Edition 56 - October 1998

Artwork by: Peter Rothwell

Artwork: Judie Weedon


A welcome return to Peter Rothwell's talented work for the cover of this issue - a 'wrap round' picture of the cottages at Goosewell. Thank you, Peter. Thank you, too, to the many contributors to this issue and to the many readers who have kindly sent me donations.

With the shortening of the days and cooler evenings, summer seems to have passed us by this year [although while I am typing this, something appears to have happened!] and Christmas will soon be upon us again. Only 45 'penning' days left until items will be needed for the December issue!

"What could I contribute?" Please start thinking now and put pen to paper - seasonal recipes, tips, poems, news, congratulations, get well wishes, sales and wants, book review, hobbies, gift ideas, tales and photographs, etc. - all will be very welcome, either in the Post Office or to Chicane by Monday, 16th November.

Berry On-line

Most people think of sand, sea and wetsuits when you mention the pastime of surfing. Woolacombe and Croyde Bay have always been the surf capitals of North Devon, but not for much longer ...

As those who know their bits from their bytes will be aware, the phrase 'surfing the net' refers to the pastime of exploring the Internet. Not wanting to be left behind in the age of computing, the Berrynarbor Newsletter has now gone on-line! For those wishing to visit the web site, the address is: http:/www.users.globalnet.co.uk/-kweedon. *

Currently, the site consists of an on-line copy of the August edition of the Newsletter. Plans are underway to publish each edition on the web site. This should make access to the newsletter easier for those who live in far off places and may also introduce some new readers to the delights of the village.

Comments and contributions can also now be sent in via Email [preferably with attachments in Microsoft Word format]. The Email address is: Berry_news@kweedon.globalnet.co.uk. *

Happy surfing!


* Note: The URL and email address listed above have long since been removed.




Many members were amongst the congregation at St. Peter's for the Memorial Service to Joan Adams on the 24th August. A simple and melodious occasion, as Joan would have wished. In the hall, after the service, it was nice to meet her family and to relive happy memories of this very special lady who had been a long-serving member of the W.I.

1st September saw a very well attended meeting welcome Mr. Joy, a retired magistrate, who gave a most interesting, and often amusing, account of his years on the Bench. Time, as always, went too quickly and it was soon time for Margaret Andrews to give the vote of thanks. Members signed a 'get well' card for Win Collins, who had recently had a hip replacement operation, but there was sadder news of Maggie Bland, who had just lost her husband, Bertie, and sincere sympathies were expressed.

Members were reminded of the annual Party for members of the Ilfracombe Disabled Association on the 15th, when Kath Arscott will be giving a demonstration 'Fleece to Fabric'. There were still only 4 names for the Group Social Evening at East Down Village on 28th October - a wonderful opportunity to meet W.I. members of the Chichester Group. The Flower of the Month competition was won by Pam Arnold, and the raffle by Linda Brown.

The Horticultural Show on 5th September was a colourful occasion to visit and congratulations to members with successful entries - Eunice Allen, Edna Barnes, Ethel Tidbury and Joan Wood [and apologies if I have left anyone out]. The judges were kind to me too and perhaps another year more W.I. members will take part.

The October meeting will be a Musical Slide show given by Mr. Tovey. I look forward to seeing you then.

Vi Kingdon - President

As frosts and shortening days portend,
This ageing year is near its end.





It is with much sadness that we record the sudden death of Irene Solly at her home, Sandpiper, in early August.

With her strong feeling for colour co-ordination and hospitality, her beautiful garden and well maintained home gave her much pleasure and were her pride and joy. A quiet, but always cheerful, lady, with loyal memories of her husband and a real sense of fun, Irene's jolly laughter will be much missed.


Artwork: Helen Armstead


Our Summer Fayre held on 4th of August went with a swing. The Manor Hall was a-buzz and, as always, there was such a friendly, happy atmosphere.

And for once we were all able to enjoy the outside activities and the barbecue in sunshine! Our thanks again to everyone who helped or contributed in any way and to the many who made donations. With all expenses paid, £1,036 was raised towards churchyard funds - a magnificent effort.

Harvest Festival
Sunday 4th October Family Communion 10.30 a.m.
Wednesday, 7th October

Evensong in Church, 6.30 p.m. Supper in the Manor Hall, 7.45 p.m.
Followed by Sale of Produce
Tickets: Adults £3.00 Under 15's £1.00
Proceeds to Christian Aid [Bangladesh]

The Church will be decorated on Friday, 2nd October and gifts of flowers, fruit and vegetables will be very welcome. [Produce may be brought in up to the evening of the Supper]. Tickets for the Supper will be on sale in church or from the Post Office the week before. Everyone is welcome to come and join us.

Do come and take part in the Family Services on 18th October and 15th November at 10.30 a.m. The service lasts about half an hour and is followed by coffee and biscuits.

Remembrance Sunday falls on 8th November this year and the special service with laying of wreaths at the War Memorial will begin in Church at 10.30 a.m. The collection will be sent to the Earl Haig Fund.

Mary T.


