Edition 74 - October 2001
Artwork by: Peter Rothwell
Although we have always enjoyed Peter Rothwell's illustrations enhancing recent articles, especially Steve McCarthy's 'Rural Reflections', his work, a wrap-around view of the Lees, from Wild Violets, makes a welcome return to our cover for this issue, complementing later articles. Thanks Peter. We also welcome the work of a new recruit to our pages Dave Walden from Lynton. How Dave, Phil's son and Chris's brother, came to be inveigled into this is another story, but ... 'ave you got a light boy?'!
I hope you have all had a good summer holidaying, relaxing or providing such things for others. Certainly the weather seems to have been kinder this year than last. However, the evenings are now drawing in, the clocks go back at the end of the month and it won't be long before Christmas is on us again!
'What could I contribute to the Christmas issue?', you might ask. Please start thinking now! There are only 49 more 'penning' days until WEDNESDAY, 14th NOVEMBER, when articles and items for December and Christmas will need to be at the Post Office or Chicane.
My thanks to all contributors, particularly the regulars, without whom our newsletter could not continue. So, if YOU have not previously contributed, please help them and give it some thought, put pen to paper seasonal recipes, tips, poems, news, congratulations, best wishes, sales and want, book review, hobbies, gift ideas, tales, photographs, etc., the list is endless - all will be very welcome.
Outing, 17th July - Weather Forecast: Wet and Windy
Eighteen hopefuls set off from Berrynarbor, Exmoor bound and hoping to find the sun! For once the forecasters were right, Exmoor looked quite ghostly, shrouded in mist with lots of white spectres, that is sheep, moving about; one, a keen jogger, pacing itself in front of our coach but eventually turning off to join the flock. However, we did meet it again later. There were dark, eerie shapes, cattle we presumed, and in a clearer patch four ponies and two foals. Making our way to Hunters Inn, we were stopped when approaching a corner by a colourful cockerel and his family crossing the road, homeward bound. Apart from another coach and an odd car, the roads were quiet. I wonder why?!
At Hunters Inn we enjoyed that welcome cuppa' and an excellent cream tea, followed by a quick visit to the National Trust shop, where some sales were delayed because of a till fault - and we thought we had left those ghostly sprites on Exmoor!
Well, the weather could have been better, but with the expertise of the driver and the genial company, members and friends had an enjoyable afternoon and who knows, we might have seen a future marathon winner .. Baa!
The Horticultural and Craft Show
The Show took place on 1st September and I was privileged to present the Cups to the worthy winners of the various sections. [I was pleased to see that more WI members had participated.] Standing there, I recalled an earlier September, in 1978, when Jenny Taylor and my Derrick pioneered the first Show. The Hall was not so well furnished then, so it was a case of borrowing tables, etc. 112 items on the schedule tempted the would-be competitors, of which there were many. There were no cups, just the satisfaction of getting the highest points in each section and maybe recouping your entry fee 5p per adult entry and 2P per child entry. Jenny, Derrick and their helpers generated so much enthusiasm it was infectious, and everyone had a great afternoon. On behalf of those pioneers, I should like to say 'Well Done' to our Linda Brown and her helpers for working so hard to keep a village tradition alive, and a personal 'thank you' from me for helping to revive some very happy memories.
After a summer break in August, it was nice to see so many members on the 4th September, but we were sorry to learn that several absentees were unwell. Get better soon' was the message and cards have been sent.
Our excellent speaker, Peter Christie lecturer at the North Devon College and a long-running columnist in the North Devon Journal, covering all ranges of history - captured everyone's attention with his graphic tales of Squire Bassett of Watermouth Castle. A fair and just man doing battle [with words] with the Church of that period for the benefit of Berrynarbor many of the articles being recorded in the Journal ... Peter had an original with him, yellow with age, but well read and all in print, there were no pictures in those days. Members were interested to know how they could look up items of history for themselves. The Barnstaple Library, where the very helpful staff will point you in the right direction, is the place to go.
A personal thank you to the teamwork of members dealing with the tea and attendance book, and also the knitters who brought jumpers for Operation Sunshine [Africa]. Another consignment will soon be on its way, following the three dozen already sent.
Our next meeting will be on 2nd October, when Mr. Barrow will be telling the tale of the Rapparee Cove shipwreck. Also in October, on the 22nd, the Chichester Group Meeting will be having a social evening at Kentisbury. This will be followed in November by our Annual Meeting.
Your Committee needs you, so don't be shy!
Vi Kingdon - President
Tapestried Bronze, Gold and Red,
Crisp textured carpets laid ...
For knife-edged winds shred
To serve as food for hungry earth.
Illustrated by: Dave Walden
Operation Sunshine [Africa]
With winter approaching it is time to get out the needles and wool again. If you have a little knitting time to spare, please consider knitting the jumpers or woollen socks, the easy patterns for which follow. These items, as well as the Teddies for Tragedies, are always needed and teddy patterns are available either from Vi or the Editor. Please let Vi have your completed items. Thank you.
- All sizes are welcome, but there is a particular shortage of the largest sizes.
- Close-knit garments are warmer and last longer than loosely knitted ones, so please try and keep the tension indicated in the pattern.
- The tops are worn next to the skin, so soft yarns are best.
- Please avoid WHITE as this is a mourning colour in many African countries, and use as many bright colours as possible the children love-bright colours!
- Chest 22" [24", 26", 28", 30", 32"]
- Length: 13.5" [15", 16.5", 18", 19.5", 21
- Sleeve Seam: 5" [6", 6.5", 7", 7:3", 8"]
- approx. 200 [225, 275, 300, 350, 375] grams of double knitting wool,
- 1 pair each of No. 10 [3 1/4mmJ and No. 8 [4mm] needles
BACK and FRONT [ALIKE]
With No. 10 needles, cast on 60 [66, 70, 76, 80, 86] stitches and knit 10 rows. Change to No. 8 needles and continue in stocking stitch [one row knit, one row purl] until work measures 8" [9.5", 10.5", 12", 13", 14.5"], ending with right side facing.
Cast on 26 [30, 32, 36, 38, 40] stitches at beginning of next 2 rows for sleeves. [Total stitches: 112 [126, 134, 148, 156, 166].
Next row, slip 1 stitch knitwise, knit to end.
Repeat last row until work measures 13.5" [15", 16.5", 18", 19.5", 21"]. Cast off
Join shoulder and upper sleeve seams leaving 7.5" [7.5", 8", 8", 8.5", 8.5"] open at centre for the neck.
Should you need further information, please contact Anne Westlake on 01566 783395
You will need 100gm double knitting wool and a pair of No. 7 needles.
