Edition 66 - June 2000
Postcard: "Berrynarbor Valley" - c1926
The cover for this Newsletter is a 'Real Photo' postcard be E.A. Sweetman & Son Ltd. Of Tunbridge Wells. "2967 Berrynarbor Valley" was taken about 1926 and shows the lake at Mill Park and the tower of St. Peter's Church from the coastal hill above Sawmills. It was republished during the War years 1944-1946 and on the reverse has the words "Help to make the world a better place and life a worthier thing - King George VI".
Included in this issue is a 4-page spread of photographs of 'lesser known' landmarks from the village - the postbox at Lower Rowes, the Monterey Pine, pinus radiata [now sadly no longer, which was approximately 125 years old and weight around 25 tons] at Cherry Tree Cottage and the Victorian Tap House, all in the Sterridge Valley; telephone boxes at Berry Down and the Post Office, the Fountain at Sawmills, the hill stone at Buddiscombe - looking down to Combe Martin - and Roger Turpie's grave in St. Peter's churchyard.
Thank you for keeping the contributions coming and to everyone who has contributed to this issue, especially those behind the scenes - Colin, who kindly organises the printing, and Alan and Nora [Post Office] and Sue and Richard [Sue's of Combe Martin] who cover the distribution with the newspapers.
August next, when many of you will be attending to the needs of the holidaymakers! Please don't forget the needs of the Newsletter and hand your items and articles in to the Post Office or Chicane by Wednesday, 12th July, at the latest. Thank you.
A well-attended meeting on the 4th April welcomed Michael Cubitt, who apologised for his wife Doreen's absence owing to illness. He said that she usually gave the talk on "30 Years Running a Bird Sanctuary", but he certainly proved a worthy stand-in and held everyone's interest, compering the many coloured slides. The bonus came at the end when members were introduced to Little John, a tawny owl, recently featured in both the North Devon Journal and West Country News. was also a lovely barn owl ... what wonderful birds they are and most interested in everything that was being prepared for tea! Although Doreen and Michael are now retired, they still have several other feathered and four-footed friends with whom they share their home. Win Collins gave the vote of thanks, wishing Doreen a speedy recovery.
April 13th saw members at the Chichester meeting at Bratton Fleming, where, as usual, we received a warm welcome. The Guest Speaker, Jennifer Dallow, decided, as she is a popular flower arranger and quite well known to a lot of members, to demonstrate four European styles. Certainly a different floral art to our own, but very effective. Her arrangements were donated to the raffle and one of our members, Beryl Brewer, was lucky enough to win one. Linda Brown and I also did well, which compensated somewhat for coming 5th in the competitions! Arlington were the worthy winners, but our members, Linda Brown, Kay Webber and Joan Wood, must be thanked for their efforts. The next group meeting will be held at Shirwell in October.
Every year in May we have to discuss the Resolutions for the A.G.M., this year to be held in London. How we vote is passed on to a delegate. The subjects were all topical: Payments of Benefits at the Post Office, Funding of Children's Hospices and Treatment and Therapy for Stroke Sufferers. Peggy Strudwick came and gave us an insight to the latter. As a volunteer member of a group that helps stroke patients, she finds it most rewarding being able to help, and to see such good results. It was agreed to let the delegate hear what is said at the meeting about children's hospices since we felt that every area is different; and whilst our Devon one would like to remain as it is, some areas in the north might say otherwise. The post office and stroke resolutions were agreed on.
Win Collins and Kath Arscott then introduced us to the Agenda 21 Project, on which they and Linda Brown had been working over the past year. Full of detail about the care of the environment, farming, wild life, etc., the books were well documented and pictured. In fact, one could only marvel at the patience that these ladies had shown compiling them, an opinion shared not only by members but visitors, including two Parish Councillors. The raffle was won by Joyce Elliott and the competition for a decorative teapot by 'yours truly'.
The next meeting will be 6th June when the speaker will be Peter Christie on 'Unexplained Phenomena'. Visitors welcome. Don't forget the Coffee Morning at Southerley, Castle Hill, 10.30 a.m. onwards. Please come - there will be a bring and buy stall, raffle and sale of Cheshire Homes greeting cards.
Sing a song of sunshine,
A pocketful of mirth.
Four and twenty hours in which
To gladden all the earth.
When each day is opened
And the birds begin to sing,
Welcome Mother Nature's gifts,
The beauty that they bring.
Illustrations by: Debbie Rigler Cook
Vi Kingdon - President
LOUISA ANNIE RICHARDS
Louisa Annie Richards died on the 21st April 2000 aged 89 years. She was born Louisa Irwin at Great Shelfin Farm near Ilfracombe and was one of nine children, two of whom are still alive.
She met and married Albert Richards in 1936, first living at 26 Hagginton Hill and then moving to the family farm, East Hagginton, in 1942.
She and Albert had three children, Ken, Linda and Alan. Through her children, who are all married and living locally, she had seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
She was a much loved Wife, Mum and Nan and is sadly missed by us all.
Our thoughts are with Albert and all her family at this time
MISS IVY SMITH 1903-2000
In the 1920's, my mother looked after a black Pomeranian called Buzz whilst the owner was ill. I was about 3 at the time and being an only child was very happy to have a live-in playmate. He was a lovely little fellow, more like a teddy bear, so when he returned to his own home I was heartbroken. We had other dogs over the years, but never a Pomeranian ... not until December 1994.
I had just lost my dear Katie, after 17 years of faithful companionship, when I was asked if I would foster a Pomeranian called Mattie. His owner, Ivy Smith was unable to keep him after leaving hospital as she was going to an Abbeyfield Home. I made sure that we kept in touch - letters from Mattie [which I was told were shown to everyone!], photos, and cards for birthdays and Christmas.
During the summer we managed on several occasions to have tea and I was surprised to learn at one that Ivy, in her younger days, had lived with her parents just round the corner from where I was born in North London. As they had a shop, in all probability my parents would have known them . . . what a small world!
At one time Ivy lived in the Sterridge Valley and knew many of the older residents of Berrynarbor. She had also lived in Combe Martin. Later, she was moved to a new home in Lynton and Mattie and I planned a surprise for her birthday - we were going to take her flowers instead of having them sent, but I then received the sad news that she had died suddenly. She was in her 97th year, a 'game' lady, rather like my own mother who also died in her 97th year.
What a pity that they never met - how they could have reminisced about those early days in North London! Ivy, you will be sadly missed, especially by Mattie and me.
