Edition 67 - August 2000

Artwork by: Debbie Rigler Cook

Artwork: Judie Weedon


The August issue and where is the summer? Wimbledon has been and gone and they may have managed to play the matches almost to schedule, but someone over North Devon forgot to turn the tap off! In this issue is a poem - The Glory of the Garden - written by Rudyard Kipling, who also wrote 'If' - voted the country's best loved verse in the BBC's national poll in 1995 - with its lines:

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;

which are displayed over the players' entrance to the Centre Court at Wimbledon. Wimbledon brings to mind strawberries and cream, but we didn't have to travel far for ours - just to the Post Office! Thank you Vi and Alec for the beautiful 'local' berries, scrumptious with cream!

When writing this, articles look to be a bit 'thin' [is too much watching tennis to blame and they will soon come pouring in?], but there are a lot of illustrations and photographs for you to enjoy. The picture of Storm, the otter, peeping through the cameraman's legs printed in the last issue did not reproduce well. It is repeated here and hopefully the photographs mentioned above will print successfully.

My thanks for all the contributions: to Debbie for the cover, Paul for his illustrations and all our regular contributors.

The next issue will be October - with the evenings drawing in and cooler [!] weather.

Copy will be welcome as soon as possible, and by Wednesday, 13th September, at the very latest please. Thanks.




Found near lakes, rivers and canals all over Britain, except the north of Scotland, the kingfisher is arguably our most beautiful and easily recognised bird. They can be very hard to spot, despite their brilliant colours - metallic blue backs and bright orange breasts - and are more often seen flashing past and disappearing round a corner! The kingfisher, with its stumpy tail, usually fishes from a perch, diving like an arrow to catch fish in its long, dagger-like beak; although sometimes it hovers above the water before plunging down. Prey is swallowed head first.

Nesting in deep tunnels excavated into sandy river banks, there are usually two broods a year - enabling the population to recover quickly after hard winters, when many die - and the young need to learn to fish quickly or they will starve. During the winter, they may move to coastal estuaries where they can sometimes be seen on rocks or breakwaters.

The best way to spot a kingfisher is to scan along likely looking perches with binoculars, but their sharp 'peep peep' call can attract attention before the brilliant colours. Both sexes are alike, except the female has a reddish base to her beak.

When Noah left the Ark, the animals
Capered and gambolled on the squadgy soil,
Enjoying their new-found freedom; and the birds
Soared upwards, twittering, to the open skies.
But one soared higher than the rest, in utter ecstasy,
Till all his back and wings were drenched
With the vivid blue of heaven itself, and his breast scorched
With the upward-slanting rays of the setting sun.
When he came back to earth, he had lost the Ark;
His friends were all dispersed. So now he soars no more;
A lonely bird, he darts and dives for fish,
By streams and pools places where water is
Still searching, but in vain, for the vanished Ark
And rain-wasted terraces of Ararat.

The Kingfisher - John Heath Stubb




6th June and three visitors joined members in welcoming Mr. Peter Christie who gave a most interesting talk, aided with slides, on 'Unexpected Phenomena' - adding even more interest when members related some unexplained experiences of their own. Time, as usual, went too quickly and everyone hoped that Peter - a busy lecturer - would be able to visit again next year. Before leaving he kindly acted as judge to the specimen rose competition, and Kay Webber's was voted the winner, although all the specimens were lovely.

The Coffee Morning at Ivy Richards's on the 15th June was, as always, a jolly occasion. Many thanks to all who supported it, and to helpers Eunice and Bernard Allen, Joan Wood, Kay Webber and Angela Richards, and to those who brought items for the bring-and-buy and raffle. Through everyone's generosity, we made £68, and Eunice was grateful to everyone who bought Cheshire cards. Thank you, Ivy, for making us all so welcome in your home.

Before our visitors arrived on the 4th July, there was a short meeting when I had to give the sad news that Lilian Knowles, a member of just a few months but known to a lot of us for many years, had died suddenly over the week-end. It came as a great shock as quite a few of us had been with her on the Wednesday at the Friendship Lunch, and it is nice to remember what a happy time we all had.

Just after 3.00 0'clock, cold and with rain tipping down, 24 ladies from the Ilfracombe Disabled Association arrived, but a warm welcome greeted them in the hall, where there was a sales stall manned by Bobbie and Ethel, a raffle with Kay and Joyce in charge, and Eunice with her cards. The tables were set with a wonderful spread - members had excelled themselves - and, of course, that welcome cuppa. Everyone was most appreciative and nearly everyone went home with a raffle prize or cakes. As they boarded the coach, I was told several times, "We do love coming to you", which makes all our efforts so worthwhile. My personal thanks to all members and to those who although unable to attend, sent along 'eats' and prizes - we're just sorry that you missed such a happy occasion.

With no meeting in August, many members will be helping at the various fetes. Our next meeting will, therefore, be on Tuesday, 5th September, when Rosemary Wedlake is going to demonstrate 'All About Hats' - a humorous lady, I have been told, so hope to see you then, and that includes visitors. Cheerio for now.

Sun, sea, sand, cream teas,
All enhance a summer break,
And when evening shadows fall
There are carnivals and fetes
To be enjoyed by all.
With gardens bright to cheer one's way,
Just make the most of every day.

Illustrations by: Debbie Rigler Cook

Vi Kingdon - President




If I should die and leave you here awhile,
Be not like others sore, who keep
Long vigils by the silent dust, and weep.
For my sake turn again to life and smile,
Nerving thy heart and trembling hand to do,
Something to comfort other hearts than thine.
Complete those dear unfinished tasks of mine,
And I, perchance may therein comfort you.


It was with much sadness that the village learned that Lilian, who was 87, had died peacefully at Monks Path during the week-end of 2nd July, and our thoughts are with her niece and family in Yorkshire.

Lilian, the youngest of a family of five, and her husband, Clifford, who died in January 1998, moved here from Derby, where Clifford, an optician, and she had run two practices. When they first came to North Devon, Lilian worked for a while, including a spell as Receptionist at The Sandy Cove Hotel. She had recently become a member of the W.I. and following Clifford's death, had been able to join in more of the village activities. A diminutive figure walking down Barton Lane to the Post Office - she will be sadly missed.