Cast on 79 stitches
- 1st Row: Knit
- 2nd Row: K1, inc. in next stitch, K37, inc. in next stitch, K39
- 3rd Row: K1, inc. in next stitch, K38, inc. in next stitch, K40
Continue in this way until you have 99 stitches Knit 8 rows of garter stitch
- Next Row: Slip 1, K46, K2 tog., K1, K2 tog., K47
- Row 20: Slip 1, K46, K2 tog., K1, K2 tog., K46
Continue until 49 stitches remain finishing on 'front' row
- Next Row: Slip 1, K23, PI, K24
- Next Row: [Holes] S1, K1, wool forward, Knit 2 tog., K1 Repeat to end
- Next Row: K1, PI for 14-16 rows. Cast off loosely. Stitch seam.
Knit a second sock.
Thank you for knitting these 'warm' socks, they will go to the Third World where temperatures are below -30 Deg C .
Illustrated by: Dave Walden
I would be true, for
there are those who trust me
I would be pure, for there are those who care
I would be strong, for there is much to suffer
I would be brave, for there is much to dare.
I would be friend to all, the foes, the friendless
I would be giving and forget the gift
I would be humble, for I know my weakness.
I would look up, and laugh, and love and lift.
ETHEL [ROBBIE] ROBERTS
The village was saddened to learn that after a long set of illnesses, all of which she fought without once failing to be her bright, amusing self, with a ready laugh and happy smile, Robbie passed away peacefully on the 14th August at the age of 93. She will be sorely missed.
Robbie, to all her friends in the village, had lived in Berrynarbor since 1948. First she and her husband lived at Newberry Wood, on the main road, and then at Sloley Cottage. She was a keen gardener and made a lovely garden at the cottage.
Following the death of her husband, Robbie helped at the Susan Day Home for 1 1 years and was a much appreciated member of staff.
She was a close friend of mine for many years and I miss her very much. I am sure that she will be missed in the village that she loved so much and I should like to thank all the kind friends who sent such beautiful cards and attended the service for Robbie at St. Peter's.
It is with sadness that we have to report the death, shortly after the tragic death of his son, of Richard Armstead, son of Helen, late of Court Cottage.
Our thoughts are with Helen and Richard's wife.
ST. PETER'S CHURCH
The morning of 14th August dawned bright and sunny and we had a perfect day for our Summer Fayre. As always, we had many willing helpers throughout the day and a lovely atmosphere in the evening. £1,020 was raised towards the Tower Fund on the night and, once expenses have been paid, we should show a profit in excess ofE900. Thank you once again to all those who supported us with help and gifts and by coming along on the night.
Mary and Brian Malin kindly ran a Duck Race over the August Bank Holiday and a further £257 was raised for the Tower Fund. Our Rector, Keith, won the fastest duck and the first prize of £50, [was it divine assistance?]. Keith kindly donated his prize to the fund, thus swelling it to £307.
Harvest Festival at St. Peter's will be celebrated with a Family Communion on Sunday, 30th September at 11.00 a.m. Evensong, followed by the Harvest Supper in the Manor Hall, will be at 6.30 p.m. on Wednesday, 3rd October.
At the invitation of Christians Together, the London Emmanuel Choir will be visiting Combe Martin again on the week-end of 13th and 14th October. There will be a concert in Combe Martin Parish Church on the Saturday evening, beginning at 7.30 p.m. Tickets are priced at £5.00 and it would be advisable to book your seat as soon as possible as space is limited. Please contact Mary Tucker . The Choir will also sing at a joint service in Combe Martin on the Sunday Z morning and there will be no service in Berrynarbor.
Remembrance Sunday actually falls on the I I th November this year and the special service will be held in the church. We shall gather at 10.45 a.m. ready to walk in procession to the War Memorial.
Otherwise, our services during October and November will follow their regular pattern. We are very much looking forward to seeing and hearing the newly formed choir on the third Sunday of each month. Our Friendship Lunches have begun again at The Globe. The next two will be on Wednesdays, 24th October and 28th November.
Cancer Research Campaign - Combe Martin Committee
'IN THE PINK' COFFEE MORNING
for Breast Cancer
Hall, Combe Martin Wednesday, 3rd October, 10.30 a.m.
Entrance: 50p including coffee and biscuits
'IN THE PINK' QUIZ NIGHT
The London Inn, 8.45
Wednesday, 24th October
Everyone welcome at both Events
Please support October's 'In the Pink' Campaign
BERRYNARBOR SUNDAY SCHOOL
Grrr! I can't bear it - Sunday morning and I thought Grreat, I'm going to have a lie in. But no, my young master grabs my paw and off we go to a place called 'church'.
Well! The bare cheek of it, before I can get my bearings, lots of other bears arrive with their owners, young and old, big and little, some look a bit tatty and threadbare. However, the bears were much more interesting and we begun to have fun, just like a picnic. We sung and danced around the church, led by the Chief Bear and then we all settled down to listen to a story about loving and sharing. Chief Bear then gave us some chocolate animals to share with the humans. My master's Grannie and her friend next door [neither answer to Goldilocks but are quite bearable], baked, with their bare hands, 150 gingerbread Teddy Bear biscuits, which we also shared with other bear owners. And so back home, a little tired, but no longer grizzly and bearing up well. AND, I'm told, there is honey for tea!
- Teacher: Now Jenny, can you tell me the name of a well-known animal that supplies us with food and clothing?
- Jenny: Yes, Daddy!
Bye for now,
Sally B, Val, Julia, Sarah and Tania
COMINGS AND GOINGS
We are delighted to extend a warm welcome to the village to Liz and Graham Goodenough and Chris and Wendy Jenner. We hope you will all be very happy here. However, we also have to say farewell and best wishes to the Mildenhall-Wards, Kris, and Keith and Yvonne who are leaving Rookery Nook to live in Ilfracombe.
Liz - who is assisting with the Pre-school and Graham have moved from North London to Lee Copse. We are both keen gardeners, although novices as gardening on a hill! We hope to restore the gardens and any tips and advice will be warmly welcome.
We have three rescue dogs, two from the Battersea Dogs' Home and one - a greyhound - from the RSPCA. We should like to say a special thanks to everyone who has found our dog, Frankie, a white and fawn mixed-breed with a long history of taking walks on his own. He seems to have a liking for the two campsites in the village - we think it may be the people and children he is attracted to, as he is very friendly.
We look forward to a long and happy future in the village.
Liz and Graham
A big thank you to all those good citizens of Berrynarbor who have made us feel so welcome since our arrival at Little Gables in August. We look forward to many happy years amongst you.
We've moved from St. Ives near Cambridge, where we have lived for the last 25 years. Our three sons, Nick, Tim and Roger, are still in that area! Chris has just taken early retirement from teaching, after 31 years in the classroom, and is now ready to turn his hand to anything [well almost! l. Wendy left teaching a couple of years ago and has already helped out next door with brother Colin and Wendy at Bessemer Thatch.