Tenders for 1999/2000

The Parish Council will be inviting tenders in October for
[a] Maintenance of Seats and Shelters, and
[b] Grass Cutting, Garden Maintenance, Footpath Clearance, etc. for the year commencing 1st April 1999.

Suitably experienced contractors who wish to tender should write to
Miss Michelle Beaumont, Clerk to the Council,
Cross Cottage, East Buckland, Barnstaple, EX32 OTB, for tender documents, by Friday, 16th October 1998



As many members of this village know, we are raising money to buy two Nebulisers - one for my daughter, Sophia, and the other one for the village. Hopefully, with help we shall have the funds very soon.

We are now looking for volunteers who would have a nebuliser in their home on a rota scheme, so that they would be readily available to all the asthmatics of the village and any guests. It would not be necessary to hold any medication, as users would obtain this from their doctor first.

If you feel you can help us to make this work and would like some more information, then please call either myself on 882908, Ann on 883061 or Mary-Jane on 865666.

We are hoping that Janice, the Ilfracombe Asthma Nurse will come to the village to talk to us and explain how to use a nebuliser. If you would be interested in attending such a talk, again call one of the above numbers. A very big Thank You to everyone who has donated money to this very worthwhile cause.

Jacqui Stavrinou


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


Richard and Angela Lewis are proud to announce the marriage of their daughter, Amy, to Stephen Law, from Bishops Tawton, at St. Peter's Church on the 8th August. The service was followed by a Reception in the Manor Hall and the honeymoon was spent in Xanthi in Greece, Amy, a Trainee Supervisor with Marks and Spencer, and Stephen who is employed in agricultural sales, now live in Landkey.

Rita and Dave Duncan were very proud parents at the wedding of their daughter, Fiona, to Nick Lynch at Sir Christopher Wren's House Hotel, Windsor, on the 28th August, when Joanne Williams, of Ilfracombe, was bridesmaid and Ella, Fiona's niece, was their flower girl. Fiona and Nick spent their honeymoon in Madrid and are making their home in Maidenhead.

June and Len Coleman celebrated their marriage with a Blessing at St. Peter's, and Karen and Wayne, from the Sawmills, were married whilst on holiday at the end of August.

Congratulations and best wishes to you all for your future health and happiness.

Illustrated by: Debbie Cook



I was prompted to write a short piece for the Newsletter after reading Shaun's article, Our Village Wedding. It was a pleasure making and icing Cathy and Shaun's wedding cake, and to try and interpret their exact wishes.

I first became seriously interested in icing and sugarcraft work some twenty years ago, and was fortunate at that time to live in the area where the first British Sugarcraft Guild was being formed. We were all very enthusiastic and desperate for knowledge and to exchange ideas.

Everyone has some artistic ability and it is surprising how the simplest decoration on a cake can make it more interesting and appealing. Ideas for cake icing designs will come to mind from looking at wallpaper, old plaster ceilings, carvings in wood, lace, cathedrals, embroidery and designs on greetings cards.

When preparing to make a cake for a special occasion, a theme should be chosen. For example, a few lines from a favourite piece of music can be piped in icing as a centrepiece for the cake. A simple quotation is often a novelty. A spray of sugar flowers or a club/school crest will add individuality. The choice is never ending. Over the years I've had some rather amusing requests for novelty cakes!

An icing bag can produce its own minor masterpieces of craftsmanship which provide a means of self-expression and satisfaction and give the same pleasure as floral art, embroidery, painting or the more usual pastime of knitting.

So, with the long winter evenings ahead, why not invest in an icing bag?

Photo: 'Here is one I made earlier'!

Viv Fryer


Artwork: Paul Swailes


Since the Berrynarbor Newsletter last appeared, the two major events of the Management Committee's year have taken place.

A tremendous thank you is offered to everyone who helped in any way at all to make both the Revels and the Horticultural and Craft Show the success they both were. The weather was kind to both events and the children's playground with bouncy castle, coconut shy and bran tub amongst the attractions, was a wonderful feature.

Hall funds received a substantial boost! The Show produced a more modest, but still welcome, boost as it always does, but the judges were meticulous in their appraisal of all the entries and the Cups were duly awarded:

The Globe CupFloral ArtSue Wright
The Walls cupHome CookingMrs. Judges
The Davis CupHandicraftsMr. & Mrs. Parkhouse
The Watermouth CupHandicraftsStuart Neale
The Watermouth Castle CupHome-made WineAngela Boyd
The George Hippisley CupArtNigel Mason
The Vi Kingdon AwardPhotographyJoy Morrow
The Derrick Kingdon CupFruit and VegetablesBetty Brooks
The Lethaby CupPotted PlantsVi Kingdon
The Manor Stores Rose BowlCut FlowersWin Sanders
Management Committee CupBest in Show [Tapestry Peacock] Mr. & Mrs. Parkhouse

Linda Brown did all the background organisation for the Show and we are very grateful for the instruction and help she gave us. John Hood, the Committee Vice-Chairman, and his wife, Marion, were stalwarts on the day - the amount of work they did was tremendous.

Again my thanks to everyone.