The beginning of the Pomeranian as a specific breed of dog is cloaked in antiquity and many names have been given to him in the past. He closely resembles his larger cousins, the Samoyed, the Spitz and the Norwegian Elkhound.
Pomeranian history goes back beyond the days of Christ, and the breed has been depicted in stone and bronze sculptures on urns and slabs found in Egyptian tombs. Skeletons have been found of small dogs whose structure resembled Pomeranians whilst excavations were being made of ancient tombs throughout Egypt.
The name dates back to when the dog came to light in Pomerania, Germany, where it was not only a pet but a working dog. The breed came to England in 1800 and later they were exhibited by Queen Victoria. In the 1890's, miniatures of the breed became popular and where the normal weight was about 101bs, these flyweights weighed as little as 31bs. They were the exception though and many of the larger specimens of the breed resulted from the breeding of these smaller dogs. They are docile, yet vivacious and alert, make good watchdogs and are wonderful companions, as I have found out for myself, first as a child and now as an adult.
Illustration by: Debbie Rigler Cook
A COUNTRY COLLECTION
Warm thanks to everyone who attended, and those of you who didn't - you missed a treat!
A very sincere thank you to everyone who supported the event in any way, but especially the providers of the refreshments and the donators of the raffle prizes, not to mention the hard working band of people who helped at the different sessions. Particular thanks must go to Jill Jones and Ann Hinchliffe, who helped at the lot!
Raffle prizes were won by Ann Davies, James Smith, Sally Rothwell, Mary Jane Newell, Frank and Sheila Paver [West Down], Margaret Andrews, Mr. and Mrs. Brown [Cobbaton], Una Parsons, Jo Songhurst, Ron Toms, Angela Richards, Dot Adams and Daphne Lock.
Takings, including donations but excluding sales to the artists themselves, totalled £535.50. Expenses [taking into account the hire of screens, lights and the hall, production of notelets and basic refreshments, etc. - many of which would be saved should such an event be run in the future], amounted to £373, giving a profit for Newsletter funds of £162.50.
The biggest thank you, however, must be for the four artists - Debbie, Nigel, Paul and Peter, without whom there could not have been such a wonderful display - and Tom and the pupils of the Primary School. THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH.
My thanks to everyone - A Country Collection was an unqualified success!
COMINGS AND GOINGS
We were sorry to see Glenys and Graham leave Miss Muffet's to go further west to Polperro, on the south Cornish coast. Piskey's Pantry, where you can get an all-day breakfast and food for the family on holiday, is keeping them 'on the go', but also allowing more time for themselves in the evening. We wish them every happiness and success in the future.
A restaurant serving lunches, cream teas and evening meals is a new way of life for Jeane and Bob Hackney, the new folks at Miss Muffet's. Bob and Jeane, who previously ran their own specialist decorating business, have come from Sevenoaks in Kent. They have three daughters and a son, three of whom are living in Sevenoaks but one daughter and their two grandchildren live in America. All the best with the new venture!
We also extend a warm welcome to Pat and Brian Thorpe from Torquay, who are helping at Napps for the summer, and thank you, Pat, for kindly baking cakes for 'A Country Collection' - could we please have the recipe for the scrumptious lemon drizzle cake!?
Another warm welcome to John and Carol Hill who, with their two daughters and their families have taken over Watermouth Holiday Villas. Sara and her husband, Michael Hodgkiss, have 3 children - Jessica, Charlotte and Samuel - and Jane and her husband, Mac Gray, have 2 children - George and Ellie. The family have come down from Staffordshire in the Midlands, and have left two sons/brothers, Andrew and Steven, to run the family industrial estate.
To all newcomers, good luck and we hope you will be very happy here.
ST. PETER'S CHURCH
Our Easter Services were very well attended with over 80 of us in church on Easter Day, including lots of visitors. It was lovely to see so many children [luckily there were enough Easter eggs to go round!] and the Sunday School are to be congratulated on the beautiful garden they assembled at the entrance to the church. Thank you again to all our talented flower arrangers and especially Ann Gosling, who held the fort during Betty's absence. We all wish Betty a speedy return to better health.
Special Services during June:
- Thursday, 1st June - Ascension Day Holy Communion at 10.00 a.m. [which lasts about half an hour]. The Easter Candle will be extinguished during the service.
- Sunday, 11th June - Whitsunday [Pentecost] 1 1.00 a.m. Sung Eucharist.
- Sunday, 25th June - The Christians Together Evensong will be held at Berrynarbor at 6.30 p.m. There will be tea/coffee and biscuits afterwards in the Manor Hall.
The Coffee Morning held on 4th May raised £91.00 towards Church Funds once all expenses were paid. Thank you to everyone who helped and came along to support us - there was a lovely friendly atmosphere, as always. Gift Day will be on the last Wednesday in June this year - the 28th [St. Peter's Day falls on the 29th]. Our appeal this year is once more for the tower. The Rector, Churchwardens and members of the PCC will be at the lychgate all day, from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. to receive your gifts and have a chat. A letter from the Rector and envelopes will be delivered around the village the week before.
The Church Summer Fayre will be held in the Manor Hall on Tuesday,
1st August. If you would like to help in any way, please get in touch with Mary Tucker [88388 Il and as this is before the next newsletter, please make a notc in your diary!
Butcher and Licenced Game Dealer
Locally farmed and
Regular Deliveries to Berrynarbor and Combe Martin
146 High Street, llfracombe Tel:  863643
NEWS FROM DOWN UNDER TOODYAY
The genealogy - Hunting Huxtables - is going extremely well. I chanced upon a family friend of Roger Turpie's grandson last month - they were her 'second family'. The grandson [aged 85'ish] has sent me heaps of news and photos about RT's other children. Small world!
While you are enjoying your spring weather, we have shifted into autumn. Rain, wind and days of beautiful sunshine. It is lovely to sit outside in the sun - the temperature hovers between 20-25C, which is perfect. Just enough to make one feel lazy without getting sunburnt. The paddocks are still brown from summer, but should start greening up next week. Autumn and spring are my favourite seasons - in autumn I love watching the green spread and become more obvious as the hours pass, then the farmers start seeding and the contrast of the rich red soil with the green is beautiful. Winter is a time of sitting in front of a fire, watching the crops grow, or curling up with a book, or in bed listening to the rain on the roof. Winter is also the time of not being able to get out of the house for the rain, the driveway [ours is very steep] being flooded and gouged out [again], muddy clothes and an awesome display of nature. Spring is seeing the crops flower, especially the yellow canola which can spread as far as the eye can sec, and seeing gardens blossom [ours is mainly native weed variety!] and the sun starting to warm the bones again. Summer, to me, is trying to remember when it was cold -- how was it possible to light the fire as now we can't get away from the heat. We're lucky in that our house is made from 25cm solid limestone bricks with a verandah all round. The limestone keeps the heat in during winter and can be 10 Deg cooler in summer.