We both enjoy the outdoor life, especially hiking and cycling - the Fens were certainly flatter! - and Chris has a strong desire to play as many local golf courses as possible. The future shines bright in Berrynarbor.
Chris and Wendy
Goodbye and good luck to Kris of Rose Cottage who, after six happy years in Berrynarbor, has gone back to Surrey to be near his young nephews and nieces. Kris hopes to be helping his brother Ben, who has set up his own company to supply flying effects to the entertainment industry. Rose Cottage seems very quiet!
MANOR HALL MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE
The Horticultural and Craft Show would appear to have been enjoyed by all. The weather was fine and sunny, the numbers of contributors was up and the standard as high as ever. The large number of visitors during the afternoon were very appreciative.
So, congratulations to Linda Brown and Margaret Ludlow for their organisation, and to the competitors and many helpers who made it such a success. We shall have to do the same again next year.
The presentation of silverware was graciously made by Vi Kingdon and was as follows:
- Globe Cup - Floral Art - Angela Legg
- Walls cup - Home Cooking - Gill Massey
- Davis Cup - Handicraft - Chris Jesson
- Watermouth Cup - Handicrafts - Judie Weedon
- Watermouth Castle Cup - Wine - Ken Gosham
- George Hippisley Cup - Art - Mary Hughes
- Vi Kingdon Award - Photography - Bernard O'Regan
- Derrick Kingdon Cup - Fruit and Vegetables - Josef Belka
- Lethaby Cup - Potted Plants - Mr. Parkhouse
- Manor Stores Rose Bowl - Cut Flowers - Hazel Gosham
Management Committee Cup for Best Horticultural Exhibit in Show
Ray Ludlow Award for Best Non-Horticultural Exhibit in Show [awarded for the first time with much emotion]
On the evening of Wednesday, 14th November, we shall be holding another 'Village Get Together' in the Manor Hall. Nothing fancy, but a good opportunity for 'newcomers' to the village and the 'not so newcomers' to meet together, put faces to names and, perhaps, be surprised by the groups and facilities which are available to you in our village. See you there.
Generations of dancers, both from the village and the local area, will be sad to learn that after more than fifty years of teaching in North Devon, Betty - or Auntie Betty as she is fondly known to everyone - is hanging up her dancing shoes in order to spend more time with her family and doing the many things there has not been time to do in the past. Her future address, she says, will be c/o the Tunnels Beaches!
Thank you, Betty, for all that you have done-for the young people, the community and for your selfless efforts in raising money for and giving support to so many local and national charities. Good luck and very best wishes for a long, happy, healthy and well-deserved retirement.
Roy and Wendy Sibley
4th September 1976
Congratulations, best wishes and all our love Mum and Dad on your Silver Wedding Anniversary
Adam, Helen and Jasmin
All my love on this, our 25th Wedding Anniversary. I could not have done it without you.
Berrynarbor in Bloom
Congratulations to Annie and Vi and the Berry Resident Flowerpot Men who have just scooped up the prestigious top prize - The Mary Mortimer Trophy - in the Britain in Bloom awards for Villages under 1000 Residents in the West Country.
The judge commented that the 'new residents', coupled with input from the village school children and the whole community, helped in the win. He was also very impressed with the compilation events and photos which Ann had put together.
If this was not impressive enough, just a couple more points would have given us the Overall award for the South West, this year presented to Taunton. Well done!
We are so pleased that our efforts this year have paid off and we have been successful in winning the Mary Mortimer Trophy in this competition. Without the help of the many people of the village involved, this would not have been possible and we should like to say many, many thanks for your support.
Ann and Vi
Further Verse in Devonshire Dialect
I loves me wife
An tells ur ow
I loves ur more'n
Me fav'rit cow.
It mus be said
Tis an art ee've mastered -
To wallow in mud
An come out plastered.
I ates them arvest rats
I ates em grievously
An most of all I ates their guts
Cuz they eats me corn fer free.
Written and Illustrated by Lynda Waller
Down in the mouth? Get well wishes to anyone who is or hasn't been too well lately.
Our especial good wishes go to Eunice Allen following her recent hip operation and also Norma Holland and Joan Berry. To Vi Goodman, who is in the Tyrell Hospital, as is Lucy Barten following a very bad fall. Lucy is improving gradually and hopes to be home soon. It is good to know that Gladys Toms is home again.
Gladys, Ron and Ray would like to take this opportunity to thank all friends and neighbours who very kindly gave Ron and Ray lifts and help whilst Gladys was in hospital.
FOR MY DEAR FRIEND OSCAR
For thc mealy buttercup days in the ancient meadow,
For the days of my teens, the sluice of hearing and seeing,
The days of topspin drives and physical well-being.
Thank you, my friend, shorter by a head, more placid
Than me your protege whose ways are not so lucid,
My animal angel sure of touch and humour
With face still tanned from some primeval summer.
Thank you for your sensual poise, your gay assurance,
Who skating on the lovely wafers of appearance
Have held my hand, put vetoes upon my reason,
Sent me to look for berries in the proper season.
Some day you will leave me or, at best less often
I shall sense your presence when eyes and nostrils open,
Less often find your burgling fingers ready
To pick the locks when mine are too unsteady.
Thank you for the times of contact, for the glamour
Of pleasure sold by the clock and under the hammer,
Thank you for bidding for me, for breaking the cordon
Of spies and sentries round the unravished garden.
And thank you for the abandon of your giving,
For seeing in the dark, for making this life worth living.
Congratulations and best wishes to three newly-married couples.
The 1st September was the big day for Rachel Ann, daughter of our Rector Keith Wyer and Mark Norman. The service took place at St. Peter's, Combe Martin, when Keith happily juggled his 'official' duties with those of proud father, both turning his back on and facing the congregation! The reception and barn dance, with Fred Ward and his Merry Men [with whom Mark plays], was held at the Lee Bay Hotel and Rachel and Mark are currently on honeymoon in Florida.
Following a Psychology degree at Exeter, Rachel has for the last year been working with children with hearing difficulties, communicating with them using sign language, and hopes to make her career working with the hard of hearing. She and Mark, a member of the Technical Staff at Plymouth University - and whose 'spooky' tales appeared in our Newsletter live with their menagerie of animals at Exwick.
The Eggesford Country House Hotel on the 7th September, was the setting for the marriage of David, son of Norman and Angela Richards, and Louise, daughter of Barbara and Dave Mock of Combe Martin.
The groom just 'dropped in' - by helicopter! and the bride was attended by David's twin daughters, Kayleigh and Kirsty, and Louise's godson, Jason. The celebrations continued the next day with an evening reception for their many friends and family held at the Bottom George.
David, who helps Norman run the farm, and Louise, a member of the Accounts Department at Philip Dennis, live at Moules Cottage.
