Edition 6 - June 1990

Artwork by: Helen Armstead

Two Summer Events presented by The Channel Arts Association in Ilfracombe:


Ilfracombe's third heritage week takes us into the Naughty Nineties, the 1890's that is. Nine days of 'fun and bustle' to enjoy with all kinds of activities:

Stage Coach Rides to Watermouth Castle - A Circus - Plays
Concerts - The Great Victorian Bathing Experience

Cruises and Parties, plus just the fun of seeing a town go back 100 years. Full details will be in the North Devon Journal on 31st May.



In conjunction with Youth Clubs U.K. and the Arts Council of Great Britain, Ilfracombe is hosting the first National Youth Arts Festival. Young artists and performers, plus professionals in residence, will be in town for a week.

Hosting a major national festival is a 'real plus' for North Devon. So do call in to see some of the groups perform. Especially don't miss a dance group from Bedfordshire, called "Full Tilt" directed by a certain Helen Weedon!

Jon Bell - Ilfracombe College
TeL: 864171



On behalf of Eden Davies, Ben Fanner and Andrew Neale, we should like to thank all those who supported the recent jumble sale - which as you may recall, was in aid of their forthcoming expedition to the Pyrenees.

The expedition, which involves 26 Devon school children, has been largely financed by the parents of the participating students, and the object of the jumble sale, therefore, was to raise additional funds for specialist equipment [such as ice axes, cooking equipment, etc.] for ALL those on the expedition.

The sum of money raised in Berrynarbor was £92.87. Once again we thank you for your kind support and we shall endeavour to keep you all informed as to how the expedition fared in the near future.

Stuart and Ginny Neale

The COFFEE MORNING held at Mandalay, Sterridge Valley, in aid of the ROMANIAN ORPHANS APPEAL raised the sum of £64.

May I thank everybody who supported this event for their kindness and generosity.

Vida Butler



Sunday Services for the summer [as from 1st May] are now held at 6.30 p.m. All welcome.

Thursday, 28th June Fuchsia Cottage Garden Coffee Morning, 10.30 to 12.00 noon. Bring and Buy, Raffle, Coffee and Biscuits, 50p in aid of Berrynarbor Chapel.




Members were welcomed to the April Meeting with the news that £223 had been raised for Hospice Care at the Mini Market. An excellent effort. The Speakers Mr. J. Ravilious, from the Beaford Centre, gave an interesting talk on his work as a photographer. The album of black and white photographs that he showed were all taken in and around the County, recording many crafts - a memento for posterity, eventually becoming part of an Exhibition at the Centre.

On the 18th April, 12 members attended the Group Meeting in Combe Martin, which as always was an entertaining and educational event. We came sixth in the competitions, with thanks to Sylvia Yates and Doris Upton for their efforts - I managed 85 points for gingerbread! April was brought to a close with a Coffee Morning which raised £65 for W.I. funds.

Members welcomed Mrs. Margaret Hill from Lee W.I. to the May Meeting. Mrs. Hill will be representing both Institutes at the London A.G.M. She recorded votes on 3 resolutions, ably opened for discussion by Maggie Bland, Kath Arscott and Betty Turner.

On the 12th June, members are planning to turn back the clock to the Victorian era when they visit Watermouth Castle in period costume.


  • 5th June - Getting to Know You. W.I. Ladies.
  • 12th June - Victorian Afternoon at Watermouth Castle
  • 16th June - Garden Party at Arlington Court
  • 3rd July - Wholefood Cookery, Mrs. Sheila Eschle
  • 11th July - Exeter Canal Trip
  • 19th July - Coffee Morning at Southerley, Castle Hill, in aid of Hospice Care. Bring and Buy, Raffle. 10.30 a.m.

Ivy Richards has kindly offered her home for a Coffee Morning on the 19th July, proceeds in aid of Hospice Care, so, together with helping at the various fetes in the village, it looks like a busy summer.

We shall be running a Bottle Stall at the Berry Revels, so any contributions will be gratefully received. As always, we thank everyone for their loyal support.

Vi Kingdon - President

Kind Hearts are the Garden,
Kind Thoughts are the Roots.
Kind Words are the Flowers,
Kind Deeds are the Fruit.


