Edition 69 - December 2000

Artwork by: Debbie Rigler Cook

Artwork: Judie Weedon


Reading through back issues of the Newsletter, I was fascinated that in my editorial of five years ago, I said, "Christmas is coming but at the time of writing, the weather has only just become more seasonal after a wonderful summer and an incredible 'Indian summer'"! Certainly, Christmas is coming, but there any similarity ends! In fact, as I write it is, surprise, surprise, raining again!

Due to the many generous donations, particularly from Napps, it has been possible to have another coloured cover for Christmas and I'm sure you'll enjoy Debbie's 'little angel setting off for her nativity play' as much as you did last year's nativity scene. Thanks again, Debbie.

Thanks must also go to everyone who has contributed, not only to this issue but throughout the year - some old, some new and some regulars and, of course, our artists, Debbie, Paul, Peter and Nigel; also our deliverers, the Post Office and Sue's; Kingsley [Litho] Printers who print our colour pages; Colin who does our printing and Ilfracombe College for allowing us to use their printing facilities.

No sooner will the festivities be over than it will be time to think about the February issue. Please submit items to the Post Office or Chicane as soon as possible and by Monday, 15th January 2001 at the latest. A contribution from YOU would be very welcome!




On 3rd October, members, together with one visitor, were taken on a wonderful journey by Doreen Prater and Kath Arscott to see the Oberammergau Passion Play. What a wonderful experience! Doreen's graphic dialogue and the colourful slides kept everyone enthralled and we were sorry when the journey had to end. Doreen's personal experience being in the audience was something she will never forget and we could believe that, and this was echoed in Win Collins's Vote of Thanks.

During tea members were reminded about the Shirwell Group Social Evening on the 19th . . . which I can add, was enjoyed by those who attended. We sent our best wishes to Una Warburton, now at Pinehurst in Ilfracombe, especially with Christmas in mind.

An early start on the 7th November saw a well attended meeting and a prospective new member, ready to deal with matters concerning an Annual General Meeting. Official business was dealt with and the present Committee re-elected 'en bloc' for another term of office. Members were sorry to learn that Kath Waller and Brenda Walton were both unwell, and wished them a speedy recovery.

At 2.45 p.m. we set off for Claude's Garden for the planting of the W.I. Millennium Mazzard tree. Our thanks to Dennis Collins and John Huxtable who had prepared the site, and Mother Nature for good weather! Friends and members of the Richards' family, the Rector Keith Wyer and children from the Primary School were present to witness the planting by Mr. Dick Joy and yours truly. The Rector gave the Blessing and Mr. Joy a short account of the Mazzard, which had nearly reached extinction. Luckily, with the 21st Century, all five types will hopefully flourish once again.

Everyone then made their way back to the Manor Hall where the Agenda 21 had been arranged by Win Collins, Kath Arscott and Linda Brown, together with a selection of Teddies for Tragedies. With this planting, all three of the W.I. Millennium projects were completed and we have a Certificate from the Federation for all to see. During tea it was an impossible task to select a winner for the Teddy competition - all entries were excellent - so the only winners will be the children who will eventually cuddle them! Many thanks, ladies, for a wonderful effort.

Our next meeting will be on 5th December a Christmassy effort - and there will be the annual Christmas Lunch at The Globe on Monday, 18th. After a very busy afternoon, it was time to go home, and so we take this opportunity to wish one and all every happiness this coming Festive Season - as for me, I am still wondering where the year has gone!

Vi Kingdon President

Christmas time is drawing nigh,
Another year has swiftly passed.
Time to send those greeting cards,
With a letter to relive the past.
Memories are treasures that money cannot buy,
So God Bless one and all, as the festive time arrives.


Illustration by: Debbie Rigler Cook



The Trustees of the Garden would like to thank Berrynarbor Millennium Committee for their donation towards purchasing shrubs for the Garden. Advice was sought as to the most suitable specimens and the time to plant them - hence the delay. Thanks to John Huxtable who put them in at the end of October.

We should also like to thank Berrynarbor W.I. for the gift of a Mazzard tree which they have given to commemorate the Millennium. This was planted in November by Mr. Dick Joy of Landkey - an authority on Mazzards. Members of the W.I., the Rector and members of Claude's family attended the planting ceremony. The W.I. planted an Acer Senbai in the garden a few years ago, the first year Berrynarbor entered and received an award in the Britain in Bloom competition. It was thought that the tree had died, but thankfully this year it has shot up and could be clearly seen.

When the light evenings come again, please do go and look at the Garden, the new shrubs and tree, and admire the view over our lovely village.

Jill Sidebottom

Are you wondering what a mazzard tree is? It is also known as Gean or Wild Cherry [prunus avium]. A deciduous tree, native to Europe, including Britain, the ancestor of all cultured forms of sweet cherry. The wood is reddish-brown, with a very straight grain used in cabinet making and items requiring a straight bore, such as pipes and musical instruments. It may be found in parks and gardens, hedges and woods and its delicate, sweetly scented white flowers, in clusters, appear about mid-April.

[We were sorry to learn, Jill, that you had broken your leg. However, it is good to know that you are now 'unplastered' and driving again!]

Illustration by: Paul Swailes





We were sorry to learn that Bernard, after a long illness, had died peacefully on the 13th September and our thoughts are with Betty and their son, Bernie, and all the family at this sad time.

In 1945, Betty and Bernard converted two properties in Belmont Road, Ilfracombe, into The Belmont [now Belmont Grange], a hotel they ran for 28 years. They then spent 14 years living in Lee before moving to Goosewell in May 1986. For five years, Bernard returned to Lee to manage the Lee Bay Hotel.

Bernard and Betty's long and happy association with Arlington Court and the National Trust began in 1975, when for 3 years, before it was rebuilt, they ran the shop. Following this, they were Stewards in the House for a further twenty years.

Bernard very much enjoyed their garden and was, according to others but not himself, a most proficient artist, painting in both oils and watercolours.

Betty would like, through the Newsletter, to thank everyone for their support and kindness which was much appreciated by all the family. She will be leaving Berrynarbor during November and after a brief stay in Combe Martin plans to move, after Christmas, to Fylingdales in North Yorkshire to be nearer Bernie and his family.

We shall be thinking of you Betty and wish you well with the move.



The National Trust are seeking Volunteer Stewards to welcome visitors and ensure the safety of this captivating Victorian Mansion and the fascinating possessions and articles collected by the late Miss Rosalie Chichester.

Stewards, who need not be members of the Trust, need no specialist knowledge, but help and training may be given. They receive travelling expenses and after 50 hours' service, a card entitling them to free entry to all Trust properties and a 20% discount in the shops.

House Stewards, who do not remain in one room but move around, usually help on one or two days a week, but half days and mid-day sessions can also be arranged. This also applies to those stewarding the Carriage Collection. Stewards need to have a friendly approach and be able to stand for quite long periods [although one can walk about and sit down if there are no visitors in the room]. During the day there is a 45-minute break for lunch and a 20-minute break for tea in the afternoon.

The Mansion and Carriage Collection will be open daily next year [except Tuesday] between 11.00 a.m. and 5.30 p.m., from 1st April to 4th November.

Arlington is a delightful and friendly place to work, with a variety of events held both on and off the property. If you would like to join the 50 or so local people who help care for Arlington and its visitors, or would like more information, please call Susie Mercer, the Property Manager, on [01271] 850296.