Graham Andrews - Chairman




call Charlie on: [01271] 883806



How good it is to see Lorna Price around and about again following her short spell in hospital, and our best wishes to Rosemary Gaydon and Win Collins following their recent operations. There is also news of June Annear who continues to make progress and hopes to be able to spend some time out of hospital soon - possibly by the time you read this - and our best wishes to Frank Billing who has been 'under the weather' recently.

It was sad to learn that following the death of her twin sister, Mildred, Audrey Joslin has not been well and we hope she will soon be feeling stronger and send her, Kathleen and Tom our love and best wishes.

I should like to thank all the kind friends who sent such lovely cards, flowers and good wishes to me during my recent stay in hospital, which so much cheered me. I am now at home again and well on the way to recovery -just a matter of six weeks on crutches - and then with my brand new hip I hope to be out and about among you again.

Win Collins - Red Tiles


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


Pretty Joy!
Sweet joy but two days old,
Sweet joy I call thee:
Thou dost smile,
I sing the while,
Sweet joy befall thee!

William Blake [1757-1827] from Infant Joy

Congratulations to Chris and Sam Bowden on the birth of their son. Continuing in the almost unbroken tradition of 'Bowden Boys', Jonathan James weighed in at 9 lbs 10 oz on Sunday, 2nd August - a first grandchild for Maureen and Graham and third for Lorna and Michael. Best wishes to you all.

Since the early hours of 3rd August, Harpers Mill has echoed to the happy baby sounds of young Alfie Bartholomew, who tipped the scales at 8 lbs 3 oz. Alfie, first grandchild for Jan and Ian, is the son of their eldest daughter, Lucy and Dave, who is currently in his second year of a Communications and Media Studies degree at Loughborough University. Congratulations and very best wishes to you all.

Jean, one of our Ilfracombe readers, is delighted to announce the arrival of her latest grandchild, a son, Jake [7 1/2 lbs], for daughter Katrina and Paul. Having known Trina since she was a knee-high talented dancer with Betty Blackmore, it is a personal pleasure to congratulate them all and send our best wishes.


[Duplicate Bridge]
7.00 p.m. Tuesdays throughout the Year
The Slade Community Centre, Ilfracombe.

The Club welcomes visitors and beginners. If you are interested, please contact Mishel Pesic [883861] or Chris Taylor [882724]]



Andrew Marvell [1621-1678]

What wondrous life is this I lead!
Ripe apples drop about my head;
The luscious clusters of the vine
Upon my mouth do crush their wine;
The nectarine and curious peach
Into my hands themselves do reach;
Stumbling on melons, as I pass,
Ensnared with flowers, I fall on grass.
Meanwhile the mind from pleasure less
Withdraws into its happiness;
The mind, that Ocean where each kind
Does straight its own resemblance find;
Yet it creates, transcending these,
Far other worlds, and other seas;
Annihilating all that's made
To a green thought in a green shade.

Illustration by: Paul Swailes




As Reported in the August Newsletter, a group of volunteers agreed to form a Committee to co-ordinate and organise events and the elected officers are:

  • Chairman: Neil Morris
  • Secretary: Lorna Bowden
  • Treasurer: Alan Rowlands

It is proposed that events will be held over the two days - Millennium Saturday and Sunday, 1st and 2nd January, with times set aside for the children and youth of the village and for adults and families. Plans for a grand openings, church celebrations, discos, a walk, village entertainment and dancing and the presentation of a commemorative memento to all children, together with other ideas, are currently in the melting pot.

Fund raising will probably take the form of a single main event to be held next summer, in which all organisations and groups will be invited to participate, application for grants and the promise of the proceeds from next year's BBC production. It is also hoped, with the approval of the village, to provide a lasting public reminder of the Millennium.

The Committee are meeting regularly and working hard on behalf of us all to bring ideas to fruition and to ensure two days of happy celebrations. If you come up with any bright ideas, do please contact any of the officers above.


Surgical Chiropodist
[Old Rectory Coach House]

Appointments for:

Surgery, Home Visits, Residential and Nursing Homes

87 High Street, llfracombe, EX34 9NH Tel. [01271] 865989 Mobile: 0411 860355


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


John and Carol at Tree Tops have two reasons to celebrate. John's daughter, Lorraine, and husband, Ken, who live near Colchester, Essex, are the proud parents of identical twin boys. Born on the 17th August, Matthew Ian and Daniel James weighed in at a combined weight of over 11lbs. and Neil Redwod has been awarded a B.Sc. Design Futures degree with Upper 2nd Class Honours from the University of Westminster. Neil is currently staying in Cambridge with his girlfriend, Becky Clements. For those of you who know Becky, she was also awarded a 2nd Class Honours degree in Fine Art from the University of Cambridge.

Congratulations to Laura Hookway who has been awarded a 2nd Class Combined Honours degree in Psychology and Health from Bath Spa University College. Laura moved to Berrynarbor in 1982, attending the Primary School before leaving to further her studies at Ilfracombe College and the North Devon College, where she gained a BTec National Diploma in Health Studies. After taking a year out and travelling to Australia, Laura took up a post at the North Devon College working with special needs students before going to Bath. Laura is currently living at home with her mother, Ann Pennington, but hopes to continue her studies to become a Psychologist for the Deaf, a field in which she became interested whilst working at the National Institute for the Deaf and Blind when she was studying at Bath.