Married in Marakesh! Pip and Tony Summers are delighted to announce the marriage of their younger daughter, Angela, to Graeme Ogilvie. Angela and Graeme became engaged two years ago but decided they did not want a 'fancy wedding'. However, they surprised everyone on their return from holiday in Marakesh this summer by announcing, 'By the way, while we were there we got married'! They have also moved house and now live in Bristol but continue to work in Bath.
WEATHER OR NOT
The beginning of July lived up to the words of the Flanders and Swan song [for those old enough to remember the midfifties]
In July the sun is hot. Is it shining? No, it's not!
There were thunder storms and a fair amount of cloud, but it did improve towards the end of the month. The worst day was definitely the 10th, with 15mm [5/8"] of rain, winds gusting up to 28 knots [35 mph] and a wind chill factor of 5 Deg C. From the 23rd, however, summer returned, peaking on the 28th with a high of 30.5 Deg C. The total rainfall for July was 80mm [3 1/4"], which was slightly drier than July of last year, when we recorded 111mm [4 1/2"].
Our record for August only goes up to the 29th due to our holidays. The month started badly, being overcast with 20mm [13/16"]. On the 16th, between 1610 and 1640 hours, we had a torrential downpour which produced 16mm [5/8"] of rain in the 30 minutes. The total rain so far is 121mm [4 3/4"] compared with 80mm [3 1/4"] last year.
The temperatures were about, or just above, average with a maximum of 26.8 Deg C and a low of 8.5 Deg C, compared with 25.2 Deg C and 8.9 Deg C in 2000. The barograph was reasonably constant with a maximum of 1027 mb and a low of 1004 mb.
What we could all do with now is a nice Indian Summer to shorten the winter.
Sue and Simon
And see a mother who had time to play!
Children grow up while you're not looking,
There'll be years ahead for cleaning and cooking,
So quiet now, cobwebs, dust go to sleep,
I'm rocking my baby, and babies don't keep.
Helen [nee Hannam] and Mark Payne are delighted to announce the arrival of their second daughter, a sister for Alice. Eve Rebecca Rose, who weighed in on the 13th July at 6 lbs 30z, is a fourth granddaughter for Val and Neil.
Joan and Mike Harte are absolutely delighted to report the arrival of their first grand-daughter, Imogen May, born on the 22nd August to their eldest son, Craig, and daughter-in-law, Wendy. Joan was thrilled to be asked to stay for a week in Newbury with them, shortly after Imogen's birth.
Congratulations and best wishes to you all.
BERRYNARBOR PARISH COUNCIL
Tenders for 2002/2003
The Parish Council will be inviting tenders in October for
[a] Maintenance of
Seats and Shelters, and
[b] Grass Cutting, Garden Maintenance, Footpath Clearance, etc. for the year commencing 1st April 2002
Suitably experienced contractors who wish to tend should write to Mrs. Sue Squire, Clerk to the Council,
Haxlea, 2 Threeways, Bratton Fleming, Barnstaple, EX31 4TG for tender documents by Friday, 12th October 2001
It should be noted that contractors intending to quote for footpath clearance must, on the stipulation of Devon County Council, have Public Liability Insurance in force for a Limit of Indemnity of £5,000,000
EVENING: PONTE Al, MARE, PISA
Percy Bysshe Shelley
The bats arc flitting fast in the gray air;
The slow soft toads out of damp corners creep,
And evening's breath, wandering here and there
Over the quivering surface of the stream,
Wakes not one ripple from its summer dream.
There is no dew on the dry grass to-night,
Nor damp within the shadow of the trees;
The wind is intermitting, dry, and light;
And in the inconstant motion of the breeze
The dust and straws are driven up and down,
And whirled about the pavement of the town.
Within the surface of the fleeting river
The wrinkled image of the city lay,
Immovably unquiet, and forever
It trembles, but it never fades away.
Illustrations by: Paul Swailes
Percy Bysshe Shelley 1792-1822
Shelley was born at Field Place, near Horsham, Sussex, on the 4th August 1792. He was educated at Eton and then at Oxford, but was excluded after writing and circulating a leaflet on atheism, of which the university authorities disapproved.
Shortly after, at the age of 19, he married Harriet Westbrook and moved to the Lake District to study and write, publishing his first serious work, 'Queen Mab', two years later in 1813.
His friendship with the philosopher, William Godwin, led to his friendship with Godwin's daughter, Mary, and after separating from Harriet, he and Mary toured Europe in 1814.
Shelley returned to England and continued writing. On a further trip to Europe, in the summer of 1816, he and Mary met and became friendly with Lord Byron. In December of that year, just three weeks after the body of his wife, llarriet, was recovered from a London park lake, an apparent suicide, he and Mary were married.
In 1881, Shelley and Mary left England, travelling and living in various Italian cities, a time during which he wrote all his major works. Shortly before his 30th birthday, attempting to sail from Leghorn to La Spezia, he drowned when his yacht, Ariel, foundered in a storm. His body, washed ashore ten days later, was cremated in the presence of Byron and Leigh Hunt.
Many critics regard Shelley as one of the greatest of all English poets, but others object to the 'prettiness and sentimentality' of much of his work, maintaining that he was not as influential as the other British romantic poets, Byron, Keats or Wordsworth.
LETTER FROM THE RECTOR
The Rectory Combe Martin
Autumn is upon us and harvest, ploughing and planting for next year are all in our minds. As I write this letter, the terrorist attacks in America have just taken place, and future events seem very uncertain. One wonders if the attacks are the result of evil men doing evil deeds, or are they the harvest of hurt and injustice planted many years ago?
Perhaps a bit of both!?
I thought the following few words by Petru Dumitriu might make us all think:
If I love the world as it is,
I am already changing it:
a first fragment of the world has been changed,
and that is my own heart.
Through this first fragment the light of God, his goodness and his love,
penetrate into the midst of his anger and sorrow and darkness,
dispelling them as the smile on a human face dispels the lowered brows and the frowning gaze.
To put things another way:
A new shop opened in the village. A woman went in and found God behind the counter.
"What are you selling here?"
"Everything you could possibly wish for. "
"Oh, good. I'll have happiness, wisdom, love, freedom from fear, and peace, please. Oh, and for everyone."
"Sorry, you got it wrong. I'm not selling any fruits, only seeds."
With all good wishes,
Your Friend and Rector,
OF THIS AND THAT ...
Colin, of Bessemer Thatch, would like to invite all friends and acquaintances to his 50th Birthday 'bash' at The Globe on Friday, 16th November. Food and entertainment will be provided, but knowing the drinking capacity of certain villagers, drink will not!
History of Parishes Exhibition
To be held at Shirwell Village Hall on 6th October 2001. On display will be the Millennium Project: Soldiers of the Great War 1914-1919, which covers fifty Parishes and three Market Towns in North Devon. It includes a Book on the Parish of Berrynarbor, which will be of interest to many people.