Following the recent death of Mrs. Lilian Knowles, her family in Yorkshire would like to thank her friends for all the help and support they have given her over the last difficult years. Many thanks.

Joan Blatherwick


I was very sorry to have a phone call from Kathleen Joslin telling me that her sister, Audrey, had passed away on the 24th June, and we send our condolences to her and Audrey's husband, Tom. Audrey and Tom celebrated their Diamond Wedding in October 1996.

Kathleen, Audrey and her twin sister Mildred, who sadly died in October 1996, spent a lot of time when they were young visiting their grandparents, Thomas and Bessie Toms, who lived at Brookdale in the Sterridge Valley, and they have continued to visit the village whenever they can. We are thinking of you both at this very sad time.


We are sorry to report the recent death of Vi Davies's mother, Violet Devereux. Our thoughts are with Vi and her family at this time of sadness.

I should like to thank everyone for their cards and kind messages on the death of my mother, Violet, who was 97. She came from Worcestershire to live with us in 1984, after an illness, and although very few of you actually knew her, many of you knew of her and would enquire about her health, which was much appreciated.

Vi Davies


Artwork: David Duncan


Gift Day We spent a glorious sunny day sitting on the church steps, talking to parishioners and visitors, exchanging news and views. To date, with still a few late envelopes being returned, £830 has been donated towards the Tower Fund. Thank you all once again for your constant generosity. The Fund now stands at £21,000, but still no news of a grant from English Heritage.

Our services during August and September will follow their usual pattern. The Family Service on the third Sunday of the month is proving particularly popular. We all look forward to seeing the Sunday School and enjoy the items they have prepared: songs, readings and prayers. A display of their work can be seen at the back of the church and it is well worth looking at. Their new term will start on 10th September in the Manor Hall at 11.00 a.m. and for any children interested in joining, the person to contact is Sally Barten on 882746.

Looking Forward . . . The Harvest Thanksgiving will be upon us before the next Newsletter appears! Harvest Sunday will be on 1st October, and the Evensong and Supper will take place on the following Wednesday, 4th October. Please look out for posters nearer the time.

Mary Tucker



"Your hair is growing", said my friend the other evening. This is, of course, a polite euphemism for, "You are looking more like the Dulux dog every day!" It is not surprising. I reckon I am not on my own. Together with many people in the Berrynarbor and Combe Martin area, we are all missing Marilyn Boudier's skills in keeping us all elegantly 'coifed'.

When she first announced a few weeks ago that she would be going into hospital and then there would be several weeks of recuperation, mingled with everyone's spoken words of "Oh, I am sorry", "Do hope that everything goes well", "Get well soon", etc., was the underlying thought, "What on earth am I going to do, how will I cope?"

We do, of course. It's a minor thing getting one's hair done, but to most women it's their glory, and to some Marilyn's weekly visit is an important link with the outside world.

Well, Marilyn, if you read this, we are all wishing you the very best for a speedy recovery, and do come back soon. We do need you.

Meanwhile, is there a redundant sheep shearer in the area who would like to earn a few bob?!

PP of DC

[PS By the time this is in print, we expect and hope that Marilyn will be recovered and back in business.]



Unless we get some summer and sunshine soon, we'll all be feeling 'under the weather'!

It is good to know that Bob Richards is home again; and also home, following an op and a spell in hospital, is Mish Pesic. Best wishes to you both for speedy recoveries.

We were sorry to learn that Pat [of Napps and the gorgeous lemon cake - see recipe elsewhere!] had had an accident in which she badly cut both her hands, but glad to hear that they have healed well and she is back 'on duty'.

Shaun has had his first operation and is home again. So far, so good, but it is a case of one down and one to go, and he will be immobile for some time to come. We are all thinking of you, Shaun, and send our very best wishes to you and Cathy.



The rain it raineth on the just, and on the unjust fella,
But principally upon the just, because the unjust has the just's umbrella!


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


Over the last few issues, preceding the welcome to new babies has been a verse from Wendy Barber's 'The Nature and Natures of Children'. Since, on this occasion we don't appear to have any babies to welcome, the last verse has been added and the piece printed in full. We've been able to enjoy Wendy's delightful observations of children through a reader and Wendy's colleague. Thank you both.

The Nature and Natures of Children

Children are sometimes like butterflies, flitting from one blossoming idea to the next. At other times they are more like bees, delving thirstily into the flower-heads of knowledge, filling the pockets of their minds, little mouths full of 'Why', 'How', and 'What for'? They are much-loved.

Eyes as clear as summer skies, breath as sweet as spring flowers, hair like whispy clouds, lips soft as rose petals, little arms making a loving garland around me. Downy necks to nuzzle into, tummies to tickle, fingers and toes to count, and countless places to kiss better. They are much-loved.

Clumsy little fingers trying to fit square pegs into round holes, frowns of concentration, howls of aggravation, toys thrown in frustration then gradually widening smiles of triumph as problems are overcome. They are much-loved.

Quarrels, tantrums, scoldings, 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.

Children are uninhibited, untidy, unruly, unworldly, never unloved. God has blessed each and every one of them with a whole mouthful of kisses to give away, and this they do - innocently, stickily, lovingly and unstintingly. Such is the nature of children. They are much-loved.

Wendy Barber

Born in London at the start of World War II, Wendy was grammar school educated and started her nurse training in 1958. She married and has five children and now nine grandchildren.

Following her second marriage, she and her husband came on holiday to South Devon, using it as a base to tour all round. They stood on Ilfracombe Pier, fell in love with the ruggedness of the surroundings; went home on the Sunday [to Kent], put their cottage on the market on the Monday and ... 'here we are!'

Since then Wendy has had various [and in her words, nefarious] jobs, but has been at Pinehurst Rest Home for the last eighteen months. Now 61, she very much wishes she could retire!

[Wendy's words to paper, 5th june, in her little house built by her father!]