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


The 1990 Management Committee is:

  • Chairman: Roy Perry, Dormer House - 883209
  • Secretary: Mrs. Vi Davies, Leeside - 882696
  • Treasurer: Mrs Betty Davis, Chatsworth - 88354
  • Committee:
    • Mrs. Ginny Neale - 882447
    • Mr. A. Rice [representing the Parish Council]
    • Mrs. Joy Morrow - 882531
    • Mrs. Margaret Walls - 883762

The kitchen project grants have been approved and it is hoped that the new kitchen will be completed late this summer if all goes as planned.

Welcome to the new members of the Manor Hall Team; we have a very busy year ahead of us so we shall be asking for HELP from the parishioners at large. Thank you to Terry Chantler for all her hard work as Secretary for the past two years.

Advance Notice BERRY REVELS EVENING, Tuesday, 14TH AUGUST, 6.00 to 9.00 p.m. Manor Hall. Proceeds in aid of Manor Hall!! Please: If you can help in any small way, contact: Joy Morrow, Fuchsia Cottage, 882531.

Joy Morrow


Artwork: David Duncan


By the time you receive this Newsletter, the Bristol Morris Men should have held their "Sing-a-long" at the Globe on Sunday, 27th May.

The Muddiford and Milltown Morris Men will be dancing outside the Globe on three occasions this summer:

  • Wednesday, 4th July at 7.45 p.m.
  • Wednesday, 8th August at 9.00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, 5th September at 9.00 p.m.

The Men's Institute said 'goodbye' to Sid and Flo at The Globe on Friday, 23rd February. It was a good night, with a little sadness at their departure. Sid and Flo, due to ill health, moved to a smaller, ground floor bungalow in Ilfracombe. Many locals agree that it is a shame that there is no suitable accommodation for them here in Berrynarbor.

Sid and Flo lived in Berrynarbor for a happy, 40 years. Before that they lived at Stowford and Two-Pots. Sid, a "Dr. Barnardo's Boy", came originally from the Isle of Wight. He married Flo, who was born in Fremington, 61 years ago. Their two daughters live locally, along with their grand-children and great grand-children.

We all, in Berrynarbor, miss Sid and Flo. We wish them all the best fur the future and ask them to come and visit us as much as possible, because Berrynarbor just isn't the same without them!!

Lynne and Phil



A Happy Birthday to Charlotte Mummery, who will celebrate her First Birthday on the 8th June. The anxious days of a year ago are now behind her and she is a healthy and happy baby.



For those of you who remember pre-decimal coinage, can you solve this simple sum?

Boy's Name___
Girl's Name ___
Singer ___
Weight ___
Leatherworker ___
Ill Fish___
Mars, Venus & Saturn___

For the answer, see article Article 19.



The Badminton Club has now finished for the summer months. It will recommence on Monday, 10th September.

In the meantime, any enquiries should be made to Mary Hughes [882580]



I apologise for the 'strange' dates that appeared for our April weddings. Best wishes to Mr. and Mrs. Donald Davies and Mr. and Mrs. Michael Ridd.


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


Paul and Jackie Lethaby are pleased to announce the engagement of their youngest daughter, Sarah, to Paul Prentice from Wiltshire on Easter Saturday.

Our best wishes go to Lisa Stevens who will be marrying Adrian Emery of Ilfracombe at St. Peter's Church on Saturday, 16th June; and to David Stevens, who on the same day will be marrying Kerry Young in Fareham, Hampshire.

Congratulations to Sally Billett of Riversdale Cottage on gaining her Orthopaedic Nursing Certificate at the Princess Elizabeth Orthopaedic Hospital in Exeter. Sally started her nursing career in Torbay District General Hospital. in 1984, where she qualified as an Enrolled Nurse General. She has now returned to Torbay to continue her nursing career and to work for the Registered General Nurse qualifications, which she will take in the near future. Sally's ambition is to become a Community Nursing Sister, following in the footsteps of her grandmother, Marion Billett.

Congratulations to Julie King who will be going to university at Cardiff in September to take an Honours Degree in Tourism Studies.