Your family, Laura, are all extremely proud of you and wish you every success in the future; and we, too, add our congratulations and best wishes.

To students from the village who collected Awards at the College Presentation Evening held at The Landmark Theatre on the 11th September: Matthew Malin received a Year 7 Academic Award, and brother Tom and Peter Hiscox GCSE prizes for Effort in English and Biology respectively. Tom also won a Year 11 Special Merit Award, with ten other students and including Lorna Boyd, late of Brookdale and now living in Shrewsbury. The citation for the award read: Some young people find it painfully embarrassing and awkward to relate to the adult world. Not so with these young men and women. Each of them has a positive, open and friendly personality and is loyal, supportive, honest and hardworking. In short, they are models of maturity and not at all like 'Kevin the teenager'! They have been an absolute pleasure to be with and we wish them well in the future.



"To throw wide arms of rock around a tide

That yielded with an ebb, with a soft crash."

Seamus Heaney

Illustration by: Peter Rothwell

The lane past Mortehoe church leads eventually to a little cemetery placed high above the sea, bound by a fine stone wall with buttresses and surrounded by open ground. Nearby, an ornate gate marks the entry to Morte Point Memorial Park. Here there is a Latin inscription announcing that in 1909 the Chichesters of Arlington dedicated this piece of land to public use. 'Hic ager in usum civium dedicatus . . . est . . . '

The name of this prominent corner of the Devon coastline serves as a reminder of how its dangerous rocks and the treacherous weather conditions which prevail there, have often combined with disastrous effect for seafarers. But, on this particular day, on the cusp of summer and autumn, it was a place where kestrels hovered and cormorants and shags swam out at sea. There is a great web of tracks criss-crossing over the short turf and linking up with the windy exposed coast path around the headland.

Some of the clumps of gorse appeared to have had tangled masses of bright reddish pink threads like thin string -- strewn over them, in places so dense that the gorse itself was almost hidden from view. These tendril-like stems, resembling spaghetti more than a typical plant, are a curious and unusual parasitic annual called dodder. It lacks green pigment, drawing its nourishment through sucker-like roots which are firmly attached to the stem of the host plant. It twines around heather, clover or gorse and can be so vigorous in its growth that the host plant is obscured and killed. Apparently the name dodder is believed to have travelled with the plant from Germany centuries ago.

Another non-green plant was present in large colonies in the grassy areas and was being gathered by wild mushroom enthusiasts. Described in the field guides as edible and excellent - a very distinctive fungus - the creamy white and brown parasol mushroom can grow to the size of a dinner plate.

However, by then it is thick and woolly and though impressive looking, it would be like eating a felt hat! For culinary use, the texture is right when the cap is small and closed.

I suppose at this point there should be the usual health warning, If in ANY doubt about identification, leave well alone!

We have eaten parasols as a sauce for pasta and in a Spanish type omelette, but whilst one fungus expert claims that, 'apart from the field mushroom, this is one of our most highly prized fungi', I would describe it as interesting to look at rather than delicious to eat.

Sue H



  • Farewell - It was sad to say goodbye to Peter and Rachel Busch and their family, who have now moved from Wood Park to Woolacombe. Good Luck in your new home.

  • Parish Clerk - A warm welcome to our new Parish Clerk, Michelle Beaumont of Cross Cottage, East Buckland, Barnstaple, EX32 OTB. Michelle can be contacted on 01598 760416 in the evenings, on Thursdays or at week-ends, or please leave a message on the answerphone.

  • Badminton Club - The Badminton Club has now recommenced for the winter 7.30 p.m. onwards on Monday evenings at the Manor Hall. Newcomers will be very welcome. Please ring Nicky Ball [883735] or Jill McCrae [882121] for more details.

  • John Gubb - It is good to have news of John Gubb of Southlee who, after 3 years study at Myerscough College, Preston, for a National Diploma in Horticulture [Turf Science and Sports Ground Management] has spent the last five months in America. John is at present on the Ohio Internship Programme training and studying on a golf course with the greens staff at Atlanta, Georgia, sponsored by the University of Ohio. He is studying golf course maintenance and construction and preparing for a PGA tournament in October.

  • Spanish - The Spanish class suggested in the last Newsletter has got underway, the first meeting being held in the Penn Curzon room at the Manor Hall on Thursday, 17th September. There is still room for one or two more, so if you are interested, please ring Tony Summers now on 883600 [evenings]. Hosta luego!

  • Congratulations to Nigel, one of our 'artists in residence' and judged first in the Art Section of our Horticultural and Craft Show, who turned judge himself when he picked out his favourite drawings in The Landmark's Big Top Art Competition for children's impressions of the musical, Barnum.

  • Barnstaple Mobile Library - Library Assistant: Jacqui Mackenzie

    Sandy Cove, 11.30 to 11.45 a.m.. Barton Lane, 11.50 to 12.05 p.m. The Square, 1.15 to 1.40 p.m. Sterridge Valley, 1.45 to 2.05 p.m.