We have our annual Moondyne Festival in 10 days - always lots of fun. Moondyne Joe was a 'likeable bushranger' who was well known for always escaping custody. Our theatre group travels up to Toodyay on the steam train and they have a ball with all the passengers - bushrangers can pinch drinks, wives, girlfriends and bottoms! The men on the train can't complain too loudly or they might get a [replica] gun shoved in their face. This year I'm going as a floozie/lady of the night - I'll keep the men occupied while the 'escapees' have their 'fun'! My husband, Peter, will go as the ultrarespectable mayor, in top hat and tails. Last year we were the mayor and mayoress, so I think I'll enjoy teasing him. I have a super tight, super low cut black dress to wear and I'll have make-up to rival the 60's look! I hope to get some great photos!
Kathy Robinson, Western Australia
[We'll look forward to seeing the photos, too, Kathy!]
Get well wishes to anyone currently 'under par'. It is good to know that Edna Barnes is home again and progressing slowly and we hope that Betty Davis and Vi Goodman will both be feeling better very soon.
Also progressing, we are very glad to say, is Bob Richards who has had a rough time and been in intensive care but should be back on the wards shortly. Hopefully, by the time the newsletter comes out, he will be home again and we send our very best wishes both to him and Betty.
We were sorry to hear that Shaun Cooper's op. has had to be delayed. We are 'rooting' for you, Shaun, and our thoughts will be with you and Kathy in June. However, the delay has enabled you to attend brother Neil's wedding, when he and Jacky get married on 27th May. Our very best wishes to you all and to Keith and Maureen.
I should like to thank all the folk in Berrynarbor who sent get well wishes and those who visited me during my stay in hospital. Also my very good friends and neighbours who have been so kind and helpful. My treatment is continuing at home with the help of the wonderful community nurses and carers. I hope l am not out of action for too long. Many thanks to you all.
Quarrels, tantrums, scolding, cuts, bruises, knocks and
teardrops are the daily storms in a young child's life, but all
of them are tempered by love, kisses and hugs to restore the
sunshine. Children are loud noises with arms and legs, they are
sweet-eating bundles of kicks and shouts, they are damp laps,
they are sleepless nights, they are precious, they are beautiful.
They are much-loved.
From the Nature and Natures of Children by Wendy Barber
Paul and Theresa Crockett are delighted to announce the safe arrival of their daughter, Katy Jane, on the 25th April. Katy Jane, who weighed 7 1bs 2 oz, is a new sister for Jack, Rosie and Nicola.
June and Bernard O'Regan are thrilled to announce the safe arrival of their first grandchild. Louis Krishnan, a son for Dominic and Julie who live in Dunstable, was born on the 30th April weighing in at 7 lbs 1oz.
Yvonne and George Davey are happy to announce that their latest grandchild, Katherine May has arrived safely. Daughter of Alison and Mark [Freeman] who live in Romsey, Hampshire, Katherine May - a sister for Eleanor - was born on the 6th May, a 9 lbs 4 oz bundle.
BERRYNARBOR PTA SCHOOL FETE
Tuesday, 18th July
* Hog Roast * Cider
GREETINGS FROM THE BERRYNARBOR PRIMARY SCHOOL
The Summer Term is shaping up very nicely weather-wise! Long may it continue. Our timetable, as usual, is filling up with a whole list of interesting and exciting events. After the Year 6 children have taken their national tests, along with the children in Year 2, we have a number of days out planned, visiting artists and historians and naturalists, as well as the beginnings of an exciting project involving the school and the WI working together. In amongst these activities we have a residential week away for Class 3, Sports Day, a Book Fair and the PTA Fete! Quite a busy time ahead, and a time for our oldest pupils to enjoy their last few weeks as primary school children before they embark on their next great adventure in September.
Until next time, best wishes,
Simon Bell Headteacher
Observational Drawings - sketches from animal exhibits for our Local Environment Project, Summer 2000
The Child Accident Prevention Trust [CAPT] are to launch Child Safety Week, with the full support of Devon Fire & Rescue Service, between the 19th and 25th June. In 1998, over 1100 fires were started in the UK by children playing with matches or lighters, with the tragic consequence that 80 were killed. As with all fires, simple steps can be taken to reduce the risk.
- NEVER leave matches or lighters where children can reach them
- If a child is in a room, ALWAYS use a fireguard
- NEVER be tempted to leave a child alone in the house
- ALWAYS have someone reliable to look after them
During the week, firefighters will visit playgroups with a video, 'Frances the Firefly', a story designed to prevent children playing with matches. The Week focuses on all aspects of child safety, raising awareness with young people.
The hazards of the great outdoors - a long, hot summer is what we hope for, but before heading off, REMEMBER:
- Keep gas cylinders outside caravans and turn off at the main valve when leaving the caravan or going to bed [unless you have appliances designed to run continuously, e.g. fridge]
- NEVER use a cooker or heater when on the move
- If you suspect a leak, turn off all appliances and the main valve. Open all doors and windows, do not smoke and do not operate electrical switches
- Take care when cooking and don't leave pans unattended. Keep matches out of children's reach. If you smoke, use large, stable ashtrays and NEVER smoke in bed. Children should not be left alone in a caravan and keep the caravan ventilated
When camping, allow adequate space [6m] between tents and never use candles in or near tents. Flammable liquids should be kept outside. Cooking appliances should not be used in small tents - in larger ones, they should be kept away from walls and the roof and where they can be easily knocked over. Oil burning appliances are NOT recommended.
If you MUST have an open fire, it should be at least 10m downwind from tents or caravans. Do not leave fires unattended and make sure they are fully extinguished after use. If a fire does break out, call the fire brigade, detailing the exact location. With dryer weather, grass and forest fires can spread rapidly, if you see one do not be tempted to investigate - leave the area as quickly as possible and call the fire brigade.
Moat of this information is common sense; enjoy the countryside and your recreation and be safe.
