Edition 59 - April 1999




 
Artwork by: Debbie Cook


Artwork: Judie Weedon
 

EDITORIAL

A big thank you to everyone who has contributed to this 'bumper' issue - to Debbie for the cover and the 'big furry bear', Paul and Peter for their illustrations, to first-time contributors and to the 'regulars', whose help has been the mainstay for so long. Thanks, too, to everyone who has recently given very generously to the funds, which were beginning to look a little sick following the colour photographs in the last issue!

You may like to know where your contributions go. We still print a run of some 400 copies at an approximate cost of E63.00, about 15p per copy, a rise from 12p in 1993. Since then, mailing costs have also increased, with an increase in postal rates and a doubling of recipients, now 58, with several copies going overseas. There are, of course, incidental expenses - staples, envelopes, telephone, etc. The cost of the coloured insertions is around El 50, putting the cost of those issues up a further 38p! In spite of this, we are keeping our heads above water -just - but that is all that is necessary, we do not need or want to make a profit. So, your contributions at the Post Office and elsewhere are very welcome! Hopefully there will be some new Newsletter Notelets on sale soon.

Our next issue will be June, by which time we shall be nearing the longest day! Let's hope we'll be basking in warm, sunny weather as well. With a busy May and Spring Bank Holiday ahead, it would be very helpful to have contributions as early as possible please, and by WEDNESDAY, 12TH MAY, at the latest. Many thanks.

With best wishes for Easter.

Judieff Weedgrow - Editor C16th!

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BERRYNARBOR W.I.

A well-attended meeting at the beginning of February included three visitors, and it was good to welcome back Maggie Bland. Once again

Kath Arscott took us on a wonderful trip through Turkey this time - followed by a complete change, the ruggedness and beauty of St. Kilda, Outer Hebrides. Her excellent photography kept everyone spellbound. Many thanks, Kath, for a most interesting afternoon. Thanks also to Joyce Elliott for volunteering to help Joan Berry on the door, and Margaret Andrews and Doreen Prater for stepping in to share the Secretary's work as Anne has had to resign due to other commitments.

The 2nd March was a really nasty afternoon - weather-wise, wet and windy - but an excellent attendance included two new members, Norma Holland and Kay Webber, who immediately offered to help on the door -- a very good way to learn who everyone is as they pay their money! Josie Bozier brought along two knitted teddies which her neighbour had kindly sent. They were most welcome as teddies are still needed for the 'little ones' where tragedy has struck. After Marjorie and Doreen dispensed with the official business, it was time to welcome Yvonne Davey who spoke on the Ilfracombe Volunteer Bureau, which everyone found most interesting. Then Neil Morris, Chairman of the Berrynarbor Millennium Committee, gave a short address on events planned for the Millennium and the fund raising for them. Neil and his Committee must be complimented on their hard work and the thought they have put in to the project, and we wish them every success.

Doreen Prater will be our Delegate [and will also represent three other Institutes] at the National AGM in London in June. Members who have attended previous AGM's know that she will find it very interesting.

The competitions for the Chichester Group Meeting at Kentisbury on the 26th April, when we defend the Shield, are for a watercolour, a Dundee cake and a flower arrangement. Linda Brown, having won the competition, will represent us for floral art. The cook and painter will be chosen at our next meeting on the 6th April when we hope to welcome Michelle Wolfe-Emery as our speaker on Hypnotherapy. Visitors and prospective members are most welcome. Meetings commence at 2.30 p.m. in the Manor Hall.

Though the world's pleasures
may be fleeting and vain,
Religion is lasting and true.
Real pleasure and peace
in its paths you may gain,
And the Blessings of Easter ensue.

Vi Kingdon - President

The photograph on the next page, lent by Margaret Walls, shows the W.I. Sewing Group enjoying their Annual Tea Party in 1983 outside The Lodge.

Win Collins tells us that the group used to meet monthly in the Penn Curzon Room, putting tables together to form one large one around which everyone sat, spreading out their various pieces of sewing or embroidery in front of them. At one stage they learnt how to do patchwork and together made a large, patchwork quilt which was raffled for the Hospice. Various members were renowned - Bobbie Hacker in particular for their beautiful cathedral pattern cushion covers -- an intricate method of adornment, often done in velvet. It was a happy and productive group who sadly dispersed later as they could no longer cover the cost of hiring the Hall and heating. Later they did meet at Vera Cowperthwaite's home, but when she left the village to be near her family, there was no longer a venue to accommodate them. Everyone has fond memories of that cheerful group of ladies.


Back row: Joan Adams, Betty Parker, Vera Cowperthwaite, Doreen Siviter, Brenda Wilkins [W.I. President], Betty Goodwin, Win Collins, Doris Swift and Una Warburton.

Seated: Vera Wilmot, Rose Brinkhurst, Edith Rumley, Margaret Tyrrell and Bobbie Hacker.

QUICK QUOTE: The W.I. President of a village in the Cotswolds, earlier this century: "Oh yes, we're very democratic here. On our W.I. committee we have three ladies, three women and the village school mistress."

2



 

IN MEMORIAM

CLIFFORD KNOWLES

It is with sadness that we report the death of Clifford Knowles of Monks Path, Barton Lane, who passed away peacefully on the 22nd January. Clifford and Lilian came to Berrynarbor from Derby, where he had been an optician. Our sympathy and thoughts have been with Lilian at this sad time.

Lilian would like to thank everyone for their kindness and support, especially Mary and Betty, who has been a tower of strength.

RICHARD [Dick] BARTEN

Everyone was saddened to learn that Richard had lost his long battle and passed away peacefully, with his family with him, at his home at the end of February. Our thoughts and prayers have been with him and with Win, to whom he had been married nearly 66 years, Sally, John, David and all the family.

The Service on the 5th March, on a cold but sunny day, was a fitting and happy celebration of his life, attended by his family and many friends from the village. As John said, "the family will miss this kind and gentle man and if he should be looking down today, I know he would say: 'Lots of people about - must be something important going on.' How right he would have been!

Dick's ashes will return to Lydford - where he farmed for many years before making his home at Pitt Hill in 1989 - to rest under a chestnut tree grown from a conker planted by one of his grandchildren.

Win, Sally, John, David and all the family thank everyone for their loving support, prayers and messages of sympathy - Keith Wyer for the beautiful service and Gerry Marangone for his heartfelt singing of 'O My Beloved Father'. Thank you, so much, for coming to wish our beloved father a last fond farewell.

