Edition 71 - April 2001

Artwork by: Debbie Riger Cook

Artwork: Judie Weedon


April, Easter, spring on its way and another bumper issue!

Many contributors some old, some new with poetry from the Primary School and more delightful illustrations by pupils as well as by Paul, Nigel and the cover by Debbie.

Thanks to you all, and thanks too to the many people who have sent in donations and, of course, to those who kindly 'pop' something in the collecting boxes at the Post Office, The Globe, Sawmills and Sue's of Combe Martin every penny counts and its amazing how they add up! Our account at Nationwide in Ilfracombe is currently looking quite healthy. However, if you are thinking of making a donation, either now or in the future, please remember to make cheques payable to Berrynarbor Newsletter and not to me personally.

Our next issue will be June, by which time we shall be nearing the longest day! Let's hope we'll be enjoying some warm, sunny, seasonal weather for a change! With May being a busy month, it would be very helpful to have contributions as early as possible and by MONDAY, 14th MAY at the LATEST. Many thanks and with good wishes for Easter.

Newer readers may be unaware that alternate covers of the Newsletter are the talented work of Debbie Cook, a self-employed illustrator, who fortunately for us spent several years living in the village. Debbie kindly offered her help in February 1992 [issue No. 16] and has been delighting us with her drawings of wildlife [as well as special Christmas covers and other illustrations] ever since - 28 covers in fact! Thank you, Debbie, we are so lucky.

Having depicted dormice to deer, frogs to seals and long-tailed tits to owls, the natural wildlife of the area has become virtually exhausted! So, dog-lovers will be delighted to learn that Debbie is embarking on a new series featuring breeds of dogs, beginning with the golden retriever. If anyone has a particular breed they would like illustrated, please let me know and I'll pass on your suggestions to Debbie.




Originating in Scotland around the mid-1800's from a cross between a yellow, wavy-coated retriever and a water spaniel, the Golden Retriever was bred to retrieve wild fowl from water or heavy vegetation. Its keen nose and willing temperament have made it trainable to serve contemporary needs including use as guide dogs for the blind and the disabled, and as a detector of narcotics and explosives. Excellent swimmers, the retriever has a uniquely water-resistant coat and their mouths, which do not damage the game, are classed as 'soft'.




A well attended meeting on the 6th February included two new members and three visitors, all seated comfortably ready to listen to Kath Arscott and to view her wonderful photography. Kath has shared many of her travels with us, this time travelling on a train from Cape Town to Dar-es-Salaam a new experience - with various stops to take the photos, for which Kath is famous. Her patience with wild life well rewarded. The majesty of the Victoria Falls made a fitting end to a very interesting journey, which Doreen Prater echoed in her vote of thanks. The Word Competition was won jointly by Ethel Tidbury and Kay Webber, although all entries warranted a consolation prize.

Doreen Prater won the raffle and after the knitters had collected patterns for our new project - jumpers and socks for Africa [although Teddies are still needed] - it was time to close the meeting.

I should like to add that the fame of 'knitted Teddies' is still spreading - this time through Ethel Tidbury's letter and photo being printed in the December issue of 'Take a Break'. Ethel has been receiving letters, not only from the UK but also overseas, and a Mrs. Church of Thamesmead sent both teddies and jumpers for Africa. Several members had brought along their knitting efforts a wonderfully colourful collection of socks and jumpers. Many thanks to one and all, please keep up the good work! *

The meeting on the 6th March was again well attended and we welcomed two more new members as well as Kay Webber and Edna Barnes, both of whom have been 'doctoring', the former with a hip operation. Our speaker, PC Dutton, gave an interesting account of his duties as a Dog Handler and the duties of other handlers with their different breeds of dogs. We were eventually introduced to his companion, Kaizer - a beautiful two year old German Shepherd - and having two other German Shepherds residing in his home, it was obvious that PC Dutton was just the man for the job of Dog Handler! Kaizer was very good, especially as there was limited space for him to show his potential - he enjoyed a tug-of-war with his toy, which everyone thought looked like a grenade! When tea was served he gazed steadily at my cuppa - he needed a drink as well so a bowl of water was gratefully emptied. Time as always sped by and after thanking our speaker for sparing time to visit us, and also thanking everyone who helped with the refreshments, especially Doreen and Joan, it was time to tell Kay that she had won the competition for iced cakes, Mary Gingell the decorated tumbler and Josie Bozier the raffle, before leaving for home.

Please Note: Since starting this report, I have been informed that due to the foot and mouth crisis, it has been decided to cancel the Chichester Group Meeting on 11th April at East Down, and the Annual Spring Council Meeting at Exeter on the 19th April. Other events will be reviewed at the end of April.

For our meeting on the 3rd April, we have a speaker - Louise Round coming from the National Canine Defence League, together with a four-footed companion. Instead of items on the Programme, the competition will be Flower of the Month. Visitors, as always, will be most welcome. Lundy Island will be the subject of our speaker, Mr. Michael Bale, at our meeting on the 1st May.

With every good wish for Easter.

Vi Kingdon - President

The waking earth of Easter,
Reminds us it is true,
That nothing really ever dies
That is not born anew.

* If any non-WI knitters would like to help by knitting teddies, socks or jumpers, patterns for these simple, but much-needed items, may be obtained from either Vi or the Editor.

Illustration by: Paul Swailes




In preparation for Lent, we filled up on pancakes at Berry Home on Shrove Tuesday and funds raised for the Sunday School amounted to over £131. £25 of this has been donated to Mencap. Many, many thanks to all helpers - their time and energy so freely and cheerfully given - and also to all the generous donations, cakes and marmalade and prizes for the raffle - quite a boozy one, 5 bottles of wine!

The children have addressed Lent with a mixture of ideas, the usual giving up of sweets and chocolate down to opting out of school! "I like lessons so much it will be good for me not to go." Well, it may be good for the teacher but I don't think this lad has quite grasped the idea of Lent yet!

We are practising hard for our performance of Matchstalk Men in Gary's village Show and we are also preparing for Mothering Sunday and Easter Sunday - we shall be in church on both these occasions.

Traditionally on Mothers' Day, the children show their mums love and give flowers - happily all of our Sunday School children have loving and caring mums, but we know of some children who tragically do not anymore, and our hearts go out to them. May all mums, grannies, great-grannies, godmothers, sisters, aunties, nieces, friends and neighbours look out for all children, protect and keep them safe.

True Story: Mums can get very tired, but when they least expect it something will make it all worthwhile. One mother was tucking up her little boy, after a particularly trying day, when he suddenly said, "I don't know who taught you to be a mummy, but they did a really good job"!

Sally B

And what, I wonder, did you give up for Lent?


Wendy Cope

There's not a Shakespeare sonnet
Or a Beethoven quartet
That's easier to like than you
Or harder to forget.
You think that sounds extravagant?
I haven't finished yet
I like you more than I would like
To have a cigarette.



Close to the Community


From the 16th February, a Rolling Register has been introduced which means that the Electoral Register is updated every month. So if you have moved house since October 2000 or have not registered, you can get your name put onto the Register much quicker.


Anyone can now vote by post.
You can ask for an automatic postal vote for a set period. Alternatively, you can ask for a one-off postal vote in advance of any election.
For either Application Form, please contact Electoral Services
North Devon District Council, Civic Centre, Barnstaple, Devon, EX31 JEA Telephone Helpline [01271] 388277





Longer-term residents of the Village, and the Sterridge Valley in particular, will be sad to learn that Joy, formerly of Woodlands House, passed away, following a short illness, on the 1st February at the Bristol Royal Infirmary at the age of 74.