Cheshire Homes Cards
There will be NO Christmas Cards for me to sell this year. The Volunteer who has made these cards for many years now has family commitments which prevent her from continuing with the excellent work that she has done. I should like to thank everyone who has bought so many of these cards over the years for such a worthy cause.
I am continuing to sell BIRTHDAY CARDS and all other GREETINGS
CARDS throughout the year and I do hope that you will all still give, as you have done in the past, your marvellous support in helping this worthwhile charity. Thank you.
Eunice Allen Tel: 882491
Our Neighbourhood Watch Scheme, under the co-ordination of Ann Hinchliffe, is presently under review and the Police have asked for an up-to-date list of contacts. Unfortunately, the number of contacts is rather depleted, so, if you feel YOU could help, to keep an eye on your part of the village, PLEASE contact Ann for more details on 883708. New members would be very welcome and it is hoped to hold an informal meeting for everyone later in the year.
BERRYNARBOR WINE CIRCLE
The Wine Circle begins its Winter 2001-2002 Programme on Wednesday, 17th October, when the Chairman, Alex Parke, will be reviewing the wines of the St. Austell Brewery. In November, Tom Bartlett will be looking at Quality Wines from Germany.
Meetings are held in the Manor Hall at 8.00 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month, with the exception of December and the Christmas Social. This is held a week earlier - this year on the 12th December - and to take part is by pre-paid ticket only.
Further information about the Wine Circle can be obtained from: Alex Parke [Chairman] - 883758, Tony Summers [Secretary] - 883600 Jill McCrae [Treasurer] - 882121, Tom Bartlett [Publicity] - 883408
Lost, Found and Lost Again - Nancy
I am a doll called Nancy and I am 36 years old. I belong to Wendy and I _lived at the Manor Stores and then at Berry Home, where I got put in a trunk and forgotten about.
I was recently found again and put up in the Children's Corner of the church to enjoy a picnic. My owner, Wendy, is coming home from Australia to collect me, but I have been moved and am now lost again!
I am not valuable, except sentimentally and I have been with the family for a long while and I should like to go to Australia and see some kangaroos.
My mum's mum said she would give a reward to anyone who finds me. I have short brown hair and I am wearing a black velvet dress with pink roses on my mum's mum's mum made me that and it is my best frock. Please help find me.
It is with regret that we report the mysterious disappearance of the flowerpot lady known affectionately in the family as 'Lady Fuchsia'. She had spent an eventful spring and summer at our cottage, and, like her contemporaries, had quickly become a popular attraction for visitors to the village.
Just like all concerned parents we kept a watchful eye on her when we could and actually counted over 50 people around her during one busy morning. She has had her photo taken by literally hundreds of people and it has given us much pleasure to see the smiles on the faces of children as they posed beneath her well-clad feet. Some have even been lifted onto the wall for the pleasure of sitting beside her for a quick kiss and cuddle as well.
But it is not just the young that have succumbed to the temptation of a photo opportunity. Teenagers, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and family dogs have all gathered around her and smiled for the cameras, sometimes all together. We have seen cars slowing down to get a better look her and some have caused a traffic jam as delighted occupants leapt out for a photo and a closer look, or a driver has struggled to find a camera and take the shot before moving on.
The urge to touch her is just too much for some people and Lady Fuchsia has had much to cope with as her hat has been adjusted, her shawl tugged around her shoulders, her wellingtons squeezed and pulled and her basket poked. Frequently it went a bit too far as her dress got lifted up by some over enthusiastic admirers. I guess that's the drawback of been so irresistible'
Throughout it all, Lady Fuchsia has sat serenely, watching beguilingly from under the brim of her hat and smiled her Mona Lisa smile. A sense of humour is essential for owners of the flowerpot people, however, this vital element was missing from the very serious official on duty at police headquarters as I registered Lady Fuchsia missing. Having already said that I wish to report the disappearance of a 'flowerpot person', she asked ,with a wonderful broad Devon accent, in all seriousness:
- 'What material was it made of?'
- 'Well.... flowerpots,' I said.
- 'And what colour would that be?'
- 'Terracotta', I suggested.
- 'Did this object have any distinguishing features?'
- 'Well, it was dressed.'
- 'Can you describe it's clothing in detail?'
- 'A rather fetching canvass hat, a white shawl and dress and a wonderful pair of pink psychedelic wellingtons,' I said, as I suppressed a giggle. She relayed this description word for word in a dead pan voice until the footwear bit.
- 'Could you repeat the last part please?. I did so and she slowly broke down each syllable as she entered it into the computer. 'piii..nk. ..psy..chO. ..del..ic well...ing.. .tons.'
After many such questions I began to regret my contact when I was asked if I would like to speak to a 'victim's support officer', which by now I was much in need on The local police officer understood their significance and had admired the flowerpot people herself, so she is on the case!
Even a few of the most ardent members of the 'anti flowerpot brigade' in the village have admitted that, secretly, they quite liked Lady Fuchsia. But still mystery surrounds her disappearance. Was anyone around with a pair of wire cutters on the night of September 819th? Could her charm have caused her demise? Well, given her style, you have to admit that she would look good in anyone's garden.
So, keep a watchful eye out for Lady Fuchsia. A future sighting or information as to her whereabouts could result in the reward of a bottle of good wine. Of course, the mystery of the vanishing Lady Fuchsia may become part of village folklore for years to come!
Maureen and Pat - Fuchsia Cottage
RURAL REFLECTIONS - 4
Whilst walking through the Score Valley one morning in August, my meandering thoughts were suddenly distracted by the sound of babbling water.
It was coming from the Wilder Brook, gently snaking its way between the hills.
It seemed strange at first that the brook's flowing echoes should catch my attention; I do, after all, walk through the valley every morning. Then I remembered waking that night to the thud of pouring rain, something I had not heard for some weeks. The downpour had seemingly swelled the brook's banks to a level that allowed me to hear once again the sound of water dashing over stones.
Not that the brook had actually dried up. It could still be seen scarcely trickling down waterfalls in Bicclescombe Park, a little further downstream. Yet thanks to this sudden cloudburst, those same falls became alive once again. The whole episode leads me to consider how my life might be without rain.
To me, a sudden downpour of rain, especially in the summer, seems to re-vitalise everything: it clears all the dust and dirt in and dirt in the atmosphere after a long, hot, dry spell; it rescues a parched flower; and it stimulates birds to whistle harmoniously, as they sing their song of thanksgiving for the freshness the rain leaves in the air.
Moreover, it stimulates all the scents that nature has to offer. With each passing dry day, a rose will turn her petals downwards as she conserves as much energy as she can. Once the rain arrives, she throws her head up majestically and releases all the fragrance she can muster in appreciation.