'Traditional' Devon Butcher and Licenced Game Dealer
Corn-fed free Range Chickens
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, llfracombe Tel: [01271] 863643


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


The Rectory
Combe Martin

Dear Friends,

Recently I have put up in the porch, a little saying by St. John of the Cross, and a few people have asked for a copy. If I print it now for you in the Newsletter, you will have your own copy. Here it is:

If you are seeking after God, you may be sure of this: God is seeking you much more. He is the Lover, and you are his beloved. He has promised himself to you.

The longing in your soul is actually his doing. You may feel only the smallest desire for him. There may be no emotion about it at all. But the reason your desire rises at all is because he is passing very near to you. His holy beauty comes near you, like a spiritual scent, and it stirs your drowsing soul.

I will tell you again - it is not of your doing at all, this moment when your soul awakens. He creates in you the desire to find him and run after him - to follow wherever he leads you, and to press peacefully against his heart wherever he is.

These moments are also ordered by God, and are sent by him in his timing.

John of the Cross

You just might like to think about it during the summer months.

With all good wishes,
Your Friend and Rector,

Keith Wyer



What do I mean? I am talking about plugs, flexes, sockets and wiring. So, what about them, you may say? Well, there were over 2,500 fires in homes in 1997 caused by electrics, resulting in many injuries and some fatalities. Here are some warning points to look for:

  • hot plugs and sockets
  • fuses that blow for no obvious reason
  • lights flickering
  • brown scorch marks on sockets and plugs
  • damaged flex/cables

Some safety points to note are:

  • overloading of sockets [use of adapters, general rule 1 plug to 1 socket]
  • round pin plugs - if you still have any of these get them changed by a qualified electrician
  • cables running under the carpet - poor practice, you cannot see if there is any damage
  • make sure that correct fuses are used in plugs

If any of these points or signs apply to you, or if there is anything of which you are unsure or concerned, don't take a chance, you may be gambling with your life. Get it checked by a qualified electrician.

Fire Safety Officer - Devon Fire & Rescue Service



Devon is served by a network of local bus services, ranging from frequent main routes to country services on market days. To keep you informed of what is available, Devon County Council publishes a range of FREE timetable guides and leaflets available from most Tourist Information Centres, public libraries, bus stations and some local shops and post offices. There are also a number of telephone enquiry services offering information on bus services within Devon, plus timetable publications.

The Devon Bus Enquiry Line 01392 382800 will provide timetable information on local bus services within Devon and is open 08.30 to 17.00 Monday to Friday

  • National Express Coach Service - 08705 808080
  • National Rail Enquiries - 08457 484950
  • North and Mid Devon First Red Bus - 01271 345444
  • Countrywide Reduced Fare Travel - 01392 383688
  • Ring and Ride - 01392 382123
  • Shopmobility - 01392 382123


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


Holy Trinity Church, Dartford, was the setting for the wedding of Neil, second son of Maureen and Keith Cooper, and Jackie Leek on the 27th May. Younger brother, Dean, was Best Man and older brother, Shaun, was an Usher and read the lesson.

Neil and Jackie live in Dartford. Keeping it in the family, Neil works for his brother Dean in his building business based in Gravesend, but Dean and Vanessa, who were married four years ago, live in Upminster in Essex.

When this newsletter comes out, Maureen's father, who has recently celebrated his 93rd birthday, will be over from Australia.

Health and happiness in the future to the newly-wed couple, and congratulations and best wishes to you all.




Experienced and Inexperienced
Starting September
Monday/Tuesday evenings, 7.00 - 9.30 p.m.

If you are interested in learning or expanding your knowledge of ceramics, these classes are informative, interesting and fun. For more details telephone Julie on 882557.



Ilfracombe & District
6 Church Street, Ilfracombe
Tel: [01271] 862131


Our Office is open Monday to Friday 10.00 a.m. to 12 noon, and 1.30 p.m. to 3.30 p.m. We offer advice and information to all senior citizens. If we don't know the answer, we usually know someone who does.


Artwork: Paul Swailes


It is 'goodbye' and thank you to Pastor Peter Ellis of the Methodist Church and the Rev. Alan Edwards [both of whom have contributed to the Newsletter] and we wish you both long, happy and healthy retirements.

The Old Rectory has seen some changes lately and we are sorry to see Gilly and Richard leave and wish them luck in the future. Taking up residence at the Rectory are Malcolm and Jane Davidson. We welcome you both and hope you will be happy in the Village.

Jane and Malcolm's removal van took an hour to reverse through Berrynarbor to reach the Old Rectory, and the Glaswegian driver was not happy when he faced the prospect of continuing his backward progress through the Rectory gates! When the dust has settled, the Davidsons hope to make the Glebe House and the Coach House available for holiday lets, and to offer overnight accommodation in the Old Rectory itself. For the past ten years they have been hoteliers on the Isle of Mull and will happily pass on their knowledge to anyone planning a trip to the west of Scotland, particularly the Isles of Mull and Iona. Family links have enticed them back south and they look forward to getting to know Berrynarbor and its surroundings.

There have been a lot of changes, too, at Berrynarbor Park, with departures and new and future arrivals.

We are very sorry to be losing both Malcolm and Joan Garbett and Tony and Marilyn Mascall. Joan and Malcolm are returning to the Lichfield area to be nearer the family and we shall miss seeing them setting off together for one of their country walks, but they hope to remain regular visitors. Marilyn and Tony are off to Corby in Northants, again to be nearer the family but also to give them more room for Tony's latest venture of making dolls' houses and furniture. They will be retaining a link with the Park. We shall look forward to seeing all four of you again before too long and our best wishes go with you.

Tony and Marilyn would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for the friendship they have received since they came in December 1996 - they will be back!

A very warm welcome to No. 9 to Brian and Di Hillier. Brian and Di, and their two golden retrievers - Jasmine and Heidi - have come to North Devon from the Midlands and for the past five years their home has been a narrow boat on the waterways of Bedford. The love of Brian's life is motor cycling, so having retired early as a director of his own engineering company, he indulged himself and took to motor cycle instructing on a part-time basis - like 6 days a week! Di is a trained nurse, but has also retired. They have two children - a son Geoff, who with his wife and daughter is currently in Uganda, although they are shortly off to Mongolia; and a daughter Sharon, a teacher who has a son and a daughter, and lives near Leicester.