  • Yoga - Manor Hall, Tuesday evenings from 7.00 to 8.30 p.m. £3.00 per session



In ancient Britain and Ireland, the Celtic festival of Sambain was observed at the end of the summer. October 31st was also the eve of the new year, both in Celtic and Anglo-Saxon times. The souls of the dead were believed to revisit their homes on this day and all manner of ghosts, witches, faeries and daemons were said to be on the prowl. [Regular readers may recall that I wrote something similar in connection with the Christian New Year a few months ago.]

Hallowe'en was the time said to be most favourable for appealing to those powers that controlled the forces of nature and also to be the best time for divinations - specifically regarding marriage, luck, health and death. It was the only day in which the devil's assistance was invoked.

The practice of 'trick or treating' followed by many children these days was introduced by immigrants to the United States in the 19th Century, where the practice was carried out by young men in the main, who were often found to severely damage property in the process.

The most common symbol associated with Hallowe'en is, of course, the 'jack-o-Lantern' - the hollowed out pumpkin carved with demonic face and containing a lighted candle. In many places in Somerset, Hallowe'en is known as 'Punky Night', a punky being a hollowed out mangel-wurzel. It is still quite common to make these and up until only a few years ago, children in many areas, such as Heasley Mill on the southern edge of Exmoor, used to wear dark coats and walk around the village in groups, each child carrying a lantern.

The tradition of making pumpkin lanterns is one of protection - families would place one outside their door to ward off evil spirits. The time when these shades walk abroad is almost upon us for another year, so order your pumpkins early to avoid disappointment!

Mark Norman


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


From: The Revd. Keith G. Wyer
On behalf of Christians Together

The Rectory
Combe Martin

Dear Friends,

Life seems to get more and more hectic as we hurtle towards the new millennium. Life is very hectic in the village as we often tell disbelieving visitors. With shops now being open seven days a week, throughout the year, life will only get more hectic, and we will feel even more guilty if we have any time off at all.

I was surprised the other day when I came across the following United Nations publication:

We who have lost our sense and our senses - our touch, our smell, our vision of who we are; we who frantically force and press all things, without rest for the body or spirit, hurting our earth and injuring ourselves: we call a halt.

We want to rest. We need to rest and allow the earth to rest. We need to reflect and rediscover the mystery that lives in us, that is the ground of every unique expression of life, the source of the fascination that calls all things to communion.

We declare a Sabbath, a space of quiet: for simply being and letting be; for recovering the great, forgotten truths; for learning how to live again.

We all need to take 'Time Out'. Each week give yourself a break. Give time to yourself and God. Whenever we face a difficult situation [and who doesn't sometime?], remember the billiard ball player who had a difficult shot to make to win the frame, and he walked round and round the table until one of his supporters could stand the tension no longer and shouted: 'Use the Rest! ,

With all good wishes,
Your Friend and Rector,

Keith Wyer



The February issue gave details of Louise Walls's forthcoming trip with Raleigh International as a Staff Medic to work voluntarily on a project in Belize, and in August we were happy to congratulate her and David on their marriage. Now, true to her word, Louise tells us a little of her experiences in Central America:

Giving up my job as a Staff Nurse to work unpaid in one of Central America's poorest countries was, at the time, a huge gamble, but it was the best thing I have ever done. My nursing training was certainly put to the test during the next three and a half months in the jungle, being responsible for the health and safety of the project members, as well as contributing to the nine different expedition projects. The volunteers worked alongside the local people building two new schools and revamping another, working in national parks, building shelters and a basketball pitch.

The team all lived in very poor and remote areas and we had to become accustomed to the basic living conditions very quickly. We slept in 'bashas', which were basically hammocks in the open air - my bed for over three months! We washed in the local rivers and ate dehydrated food, like army supplies, including a lot of porridge. I often traded my share with the locals for fresh fruit and vegetables. We had no electricity, so once it was dark in the jungle, you couldn't see a thing!

Before starting the project, I had been briefed on tropical medicines and learnt about things like malaria, snakes, bugs and fevers. It was a great personal challenge but luckily none of my colleagues suffered serious illness although two were suspected to be suffering from malaria. I was mostly called upon to treat mosquito and other quite horrible bites, and the very unpleasant effects of the Bot fly, which would burrow itself under the skin to lay its eggs.

It was sad saying goodbye to the local people but after completing the work, a fellow medic and I travelled to Mexico where I met up with David and I was able to show him the work with which I had been involved. We also travelled to El Salvador and Guatemala before taking the memorable trip to Roatan, where David and I were married on the 16th June.

I should like to thank everyone who sponsored me and made this expedition of a lifetime possible.



Artwork: David Duncan


Thanks to Phil and his team and to everyone who participated, this year's float -Sinking of the Titanic - has been another great success, having achieved First in its class in Combe Martin, Ilfracombe and Barnstaple, and Best Overall Entry in both llfracombe and Barnstaple, raising lots of money for charity along the way.