Nature's colours would be so bland, without rain. Just think how dull the colours of the country look after dry weather. The face of our Mother Earth becomes gaunt and pasty, her land no longer green and pleasant. Her fields look scorched, her parks look bare and our lawns look parched. Then, thank goodness, the rain arrives.
Furthermore, what is it that's so special about a shower of rain? I love walking in one in the summer, especially if I'm all hot and bothered. I find them so invigorating and the rain's usually quite warm itself In the spring time, with the chance of thunder, lightening and a few hailstones thrown in, a downpour of rain can be so dramatic. A bit like Ethel Merman singing "There's no Business like Showbusiness": it starts with no warning, can be so loud it's deafening (and like Ethel Merman, needs no microphone) and finishes as suddenly as it began.
One other thing, whilst we're on the subject of showbusiness. Where would Gene Kelley or Sacha Distelle be now, if it wasn't for rain? (Or our very own double-act, Simon and Sue, come to that).
One final benefit of rain: when united with the sun in our sky, they then proudly give birth to one of nature's finest creations - a rainbow - putting a smile on a face, whether it be young or old.
On a serious note, one can not avoid the fact that rain, of course, is like all its meteorological counterparts: whether it be sun, rain, snow or wind, they can all show us their heartless nature with devastating consequences. Only this time last year we saw the powerful effects of too much rain.
Let's hope that this autumn and winter doesn't bring with it the abundance of rain we saw last year. Then hopefully the next time you look out your window on a rainy day and feel low as a result, just hold on to the memories of what that very same rain allows you to enjoy during the spring and summer months.
Illustration by: Peter Rothwell
Congratulations to all village students on the results of their recent 'A' Level and GCSE examinations. Particular congratulations to Matthew Malin from Mill Park, who, with two other students from Ilfracombe College, were placed within the top 5 highest marks [from 11,599 entries countrywide] in his GCSE Statistics examination. Well done, Matthew!
Katie Gubb and Jancey Davies are now both off to university following their 'A' Level success. Katie is off to Bournemouth to follow a Tourism and Leisure Management course and Jancey, who has recently been awarded the 'A' Level Maths prize, is off to Exeter to further her studies in Maths. Meanwhile, brother Eden, having gained a First Class Honours degree in Animal and Plant Biology at Portsmouth, is taking a Masters Degree in Ecology and Conservation at the University of East Anglia.
Pippa Anderson, having gained a 2:1 Law with French degree at Cardiff, followed by a further year at Cardiff on a Legal Practice course, for which she received a Commendation, is now embarking on a two year Trainee Solicitor contract with a firm of solicitors in Exeter.
Congratulations and good luck to you all.
Good luck, too, to the new Reception pupils at our Primary School, those pupils who have now moved on to Ilfracombe College and all students at the start of another academic year. It is hoped that these poems will bring a smile to your faces!
The New Computerised Timetable
Art in the History.
History in Maths.
And Maths in the swimming pool.
The lunch hour is from one o'clock to half-past,
Afternoon break has been moved to the morning.
Friday's timetable will operate On alternate Thursdays.
Wednesday afternoon will be on Tuesday
Straight after Thursday's assembly.
From now on
We sit on desks
Write on chairs
And only wear hymn books when it's raining.
The new fire drill.
The Painting Lesson
It's mummy,' I replied.
But mums aren't green and orange!
You really haven't TRIED.
You don't just paint in SPLODGES
- You're old enough to know
You need to THINK before you work
Now - have another go.'
She helped me draw two arms and legs,
A face with sickly smile,
A rounded body, dark brown hair,
A hat - and, in a while,
She stood back [with her face bright pink]:
'That's SO much better - don't you think?'
But she turned white
At ten to three When an orange-green blob Collected me.
I Hi, Mum!'
Where Do All the Teachers Go?
When it's four o'clock?
Do they live in houses
And do they wash their socks?
Do they wear pyjamas
And do they watch TV?
And do they pick their noses
The same as you and me?
Do they live with other people
Have they mums and dads?
And were they ever children
And were they ever bad?
Did they ever, never spell right
Did they ever make mistakes?
Were they punished in the corner
If they pinched the chocolate flakes?
Did they ever lose their hymn books
Did they ever leave their greens?
Did they scribble on the desk tops
Did they wear old dirty jeans?
I'Il follow one back home today
I'll find out what they do
Then I'll put it in a poem
That they can read to you.
GREETINGS FROM THE PRIMARY SCHOOL
A new term and a new school year is always an exciting time, and this one is no exception!
The children are enjoying their new classrooms and settling into new routines. We have an excellent new Reception group and have heard from our old Year Six pupils who are thoroughly enjoying their new school. Life goes on!
Our exciting plans for this term include art, music and drama, with visitors to the school including Shakespearean actors and a puppet theatre. We plan to produce a Christmas performance and hope to see you at the show! More details will follow . . . in the meantime, we have submitted some artwork on a subject dear to us . . . chocolate. Enjoy!
Simon Bell, Headteacher
Designs for a new chocolate bar based on an Aztec recipe! Colour versions will be on show in school.
Alice Moore - Year 6
Amy Newell - Year 5
Charlotte Ross - Year 5
Robert Draper - Year 5
THE OLD SAWMILL INN
They think it's all over! Yep, they're right, it is, all bar the shouting! Time to take stock; well time, really.
Sunday lunches are back, but booking is advised and opening times have reduced, although we are open lunchtimes and evenings for food and drinks.
November, December, January and February will see the welcome return of our "2 for 1 " offer on Mondays to Fridays, inclusive [starters, snacks, kids and tots meals are not included in this offer]. This has been so popular that we thought we'd carry the tradition.
The BBC have begun their meetings, which makes you realise how quickly time goes by - 10 years, by golly!
We are holding a tombola regularly to raise money for the Children's Christmas Party, and if you would like details please ask behind the bar, where you can put your names down to participate.
Our Christmas menu will soon be available but is not included in the 2 for I offer. Early bookings for groups is advised.
We hope that all is well and that we see you soon.
All the very best wishes from everyone at The Old Sawmill Inn
Food, Glorious Food
It is not long since the 62nd anniversary of the outbreak of World War Il [3rd September 1939]. Rationing became the order of the day to make the scarcity fair for everyone. Books of coupons were issued to everybody, not just for food, but for clothes and even furniture - for those couples getting Married. Sweets became very scarce and you only had them if you were lucky and they were available. A visit to Miss Cooper at the village shop was sometimes in vain. Fortunately, living in Berrynarbor had some advantages. You could go down to the fish and chip shop at Combe Martin with half-a-crown [2/6d. or 12 1/4p] and get fish and chips for four people. I was often asked to get on my bike to do this, and as there was a little loose change left over - and I was not asked for it - then I would forget too! They would fry the potato pieces in batter and loosely call them escallops. Mostly the fish was rock eel.