3



Artwork: David Duncan
 

ST. PETER'S CHURCH

A warm welcome is extended to everyone to come and join us for our Easter Services: Easter Services: Good Friday [2nd April] - Quiet Hour, 2.00 - 3.00 p.m. Easter Sunday [4th April] - Sung Eucharist, 10.30 a.m. A reminder that the church will be decorated late on Friday.

Looking forward to May: The PCC will be holding a Coffee Morning on Thursday, 6th May, in the Manor Hall, 10.00 a.m. to 12.00 noon. We shall be glad of gifts for the various stalls: cakes, raffle prizes, books, good 'white elephant' items. Proceeds will go to church funds - all our efforts this year will be for essential repairs to the tower. A very special occasion on Ascension Day, Thursday, 13th May, when the Bishop of Crediton will be coming to Berrynarbor to hold a Confirmation Service beginning at 7.30 p.m. Both adults and children will be being Confirmed and it is still not too late to get in touch with the Rector. Please come and give your support to the candidates and we shall be having a buffet supper in the Manor Hall afterwards.

Christian Aid Week is from 9th to 15th May this year and there will be envelopes for donations at the back of the church as usual. Christians Together will join in fund raising events for this appeal and there will be a United Service in Berrynarbor on Sunday, 30th May at 6.30 p.m. when the collection will go to Christian Aid. Again this will be followed by coffee, tea, etc., in the Manor Hall.

A lovely service took place on Mothering Sunday. Our thanks to Betty and Anne for preparing the bunches of flowers and to Paul and Teresa who helped to provide the daffodils. Our thanks, too, to Marion who has kept the Sunday School going and active over the past few months. Have you had time to see the display boards at the back of the church?

Mary Tucker

4



ETHEL MAY BLACKMORE

I Ith January 1999 was a special day for Mrs. Ethel May Blackmore, a former resident of the village, as she celebrated her 100th Birthday.

May was born at Lower Trayne Farm, daughter of George and Fanny Stratton, formerly from Dorset. Whilst she was still a baby, the family moved into one of the cottages opposite The Globe - May thinks there were double doors at the side to the pony trap housing. George, her father, was a gardener employed by Furse's of Ilfracombe. He worked a plot of land to the left of Birdswell Lane and the produce was collected twice weekly.

Until she was about 12 years old, May attended the village school after which she transferred to the secondary school in Marlborough Road, Ilfracombe [now the Infant School]. Most days, students would walk to and from school via Hagginton Hill and Hele, although on some mornings Bert Watts would offer them a lift on his milk cart. If the weather was very wet, they would all walk to the Sawmills and take a ride on the coach and horses. This would invariably overload the coach, so the youngsters would have to get out and walk up Hele Hill to spare the horses.

During her childhood, Watermouth Castle was the home of the Bassett family and then, by marriage, the Penn-Curzons. Whenever they drove past in their carriage and pair, men would doff their caps and women and girls would curtsey. If the children heard the carriage coming when they were playing in the woods, they would hide amongst the bushes and trees to avoid bowing and curtseying as it went by!

When she was in her mid-teens, May left school and started working for Furses in Ilfracombe. Their main shop was in the High Street, although they also owned other businesses in town. May was employed in a cafe and shop on the corner of the promenade opposite Wildersmouth Beach. It was a live-in job with a room over the shop. During the winter, much of the work was carrying out sewing repairs. The summer was a busy time with frequent journeys up the steep alleyway to the main shop in the High Street. There would also be deliveries to make, especially to the Ilfracombe Hotel. The affluent upper-class guests from there would often make purchases at the shop, but would not carry them away themselves. They expected the goods to be delivered to the hotel - even if all they had purchased was one peach!

At week-ends, May would cycle home to Berrynarbor to spend time with her parents and to attend the Congregational Chapel. She would return to Ilfracombe on the Sunday evening. The headlamp on her bicycle was a glass encased candle. Quite often, as she passed the Coastguard cottages, the candle would blow out and she would have to rekindle it. Luxmoore's department store was May's next place of employment and she was working on the cash desk when she married Reginald Blackmore in 1922. They then helped his widowed sister run her corner shop until they purchased and farmed Bowden Farm, Ilfracombe. Here they raised their three daughters. [Incidentally, their second daughter married Jim Bowden, eldest son of Leonard]. These were busy years, especially during World War Il when various people were billeted at the farm.

May now lives in Ilfracombe with her eldest daughter. She has 5 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. We send her our belated best wishes for her birthday and congratulate her on achieving her century!

5



YER OTS, THINK OT MICKY?

Yer ots, think ot Micky? Sum dawbake as bin yer to the manor all an dis e naw ot the gawk dood? Painted one uv they mooruls all over the shop. Never seed nawt like it. Praps Damian Urst, down to Shamick's bin yer practisin es 'modern art'. Shame e rinned out uv culers!

Ot say, Micky, do e reckon us cud do better? Yer Micky, youm maze as a brish, thecky paints BLACK! Otle vux think?


Here, what do you think of it Micky? Some doughbake has been here to the Manor Hall and do you know what the gawk's done? Painted one of those murals all over the place. Never seen anything like it. Perhaps Damian Hurst from Combe Martin has been here practising his modern art. Shame he ran out of colours!

What do you say, Micky, do you reckon we could do better? Here Micky, you 're as daft as a brush, that paint is black! What will folks think?

6



FURRY BEAR
A.A. Milne

If I were a bear
And a big bear too,
I shouldn't much care
If it froze or snew;
I wouldn't much mind
If it snowed or frizz - 
I'd be all fur-lined
With a coat like his!
For I'd have fur boots and a brown fur wrap,
And brown fur knickers and a big fur cap.
I'd have a fur muffle-ruff to cover my jaws,
And brown fur mitten on my big brown paws.
With a big brown furry-down up on my head
I'd sleep all winter in a big fur bed.


Illustrated by: Debbie Cook

7



CHRISTIANS TOGETHER IN COMBE MARTIN & BERRYNARBOR

The spring is with us and the lighter evenings too. The darkness and coldness of winter days are behind us. We are beginning to appreciate the warmth of the sunshine and the budding life around us. The earth is thrusting forth new life. Seed time is here, and in God's gracious provision, the harvest will follow.

As April dawns, Holy Week moves on to its remembrance of those events in the life and death and resurrection of Jesus which we celebrate as Easter. Maundy Thursday is a day we remember as the day when Jesus met with his Disciples for the Last Supper, before moving out into the Garden of Gethsemane. Good Friday - a secular day for many in these modern times - recalls for us the Crucifixion, suffering and death of the sinless Son of God on a cruel Roman cross for the sin of mankind.

After the silence of the tomb, came the glorious news and triumph of resurrection glory, and Easter Sunday was born! Jesus rose from death to die no more. No wonder the Christian rejoices and sings, "Hallelujah! What a Saviour!"