Our best wishes for the future go to Vic Cornish, who has given up his shoe repair business in Oxford Grove, Ilfracombe, after 45 years. We thank him for keeping us well-shod for so many years and for his kind and cheerful service.



Our best wishes to Gwen Squire who is in the Tyrell Hospital following a slight stroke. We hope she continues to progress - be patient, Gwen!

We were glad to hear that Toby Wood's stay in hospital was of a short duration and that he is now fully recovered and back to normal.


Nee Huxtable [1892 - 1989]

Rosie was born on the 30th December, 1892, in Berrynarbor. Her mother, Mary Ann [nee Sloley] came from Kentisbury where her father, Charles Huxtable, was employed by the Reverend Reginald Churchill as a farm bailiff. He was a renowned wrestler at the local Temperance Hall at the back of Orchard House. The family lived in Rectory Cottage [now Wild Violets] and this was where her brother, Reginald, and sister, Beatrice, were born. Rosie attended Berrynarbor National School during the time that Mr. Alfred Brown was the Headmaster, but she was not a good student, often preferring to miss school and learn from nature rather than any school books. Despite this, she had no difficulty in reading and her handwriting was commendable.

In 1914, her mother and father had a haberdashery business at or near the Manor Stores, but within a year or two, took a smallholding at Castle Hill. Rosie helped her parents with the running of the smallholding and learnt the skills of butter-making and poultry-dressing. Her first job away from home was in Barnstaple, working as nanny to the Penhales, who were veterinary surgeons. One day, Mrs. Penhale sent Rosie and the kitchen maid out to pick wild blackberries. However, they met up with two soldiers and no blackberries were picked! The maid panicked whilst the ever-resourceful Rosie nipped down to Butchers Row and bought a large punnet of blackberries which they then took back to Mrs. Penhale, who congratulated them on finding such large and good quality berries, and duly rewarded them both!!

Rosie' s next job took her to Trentishoe to Mrs. Ackland, whose husband, a Commander, was away at war. Here she helped to make butter, brew beer and market the farm produce by delivering it on horseback. Whilst at Trentishoe, she met Fred Bray who had recently returned from the War, and whose family lived at Hunters Inn. Fred's father was a thatcher and his mother ran the teashop. On the 17th January, 1920, Rose married Fred Bray in the quaint little church at Trentishoe, and they both moved to the smallholding at Castle Hill, as her mother and father had moved to Beach Hill Bungalow, which they had had built for them.

Rosie and Fred had three children, Audrey, Ivy and Gerald. Sadly, Audrey died in March 1927 aged 6 years. Rosie soon found that she was having to take an ever greater share in the working of the smallholding, as Fred's health continued to deteriorate, having been gassed during the Great War. Both Lionel and Leonard Dummett helped her and she would take in one or two visitors to augment their limited income. Rosie's mother moved back with them when her father died, aged 73 years, in March 1932, and they managed to 'let' Beach Hill. Within a few years, Fred had become so ill that they were unable to continue with the smallholding and moved into Beach Hill Bungalow in 1935. Within a year, on the 6th January, 1936, Fred Bray died at the age of 41, having first struggled around the village saying goodbye to all his friends! Grandma Huxtable died four years later, aged 80, just after the outbreak of the Second World War.


  1. A page from Fred Bray's Army Pay Book, with the Will he made in March 1918 before embarkation in the First World War.
  2. Rosie with a niece, Ivy and Gerald on her lap.
  3. Rosie and Audrey.
  4. An article from the Ilfracombe Chronicle of 10th January, 1936, reporting Fred's death.
  5. See Article 21.
  6. "Granny" Bray with her two great-grandchildren, Tracey and Paula.
  7. Marlene



One hot summer's day in June last year, I was informed by telephone that a party of caravanners would not arrive until about 8.30 p.m. that evening as they had had an accident on the M5.

They duly arrived by AA Relay, with the accident damaged car loaded aboard. Upon enquiring how the accident happened, I was told, "Too close to the vehicle in front". I offered suitable refreshments to the Very Nice Man who related the following saga.