So taken with the Park, on a recent visit, was Brian's stepmother, that she, too, will be moving to Berrynarbor to take up residence in either No. 11 or No. 12! This, however, is a few months off yet.

Moving into No. 10 in the not too distant future, are Marion and her mother Daisy and we hope to be able to welcome them more fully in the October Newsletter.

Alan and Diane Whittaker have departed from Grattons and gone to Exeter, where, we understand, Alan plans to play more golf! We wish them well. Grattons, and the holiday accommodation business, are a new way of life for Colin and Annie Trinder [no, no relation to Tommy!], who having originated from Oxford and Surrey, have spent the last 20 plus years in Chalfont St. Peter in Buckinghamshire. Annie has been working in administration for the National Society for Epilepsy and Colin has been Marketing Director of a pharmaceutical company specialising in dermatology; he plans to do some consultancy work, particularly during the winter. A warm welcome to you both and good luck with the new venture.



Manor Hall

Short Mat Bowls in the Manor Hall will be commencing on Friday, 8th September, 7.00 to 10.00 p.m. Thereafter, sessions will be held each Friday evening and again on Sunday afternoons, from 2.00 to 5.00 p.m. All welcome. Bowls available. Coaching provided. If you would like more information, contact the Secretary, Nan Ford on 862752 or turn up on the night.


Artwork: Paul Swailes


May began quite nicely but took a turn for the worse on the 7th, with thunderstorms which continued for several days. We were on holiday in Ireland through the middle of the month [where the weather was surprisingly good], so we can't really give any details of what happened here. We were, however, back in time to get the full benefit of the ferocious hail and thunderstorm on the evening of Sunday 28th, which smashed down all our young plants. The total rain for the month was 129mm [5 1/2"] compared with only 44mm [1 3/4"] last year.

Flaming June started wet but slowly improved with a total of 58mm [2 1/4"] for the whole month. There appeared to be consistently strong winds which peaked on the 21st when we recorded a gust of 29 knots. We also recorded a temperature of 30.3 Deg C on 18th June, which was the highest temperature that we've recorded since the 11th August 1995, when the temperature peaked at 32.4 Deg C.

That's all for this report, we must go and rewind the runner beans up the sticks that the wind has blown off before the slugs get them! Perhaps our next report will be of wall-to-wall sunshine and drought - one can dream!

Sue and Simon

Winemakers - we have a quantity of demi-johns and various odds and ends of winemaking equipment if they are of any use to anyone. Please contact Sue on 882890.


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Grease and flour/or line a 2 lb loaf tin. Cream 6 oz of castor sugar with 6 z margarine - the mixture should be soft and fluffy.

Combine one tablespoon of milk to two beaten eggs and add to the creamed mixture. Fold in to the mixture 8 oz of sifted self-raising flour. Add the grated rind of two lemons and the juice of ONE lemon. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 40-45 minutes on 350 Deg F or gas mark 4. When cooked allow to cool to the 'just warm' stage.

Combine the juice of the remaining lemon with three tablespoons of icing sugar [not sifted], pour over cake and allow to cool completely.

Oranges can be used as an alternative.

Enjoy your cake!

Pat Thorpe


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


Congratulations to Pip Anderson on gaining a degree in Law and French from the University of Cardiff. Pip will be returning there in the autumn to continue with a Legal Practice Course.

News of the rest of the family is that Seonaid has just started a new [two year] post in Market Research in Hong Kong, whilst brothers David and James are currently working in Manhattan and London. Good luck and best wishes to you all.

Is this a First?

Anna and Lucy Rushmer, the daughters of Peter and Cheryl [nee Layton], daughter of the late S.Ldr. Charles Layton MBE and Mrs. Brenda Layton JP of The Knapps, were awarded degrees on the same day -- 11th July 2000.

Anna was awarded her Master's degree in Management Science and Operational Research at Warwick University and Lucy a First Class Bachelor of Science degree with honours at Staffordshire University. Lucy also received 'Best Performance in the Field of Geography' awarded by the Geographical Association.

It was a tight schedule for the parents having to travel from Staffordshire to Warwickshire on the same day to attend both girls' presentation ceremonies! Well done Anna and Lucy!



North Devon Hospice

Please note that there is a change of venue for the Special Birthday Tea to celebrate the 100th Birthday of the Queen Mother on Friday, 4th August.

It will now take place in the Baptist Church Hall [Combe Martin], from 3.00 to 5.00 p.m. At 4.00 p.m. we shall be joining with many others in North Devon in a toast to the Queen Mother.

There will be a prize for the 'lucky' ticket and a cake stall provided by Kentisbury W.I. Tickets, £3.00, available from Committee Members.

The next major event will be the Annual Autumn Fayre in the Community Centre, Combe Martin, on Saturday, 21st October, starting with a Ploughman's Lunch at 12.00 noon. Everyone welcome!




Time has really flown by. It's hard to believe that it has been a year since I first wrote a contribution for the village newsletter! Our Year 6 are enjoying their last term as primary school children. They have already visited their new schools - some are going to Braunton, others to Ilfracombe - and seen the exciting challenges that await them in September. We had a fantastic week away on an Outdoor Adventure holiday at Beam House near Bideford. Perfect weather and an exciting programme of activities will provide us with happy memories for a long time to come.

School has been its usual busy self, with our studies this term focussing on local history. What a fascinating place we live in! We have explored Barnstaple and Berrynarbor and conducted research with the help of the Local Records Office and Study Library. We also spent a fascinating afternoon as guests of the Spinners Group and enjoyed seeing their work. Our school grounds have provided study materials for our work on living things and the environment. Class I enjoyed a good day at the Exmoor Zoological Gardens and had the chance to get closer than usual to the creatures that live there.

As I write this, Sports Day, Leavers' Service and the PTA Fete are all up and coming and then we are looking forward to our summer holiday and some exciting community projects next term.

Best wishes for a pleasant summer!