EMILY JANE BRONTE [1818-1848]
First published in 1846, a selection of' Bronte's poems attracted little attention. Her haunting saga set in Yorkshire, 'Wuthering Heights', was published a year later under her pseudonym of Ellis Bell. It was only after her death, from tuberculosis - like her other sisters and brothers - that the book became accepted as one of the most important novels of the 19th Century. Her poetry, too, is now considered amongst the most significant of the period. Best known are 'The Night is Darkening Around Me' and 'No Coward Soul is Mine'.
No coward soul is
No trembler in the world's storm-troubled sphere:
I see heaven 's glories shine,
And faith shines equal, arming me from fear.
Certainly she was 'no coward soul' and it is reported that in the latter stages of her illness, inspite of extreme pain, she refused all drugs and medical attention. She died in December 1848 having achieved no fame in her lifetime, but her powerful writing continues to fascinate readers and critics today.
The following short poem is of a less disturbing and melancholy nature:
'Tis moonlight, summer moonlight,
All soft and still and fair;
The silent time of midnight
Shines sweetly everywhere,
But most where trees are sending
Their breezy boughs on high,
Or stooping low are lending
A shelter from the sky.
Illustrated by: Paul Swailes
WEATHER OR NOT
We did not hear the cuckoo until well into April - he must have known about the cold snap we had at the beginning of the month! Looking back, mid March gave us a taste of spring. The rainfall was low with just 69mm [2 3/4"] for the month, although this was not as dry as March 1994, when we had only 54mm [2 1/4"].
The wind and temperatures were about average until the end of the month, when we recorded a windchill of -90 Deg C on the 29th.
April seemed to head back into winter when we had snowflakes on the 16th and a good covering on Exmoor. Checking the records, we had small amounts of snow on the 14th, 15th and 16th April 1999, and the 12th, 13th and 14th April 1998. Remember not to take a holiday in the middle of April!
Back to April 2000, we recorded a wind chill of13 Deg C and wind speed of up to 23 knots on the 3rd, with 33mm [1 1/4"] of rain. The total rain for the month was 171mm making a total for the year so far of 547mm [22"].
While writing this we can hear thunder rumbling - perhaps this will be a source of news for the next magazine.
Photo: The River Barle, near Simonsbath, 4th April 2000
Sue and Simon
NOTES FROM THE PARISH COUNCIL
Following the change of Chairman and Vice-Chairman at the Parish Council Annual Meeting on the 9th May, the Council would like to thank Len Coleman and Ray Ludlow who served the Parish so well in those posts for the last twelve months. They have been succeeded by councillors Ann Hinchliffe and Bud Rice.
The Parish Council's new year begins with the sad news that the creeping tide of vandalism has reached our village. The children's playing field has been damaged by someone who first broke through the gate and then drove a vehicle over the ground. A number of roadside drain covers have been found to have been lifted, putting people walking along our lanes in danger, especially at night. We should be grateful if you would keep your eyes open and report any incidents you see to a member of the Parish Council. The co-operation of parents would be particularly valued but please, if you see adults committing offences, do not put yourselves at risk by trying to stop them. We, as a Parish Council, should also be appreciative if you would let us know if you see anything such as dangerous trees or uneven road surfaces that need attention.
On a happier note, consideration is being given to the planting of a small orchard for the Millennium with public access. If successful, this should give pleasure to future generations as well as ourselves.
Coincidentally, at the Parish Council meeting on 11th July, we shall have the pleasure of a talk by Mr. Tucker, the NDDC tree specialist who will tell us about tree preservation and new plantings. He will expect, and welcome, questions from the public and we look forward to seeing interested people at that meeting.
Chairman, Berrynarbor PC
Further to the vandalism reported above, the following note has been received: We were recently very sorry to find that our electric fence activator had been stolen from Pixie Dean Meadow [opposite the forestry entrance]. This is alarming news to us all. If anyone can help with information about this theft, please contact Jannie Alcock on 882332. Thank you..
BERRYNARBOR [Britain] IN BLOOM
Volunteers are required to help plant up baskets and tubs for the village.
PLEASE COME AND HELP!
Sunday, 18th June, 2.30 p.m. at the Manor Hall.
OPEN GARDENS WEEK-END
24th and 25th June 2000, 2.00 to 5.00 p.m.
Visit a varied selection of gardens, large and small, with refreshments available at 3 of the venues. Also plants for sale. Programmes £2.00, available at the TIC and Combe Martin Stores, and Berrynarbor Post Office. Proceeds to Combe Martin Parish Church.
Congratulations and best wishes for your future happiness to our newly-wed couples.
Geoff and Andrea Smith of Goodleigh House celebrated their marriage and sprung surprises on Andrea's parents! Their civil wedding at Barnstaple Registry Office took place on her mother's birthday,
16th February, and the Blessing at St. Peter's on the 25th March was also a celebration of her father's 80th birthday, when Andrea's sister came, as a complete surprise, from America. A wonderful family week-end. We wish you all health and happiness.
All the best fairy stories begin 'once upon a time' and finish with the prince and princess getting married and in this tale it is Diane Gouldbourn and Antonie Haines who celebrated their marriage at Northcote Manor, Burrington, on Leap Day, the 29th February 2000! Antonie, a partner at Watermouth Castle, and Diane first met in 1989 when she came down from Bolton to help at the children's theme park at Mortehoe. Antonie, Diane and their son William, born on the 8th August 1999 and christened at St. Peter's on the 6th May, live at Watermouth.
Sue Constantine and Andy Graham celebrated their marriage at St. Peter's Church on the 25th March, followed by a reception at the Woolacombe Bay Hotel and a honeymoon in America.
Sue, daughter of Jean and Jim, and Andy live in Buckinghamshire and both work in the Prison Service - Sue as a Governor in London and Andy in Milton Keynes. Sue's brother, Nick, was an usher and he and his wife, Alyson, manage a hotel in Alcester near Stratford-on-Avon.
Jean and Jim plan to return to take up full residence in the village again next year. In the meantime, our best wishes to you all.
The Roebuck Hotel, Wychcross, East Sussex, was the setting for the wedding of Ben Fanner and Sara Bridle on the 20th May. Ben, son of Elaine and John, and Sara met when he was studying for a Civil Engineering degree at the University of Surrey and she was at the Guildford School of Acting. Ben and Sara are spending their honeymoon in Mexico before returning to their home in Exeter.
OF THIS AND THAT...