Sometimes you could go down to the beach just as a fishing boat had landed and buy herrings for about a penny or tuppence each. There were rabbits available and they were very nice boiled first and then fried with onions.
I remember well fishing from rocks at Broad Sands, using limpets which we kicked off the rocks and used for bait. No rod, just a line swung round and round and let go! Fishing was not bad there, and we had several nice meals of whiting.
There is a story of a man at Combe Martin who, looking over the rails at Seaside, spotted a large fish below, more or less stationary. As he lived in a house just across the road, he ran in and got his shotgun. Back to the rails where he leaned over and shot the fish! I don't know, though, how he retrieved it. Anything for a bit of grub!
At this time you could go into a cafe or restaurant for a meal [mostly fry ups] but you were not allowed another meal at the same seat at the same table - you had to move to another table! OK, I suppose, if you had money to spare.
Like most people, we kept chickens, and despite clipping one wing [so if they flew at all it would be in circles!], they often escaped from the pen. My mother's Pomeranian fancied herself as some sort of sheepdog and quite got the hang of rounding them up.
Meat being in short supply once caused my mother great concern. At the time we owned two sheepdogs. As there was very little traffic they were allowed to roam more or less where they liked. One day Jumbo came home with quite a nice joint in his mouth - it was still partly wrapped and was he pleased with himself!. It was later discovered that he had pinched it from the shopping basket left hanging on the handlebars of a neighbour's bike, propped up in Birdswell Lane. How my mother sorted it out with the neighbour I don't know, but I'm sure she was very embarrassed!
Tony Beauclerk - Colchester
Well done to everyone who helped or took part in the 'Bill and Ben' Carnival Float. First in Class, Best Pub and Best Overall in Combe Martin, and a Second in Ilfracombe, and hopefully more success to report next time following the Barnstaple Carnival.
Quiz Nights start again on the 30th September and we look forward to seeing you all EVERY Sunday this year. With the money raised from the draws, maybe we can repeat the success of our entry in the Britain in Bloom Competition.
May we take this opportunity to add our congratulations to Ann and Vi for winning the Mary Mortimer Trophy in the competition in the South West.
Christmas Menus are now available and the programme of Christmas Events will be given in the December issue.
LIGHT UP A LIFE
Christmas is a special time for remembering loved ones who are no longer with us. From now until December, the North Devon Hospice and Children's Hospice South West are jointly organising Light Up A Life that enables you to make a donation and dedicate a light in memory of someone you have loved on a special Christmas Tree of Light. Any one can be remembered, they may not have recently passed away, but their loss is still with us. The name of your loved one is then recorded in a book of remembrance. There will be services of remembrance and support across the North Devon and Torridgeside areas, details of which can be found in our leaflet.
If you would like to support the work of the Hospices and dedicate a light, please ring Alison at the North Devon Hospice for more information on 01271 344248.
LOCAL WALKS - 68
"By full tilt river and switchback sea where the cormorants scud" Dylan Thomas
Fremington Quay has undergone a face-lift in recent times. A new cafe and visitor centre have been built there, masquerading as a station building complete with signal box, but it is good to see the once neglected area being enjoyed by more people.
There is a secluded picnic area adjacent to the Tarka Trail but most of the cyclists sailing past probably do not realise it is there. Certainly the little clearing is used more by wildlife than humans. We made it the starting point of a pleasant figure-of-eight-shaped route.
We strolled along the shingle beach at Fremington Reach and watched seven little egrets standing together, their snowy white plumage glowing in the sun. A cormorant dived and caught a flounder. The flat fish put up a tremendous fight. Eventually, after a very long struggle with the fish, the cormorant managed to gulp it down. It seemed a very wide fish for such a long, slender neck.
We climbed up the rough track from the beach to the quiet lane which runs along the centre of Penhill. After the shortage of butterflies this year, it was a welcome sight to find a dozen species about the brambles and nettles there.
The lane continues over a bridge but we clambered down the steep steps at the side of the bridge and onto the old railway track. At the side of, the path, crawling towards a clump of sneezewort [a dingy sort of daisy flower with a greyish centre where one would expect to see bright yellow], we encountered a large, greenish bronze caterpillar.
It was the Iarva of the elephant hawkmoth - a striking creature with four large, black 'eye-spots' behind the head, with a light crescent shape in the centre of each. The head has a tree-like snout. As it became aware of our presence, the caterpillar retracted its snout and the eye-spot section swelled out, while the whole of the front end rose up and swayed menacingly from side to side.
It really did look intimidating throughout this performance! The enlarged eye-spots and rearing up are, of course, intended to scare off predators. There was an abundance of its food plants - willowherb and bedstraws. There was also a lot of field scabious, tansy and purple loosestrife.
We continued along the track on the other side of the quay until we reached the sign for the 'permissive path' across some of the fields - two of barley with a damp meadow in between. This was full of sedges and reedmace and water mint. Mixed woodland stretched along the far side of the fields; the willows turning inside out in the sea breeze, now sage green, now grey-white.
A sparrowhawk emerged from the woods, flew straight down the field's edge, made a couple of rapid wing beats, then a short glide. She landed on a post looking down intently, fanning out her stripy tail and shaking it vigorously; the light stripe above and behind the eye giving her a rather fierce expression.
As she maintained this pose we had a clear view of the sparrowhawk's grey brown plumage with white underparts, closely barred with dark grey. So different in size and colour are the male and female sparrowhawks that they appear to be different species altogether. The female is kestrel size, whereas the male is only the size of a mistle thrush and has a slate grey back and is rusty red brown underneath.
These birds hawks, or accipiters, have short, rounded wings and long tails enabling them to fly between the trees in coniferous plantations. The number of sparrowhawks had declined considerably due to pesticides and the action of gamekeepers. In some counties in eastern and southern Britain and the midlands, they had entirely disappeared. They are now making a recovery.
The sparrowhawk we were observing suddenly took off, flying low across the track in front of us, heading for a hawthorn hedge. There was a great flurry and commotion from the little birds hidden in the bushes.
Classic sparrowhawk surprise tactics were being enacted here; sweeping over hedges, ambushing a feeding flock. Its diet consists mostly of birds, up to the size of a wood pigeon or partridge.
The permissive path ends at Chillpark, Fremington. We returned to the Quay past the church and along the wooded path bordering Fremington Camp. An easy, leisurely walk with plenty of variety estuary, woodland and open countryside.
Illustrations by: Paul Swailes
CHRISTMAS COVER CARDS
Once again, Debbie has kindly agreed that we may produce coloured Christmas Cards [4" x 5 1/4", folded and printed both back and front] from the covers of our last two December issues, together with a new one this year. [See a small, black & white preview on the enclosed-order form.] The cards will sell in packs of 6, with envelopes, at £2.50 and a limited number will be available from early December, either from the Post Office or Chicane.