Barry's Farewell - A sum of over £250 has been collected as a thank you to Barry for his services to the village as our 'Postie' for many years, and the presentation of a picture of the village and a cheque will be made to him at the Manor Hall at 2.00 p.m. today 30th November - everyone welcome. We wish Barry a happy retirement - we miss him!

Bridge - Are you interested in playing bridge? Jane Davidson, from the Rectory, would like to start a bridge evening say once a month to play bridge in each others homes. If you are interested, please ring Jane on 883870.

Jumble Sale - Vi would like to thank everyone who supported the Jumble Sale. Berry in Bloom and the Carnival Float have both received nearly £60.00.

Men's Institute - The Annual General Meeting of the Institute was held on 10th October, when a very enjoyable and successful year was reported, including the Winter and Summer Leagues and the Cup matches. The Winter League 2000-2001 will begin shortly.

Officers elected were: Chairman - Gordon Hughes, Treasurer - John Hood, Secretary - John Huxtable, Committee - Josef Belka, Kevin Brooks, Ivan Clarke, Vic Cornish, Roger Luckham, John Mabin, Noel Stokes and Tony Summers.

John Huxtable

Sacked for Bad Language! - Did you hear about Percy, the Amazonian green pantomime parrot, who was sacked last year for shouting obscenities? Having learnt his lines to perfection, at a final dress rehearsal perched on Long John Silver's shoulder, he should have squawked 'pieces of eight', instead he shouted 'p. off mate'. Whilst the cast dissolved into giggles, he chanted 'b. . . .. off, b. . . .. off! A replacement had to be found at very short notice!

Age Concern - Can we help you? Our office is open Monday to Friday, 10.00 a.m. to 12.00 noon and 1.30 to 3.30 p.m. We offer advice and information to all senior citizens. 6 Church Street, Ilfracombe Tel: [01271] 862131



Tel: [01271] 632214


A large selection of Toys and Games in stock, plus we run four Toy Catalogues for you to order from. NOW!

Action Man Barbie Sindy Bob the Builder all the big names and more!
Chocolates at Special Prices
(e.g. Milk Tray, normal price £6.29 - Sue's price, £4.99)

25% off all Swimming Costumes and most Knitwear

Wellie Boots and a large range of Rain Wear stocked
Stockists of Sirdar Wools and Patterns

Fireworks from £4.99 boxes to single ignition packs at £65.00
Orders taken and stored for the New Year
Go on, see 2001 in with a BANG!

Open Daily from 7.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m. Free Parking

Come and see us at Seaside, Combe Martin


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


Emmanuelle Church, Ilfracombe, was the setting for the wedding, on the 16th September, of Helen, eldest daughter of Nicky and Colin Purdue of Berry Down, to Steve Jones from Bath. Helen, attended by her sisters Amanda, Katie and Hailey with her brother David an Usher, is a financial adviser and Steve a retail manager. They live in Swindon and their honeymoon was spent in Cyprus.

St. Peter's Church has seen four weddings recently - Nina Draper and Darren Collacott, Gerald Marangone and Kerri Dennis, Tony Rowlands and Kate Adams and Charlotte Allsford and Shaun O'Driscoll.

Nina, youngest daughter of Joe and Christine Draper of Grey Squirrels, Old Coast Road, and Darren from Combe Martin, were married on the 23rd September and spent their honeymoon cruising the Caribbean and touring America. Nina, who helps with the family business, was attended by Gemma Bacon, Emily Stackhouse, Jody and George Gaddes, Shannon and Rocky Lethaby and Josh and Jake Harris. Darren is a qualified mechanic and Fire Station Commander at Combe Martin, where they live.

A honeymoon in Hong Kong and Bali followed Gerald and Kerri's wedding on the 7th October. Gerald, youngest son of June and Gerry Marangone, is a civil engineer and Kerri, the only daughter of Jill and Mick Dennis - who came to Combe Martin from Oxford some twelve years ago - is a qualified equine instructor. Andy, Gerald's brother was his Best Man and they, too, live in Combe Martin.

The village saw an influx of visitors the following week-end, 21st October, as guests attended Tony and Kate's wedding - a joint service taken by Father Jeffery Ingram and the Reverend Jones - which took place on the third anniversary of their introduction to each other by Katie, their Matron of Honour. Kate was also attended by Katie's daughter and Tony's niece and nephew. The honeymoon was spent touring Devon and Cornwall, including stops at Burgh Island and Rick Stein's Fish Restaurant. Kate, who comes from Salisbury, teaches English at secondary level, and Tony, eldest son of Nora and Alan, is an aeronautical engineer with Rolls Royce. They live in Bristol.

The last Saturday in October, 28th, was the wedding day of the granddaughter of Anna Allsford, Verger at St. Peter ad Vincula. Charlotte and Shaun, who both work for Pall Ilfracombe, live in Ilfracombe and spent their honeymoon in Paris, including a visit to Disneyland.

Sunday, 22nd October, saw the 'family' of Berrynarbor Park at St. Peter's to celebrate with Paul and Theresa Crockett the Blessing of their marriage [which had taken place in a Registry Office three years ago], and the Christening of their daughter, Katy Jane.

To you all, our congratulations and best wishes for your future happiness.


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


Congratulations to Margaret Andrews who has been awarded the Diocese of Exeter Certificate presented at a Service at Fremington by the Bishop of Crediton on the 25th November.

The Certificate is awarded to people who have studied eight modules from courses run by the Church Adult Training Section. Following a number of interviews and observed group workshops, Margaret is now able to proceed to complete, together with some practical experience, the rest of the Syllabus. This will take two to three years after which, if all goes well - and I'm sure it will - the Bishop can licence Margaret as a Reader.

Well done, Margaret, and good luck with your future studies.

Bill and Jill Jones are very proud of their grandson, Daniel Green. Daniel, who is nine, recently took part in the WFFO Karate World Championship in Stuttgart, Germany, when he came 2nd in the 12 and Under, Hard Style Kata Karate event. He is at present European Champion in the U 16 class and is taking part in the European Marshall Arts Championships in which there are 4 competitions a year. The winner, who becomes European Grand Champion, is the one with the most points. Daniel has won the first three events and will shortly take part in the final one. Well done, Daniel - we hope to be able to congratulate you on another win in the very near future!

Francis and Chris Baddick must be congratulated on their recent sporting achievements. In the athletics season that has just finished, Francis was 1st in the Devon Championships in the U15 800m and 1500m, and was 4th in the South of England Championships in the 800m; whilst in the U13 section, Chris was 3rd in Devon in Shot and the 800m. In the South West Cross Country event, Chris is the Boys' U13 Champion and Francis 4th in the U15's. Very well done to you both!



Professor David Bellamy has named Berrynarbor Park as one of the UK's most environmentally friendly holiday parks, awarding it a special accolade for protecting and enhancing the natural world. Set in 27 acres of Devonshire countryside, the Park provides a tranquil setting for residential and holiday homes.

Since taking over the park two years ago, Paul and Theresa Crockett have continued to maintain and develop the natural environment of the Park, installing bird and bat boxes and leaving grassland areas of the park uncut; thus helping to create a natural haven for squirrels, badgers and other wildlife, as well as a host of wild plants and flowers.

Paul and Theresa's efforts have now won them a David Bellamy Conservation Silver Award, described by Professor Bellamy as the 'Green Olympics' for holiday parks. He was absolutely amazed when he discovered just how much was being done by holiday parks to protect and enhance the environment: 'Many parks like this have created wildlife wonderlands, and I think it's time they were given deserved recognition for their big commitment'.