Studio Theatre, Ilfracombe College - Following the very successful productions 'The First Noel' and 'Dracula Spectacula', Studio Theatre will be presenting, again at The Landmark Theatre, Peter Shaffer's 'Amadeus' from the 29th June to 1st July. Please put the dates in your diary and join them at the theatre.
Berry Revels Plant Stall - John's pleas for help with the plant stall, following the retirement of Bernard and Eunice, has borne fruit! This year Michael Lane, Vice-Chairman of the Manor Ilall Management Committee, and Peter Hinchliffe will be doing their best to run the stall. The Revels will take place on Tuesday, 15th August.
Will potential donators of plant6 please lay their plans and give any items to either of us nearer the event. All profits benefit the village, 60 please help us out!
Peter and Michael
Good Luck and best wishes to all students from the village at school or university - who have been or will be taking examinations over the next few weeks.
Berrynarbor Junior Youth Club wishes to thank the Millennium Committee for the kind donation of £50.00. This will go towards buying new equipment and repairing some old!
Parish Council Election
Due to the resignation of Councillor Matthew Walls, there is a vacancy on the Parish Council. This will be re-filled by Co-option at the meeting to be held on Tuesday, 13th June.
Parishioners are invited to apply for this position in writing, stating why they would like to be a Parish Councillor. Letters of application should be sent to the Clerk or Chairman and be received by Friday, 9th June 2000 at the latest
Clerk: Sue Squire, 2 Threeways, Bratton Fleming, Barnstaple, EX31 4TG
Chairman: Ann Hinchliffe, Castle Hill, Berrynarbor, Ilfracombe, EX34 99 SX
Combe Martin & District Friends
Wednesday, 7th June
Hospice AGM Conununity Centre, Combe Martin, 7.30 p.m.
Speaker: Mrs. Barbara Lester
A video of Decr Park [thc hospice] will be shown. Everyone welcome
Wednesday, 21st June
Hospice Strawberry Tea at Middleton at 3.00 p.m. [kind permission of Drs. Ronald and Margaret Eames]
Friday, 4th August
Celebration of the Queen Mother's 100th Birthday
Birthday Tea at Scaena, Shackhayes [kind invitation of Joan and Donald McCallam]
100 IN AUGUST!
In 1936, Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, became Queen Consort, remaining so until the death of her husband, King George VI, in 1952. On the succession of her daughter, Elizabeth, she became known as The Queen Mother, some 48 years ago. This much loved lady will be celebrating her 100th birthday on 4th August 2000.
But did you realise that in 1936, we had not only two Queens but also three Kings!
Valentine's Postcard 'Famous throughout the World'
OUR HOLIDAY IN BERRYNARBOR
In 1947, at the age of 17, life was becoming exciting. Living through the war years with all the food rationing and restrictions we had to endure, it was a welcome suggestion when my parents thought we should have a family holiday somewhere in Devon. They decided to advertise in the local paper for suitable accommodation for themselves, my two younger brothers - Bryan  and John  -- and myself.
Having received only one reply, it was agreed that mum should go down from Swindon, in Wiltshire, to view this establishment, taking Bryan with her. Mum must have travelled by train as although dad had a little Austin car for business, she did not drive. Having viewed the property quite near the church she felt it was not suitable and took tea and something to eat at Mrs. Toms Tea Rooms --- now Miss Muffet's -- where, after some discussion with Mrs. Toms, adequate accommodation was found for all the family.
I remember we travelled down in the car, with 5 of us and all the luggage. At Porlock we had to get out and walk up the hill as the car began to overheat, but we made it and so began a most enjoyable holiday!
As I had started work as an indentured apprentice plumber a year earlier, at a weekly wage of 12/6d., I imagine this was my first, paid annual leave. Sadly, it was during this holiday that my grandmother passed away [19th August 1947] and so, on the 21st, my parents travelled to Tooting, London, to attend the funeral, leaving me in charge. You can imagine that this gave us the opportunity to get up to mischief and we did!
At that time, most foods were still rationed, but this didn't seem to apply to Berrynarbor as I remember there being no shortage of good food, and being three growing lads, we were always ready to tuck in. Most days we travelled on the local village bus out to the main Ilfracombe-Combe Martin road and then walked to the headland at Broadsands, traversing a very steep path down to a lovely beach. To assist you on the return upward journey, there was a rope handrail which enabled you to pull yourself up very necessary for all who used this only approach to the beach. One day, having reached the top leaving quite a few bathers still on the beach, it was suggested that for a laugh we pull up the rope and leave them to their fate. Perhaps they are still there - if so, our apologies for this cruel trick!
It was on one of the return journeys by bus from a beautiful day on the beach that the driver had to make an emergency stop to avoid a collision with another vehicle in the narrow approach road to Berrynarbor, that I hurt my hand. As the bus stopped, everyone shot forwards and like everyone else I tried to stop myself with my hand on the seat in front. Unfortunately, the seat was broken and I finished up with my hand between the seat and the frame, jammed with the weight of the people behind. This cost me the loss of several fingernails and a very painful hand for some time, which had to be dressed each day in Ilfracombe.
When we returned home, I couldn't go to work, so I had an extended holiday, but not nearly as good as the one we had had in Berrynarbor. My father wrote to the Bus Company and complained about the condition of the bus, and they paid sufficient compensation for my injuries for me to buy a new bicycle!
Over the last fifty years, a lot has changed. My parents moved to Plymouth after we lads had left home. Dad transferred his job there and retired in 1969. Mum passed away in 1986 and father on the 4th December 1999. John, who now lives in Toronto, Canada, came over for the funeral just before Christmas, but sadly his wife Jill could not make the journey due to ill health.
Early February was a nostalgic and memorable time as my brother, myself and our wives took dad's ashes to Plymouth, to scatter them in the memorial garden where mum's were scattered some fourteen years before. It was a golden opportunity to revisit Berrynarbor and try to remember and reflect on some pleasant and old memories.
Michael S. Leonard on behalf of the Leonard Family
Michael, who now lives in Poole, Dorset, called at Tower Cottage in early February, when I suggested he might put pen to paper, which he has kindly done.
NEWS FROM THE SAWMILLS
You may have noticed things are changing at the Sawmills. New for 2000, we now have a Children's Certificate which allows children of any age to be in the bar area. The magistrates were generous enough to extend the hours that children can be in bar area until 10.00 p.m. for the period 1st April to 30th September. During the winter, however, it will revert to the normal granted time of 9 p.m.
