Edition 75 - December 2001

Artwork by: Debbie Rigler Cook

Artwork: Judie Weedon


Can it be that Christmas is nearly upon us again! When you read this, it will be less than four weeks away, although for the shops and advertisers, the season of goodwill began back in September!

I should like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their cards, messages of sympathy and kind thoughts following the death of Ken's mother, peacefully in her sleep, at the end of September. A much-loved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother and a loyal supporter of our Newsletter she will be sadly missed.

It is amazing how often I am asked particularly by compilers of other village/church magazines - "How do you get all your articles?" I can only reply that I have wonderful contributors and artists, many of them 'regulars' and I rarely have to nag for items! Thank you all.

By the next issue we'll be well into the new year 2002. Items for February will be needed by Wednesday, 16th January, at the very latest, please. In the meantime, enjoy all the events and activities planned in December, have a happy and peaceful Christmas and with all good wishes for the New Year.





It is always a pleasure to welcome members and on the 2nd October more so, as Eunice Allen, Joan Berry and Norma Holland were back after spells of NHS treatment. There was also good news of Key Webber, who is making an excellent recovery after her second hip operation. Our speaker, Mr. Pat Barrow, with slides re-enacted the Rapparee Cove shipwreck of 1773. Being an archaeologist, he has been one of the team endeavouring to preserve the site where human remains, fragments of iron handcuffs, coins, etc., have been found. There is a Fund which it is hoped will make it a Commemorative Area for all to visit in the future, especially overseas visitors. In this way, the slaves and convicts on board would be remembered, together with the ship's company and the locals who tried to save them. The vote of thanks was given by Win Collins; the raffle won by Doreen Prater and the competition for the oldest coin an 1817 Crown - by 'yours truly'.

The Chichester Group Social evening at Kentisbury on the 22nd October was not a very nice evening, weatherwise, but the journey was well worth making and the rain had stopped by the time we were ready to go home. Sheila Hale made her first introduction to the Group as Secretary, having taken over from Margaret Huxtable, who had served for 15 years.

Margaret was given a warm Vote of Thanks and a Commemorative Plate for such devotion to duty. The guest, Peter Christie, was as entertaining and interesting as ever, speaking on Victorian History, and this was followed by excellent refreshments, a word competition and not forgetting the raffle! Thank you Kentisbury for an enjoyable evening and good luck wishes to Sheila.

It was AGM time again on the 6th November and members welcomed Elma Blackmore, our VCO - now renamed 'Friendly Advisor'. After a hearty rendering of 'Jerusalem', general notices and dates for diaries were dealt with, and also birthdays, of which there were four - two this month and two in December [as Ethel will be away] - have a lovely time. The Minutes of the last AGM were read and Doreen gave her Secretary's Report - very concise and well documented. This was followed by Rosemary's Treasurer's Report and audited Accounts - as always, a credit to her capabilities of juggling our finances! We certainly need to organise some events in 2002 to make some money. With the Reports proposed, seconded and adopted, I gave a short 'Thank You' address to all members who had given help during the year, as well as the Committee who have done an excellent job and without whom the Institute could not function. Last but not least, the members themselves for their support - we can but hope that 2002 will be a satisfactory and happy year for everyone.

Elma Blackmore then took over the meeting and complimented us all on our busy year. Voting then took place: President me again! The Committee was then re-elected 'en bloc' with the addition of Marion Carter. So welcome, Marion, we hope that you will enjoy working with the gang! During tea, Elma managed to chat to several members and told me how much she had enjoyed the afternoon. There were no entries for the competition, but surprise, surprise, I won the raffle - first time ever - so if you have never won, don't give up hope!

Our next meeting will be on the 4th December - a light-hearted afternoon with Mr. Green, a special tea and if you remember, a wee gift for another member to take home. The competition is Mince Pies. Our Christmas Lunch at The Globe, always a happy occasion, will be on Monday, 17th December.