"I picked up two, very distressed ladies plus children on the M5 near Stroud, following an accident. The damaged vehicle was loaded aboard and I enquired whether the victims required transporting home or onwards to their holiday destination. The latter was chosen. After starting the journey, I was asked if I could 'go the pretty coastal way via Porlock Hill' as they had been looking forward to it. I obliged. By the time I arrived here, I knew that both ladies were divorced [gossip for PP of MLF] and more or less their life histories.

On leaving the Park, the AA man hit "MAC V" our Mini, shattering the rear light. Mole thought the AA man had suffered quite enough for one day, so waved the VERY NICE MAN on his way.

The next day, the ex-husbands arrived, with an undamaged car and took away, at some risk, the casualty vehicle. TWO VERY, VERY NICE MEN?

Katie Kemp
Berrynarbor Caravan Park



Good Luck to Tracy Camplin [and Mark Ballard of Ilfracombe] who will be taking part in the Tall Ships Race from Plymouth to Bordeaux in July.

Good Luck, too, to the students from the village who are taking, or about to take, examinations:

All those now into their- G.C.S.E's

Sarah Deal, Elise Fanner, Karen Ozelton, David Anderson and Alan Froud, who will be sitting their 'A' Levels after the half-term break, and James Weedon, who will be taking his B.Sc Finals at Birmingham University.




The Parish Council has recently purchased a photocopier. This facility will be available for use by parishioners at a cost of 10p per copy. For larger quantities, a smaller charge will be made.

If at any time you wish to take advantage of this services please contact the Clerk: Mrs. Betty Davis, Chatsworth , Barton Lane [883541]



5thW.I. Meeting, "Getting to Know You"
6thSouth Molton Recycling Collection, 11.00-1.00 p.m.
Mobile Library in Village from 12.05 p.m.
Ilfracombe's Day for Women Meeting at Combe Martin Community Centre, 8.00 p.m.
9thto 17th June, Victorian Week, Ilfracombe
12thW.I. Victorian Afternoon at Watermouth Castle
Parish Council Meeting, 7.15 p.m.
14thU3A Luncheon: Collingwood Hotel, Ilfracombe - "Victorian Thoughts"
16thW.I. Garden Party at Arlington Court
20thMobile Library in Village from 12.05 p.m.
28thCoffee Morning at Fuchsia Cottage, 10.30 to Noon
1stto 6th July, National Youth Arts Festival
3rdW.l. Meeting: Wholefood Cookery Sheila Eschle
4thSouth Molton Recycling Collection, 11.00-1.00pm
Mobile Library in Village from 12.05 p.m.
Muddiford & Milltown Morris Men at The Globe
5thto 7th July [inc.] Young Studio Theatre presents "Annie' at Ilfracombe College
8thGardens of Cherry Tree Cottage and Lee House open to the public, 2.30 to 5.00 p.m.
10thParish Council Meeting, 7.15 p.m.
11thto 13th July [inc.] "Not Now Darling" a fast moving farce by Studio Theatre at Ilfracombe College
12thU3A Luncheon: Granville Hotel, Ilfracombe - Jim Turner, "Astronomy"
18thMobile Library in Village from 12.05 p.m.
19thW.I. Coffee Morning at Southerley, 10.30 a.m.
20thSchool and College Break Up
11thW.I. Exeter Canal Trip
1stSouth Molton Recycling Collection, 11.00 to 1.00 p.m.
Mobile Library in Village from 12.05 p.m.

Advance Dates

14th August - Berry Revels, 6.00 to 9.00 p.m. Manor Hall
10th September - Badminton Club Recommences



1 1b1.0.0.
Penny Farthing1 1/4
Sick Squid [6 quid]6.0.0.
Three far things3/4

For SOLVE see article Article 9.




The Primary School will be taking part in Victorian Week. On Tuesday, 13th June, between 11.00 a.m. and 2.00 p.m. [approx], they will be outside the Pavilion Theatre, in period costume when they will be singing and dancing and playing Victorian games.

Sports Day will be on Thursday, 5th July. Families and friends are invited to join the picnic lunch.

The children are presently planting giant hollyhock seeds. These will be available in the autumn for planting out next summer. Please take along your own pots and collect plants. The school asks that if possible, the hollyhocks are planted somewhere where they can be seen by passers by.