She is sorely missed by her family - Kathryn of Combe Martin, Marilyn of Holmforth in Yorkshire and Ian of Zaventem in Belgium, and her ten grandchildren.

Our thoughts go out to you all at this very sad time.

Many of Betty Blackmore's dancers of yesteryear will have fond memories of 'Aunty Hetty Frost' who played for them, and musicians in the area will have equally fond memories of her husband, Bill, a talented musician and teacher. Bill and Hetty lived up behind the London Inn [within our Parish] until Hetty's death some years ago. Bill moved to Barnstaple where he sadly died, after a short illness, on the 9th February 2001, and our thoughts are with their family.



An irritating speck of sand gets in the oyster's heart
And it secretes a substance like a perfect work of art,
To cover up the tiny wound, protect the tender spot,
And Lo! a pearl is born - oysters could teach us quite a lot.
So when a hurt gets buried in a human heart,
A grievance like a throbbing sore that seems to ache and smart.
Just cover up the ugly place with thoughts of love each day,
The healing balm will hide the scar and soothe the pain away.
Forgiveness, joy and sympathy will heal a heart that's torn
And in its place, some day, a pearl of wisdom will be born.




Shanks'es' Pony:

An early manufacturer of Lawn Mowers was the Scottish firm - Shanks. Shanks made a lawn mower designed to be drawn by a pony. This model was called "The Shankses' Pony'.


Artwork: David Duncan


Congratulations to Sally Barten on the Children's Corner in the Church. There is so much to look at and to do it's already proving very popular with the children. Thank you, also, to everyone who gave cushions, etc. We had everything we needed in no time at all!

Special Services During April

  • 8th April - Palm Sunday, Sung Eucharist with distribution of Palm Crosses.
  • 13th April - Good Friday, Quiet Hour of Hymns, Readings and Prayers, 2.00 to 3.00 p.m.
  • 15th April - Easter Day, Family Communion with the Sunday School.

All Sunday Services begin at 11.00 a.m. and everyone who comes is assured of a warm welcome.

Whitsuntide is late this year and will be celebrated with Sung Eucharist on Sunday, 3rd June.

The PCC will be holding a Coffee Morning in aid of the Tower Fund in the Manor Hall on Thursday, 3rd May, 10.30 a.m. There will be a raffle and all the usual stalls, and as always, contributions will be most appreciated.

Mary Tucker

The April Friendship Lunch will be held at "The Globe" on Wednesday, 25th April, and details of the May Lunch will be available later.


Artwork: Paul Swailes


After a brief sojourn in Combe Martin, Betty Weekes has now moved into her new home nearer her family in Robin Hood's Bay, near Whitby in North Yorkshire. She is busy trying to fit the six rooms of her cottage at Goosewell into four, but is beginning to feel more settled and 'at home'. We wish you every happiness, Betty.

Although Clifford Johnson, Nicky and the family have been over at Hunters Inn for a while now - and we wish them all well in their new enterprise - Middle Lee has only just become home to Jenny and Robin Downer, who have moved from Camberley in Surrey. This is an entirely new venture for them, too, having run their own company supplying testing equipment to the petrochemical and aerospace industries. Jenny and Robin have five daughters and five grandchildren, left behind in the Surrey area. Looks like visitors a-plenty to Middle Lee!

In the last newsletter we said that Manor Cottage and Harper's Mill were due to be home to Mr. and Mrs. Harte, and Tim Jones and Tim Davis.

Joan and Mike Harte, and their two Old English Sheepdogs - Josie and Jessie - moved from Maidstone last year, but spent some time in Barnstaple whilst looking for the right home - in Manor Cottage they have found it! Together they run their own business, a Consultancy for Construction Contractors Overseas. They have three sons, Craig, Stephen and James, who are looking forward to some surfing! Craig is into computing and he and Wendy are expecting their first baby later in the year; Stephen lives in Bath and is into drumming [watch this space!] when not accounting, part-time; and James is currently at Southampton University where he is studying for a Ph.D., his subject being Acoustic and Vibrational Engineering. Unlike Stephen, his qualification is for helping with hearing disabilities.

The Tims are now also in residence and thrilled to be here in spite of the months of internal decoration amidst plaster dust and paint, etc., ahead of them!

A very warm welcome to you all and we wish you every happiness in your new Berrynarbor homes.

About Tim and Tim of Harpers Mill

Tim Davis and Tim Jones moved into Harpers Mill at the end of January, having returned to the UK after seven years working for international conservation organisations in Switzerland: Tim D for the international secretariat of the World Wide Fund for Nature [WWF] and Tim J for an intergovernmental treaty dealing with the conservation of wetlands [the Ramsar Convention]. The pair now run a small environmental consultancy DJEnvironmental - providing a range of technical and support services to national and international environmental non-governmental organisations.

Before moving to Switzerland in 1994, both Tims worked at The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust Headquarters at Slimbridge, near Gloucester, and prior to that for the British Trust for Ornithology [BTO]. Tim D spent his formative years in Barnstaple, while Tim J, born in Devon, was raised in Gloucester.

After living at three and a half thousand feet in the Jura mountains bordering the lake of Geneva, the Tims, who are keen naturalists, especially birdwatching, are looking forward to life at sea level and to enjoying the garden and woodlands around Harpers Mill and the Sterridge Valley. A pair of grey wagtails prospecting for a nest site along the stream, and four tumbling ravens are sure signs that spring is almost here.


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


The Annual General Meeting of the Committee will be held in the Manor Hall on Wednesday, 2nd May 2001, at 7.30 p.m. Everyone is welcome and we should appreciate any comments, ideas and even criticisms of a helpful nature.

What would really be nice would be the attendance of people, or even just someone, willing to join our Committee!

Apart from the general management of the Hall, the Committee organises the Berry Revels, the Horticultural and Craft Show and the Christmas Card Delivery. These are the sources of income which make it possible to charge such low rentals for regular users of the Hall. Any help with these events and any other ideas for raising cash would be most welcome.

Early notification of this year's dates of events are: Berry Revels - Tuesday 31st July; Horticultural & Craft Show, Saturday 1st September.

John Hood - Chairman




After such a cold snap at the end of December 2000, January started quite mild with a maximum temperature on the first day of 10.3 0C. During the middle of the month, however, we had another cold spell with a minimum temperature of -2.2 Deg C on the 18th. We also recorded a wind chill factor of -11 Deg C on the 11th. Despite the fact that it seemed a rather dismal, wet month, we had only 111 mm [4 1/2"] of rain in total - less than half that recorded for December.

February started wet with 26mm [1"] of rain falling on the 3rd, but by St. Valentine's Day, the weather had settled down into a lovely dry, frosty spell with a considerable amount of sunshine, which seemed to bring out a few lawnmowers - but not ours! In spite of the relatively dry second half of the month, the total rainfall was still 139mm [5 1/2"]. Looking back to 1997, February was the wettest month with a total of 254mm [10 1/8"] of which 49mm [2"] fell on the 11th. By contrast, in 1998 February was the dryest month with a total of only 32mm [1 1/4"].

The wind in these two months seemed lighter than in previous years with a maximum of 32k recorded on 23rd January, and 31k on the 11th February.

March has started as February ended - dry, cold and sunny. The snowdrops are going over and the daffodils are starting to break. Let's hope that spring is just around the corner!