Seasons Greetings to all Readers from the W.I

Vi Kingdon - President

Christmas - a time for giving
Remembering days of yore,
Pretty cards with a welcome letter.
Bringing postman to the door.
So spread the word, both far and wide,
May Happiness and Good Health abide
To welcome in a Bright New Year.


Artwork: Steve Angold [Aged 10]


Come, you thankful people, come
Raise the song of harvest home!

Outstanding celebrations were held at St. Peter's over the season of Harvest. First the church was decorated beautifully, with many comings and goings, from the dedicated flower arrangers to the Sunday School, to those who came in quietly to leave a gift. The Sunday Service was very well attended, with all the children and the choir. Everyone was eager to play a part and somehow everything was fitted in.

The Evensong on 3rd October was enjoyed by us all. The new simpler service was used for the first time and it seems to be more relevant to the 21st Century. The Supper was particularly excellent this year and the Hall always looks so inviting as we all arrive. A lively auction of produce followed and altogether £150 was added to the Tower Fund.

Remembrance Sunday, St. Peter's Church, Berrynarbor

On Sunday 11th November, the Parish Councillors and many villagers gathered around the War Memorial to pay their respects to the men and women who fought for our freedom. Mr. Joe Ivan sounded the Last Post on his bugle and after observing the two-minute Silence, Keith led the congregation back into church to continue the service.

Paul Crockett, a Parish Councillor, read the Lesson from St. John, which tells us of God's Love for us. Keith reminded us, during his sermon, that not only were we remembering those who had died in past wars, but also all those innocent civilians who were killed in the 11th September atrocities. He also reminded us that nowadays, as during World War it is we, the civilians, who are targeted rather than just the armed forces and that we should all give one another our love and support.

The Service finished with prayers while the choir sang 'God be in my head'. The Collection taken amounted to £130, which will be given to the Earl Haig Fund.

Margaret Kerr

Thank you to the Management Committee of the Manor Hall for arranging the Village Evening on 14th November. Many of us took the opportunity to study the drawings and photos of the tower, provided by Mr. Nellist, the church architect. We now have some idea of all the work that has been going on behind the netting! Everything should be back to normal by December and we are looking forward to the celebration of Christmas. Do try to come and join us as often as you can.

Mary Tucker

Christmas Services

  • Wednesday, 19th December - Carol Service, 6.30 p.m.
  • Sunday, 23rd December - Last Sunday in Advent, Sung Eucharist 11.00 a.m.
  • Christmas Eve Blessing of the Crib and first Communion of Christmas 9.30 p.m.
  • Christmas Day Family Communion, 11.00 a.m.
  • Sunday, 30th December - Family Communion with Carols, 11.00 a.m.

We warmly welcome you all to come and join in the joys of Christmas

Please Note: There will be no Friendship Lunch in December. January date to be confirmed.



Since my appeal for choristers in the June edition of the Newsletter, I am delighted to announce that our Choir has really 'taken off' and we now boast a grand total of 15 wonderful singers.

One of our group -- Bobby Bowden was, in fact, in his boyhood days a fine chorister in our church and although many years have passed [not too many, Bobby!], he now possesses a fine tenor voice to blend with our other two tenors Gerry Marangone and Reg Gosling. Yes, folks ... the Three Tenors!

Our superb lady sopranos and contraltos outnumber the guys - and whilst we still need more villagers to join our happy band, should like to see more men coming forward, so that the overall sound balance can be further improved.

I am really delighted in the way that we have all blended together and feel justly proud of the performances the Choir has given over such a short period of time. We've got some real 'specials' lined up for Christmas, so please come along and hear us - and join us by picking up your telephone and dialling 882447 any evening.

We make music and we have fun!

Stuart Neale - Organist




Christmas is coming and the children are getting excited - the familiar Nativity Story never loses its wonder.