Here is the Gospel; here is the be proclaimed! Christians are not whose founder is dead, but of One who declared, "My purpose is to give life in all its fullness". faith and trust in Jesus Christ, we can know and experience that life daily for ourselves. On Good Friday, there is a service of the Stations of the Cross at 10.00 a.m. at St.Mary's Roman Catholic Church, and at 2.00 p.m. there is a one-hour service at St. Peter ad Vincula Parish Church, Combe Martin. All our local churches will be holding Easter Sunday services and to all of them, whether in Combe Martin or Berrynarbor, everyone is welcome. Please check with your local church the times and details of services.

A very happy Easter to you all.

Rev. Alan Edwards
Baptist Minister

8



AIR RAID WARDENS

The mention of Fire Wardens in the last Newsletter reminded me of a list that was circulated at one time in the Midlands. I wonder if Bob Richards was properly equipped?

List of Equipment for Air Raid Wardens

  1. Respirator
  2. Axe to be carried in belt
  3. Stirrup pump to be carried over left shoulder
  4. Extending ladder to be carried over right shoulder
  5. Long household shovel
  6. Rake to be carried in left hand
  7. Scoop to be carried in right hand
  8. Whistle hanging from lanyard to be carried in mouth
  9. Belt to be worn with ten hooks to carry 4 pails of water and 6 sand bags
  10. 2 Wet blankets to be slung round neck
  11. Flash light to be carried slung round neck
  12. Tin helmet with turned up brim to hold extra water
  13. Box of matches to ignite incendiary bombs that fail to ignite
  14. Extra sand to be carried in all available pockets
  15. Ship's anchor to be dropped in case warden wishes to stop galloping
  16. Broom to be inserted in the only available place so that Warden may sweep the floor as he progresses.

Alex Parke - Damson Cottage

9




RICHARD J. BOWDEN
Carpenter - Joiner - Builder
Roofing, Interior & Exterior Painting
Pressure Washing [paths, patios, etc.]

FREE ESTIMATES

Primrose Cottage, Victoria Street, Combe Martin, EX34 OJT
Tel: [01271] 883639 Mobile: 07971 282052

10



Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook
 

HATCHED

The stork has been busy over the last couple few months and our Congratulations and Best Wishes to all parents, grand-parents and the new babies.

Jack and Joyce Elliott of Goosewell are pleased to announce the safe arrival of their grandchildren Nos. 4, 5 and 6! Josh was born on the 30th December, weighing in at 8 lbs 5 oz, a son for Krista and Steven. Ellis and Zack, identical twin boys for Karen and Clive, were born on the 19th January, weighing in at 6 lbs 14 oz and 6 lbs 15 oz.

Joyce and Gary Songhurst's grandchildren have recently risen by a third, bringing their total to 8 - 4 boys and 4 girls.

Kelsey, a third daughter for Nicola and Graham arrived on the 14th January, tipping the scales at exactly 9 lbs - a sister for Stevie, Jessica and Zak.

Coalin [pronounced 'Kaylin'] arrived just two weeks later, on the 1st February. Not quite as heavy as his cousin, at 7 lbs 3 oz, he is the third son for Sarah and Clive, a brother for Ryan, Keifer and Tia. It was lovely to see the two mums and some of their offspring 'treading the boards' at our Show. Well done!

Val and David Hann of Crofts Lea are delighted to announce the arrival Of their first grandchild, a daughter for Simon and Philippa, who now live at Southwater, near Horsham. Baby Millie was born on the 20th January, weighing 6 lbs 11 oz.

Hilary and Roger Stevens are delighted with their new grand-daughter, a daughter for Lisa and Adrian. Her name is Claudia Jane and she arrived on the 25th February weighing 6 lbs 14 oz - a little sister for Jae.

Finally, congratulations to John H. whose first baby [lamb] this year was born on the 16th December! ! Weight unknown.

11



CLEARING AT DAWN

The fields are chill, the sparse rain has stopped;
The colours of Spring teem on every side.
With leaping fish the blue pond is full;
With singing thrushes the green boughs droop.
The flowers of the field have dabbled their powdered cheeks;
The mountain grasses are bent level at the waist.
By the bamboo stream the last fragment of cloud
Blown by the wind slowly scatters away.

From the Chinese, by LIPO
[Translated by Arthur Waley]


Illustrated by: Paul Swailes

12



SAVE THE PLANET! CHOP DOWN A TREE!There IS a Mistake, Surely!

Whilst there is no doubt that large-scale planting of commercial non-native forest has affected both landscape and wildlife habitats, the rate of woodland loss far exceeds this planting. In general, the rapid loss of NATIVE BROADLEAF woodland is a cause of great concern.

Trees and woodland are a very important resource in terms of environmental health, landscape, wildlife and public enjoyment. There is no doubt that on a global scale this resource is diminishing and at a national level the loss of 'native woodland' has led to many central and local government initiatives to reverse this trend.

7,000 years ago, Britain would have been covered in trees, today only 8% of the countryside is covered in trees and much of this is non-native commercial plantation. The British Isles are less well-wooded than anywhere else in Europe. Why are woodlands so important? From an environmental point of view, trees can assist in cleaning the air and reducing the levels of harmful carbons, a product of pollution from man, from the atmosphere. Trees can also intercept rainfall and high levels of radiation from the sun, helping to reduce soil erosion and the heating up of the planet. Scientists agree that large scale loss of woodland cover, particularly in South America, has led indirectly to a rise in sea levels as a result of the melting polar ice caps.

Trees form an integral part of the landscape and the correct planting of native broadleaf can enhance the landscape. Trees can add interest and variety to a landscape as well as being used to screen man-made eyesores. The traditional wooded valleys of the North Devon coast are one of the reasons why the area was designated an 'area of outstanding natural beauty' and a Heritage Coast.

Trees and woodland are also extremely important in terms of wildlife. Native broadleaf woodlands represent one of the most diverse forms of habitat for wildlife. Three dimensional habitats, they provide food and shelter and are a haven for plants [including bluebells, wood sorrel and primroses], insects, butterflies, birds and animals. The English Oak can act as host to a staggering variety of wildlife - over 32 species of mammal, 68 species of bird, 34 species of fern and 3 1 species of lichen.

Whilst it is accepted that valuable species and habitats have been lost to woodland, especially the heathland habitats where indiscriminate planting of woodland and lack of management has led to scrub and some reversion to woodland, far greater habitat loss can be ascribed to the loss from urban development and agricultural intensification. How many new houses for Devon? The cutting down of trees is accepted as good woodland management practice, both in terms of economic benefit and in increasing the biodiversity of a woodland. It is important to note, however, that trees that are cut down will be able to grow again. For many centuries, woodlands were managed this way, it is only in the past 100 years that many woodlands have not been managed due to lack of demand for woodland products in our modern age.