A big thank you goes to the Richards Bros [Hagginton] for the use of the barn to build the float, and the cups of tea! Herbert Parkin and Sons for the tractor, Richard Haines for the smoke machine, Hele Building for help with building supplies, Brian and Gill Mountain and Chris Gubb for winter storage - without all their help our success would not have been possible.

Quiz Nights - a fun Quiz Night has been arranged for Sunday, 4th October at 8.00 p.m. Free entry. Teams of 4. Every Sunday from the 18th October, we shall be holding quiz nights to find a house team to go forward to the regional finals of the 10th Courage Annual Quiz competition. This will be for teams of 4 [substitutes are permitted]. Let us know if you would like to join in.



Many readers, as parents and pupils, will have happy memories of Richard Sullivan, his wife Lynne and daughters, Clare and Caroline. Richard was for twelve years, after his return from Uganda, inspirational Head of our Primary School. He and his family became very much a part of our village and it was a sad day when they left for Richard to take up the post of Head at Holsworthy Primary School.

It was, therefore, both interesting and a pleasure to read about them in the North Devon Journal in July.

Richard has the rare distinction of teaching his two daughters and two of his grand-daughters over a period of some thirty years and at three schools, as far apart as Africa and North Devon. The classroom saga began in Kampala when Clare enrolled at his school, and then in Berrynarbor he taught both Clare and Caroline before they attended Ilfracombe College. Some time later, it was the turn of Victoria and Helen, Caroline's daughters, who have both attended Holsworthy Primary School. But now, with Helen leaving this summer, the family link has been broken.

Keeping a professional distance whilst educating his family has never been a problem, even being father and grandfather, he says, "they have all been model pupils". Richard's one disappointment has been that due to the distance, they live in Surrey, he has been unable to take Naomi, Clare's daughter, under his wing.

Our congratulations, Richard, and very best wishes to all the family.



John Clare

The autumn morning, waked by many a gun
Throws o'er the fields her many-coloured light,
Wood wildly touched, close tanned and stubbles dun,
A motley paradise for earth's delight;
Clouds ripple as the darkness breaks to light,
And clover plots are hid with silver mist,
One shower of cobwebs o'er the surface spread;
And threads of silk in strange disorder twist
Round every leaf and blossom's bottly head;
Hares in the drowning herbage scarcely steal
But on the battered pathway squats abed
And by the cart-rut nips her morning meal.
Look where we may the scene is strange and new,
And every object wears a changing hue.

Illustration by: Paul Swailes


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


The silver mines around this area were of many, many years ago, but during World War Il there were some of a very different type. When I was travelling to school one morning, seated upstairs on the bus, as we passed the coastguard houses and going towards Hele, looking down to the sea and rocks there was a mine of the explosive kind! I understand it was dragging its cable. Later in the afternoon there was a loud explosion, when it must have hit the rocks and gone off. I think there were a few broken windows in Hele!

My second experience of mines was when a friend and I thought we would pay a visit to Broadsands. What a lovely beach that is! When we got to the bottom of the steps, there standing at the high tide mark was a washed-up mine. We gingerly had a look but not too close. To this day l do not know if it was live or had been de-fused. A few days later we went back to have another look, but it had gone. No doubt the appropriate authorities had removed it.

The last experience was rather different. Remember the blackout when no lights were to be shown - although cars and buses were allowed very small masked headlights. Like most other people, I carried a torch. One night, I took a walk to Combe Martin and as I started to go towards Seaside, I saw an extraordinary sight below me. It was like a half moon, glowing green. It was all along the high tide line of the harbour beach. When I got down to the beach, I found that the green glow was made of fragments of fish. One piece I picked up was of octopus. The cause was a mine which had exploded in an area rich in fish and the resultant pieces glowed with phosphorous. A strange sight indeed. There is, of course, a lot of phosphorous in the sea, but with all the light shining from illuminations, street lamps, etc., you are unlikely to see anything of the like these nights.

Tony Beauclerk - Colchester




Once again a full programme has been arranged commencing in October and continuing through to May. Wine tasting meetings are held monthly in the Manor Hall on the third Wednesday commencing at 8.00 p.m.

The programme is varied with a mixture of professional input and evenings given by members, and covering wine producing areas from all over the world. At the AGM, the retiring Committee were re-elected and both Membership Fees and the monthly contribution, of £3.00, remain unaltered.

We look forward to welcoming new members at our first meeting on Wednesday, 21st October, when Ivor Francis of Victoria Wines of llfracombe will be giving a presentation. Anyone interested in joining us- and everyone is welcome - should contact any of the following:

Chairman, Alex Parke [883758]
Treasurer, Jill McCrae [882121]

Secretary, Tony Summers [883600]
Publicity, Tom Bartlett [883408]

Programme for 1998-99

  • 21 October - Wine from Victoria Wines Ivor Francis
  • 18 November - Chairman's Choice - Alex Parke
  • 9 December* - Stoke Rivers Christmas Cracker
    Note change of date - by TICKET only - Jan, Michael, David, Mary & Co.
  • 21 January - Members' Favourite Wines - All Members
  • 17 February - A Wine Presentation - Jolly's Wines
  • 17 March - A Tesco Selection - Tony Summers
  • 21 April - New World v Old World - C. Lightfoot
  • 20 May - A Wine Presentation - John Hood


Buy your
And support your local

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

Eunice would be delighted to collect
All old Greetings Cards [of any kind] for Recycling



How do you get from Lynmouth to Barnstaple? A simple question you might think, but you could be surprised by the answer.