We are busy making Christmas Cards to sell for Sunday School Funds, preparing a Christmas Scene for the Children's Corner in the Church, and making scenery for our play to be held at the Carol Service on the 19th December at 6.30 p.m., and again at the Crib Service on the Sunday before Christmas at 11.00 a.m. Both performances will be in St. Peter's, so if you enjoyed 'The Fox's Tale' last year, come and see 'The Lamb's Tale' this year.

Becky has joined the helpers making us six in number now - she has so many good ideas. We aim to have regular meetings to pool ideas and share the responsibility, we now have 18 children.

A very big THANK YOU to the PCC for their generous donation for us all to go to the Pantomime again this year - a well deserved reward for the children [and the adults think not bad either!].

Two Nativity Stories - True of Coursel

At a Sunday School Nativity Play, three young children were cast as the Kings. Presenting their gifts at the stable, the first said: "Gold" the second, "Myrrh" and the third, "And Frank sent this."

The following lines are quoted from a children's Nativity Play when Mary and Joseph approach the Innkeeper who tells them there is no room at the Inn.

  • Joseph: "But my wife is pregnant."
  • Innkeeper: "Well, it's not my fault."
  • Joseph: "It's not my fault either!"

Bye for now.

Sally B. Tania, Sarah, Julia, Val and Becky



Artwork: Paul Swailes


November has arrived and it seems that the hope of an Indian Summer has been fulfilled. The only downside is that the grass is still growing!

The first couple of weeks in September we were in the Scillies enjoying some very pleasant dry, sunny, though fairly breezy weather. We recorded 19mm [3/4"] of rain in those 14 days, with a total for the month of only 48mm [2"]. This was much drier than last year when we recorded 198mm [8"].

The temperatures were generally about the same as last year.

October was also a much better month with only 220mm [8 3/4"] of rain falling, the wettest day being the 24th, which produced 21mm This compares with a massive 352mm [14"] in 2000, of which 63mm [2 1/2"] fell on the 29th. The wind has also been lighter. The strongest gust we recorded was 30 knots on the 1st, as opposed to 42 knots in 2000.

October temperatures were above normal with an average high of 16.5 Deg C and a low of 10.1 Deg C.

November has started in the same gentle fashion long may it continue.

Sue and Simon



Of American origin, Indian Summer normally applies to a period of fine, sunny weather in late autumn. In the States it is a period of mild, dry weather, often accompanied by a haze. The name came from the fact that such weather was more noticeable in the areas formerly occupied by the Indians than in the eastern regions inhabited by the white population.

St. Martin's Day is the 11th November and such a spell of weather at that time is often referred to as St. Martin's Summer.



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



Good news, a letter has been received this week at Fuchsia Cottage from the vanishing lady herself. As there has been much concern for her welfare we are sharing its contents with you all.

Dear M and P,

I am so sorry I left home without telling you but I just had to get away. I was feeling very hurt about several things. Firstly, the carnival floats. I couldn't believe I was not invited to join the other flowerpot people on the floats in the summer. I could have brought a bit of class and glamour sitting centre stage and waving to the crowd, especially next to that big boy Phil. But nobody asked me. As you know I am a woman with feelings and the rejection was hard to bear, to think they went ahead without me, oh the shame of it! I also had had enough of getting poked and prodded by everyone walking past and my poor hat is nearly ruined.

But the biggest problem was from my so-called 'friends'. You see, I kept getting pestered at night by the local flowerpot men. Pete the Painter at Langleigh House made me blush when he wanted to brush me all over and suggested I call myself 'Lady in Red' while Fred the Flowerman at Swan Cottage wanted to talk all the time about his bedding problems and tried to plant his flower on me at every opportunity. As for the two crackpots at The Globe - well! Benny the Beerglass and Laidback Lenny wanted to have me behind the bar pulling their pints! I also heard rumours that the 'anti flowerpot brigade' were going to snatch me and use me for target practice! I couldn't stand the strain of it all any longer as I am so highly strung. My role as a village attraction was becoming too much for me and I began to feel tied and restricted sitting on the wall all summer without a break, while you two socialised all over the place. I also began to dread the prospect of the winter wind blowing up the valley without even a potting shed to sit in. How I wished my dress covered my gorgeous pink wellingtons. Then one day a tourist told me he was potty about me and promised me a job in Kew Gardens, so I grabbed the chance of going away to London with him, but I soon found out that he only wanted to see what I was made of so he could copy me to sell. "But I am unique", I said, and refused to be taken apart. I ran away to seek fame and fortune and to enjoy life while I am still young, attractive and unchipped.