Simon Bell, Headteacher

A Water Land
They glue themselves to the rushes,
They're slimey and they slither,
Their shells are spiralled and sometimes pale,
I think you have guest it,
It's a snail.
It's long and slimey, but they are quite cool
They live in dirty waters,
In a pond they will be,
Lots of people think it is quite cute,
I think you have guessed it,
It's a newt.
It's got a shell but it's not a snail,
It lives in ponds along the surface,
It's as fast as a fly, you will never catch it,
Maybe later
I think you have guessed it,
It's a pond skater.

Evie Hay - Year 5

Observational Drawing: Stoat
by Hetti D'Anger - Year 5

Silent Place
I love the pond,
The deep shadowy pond.
With all the small creatures,
It's a silent place.
I love the pond,
The different colours.
Deep, dark, green,
And rusty brown.
It's a silent place.
I love the pond,
Creatures that slither,
And spider webs caught in the rushes.
The sunlight sparkles across the ripples.
It's a silent place
I love the pond,
The shadowy colours,
And the whispering sedge grasses.
The way the water slowly ripples,
And the pond skaters glide across,
It's a silent place.

Rebecca Lumb - Year 6

Water Secrets
Pond Skaters skating along the pond's surface,
Newts lurking in the shadows, like a tiger hiding in the grass to catch its prey.
 Spider webs in between the rushes, the webs sparkle as the sun shimmers.
Everything is still .... but then ....
A snail stuck to a bull rush, the breeze gently sways it side to side.
The rushes are as green as the day they grew.
It smells as if it's been there for hundreds of years.
Everything is quiet .... but then ....
A drop of water has fallen off a rush and into the water, which scared a tadpole away.
The sun has evaporated some of the pond's water, so it has uncovered the thick, brown, muddy, squelching mixture that was once hidden underneath.
Everything is calm.

Hailey Purdue - Year 6



Our England is a garden that is full of stately views,
Of borders, beds and shrubberies and lawns and avenues,
With statues on the terraces and peacocks strutting by;
But the glory of the garden lies in more than meets the eye.
For where the old thick laurels grow along the thin red wall
You find the tool and potting-sheds which are the heart of all
The cold-frames and the hot-houses, the dung pits and the tanks
The rollers, cans and drain-pipes, with the barrows and the planks.
And there you'll see the gardeners, the men and 'prentice boys
Told off to do as they are bid, and do it without noise;
For, except when seeds are planted and we shout to scare the birds,
The glory of the garden it abideth not in words.
And some can pot begonias and some can bud a rose,
And some are hardly fit to trust with anything that grows,
And they can roll and trim the lawns and sift the sand and loam,
For the glory of the garden occupies all who come.
Our England is a garden, and such gardens are not made
By singing: "Oh, how beautiful" and sitting in the shade
While better men than we go out and start their working lives
At grubbing weeds from gravel paths with broken dinner knives.
There's not a pair of legs so thin, there's not a head so thick,
There's not a hand so weak and white, nor yet a heart so sick,
But it can find some needful job that's crying to be done,
For the glory of the garden glorifieth everyone.

Then seek your job with thankfulness and work till further orders,
If it's only netting strawberries or killing slugs in borders;
And when your back stops aching and your hands begin to harden,
You will find yourself a partner in the glory of the garden.
Oh, Adam was a gardener and God who made him sees
That half a proper gardener's work is done upon his knees,
And when your work is finished you can wash your hands and pray,
For the Glory of the Garden, that it may not pass away!
And the Glory of the Garden it shall never pass away!

Rudyard Kipling

Illustrated by: Paul Swailes


[Joseph] RUDYARD KIPLING 1865-1936

English writer of novels, poems and short stories,
mostly set in India and Burma, notably his books for children the Jungle Book, Just So Stories and Kim,
the story of a young Irish boy in India.

Kipling was born in Bombay on the 30th December 1865 and was named 'Rudyard' after the reservoir at Stoke-on-Trent where his parents had become engaged. When he was 6, he was sent to England to be educated, first in Southsea where he spent five very unhappy years in a foster home and later at Westward Ho!, a United Services College in Devon. After completing his education, he spent seven years writing in India before returning to England in 1889.

In 1892 he married Caroline Balestier and the couple travelled extensively in Asia and the United States, settling briefly in Vermont, where most of his popular work was written. However, he did not like the American way of life and the growing Kipling family returned to England in 1896, finally settling at Bateman's in East Sussex.*

The Kiplings' eldest child, Josephine, died in 1899 and their only son, John, in action in 1915. After the War, Kipling became very active on the War Graves Commission and by his perpetual endowment, the Last Post is sounded every evening at the Menin Gate.

Illustration: from the Just So Stories, Rudyard Kiplng.

How the Elephant Got His Trunk

"This is the Elephant's Child having his nose pulled by the crocodile. He is much surprised and astonished and hurt and he is talking through his nose and saying, 'Led go! You are hurtig be! He is pulling very hard. and so is the crocodile;"

Kipling's later work is not popular reading, although some of his best writing was produced then. After the War he became increasingly isolated and anti-democratic, opposing Women's Suffrage for example. For some years his work was unfashionable, but recently, through a new interest in schools and universities in the literature of the Empire, his reputation has been revived.

In 1895 Kipling refused the role of Poet Laureate but in 1907 he accepted the Nobel Prize for Literature - the first English author to be so honoured.

Kipling died on the 18th January 1936 was buried in Westminster Abbey.

* Bateman's, at Burwash, East Sussex, is now the property of the National Trust, open daily from April to the end of October [except Thursdays and Fridays] from 11.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. The house reflects Kipling's association with India and the East and most of the rooms, including his library, are much as he left them. The grounds run down to a small river and watermill, and the gardens contain roses, wild flowers and herbs. For the motoring fraternity, Kipling's Rolls Royce is also on display. If you are in the area, this beautiful Jacobean house is well worth a visit.

Bateman's - Illustrated by: Debbie Rigler Cook


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Off to Barnstaple

To travel about in World War II was mostly by bus, walk or cycle and I remember an occasion when my mother and I 'thumbed' a lift on a coal lorry! She was lucky enough to sit in the cab, while I sat on a pile of sacks on the back. When I complained to her, I was told that "Third class riding is better than first class walking"! The summer was good and settled and my school pal, Don - who lived at Goosewell - and I decided to cycle to Barnstaple.