In conclusion, therefore, trees and woodland are very important in terms of environment, landscape, wildlife and public enjoyment. Woodland cover can and should be increased in this country and if planted with the correct species in the appropriate places, the re-introduction of woodland will be to the benefit of us all.

KA of BC

The message, both from this article and the brief one in the February Newsletter, is basically the same. Re-introduction of our native broadleaf woodlands should be encouraged, but so should the management of scrub and reverted woodland.

13




THE BIG FRIENDLY GARDNER

Maintenance and Clearance
Competitive Rates
Fully Qualified and Insured

Phone ROBIN on [01271] 883708

14



Artwork: Paul Swailes
 

COMINGS AND GOINGS

There has been quite a lot of 'moving' of late. To those coming we extend a very warm welcome and hope that you will be happy here in the village, and to those going, you take with you our best wishes for happiness in your new homes.

Jilly Loosemore has moved into Brookmead, Castle Hill, whilst Robin and Emma Pickering and Jack have gone far afield, to Newcastle-under-Lyme.

Ellis Cottage, Pitt Hill, is now home to Peta Haines and her daughters, Emma and Katie.

Sam and Chris Bowden and baby Jonathan, after a brief stay in the Valley, have moved into their new home in Combe Martin.

Andrea and Geoff Smith are leaving the Coach House at the Rectory to move in to Goodleigh House, the home for many years of Elizabeth and Ray Robbins and formerly their daughter, Maria.

By the time the Newsletter is out, Bill and Jill Jones hope to have moved into Riversdale. They, like Eric and Marion before them, have moved down from Cheshire and have been staying in Combe Martin since last August. Bill, a retired electronics company director and Jill, who has latterly been involved in adverse reactions to drugs, have 8 children and 10 grandchildren.

We are delighted to welcome to the village Bob and Judy who are temporary residents at Ragstone Cottage. Bob and Judy, who come from the Perth area of Australia, have exchanged homes for three months with Jackie and John Weaver. They met through Jackie's sister, Jane, who emigrated 'down under' and now works with Bob in the prison service. It is lovely to have you with us and we hope you will enjoy your stay.

15




MIKE TURTON

"Traditional" Devon Butcher
Licensed Game Dealers - Home Made Pies - Cooked Meats and Sausages - Locally farmed and slaughtered meat
Meat sent by post
Regular Deliveries to Berrynarbor and Combe Martin
146 High Street, Ilfracombe Tel: [01271] 863643

16



 

MILLENNIUM UPDATE

Another two months have ticked by with more o developments. Be Barten and Peter Rothwell have started work on the drinking fountain, and Peter is nearing BERRYNARBOR completion on the design for the commemorative mugs, which will be unique to Berrynarbor. Mitch Bowden and Danny Lloyd are in full training for their intrepid sponsored walk to Simonsbath. Sponsor forms are being distributed, so please sign up. Brian and Mary Malin of Mill Park are going to run a duck race on the stream from Mill Park to Sawmills weir and the WI have volunteered to run the workers' refreshment tent at our Picnic in the Park on the 20th June. So, as you can see, many of our community are getting into the spirit and getting involved. Can you help in some way - small or large?

Neil Morris - Chairman


Berry Millennium Committee
presents

A PICNIC IN THE PARK

[Two for the Price of One]

SUNDAY, 20TH JUNE 1999
at

WATERMOUTH CASTLE, BERRYNARBOR
ILFRACOMBE, NORTH DEVON

Visit this unique Family Theme Castle and Picnic by The Lake whilst being entertained by live music Gates Open at 10.00 a.m.

A GREAT DAY OUT



Don't forget to go to the Post Office and register children's names [under 18 on the 1st January 2000] for inscribing on the Millennium Plates. Residents and former residents may also register to receive their special Millennium Mugs.

17



THREE COINS IN A FOUNTAIN

As you know, the three special coins in our future fountain are Peter Rothwell, Be Barten and Debbie Cook.

Peter is a practising artist and he lives with his dog, Hardy, at Treetops, Goosewell. His work is exhibited in local galleries and his latest exhibition will be opening in the Quay Gallery, Appledore, in April. He has been on the Art and Design team at the North Devon College for longer than he likes to remember and he has been contributing to the Newsletter for five years.

He also works as a designer/maker and illustrator, publishing his own 'Lundy, An Island Sketchbook' in 1993 and illustrating the work of Devon writers Lois Lamplugh and Les Terry. Peter's latest publication is a fully illustrated edition of Chanter's 'Lundy', first published in 1873. He is one half of Westwell Publishing, a small publishing house set up to help promote the work of local writers.

He runs sketching holidays on Lundy each summer. [There are still one or two places available for this summer. Phone Pete for details.]

Peter was educated at Barnstaple Grammar School, Dartington College of Arts, West of England College of Arts and Bristol University. All his teaching posts have been in the West Country, in Torquay, Axminster and at Exeter University.

Peter has four grown up children, Marc, Trudi, Robin and Anna.

Be's involvement with the Millennium Fountain, which will stand to the left side of the top bus shelter, will be the moulding and casting. At present she is self-employed as a mould maker, restorer and caster of architectural features, so it is certainly a task she is well able to take on. After studying Art and Design at the North Devon College, she moved on to take a degree in Fine Art and then felt obliged to travel and teach, in places such as New Zealand, Turkey and Eastern Europe. Her travels eventually led her back to London where she worked for a business which restored stone and cast architectural features for antique dealers and private clients. At the start of 1998, Be returned to Devon, gained sponsorship from the Prince's Youth Business Trust and, as she says, the rest is history!

Better known for her illustrations for our Newsletters, Debbie is hoping to lend Be a helping hand [or two] during the moulding and casting of the fountain. Debbie has been illustrating professionally for eleven years a career she loves and continues to pursue.

When Be started her casting and restoration business, Debbie became fascinated, and decided to take up sculpting as a sideline!

She and Be have since collaborated on several projects, most recently a dog statue - a special version of which was exhibited recently on a breed stand at

Crufts. They are now working on their next piece together, a greyhound statue.

On a somewhat larger scale, the Millennium Fountain is going to be a key project for Be's business during 1999, and Debbie will be delighted to act as her 'junior assistant', wherever needed!

18



BERRY SHOWS TIME

The BBC have done us proud again! Another great show. Congratulations to all who took part, both on and off stage - what a wealth of talent!