I know you think that I got too big for my boots, but I am having a great time in London. I found an agent and soon had a 'sit-in' part in My Fair Lady and I currently have a swinging role as a Christmas fairy in the Harrods window display. There is even talk of a book and a film called 'Lady Fuchsia's Diary' , which could knock Bridget Jones off her pedestal! I also visited the state opening of the Houses of Parliament - Oh the glamour of it all was wonderful. Hope you like the pictures. I may go abroad after Christmas to find some sun so watch this space.

Must fly, but will keep in touch.

Love to all,

Lady Fuchsia
xxx xxx




This is a sponsored event for the North Devon Hospice and it really is easy to join in. Everyone gets sponsored to knit strips of wool for a maximum of two hours, on or around 20th February 2002. It happens all across the North Devon community, in church and village halls, pubs, canteens and even in shop windows!

There is no limit to the numbers who can take part or where it can take place. Please call Alison or Jane [Chief Knits] at the Hospice for more information or a registration pack on 01271-344248. Thank you.



I wonder whether it matters
That there are people like me
Who wander aimlessly.
Or is it with purpose,
About the earth.
What makes the difference?
Is it the thought process
Or is it just a matter of chance
That goals are achieved.
Do they effect change
Or is change affected by them,
And does the end justify the means
Or is this yet another excuse to do as we please?

Peter Knight - Mill Park House




I should like to make our contribution to this issue an invitation to the School's Christmas events. We want to have a change this year and would like to make a community event with a difference.

We are holding a Book Week during the first part of December. Books will be available to purchase from the school from 3.30 p.m. on 6th and 7th, 10th and 11th December. The books will be for children and the 'young at heart', but you may find an ideal Christmas gift amongst the wide selection. Your purchases earn commission for the School, so we hope you will come along and support us.

My other invitation to you is for an afternoon of Christmas Festivities on Monday, 17th December. There will be a Service of Christmas Celebration in the Church at 2.00 p.m., followed by a Christmas Bazaar in the Manor Hall. Tom Bartlett has kindly agreed to set up an exhibition of old photos and postcards from his extensive collection. We look forward to seeing you there to enjoy a drink and a mince pie and a browse round the stalls and exhibition.

Our artistic contribution this issue reflects the children's hard work in English! We hope you enjoy our alternative posters for 'Twelfth Night' and our 'concrete poems' based on the tale of The Pied Piper of Hamelin.

Simon Bell - Headteacher

The Pied Piper of Hamelin

What happened when the Piper first appeared?

Perhaps James has the answer!

"Come in", said the Mayor fearfully. The door creaked ominously and opened. A tall spindly person came in clad in red and yellow. In other situations his suit may have been laughable, but something made everyone completely serious, the Mayor tried to speak but only a strangled gurgle came forth. A deadly silence filled the room. The man spoke in a thin, malicious tone. "I am The Piper", he said grinning at the Council like a shark at its dinner ....

James Farrell, Year 6

Class 3 Group Work
Letty Lucas, Year 5
Georgia D'Anger, Year 5

Mischa Smith, Year 6
Charlotte Ross, Year 5




Allyson and Mark Daglish are delighted to announce the arrival of a baby brother for Gemma. Jack, who weighed a healthy 8 lbs 11 oz, was born on the 28th September, adding to the list of grandchildren for Sheila and Celia and Laurel.