The award was made following a detailed audit of the Park's environmental policies, supported by the many positive comments made by holidaymakers.

Paul and Theresa's plans for the future of the Park include a pond water feature, investigating the possibility of a recycling facility and to produce a printed guided tour of the Park highlighting where the bird and bat boxes are and where different species of wild flowers can be found, as well as wildlife habitat such as badger and fox runs.

The Park is a member of the British Holiday and Home Parks Association, the park industry's official body, which is assisting Professor Bellamy with the conservation awards project.

Message from David Bellamy: "SILVER - At the very top of the Silver pile on your first attempt. Well done. Follow your assessor's advice re. the water feature and Go for Gold".

Congratulations Paul and Theresa and yes, go for it!



Opening on the following week-end evenings from 6.30 p.m. for winter fun

  • Friday, 1st December - 60's Theme Night
  • Saturday, 2nd - December Normal Menu
  • Friday, 15th December - 70's Theme Night
  • Saturday, 16th December - Christmas Party Night - Normal Menu

We are not licensed but you are welcome to bring your own wine
[50p per bottle corkage]. Optional Decade Dress for our Theme Nights

Please book in advance on [01271] 883014


Artwork: Angela Bartlett

[an excellent way to use up those autumn apples]

  • 2 eggs
  • 8 oz self-raising flour
  • 4 oz sugar
  • 4 oz marge
  • 8 oz peeled, chopped [1/2" size] apple

Make as for fruit cake [cream marge and sugar, add the eggs, then the flour and finally the apple]. Place in a shallow greased tin and cook at 170 Deg C for approximately 20 to 30 minutes.

Louise Baddick



Brian Wright

Solution in Article 40.



I should like, through the Newsletter, to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who has been so kind to me since the loss of my beloved Len. As I am now severely disabled, I'm afraid this is the best I can do, and I shall always be indebted to each and every one:

Mary Tucker - what a lady! - and her husband Tom for his patience
Marlene Slocombe and Alex, Ivy, Tracey, Paula, Kerri and Dave Yeo
My nieces Joan, Pam and Maureen
June and Gerry Marangone and my neighbours Peter and Louise
Andy, Garry and Monica, Mike Turton, Mike Edmunds and Barbie of Trims
Betty and all the Church Ladies for arranging my flowers
Boots the Chemist, the Hele Bay Hotel, Sue and Richard, John and Noel
Rachel Freeman of the Tyrrell Hospital, the Ambulance Crews, Jackie Fenner, Adrian and Lyn
Dr. Martin Mather of the Waterside Practice, and Lesley Hodgkinson & Co.
Our Rector, Keith Wyer and my Lady and Man Friday, Linda and Robert

My sincere wish is for you all, and everyone else, to have a peaceful Christmas and a healthy New Year.

Alice Dummett
The Retreat, Sterridge Valley

I should like to thank the Rev. Wyer for sharing 'his letter' with us in the last edition of our Newsletter. I think it expresses what many of us think but could not pen so well.

May I also say how pleased I am that the Primary School are sharing their news with us. Yes, I did enjoy your display at the Horticultural Show and thought 'what clever children you are and what good teachers you must have'!

It was also good to see some of you in Claude's Garden when Mr. Joy planted the mazzard tree kindly donated by the W.I.

Thank you for sharing your time and gifts with the village and congratulations to Eloise, Tim, Jessica and Alice for their artistic efforts in the magazine.

Brenda Layton


Artwork: Paul Swailes


Heather Wehner has now left June Cottage, Cross Park, to return to Germany, and she will be much missed in the village, particularly by some of our more 'senior' residents. June Cottage is now home to Pat and Dave Martin and their son James, and we welcome them back after a brief stay at Marwood following their leaving Watermouth Holiday Villas.

A very belated, but warm, welcome to Betty and Ernest Furze and their daughter Lindsay, who have been living at Newberry Bank, Newberry Hill for some time now! Moving from Lapworth, near Stratford on Avon, to be near the sea, Betty is a care assistant in Braunton and Ernest a retired aeronautical engineer who trained apprentices. They picked on this part of the country after holidaying both at Napps and Sandaway.

We were sorry to see Diane Mayo leave Sheaves in Birdswell Lane, but are happy to know that Patricia and Alan Caffery have moved in. We hope to be able to welcome them more fully in the February issue.

We welcome to Fallbrook, Barton Lane, Barbara and Rob Jordan who have moved from Beaminster in Dorset. Rob, General Manager of Barnstaple Motors, and Barbara, a Personal Assistant, have five children - two girls and three boys, all of whom have flown the nest. Rob is a football fanatic while Barbara enjoys gardening and house decorating. They love the area and their new home and are settling in well!

We wish Heather and Diane well in their new ventures and hope that all our newcomers will be happy here in the Village.


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


The Den

Whilst on holiday in September, I was talking to John Lovering about times in World War Il.

"Oh, yes," he said, "I remember your den in the garden in Barton Lane."

Well yes, it started like this. I had become friendly with Geoffrey Bradley, a lad who was staying at Sun Ray at Combe Martin. He had visited our house at Berrynarbor which, at that time, had a very overgrown garden, due to being unoccupied for a long time before we moved in.

"Do you think your folks would mind if we dug a den in the garden?" Geoffrey remarked.

I said I would ask my mum and she said, "Oh yes, go ahead." I think she was more concerned about the war than any pranks we boys got up to!

A couple of days later Geoffrey called round and we made a start on what turned out to be Den Mark I, which was roughly 4' square and about 3' deep.

"What now?" I asked Geoffrey.

"Well", he replied, "There's always a lot of drift wood down on the beaches and we could cover it with some of that."

Broadsands proved to be the best as we found a very large sheet of ply and several lengths of 4" x 2". However, I can tell you these took a bit of carrying up from the beach!

On went the den's roof and after rummaging about we found another piece of ply for a trap door entrance. I had an idea for a chimney which was a bit like a rabbit hole and went down near the side of the den and then into it. This enabled us to light a fire and cook pieces of potato in an old elastoplast tin - not very nice, but fun! Boys being boys, we made ourselves smoking pipes by burning a hole in a short piece of branch [with a red hot poker] drilling a hole in the side and inserting a piece of bamboo. Feathervoil was the tobacco which, when dry and rubbed in your hands, turned into a sort of cotton-wool state. It was vile to smoke, but oh so 'grown up' at the time!

We soon got bored with the size of this den and decided to dig another one. We removed the roof and partly filled it in - the remaining hole was later turned into a fish pond. The Mark Il version was further down the garden, alongside Birdswell Lane and was much bigger, about 4' x 8', but still the same depth. However, our enthusiasm waned and this large hole was abandoned. During excavations, a lot of the soil had filtered through the hedge into Birdswell Lane, and I was instructed to fill it in, which meant carrying buckets of earth up the steps back into our garden. A tedious job and at one point I did think of turning it into a big pond for breeding trout, but of course I had no knowledge of how to go about such a venture.

Eventually, what had been our den was filled in and used by my mother and half-brother, Gerald, for growing vegetables - far more useful, particularly with the shortage of fresh food!

Tony Beauclerk - Colchester




Sunday p.m. on 5th November seems to be as good a time as any to look at the weather for September and October. As usual it is pouring down with rain, so no outside jobs can be done. To cheer us up we have tried to find the best days from 15th September to 31st October, and guess what - we have only had 4 days clear with no rain!