For two nights the village played host to so many [too many to mention them all] celebrities, past and present, amongst whom were Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, the absolutely fabulous Liz I and Nell Gwynne, the Three Tenors, Henry VIll and Laurel and Hardy. Singers included 'ol' blue eyes' himself,

Frank Sinatra, Abba and Freddie Mercury and Queen. Magic was supplied by Tommy Cooper, who we sadly understand is hanging up his fez, aided and abetted by his delightful assistant. There was even the travelling circus with clowns and during the interval, our very own Gilly served us with ice-creams! And to crown it all, the script according to St. Peter gave us an insight into the history of Berrynarbor we never knew before!

Thank you all for two nights of wonderful entertainment.

Gary and the BBC team would like to say their thank you to everyone who encouraged and supported the production in any way, but especially YOU, the audience, who made all their hard [but good fun] work worthwhile.

19



 

BERRYNARBOR ANNUAL PARISH MEETING

Tuesday, 13th April, 1999, 7.00 p.m. in the Manor Hall

Chairman's Report

Ever since 1894 when the legislation creating Parish Councils was cleared by Parliament, it has been a requirement for each Parish to hold an Annual Meeting so that the public can hold the Council to account for their actions. Nowadays, most councils give an opportunity for electors to raise matters at their monthly meetings and Berrynarbor Parish Council has followed that practice for many years.

The Annual Meeting will start at 7.00 p.m. and the Parish Council Meeting will follow it.

So what of the Municipal Year 1998/1999? There have been two significant changes of personalities. Our Clerk, John Vince, moved to

Teignmouth and Michelle Beaumont has filled his seat. Her knowledge of the village, gleaned when she lived here, is proving invaluable.

Brian Fryer found work commitments were not enabling him to make the contribution he would wish, and so he stood down. No election was claimed [10 electors have to do so for there to be an election] and the Council co-opted Richard Gingell from Hempster Farm. We are fortunate to have a number of young members on our Council.

New goalposts have been erected in the Playing Field and three members visited a composting scheme at Chagford. If there is sufficient support, it might be possible to create one here.

Whilst the Council are unable to control the weather, it has been very concerned about the flooding which has occurred in the Parish. Wheel Farm Cottage has a problem with water running off neighouring fields, and in Silver Street, two properties were rendered uninhabitable. The Council is concerned that proposals for drainage improvement do not as yet provide any guarantee against a recurrence. We shall continue to press Devon County Council to correct this situation.

Arrangements have been made for Claude's Garden to be admitted to the

Quiet Garden Scheme. In future it will be managed jointly by the Parish Council, the Parochial Church Council and a representative of the late Claude Richards' family.

Negotiations have taken place with the District Council for overnight parking in the Castle Hill car park and with the County Council for a funding package that will contribute to our Footpath Maintenance.

A new Council will be voted into office on 6th May if sufficient candidates are nominated.

To all my colleagues, my grateful thanks.

Graham E. Andrews - Chairman

20



Artwork: Paul Swailes
 

MANOR HALL MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

Wednesday, 14th April 1999, 7.30 pm Manor Hall

The Manor Hall provides the major focal point for social activity in the village. The Management Committee would be delighted to share its thoughts for the future with as many people as possible and looks forward to welcoming you on the 14th April.

Graham E. Andrews - Chairman

21



A PERSONAL STATEMENT

Recently, my eye-sight has given cause for concern and my peripheral vision has now fallen below the standard required for driving a car.

It had been my intention to be a candidate for the North Devon District Council and the Berrynarbor Parish Council at the 6th May elections.

In my new circumstances, it would not be possible for me to offer the service to which you are entitled and, therefore, my name will not be on the ballot paper.

May I thank everyone for all the support I have received over many years.

It has been an honour and a pleasure to represent you.

Graham E. Andrews

As Editor, I was upset to receive Graham's news and I am sure that I speak for everyone when I say how sorry we all are and how much we appreciate all that he has done for us and our village for so many years. He and his very considerable knowledge will be sadly missed.

We thank him and wish him well for the future and look forward to seeing him around.

Judie

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WEATHER OR NOT

1999 has started much as 1998 left off- wet and windy though without quite such strong gales.

We recorded 240mm [9 1/2 inches] of rain in January compared with 160mm [6 3/8 inches] last year. February followed the trend with 106 mm [4 1/4 inches] opposed to only 32mm [1 3/8 inches] in 1998. Perhaps this means that we shall get a summer at the normal time this year, last February was nearly the best month of the year!

It seems that the scientists may be right to warn of global warming. Not only was this winter wetter but January and February were also warmer, producing a low of only -2.6 Deg C, whereas in the same period last year the lowest temperature that we recorded was -5.1 Deg C.

The big question now is shall we need the suntan lotion or the sledges this Easter?

Sue and Simon

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LOCAL WALKS - 53
"On a clear day . . . "

You can see forever from the top of Saunton Down away to the north, Baggy Point and Croyde with Woolacombe and Morte Point beyond. Turning south east and dropping down a few yards, one is presented with an impressive sub-aerial view of Braunton, the Burrows, estuary and Saunton Sands.

Hoards of starlings had arranged themselves on the telegraph wires like notes on a stave. The path crossed a field of swedes. Sheep were among the swedes and gulls were among the sheep. There was suddenly a sound like the swish of taffeta skirts. I looked back. The starlings taken to the sky, swirling, forming their intricate patterns.

The top of the Saunton Sands Hotel came into view, some distance below. It was built in 1937 and designed by Alwyn Underdown. The architectural historian, Nikolaus Pevsner, somewhat haughtily says of it, "Modernistic, not genuinely modern, but even that a rarity amongst larger English hotels". It js more Art Deco than Modern Movement but it has stood the test of time more successfully than most of the buildings created in that style.

It must have made a tremendous impact when it first appeared on that prominent bit of landscape. I wonder what the local reaction to it was. Did most people find it appealing or appalling?

The track passes close by a derelict cottage, the walls partly built of cob, crumbling before our eyes with the bits of straw in the mud mixture fully exposed. Hang gliders had arrived and were preparing for lift-off. The cold air filled the blue and green sails. Another chunk of cob slipped to the ground.

Soon the roofs of Saunton Court could be seen. The late medieval manor house was partly rebuilt and extended in 1932 by one of the most renowned English architects of this century - Sir Edwin Lutyens. With its cross-wings, two-storeyed porch and tall windows, it is a substantial building but nevertheless informal. The whole effect is very beautiful and serene. The terraced gardens bear a lot of Lutyens hallmarks; stone walls, flights of convex and concave steps, rills filled with water flowing from a semi-circular grotto with a goat's head gargoyle, a round pool beyond. Overlooking the lane, an outbuilding has been converted to a gazebo with clock.