Sue and Simon



We met and we married a long time ago,
We worked long hours when wages were low.
No TV, no wireless, no bath - times were hard,
Just a cold water tap and a walk in the yard.
No holidays abroad, no carpets on floors,
But we had coal on the fires and we didn't lock doors.
Our children arrived, no pill in those days,
And we brought them up without any state aid.
They were safe going out to play in the park
And old folks could go for a walk in the dark.
No valium, no drugs and no LSD,
We cured most of our ills with a good cup of tea!
No vandals, no muggings, there was nothing to rob,
We felt we were rich with a couple of bob.
People were happier in those far off days,
Kinder and caring in so many ways.
Milkman and paperboy would whistle and sing,
A night at the pictures was our main fling.
We all got our share of trouble and strife,
We just had to face it, 'twas the pattern of life.
Now I am alone I look back through the years,
I don't think of the bad times, the troubles and tears,
I remember the blessings of our life, our love
That we shared them together - I thank God above.

Contributed by Vi Kingdon
and sent to her by an old shipmate and good friend of 59 years.



If you've not been feeling too grand recently, our best wishes and get well soon.

It's good to know that Robbie is now out of hospital and home again, and that Phil, Bernard and Pat [no longer 'plastered'!] are all progressing well.

Unfortunately, Ivy Richards fell and broke a bone in her thigh. After a stay in the NDDH, she is now progressing well and recuperating at the Tyrrell, but is anxious to get home again. Our best wishes, Ivy, we hope that you will be back at Southerley soon now.

Illustration by: Helen Armstead



Thank You - I should like to thank everyone who called to sec me on my 90th Birthday. It was lovely to see you and share a happy day. My home was filled with flowers and cards, and more teddy bears for my collection!

My eldest grandson, Steven, arrived from Australia - a complete surprise to me. I had a lovely week catching up on all the family news.

Thank you, Sarah, for such a beautiful birthday cake you are always so thoughtful and kind.

Lucy Barten

Miss Muffet's Tea Room and Restaurant - Jeane and Bob would like to announce that their new season will begin on Good Friday, 13th April, so why not make a booking and enjoy a meal out! They look forward to seeing you.

Wine Circle - The Wine Circle meetings for April and May are on the 18th April, when Alan Rowlands will be presenting 'a most unusual meeting!' and the 16th May, when there will be a presentation by Chris Piper Wines from Ottery. As this is a specialist night, there will be a higher charge of £6.00 per tippler!

Ilfracombe Floral Art Club - Summer Outing to visit the Eden Project, St. Austell, on Thursday, 14th June, cost £l5.50. Pick up points at Ilfracombe, Berrynarbor and Combe Martin. Leaving Ilfracombe at 8.30 a.m. and departing Cornwall at 4.30 p.m. If you are interested in joining this outing, please contact Sue Wright on 883893.

FREE to a good HOME! - Sewing machine table with a drop down compartment [for machine] and another compartment for tools, cottons, etc. If anyone is interested, please contact Joan Berry on 883356.

READING and enjoying our newsletter is my friend Vi Baslow of Walthamstow. Vi and her husband came as visitors to Berrynarbor some 50 years ago, returning annually for many years, several times whilst I was living with my parents Mr. and Mrs. Toms - at Dormer House. Vi, who is 96 years old, is Godmother to my grandson and a wonderful friend to me. She looks forward to the newsletter and reads it from cover to cover before giving it to a friend to read.

Vi Goodman

CORRECTION - Pottery Workshops Please note that Anne marie's workshop is situated at Unit 6, Hele Bay Trading Estate, Ilfracombe [not Watermouth as was given in the February newsletter]. Anyone wishing to visit the workshop can arrange to meet her there. The contact telephone number is 882484.




Congratulations to all new parents and grandparents, and a warm welcome to four little ones - three girls and a boy.

Stuart and Paula [nee Yeo] Swanson are delighted announce the arrival of their daughter on the 22nd January 2001. Tipping the scales at 9 lbs 7 oz, Tillie Rosina is the seventh great-grandchild for Ivy and Walter, and fifth grandchild for Marlene and Dave. Tillie is named Rosina after her great-great grandmother, the late Rosie 'Granny' Bray of Rectory Hill.

Weighing in at 7 lbs 9 oz, Vanessa and Dean Cooper and proud grandparents, Maureen and Keith of Byways, Barton Lane, are delighted to announce the safe arrival of Christopher Dean on the 23rd January.

Louise and Peter Howard of Wood Park are the proud and happy parents of baby Annie, who arrived safely on the 27th January, weighing 6 lbs 14 oz.

Jean and Jim Constantine are thrilled at the arrival of their first grandchild! Hannah Lucy, a daughter for Nick and Alison of Kings Coughton, was born on the 7th March and weighed 7 lbs 6 oz.


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


Many readers will remember Sylvia O'Gorman [Cataldo] and her spaniel Kim and white cat, Sam [who used to sunbathe in the middle of the road at Wood Park!] Sylvia has just returned from Australia, having been to the wedding of her granddaughter, Helen Michael, who lived with Sylvia and attended Ilfracombe College. Helen met her husband, Philip Kettlewell, when she became his P.A. in order to earn money to supplement funds for her travels in the east - Kuala Lumpur and on to Australia. They now live in Balmain, Sydney, not far from the Anzec Bridge, together with their kelpi dog, Harry.

It was lovely to hear from you, Sylvia, and please pass on our congratulations and best wishes to Helen and Philip.

Friday, 16th February, was the wedding day of Tom and Inge Bartlett's son, Roland, and Jessica Lee, who were married at a civil ceremony held at Dietzenbach Town Hall [Rathaus] not far from Frankfurt am Mainz, Germany. Jessica, who comes from Singapore, where she and Roland met seven years ago, and Roland are now living in Germany. Roland works as Art Director for Jung von Matt, one of the largest advertising agencies in Germany who employ over 400 people in their Hamburg offices, but only 36 in Frankfurt. Jessica is currently learning German, attending classes twice a week. Roland is determined that she will continue her studies to an advanced level before thinking of working there!

Congratulations to you both and health and happiness in the future.



Ilfracombe and District
6 Church Street, Ilfracombe Tel: 862131


Our office is open Monday to Friday

10.00 a.m. to 12.00 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.



On the nights of 9th and 10th March, the end of Ilfracombe Pier was a sorry sight. In contrast, for those lucky enough to get a seat, Berrynarbor's 'End of 'Combe Pier' was magnificent! It was a remarkable show of professional artistry, skill and talent, all recruited from Berrynarbor and the near neighbourhood under the skilled and enthusiastic direction of Gary Songhurst. The show was ably and amusingly compered by Neil Morris with his endless store of one-liners.

The variety of acts was impressive. We had the opening Victorian scene, which could have come out of a London musical, the hilariously funny sketches such as the Synchronised Swim, the Police Sketch and 'Man I feel like a Woman', and the genuinely moving pieces such as Working Man, Matchstalk Men and the Sunset Trumpeter.

It is amazing how many really good singers we have in the village, and what a range they cover. Gerry Marangone, of course, we know well as a classical tenor. Sally Barten and Peter Hinchliffe's duet was very touching; father and daughter, Gary and Sarah Songhurst, gave us another nice duet; and Sarah and Annette Prust were both sexily raunchy. Tony Summers showed his versatility with the Sunday School, his duet with Tanya and Basin Street Blues.

