people despite a fairly recent revival.

The corn neck was made from the final sheaf in the final field to be harvested. There was a specific ritual to accompany the making of the neck, which out in the field was held up on show to all who would say words such as:

Well cut! Well bound!
Well shocked! Well saved from the ground!

The words to this ritual varied according to the district. This was followed by much revelling. The corn neck had to be taken back to the farmhouse [ensuring it remained dry] while the farm workers, wives and daughters threw buckets of water at the poor individual carrying it to try and get him wet before he reached the house. He usually succeeded in getting home, even if it meant jumping through a window to do so!

During harvest supper, the neck was hung up and saved until the following year, when it was replaced by a new one. At the harvest festival in the church, a neck would be hung up with three corn dollies on either side.

Mark Norman



I hope you enjoyed the coloured photographs, taken this spring, in the June issue. How many gardeners recognised the fruits of their efforts? John Huxtable had no trouble recognising his lambs at Middle Lee! The photos were:

[i] the Church and Lodge from the Lees [ii] Lambs at Middle Lee [iii] Bluebells and garlic in the Sterridge Valley [iv] Camellias at Lee House [v] Maglolia at Donnybrook [vi] Roses on the bridge at Riversdale [vii] Gorse on Newberry Hill [viii] Daffodils at Valley View [ix] Prunus and Ceanothus at Middle Lee Farm [x] Apple blossom in the Valley [xii] Tulips at Rose Cottage [xiii] Montana at Parson's Pightle [xiv] Prunus at Lee House [xv] Wysteria at Riversdale Cottage.

The Beautiful Village

I was a teenager in South Wales, Sunday after church was an opportunity for family 'strolling'. Now our village is looking really nice with the Britain in Bloom and Best Kept Village efforts bearing fruit, wouldn't it be nice if on a Sunday evening villagers went strolling in Berrynarbor, 7.00 to 8.00 perhaps. See you!




The July meeting of Berrynarbor Parish had the usual varied agenda and was attended by the very welcome few members of the public. One of the most regular attenders is Ron Toms whose birthday it was that day. The Council gave a fine rendition of 'Happy Birthday'!

The meeting was the last regular meeting to be serviced by our Clerk for the past 7 years, John Vince. John is a North Devonian who has worked in local government most of his working life. He has brought tremendous skills and a high level of integrity to the post. The Councillors have been trained to look at their task in a new light. The benefits of John's professional approach will be with every one of us for years to come.

John and his wife Ann are leaving the district to settle in Teignmouth where their family will be closer to them. As an appreciation, the Council have commissioned a painting of St. Peter's Church which John has promised will have pride of place in their new home. Ann, who was with us, was presented with a boquet of flowers. We wish them well in their new home.

The new Clerk will be Michelle Beaumont who was appointed by the Council in May and is officially in post on 1st September. She lived on Haggington Hill some years ago and knows our village well. She is most welcome.

Graham E. Andrews - Chairman Berrynarbor Parish Council



One day, the birds had sung themselves quite weary; a long pause ensued, broken at last by a philosophical chaffinch in these words, 'What is life?'

They were all rather startled at the interruption, but a little warbler answered at once, 'Life is a song'.

'Call it rather a struggle in the darkness' said a mole, who had just succeeded in getting his head above the ground.

'I think it is a development' said a wild rose bud, as she slowly unfolded her petals one by one, to the delight of a butterfly who came to kiss her and exclaim, 'Life is all enjoyment'.

'I cannot see anything but hard work' was the lamentation of a small ant, as she struggled along with a straw ever so much too big for her. 'Call it rather a short summer's day' hummed a little fly as it passed by.

The magpie only laughed to cover his own poverty of thought. The general indignation at such levity might easily have led to a quarrel, had not the rain at that moment begun to fall, whispering sadly, 'Life is made up of tears'.

'Life is freedom and strength' called out the eagle as he sailed through the air on his majestic wings.

Meanwhile it had grown dark and a practically minded bullfinch suggested that they should all go to rest; and the night wind rustled softly through the branches. 'Life is a dream.'