A little further along the lane is Saint Anne's Chapel in its quiet garden. It was built in 1896 to replace a chapel buried several centuries before in a violent sandstorm. It is small, only nineteen feet by twenty-five feet, as it was originally intended to form the chancel of a larger church. St. Anne is the patron saint of sailors and the theme of the sea is depicted in the stained glass windows. The east window above the altar shows St. Anne holding a model of a sailing ship. She stands on the sand hills with doves and viper's bugloss about her. Below is a picture of the original chapel against a background of fishing boats and the sea. To the left is St. Agnes in a meadow amongst tulips, fritillaries and columbines and to the right is St. John with a vision of the Holy City in the distance. The dominant colours are purple and blue. The window was designed by Mary Lowndes, the first Woman artist in stained glass. Her work is also in Salisbury Cathedral.

There are smaller, more recent windows too, portraying sea birds and wild flowers, an otter, a rabbit, beehive, dragonfly and blue butterflies.

Saunton - St. Anne's Town - is worth exploring for its buildings as well as its more famous sands.

Illustrations:

  • Saunton Sands - Peter Rothwell
  • 'Notes on a Stave' - Paul Swailes

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"You may say what you will of Devonshire: the truth is, it is a splashy, rainy, misty, snowy, foggy, haily, floody, muddy, slipshod county. The hills are very beautiful when you get a sight of 'em; the primroses are out, but you are in; the cliffs are of a fine deep colour, but then the clouds are continually vieing with them. The flowers here wait as naturally for the rain twice a day as mussels do for the tide. This Devonshire is like Lydia Languish, very entertaining when it smiles, but cursedly subject to sympathetic moisture."

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GET WELL

If you have been feeling 'under the weather' lately, we hope that the recent sunny spell has made you feel better and 'full of the joys of spring' again!

We are pleased that Robbie and June Annear are both now home again, as is Gladys Toms, after her short stay at Lynton Cottage Hospital following her fall. She is now on the way to recovery.

Gladys would like to thank all friends from the village and around who sent her get well messages and the friends who kindly gave Ron and Ray lifts to visit her in hospital.

Colin, Doreen and Lisa [nee Harding] have had a very anxious time following the nasty accident suffered by Lisa's husband, and our thoughts have been with them all. But it is good to report that Kim is now on the mend and home again with the family. We send love and best wishes to you all and hope that Kim continues to improve, and send Colin best wishes for a healthy and happy retirement.

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OF THIS AND THAT...

Ilfracombe Floral Art Club - Forthcoming Events

Spring Show "England, My England" will be held at The Lantern, Ilfracombe, on Saturday, 24th April, 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. Sales Table, Raffle, Produce Stall. Admission free.

Visit to Lost Gardens of Heligan on Sunday, 9th May. There are a few spare seats on the coach for non-members. Approx. cost E 10.00 for coach and entry to the Gardens. If you are interested, please see Sue Wright in the Post Office [Mondays or Tuesdays] or ring 883893.

Congratulations!

to our Hole-in-One lady golfer, Phil Walden, who achieved this feat playing the 4th [the Quarry] in the February Medal Competition at Ilfracombe. It is understood that this achievement did nothing for the rest of her game that day!

To Peter Hinchliffe on being awarded a Degree by the Open University. Well done, Peter.

To Jenny, daughter of Tony and Marilyn Mascall, who must be the BBC's No. 1 fan! Jenny is a regular follower of 'Our Show', getting up at 4.00 a.m. to go to work and coming straight down from Corby in Northants to be here in time for when the curtain goes up. However, Natasha [Rozhdestvenka], our 'Honey Man's sister, claimed to have come the furthest - she lives in Moscow!

Thanks

Mr. and Mrs. Woodley of King Street, Combe Martin, would like to thank Alex Wigmore, his wife and his workmen for coming to the rescue when their large window was vandalised early one Sunday morning - within 24 hours all was back to normal. Small businesses, like these, are needed because without the help from Alex [and the Police], matters would have been far worse. Thank you all.

Return Visit

After a longish absence, it was lovely to have Tom and Kathleen Tucker and Audrey visiting the village again recently - and especially good to see Audrey out and about again after her recent problems.

Crossword Corner

Crossword puzzlers will be very sorry to learn that Dave Beagley's supply of Puzzles is now exhausted! We shall miss them, Dave, and thank you for your many contributions and we shall live in hope for more sometime.

Fish and Chips

Don't forget that Fred, and his fish and chip van, can be found in the car park by the old Chapel on Wednesday evenings, from 6.15 to 7.00 p.m.

Easter Greetings

Ann [nee Billett] sends all her friends in Berrynarbor, especially in the Valley, her love and best wishes for Easter.

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Artwork: Peter Rothwell
 

LETTER FROM THE RECTOR

The Rectory
Combe Martin

Dear Friends,

I always think that Springtime and Easter are here to remind us not to take things for granted. This season is meant to open our eyes, spiritually as well as physically. I came across a favourite story of mine again the other day.

A man acquired a new hunting dog and took him out duck shooting. He shot a duck and the dog walked across the water, picked up the duck and brought it back to his master. Not believing his eyes, the man shot another duck and the dog walked across the water, picked up the duck and brought it back to his master.

The owner was so impressed that he invited his neighbour out for a shoot. Sure enough, every time a duck was shot the dog walked across the water, picked up the duck and returned to his master. Neither of the two men said anything. After a while, the owner of the dog could stand the silence no more and said, "Have you noticed anything strange about the dog?" The other man rubbed his chin, and said, "Now you come mention it, yes. The son of a dog can't swim, can he?"

Anthony de Mello comments: "It isn't as if life isn't full of miracles. It's more than that: it is miraculous, and anyone who stops taking it for granted will see it at once.

With all good wishes for Spring and Easter.

Your Friend and Rector,

Keith Wyer

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MONK'S PATH

In 1921, Mr. and Mrs. Parry and their daughter, Joyce, came to live at Beech Lee. Mr. Parry was a retired army chaplain, who found Mr. Churchill's ministry at Berrynarbor far too 'low' for his taste. Each Sunday he worshipped at Combe Martin Parish Church.

Early one Easter Sunday morning, he set off on his motor cycle to attend the 8.00 a.m. service. As he rode along Barton Lane, approaching the entrance to Home Barton Lane, he saw some people walking in the road. They were dressed in long, hooded cloaks. He slowed down to avoid a collision and was amazed to see the figures fade into thin air.