Yes, it's all right to sail down Pitt Hill, but you try shoving a bike up Hagginton Hill! There were few 3-speeds in those days, let alone all the multi-gears you have now. I got to Don's mother's cottage and he was ready, complete with packed lunch, and off we set, turning left into Slew Lane. How Don knew his way to Barnstaple, I don't know, since all the road signs had been removed for wartime purposes.

Shortly we spotted a barn in a field on the left. "Could be good for an owl's egg," said Don and we stopped and leant our bikes against the hedge. I climbed over the gate for a better look. There were very big doors to the barn but they didn't reach the earth floor. "I'll get under the doors, you wait here," I said to Don. I wriggled under and gradually my eyes got used to the light. The barn was full of someone's furniture and I soon found a wind-up gramophone. "I must have a go on this," I thought and finding a few records in the lid, put on a nice Strauss waltz! It had hardly got going when a loud voice boomed, "I think you had better come out of there." It was the farmer who had quietly turned up on his bike. We tried to explain that we were only looking for an owl's nest. "Well, maybe," said the farmer, "But they don't need music to hatch out their eggs. Now on your way." We quickly departed and continued on our way to Barnstaple.

We made for the river by the park and moored there was an old craft, like a Noah's ark with the boat-repairing shed in the middle. We made ourselves known to the old crippled gentleman who had rowing boats for hire and were soon afloat and making our way upstream. We were not very good at rowing and caught several 'crabs' and after reaching the railway bridge, we turned back to our starting point. A brief stroll around the park and then we were homeward bound. All thirsty work for a couple of young lads, so we stopped at the railway cottages to ask for a drink of water - this was quite usual and we were never refused.

I left Don at Goosewell and descended Hagginton Hill - always being concerned as to whether the cable brakes would give out. When I got to the bottom, I'd stop and splash the drum brakes with water from the stream and they would 'hiss' and give out a puff of steam. Happy days!

On another occasion, Don and I decided to cycle to Woolacombe - we went there quite often and after the usual push up to meet him, I would wait in their cottage whilst he got ready. The cottage was very small with no gas or electricity and only a cold tap in the kitchen. Lighting was provided by an oil lamp, which generally stood in the centre of the circular dining table on which, despite rationing, Don's mother always seemed to have a selection of fine cakes and other goodies. Cooking was done by some kind of paraffin cooker.

"Before we go," said Don, "Come and see my pet magpie." Sure enough, there in a parrot cage, was a magpie. "We don't let it out," he continued, "Because this is what it does." He showed me a shelf in the kitchen with a row of old cast iron saucepans. Taking one down, he tipped the hollow handle on to the table and out fell a teaspoon. "He takes anything bright and puts it down the handles."

Once ready, off we set, again down Slew Lane and over the top to Woolacombe. It must have been about 1939 and when we arrived at the beach we saw that it had been given hundreds of piles to stop any risk of invading planes landing there. This didn't stop our swim. Little did I know, at the time, of the undertow which could pull you under. Never go out of your depth there. Barricane beach nearby was also a favourite place, with its shells washed over from the Gulf of Mexico. Another thing we would do was to get a large slab by the edge and pull it up suddenly - if you were very lucky you might grab an eel.

When the Americans came into the War, they trained at Woolacombe. They used land/sea vehicles [DUKW*] and landing craft. There was one tragic occasion when a very rough sea was running and they were out training for the D Day landings, about 75 Americans who were, of course, heavily loaded with equipment, fell overboard and drowned. I believe a similar thing occurred at Slapton.

On a later visit to Woolacombe, Don and I were surprised to see down on the car park a complete theatre brought over and erected by the Americans - auditorium, stage and two dressing rooms. It makes you wonder what stars or members of ENSA appeared there.

In the early days of the War, when I was at Ilfracombe Grammar School, there was a lad who lived at Woolacombe who was woken one night by the howling of a dog. When he looked out of the window, he could hear the sound more plainly and realised that a dog had somehow got stranded on a rock in the sea. With no hesitation he ran down the beach, swam out and rescued it. He was commended that week in Assembly by the Headmaster, Mr. Tatten.

Tony Beauclerk - Colchester

*These American amphibious craft were known colloquially as 'ducks', as much from their shape and ability to go on land and water as their military code DUKW - the factory serial letters designating certain features of the vehicle. D Boat, U = Lorry Body and KW = Lorry Chassis.


Illustrated by by: Debbir Rigler Cook



Some villagers will have happy memories of Rebecca Hewison and her daughter, Frances Kett, who for many years lived in Barton Lane.

Rebecca celebrated her 100th Birthday here in the Village at Bessemer Thatch and at the Sandy Cove Hotel. Her dearest wish was to meet Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, and this she did on the Queen Mother's 90th birthday, when she herself was 109! The meeting was captured in the photograph below.

Rebecca's ambition was to become the country's oldest person and this she also achieved. She died in October 1994, just one month short of her 113th birthday!

However, in marvelling at Rebecca's longevity, we must not forget our other centenarian of recent years. On the 21st November 1997, Win White, Betty Davis's mother, celebrated her 100th Birthday. Sadly, she died just six months later.

There may be other past centenarians from the village of whom I am unaware. If this is so, please do let me know.




It was back in nineteen-ninety
When we first came down this way,
To a bright and cheerful guest house
Nestled in Combe Martin Bay.
Soon we had a motor caravan,
And then set ourselves a goal
To find the perfect site to stay on -
That's how we met 'Mr. Mole'!
Through the seasons we'd keep coming
For a total hard to tally,
But each time just fell more in love
With the village tucked in Sterridge Valley.
Work colleagues thought we were quite odd
Whenever we took holiday.
"What a surprise, they've gone off again
To that village in Devon," they'd say.
Yet who can resist such scenery,
With its air of tranquillity?
For us, it's our own little sanctuary
Hidden from all the stress of the city.
Its people are so warm and friendly
Whenever through the village we'd roam,
So we soon bought a neat static van,
And Berrynarbor became our second home.
But the stresses and strains of the city
Made our holidays become even worse:
Each arrival here was such a blessing,
Each return home became a real curse.
But now we've made our dreams come true,
As we begin our new life here in Devon,
At first in our van on the Park,
Up the Valley that we call our heaven!