Congratulations to Phil Walden on attaining Great Grandmother status, and also to Gr'uncle Chris! Gracie Jane, who arrived on the 4th October, daughter of James [Phil's grandson and son of David and Ivy of Lynton] and Beverley, weighed 7 lbs 8 oz.

No more Dinky toys - Barbie dolls are in! Having had two sons - Andy and Gerald, and two grandsons, James and Dominic [Andy and Christine's boys] June and Gerry Marangone are thrilled to be able to announce the arrival of a girl in the family! Molly Anne, daughter of Gerald and Kerri, was born on the 16th October weighing in at 6 lbs 6 oz.

Keith and Margaret Walls are very happy to announce the arrival of their fourth grandchild, a second son for Louise and David. The stork delivered Nathan's little brother, Isaac, on the 17th October its bundle weighed 6 lbs 6 oz.

Congratulations to all the generations and best wishes to the babies and parents. We hope you won't be suffering this in a few months time!


Night night, Mum, See You Later

At seven o'clock every evening
My mum tucks me up in bed
And I'm nice and snug in my 'jamas,
Beside me my lovely old ted.
I always nod off very quickly
Before mum has turned off the light.
But when it's her bedtime much later,
Well then I wake up for the night.
For there's no time of day I like better
Than the hours between midnight and three
For mum hasn't got any housework
And can give her attention to me.
And when I start yelling and shouting,
Mum knows she has to be quick -
For the night that she leaves me to grizzle
Is the night I decide to be sick.
But mummy can't mind in the slightest
At still being my playmate at two -
She normally spends this time sleeping,
For she's nothing much better to do.
Some nights she mixes a cocktail
From the bottles she keeps on the shelf,
Which sometimes she gives me to swallow
And sometimes she gulps down herself!
And if in the morning I'm sleepy
And feel in need of a perk,
I can have forty winks in my buggie
While mum gets on with her work.
But nothing's as nice as the night time,
And nothing can equal the joy
Of finding it's four in the morning
And being a wide awake boy.

Contributed by an Ilfracombe Reader
[Acknowledgements to a Leeds Toddler Group]



At least with a better summer and more sunshine and a nice autumn behind us this year, we should be in a better position to tackle the winter ailments - let's just hope that we don't get last year's rain, more rain and even more rain!

We are sorry to learn that Vi Goodman and Gladys Toms are still in hospital, but it is good to know that Betty Davis is home again. We have also heard that Kathleen Joslin, from Ilfracombe, has not been too well lately. Our love and good wishes go to you all.

Hopefully by the time you read this, Keith Cooper will be out of hospital and on the mend, whilst Gordon Hughes, following his knee op., will be hiking the countryside again. We were so sorry to learn that Neil and Val Morris's boat trip on the Thames turned out to be the 'sailing trip from Hell', with one calamity after another and culminating in poor Neil and his little finger parting company!

Our best wishes for speedy recoveries to all of you - a message also sent to anyone not feeling at their best.


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


Following Keith and Yvonne's departure for Ilfracombe, Rookery Nook is now home to Terry and Jackie Young who have come from Whitstable in Kent. Jackie is a Health Visitor working in Barnstaple and Terry tells us that he is currently 'between jobs' and enjoying himself! Completing the household are two cocker spaniels Lottie and Dolly - and two ginger toms - Arthur and Dudley!

We understand that Michael and Win Wicks have left Randy Cleave and are waiting to move into their newly built home in Ilfracombe and we wish them well. Settling in on Barton Hill are Sarah and Frank Fry, who with their little Westie, Laddie, have moved from over the water from Fremington. Frank, who has retired, enjoys fishing and the necessary DIY and gardening, whilst Sarah enjoys such artistic pursuits as flower arranging. Their two daughters and five grandchildren live in the Bridgewater area, from where they themselves originally emigrated.

We extend a very warm welcome to you all - the two-legged and four-legged! and hope that you will be happy here in Berrynarbor.