We also have two indoor play areas a small area in the 'no smoking' dining room for 1 1/2 to 3 year olds, and a larger play area with climbing and two glides in the room to the left of the bar for 3-8 year olds.
We have also made improvements to our baby-changing facilities and have more highchairs/booster seats, but if needs be, you may bring your pushchair/pram in to your table.
Our menu has been 'spiced up' but it still contains traditional pub meals, and if you can't find what you want on the menu, look at our 'specials' board or put in a request for us to cook it for your next visit - we shall do our best!
From Easter to September, we serve food from 9.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m., but on Sundays, with the addition of our popular plateful of roast [beef, pork or chicken) meals, we serve food from 12 noon to 9.30 p.m. Sorry, we can't open for breakfast on Sundays, but Monday to Saturday our ALL DAY [until 5.30] BREAKFASTS - regular, large or veggie - are going a treat and we even supply a selection of morning newspapers!
As well as the 'specials' on the food counter, look out for the Bar Specials.
There will always be something at a special price, so watch the board.
Entertainment has been intermittent through the winter and recent months, but things really kick-off on 7th July when our entertainment, until 1st September, will be:
- Monday - Balloon Magic, 7.00 - 8.00 p.m.
- Tuesday - Live Band 'Seven Days', 9.30 - 11.15 p.m. Covers include Bryan Adams, Chuck Berry, Stereophonics, Pulp, Manic Street Preachers
- Thursday - Keyboard and Singing Duet 'Eclipse', 9.30 p.m.
- Friday - Disco, 9.00 to 11/11.30 p.m. [the first half hour is especially for kids]
- Saturday - Karaoke, 8.30 p.m.
- Sunday Quiz - Sheets available 6.30 to 10.00 p.m. at £1.00 each. You could win a case of San Miguel!
The bar is open until 11.30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, for 5 weeks starting from Friday, 28th July.
Our aim is to cater for the requirements of our customers [holidaymakers and locals] so if you have any comments or suggestions, we should love to hear them. If you don't want to talk to Karen or one of her team of supervisors and staff, then fill in a 'comments card' and pop it in the box.
We have got lots of ideas and plans which we are still working on, so whatever you suggest may already be in the pipeline, but we need to know what you think in order that we can try to provide what you are looking for.
We look forward to seeing you soon.
Karen and Wayne
LETTER FROM THE RECTOR
During the last few months, I have been reading a book entitled 'The Wisdom of the Desert'. One of the pearls of wisdom was this short story:
A certain brother came to Abba Silvanus at Mount Sinai, and seeing the hermits at work he exclaimed:
"Why do you work for the bread that perisheth? Mary has chosen the best part, namely to sit at the feet of the Lord without working." Then the abba said to his disciple Zachary:
"Give the brother a book and let him read, and put him in an empty cell."
At the ninth hour the brother who was reading began to look out to see if the abba was not going to call him to dinner, and sometime after the ninth hour he went to the abba and said:
"Did the brethren not eat today, Father?"
"Oh yes, certainly," replied the abba, "they just had dinner."
"Well," said the brother, "Why did you not call me?"
"You are a spiritual man," said the abba, "You don't need this food that perisheth. We have to work, but you have chosen the better part. You read all day, and can get along without food."
Hearing this the brother said: "Forgive me, Father."
And the abba said: "Matha is necessary to Mary, for it was because Matha worked that Mary was able to be praised."
Food for thought?
With all good wishes,
Your Friend and Rector,
Cats sleep Anywhere,
Top of piano,
In the middle,
On the edge,
Anybody's Lap will do,
Fitted in a Cardboard box,
In the cupboard -
With your frocks
They don't care!
Cats sleep Anywhere.
Illustrated by: Debbie Rigeler Cook
LOCAL WALKS - 60
"The woods are lovely, dark and deep"
A walk along the River Yeo where it passes through the extensive woodlands of the Arlington estate. A quest for 'the red' and 'the green' - both shy creatures and an encounter with either transforms any walk into a special occasion.
As we walked down the field towards the river, a green woodpecker landed on a post near the bridge. Soon it went with undulating flight across the river and landed high in a tree. It spiralled up the trunk before bounding off [its bright yellow rump particularly eye-catching] and finally it disappeared into the dense cover of Woolley Wood.
It was a female green woodpecker as she lacked the red centre in the black moustachial stripe, characteristic of the male. The female's 'moustache' is wholly black. Both have the distinctive olive green plumage and black eye mask. The crown of the head and nape are bright red - certainly a very handsome bird and the deciduous woods and open parkland of Arlington provide the ideal habitat for it.
In his book, 'Birds of the Wild Places', J. Wentworth Day wrote, "He is a dweller in old parks where deer lie above the bracken tops; ancient woodland." He flies "in from the green park, laced with watercress brooks, from stag-headed oak trees . . . dipping and falling in coloured flight."
The juvenile green woodpecker has pale grey green underparts with speckled and barred markings.
The woodpecker removes insects from crevices in the bark and when there is an insufficient supply of grubs and beetles, it will eat nuts and berries. It is especially fond of ants and will seek out their nests, excavating large holes in lawns with its strong, dagger-like bill.
Often its presence is betrayed by the famous 'yaffle' - the loud series of 'laughing' notes, which can echo across a valley. Yaffle is one of the old country names for the bird, along with awl bird, referring to its bill, and rainbird.
We tend to assume that a century ago, birds which are not very frequently seen today, would have been a common sight for country dwellers. However, in his account of 'Birds in a Village', the naturalist W.H. Hudson observed: "In all those fruit and shade trees that covered the village with a cloud of verdure and in the neighbouring woods, not once did I catch a glimpse of the green woodpecker, a beautiful, conspicuous bird."
A flash of blue was all we saw of a kingfisher, heading up river towards Tucker's Bridge. At the pretty stone bridge, we crossed the Yeo and climbed up through Deerpark Wood.
Here it was silent and still; no rustle or movement of any living creatures but beneath the oak trees, bugle, yellow pimpernel and sanicle grew among the haze of bluebells. Below the wood, in a tributary of the Yeo, were clumps of marsh marigolds [or kingcups] and lady's smock flowered in the damp grass alongside.
Then, as we decided to make our way back towards the car park, we noticed a group of animals a few fields away, rich brown in colour - no, not cows - they were red deer. Twelve of them were grazing in the corner of a sloping field, bordered on two sides by a wood.