Silence lay over town and country; and dawn was near. The scholar in his lonely room extinguished his light and sighed, 'Life is but a school'. And the youth from a night of revelry moaned in his heart, 'Life is one long desire, ever unfulfilled. '

'It is an eternal mystery' whispered fitfully the new born morning breeze; when suddenly a rosy hue spread over the horizon, and tinged with its glow the tops of the forest trees, as it rose in the sky, and as the morning kissed the awakening earth a mighty harmony rang through the world, 'Life is a beginning'


Illustrated by: Debbie Cook


One Perfect Rose

A single flow'r he sent me, since we met
All tenderly his messenger he chose;
Deep-hearted, pure, with scented dew still wet-
One perfect rose.

I knew the language of the floweret;
'My fragile leaves', it said, 'his heart enclose'.
Love long has taken for his amulet
One perfect rose.

Why is it no one ever sent me yet
One perfect limousine, do you suppose?
Ah no, it's always just my luck to get
One perfect rose.

Dorothy Parker
[August 22nd 1893 - 7th June 1967]

Dorothy Parker was born in New Jersey. Of her poetic influences, she once remarked: "I was following in the exquisite footsteps of Miss Edna St. Vincent Millay, unhappily in my own horrible sneakers." Renowned for the acerbity with which she commented on the vanity and foolishness of others, she could turn her wit on herself almost as easily.

At her 70th birthday party she remarked: "If I had any decency, I'd be dead. Most of my friends are."



"Now the light falls across the open field,
leaving the deep lane shuttered with branches,
dark in the afternoon ..."

T.S. Eliot [from 'East Coker']

Down a shady lane, the sound of the wind filtering through sycamore and beech; the wiry burrs of herb Bennet among dove's-foot cranesbill; past the small grey and white school with its Gothic window; up a steep lane, its banks packed with ferns; opposite the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffalo's hall - a glimpse of Heddon Hall across the fields; then over a bridge above the course of the old Lynton to Barnstaple railway, we turn onto a rough track with St. Petrock's church ahead.

This is Churchtown at the eastern edge of Parracombe and the church, which is of national importance, is alleged to be one of the most visited in the country. Nikolaus Pevsner in "The Buildings of North Devon" wrote: 'the exceptional charm' of the interior of the church is that it has been unaltered for two hundred years, "a rare example of the usual furnishings of a modest village church" in the late eighteenth century, "poor perhaps, but seemly."

There are uneven stone flags. The seating is a mixture of plain oak [probably of the sixteenth century] and high box pews which are eighteenth century. At the west end of the nave, where the band of musicians sat, the box pews are arranged in tiers, rising theatrically [literally]. One pew has a section cut out to allow room for the bow of the bass viol. St. Petrock's is believed to have been the last church in Devon in which the singing was accompanied by a band of musicians - as with the Mellstock Quire in Thomas Hardy's 'Under the Greenwood Tree'. "The zest of these bygone instrumentalists must have been keen and staying", wrote Hardy in 1896 "to take them on foot every Sunday after a toilsome week through all weathers to the church, which often lay at a distance from their homes ... their efforts were really a labour of love."

The pulpit, complete with sounding board, is of the 'three-decker' type with the minister's reading desk and clerk's seat attached. Above the unusual screen between chancel and nave [of the same early sort as at Molland] is a solid tympanum filling the chancel arch, on which are painted the Royal Arms, the Ten Commandments, the Apostles' Creed and the Lord's Prayer. Such tympana were in favour after the Reformation, but few survive.

In the Department of the Environment's list of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest, St. Petrock's is described as, "the most interesting of all the churches in this part of Devon with a completely unspoiled Georgian interior". So how did it escape the usual attentions of the Victorian 'restorers'? In 1878 it was feared that St. Petrock's had become unstable. It was proposed that it should be demolished and a new church built in its place. The suggestion caused a wave of protests throughout the country and John Ruskin offered ten pounds towards the cost of building a new church, if such 'an act of vandalism' was not carried out. So, St. Petrock's was left standing and a new church, Christ Church, was built in the centre of the village.

Outside the church and built partly in the churchyard are two old cottages, formerly the church ale house, where beer was brewed for the refreshment of the worshippers. We crossed the main road nearby and followed the broad 'green lane' past Lady's Well towards Parracombe Common. Legions of foxgloves marched across the fifteen foot wide verge, up the hedge bank and down the other side. Our walk alternated between rushy meadows and narrow stoney tracks - the route taking the form of a loop through idyllic countryside before we crossed the main road again and reached pleasantly sloping fields on the other side. At the lowest edge of the second field, bordering a wood, sat two young foxes. They kept a casual eye on us but had not yet learnt to be nervous.