It was nice to hear from Ann and John Vince [our late Clerk to the PC] who have now moved from Teignmouth to Exmouth where, they say, they have less garden and its on the flat! They send their best wishes to everyone and we in return wish them every happiness in their new home.



Congratulations and best wishes to Hedi and Josef Belka who are celebrating their Golden Wedding on the 1st December. Love to you both.

And a good time was had by all! The Globe was full of friends and family celebrating Colin's 50th Birthday when he sprang the great news he and Wendy had tied the knot that day too! Congratulations to you both and every good wish for your future happiness. We all hope that you have a wonderful honeymoon out in New Zealand.

It is understood that Mick, Mike, Mitch, Michael - call him what you will! - will reach the age of maturity on Christmas Eve! Happy Birthday and with all good wishes for your retirement [?].



I thought I would miss music here
No symphony, no opera,
No easy access to the Albert Hall
But rhythms change
Fast running water always here
Voices slowed but loud
Birds more raucous than I ever knew
Jackdaws invade my space,
My roof, my life
Won't go away
But do I want them to?
The only lark I ever heard was in a concert hall
Vaughan Williams bird
Its song man's genius not its own
But now I've heard a real life Devon bird
Ascending over Exmoor wild and free
Notes falling earthwards
Like a day of rain, now soft and sweet
Then wild and windswept and exuberant
Another sound - not music to the ear
Sheep shout
I never knew they could!

Illustrations by: Paul Swailes [bird]
and Peter Rothwell [landscape]




Brian Wright

Solution in Article 25.



Ten years ago [when I was thirty], I had a notion that March, being a 'flat' month, it might be a good idea to put on a show. Just a one-off, you understand? Bring the people of the village together, that type of thing - a 40's night, just the ticket. After extensive market research in The Globe after 10.00 p.m. on a Saturday night, it was decided, the dye was cast.

A flurry of activity started, the back room boys and girls were on a mission. Papier mache tin hats were made by the dozen; grandma's wartime cook book [and grandma], were rummaged out of the cupboard under the stairs. Its amazing what you can make from chicken bowels and pigs bladder! Children were dragged from their beds and scrubbed in a tin bath in front of the fire - why should they miss out? Wartime loomed over Berry, which was just as well 'cos it missed the last one!

Lynne and Jo, 2 Evacuees!

The pub was transformed with fire buckets, hoses, camouflage nets, bits of tape on the windows, etc. The audience made the night. We had soldiers, sailors, airmen, the Home Guard, evacuees and even an SS Officer - how did he get in? The room was packed and we were entertained by Vera Lynn, Flanagan and Allan, Noel Coward, the Andrews Sisters and many more. It was a very good night. . . and so the Village Show began.

Due to the sheer volume of the audience, the show moved to its now permanent home, the Manor Hall. The aims are still the same, keeping the village, old and new, together and raising money for charity, and those aims to date have been a resounding success. Apart from the Berry folk, we now have international acts from as far afield as Shamwick and 'Combe. The acts have been diverse over the years - the Village People, Laurel and Hardy, Tommy Cooper, Hinge and Bracket, the Spice Girls, River Dance, even the king himself, Elvis ... and so on. We raise on average £1000 a show and the beneficiaries have been our School, the Play Group, the Manor Hall, the Special Care Baby Unit and many more. This being our big 'One O' year, we intend to push the boat out, so watch this space!

Our Musical Master, Stuart Neale, must be mentioned. Stuart has been there from day one - his patience is extraordinary and his talent amazing. His dedication to the show has been unflinching and I know that a very large cheer and 'thank you' comes from everyone - cast and audience.

In ten years we have come a long way. Initially, we collected the stage in two bits in Derrick Phillips's horsebox - one from Braunton School, the other from Ilfracombe Community Centre. Both of different sizes, so planks of wood were used to level up. Everything was begged or borrowed.