Being a 'man of the cloth', his account of this strange incident was taken seriously, especially when Miss Thomas, the church organist, had a similar experience on the site of her new bungalow, being built in Barton Lane. Such was the impression of this ghostly encounter upon her, that she named her new home 'Monk's Path'.

Not many years ago, a family of visitors were driving down Hagginton Hill, when a hooded figure suddenly appeared in front of the car. Badly shaken, the driver got out of the car, convinced he had knocked someone down. He found nothing - the figure had, yet again, mysteriously disappeared.

During my childhood there was a well-established path which bypassed the village. It cut across Pugsley's Meadow, from the gate on Pitt Hill, across Birdswell Lane, over the field and into Barton Lane. The monks were obviously as familiar with this path as I was!

Footnote:

Mr. Churchill was succeeded by the Rev. Hignell, who was of a 'higher' persuasion. Soon the simple bare altar table of Mr. Churchill's days was Covered with a fine altar cloth and adorned with a lovely new cross, presented by Mrs. Parry. Mr. Churchill had been guardian of his flock for half a century and old habits die hard. Many parishioners were not impressed and some never set foot in church again.

Memories of Aunty Lorna - 95 years lovely on the 6th March.

Lorna Bowden

29



LITTLE BROWN BROTHER

The following poem has been sent in by a 'caring' reader. It was told to her by one of her ladies, now around 88 years young, who had learnt it at school.

Little brown brother,
Oh! Little brown brother,
Are you awake in the dark?
Here we lie cosily
Close to each other,
Hark to the song of the lark.
 
Little brown brother,
Oh! Little brown brother,
What kind of flower will you be?
I'll be a poppy
All bright like my mother,
Do be a poppy like me.
 
What! You're a sunflower!
How I shall miss you
Whenyou have grown golden and high
But I will send all the bees
Up to kiss you,
Little brown brother, 'Goodbye'.
 

 
Illustrated by: Paul Swailes

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AN ICELANDIC EXPERIENCE

"How do you fancy a hot bath on 20th January?" When a friend ask you that, you immediately sniff under the armpits and reach for the Lifebuoy! Intrigued, because it was only early December, I asked what it was all about. "Well, there's a chance of a day trip to Iceland." Now I think it's great the way Iceland has expanded from just selling frozen food, but a day trip seemed excessive . . . were they now selling jacuzzis as well as freezers?

We sorted it out of course: fly from Exeter, swim in the Blue Lagoon, see Reykjavik and oh, why not complete the day with an Icelandic fish lunch and a tour of the hinterland for good measure?

And that is how Yvonne, George, Alex and yours truly rose at 4.15 a.m. on a cool, damp January morning and flew out from Exeter, with 230 other mad folk from as far apart as Penzance and Taunton, just as the sun was rising. Oddly enough, it was still rising in Keflavik, hours later! It tinted the snow-clad crystal clear landscape with a rosy glow - or maybe that was due in part to the celebratory Bucks Fizz with our in-flight hot breakfast.

I forgot to mention that one of our party was celebrating a birthday and another is a computer 'whiz kid' who had discovered what hours of daylight we could expect - about 6 - the history of this interesting island which is the size of England without the Scottish and Welsh appendages, and which has a population of only 1/4 million. The website also produced the tune of the national anthem - similar to Norway's entry for the Eurovision Song Contest, but not so tuneful! - and some useful phrases, 'takk fyrir' [thank you], 'yow/nay' [yes/no phonetically speaking] and a word now added to our vocabulary 'snyrting' [toilet]. We overheard a lovely Devonshire brogue at one 100 announcing, "I could do with a good snyrt!"

The big pre-lunch event was THE swim in the Blue Lagoon. I'd describe it as an experience rather than a pleasure. The water, which had already Circulated round a geo-thermal power station, was patchily hot and cool - not what you want having negotiated ice underfoot between changing rooms and pool in your 'cossie' in an ambient temperature of -S OC. The steam rose so thickly that it blanked out the power station superstructure! Still, we braved it. The highlight for Yvonne and me was discussing serious politics in the changing room afterwards with a large, completely nude, girl from Washington DC, whose husband worked 'on the hill'. As she became animated, both with Clinton's peccadilloes and Blair's reform of the House of Lords, her pendulous boobs broke into a rhythmic and hypnotic swing. Breaking the trance, we joined our menfolk and conscious of enhanced appetites, it was lunchtime.

The modern restaurant, built of timber with strong Viking overtones, was in Reykjavik. Iceland is short of ancient buildings. Wooden structures don't have the staying power of English stone ones and the natural bedrock of Iceland is porous and unstable pumice. Surprisingly, the new timber houses are topped with corrugated iron, as protection. But back to the restaurant. The fish lunch was excellent, the surroundings attractive and the waiters, in deerskin tunics secured with heavy leather belts, positively sexy to the women! Alex and George fell for the nubile, serenading soprano, who sang haunting, unaccompanied Icelandic airs - not easy over the hubbub of eating, especially when you know your audience won't understand a word anyway.

The tour of Reykjavik continued, the highlight of which was ascending to the coffee shop and balcony of the newly opened 'Perlan', which from its fourth floor afforded superbly clear views of the city, mountains and a geyser which spouted at 5 minute intervals, about 200 yards away. By now it was 4.00 p.m. and the setting sun gave it a spectacular fiery glow. Alex and I treated ourselves to huge ice-creams. We thought these appropriate and anyway, we always have them on holiday!


We still had two hours in which to explore the harbour, buy postcards and shop for home-produced woolen goods before getting on the bus for the airport. Most of the canny trippers from the South West went 'on the wagon' until safely back on the flight home, as we had been warned that alcohol, even local beer, is astronomically expensive. In any case, the water was like nectar and free!

At midnight, four very elated though tired geriatrics rolled into dear old Berrynarbor . . . and with what a tale to bore their friends! Now we've got the 'just-for-the-day' bug, who knows? Next time it could be Bergen and the Fjords, Capri, Sorrento and Vesuvius or the Pyramids. Watch this space!

PP of DC

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DEVON WILDLIFE TRUST

N, Devon Voluntary Marine Conservation Area - Events, April and May

Saturday. 3rd April. 1.00 - 7.00 p.m. Monday. 24th May, 12.00 - 4.00 p.m.

Seaquest South West, Watermouth Harbour: Learn about some of the fantastic sea mammals and unusual sea life visitors to North Devon and see if you can spot any. Meet at Burrow Nose, Watermouth, with your binoculars, suitable clothing and a picnic if you like.