To help ascertain the number of cards required, an order form is enclosed with this newsletter and it would be very helpful if you could complete this and return it as soon as possible.
Packs will normally be made up of 6 cards, 2 of each design, but may, if you wish, be made up of any combination of the 3 designs. The greeting inside the card will read: "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year". However, if you would like your own greeting and the cards personalised with your address, please fill in the appropriate part of the form. The charge for these cards will be £3.00 for a pack of 6.
All proceeds from the sale of the cards will go to Newsletter Funds. Send in your Order Form NOW to avoid being disappointed!
"Hi, I found your web-site while surfing just now, and wondered whether you might answer a question for me. I have for many years collected old postcards of the North Devon area and came across one captioned 'Toms Tea Rooms Steerage Valley'. Is this by any chance an older name by which the Sterridge Valley is now known, and if so can you cast any light on the history of the tea rooms? Thank you for your time. Robert Salter."
So began a trans-Atlantic exchange of e-mails and it was not too difficult to establish that the postcard Robert had purchased was, indeed, of Berrynarbor, that members of the Toms' family still live in the Village and his investment of £2.50 had been well worthwhile. Robert has now gone on our mailing list and at my request has kindly filled us in on his connection with Berrynarbor:
"l now have the postcard which prompted these communications in my possession and it appears to be the same one that Tom Bartlett has, published by Hawke of Helston. The message on the back reads: My dear Dad, This is the cottage where we are staying. It is a very pretty little place. Well, we have not been very fortunate with weather so far. It has rained al/ morning but we are hoping for the best The place is very nice but very hilly. I must tell you that there are pigs at the farm. I think you would like this. Well cheers, Best Love, Joe.
Not fortunate with the weather? Hilly? I guess some things never change!
My parents, John and Beryl Salter, became engaged in 1955 and as a consequence were in the habit of looking in the windows of estate agents. That summer, on holiday with my mother's parents, Arthur and Hilda Coleman, they spotted a plot of land for sale at Goosewell for the princely sum of £250! According to my mother, grandfather purchased it on the spot. It consisted of a field, a couple of buildings which were over-grandly referred to as 'chalets' and a wonderful view of the Hangman Hills and Exmoor. The property was owned by three elderly sisters and it was not long before grandfather moved a caravan on to it.
I was born in 1957 and for as long as I can remember, we always took our family holidays at the caravan, spending the morning shopping in llfracombe and visiting the various local beaches in the afternoon. We often stopped off at Watermouth Castle as they had a little coffee shop there - nothing else, and quite different from the major attraction it is today.
Towards the end of the '60's, as grandfather approached retirement, he was granted planning permission for the bungalow, now known as Woodside. As my father recalls watching the moon landing there in 1969, we are pretty sure that it was built during the winter of '68/'69. We continued to take our summer holidays there - in a little more style. At least we had running water now, having previously collected it in two milk churns from a well on the right hand side of the Old Berrynarbor Road. Other fond memories include cool summer evenings sitting in the garden of Ye Olde Globe, staggering up Hagginton Hill, under the spooky [supposedly haunted] bridge and on past the Richards' farm. When we were good we were allowed in to Ilfracombe and would stroll around the harbour eating fish and chips. I wonder why those occasions were so rare!?
I started work in 1975 and my first week's holiday was spent working for John and Ann Brain, clearing the woods at Watermouth for more villas to be built. I had free lodging for my labours and certainly enjoyed a glass of cider, or two, and a ploughman's in place of the juice and crisps [with a little blue bag] of the evenings a few years earlier!
Since then my visits to North Devon have been less frequent, but I still have a deep affection for Berrynarbor and North Devon in general. My grandparents relocated to Goosewell in 1977. My grandmother died in 1983 and is buried in St. Peter's graveyard. My grandfather remarried and is buried in the graveyard of Shirwell church.
What am I doing in the States? Well, I've been living here since 1992, working as a contract analyst/programmer, first in Akansas, Texas, and now at Fountain Valley, Orange County, Southern California. The weather as I write is just perfect but I must admit that writing about Berrynarbor has almost made me wish that I could trade the Pacific Ocean and 80 Deg , for the Bristol Channel and whatever Deg's it can muster!
Now to put you in the picture!
OLD BERRYNARBOR - VIEW NO. 73
Tom's Tea House, Steerage Valley
This view of Tom's Tea House [Middle Lee Farm] was taken by the Cornish Photographer, A.H. Hawke of Helston back in the mid to late '20's and is one of approximately 20 views taken around the village and Watermouth at that time. We can see in the picture, Mr. Dan Toms, who with his wife Elizabeth, Lizzie, had moved in from their cottage, 68 Lower Sterrage around 1923, upon the death of his father, Francis.
Dan and Lizzie had two children, Reginald and Violet. Reginald lived in Weybridge, Surrey, up to his death in 1999, whilst Vi has remained in Berrynarbor and lives in Dormer Cottage. Vi was only four years old when the moved in to Tom's Tea House, but can vividly remember the Royal Red Coaches arriving from Ilfracombe and parking in the field opposite, whilst the occupants had a full Devonshire Cream Tea. Vi can also recall, as a young girl, serving cream teas to the many visitors and, of course, meals to those staying with them for their holidays.
The Toms had several Devonshire Red cows, milked very early by Dan and Lizzie and the milk taken in a churn around to several customers in the village, often accompanied by the young Vi. The milk would be ladled out in pint or quart measures into customers' jugs or containers, and Vi can remember one customer who if you arrived a minute after 8 0'clock, would not have any at all! The two lads shown in the postcard with Dan, are son Reginald and Ian's nephew, Ron, who was brought up by Dan and Lizzie and now lives in Birdswell Lane. The Toms continued serving cream teas and taking in guests right up until the mid-thirties when through ill-health, Dan was forced to give up farming and the family moved into Dormer House - now Dormer Cottage and Miss Muffet's.
Francis [Frank] Toms had been in occupation of Middle Lee Farm [119 The Village] from ground 1906, when he took over the farm from Philip Petherick. Middle Lee Farm was sold as Lot 21, 'A Desirable SMALL HOLDING and Noted TEA HOUSE, comprising: A good slated Dwelling House suitable for Private Residence, good Outbuildings, Lawn, Gardens, Meadow; Orchard and Arable Lands, containing together about 44a.2r.1p. In the occupation of Mr. F. Toms and R. Huxtable, as Yearly Lady-day Tenants. The Watermouth Estate sale took place on Tuesday, 17th August, 1920, at the Bridge Hall, Barnstaple with the completion date set for Lady-day, 25th March, 1921.
Middle Lee was sold for £1,350.
Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage
Help! I'm lost. Does anyone know where I am?
Information, to the Post Office or on 883246, could lead to a Reward!