We shouldn't complain too much, compared with some parts of the country the village has suffered little flood damage. The figures for September are: total rain 198mm [8"], slightly less than 1999 when we had 205mm. The wettest day was the 27th when we had 44mm [1 3/4"]. The highest temperature was 26.3 Deg C on the 11th and the lowest was 5.9 Deg C on the 19th.

October's total rainfall of 352mm [14"] made it the wettest month since December 1999 when we had 378mm [15 1/8"]. The wettest day was the 29th when 63mm [2 1/2"] of rain fell. This was also the wettest day since we purchased a rain gauge in 1993, and looking back through the records, the previous high was 60mm [2 3/8"] on 24th May 1996. The average temperature of 10.7 Deg C was a little low for October.

The gale on the 29th produced a wind speed of 42 knots [52 mph] here in the Valley, well below the 54 knots [67 mph] we recorded in January 1998. The barograph has had some ups and down recently, with a low of 973 mb on the 11th October.

Our next report will be in the new year, so we should like to wish everyone a Happy [and dry] Christmas.

Sue and Simon



There is nothing new about our weather extremes as the following excerpts, kindly extracted by Lorna Bowden from The Lost Chronicle of Barnstaple 1586-1611, Adam Wyatt, Town Clerk, show.

  • 1586 - "On Michaelmas eve this year the weather being very fowle, ther arose such a tempest of winde, that it made the water at the kay so arise, that they, that were upon the kay and saw it, could not see the marsh: it went upward and ripped diverse houses between Mr. Wourths lane and the fish-shambles, and so in that breadth in it went east through the towne blowing downe much covering of houses: it was 4 of the clock in the afternoone. "
  • 1587 - May "little or no raine hath fallen for vi or viii weeks"
    August "plenty of new corn" - good summer
  • 1588 - "Fine weather in March" Autumn "continual rain"
  • 1589 - March "About this time a great wain of rain - none in vi weeks"
  • 1590 - Good summer "masers [mazzards] and cherries very plenty: diverse have cut corn before St. James Day [25 July]. Harvest ended in many places midst August". PLAGUE RIFE
  • 1591 - "watchmen continually to prevent suspected folks of the plague from coming into town."
  • 1592 - Good weather "corn is viiid a bushel"
  • 1593 - "... long drieth this yere", But "later end of September the river at Bradiford was frozen over"
  • 1594 - "Rain and violent winds every day in March, the shyppying cod. not go to Newfoundland or Rochelle or those at Rochelle come home"
  • 1595 - "By reason of rayn and foul weather wheat is viiiis a bushel"
  • 1596 - "All this May has not been a dry day and night" August: "By reason of the continual rain there is a great leare of all sorts of corn. wheat xis a bushel" Before Christmas: "continual rain day and night"
  • 1597 - "now in July by reason of continual rain wheat sold for xxs a bushel"
  • 1599 - "A better Harvest never heard of than this. wheat iiis iiiid"
    "xiiii December this year a violent tempest of wynde"
  • 1601 - xiiii day of December at night some of the castle wall was blown down and blown into the castle"
  • 1602 - "Great Thunder and lightenynge in June the beacon of Mattynhoe was brent"
  • 1606 - Tuesday 20th January "a very great floud - damage £1,000 - water came up in Southgate Street above the pump to the higher end of Thomas Harris house, and in Wilstreet upp that way untill the widow Taylors window, it come to Appleys fore door and run out thro the house into the garden there and made great spoyle. The water flowd up more than halfway Mayden Street and then went into there houses. also it came upp at the lower end of Crockstreet [Cross Street] so far Mr Takles hall door. The Tombestone on the Kaye was covered clene over with water by report it was higher by v or vi foote than ever remembred by those now livinge."
  • 1607 - "about fortnight before Xmas began the hard frost wch continue v weeks - the victuals bought in the market was so frosen it would take no salt. The cold meat after it was dressed and kept one night was so hard that it could not be cut to be eaten for I had a piece of beef that was roasted the Day before New Years day and kep untill the thursday following and then I was driven to take a spit and put the end there of into the fire and heat it redd hot and so got him in the flesh and new rosted it by the space of an hour and half before it was thorough hot and then used the same"
    "On Tuesday being the 19th day of may between sixe and seven of the clock in the forenoon ther was a little earth-quake perceived and seen within this towne that both the earth and houses did quiver and shake, for a small time, yet no hurt done."

Lorna Bowden



'We're going somewhere', she said! [early Saturday morning, 14.10.00]. 'Oh yes', I said 'where?' 'Oh just somewhere', was the vague reply.

An hour later I was 'directed' to drive down the link road to the junction with the M5. Approaching the junction, Gin said, 'Oh! Just pull into this layby.' 'Oh yes', I said, 'Is this my lucky day?!!?'

Seriously though, a card was thrust into my hand, with a picture of a steam locomotive on the front! 'Yippee, I'm going to drive a steam locomotive' [one of my life's ambitions]! Read the inside', Gin said. I hate the word 'gobsmacked', but that just about sums up my surprise when I read the message, "You have been invited to play the organ at Truro Cathedral at lunchtime today for 15 minutes".

In a state of shock and disbelief, two things suddenly dawned on me - one, we're heading in the wrong direction and two, I'm going to play on what is generally regarded as one of, if not the, finest organs in the whole country!! [my other life's ambition.] Anyway, after some fairly rapid driving via Bodmin Moor, we arrived in Truro with about 15 minutes to spare!

The reason for the short 15 minute slot was due to a full scale rehearsal of Handel's Messiah complete with symphony orchestra and choral society, and their break was specially arranged to coincide with my special treat.

For me, and I believe Ginny, the next 30 minutes [I was allowed an extra 15 minutes] was one of the most thrilling and moving moments of my life. The wonderful sound from the organ was truly amazing! The hairs on my neck were literally on end - but I was especially pleased [if not relieved] that I played really well and didn't mess up any notes on the four pieces I played.

I should like to thank my wife Ginny for giving me a really wonderful birthday present - how she managed to 'fix it' amazes me!

Stuart Neale



Once again we have been lucky and everyone in the photograph of the Primary School printed in the last issue, has been identified. Many thanks to those of you who put names to faces on the enlarged version at the Post Office. In most cases we have also been able to follow up on their whereabouts today.

From Left to Right

  • Back Row:
    • Mrs. Cowperthwaite
    • Malcolm Smallridge - Malcolm lives and farms at Berry Down.
    • John Goldsworthy - John joined the RAF but tragically died of a heart attack when he was only 23.
    • June Greenaway - June has returned to North Devon to help with the family business at Newberry Farm Campsite.
    • Vicky Marsh - It is understood that Vicky moved to Fremington.
    • Angela Fry - Angela is the publican of the Barnstaple Inn at Burrington. She has a girl and two boys.