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AT-A-GLANCE DIARY 

APRIL
1stCollege and Primary School: End of Spring Term
Whist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
2ndGOOD FRIDAY
St. Peter's Church: Quiet Hour, 2.00 to 3.00 p.m. Church decorated for Easter
4thEASTER SUNDAY
St. Peter's Church: Sung Eucharist, 10.30 a.m.
5thEaster Monday
6thW.I., 2.30 p.m., Manor Hall: Hypnotherapy Michelle Wolfe-Emery
Yoga, Manor Hall, 7.00 p.m.
8thWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
13thParish Council AGM, Manor Hall, 7.00 p.m. followed by Parish Council Meeting.
Yoga, Manor Hall, 7.00 p.m.
14thMobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
Manor Hall Management Committee AGM, 7.30 p.m., Manor Hall
15thWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
Combe Martin Historical Society [Methodist Hall, 7.30 p.m.]: "Ghosties, Ghoulies and Little Green Men". Everyone welcome.
19thCollege and Primary School: Start of Summer Term
20thYoga, Manor Hall, 7.00 p.m.
21stWine Circle, Manor Hall, 8.00 p.m. - 'New World v Old World', C. Lightfoot, St. Austell Brewery. Everyone welcome. £3.00 contribution.
22ndWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
24thIlfracombe Floral Art Club: Spring Show, The Lantern, Ilfracombe, 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.
26thW.I. Chichester Group Meeting , Kentisbury
27thYoga, Manor Hall, 7.00 p.m.
28thMobile Libra in Villa e from 11.30 a.m.
29thWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
MAY
3rdMay Day Bank Holiday
4thW.I. Meeting, Manor Hall, 2.30 p.m. Resolutions - Discussion and Agenda 21.
Yoga, Manor Hall, 7.00 .m.
6thPCC Coffee Morning, Manor Hall, 10.00 - 12.00 noon
Whist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
9thIlfracombe Floral Art Club: Visit to Lost Gardens of Heligan Christian Aid Week
11thParish Council Meeting, 7.30 p.m. Manor Hall
Yoga, Manor Hall, 7.00 p.m.
12thMobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
Deadline for Items for June Newsletter
13thAscension Day, St. Peter's Church: Confirmation Service, 7.30 p.m.
Whist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
18thYoga, Manor Hall, 7.00 p.m.
19thWine Circle, Manor Hall, 8.00 p.m. Presentation by John Hood. Everyone welcome - contribution £3.00
20thWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
Combe Martin Historical Society [Methodist Hall, 7.30 p.m.] Everyone welcome - AGM followed by 'Barnstaple Lace Industry', Peter Christie
22ndMillennium Fund Raising Event: Sponsored Walk by Mitch Bowden and Danny Lloyd to Simonsbath, 9.00 a.m.
25thYoga, Manor Hall, 7.00 p.m.
26thMobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
27thWhist Drive, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
30thSt. Peter's Church: United Service, 6.30 p.m.
31stSpring Bank Holiday
College and Primary School: Start of Half Term all week
JUNE
1stW.I. Meeting, Manor Hall, 2.30 p.m. Animal Welfare - Diana Lewis, RSPCA.
Yoga, Manor Hall, 7.00 sm.
3rdWhist Drive, Manor Hall 7.30 p.m.

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TIPS FOR THE MONTHS

If apples bloom in March,
In vain for 'un you'll search.
If apples bloom in April,
Why then they'll be plentiful.

Pick lavender on a dry day just before the flowers open. Tie into loose bundles and hang in a dry place. Make small muslin bags and fill with the dried flowers and place under your pillow at night for sweet dreams!

34



Artwork: Angela Bartlett
 

OLD BERRYNARBOR - VIEW No. 58
Farming to Building Contractor


Our picture, taken during the summer of 1952, shows Lester Bowden standing beside the corn binder being driven by a youthful Maurice Draper at Higher Capel Bridge, Sloley Farm. The binder being used was already 40 years old [c 1912] and was one of the first to be used in Berrynarbor, shared between the Bowden's [Sloley] and the Rice's [Bodstone Barton]. Farmers, note that it was a right-handed binder, originally used with a very long pulling pole with a horse on either side, and then converted in the late '30's to be used with a tractor. The tractor, again one of the first to be used in the village, was a Standard Ford obtained around 1938. Lester Bowden had taken over Sloley Farm from his parents, Jim and Mary Bowden. Lester's wife, Elizabeth, was one of the farming Rice family from Bodstone Barton.

Maurice attended Berrynarbor School from the age of 6. Miss Veale was the Headmistress and she lived at Little Gables, on the corner next to the school, and Muriel Richards was teaching the juniors at this time. Maurice can remember a large number of evacuees coming down during the War, in particular two boys, Fred and John Wignall, who stayed at Sloley Farm and had come from Bethnal Green, London. Fred Wignall, being the same age as Maurice, joined him in his class. At this time, the School had proximately 40 children, of which half were evacuees from London and Bristol. When he was 11, Maurice transferred to Combe Martin School and went to live at Hammonds Farm with Claude and Gladys Richards.   He left school at 14 and went to work for them for seven days a week and received 7s. 6d. per week, with free board and lodging.   When he was lucky, he would have a few hours of free time on Sundays!   He remained with them until he was 17 when he returned to Crofts Lea and began work as an apprentice motor mechanic for Percy Norman of Kingston Garage, Combe Martin.

Conscription came and Maurice joined the Royal Engineers. Most of his two years was spent in Germany, in the Ruhr Valley, Essen, Dortmund and Cologne, in the railway construction squadron repairing railway lines damaged during the War. On his return, he worked for about two years with Lester Bowden at Sloley until Lester retired and the farm was taken over by Major Biggs. Maurice continued to work for Major Biggs for another 21 years, most of which was spent at Trimstone Farm, West Down.

In 1954, when he was 25, Maurice married Maud and their wedding took place at St. Peter's. They had two sons, Brian andTony. Around 1973, Maurice decided to leave farming and began building, initially in a small way but the business grew ever larger over the years, with his two sons joining him. Maurice's Building Contractor and Plant Hire business became so successful that in October 1988, two pages of the

North Devon Journal were taken up showing him as the NHBC Award Winner for Homes of Quality and Excellence. The article included a picture of Maurice with his 'team' of Ray Toms, Andrew Wheatley, Richard Leak, Brian and Tony Draper, Cedric Berry and Steve Seldon many of whom you will know. It was the first time that a North Devon construction firm had won such an Award.

Albert [Bert] Jones

Edie Jones

My sincere thanks to Maurice for all the help he has given me with this article and for the loan of the pictures of Albert [Bert] Jones and his sister Edie, who lived at Forge Cottage. Bert and Edie were shown in the postcard in my article in the December issue of the Newsletter.

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage - February 1999

35