    "At the end of Lynmouth Crescent (1), cross straight over Dulverton Drive (2) and turn into Buzzacott Lane (3). From there, pass by the turning to Combe Martin (4). Barnstaple Court (5) is the next turning on the right."

Confused? Well don't be. The answer lies in Milton Keynes, home of concrete cows and infinite roundabouts.



As most people know, Milton Keynes is a new town. As such, the Development Corporation were faced with the difficult task of picking names for the many thousands of new roads. In the end, they opted for a simple solution - pick a theme for an area and name all the roads in the area accordingly.

  • Far Bletchley - Haydock Close, Chepstow Drive, Epsom Grove, Sandown Court, Wincanton Hill [Race courses]
  • Crownhill - Lennon Drive, Morrison Court, Hendrix Drive, Bolan Close [60/70's pop stars]
  • Browns Wood - Mendlesson Grove, Holst Crescent, Schuman Close, Wagner Close [Composers]
  • West Bletchley - Tweed Drive, Severn Way, Derwent Drive, Ouzel Close, Mersey Way [Rivers]
  • Denbigh - Arbroath Close, Lothian Close, Kinross Drive, Ayr Way, Peebles Place [Scottish towns]
  • Water Eaton - Grasmere Way, Buttermere Close, Crummock Place, Windermere Drive [The Lake District]

When choosing the road names for Furzton, the theme selected was North Devon and Somerset. The following are just a subset of the names used:

  • Combe Martin, Blackmoor Gate, Challacombe, Simonsbath, Bampton Close, Countisbury, Barnstaple Court, Buzzacott Lane, Brendon Court, Exmoor Gate, Trentishoe Crescent, Withycombe, Arlington Court, Lynmouth Crescent, Porlock Lane, Watersmeet Close, Muddiford Lane.

There can't be many places in Britain that are more different from the Sterridge Valley than Milton Keynes. However, I can still take a drive through Combe Martin, pass by Blackmoor Gate and pop in to Lynmouth, which I guess makes it a real home from home!

James Weedon


Artwork: Angela Bartlett

Berrynarbor Mill

This photographic postcard was produced by Garratt around 1907. In the last century, and into this, most farmers would reap their corn and after being left in 'stooks' to dry, it would be collected in and threshed to remove the grains of corn, which were then taken to the local miller for grinding into flour. The majority of mills in this part of North Devon were all driven by water, and Berrynarbor Mill [Mill Park] was an Overshot water wheel constructed of cast iron with wooden buckets and the wheel diameter was 20 feet and 60 inches wide, as shown above.

From records in my possession, I can list the Millers from 1850 [White's Directory] up to 1939 [Kelly's Directory], as follows:

1850 - Jane Dyer
1856 - Thomas Pile
1866 - John Hancock Jnr.
1878 - 1906 - John Jewell

1906 - 1923 - Ernest Smith
1923 - George Burgess
1926 - 1939 James Chugg

In 1946, at the end of the War, the Mill House was converted into a dwelling house and the Mill Wheel dismantled. In the Watermouth Sale of 1924, Lot 6 describes: 'Berry Mills, a very desirable Grist Mill and Dairy Farm comprising slated Dwelling House containing:- Sitting room, Kitchen, Back Kitchen, Dairy and Four Bedrooms, with Garden, Mill and Water Wheel, Tiled six-stall Shippen, Dutch Barn, Tiled Piggery, Tiled Shippen, Slated two-stall Stable, Tiled Calf House and about 16 acres 2r 29p of Rich Watered Meadow, Pasture and Woodlands, as now in the occupation of Mr. C.H. Burgess as a Yearly Michaelmas Tenant.' James Chugg was the purchaser.

We are informed by Watermills in North Devon 1994 [obtainable from John Gale, Moorings, Watermouth] that Mill Park House was originally the mill. At that time, Mill Park Cottage, built in 1671, was the farmhouse. The tithe records show that in 1841 a miller and malster lived in the farm house, thus indicating that a mill was then in existence. It also states 'During World War II, the PLUTO [Pipe Line Under The Ocean] operation utilised the water power of the mill'. The book is very interesting and well worth reading and gives details of Old Saw Mill, Berrynarbor, and Harpers Mill, Sterrage Valley.

The picture above shows Mrs. Ernest Smith feeding her ducks and chickens. The Smith's were the millers from c1906 until c1921. I wonder if anyone has a more recent picture of the mill and water wheel prior to its removal in c1946. If so, I should very much like the opportunity to see it.

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage, September 1998



The Parish Council

The Parish Council has recently received the resignation of Brian Fryer due to the pressure of work. Thanks are due to him for his services, particularly for the year he spent as Vice-Chairman, and the Council wishes him well for the future.