  • Middle Row:
    • Alan Richards - Alan has not gone far! He farms at East Hagginton and he and his wife, Sue, have three children - Nichola, Louise and Jamie.
    • David Brown - It is understood that David lives at East Down and is a driver for RGB.
    • David Gammon - David and his wife Jean and their two boys, Jay and Gareth, live in Southampton. David is a tanker driver for British Gas.
    • Dennis Mitcham - Dennis lives near Spalding in Lincolnshire and works for a garden centre, producing the stands and hanging baskets used by towns for Britain in Bloom.
    • Roderick Zapletal - Roderick and his wife live in Bude, Cornwall. It has been a pleasure to meet them and his sister, Litzi, and her husband when they have been visiting our village.
    • Gail Cruickshank - It is believed that Gail, whose father was a dentist in Ilfracombe, may have moved to Cornwall.
    • June Bament-Jarvis - Now Purdue - June, we understand, lives in Ilfracombe.
    • Lorraine Thomas - Lorraine emigrated to Canada where she married and had a son and a daughter. She, like John, tragically died of a sudden heart attack when she was 40.
    • Annette Burns - No news ofAnnette although it is thought she lived out near Watermouth Castle
    • Betty Greenaway - Betty joined the WRAF, but now lives with her husband Geoff in Watford where she lectures on Health and Safety.

  • Front Row - Seated:
    • Paul Bowden - Paul, an agricultural engineer, and his wife Babs live in Combe Martin with their three children, two girls and a boy.
    • Chris Gwilliam - No news - did he live at East Down?
    • Sheila Toms - Sheila [daughter of Ron and Gladys] and Tony [Bolt] live in Ilfracombe with their two boys. Sheila last year opened Scentsations, her candle and gift shop in Church Street, Ilfracombe.
    • Debbie Lewis - Debbie lived at Donnybrook - no news.
    • Margaret Brooks - We have no news of Margaret or Carol. It is believed Margaret lived at East Down and Carol at Arlington Beccot.
    • Carol Hussell - See above.
    • Christine Newton - Christine and her husband Martin [Hutchings] run La Bastille in Ilfracombe. They have three children, two girls and a boy, and one grandson.
    • Gerald Brookman - Gerald lives at Croft Lee with his mother, Ricky.
    • Michael Smallridge - Michael, cousin of Malcolm, is an Agricultural and Motor Mechanic. He lives on Berry Hill and has two sons.

If anyone can help with more information, please do get in touch, and sincere apologies if some of the information received/given is not quite accurate. Good luck and best wishes to all our 'Past Pupils'.



Two years ago I became one of three volunteers from North Devon to join this Advisory Group. By 2021, 40% of our population nationally will be aged 50+ and Devon County Council was one of 28 local authorities piloting ways of adjusting services to people's actual needs. The Group comprised eighteen people with a DCC Project Director and Administrator, both part-time. Progress reports went to central government and Warwick University researchers.

Our remit was not to try to overstate the needs of older people but to act as Consultants to ensure older people were not overlooked or patronised by those providing services. Older people have many experiences and talents to offer and are knowledgeable and reliable. We have had direct access to County and District Councillors, Directors of Departments, Managers in NHS and transport providers among many others, winning some but not all debates.

Projects in which we took a direct part according to our individual preferences included researching employment opportunities, establishing an information web site, researching learning opportunities in community colleges, libraries and encouraging new schemes of learning in village venues. Older people in the South Molton area formed a council to consult their District Area Committee and Parish Councils and researching NHS services using older people to interview older people. We advised on many schemes throughout the County and sent responses to Government documents such as Residential Care, Housing, Pensions.

At the end of the experiment we obtained funding from a Trust to partner Devon Age Concern in establishing volunteer development officers in each district. The object is to provide forum in localities where none exist as happened spontaneously in Okehampton and Axminster. From these and similar groups, representatives will hopefully meet as a County Advisory Group for those in later life [AGILE] to continue the consultation procedures with the service providers.

I have been asked to continue as a lay representative on Social Services providing for long term care and on NHS/Social Services Joint Modernisation of Services. Information from you about experiences, good or poor, would be very helpful to me. Thank you.

Margaret Andrews



Christmas is approaching and hopefully a time when everyone can relax, but don't let the party spirit lead to extra dangers at home or at work! Follow these County Fire and Rescue Service tips for a fire-free Christmas.

Decorations - are often made of combustible materials. NEVER attach them to lights or heaters or place garlands immediately above or around fireplaces, and never leave lighted candles unattended or near a Christmas tree.

Sockets - this is a time when extra appliances are often used. The general rule is I socket/ 1 plug, but if you need to use adapters and extension leads, DO NOT overload them. Ensure that all leads are in good condition, particularly those that may not have been used for some time.

Batteries -- make sure you have spare batteries in the house, particularly for the new toy/equipment that needs one. NEVER remove the battery from your smoke alarm to run such items.

Guests - Christmas is a time when the house may be more full of people than usual, or guests drop in. Take extra care. Make sure that exit routes are not blocked and that people know the quickest ways out. Always make sure that fires are guarded and left safe and that smoking materials are extinguished.

New Year Resolutions

  1. Spend time thinking about safety in your home.
  2. If you have not already done so, FIT smoke alarms, ideally one on each floor.
  3. Before going to bed: Close all doors, make sure that the keys are readily available to unlock external doors; make sure there are alternative ways out.

"Prevention is better than cure" but if you should be unlucky enough to have a fire, get everybody out and then telephone for assistance from outside.

This is the final article in the set sent to all local magazines and newsletters by the Chief Fire Officer of Devon Fire and Rescue Service. It is hoped that they have been informative and interesting and have made you give serious thought to fire safety, particularly in your own home.




We are already preparing for Christmas and the summer holidays seem to have only just ended! In spite of the spate of bad weather, we have been very active with the children going out and about.

We had an excellent day at Arlington Court for the Arts Adventure Week and a week-end away with the children in Class Two at the Wembworthy Centre in Eggesford Forest. Both occasions were full of sunshine and showers but a good time was had by all.

The Christmas production is getting underway, as are our arrangements for our Christmas Coffee Morning on 4th December. Details of these events will follow shortly.

We were very pleased to be invited to the planting of the Mazzard tree in Claude's Garden. We hope to announce our own planting project which the school will start, and I hope our friends in the WI will join us in this exciting venture!

A full and exciting year behind us and the promise of even more in 2001.

Best wishes for the festive season from all at the school.

Simon Bell - Headteacher

Christmas drawings from pupils in Class 2 appear elsewhere in this issue.



A lull between storms; some winter visitors and a bird of passage

It had stopped raining. The ground was waterlogged and paths would be slippery. The winding tarmac track, which serves the lighthouse at Bull Point, should provide a firm foundation for a walk.

It was surprisingly mild and the birds were using the brief change in the weather to ransack the bushes for seeds and berries.

Greenfinches were busily turning the rose hips inside out; peeling back the vermilion flesh to extract the seeds. Several goldfinches teetered on a burdock plant and dunnocks and wrens were skulking in the broad hedgerows.

There was a sudden grating sound. It came from a mistle thrush, balancing on a telephone wire. In the field below were more thrushes - among them a redwing stood to attention, its flanks smeared red. A little smaller than a song thrush and with a creamy stripe over the eye, the redwing is a thrush which arrives in October from Scandinavia to spend the winter here. When it took off, the red undersides of the wings showed up vividly.

High above the valley leading to Bennett's Mouth, a few wispy pink flowers remained on the tamarisk bushes. In the grassy rides were clusters of glossy, luridly coloured waxcap fungi, sulphur yellow and cherry red.

When we reached the lighthouse, a little bird attracted our attention by its constantly flickering tail; a dull bird with sooty black cheeks, throat and breast and ash-grey crown and back, but with a distinctive scarlet tail - unmistakably a black redstart.