The novelties of the Punch and Judy and the Ventriloquist act were well done and we all recognised our favourite TV characters in the Vicar of Bibbly. The tailpiece 'funny' was a very neat touch.

The show would not have been possible without the keyboard skills of Stuart Neale, ably backed by Bluey Cresswell on drums and Lew Baglow and Maurice Lane on guitars with, of course, Gary, whose accompaniments and background music were vital to the atmosphere of the evening.

One can't mention everybody in a piece of this length, but we can't end without a comment on the quality of the technical support from continuity, sound, lighting and scenery and theatre management. Without all this, no matter how good the performers, the show would not look professional, and it did!

AV and PP of DC

The show at the Manor Hall on Saturday evening was an amazing display of local talent, enthusiasm, hard work and fun. It covered a wide range of musical tastes and styles, from the Victorian 'sing-a-long', through jazz, folk, ballads, raunchy 'belters' right up to the modern day girl and boy bands, with the requisite choreographed dancers!! Boyzone will never be taken seriously again!

Illustrated by: Paul Swailes

The musicians were brilliant - they provided a very professional sound and clearly enjoyed themselves enormously. They could easily have had their own spot when they could really have let rip with those magical blues sounds.

It was in every sense a true family show with performers and audience spanning four generations, and had the atmosphere of a family party with everyone doing their bit both on stage and behind the scenes. It was a real pleasure to be part of it.

The show moved along at a very slick pace, fronted by a very versatile compere - with a very understanding wife - who could clearly turn his hand to anything and kept the audience well entertained!

The synchronised swimmers, the little policemen and the baddie, Punch and Judy and the ventriloquist added an extra something, too, and were greatly appreciated. The haunting tones of 'Sunset' provided the 'tingle factor', and as for the children in Matchstalk Men . . . ah . . . !

As a visitor, it was my first taste of a BBC Show, although the reputation of the company is legendary. It was a very entertaining evening and congratulations must go to everyone involved in making the evening such a success. Gary and Stuart obviously did a wonderful job cajoling and encouraging everyone to take part.

The general opinion seemed to be that it was the best show ever but I'm sure plans are already afoot for next year's event. I just hope I'll be in the area again.


Congratulations and sincere thanks to the BBC for two evenings of superb entertainment.

Gary would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved with the Show for their hard work, commitment and incredible support, and the great audiences on both nights.


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


What the Manor Hall Meant to Me

When I read the Newsletter and see all the events listed, I am delighted to see such activity, but Berry has, I think, always been like that and I hope it will continue to be so.

During World War II, there was much going on. For instance, there was the Waste Paper Collection and I once helped with this and found a few cigarettes left among the papers [the latter being one-pagers]! I also remember a magic lantern slide lecture of places abroad. This was fascinating until the bulb blew! I offered my services to fit the spare and after a short delay, the lecture continues.

The Manor Hall was the place for most events and I loved to attend the Saturday evening dances there. The musicians included 'The Four in Rhythm' organised by 'Dixie' Laurence Dale from Combe Martin, and a couple who ran a music shop in Ilfracombe the lady on the piano and her husband on drums. Mrs. Bowden from South Lee Farm also played for dancing. She had her own particular style as her real instrument was the American Organ, which I think was something akin to the harmonium. Captain Adams, from On-a-Hill would provide a mike, amplifier and speaker mounted on a board which would be hung over the centre of the hall. On your arrival just inside the hall, you would see a card table set out with someone in attendance to take your money and issue a ticket. I also recall some small RAF bands playing there. Whilst there was a small sprinkling of servicemen who liked to come to the village, it was the local people who always made a point of being there. Quite a lot of families would come along together, as well as the girls and boys. Mr. Conibear, the Special Constable, would look in during the evening to make sure everyone was behaving themselves, but there was never any trouble!

Then there were the variety concerts. If you could sing, dance, recite or act, then you were roped in! [Have we heard that somewhere else?!] On one occasion when one of these shows was planned, my half-brother, Gerald, who had a very good baritone voice, fell ill. Cheekily, I volunteered to 'croon' and sang 'Always' and 'Mairsey Doats'. It must have gone down OK because later, when Gerald was better, we were both asked to sing at a concert, and did.

There were quite a lot of one-act plays many by Mabel Constanduros and Howard Agg. I was in several of these and always enjoyed taking part. Bill Blackmore was pretty good on his ukulele, accompanying songs. On one occasion, they held a 'Fayre' in the hall. Sadly, the fortune teller fell ill. Using burnt cork to brown my face and hands and wearing a long robe and turban, I took her place. As the event was for charity, everyone played along although they knew it was me! There was one very unfortunate occasion as the Reverend Yeandle-Hignell was making his speech at the end of a show, when the roll curtain came adrift and fell on his head. An ambulance was called and under very difficult blackout conditions, he was taken to the hospital in Ilfracombe. Sadly, after that he never seemed a well man.

Finally I must make mention of the Mens' Institute or 'The Tute' as it was known. It was an ideal place for people of all ages, with a gas fire to warm yourself on cold, wintry nights! As lads we had the odd cigarette and nobody split on us. If you were in doubt as to how to take a snooker shot, someone would always pipe up, 'hit hard and laugh'! One night when the lights dimmed [as often happened], a very old gentleman commented in his quaint manner, "ere, thou canst seest as well as though couldst canst".

All good fun and better than the telly!

Tony Beauclerk - Colchester


Artwork: Helen Weedon


Without doubt, the outbreak of foot and mouth disease within our countryside has touched the hearts of the whole nation. The media's pictures of smoke billowing up from an infected farm is enough to cause even the hardest of us to mourn the instant loss of so many lives.

The regular media updates on the crisis are of course fully understandable. However, with each bulletin seeming to bring only further bad news at the moment, I've need to inject some positive thoughts into my mind to stop me feeling low. The trouble is, whenever I feel like this, it's the countryside I normally turn to. So, what was I to do? In which direction was I to channel my thoughts? From my questions came my answer: direction, or wind direction to be more precise.

This is, of course, one of the elements dictating where foot and mouth will strike next. Farmers are undoubtedly keeping a watchful eye on the changing course of the wind; and it was when hearing on the radio a farmer talk about this very matter that I was suddenly taken back to the Great Storm of 1987, when a bird's eye view of the south east of England would have given anybody a clear picture of the actual direction the eye of the storm had taken. It was as though a giant had stepped this way, then that way, crushing everything in its path.

At the time of the storm I was living in Brighton, one of the towns to receive the full brunt of the storm's anger. Nature had appeared to be so cruel, for not only had the wind used explosives to blow off the roofs of man-made structures, it had also used swords and daggers to kill its own kind. Like the animals who have gone into those pyres recently, the trees didn't ask to be killed. So why did it all happen?

Once the clearing of the timber carcasses was over, the answer became clear. From the ravages of the storm, Brighton took on a new look. Infant trees were planted where their forebears had previously stood. It was as though the town had a re-birth.

In the woods out of town, these grand old trees were allowed a respectable death, their decaying trunks providing new food and shelter for woodland creatures great and small. She may have been a bit drastic with her plans, but Mother Nature was merely providing for her own. She had obviously also decided to sweep clean the 'old guard' who had stood for centuries watching over Brighton, replacing them with fresh young sap!

On a much smaller scale, our own garden here in Ilfracombe has also had a good sweep clean. Down came the apple, ash, cherry, plum and hazel trees, the forsythia bushes and the abundance of brambles, so high that in places they were taller than our bungalow itself!