Stephen McCarthy
Berrynarbor Park

This poem is self explanatory. Stephen and Dean Hawker, after nine years holidaying here, have now moved down from Brighton and are buying a home in Ilfracombe. They are both involved in 'Care' work. Welcome and good luck!

Illustration by: Peter Rothwell




Before the meeting on Tuesday 11th July opened officially, a very interesting talk was given by Mr. Tucker, the NDDC tree expert. He told us that Berrynarbor was one of the first parishes to have preservation orders put on trees and, as we are in an area of outstanding beauty, he went on to explain the rules which govern preservation decisions. He has promised to send us a list of trees suitable for planting locally, which can be passed on to anyone in the parish who has the space and wants to do their bit towards making this an even more green and pleasant land.

A full Council was present and a warm welcome was given to our newly co-opted member, Mike Lane, who is now the Council's representative on the Primary School Board of Governors. In this role, his long and wide experience as a teacher should be of great value. With the Chairman, he has since attended the annual meeting of the Playing Fields Association, at which they were both given a lot of useful information.

The Parish has also been represented at the North Devon Rural Forum, the Parish Consultation Forum and by Ray Ludlow at the Ilfracombe and District Crime Prevention Panel, of which he is a very active member.

Earlier we had a meeting with the Trustees of Claude's Garden to discuss maintenance in the coming year, and it was agreed to meet them annually at their request.

A box will be put in the Post Office in which you can put any correspondence you would like the Parish Council to consider. It will be emptied a week before each council meeting. We do not meet in August, except to consider planning applications and for emergencies, but look forward to meeting as many of you as care to attend in September. Have a good summer break.

Ann Hinchliffe - Chairman



Welcome Visitors It was lovely to see Marion and Ray Bolton, on holiday from the Midlands, when they called to collect their Millennium Mugs, and it was good to see Ray looking so well following his accident last December.

Unwelcome Visitor! The female feline residents of Barton Lane are currently suffering from the unwanted attentions of what appears to be a stray ginger and white cat! Can anyone help, does anyone own him? If so, please ring me on 882901. If no one contacts me in the next couple of weeks, I shall try to rehome him.

Janet Knight - Cat Protection League

This Year's Crop Having watched with interest, over the last few years, what is being planted in the Smythen fields at the top of the Valley - swedes, blue flax and white flax - this year's crop is again different. The overall effect is pale lilac/pink and the smell is reminiscent of broad bean plants, but on closer inspection this is a variety of lupin. The growing of lupins, to supplement animal fodder, is a recent experiment and certainly this is a first in this part of the country.

The original Smythen Farm lay further down the hill and the remains of the outbuildings can be seen on the left as you go round the first sweeping bend. The later Smythen Farm, now the holiday complex, was the last farm to be built on the Watermouth Estate.

Traffic Notice: Please note that on Tuesday, 8th August, we are expecting delivery of a park home at Berrynarbor Park, approximately between 9.30 and 11.30 a.m. We apologise for any delays this may cause between Watermouth and the Park, particularly through 'two rocks' in the latter part of the journey.

Paul Crockett

Retirement Barry, our 'Postie', will be retiring very soon. There will be a box in the Post Office for any contributions you may like to make towards a retirement 'bonus' or gift to thank him for looking after us and delivering our letters, come rain or come shine.

Thank you May I thank everyone who supported The Cream Tea at The Knapps in aid of National Children's Home Action for Children on the 12th July. A sum of £200 was raised. Many thanks to everyone who helped to raise this marvellous sum for NCH.

Brenda Layton

Illustration by: Paul Swailes



Artwork: Angela Bartlett


30 and 31 Ellis Cottages

This month I am showing several mystery views of the above cottages, which I have just received, today from Michael Morrow: 'Some old photos from Berrynarbor, people unknown. Best wishes, Michael Morrow '.

View 1 is of the two cottages at the foot of Pitt Hill and shows where the original BERRYNARBOR sign was placed, well before The Haven had been built. The gentleman appears in many of the photographs I have received, and I am hoping that someone out there will be able to name him for me.

In View 2, we see him outside No. 31 with probably his wife and they are advertising 'Let's Be Gay' at the Gaiety Theatre, Ilfracombe. The Gaiety Theatre was sited directly opposite the old Ilfracombe Pavilion, which itself was demolished a couple of years ago.

The third picture shows a 50's/60's car outside the cottages, which may give the best clue to identities. Who is the young girl proudly holding her dolly and handbag? The registration number of the car is clearly shown as 4260 NX.

The final picture is the best I have ever seen of the two semi-detached cottages, which were sold in the first Watermouth Estate Sale of 17th August 1920, with completion date 25th March 1921, the details of which are given below. Lot 64 was sold for £205.0s.0d.

Lot 64 [Coloured Brown on Plan]
All that Slated Cottage, Large Garden and Premises Containing
2r. 22p.
No. 30 and 31, Ellis Cottage, in the occupation of Mr. W. Sloley as a Quarterly Tenant.

The Apportioned tithe on this Lot is 5s. 3d.
There is a Water-tap on this Lot.
The right to maintain the Stop-tap on this Lot is reserved.

My thanks to Michael and Joy for the pictures they sent me and I hope that someone reading this article will recognise some of the people shown and either contact me or Judie. Thank you.

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage, July 2000
e-mail: tomandinge40@gmail.com

    * UPDATE: June 2022 - It seems that information on the photos was forthcoming with the gentleman identified as Jimmy Draper and the lady as his second wife Maude. The photos are estimated to have been taken c1953/54.