We crossed little brooks in which - appropriately - brooklime grew; a blue flowered veronica which loves wet places. The path is clearly waymarked and we soon found ourselves back in Parracombe, this time near the 'new' nineteenth century church, its tower emerging from behind yews and rhododendrons. By the gate was a bank of wild strawberries and in the churchyard, an unusual epitaph on the grave of a Mr. Mutton - ''A man you could warm your hands upon." From the churchyard there is a fine view to the south of Holwell Castle, a mediaeval motte and bailey castle; its mound and circular earthworks still clearly visible.

Illustration by: Paul Swailes


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


In 1939, in preparation for what seemed likely to be World War II, the Beauclerks bought Meadow Dene [now Well Cottage] for £950. They lightly furnished it to make it liveable and moved in for what they thought would be a temporary stay and thinking they would have holidays there and perhaps let it.

However, not much later they received a Government Notice to say their house in Essex was required for military accommodation. This being the case, everything in the house had to be got out as soon as possible. Arrangements were made with farmer Jim Chugg of Mill Farm [Mill Park] to rent the mill for the storage of all our possessions. Wardrobes, chests of drawers, bookcases, everything still full was brought from Essex and stored at the mill.

As a boy I would go down to the mill where my toys were and sometimes set up a clockwork train set or fiddle with levers on the mill in the hope of seeing the water wheel turn - it never did because the mill pond had long since gone and the only water flowing was probably draining from the road.

One day I went there with a friend and whilst rummaging around, we found a leather cigar case, and sure enough, there was a cigar in it. Well, what do young boys do when they find a cigar? You've guessed, we smoked it. A number of years later, my mother said, "I wonder what happened to the cigar Winston Churchill gave your father?" Whoops!

It was during my years in Berrynarbor, from 1939 to the end of 1945, when incendiaries were rained down on the Hangman Hills. Like other lads, I was always wanting souvenirs and so I decided to take the long walk to Combe Martin and on to the Hangmans.

When I got there, the bracken was all burnt and I met some people who told me that there were two HE's [high explosives] near West Challacombe or Girt Farms, which had killed a cow and a seagull. I searched for the spent casings but only found a dead, curled up adder and decided I might as well go home. On reaching Lester Point, I met some friends who said they were going to go and look too, so I said I'd join them and off we all went.

This time I did find an old casing which I took home. I put it on the kitchen table and scraped around inside with a penknife. In the corner of the casing I found a small amount of unburnt silvery powder [magnesium] which I scraped out on to a piece of paper and tipped on to the enamel top of my mother's cooker. Lighting it with a match, there was a brightly lit puff of smoke and a rough patch of enamel about the size of a 50p piece on the cooker.

Whoops - again!

Tony Beauclerk - Colchester




Hopefully, by now, everyone has seen the great improvements we've made in the village shop as a result of the 50% grant we received for a new refrigerated counter unit, cake stand, electronic till, metric weighing scale and other minor items to tidy and up-date the shop. We had a very pleasant visit from Mr. Miles Middleton and various local dignitaries for the cheque presentation and it seemed well worth the efforts we made to smarten up the shop area for the event. Our investment in the project has generated a spend of over £3,400, underlining our belief that, even though rural shops throughout the country are having a difficult time, a good shop can succeed. So, if you haven't been to see us - 'come on down! '

There have been changes on the Post Office side in recent months. In addition to the usual products and services, the banking side of the counter now includes cheque deposits and cashing for Giro Bank, Allied and Leicester and the Co-op banks, and soon to include Lloyds Bank. We can exchange money for foreign holidays and arrange all manner of holiday and travel insurance, particularly for anyone going by car.

A new venture is life insurance provision and cover for family income, personal accident, bill payment and household appliance insurance. Bill payment, too, is easier with our flip flop processor, and we've some nice wallets to give away for your savings cards. Our slogan should be "You Can Bank on Your Post Office"!

Alan and Nora



All In

Although I believe the 'All In' competition 'puzzled' quite a few and caused a bit of 'have you got?' , 'what about ? ' over a coffee or a beer, entries were not in abundance! So, the prize goes to Vi Kingdon for her persistence and some imaginative alternatives! Well done, Vi.