Watching it all being either chopped, shredded or burnt, I wondered if we too were being cruel to Mother Nature. After all, we were robbing her of some lovely trees, not to mention the huge crop of blackberries that would have been yielded that autumn. Yet it seems that whatever cruelty we might have inflicted upon her, Mother Nature has already forgiven us. Like her, we too had been drastic with our actions; but in doing so, provided sunlight once again to the ground beneath.

In return, a breathtaking carpet of snowdrops rose up, so shocked by the sight of the dazzling sun, they had to dip their dainty little heads downwards. Soon they were joined by miniature narcissi, their almost off-white shade perhaps a sign that they too were in need of some warm spring sunshine to colour their cheeks.

Then finally and triumphantly their parent daffodils rose up, standing tall with their weathered, deep yellow faces looking out once again on garden they had not seen for years. Watching them all sway in a gentle spring breeze was like watching a long lost family sway, arm-in-arm, to a favourite old tune at a grand reunion.

Yes, nature can be cruel. At its most tempestuous it can take life itself, killing its own along the way. Yet who can deny that at this time of year nature is like a puppy dog parade: all on display and so much wanting to please us.

Stephen McCarthy



Stephen has already mentioned the crisis we are currently experiencing from this disease. Living in a rural and farming area, we must all be especially vigilant - taking care where we walk, drive and keeping animals under control, especially not allowing dogs, in particular, to roam freely. The County Council has issued the following instructions:

  • Please note that to prevent the spread of disease, all public footpaths, bridleways and cycleways, including the South West Coast Path, and outside urban areas are now closed to the public until the emergency is over by order of the County Solicitor. The maximum fine for ignoring this instruction is £5,000.
  • Foot and Mouth can be spread on footwear, clothes, the wheels of vehicles and the feet of animals, such as horses and dogs. Please DO NOT CROSS any farmland.

National Trust properties, due to open at the end of the month, have also been closed until further notice.

Ray and Marion Bolton, our regular long-term visitors from Birmingham, have written to say that they are thinking of us.

"Just a few lines to let all of you in the village, and other places in Devon, know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. Our family and their farming friends are OK at the moment. God keep you all in his care. We hope to see you soon."



A.A. Milne

Where am going? I don't quite know.
Down to the stream where the king-cups grow
Up on the hill where the pine-trees blow -
Anywhere, anywhere. I don't know.
Where am I going? The clouds sail by,
Little ones, baby ones, over the sky.
Where am I going? The shadows pass,
Little ones, baby ones, over the grass.
If you were a cloud, and sailed up there,
You'd sail on water as blue as air,
And you'd see me here in the fields and say:
"Doesn't the sky look green today?"
Where am I going? The high rooks call:
"It's awful fun to be born at all. "
Where am I going? The ring-doves coo:
"We do have beautiful things to do."
If you were a bird, and lived on high:
You'd lean on the wind when the wind came by.
You'd say to the wind when it took you away:
"That's where I wanted to go today!"
Where am I going? I don't quite know.
What does it matter where people go?
Down to the wood where the bluebells grow
Anywhere, anywhere. I don't know.

Illustrated by: Nigel Mason



What to do if you find a Wildlife Casualty

Always STOP, LOOK and LISTEN, from a concealed position before taking action. Unfortunately, a lot of baby birds that arrive at the Sanctuary should have been left alone, more often than not the mother is watching and waiting for you to Ieave. WAIT at least 30 minutes, unless it is in immediate danger or obviously injured. ALL wildlife casualties, injured or not, are always suffering from shock. SHOCK IS THE BIGGEST KILLER. The first, most important thing is to put your casualty somewhere WARM, DARK and QUIET. Please do not be tempted to cuddle or talk to them, this will only increase the shock to the already frightened creature. A cardboard box, with air-holes [DARK], a hot water bottle wrapped in a jumper or small blanket [WARM], is perfect. Gently place the casualty on top, close the box and put in a QUIET places. Then 'phone the Sanctuary for advice. We'll give you guidelines on how to care for the creature or directions to the Sanctuary. Please don't be tempted to free the casualty until you have received advice - food is not the most important thing at this stage, getting over the shock is.

If you would like to know more about your local wildlife sanctuary, please feel free to contact us and we'll send you a leaflet Tel: [01271] 451550.

It was good to hear from Judy at the Sanctuary after quite a time - readers may remember previous articles that have been included in the Newsletter. Sadly, the Sanctuary has been experiencing real problems, financial and otherwise. Donations, but more importantly letters of support, are needed and if you think you might be able to help and would like more information, please contact the Editor. Any help would be much appreciated.




The school is bustling with activity this term, as the children are involved with a number of projects in and around the village.

The National Trust Dance Project, celebrating the coastline of the region, was one of these and a group of our older children were asked to take part in the performance at the Queen's Theatre. Our next project will be at The Landmark Theatre in Ilfracombe in April. The children in Class 2 and Class 3 are working with actors from the Multistory Theatre Group on a performance that will include Lynton, Parracombe and Kentisbury Primary Schools.

In school, the children have worked with a storyteller, a shadow-puppet maker and an actor who ran a day on the Tudors as part of our history studies.

We are enjoying the outdoors much more - football, basketball and skipping all tying in popularity!

We are pleased to present in this newsletter, a variety of poetry and pictures from our younger pupils. We hope you enjoy them!

Simon Bell - Headteacher

What is Blue

Blue is the sky,
Nice and bright.
Blue are the Smurfs,
Nice and little.
Blue is the sea,
Nice and shiny.

Zack Manley

My Daddy?

My daddy is nice
My daddy is kind
My daddy is clever
My daddy is good
My daddy likes me
My daddy is friendly.

Luke Needham


Mum is helpful
Mum is nice
Mum is kind
Mum has glasses
Mum wears shoes.

Charles D' Anger

Florence Nightingale


Zack Manley

What is Green?
Green is the colour of grass.
Green as some tractors made by John Deere.
Green is the colour of a frog.
Leafs are rustling in a tree.

Scott Dunham

Florence Nightingale


William Cornish


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


Congratulations to Christopher Goodman of Braunton who has gained a 2:2 BA Honours degree in Business Administration from the University of the West of England at Bristol. Christopher is the grandson of Vi Goodman of Dormer Cottage and son of June and Terry Goodman. Well done, Christopher.

Congratulations and belated birthday wishes to Frank Billing - 90 years young.

Frank would like to thank all his many friends and family for their good wishes. Also Lynne and Phil for the wonderful party - enjoyed by everyone - Viv Fryer for the beautiful birthday cake, the fairies that came in the night to decorate the cottage and everyone for making it such a wonderful occasion.

Further congratulations to Daniel Green, grandson of Bill and Jill of Riversdale Cottage. Daniel required to be in the top 3 of the eliminating UK Championships for the World Karate Association recently held in Manchester. In fact he came first and becomes the main British contender for the World Championships to be held in Vienna in August, with over 30 countries competing. Good luck, Daniel.

Congratulations to my sister Sheila and her husband, David Huxtable, on their Golden Wedding Anniversary on the 10th February. They came back to their roots to celebrate with the rest of their family and friends. Thanks to Phil and Lynne for helping to make their week-end such a memorable one.

Michael Bowden

And our best wishes to Lorna Price on her 97th Birthday.



A stockbroker is someone who invests your money until it's all gone.



Write it in fine
across the night;
Most men are more or less
all right!!