It flew from the lighthouse to the roofs of the surrounding buildings, going from ridge to eaves, from chimney pot to gable ends. This was characteristic behaviour because it is a bird of rocky coasts which also likes perching on buildings. It is a 'scarce' passage migrant here in the autumn when moving to its winter quarters around the Mediterranean. It is even less commonly seen making its return journey in the spring. Its cousin, the redstart, is a summer visitor. [The black redstart we encountered at Bull Point was a male with a whitish wing patch.]

When we returned to the village, we went up the lane past the church to view the last rays of wintry sun falling on the horizon; the light of Hartland point lighthouse away to the west and the church tower on Lundy silhouetted against the late afternoon sky. As we turned back, the first drops of rain started to descend and with them, the darkness.

Illustrations by: Paul Swailes

Sue H


Artwork: Paul Swailes


Our vegetable gardens and orchards may not have been so productive this year but the church was still beautifully decorated for the HARVEST FESTIVAL. The flowers were particularly lovely as a wedding had taken place on the Saturday! Thank you to everyone who brought or sent in gifts and especially to Betty and her team of flower arrangers who give so much pleasure to us all and to our visitors.

The Sunday Family Communion was well attended and it was a joy to see Sally and the Sunday School helpers with so many children. The bells rang out once again for Evensong on the Wednesday, when we were pleased to welcome Heather and the Combe Martin Church Choir. Their presence was much appreciated as they led us in the singing. Again we had a good congregation and the Supper afterwards was enjoyed by everyone. Our thanks to Bernard who took charge of the auction, raising some £80. In all, over £150 was Collected during the evening towards the Tower Fund.

The REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY Service on 12th November was led by our Reader, Clive Nottage, and attended by over 60 of us. Wreaths were laid at the War Memorial by the Church and the Parish Council and, after the two minutes' silence, we all returned to the church for the special service. The collection taken up for the Earl Haig Fund amounted to £90.

From the beginning of December, a NEW FORM OF SERVICE will be used for the Eucharist on the first and second Sundays of the month. It is written in modern language and should be more 'user friendly'! Sunday, 3rd December, also marks the beginning of Advent and the first candle will be lit on the Advent Wreath.

CHRISTMAS SERVICES will be as follows:

  • Wednesday, 20th December - Carol Service, 6.30 p.m.
  • Sunday, 24th December - [Christmas Eve] Crib Service with the Sunday School, 11.00 a.m.
    First Communion of Christmas, 9.30 p.m.
  • Christmas Day - Family Communion, 11.00 a.m.
  • Sunday, 31st December - Family Communion, with carols, 11.00 a.m.

Please note that the service on Christmas Eve will be earlier this year at 9:30 p.m. This is so that our Rector, Keith, will be able to conduct services both in Berrynarbor and Combe Martin.

Christmas cards with service times will again be distributed all round the village. Do come and join us if you can.

A successful COFFEE MORNING was held at the beginning of November. £113 was raised including several generous donations, and this amount will be shared between the Kidney Dialysis Unit at South Molton and the Church Tower Fund. A big thank you to you all.

Illustrations by: Stephanie Breary - Class 2
Berrynarbor Primary School

Mary Tucker


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


The Rectory
Combe Martin

Dear Friends,

The beginning of December sees the start of Advent when we consider the coming, or the second coming of Christ. As we prepare for the celebration of Christmas, it is worth asking 'What kind of a God do we believe in?' The other day I came across a thought by Mark Pryce in the Lion publication: 'A Time to Reflect'. His story was set in an airport lounge with three men [one of whom was sick] together being watched by a bishop.

The three are saying goodbye. They are standing close together, arms about each other in an embrace and a hug. From time to time one will kiss the other and pat his back. One of them brushes away tears with the back of his hand, suddenly laughing at his own emotions, a little embarrassed perhaps.

The bishop does not want to stare too pointedly. His eyes slide towards the three then quickly look away He does not like what he has seen. Then his eyes are back again, suspicious, and he catches a trinitarian hug. He frowns his disapproval, shaking his head. He turns away in a scowl of disgust.

For me the bishop and the three friends are pictures of how we envision God. Two manifestations of divinity. The bishop's God is somewhere over the rainbow, way up high. He is distant, unapproachable, unengaged in human affairs except as the God of controlling power, looking down on us, watching us, watching our mistakes . . . with this God there is no satisfaction and no delight, but always disapproval . . .

The three friends signal that love, not hatred, is the heart of God. In their support and care of one another they say to me: God is our friends and not our enemy. In their touch and in the mutuality they say that God is with us. God is by us. That is what "Emmanuel" means.

With all good wishes,
Your Friend and Rector,

Kieth Wyer



Bright of eye, swift in action,
Blending in with Mother Earth,
Always somewhere near my homestead,
Robin Redbreast gaily chirps.
With me in the garden,
As the plants I tend,
Other birds may come and go
But there he always stays, a real true friend.
At yuletide he is busy
Spreading Christmas cheer,
And as Old Father Time clocks out,
He heralds in a bright New Year.
So, thank you robin Redbreast,
For all the joy you bring,
And may there never dawn the day,
When you will cease to sing.

Illustrated by: Debbie Rigler Cook

Vi Kingdon


Buy your CHRISTMAS CARDS and support your local


12p each from

Eunice Allen, Bali-Hai, Sterridge Valley
Call or 'phone 882491

Birth and other Cards - 25p each


Eunice would be delighted to collect all old greetings cards [of any kind] for recycling

Illustrated by: Debbie Rigler Cook



As many of you will know, and have seen, I still am [or have been] sporting a 'large bump'. This means I am pondering all things Christmas rather early this year, but not as early as some, I hasten to add!

Illustration by: Daisy Ivan - Class 2
Berrynarbor Primary School

One pondering is on the Christmas Story itself. In particular Mary, who being some eight or nine months pregnant journeyed eighty plus miles from Nazareth to Jerusalem. She went with Joseph her husband to register his interest in the family name. It is uncertain whether she needed to do this or not.

Assuming, rightly or wrongly, that she need not go, why in her condition did she undertake such a difficult journey? I know nowadays a bumpy car ride is suggested to help get things moving, but eighty odd miles on a donkey seems a little far fetched!

I should have thought that being at home surrounded by the older, more experienced women of her family would be the best place to be. Or was it they who were driving her away, wanting nothing to do with her perceived indiscretion with Joseph or whoever? She had not been married long enough for that size 'bump', and sex before marriage was taboo for that particular community. We have the fly on the wall account, but they did not, so found it easy to accuse.

At Christmas we celebrate the birth of someone who was possibly born in disgrace, an induced birth, the story of someone whose experience of life is not so divorced from some of ours. The gospel of Luke, where we find this story, is concerned to show Jesus caring for the minorities and ignored peoples in His world and ours. The other gospels show slightly different concerns.

A historical person Jesus certainly was. Other writers from around that time mention this popular person, but a nice cosy story this never was. Multifaceted, yes, which is why we can hold Mary in high regard for allowing herself to be the agent through which God's immeasurable gift is given to us. As we carefully consider what gifts to give our families and friends, ponder for a while the most costly gift of all.

On behalf of Christians Together in Combe Martin, Berrynarbor and Kentisbury, I wish you all a joyous Christmas and peaceful New Year.