The answers were:

1. Initially
5. Wallace [Gallico/others]
9. Swallow
13. Scallion
17. Calluna
2. Orally
6. Hallmark
10. [Henry] Hall
14. Fallal
18. Lallygag
3. Eyeball [Thallus]
7. Overall
11. Ballet
15. Tallboy
19. Vallecula
4. Sallow [Tallow/Mallee]
8. Smallpox
12. Vallum
16. Alley
20. Finally


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


This year, the new and very small group that are now running the events at our Village Manor Hall are boldly attempting to mount the usual two events.

We really are most grateful to Linda Brown who has agreed to resume her management of the Horticultural and Craft Show. Last year many people made a huge effort before the Show was cancelled due to the Princess of Wales's funeral.

Saturday, 5th September, will be the 1998 date. Entry forms and schedules will be available from the usual places and it would be wonderful if the support of previous years could be there once more.

Our other event will also be familiar - the Berry Revels. All the fun of the fair on a village scale. Tuesday, 18th August the date, not very long to wait now!

At the time of writing we should clearly be grateful if anyone who has helped so generously in the past could offer some of their expertise.

As ever, the great thing is to come and give your support as people do in such numbers. See you there.

Graham E. Andrews - Chairman





Coast & Country Walks [meet at the Mortehoe Cart Linhay Centre]

  • Monday, 3rd 12.00 p.m. Friday, 14th 10.00 a.m.
  • Monday, 31st 10.30 a.m.
    Plankton Trawl - 3.00 p.m. [meet at Lee Beach]

Limpets are supreme rock clingers. The foot of a large adult has the suction power of 60-70 lbs, so if you picked up a limpet on a rock weighing 60-70 lbs, the rock would lift with it!

Rock Pool Rambles

  • Sunday, 9th - 12.30 p.m. [meet at Combe Martin Tourist Information Centre]
  • Monday, 10th 12.45 p.m. [meet top of path to Barricane Beach, Woolacombe]
  • Tuesday, 11th - 1.30 p.m. [meet slipway on to Lee Beach]
  • Wed'day, 12th - 2.30 p.m. [meet at Barricane Beach]
    Plankton Trawl - 11.00 - 2.00 p.m. Barricane
    Beach Art - 11.00 - 2.00 p.m. Barricane
  • Monday, 24th 1.00 p.m. [meet at Combe Martin Tourist Information Centre]
  • Tuesday, 25th 1.15 p.m [meet at Mortehoe Cart Linhay Centre for 20 min. walk to Rockham Beach]

Shore fish have eyes closer to the top of their heads than most fish so they can watch for predators from above, such as sea birds.

National Trust Walks [meet at Mortehoe Cart Linhay Centre]

  • Sunday, 9th 2.30 p.m.
  • Thursday, 20th 10.00 a.m.

Snorkelling for Softies, 10.00 a.m. Saturday, 15th. Meet at slipway to Lee Beach





The thick curly coat offers protection in these chilly climes. Now extremely rare, this course pig, given the opportunity of unrestrained consumption, will reach enormous weights.

Orkney Isles


Resembling a miniature wild boar, this hardy native breed lived in herds and was originally descibred as "a litte monster, savage and voracious but no larger than a good sized terrier."



A large docile animal with snub nose and dish face, this good natured creature responds well to comfortable conditions and generous rations, making it disinclined to root and wander.



Once widespread in Devon and Cornwall, this distinctive breed owes its black coat to a Neapolitan ancestry. To this day it is highly valued for the sow's excellent mothering qualities.



With a lineage going back centuries on the farms of the Midlands, this is a good all purpose, hardy animal. Regrettably, a tendency to produce small litters has threatened its survival.



Prick eared, long backed and narrow in build, with a long straight snout, the Tamworth exported well to sunny climes as its dark red colour offers excellent resistance to sunburn.

Illustrations by: Paul Swailes



4thW.I. No Meeting
St. Peter's Church: Summer Fayre, Manor Hall, 6.30 p.m.
5thMobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
6thWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
13thWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
16thSt. Peter's Church: Family Service, 10.30 a.m.
18thBerry Revels, Manor Hall, 6.30 p.m.
19thMobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
20thWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
27thWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
1stW.I. Meeting: Speakers - Two Magistrates
2ndMobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
Entries for Horticultural & Craft Show close, 6.00 p.m.
3rdCollege and Primary School: Start of Autumn Term
Whist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
Presentation of Cups and Auction of Exhibits, 3.45 p.m.
8thParish Council Meeting, 7.30 p.m. Manor Hall
10thWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
11thCollege Presentation Evening - Everyone welcome. The Landmark Theatre, Ilfracombe, 8.00 p.m.
15thW.I. Annual Party for Ilfracombe Disabled Association
16thMobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
17thWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
20thSt. Peter's Church: Family Service, 10.30 a.m.
24thWhist Drive, 7.30 p.m.
30thMobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
1stWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
6thW.I. Meeting





Open to Residents and Non-Residents of Berrynarbor
All Age Groups


2.00 p.m.