'And April's in the West wind and daffodils' - John Masefield

Illustration by: Paul Swailes

Last November the mesembryanthemums were still in bloom; carpeting the cliffs at Croyde with rubbery, succulent, three-sided stems and leaves. The flowers were lemon yellow and large with fringed petals - stunning against the grey slate on a wintry day.

Naturalised also on the rocks at Woolacombe, the hottentot fig, as it is also known, is a native of South Africa. The bright pink variety is more common in gardens.

We noticed two big brown and fawn birds on rocky outcrops some way off. What could they be? We retraced our steps and walked down towards the shore. Mystery solved - they were immature cormorants. Still, in their light brown plumage they look quite strange and exotic.

When we reached Baggy Point, we paused to watch a kestrel going through her hunting manouevres. No wonder the old country name for the kestrel was the 'windhover'.

We climbed up towards the lookout point, where a holiday maker, sitting on a bench, told us that moments earlier a fox had emerged from the gorse and walked straight past him. He was surprised and pleased to have had this unexpected treat as he sat to enjoy the sea views.

While we were talking, the animal made a reappearance. Its forequarters were bright orange and fluffy, but the fur on the hindquarters was darker and less luxuriant.

It was not bothered by our presence. It was too intent on its hunting, so we stood and watched while it mooched about; nosing and rummaging in the clumps of grass.

When it slipped over the dry stone wall, we continued down the wide track and soon, there was Reynard again - on the track, just ahead of us - but because the fox kept stopping to listen and pounce on to the vegetation bordering the path, we soon caught up with it.

It was nice to find ourselves accompanying a fox on our walk from Baggy! At the National Trust car park, a male kestrel landed on a wire, swaying delicately, peering down.

The birds of prey and the fox - all creatures busily going about the task of staying alive and not at all interested in we humans.

Sue H



This sounded an exciting journey and when my daughter, Jill, said she would join me, I quickly made a booking! Rovos Rail is privately owned by Rohan Vos, a successful business man who could not control his love of steam locomotives. It was in 1986 that he saw his first steam train, on a scrap heap in Wilbank. He now has 4 - all lovingly restored. He had to make this hobby an 'earner' to support his wife and four children - so he sold his businesses and luxuries and bought and refurbished pre-1970 carriages. Passengers' comfort is his major priority and it shows. This was the 7th year of this extended trip. The train travels from Cape Town to Victoria Falls regularly, but the onward journey to Dar-es-Salaam is only once a year. The first such trip was in 1993. It took Rohan two years to obtain permission to travel through the countries and use the railtrack. He had 17 passengers on his first journey and since then the train has grown longer!

Jill and I flew to Cape Town and joined the train - The Pride of Africa. Each carriage is divided into three suites - ours was called Dellagoa and was situated about mid-way of the 19 carriages. The two dining rooms were reached by walking the narrow passages - just as well they were narrow as one bounced from side to side with the sway, especially on the way back after a super dinner with wine included! South African wines are good! The last carriage was a lounge, where hot and cold drinks were served all day. The end part was an observation area. Good for photos of the passing scenery and the locals, who cheered us on our way. The journey was a mixture of experiences - social, wild life and historical. We had a very good lecturer on board.

Our first stop was Kimberley - the historic City of Diamonds. We visited the Big Hole and Museum and then had lunch at the Kimberley Club. Back on to the train and on to our next stop, Pretoria. This is where the steam trains are garaged and we linked up to two engines [one pulls 12 carriages - we were 19], named Brenda and Bianca. The steam is only used for a day because of pollution and water intake. A coach collected us for a City tour and we visit the Vortitrekkcr Monument depicting the horrors of the conflict between the Dutch and the Zulus.

Back on the Pride of Africa, we travel sharply eastwards down from an altitude of 6,000 feet with brilliant sunshine and freezing nights, towards Lowveld and the Kruger National Park. At Hoedspruit we disembarked - with an overnight bag, a gift from Rohan to stay at Ngola Game Lodge. We had two game drives. The light soon deteriorated on the night drive, but we did see the big five and a leopard in the spot-light. The following day it was up at 5.30 a.m. and loaded with a 400 film I am prepared for anything! Soon there's a zebra and her baby but the lions were still sleeping off their kill and were reluctant to raise their heads. Two waterbucks scamper off, showing the white markings on their bottoms. I like the way the dainty impalas feed near the wildebeest for safety. Then when we were on our way back to the Lodge for breakfast, one of the other vehicles radioed to say 'We've got a leopard up a tree.' So we hurried to link up with them. She was beautiful and I used half a reel of film and was happy to return to base.

The train then rose to the Highveld and we crossed into Zimbabwe. At every border we crossed, we had to change engine and drivers, which was very time consuming, as was the taking on of water, and the coupling was often a jarring affair. The Northern Railways of Zimbabwe then pulled the carriages a day's journey to Bulawayo.

Between the second and third gorges of the Zambezi River, we arrived at the Victoria Falls Hotel. Spray reaches up from the basaltic rock. In the evening we cruised on the river and saw crocs and hippo and the sunset. The next morning, Jill and I chose to visit the Zambian side of the Falls - a magical experience but wet through with spray! A rainbow reflected under the bridge-arch made a good photo.

We cross into Zambia where the track is badly maintained and we have to reduce speed to pass over the railbed. Many overturned carriages are left stranded on the side of the track and we are now climbing up the Batoka Plateau en route to Lusaka and continue northwards on single track. This area is inaccessible by any other means there is no road. We now start our long journey to the sea but first make a visit to Nkundalila Falls - a pleasant ramble and a fantastic picnic, the likes of which I have never seen before!

Our journey then crossed into Tanzania and two hours later we are in the Rift Valley and can see the peak of Mt. Mbeya. Early the next day we passed through the Selous Game Reserve - a timeless Africa - before the bustle of arrival at Dar-es-Salaam Station, where a brass band played while we said our 'goodbyes'!

Thirteen memorable days and 6093 kilometers!

Kath Arscott



  • Age 3 - Looks at herself and sees a Queen!
  • Age 8 - Looks at herself and sees herself as Cinderella/Sleeping Beauty
  • Age 15 - Looks at herself and sees herself as fat/pimples/UGLY [mum, I cant go to school looking like this!]
  • Age 20 - Looks at herself and sees 'too fat/too thin, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly' but decides she's going out anyway
  • Age 30 - Looks at herself and sees 'too fat/too thin, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly', but decides she hasn't time to fix it so she's going out anyway
  • Age 40 - Looks at herself and sees 'too fat/too thin, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly', but says "At least I am clean", and goes out anyway
  • Age 50 - Looks at herself and sees 'I am' and goes wherever she wants to go
  • Age 60 - Looks at herself and reminds herself of all the people who can't even see themselves in the mirror anymore. She goes out and conquers the world.
  • Age 70 - Looks at herself and sees wisdom, laughter and ability. Goes out and enjoys life.
  • Age 80 - Doesn't bother to look. Just puts on a purple hat and goes out to have fun with the world!


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


The Rectory
Combe Martin

Dear Friends,

It's good to see all the daffodils bursting forth into flower. I always think that Springtime is perhaps the best time of the year, when life returns to the earth with a promise of even better things to come. I look back over the winter and think, 'Thank God, Spring has come!' It's Easter time and we remember the Resurrection and the promise of new life with God, now, and in the future. It reminds me that God is here, now, with me, and that He will always be with me, and that he always was with me, though I didn't realise it some times. Do you know that reading called "Footsteps"?