A notice of the vacancy will be displayed in the village and if no election is claimed, the Council will co-opt a councillor at its meeting on the 13th October to serve until May 1999. Anyone wishing to be considered for co-option should telephone me on 883385.

Graham Andrews - Chairman



1stWhist Drive Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
2ndSt. Peter's Church: Decoration of Church for Harvest Festival. Gifts of flowers, fruit and vegetables warmly welcome.
4thSt. Peter's Church: Harvest Festival - Family Communion 10.30 a.m.
Quiz Night at The Globe, 8.00 p.m.
6thW.I. Meeting: Musical Slide Show - Mr. Les Tovey
Yoga, Manor Hall, 7.00 p.m.
7thSt. Peter's Church: Harvest Evensong, 6.30 p.m., Harvest Supper, Manor Hall, 7.45 p.m.
8thWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
13thYoga, 7.00 p.m.
Parish Council Meeting, 7.30 p.m. Manor Hall
15thWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
18thSt. Peter's Church: Family Service, 10.30 a.m.
Quiz Night at The Globe
20thYoga, Manor Hall, 7.00 p.m.
21stWine Circle: Manor Hall, 8.00 p.m. Wines from Victoria Wines
22ndWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
23rdNon-Pupil Day at College and Primary School
25thQuiz Night at The Globe
26thTo 30th inc. Half Term for College and Primary School
27thYoga, Manor Hall, 7.00 p.m.
28thMobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
W.I. Chichester Group Social: East Down Village Hall, 7.30 p.m.
29thWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
31stJUMBLE SALE [RSPCA], Combe Martin Community Centre 2.00 p.m.
1stQuiz Night at The Globe
3rdW.I. Annual Meeting
Yoga, Manor Hall, 7.00 p.m.
5thWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
8thSt. Peter's Church: Remembrance Sunday Service and Laying of Wreaths, 10.30 a.m.
Quiz Night at The Globe.
10thYoga, Manor Hall, 7.00 p.m.
Parish Council Meeting , Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
11thMobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
12thWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
15thSt. Peter's Church: Family Service, 10.30 a.m.
Quiz Night at The Globe
17thYoga, Manor Hall, 7.00 p.m.
18thWine Circle: Manor Hall, 8.00 p.m. Chairman's Choice - Alex Parke
19thWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
22ndQuiz Night at The Globe
24thYoga, Manor Hall, 7.00 p.m.
25thMobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
26thWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
1stW.I. Meeting: Speaker from Queens Theatre - Curtain Up.
Yoga, Manor Hall, 7.00 p.m.
3rdWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
8thYoga, Manor Hall, 7.00 p.m.
9thMobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
Wine Circle: Manor Hall, 8.00 p.m. TICKET HOLDERS ONLY! Christmas Cracker!


[12.5.1911 - 1.1.1945]

With Remembrance Sunday still fresh in our minds, Tom Bartlett, in an article in December 1994, wrote about the War Memorial at St. Peter's and the inscription on the north facing plinth to the 'Fallen of 1939-45'. One name was Erik Zapletal and in the April issue a snippet of information about him states that he had "perished sadly in the same manner as so many rear-gunners".

I was, therefore, intrigued to receive from Terry Babbington an article he had found on the Internet about Czechs in the RAF in 1945, written by Peter Casper of Radio Prague.

The Czechs had four squadrons operating within the RAF - 3 fighter squadrons based in Bradwell Bay, East England, and a bomber squadron based at Tain, on the Firth of Dornoch, North Scotland.

Despite launching its last heavy attack on Allied air bases in Western Europe on the first day of 1945, the Luftwaffe was no longer the force it had been, but even they couldn't be blamed for the heavy losses that the Czechs suffered in early 1945. On New Year's Day, a Liberator bomber took off from Tain for an operational flight that was never to be. Shortly after take off, the plane crashed against the rocky tops of the Island of Hoy in the Orkneys, killing the entire crew of eight. Erik Zapletal was one of that fateful crew. Five of the crew were buried in the cemetery at Tain, two were cremated at Golders Green, London, and "Flight Sergeant Jaroslav Zapletal was buried at the St. Peter Berrynarbor cemetery in Devon. Zapletal's grave was not officially marked and all that is known is that it is by the north side of the local church."

The reason that Jaroslav [or Erik as he was known here] was buried here is, of course, because he married Heather Miller, whose family lived on Hagginton Hill. Erik and Heather had a daughter, Litzi, who now lives near Bude in Cornwall.

So, my next thing was to follow up the unmarked grave. Sure enough, and with the help of Brian, who was cutting the grass, I came upon two weather-beaten wooden, but unnamed, crosses lying in the grass. Further inspection revealed, just a few yards away, a plain but obviously new headstone. I was delighted to find that this was in memory of Jaroslav Zapletal and Betty Davis was able to tell me that this had been erected, not that long ago, by the War Graves Commission. I like to believe that the fresh flowers on it had been placed there either by Litzi or another member of his family.

Gone, but not forgotten.

Judie W