Celia Withers [Pastor]
The Manse - Combe Martin



'Traditional' Devon Butcher and Licensed Game Dealer
Corn-fed Free Range Chickens
home-made Pies, Cooked Meats and Sausages

Illustration by: Kevin McLintock

Locally farmed and slaughtered Meat

Meat sent by Post

Regular Deliveries to Berrynarbor and Combe Martin

146 High Street. Ilfracombe Tel: [01271] 603043


Order your turkey, sausage meat, gammon and other Christmas Meats NOW




On the whole, this has been a good year for our Village, although sadly a number of properties have suffered flood and storm damage. It is hoped that future risks have been reduced by new drainage works and now, for anyone who feels they might need them, sandbags are available for collection from Len Coleman at any time.

Apart from this, the strongly supportive character of Berrynarbor has been seen in the festive Millennium celebrations, which were a very successful start to a year in which parishioners again put a lot of hard work and effort into a wide variety of village pursuits. These contribute to a very strong community atmosphere, which is the envy of many other communities today.

West Country Ambulance have offered to run a First Aid Course in the village if enough people are interested. Please ring me if you would like to attend such a course.

As a Parish Council, we appreciate your support this year and look forward to carrying on a close working relationship with you all in the new year. so, please let us have any information that you feel will help us to keep Berrynarbor the perfect place to live, for work and retirement.

A Happy Christmas and a successful New Year to you all.

Ann Hinchliffe - 883708


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


The Charity Christmas Card delivery service within the Parish will again take place this year. A box will be available for your cards at the Village Shop from Friday, 8th December. Just drop your cards in, with a donation please [10p per card].

This year we are holding a Village Christmas Get-Together in the Manor Hall on SATURDAY, 16th DECEMBER, 10.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. Please come along.

You can bring your cards and enjoy not only mince pies, sherry, coffee, etc., but listen to the School Christmas Choir and other live music. There will also be a Table Top sale for your last minute gift requirements.

The cards will be sorted and distributed after the 16th and we hope that most of them will be in by that date. However, the box will remain open until 10.30 a.m. on Wednesday, 20th December. On behalf of the Management Committee, we wish you all a Happy Christmas.

John Hood - Chairman




Sunday School is thriving with 12 children now. Their enthusiasm and imagination are very infectious, a different kind of 'Happy Hour'!

Now, are you getting anxious about Christmas? The expense, the shopping, the cooking, so much to do. Well forget it for a while, come and see Christmas through the eyes of a child, or in this case the eyes of a Fox - we guarantee you will enjoy it, and its free!

Sunday School will be performing The Fox's Tale at Berrynarbor Church on Wednesday, 20th December, at 6.30 p.m. and again on Sunday, 24th December at 11.00 a.m. So DO COME and let us wish you a Very Happy Christmas.

Sally B, Becki, Val, Julia and Children

True Story

A father came home from work to find his small son busily drawing with a crayon. "What picture are you drawing?" he asked. "God," said the boy. The father smiled. "You can't draw God," he said, "No one knows what he looks like." 'They will soon, " said his son, bending to his task.


Fanmor Productions present

a forty minute film of the village, the people and that Millennium Year

On sale from the first week in December at Berrynarbor Post Office,
the new and final Berry Video by Fanmor Productions

Price: £10.99

copyright of this video is fully reserved




Meetings of the Society are held normally on the third Thursday of the month at the Methodist Hall at 7.30 p.m. Everyone welcome.

In September, Steven Pugsley gave an illustrated talk on South Molton's Castle Hill and its Gardens, the seat of the Fortescues. In October, Brian Tomkin-Hall gave a fascinating talk on his reminiscences as a North Devon Coroner. The November meeting will be an illustrated talk on Raparee Cove by Pat Burrow and on 14th December it will be a Social Evening with an illustrated talk by Tom Bartlett on 'Barnstaple and Around, Postcard Views IV.' North Devon Transport will be the subject of John Travis's illustrated talk in January.

For further information, please contact Hilary Beaumont on 882636




Both the October and November meetings were extremely well attended and Tony Summers introduced some superb wines from South America, to be followed in November by John Hood presenting some of Italy's better wines.

Members are now looking forward to the Christmas Special being presented by Chairman Alex Parke, with some help from Pam no doubt, and this will be a members only evening and entry by ticket. Our next open meeting will be on Wednesday, 17th January, at the Manor Hall and will be the ever popular 'Members' Favourites', when each member, or couple, bring along a bottle of their favourite wine and are expected to say a few words about it and why they have chosen it. Once again our co-ordinator for the evening will be Tony Summers and one can only admire the way in which he tackles and accomplishes such an unenviable task.

For more information contact Chairman, Alex Parke [883758], Secretary, Tony Summers [883600] or myself [883408].

Tom Bartlett, Publicity Officer



Debbie has kindly agreed, following requests, that the covers from this and last year's newsletters may be made into cards. A limited number are now available and if you would like some, please ring Judie on 883544 to give your order.

Packs of 6, 3 of each design plus envelopes


The greeting inside the cards reads:

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

All proceeds to Newsletter Funds

If packs are still available, they will be on sale at the Manor Hall Get-Together on Saturday, 16th December, but order NOW to avoid being disappointed!


Artwork: Angela Bartlett



  • 4 oz Currants
  • 2 oz Glace Cherries
  • 2 oz Walnuts
  • 4 oz Apples [cored and peeled]
  • 8 oz Sultanas
  • 2 oz Mixed Peel
  • 4 oz Shredded Suet
  • 8 oz Demerara Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Mixed Spice
  • Brandy or Rum to mix

Mince or chop the fruit and nuts and stir in the suet, sugar and spice with enough rum or brandy to give a moist mixture. Leave covered for 2 days. Put into jars and mature for 2 weeks.

Rum Truffles

Melt 300g Dark Chocolate in 1/3rd Cup of Double Cream in the microwave. Add 2 tablespoons of Rum and stir 1 cup of Icing Sugar into the mixture. Cool the mixture until stiff enough to roll into balls. Coat by rolling in chocolate flakes, Vermicelli, nuts, cocoa or a coating of your own choice.



No room in the Inn, of course,
And not that much in the stable,
What with the shepherds, Magi, Mary,
Joseph, the heavenly host
Not to mention the baby
Using our manger as a cot.
You couldn't have squeezed another cherub in
For love or money.
Still, in spite of the overcrowding,
I did my best to make them feel wanted.
I could see the baby and I
Would be going places together.

U.A. Fanthorpe

Illustration by: Samuel Bowden Class 2
Berrynarbor Primary School


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


Winter is upon us again and Christmas is coming fast; time to start organising those get-togethers which revolve around eating, drinking and being merry, all of which can be achieved at The Old Sawmill Inn!

Our Christmas menu is available from 1st - 24th December - bookings are now being taken and a copy of the menu is available on request. If you require any of our facilities, these are also available for you to use during the evening of your party [apart from skittles on Tuesdays and Thursdays]. Or book your party for a night when we already have entertainment laid on:

Crossword Solution

On Saturday 16th we are having a Karaoke Night where everyone is welcome to come and join in - give us a song or just cheer on those who are brave enough to sing! All ages welcome. We have a supper licence which enables the bar to stay open until midnight for those who have dined on the premises that evening. Children are allowed in the bar until 9.00 p.m. and after this are welcome to use the family room with play area and the pool room.

On Friday 22nd we are having a 'Killer' Games Night which will involve team games using the pool table, skittle alley and dart board. Get yourself a team or come on your own to join with another team. First Prize: a case of lager!