Ong night a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along a beach with the Lord. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene, he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand: one belonged to him and the other to the Lord.

When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He saw that many times along the path there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times of his life.

This really bothered him and he questioned the Lord about it: "Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, you would walk with me all the way. But I have realised that during the most troublesome times of my life there is only one set of footprints. I do not understand why when I needed you most, you left me."

The Lord replied: "My precious, precious child, I love you and I would never leave you. During your times of suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you."

With all good wishes for a Happy and Joyful Easter,

Your Friend and Rector,

Keith Wyer



James Thomson [1700-1748]

Along the blushing borders bright with dew,
And in yon mingled wilderness of flowers,
Fair-handed Spring unbosoms every grace:
Throws out the snow-drop and the crocus first;
The daisy, primrose, violet darkly blue,
And polyanthus of unnumbered dyes;
The yellow wall-flower, stained with iron brown,
And lavish stock that scents the garden round:
From the soft wing of vernal breezes shed,
Anemones; auriculas, enriched
With shining meal o'er all their velvet leaves;
And full ranunculas, of glowing red.
Then comes the tulip-race, where Beauty plays
Her idle freaks: from family diffused
To family, as flies the father-dust,
The varied colours run; and while they break
On the charmed eye, the exulting florist marks,
With secret pride, the wonders of his hand.
No gradual bloom is wanting; from the bud,
First-born of Spring, to Summer's musky tribes:
Nor hyacinths, deep-purpled; nor jonquils,
Of potent fragrance; nor narcissus fair,
As o'er the fabled fountain hanging still;
Nor broad carnations, nor gay-spotted pinks;
Nor, showered from every bush, the damask-rose:
Infinite numbers, delicacies, smells,
With hues on hues expression cannot paint,
The breath of Nature, and her endless bloom.

Illustrated by: Paul Swailes



3rd W.I. Meeting 2.30 p.m., Manor Hall: The NCDL, Louise Round
6th Primary School and College: End of Spring Term
8th Palm Sunday St. Peter's Church: Sung Eucharist and distribution of Palm Crosses
10thAnnual Parish Meeting, 7.00 p.m., Manor Hall, followed by PC Meeting
11thMobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
13thGood Friday St. Peter's Church: 2.00 to 3.00 p.m., 'Quiet Hour' of hymns, readings and prayers.
15thEaster Day St. Peter's Church: Family Communion with Sunday School
16thBank Holiday
23rdSt. George's Day: Primary School & College: Start of Summer Term
25thMobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
Friendship Lunch at The Globe.
To Saturday, 28th April: Studio Theatre presents 'A Little Like Drowning', Studio Theatre, Ilfracombe College, 7.45 p.m.
29thCensus Day 2001
1st W.I. Meeting, 2.30 p.m., Manor Hall: Discussion - 'Past and Present'
2nd Manor Hall Management Committee AGM, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
3rd PCC Coffee Morning, Manor Hall, 10.30 a.m.
7th May Day Bank Holiday
8th Parish Council Meeting, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
9th Mobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
23rdMobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
28thSpring Bank Holiday
to Friday, 1st June, inc., Primary School and College: Half Term
3rd Whit Sunday: St. Peter's Church: Sung Eucharist
5th W.I. Meeting, 2.30 p.m., Manor Hall: Lundy Island - Michael Bale
6th Mobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.

Manor Hall Diary:

MondaysBadminton, 7.30 p.m.
Tuesdays2nd & 4th in month: N.D.Spinners
Yoga, 7.00 p.m.
ThursdaysWhist Drive, 7.30 p.m.
FridaysShort Mat Bowls, 7.00 p.m.
SundaysShort Mat Bowls, 2.00 p.m.

Mobile Library:
(Assistant - Jacqui Mackenzie)

11.30 - 11.45 a.m.Sandy Cove
11.50 - 12.05 p.m.Barton Lane
1.15 - 1.40 p.m.The Square
1.45 - 2.05 p.m.Sterridge Valley


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


Greetings to one and all! Spring is [supposedly] here and all around us are painting, decorating and gardening frenzies - getting ready for the coming season. Let's hope all is well in the countryside by then.

As you may have noticed, some building work has been going on at the front of the pub - we are extending to make more room and hope that the work will be finished by the end of May. However, in the meantime we are open for business as usual, unless there is a sign saying otherwise.

From the 7th April we are open from 8.00 a.m. to 11.00 p.m. every day, serving breakfast from 8.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. and the pub food menu from 11.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m. Why not pop in for breakfast or just morning coffee and read the papers provided, or come for a cream tea in the afternoon, served until 5.00 p.m. Our children's play area will be back as a permanent fixture soon, so mums, you'll have a place to go and meet friends nearby.

Our menu has been re-vamped to include a wider variety of options vegetarian and otherwise - and also half-portions for the younger diners.

On Wednesday, 11th April, 'Jack Daniels and the Famous Drunks' will be playing live for your entertainment and those of you who came to see our live band last year will be pleased to see a couple of familiar faces, including 'Magic Danny' on drums!

We all enjoyed another BBC production and were pleased to contribute a couple of new faces: one who will serve your drinks and the other who will cook your food if you come and visit us - nice legs boys! Here's to next year. What's the theme Gary? Our fish and chip suppers were a great success and we hope to provide them again next year. However, if you can't wait that long, we do take-aways from the pub.

A new arrival will be appearing shortly and on a regular basis as the Sawmills as another member of the family will be going for early walks down to the harbour with big brother pointing out all the interesting things!

Hoping you are all well and happy from everyone at the Sawmills.



Easter is at the centre of the Christian faith and because of this we find in the midst of our troubles, we still have a sense of hope. Those who were friends and followers of Jesus before his untimely death, had a different hope; that he would in some way make physical changes to the political situation of the day and were devastated when he died. But overwhelmed with joy when they realised he had risen from the dead.

Many who have difficulties in believing in an unseen God want to see physical evidence that He is real in order to believe. The physical effects of the current problems affect our inner selves, we feel gloomy. The effect of recognising that the Easter story is for us is that we then have an inner sense of peace and hope amid the turmoil of life.

My experience of this faith has been that because of the sense of hope it is easier to put problems in their right place, they come only to pass, it is rare that they stay with us. If problems mean life style changes, then we believe God with us helps and eases us through those changes.

On behalf of Christians Together, I wish you all Peace and Joy at Easter.

Celia Withers, Pastor

Combe Martin Methodist Church





The past year has, I believe, brought the village closer together not only because of the start of a new century, but because of the regular contributions made by people throughout the Parish, as can be seen from the many reports in the Newsletter. As you know, our Parish covers a very wide area and your support has helped to achieve a good year's work.

As a Council we have been looking to find ways to make it safer for the school children to arrive at and leave the village school. The evenings are of particular concern because of the increased traffic at that time.

This year flooding was not quite as bad as last year, but we still have considerable concern about it and are working closely with the authorities to have on-going improvement made. Some of which will be in the Wild Violets/Sterridge Valley area. Some work has been carried out in Birdswell Lane. There is still, however, concern in that area as well as Barton Lane and when Mr. Knight [DCC] attended a County Council debate on flooding, he was brought up to date on the situation and was able to convey our village concerns.

Vandalism has occurred again this year, mostly to the bus shelters but also to the Manor Hall, the children's play area and the lower playing field, the entrance to which we have had to keep padlocked to keep cars out. Please tell someone on the Council if you see vandalism, but on no account put yourself at risk by intervening.