The stag was wary, looking about him at regular intervals. The hinds very gradually moved in the direction of the wood; but bending their long, graceful necks to the grass as they went, their prominent ears alert and listening.
The National Trust
Arlington Court, one of the county's most attractive country estates, with its Victorian mansion, outstanding collection of horse-drawn carriages and working stables, wonderful gardens, woods and parkland grazed by Jacob sheep and Shetland ponies NEEDS VOLUNTEERS.
If you could spare some time each week [or even fortnightly] to help look after this treasured property, whether your interests are in the mansion, the gardens, woodlands or assisting with special events, WE SHOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU!
For further information please call us on  850296 to find out how you could become part of the country's largest conservation charity - The National Trust.
Regular volunteers receive an NT discount card and we organise social functions both on and off the property.
Illustrated by: Peter Pothwell
As a volunteer, stewarding the house, I can endorse that volunteering is both interesting and worthwhile. I have learnt so much about the history of this beautiful house and the grounds, which are particularly spectacular at the moment with the azaleas and rhododendrons in bloom. If you can help, why not ring them NOW, or if you would like to learn more, please give me a call on 883544.
OLD BERRYNARBOR -
VIEW NO. 65
This photographic postcard showing Bessemer Thatch from the back garden was taken by Wm. Garratt, the Bristol Photographer, around 1935. I obtained the card around November last year at the Exeter Postcard Fair and written on the back is 'Bessemer Cottage, Berrynarbor, N. Devon'. It was certainly taken before 5th May, 1937, when Bessemer Thatch House was burnt down. Next morning the following article appeared in the Western Morning Newspaper:
"Two Brigades Fight Fire Berrynarbor Hill House Destroyed - Outbreak starts in thatch".
"Known to thousands of visitors, and situated on the top of Berrynarbor Hill, North Devon, the picturesque Bessemer Thatch House was destroyed by fire last evening. The damage is estimated at nearly £1,000. The lower portion of the house, with its modern interior, is owned by Canon Jolly of the Deanery, Southampton. Every summer he visits the place and has done so for a great number of years. At the time he was not in residence, but the news of its destruction was conveyed to his wife, who told the Canon, who, it is understood, had left hospital only yesterday after an operation. The higher portion of the Thatch is owned and occupied by Miss L.C. Veale, head mistress of the Berrynarbor Council School. She was at home at the time."
"Spark from Chimney? It appears a spark from a nearby chimney caught the thatched roof on fire shortly after five o'clock. The first to notice the thatched roof on fire was Mrs. D. Toms, who lives almost opposite [Dormer cottage], and she at once sent for Ilfracombe Fire Brigade. Men in the village also noticed smoke coming from the thatched roof, and with buckets of water endeavoured to put the blaze out, but it spread so quickly their efforts were ineffective. They removed all the furniture of the both sections. Ilfracombe Fire Brigade under Officers Westaway and Webber, were quickly on the scene and began to pour water on the blaze. In the meantime, Mr. F.J. Richards, a county councillor of the district, had arrived on the scene, and immediately sent for the Barnstaple Rural Fire Brigade, which arrived some time after under Capt. F. Parker."
"Water from stream. The Barnstaple Rural Brigade, with their powerful engine, pumped water from a stream down the village, while men of the Ilfracombe Brigade worked very hard in throwing off the burning thatch. Among others who rendered great help were Sergt. Hulland and Cons. Munton and Northey of Combe Martin. Up to a late hour the brigade were still at work, but were expected to finish about midnight, as they had to take the thatched roof completely off."
Bessemer Thatch was originally three separate cottages, Nos. 47, 48 and 49, with Little Gables, No. 50, on the corner. The Watermouth Estate Sale of August 1920, with completion date of 25th March 1921, states:
All those Four Cottages, Gardens and Premises,
adjoining Lot 51, being Nos. 46, 47, 48 and 49, in the occupation of
Messrs. Kemp, Bowden, Hicks and Stapledon as Quarterly Tenants
Canon Jolly became the sole owner following the fire and arranged for the rebuilding of Bessemer Thatch, alas without thatch! He remained as the owner/occupier right up until his death in 1972.
Bessemer Thatch was then bought by the Delve Family, Ron and Marian, Dora and Granny Gray. They modernised the entire building reopening it as a private hotel and restaurant, which they ran very successfully until 1990 when they moved to Yeoford and Heather and Les Levi took over. Heather and Les held the reigns until late 1997, when it was taken over by today's owners, Wendy and Colin Applegate.
Tower Cottage - May 2000
P.S. I am sure that everyone who visited 'A Country Collection' held at the Manor Hall on Saturday and Sunday, 6th and 7th May, will endorse my thanks to Judie Weedon for the immense amount of work and effort she put in before, during and after, to ensure that it would be successful, and thanks to husband, Ken, who carried out the wiring and lighting.
Illustration by: Nigel Mason
|1st||St. Peter's Church: Ascension Day, Holy Communion, 10.00 a.m.|
|5th||Primary School and College: Return after Half Term|
|6th||W.I. Meeting, 2.30 p.m., Manor Hall: 'Unexplained Phenomena - Peter Christie|
|7th||Mobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
Hospice AGM, Community Centre, Combe Martin, 7.30 p.m.
|11th||St. Peter's Church: Whitsunday, Sung Eucharist, 11.00 a.m.|
|13th||Parish Council Meeting, 7.30 .m., Manor Hall|
|15th||W.I. Coffee Morning at Southerley, Castle Hill, 10.30 a.m. onwards|
|18th||Berrynarbor in Bloom Planting Up , Manor Hall, 2.30 .m.|
|21st||Mobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.|
N.D. Hospice Strawberry Tea at Middleton, 3.00 p.m.
|24th||and 25th: Combe Martin Open Gardens Week-end, 2.00 to 5.00 p.m.|
|25th||St. Peter's Church: Christians Together Evenson , 6.30 p.m.|
|28th||St. Peter's Church: Gift Day|
|29th||to Saturday, 1st July: Studio Theatre presents 'Amadeus' at the Landmark Theatre|
|4th||W.I. Meeting, 2.30 p.m., Manor Hall: Annual Tea for members of Ilfracombe Disabled Association|
|5th||Mobile Library in Village from 1 1.30 a.m.|
|11th||Parish Council Meeting, 7.30 p.m., Manor Hall Guest Speaker: Mr. Tucker, NDDC Tree Specialist|
|18th||PTA School Fete, 6.30 p.m., Manor Hall|
|19th||Mobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.|
|21st||Primary School & Ilfracombe College: End of Summer Term|
|1st||St. Peter's Church: Summer Fayre, Manor Hall, 6.30 p.m.|
|2nd||Mobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.|
|4th||Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother's 100th
N.D. Hospice Centenary Birthday Tea, Scaena, Shackhayes, Combe Martin
|Mondays - Badminton|
|Tuesdays - Yoga, 7.00 p.m.|
|Thursdays - Whist Drive, 7.30 p.m.|
BERRYNARBOR WINE CIRCLE
The April meeting, albeit one of our shortest, was very well attended. Catherine Lightfoot of St. Austell Brewery gave a presentation, the highlight of which was the Australian McGuigan Millennium Shiraz, which was unbelievable.