Admission: Adults - 50p Children - Free
Light Refreshments - Raffle

Artwork by: Debbie Cook

3.45 p.m. [approx.]

Entries Close: Wednesday, 2nd September, 1998
Schedules and Entry Forms available from and Entries to:
The Post Office, Berrynarbor
Willis & Sons, High Street, Combe Martin
Glenbridge - Sterridge Valley, Devon Cottage - Hagginton Hill



Advisory Group Members Sought!

DCC is the only Authority in the South West chosen to take part in this national programme to improve the way all tiers of government respond to older people. In the year 2001, Devon [excluding Plymouth and Torbay] expects to have 224,500 citizens aged 55+ living in a wide variety of settlements including some very rural areas. The Devon project values their diversity by working through a number of specific activities with partners from the public, voluntary and private sectors to engage older people and build an inter-agency, cross-County strategy.

The Better Government for Older People pilot is taking a step forward with a poster campaign aimed at finding members for the Advisory Group of Older People. Look out for the posters and leaflets in libraries and post offices. The Group is one of the distinguishing features of the Devon project. 16 members are being sought. 8 will be nominated by voluntary bodies and 8 will be sought from people 50+ living in the County who are not currently members of a statutory body or management committee of a voluntary body concerned with the interests of older people.

Nominations are sought by the deadline of 12th August, so that the selection process can be completed in time for a major launch conference due to take place on 9th September.

Further details of the project and the selection process are available from our Parish Clerk, John Vince, on Ilfracombe 862362.


Artwork: Angela Bartlett

St. Peter's Church

The view of the Church exterior was taken by the Bristol photographer, Garratt, around 1912. Note the single chimney extending from the east end of the South Aisle, which came from the small fire that the Bassetts of Watermouth Castle had in 'their corner' of the Church, with its high pew ensuring them privacy from the other occupants. The Bassetts would be driven to church on Sunday mornings in their carriage and pair by their coachman, they would then enter direct through their own south east door and the entire congregation would all be standing until the whole family were seated on their cushioned seats! Within the church was a separate place for the Watermouth staff and at the end of the service, the congregation was expected to remain standing until the Bassetts had all left to make their return journey to Watermouth Castle. Indeed, the family had their own railed-off burial plot, still to be seen at the east end of the churchyard.

The church of St.Peter, consisting of chancel, nave, southern aisle, north transept and western tower - one of the finest in North Devon, an imposing 96 feet high - is approached by a cobbled path from the 17th century lych gate, with its inscription: 'March 13th Ano Dmi: 1671 George Westcott Rector. Thomas Tucker, John Reed Church Wardens'. Of the original Norman church, only the north transept and the base of the font remain - the top section of the font is said to be a Medieval addition. The church was repaired in 1862 and in 1880, with the chancel restored in 1889. In 1883, a memorial stained glass window - to Miss Bassett of Watermouth Castle - was fitted at the extreme west end of the south wall. In I887, the roofs, tower and belfry were restored and new oak tower and vestry screens erected, entirely at the expense of Mrs. Bassett, lady of the Manor.

The interior photograph shows, to the right, the entrance door and raised pew section of the Basset pew, and the oil lamps used prior to the installation of electricity.

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage, July 1998



  • Yoga - Please note that with the Summer Fayre in the Manor Hall on 4th August, Yoga will be at 7.00 p.m. on WEDNESDAY, 5TH August.

  • Fish and Chips - A welcome return to Fish and Chips in the village again. If you have not already taken advantage of this service, do so on WEDNESDAYS, 6.00 to 7.00 p.m. in the Chapel car park.

Once again my thanks to you all for contributing to this issue - a varied selection of articles and some wonderful illustrations.

"What can I contribute?" Start thinking now ... put pen to paper and let's have something from YOU for the October issue. Items need to be in by MONDAY, 14TH SEPTEMBER.