This year two new Councillors have been co-opted, Michael Lane and Graham Andrews. The vacancies arose by the resignation of Matthew Walls and the sudden tragic death of Ray Ludlow, who was a great loss to our Council because of his work with the Police Authority and his knowledge of planning policies.

A new fence has been erected at the boundary of the village car park and the stream, the steep bank to which is a recognised hazard. The toilet doors have been repainted and the recycling shed has been repaired. We have also obtained permission for large vehicles, such as removal vans, to use the car park for a limited time so that the main roads through the village are not blocked. We need to be told when such parking is required.

We have had a meeting with the Trustees of Claude's Garden and it was agreed that we should have regular meetings in future to discuss maintenance and the use of the garden. Three Councillors have formed a sub-committee are are looking to improve the area of grass which has become mossy.

Parish Council members have been to meetings in North Devon to discuss the Rural White Paper and to ensure that we are kept up to date and can take advantage of any part of it which will be to our benefit.

Planning - this year, wherever possible, we have notified people with planning applications of the date of the review to enable them to attend and hear the discussion.

We have had a visit from Mr. Tucker, the NDC tree expert, who gave us a great deal of information and our Parish Clerk a list of trees most suitable for growing in this district. As a Parish, we have a large area of tree preservation and we do need to be told by the public if they see damage being done to trees.

Our Parish Precept for the coming year has been set at £5.678 and the accounts are with the Audior. Both the accounts and the Council minutes can be seen by any interested parishioner on request.

Ann Hinchliffe - Chairman

The Annual Parish Meeting will be held in the Penn Curzon Room on Tuesday, 10th April 2001 at 7.00 p.m. This will be followed by the normal monthly Parish Meeting. Everyone is welcome.


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Berrynarbor 5, Nr. Ilfracombe, V47

The beautiful photographic postcard of the village was taken by the Ilfracombe Photographer, A.J. Vince, around 1905. Alfred John Vince was born in 1874 and died in 1947. He married Annie Louisa Lewis, who was born in 1875 and also died in 1947. They had two children, Alfred Lewis, always known as Lewis, who later owned the North Devon company, F.C. Snell Ltd. The younger son, George Henry, owned Vinces Stationers in Ilfracombe High Street. George now lives in Spain, whilst his sons David and Nigel continue to run the family business.

The second picture [scanned from a photocopy of a photograph] shows Alfred John Vince with his two sons in their garden at Ilfracombe around 1923, and for this I must once more thank John Vince, son of Alfred Lewis Vince. John was Clerk to our Parish Council from 1991 until his move in 1998.

On the right of the postcard we can see our village National School, complete with its own bell atop the roof, now unfortunately missing. Note that Bessemer Thatch is completely thatched and, at that time, divided into several properties, each with its own 'Pig-house' at the back. The Church stands proudly above the several large trees then surrounding it and beside it the Manor House, complete with chimneys and a window in its south facing wall. The angle at which the photograph has been taken hides part of the Chapel, now sadly closed and being developed into two homes. The Globe, Fuchsia Cottage and the then newly built Lodge, can be seen despite all the cottages on the south side of the road, opposite them. Hagginton Hill is noticeable for the large gaps between the properties, now mainly 'in-filled'.

However, the most interesting part of the postcard for me is the thatched Village Room in the foreground. In the early 1900's, Mrs. Penn-Curzon allowed the village ladies to meet there for knitting classes and general get-togethers. On Sundays it was used for the Sunday School, with the Vicar's wife, Mrs. Churchill, and her daughter, Elsie, teaching the children the many Bible stories. In those days, children were not only expected to attend Sunday School but also to attend at least two of the three church services held every Sunday!

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage



Yes, we are there at last! Those of you with internet access take a look! The plan is to include the last two or three issues [this one has yet to go on] but they will be shortened versions without the many wonderful illustrations we enjoy in the published version. For those of you who cannot go 'surfing', I thought you might like to see the Introductory page and enjoy Lorna's excellent description of today's village:


In his 1850 Directory of Devon, William White wrote:

  • "Berrynarbor is a pleasant village on an eminence near the sea coast, overlooking Combe Martin Cove, 3 miles E. of Ilfracombe. Its parish contains 899 inhabitants, and 4958A. IR. 27P of land, including many scattered farmhouses, etc., and a range of hills in which lime and other stone are got. "A.D. Bassett, Esq., who has a pleasant seat here, called Watermouth. owns a great part of the parish, and is lord of the manor, which was purchased by J.D. Bassett, Esq., in 1712 ... "The parish has its annual feast or revel on the first Sunday in July, and was the birthplace of the celebrated Bishop Jewel. The Church is an ancient structure, with some monuments of the Berry family .. "Here is a neat National School, built in 1848, and a small Independent Chapel, erected about 20 years ago. Three houses and gardens have been long vested for the repairs of the church; but the Church House was given by John Berry, in 1697, for the residence of poor parishioners."


  • Berrynarbor is a rural, coastal community with spirit and soul; having a knowledge of its ancient heritage and a foresight of its future. In one of North Devon's largest parishes, the village nestles on the eastern slope of a diverse beautiful combe, rich in meadow, pasture land and wooded cleaves. Its name is derived from past manorial lords - the Berry and De Nerbert families.
  • The focal point of the village is its fine church with lofty pinnacled tower, Norman arch and ancient monuments. A mellow peal of six bells is regularly rung by the local band of ringers. It is approached through a 17th Century lich-gate and original cobbled path.
  • To the west of the church wall are the remains of the 14th Century manor House, partly rebuilt in Victorian times to provide a splendid village hall. This social venue is constantly used for a wide variety of activities and functions.
  • Grouped around the church are old cottages which form the nucleus of the village. Over the years, restoration has been sympathetic to their original charm and character. It's here we find the essential facilities for a thriving community the post office/general store, busy little school and village pub. Sadly, the Chapel is now redundant and is being converted to dwellings.
  • Agriculture is still an important way of life to the indigenous population. Most of the farms are of great antiquity and lie above the steeper slopes of the valley.
  • Tourism is very well catered for within the Parish. A choice of accommodation ranges from quality hotels and guest houses, self-catering establishments and caravan and camping parks.
  • Within the village is a free car park, a public 'Quiet Carden' , children's play area and tea room/restaurant. On the northern edge of the village is another pub/restaurant converted from the old Saw Mill.
  • Walkers on the Coastal Footpath experience diverse views from sheer cliff tops to the tranquil moorings at Watermouth Harbour. A network of quiet lanes and footpaths across the Parish displays a rich variety of flora and bird life, and it is not unusual to cross paths with red deer, badger, squirrel and fox - even 'large black cats' , according to some! Evening strollers will encounter several types of bat and be treated to the 'chitchat' of tawny owls echoing through the valley.
  • The sea life in the coastal waters is exceptionally varied and has been awarded the protected status of a Heritage Coastline.

A spirit of community is epitomised in the many projects accomplished over the years. A tremendous effort in organisation and unstinting support by the whole community resulted in enough funds being raised for memorable celebrations, both social and permanent, of the New Millennium. For posterity, a sculpted drinking fountain was erected and set in stone against the church wall. It was designed and constructed by local craftsmen, and buried beneath the fountain is a time capsule collated by the school children. Two large plates, crafted by a local potter, painted by a local artist and bearing the names of all the children in the parish, are displayed within the church and a beautifully worked tapestry was donated and hangs in the village hall.

Lorna B