Our Children's Christmas Party will be on Saturday, 23rd December at 3.00 p.m. If you would like your child/grandchild to attend, there is a list behind the bar and a charge of £2.00 per child provides entertainment [balloon show], party food and drink, cracker, a present from Santa and a gift bag to take home. Fundraising and ourselves pay for most of the costs, but a little help ensures a great party for everyone.

On the evening of the 23rd, we are having a Quiz Night - First Prize is a case of lager! Come along in a team or on your own to join with another team.

The Christmas Draw will take place during the evening, of which the first prize is a 14" Colour Television.

We hope to see all of our regular, and hopefully some new, faces over the festive season and all of us at The Old Sawmill Inn wish you a very Merry Christmas.



Fed up with cooking Christmas Lunch?
Why not relax and let us do it for you.

Complimentary Bucks Fizz or Sherry
Choice of Four Starters
Roast Turkey or Pork with all the Trimmings or Vegetarian Option
Choice of Christmas Pudding, Chocolate Dessert, Fresh Fruit Dessert

Coffee and Mince Pies

£30.00 per adult £20.00 per child

Each child will receive a present from Father Christmas

Watermouth Lodges - Booking Hotline [01271] 865361




Your Christmas planning should include noting that the Post Office and Shop will be closed during the Christmas period as follows:

  • Christmas Eve - Sunday, 24th: Close at 11.00 a.m.
  • Christmas Day - Monday, 25th: [Closed all day]
  • Boxing Day - Tuesday, 26th: [Closed all day - no Papers]
  • New Year's Day - Monday, 1st: Half Day to 1.00 p.m.

On other days we'll be open on our normal schedule.

Please note that there will be no fresh bread after Saturday, 23rd until Friday, 29th December; and no fresh milk after Saturday, 23rd until Wednesday, 27th. Remember to order your requirements in good time.

For your holiday season, we are stocking up on cakes, puddings, mince pies, sweets, chocolates, wine and spirits.

Next year will see the Post Office fitted out with the PO's Horizon computer for bigger and better services, the Universal Peoples Bank and the expansion of PO services.

In the meantime, Nora, Alan, Sue, Hilary and Luke send all customers their best wishes for the Holiday and the Year to come.



I'm one of Herod's Henchmen.
We don't have much to say,
We just charge through the audience
In a Henchman sort of way.
We all wear woolly helmets
To hide our hair and ears,
And Wellingtons sprayed silver
To match our tinfoil spears.
Our swords are made of cardboard
blood will not be spilled
If we trip and stab a parent
When the hall's completely filled.
We don't look very scary,
We're mostly small and shy,
And some of us wear glasses,
But we give the thing a try.
We whisper Henchman noises
While Herod hunts for strangers,
And then we all charge out again
Like nervous Power Rangers.
Yet when the play is over
And Miss is out of breath
We'll charge like Henchmen through the hall
And scare our mums to death.

Clare Bevan

Illustration by: Nigel Mason


Artwork: Paul Swailes


Come and join us for our Christmas events:

  • Monday, 18th December: "Christmas Special" Quiz Night, 8.30 p.m.
  • Christmas Eve: Carols around the Christmas Tree. Draw will take place at 9.30 p.m.
  • Christmas Day: Join us for drinks from 11.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m.
  • Boxing Day: End of Year Quiz Night, 8.00 p.m.
  • New Year's Eve: Fancy Dress Party Night

With best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Lynne, Phil and Staff



1stMiss Muffet's Restaurant: 60's Theme Night
2ndMiss Muffet's Restaurant: Open - Normal Menu
4thPrimary School Christmas Coffee Morning
5thW.I. Meeting, 2.30 p.m., Manor Hall: Thinking About Christmas
6thMobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
8thChristmas Card Box available at the Village Shop
12thParish Council Meeting, 7.30 p.m. Manor Hall
Ilfracombe College Annual Carol Celebration
13thWine Club: Christmas Special - Alex Parke - Members by ticket only
14thCombe Martin Historical Society: Social Evening, Barnstaple and Around, Postcards - Tom Bartlett, Methodist Hall, 7.30 p.m.
15thMiss Muffet's Restaurant: 70's Theme Night
16thManor Hall Management Committee: Christmas Get Together, Manor Hall, 10.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.
Miss Muffet's Restaurant: Christmas Party Night, Normal Menu
Karaoke Night at The Old Sawmill Inn
18thW.I. Christmas Lunch at The Globe. 'Christmas Special' Quiz Night at the Globe, 8.30 p.m.
19thPrimary School and College: End of Autumn Term
20thChristmas Card Box closes at the Village Shop, 10.30 a.m.
Mobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
St. Peter's Church: Carol Service and Sunday School 'The Fox's Tale', 6.30 p.m.
22nd'Killer' Games Night at The Old Sawmill Inn
23rdThe Old Sawmill Inn: Children's Party, 3.00 p.m. Quiz Night.
24thChristmas Eve: St. Peter's - Crib Service with Sunday School, including The Fox's Tale', 11.00 a.m.
Christmas Communion 9.30 p.m. Carols at The Globe
25thCHRISTMAS DAY: St. Peter's Church: Family Communion, 11.00 a.m.
The Globe: 11.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m.
26thBoxing Day : The Globe - End of Year Quiz Night, 8.00 p.m.
31stNew Year's Eve: St. Peter's Church: Family Communion with Carols at 11.00 a.m.
The Globe Fancy Dress Party
1stNew Year's Day
2ndW.I. Meeting, 2.30 p.m., Manor Hall: Nursing Homes in the 21st Century - Mrs. Eastaugh
3rdMobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
4thPrimary School and College: Start of Spring Term
9thParish Council Meeting, 7.30 p.m., Manor Hall
16thCombe Martin Historical Society, Methodist Hall, 7.30 p.m: North Devon Transport - John Travis of Lynton
17thMobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m. Wine Club, Manor Hall, 8.00 p.m: Members' Favourites - Tony Summers
31stMobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.

Manor Hall:

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


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Christmas - Briary Cove

For Christmas I have chosen this postcard view of Briary Cave, Watermouth, published by Twiss Brothers of Ilfracombe around 1904. This particular card has 'Christmas Greetings' overprinted in red and was sent on 24th December 1907 at 6.45 p.m. from Ilfracombe. I have no doubt that it would have been delivered on Christmas Day to the Putney Heath, London SW address, such was the reliability of our postal service at that time!

The second card depicts exactly the same view but through the eyes of the prolific West Country watercolour artist, T. Warren Vernon, published in 1906 by Raphael Tuck & Sons in the 'Oilette' series of postcards.

One of the most striking but little known facts of Briary, Smallmouth and Watermouth Caves is the abundance of sea-lily fossils in the rock faces. Deposited a million years ago, they form an amazing sight - like a giants fingerprints.

Following View 67 in the last newsletter, I heard from John and Ann Vince who now live in Teignmouth. John was, of course, Clerk to our Parish Council from 1991 until his retirement in 1998. He informed me that A.J. Vince was his grandfather and that the initials stood for Alfred John. He was born in 1874 and died in 1947. He also sent a copy of a photograph of his grandmother, Annie Louisa [Lewis] who was born in 1875 and died in 1959. This proved without question that the lady shown in the card of Watermouth Bay was indeed the photographer's wife. Annie Louisa was the daughter of Richard Lewis [born in Georgeham in 1848] who became the Bailiff of Watermouth Castle. My thanks to John and I accept that I was wrong when I said 'it is unlikely we shall ever know' who the lady was!

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


Wishing all Readers

A Merry Christmas

and a

Happy Healthy New Year