Our May meeting was the AGM, with an attendance of almost 50 members. Discussion was held regarding whether or not to close the membership list, presently at 73 members, but with the average attendance at meetings being 53, it was decided to take no action but review the situation again at next year's AGM.
Once again the retiring Officers and Committee were re-elected 'en bloc'. Chairman - Alex Parke, Secretary - Tony Summers, Treasurer - Jill McCrae and Committee - Tom Bartlett, John Hood, Inge Richardson and Jan Tonkin.
Chairman Alex Parke then gave a presentation acclaimed by all present as one of the best ever held by our Wine Circle. He opened with a 'Champagne', with its labels hidden, which to everyone's surprise was English! Produced by Camel Valley Vineyards of Cornwall and priced at £13.95 per bottle. We also sampled Camel Valley's 'Seyval Blanc' and from Italy 'Tormaresca Bianco di Puglia', obtained from Jolly's at Bideford. The three red wines were of excellent quality, the last of which was a 'Vino Santo' from Antinori Tuscany, Italy, a 17% fortified wine. Thanks were expressed to Alex and we are all looking forward to his next presentation.
The Wine Circle now goes into recess for the summer and will recommence in the Autumn. It is hoped to publish the 2000-2001 Programme either in the August or October Newsletter.
Unearthed by PP of DC
- An Accountant is someone who knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing.
- An Auditor is someone who arrives after the battle and bayonets all the wounded.
- A Banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining and wants it back the minute it begins to rain. [Mark Twain]
- An Economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn't happen today.
- A Statistician is someone who is good with numbers but lacks the personality to be an accountant.
- An Actuary is someone who brings a fake bomb on a plane, because that decreases the chances that there will be another bomb on the plane. [Laurence J. Pqter]
- A Programmer is someone who solves a problem you didn't know you had in a way you don't understand.
- A Mathematician is a blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat which isn't there. [Charles R, Darwin]
- A topologist is a man who doesn't know the difference between a coffee cup and a doughnut.
- A Lawyer is a person who writes a 10,000 word document and calls it a 'brief'. [Franz Kafka]
- A psychologist is a man who watches everyone else when a beautiful girl enters the room.
- A Professor is one who talks in someone else's sleep.
- A Schoolteacher is a disillusioned woman who used to think she liked children.
- A Consultant is someone who takes the watch off your wrist and tells you the time.
- A Diplomat is someone who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you will look forward to the trip.
AN OTTER'S TALE
The otter is one of Britain's rarest and most beautiful mammals. On several occasions during the last few years, I have greatly enjoyed helping my close friend, David Chaffe, on excursions around the country with his bitch otter, Storm.
These trips have included presentations to wildlife groups and schools, picture shoots for water authorities with David Bellamy, and filming in Norfolk for ITV Survival programmes.
One recent outing involved a two-day visit to Newcastle, where filming was taking place for a new series of 'Byker Grove', a popular teenage soap shown on early evening television. The programme researcher had asked David to take Storm for a sequence of shots they needed with a wild British otter, and Storm was well used to working in front of a camera crew.
We travelled to Newcastle in David's van with Storm in her crate, fast asleep, surrounded by bales of straw, buckets, chairs and mats. We stayed overnight in a small guest house on the outskirts of the city - Storm having been well fed and watered in the back of the van - and next morning we were taken to a remote parkland area in the hills, where the day's filming was to take place.
When we arrived at the site, the film team were shooting a sequence involving a barn owl and birds of prey. We watched with interest as the falconer managed to guide the birds from one tree to another [enticed by tit bits on his glove!] until the cameramen were satisfied they had what they wanted. It was Storm's turn to take centre stage!
The storyline involving Storm is that two teenagers have found an injured otter in the woodland and that she is being looked after and making a good recovery under the watchful eye of a local gamekeeper.
David and I carried the crate into a large, fenced pen and after a couple of minutes Storm emerged to track round the enclosure and explore her surroundings. She was used to audiences and flashlights, so the fact that there were some forty people straining to get a close look at her did not frighten her in the slightest. For the best part of half an hour, she glided round her pen in an inquisitive and playful way, the film cameras 'whirred' and the actors spoke their lines with the otter close to them -just what the Director wanted! Storm also entertained everyone by splashing in and out of a large bucket of water and rolling over on the soft ground.
Once the film is cut and edited, probably no more than twenty seconds will be included in the TV programme, but Storm had certainly earned her fee! Everyone was delighted with the morning's work and after a wholesome lunch, provided on site by the catering team, Storm was lifted back into her travelling crate by David and set off on the long journey home.
Very sadly, this was to be my last excursion with David and his otter, for within a few weeks Storm had passed away.
In the autumn of 1999, David's book 'Stormforce' was published the remarkable true story of an orphaned wild otter cub rescued from Exmoor and a record of David's life work with otters and wildlife conservation. In the Daily Mail, June Southworth wrote: "Stormforce is a touching illustrated account of an otter's rescue and struggle for survival." If you would like to obtain a copy of the book [and the author would be happy to personally dedicate and sign copies], please order direct from Stormforce Publications on  798289, cost £14.99, or contact me on  882459.
Woodvale, Sterridge Valley
Photos: Storm in David's arms Cameraman Warwick Sloss working with Storm in the River Lynher at Bathpool Bridge for the BBC 'Warwick was now undoubtedly her friend"
High and dry
Over the pebbles
See me hobble.
My water-bag wobbles
Until I spill
At the river sill
And flow away thin
As an empty skin
That dribbles bubbles
Then I jut up my mutt,
All spikey with wet.
My moustaches bristle
As I mutter, or whistle:
"Now what's the matter?"
[For this is my song.
Not very long.
There might be a better
Some wetter, wittier
Otter could utter.]