"Our project this term is about change. This term we are going to go round the village and look for changes and record them. We are going to measure some plants and we are going to bring some creatures into the classroom and we are going to look at the plants we sowed outside the school. We have already changed a weedy patch into a garden and we have got some stick insects and we are going to watch the stick insects."

Jancy Davies [6]

"0ur project this term is about change. This term we are going to look for changes and we are going to look for creatures and bring them in and we are going to look at the village and see how the village changes . And we are working on a weedy patch into a garden."

Lucy Roberts [6]

by Emily Gove [11]

The birds rose higher and higher. The only sounds were the beating of wings and the gun shots below. The nesting ground of the swans was in bits. The young nestlings' cries were harsh but their parents were gone. The swan flew on.

The place where he was born was shattered. The careless men had come and now it had happened ... the nests were in bits. The nestlings were dead. If only they had been three weeks older they would be alive.

The swan was tiring. His big wings beat steadily and slowly. His mate was behind him. He would have to land.

Slowly calling his mate he landed on a small island. His mate was ill. She tucked her head under her wing and slept.

Her condition improved quickly. Within three days the swan was completely recovered.

The swans rose gracefully. The morning sun shone on the two birds' wings.

Suddenly a flash of white fell from the sky. The noise of the gun made the two birds jump. The shock of seeing a bird plummetting to the sea below made the swan's mate think of the nestlings she left to die.

She went down over a big oil slick. Her mate dived down after her, calling urgently. He pecked at her side and a single feather fell into the murky water below. It floated on the waves, now covered with oil.



You may have noticed that details of photograph 5 on our centre spread are missing. The letter from the Queen, then Princess Elizabeth, is self-explanatory in that Rosie Bray was the recipient of one of these parcels. Did anyone else in the village receive one? To try to find the criteria of the recipients, enquiries have been made. A call to Buckingham Palace suggested contacting the Royal Archives at Windsor Castle. Here, a very helpful young lady gave the information that over 120,000 such parcels were distributed to "Widows with children, schools, pensioners, institutions, etc." It is thought that the process of selection would probably have been made by the Lord Lieutenant of the County. Can anyone help any further?

See Article 14.




Artwork: Judie Weedon


This is the sixth Newsletter - so we have now completed our first year! Contributions for this issue were very slow coming. so please remember that articles and other items for printing in the August Issue should be posted in the boxes at the Post Office and Manor Stores by the 15th July at the very latest. Don't forget, the Newsletter can only survive if EVERYONE does their bit, so put pen to paper and tell us of your hobby, that funny happening; your favourite recipe or what you did on your holiday; as well as keeping us up to date with 'Congratulations', 'Best Wishes' and 'Good Luck', and dates for diaries.



Artwork: Angela Bartlett


"Berrynarbor", Garratt, No. 16 [c1904 G]. Taken by John Garratt on his first of many visits to our village way back in early 1904, this photographic postcard shows Pitt Hill with Fuchsia Cottage on the right, whilst the 'Old Post Office' with steps up to the front door can be seen as the last house on the left. The first building on the left is where the Bassetts of Watermouth Castle would stable their coach and horses whilst attending the Sunday Morning Service at St. Peter's.

The knife-sharpening barrow standing just outside "The Globe", was pushed round from village to village by Jim Glass, spending one or two days in each village sharpening knives, scythes, scissors and any other implements having at least one sharp edge. Whilst in Berrynarbor, he would doss down with Sam Harding's horses at the Blacksmith's shop next to the school, and where he knew it would be warm! He is also mentioned in "Memories of Old Bradworthy" by Cecil T. Collacott, but as Johnny Glass.

Note particularly the surface of the main village street, which is just compacted stones. As and when it required any maintenance, large stones and rocks would be brought, probably from the then quarry at Harper's Mill, Sterrage Valley, and these would then be broken into small and suitably sized stones by men employed as "stone crackers", who spent all day hitting and breaking the rocks into small stones. The steam driven traction engine would then be brought to roll the stones into the road, leaving a relatively hard but often dusty surface.

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage, May 1990





If you would like to help plan this event, ring Polly or Anne on 863611. Any offers welcome.

OR come along to the next meeting on Tuesday, 6th June, at 8.00 p.m. at Combe Martin Community Centre.