1stSt. Peter's Church: Summer Fayre, Manor Hall, 6.30 p.m.
2ndMobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
4thQueen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother's 100th Birthday. N.D. Hospice Centenary Tea, Baptist Church, Combe Martin, 3.00 to 5.00 p.m.
15thBerry Revels: Manor Hall, 6.30 p.m.
16thMobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
20thSt. Peter's Church: Family Service
28thSummer Bank Holiday
30thMobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
2ndHorticultural and Craft Show, Manor Hall
5thW.I. Meeting: 2.30 p.m. Manor Hall - 'All About Hats', Margaret Wedlake
6thPrimary School: Start of Autumn Term
7thIlfracombe College: Start of Autumn Term
8thShort Mat Bowls commences at Manor Hall, 7.00 - 10.00 p.m.
9thShort Mat Bowls, Manor Hall, 2.00 - 5.00 p.m.
12thParish Council Meeting, 7.30 p.m., Manor Hall
13thMobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
15thShort Mat Bowls, Manor Hall, 7.00- 10.00 p.m.
17thSt. Peter's Church: Family Service
Short Mat Bowls, Manor Hall, 2.00 - 5.00 p.m.
22ndShort Mat Bowls, Manor Hall, 7.00 - 10.00 p.m.
24thShort Mat Bowls, Manor Hall, 2.00 - 5.00 p.m.
27thMobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
29thShort Mat Bowls, Manor Hall, 7.00 - 10.00 p.m.
1stSt. Peter's Church: Harvest Thanksgiving
Service Short Mat Bowls, Manor Hall, 2.00 - 5.00 p.m.
3rdW.l. Meeting : 2.30 p.m., Manor Hall
4thSt. Peter's Church: Harvest Evensong and Supper

Manor Hall:

TuesdaysYoga, 7.00 p.m.
ThursdaysWhist Drive, 7.30 p.m.
FridaysShort Mat Bowls, 7.00 - 10.00 p.m.
SundaysShort Mat Bowls, 2.00 - 5.00 p.m.


Manor Hall Management Committee


MANOR HAlL, 6.30 p.m.

Refreshments - Bar-B-Q - Cider
Unusual Sideshows - Games Skittles
Plants and Produce - Watermouth Organ

All the fun of the fair!

Artwork by: Nigel Mason



On Line from the 'Little White Town'

Sitting on a wall enjoying a Hockings ice-cream near the statue of Charles Kingsley; the scent from a huge display of lavender bushes behind us, the light sparkling on the water of the River Torridge, a gentle breeze. Something for all the senses. The whirr of a helicopter and a JCB. Ah, well!

Then across the famous old bridge to the former railway station at East-the-Water; the starting point of our walk along the Tarka Trail, following the course of the old railway line between Bideford and Torrington.

Here there is a 1950's railway carriage and restored signal box housing a small railway museum. The line was closed to passengers in 1965, but still carried freight - mainly Marland clay - until 1982. The trail passes alongside acres of salt marsh and the broad tidal river to the Iron Bridge - a long curving, railway viaduct. We paused on it to admire the large lime kiln opposite. Two herons flapped in unison over its castellated top. The stone building has two tall gothic arched alcoves flanking a round-arched entrance.

In contrast to this elevated position we soon found ourselves entering Landcross Tunnel; a hundred-yard walk in the dim glow of overhead lights. Quite atmospheric, though in such circumstances it is reassuring to be able to see a small circle of daylight at the far end of the tunnel!

The Lime Kiln at Bideford c1930

Landcross Church [drawing] c1949

It was at Landcross Church that Henry Williamson married Loetitia Hibbert in 1925. A 'guard of honour' of Girl Guides lined the aisle.

The winged stems and branched tendrils of the pink flowered everlasting pea scrambled up the banks at the side of the track. A velvety brown-black ringlet butterfly came to rest on a leaf, its closed wings revealing the series of small cream and black circles with white centres.

Through the dense foliage of high summer, glimpses of Weare Giffard Hall and church could be obtained from the trail. The otter hunting scenes for the film 'Tarka the Otter' were shot there.


Interior of Landcross Church c 1963


Weare Giffard Church and Hall c1890

The old railway track has become 'nature's herb garden'. Some of the plant names are self-explanatory: knit-bone [or comfrey], self-heal and feverfew; the latter undergoing a revival in recent years in the treatment of migraine. Even the sixteenth century herbalist, Gerard, claimed, "It is very good for them that are giddie in the head."

Feverfew was considered good luck when planted near houses, purifying the air and keeping the inmates free from disease. It contains camphor which soothes mosquito bites and repels moths.

There was St. John's wort/hipericum growing abundantly, now heralded as alternative to prozac. In America, tortilla chips laced with hypericum are sold as 'happy chips'!

Tansy is one of the most handsome wild plants at this time of year with umbels of yellow rayless daisies and ferny leaves. It has been proposed as a flea treatment for cats and dogs. Cats seem to appreciate the plant's pungent chrysanthemum scent. Traditionally it was used for dispelling worms.

The next section of the trail to the outskirts of Torrington is the most beautiful. The track crosses the River Torridge three times and from the bridges there are lovely views of water meadows, woodland, Beam Weir and the stately Canal Bridge aqueduct.

We left the railway track at the Puffing Billy and walked up to the centre of Torrington across the common, eventually returning to Bideford by bus - the only passengers on board for the entire journey.

Charles Kingsley gave a flattering description of Bideford, the 'little white town' in his book 'Westward Ho!' in 1855. It is still an accurate portrait of the town a hundred and fifty years later:

All who have travelled through the delicious scenery of North Devon must needs know the little white town of Bideford, which slopes upwards from its broad tide-river paved with yellow sands, and many-arched old bridge where salmon wait for autumn floods, toward the pleasant upland on the west. Above the town the hills close in, cushioned with deep oak woods, through which juts here and there a crag of fern-fringed slate; below they lower, and open more and more in softly-rounded knolls and fertile squares of red and green, till they sink into the wide expanse of hazy flats, rich salt marshes, and rolling sand-hills, where Torridge joins her sister Taw, and both together flow quietly toward the broad surges of the bar, and the everlasting thunder of the long Atlantic swell. Pleasantly the old town stands there, beneath its soft Italian sky, fanned day and night by the fresh ocean breeze.

Illustrations by: Paul Swailes

Postcards from the Tom Bartlett Postcard Collection:

P.S. Don't say anything, but, whilst working on this issue, the weather seems to have changed for the better. A bit of summer again at last!

Sue H



MANOR HALL, 2.00 p.m.

Open to Residents and Non-Residents of Berrynarbor

Illustration by: Paul Swailes

[times are approximate]