Now we have a purpose stage, lights and a sound system all of which are for the use of the village community. In the ten years of the BBC, the people in the wings, the gofers, scene changers, raffle prize givers and the lady who says, "Get out of the bar and get your backside on the stage", have been brilliant and we couldn't do without you.

There are some very talented people in our village and every year they raise the game. Because of the number of people involved [about 60], it isn't possible to name every one, but you know who you are. Last, but not least, a big thank you to the folks at The Old Sawmill Inn, who every year provide us with a nice warm rehearsal room, arrange and run the bar at the show and organise the fish and chip supper. They give us the bar profits, which over the years has boosted our takings by hundreds of pounds.

I've run out of paper - so that's it, folks! Book early for the 2002 show, 'tis going to be a BIG one! But, 'twill never be as good as last year!

Best Wishes, Songbird



Give me a good digestion Lord,
And also something to digest.
Give me a healthy body Lord,
With sense to keep it at its best.
Give me a healthy mind good Lord,
To keep the good and pure in sight.
That seeing sin is not appalled,
But finds a way to put it right.
Give me a mind that is not bored,
That does not whimper, whine or sigh.
Don't let me worry overmuch
About the fussy thing called 'I'.
Give me a sense of humour Lord,
Give me the grace to see a joke.
To get some happiness from life,
and pass it on to other folk.

Found in Chester Cathedral



Calling All Berrynarbor Bikers - How many people in the village ride motor cycles? Are there enough to warrant a 'get together' at The Globe for a chat, perhaps once a month? If anyone is interested, please give me a call on 882388.

Brian Hillier

Precautions! - Let's hope that we do not suffer another wet winter with its resultant flooding and all round depression. Cllr. Len Coleman has empty sand bags, so if you feel you might need to be ready to prevent flooding, please contact him at Swan Cottage or on 883763.

News from DCC - Barnstaple Library can now offer unabridged recorded books on CD's, or they may be ordered through other libraries.

The Council is making a new bid to reduce road accidents in North Devon by reducing the speed limit on some seven stretches of road from 40 mph to 30 mph [watch out on the approach road to Tesco's - it is now 30 mph!], mainly in Barnstaple but also on the A361 at Knowle and the A39 near Shirwell.

Christmas Cards - Last orders are now being taken for Christmas Cover Cards. Please ring Judie on 883544 NOW if you have forgotten to place YOUR order.

Thank You - Thank you to everyone who kindly contributed to my Stop and Takeaway Coffee Morning in aid of Macmillan Nurses during Breast Cancer Awareness month, which raised nearly £40. The weather was dreadful, but the generosity very high from those who stopped.

Di Lloyd


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Some of those bramley's left over? Why not try this most tempting cake.

  • 5 oz melted margarine
  • 2 large eggs
  • 8 oz caster sugar
  • 1 tsp. almond essence
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 8 oz self-raising flour
  • 12 oz apples, peeled, cored & sliced
  • 1 oz flaked almonds & demerara sugar

Grease a loose-bottomed round 8 in cake tin. Put all the ingredients, except apples, almonds and demerara sugar in a mixing bowl. Mix well until smooth and spread half this mixture over the base of the tin.

Spoon prepared apple over and dot with rough teaspoons of the remaining mixture. Sprinkle with almonds and demerara sugar.

Cook at 325 Deg F [160 Deg C], Gas 3, for about 1 1/2 hours, until pale golden and shrinking away from the sides of the tin. Cool slightly before removing from tin. Serve warm, with cream or ice-cream.



[or a day in the life of a Cat Warden]

Last August I was asked if I could help a delightful elderly lady to sort out six cats - part of her large household - as although she loved them all, she was finding they were becoming too much for her to care for. The cats, she told me, were all very shy and two of them were semi-feral.

As I had a waiting list of people seeking semi-ferals, when I got the call to say that she had these two shut in the house, I shot off at speed!

After much effort and scrambling around, I caught one, but the other had completely disappeared! Being black he was hard to see, but after more scrambling around, a long search eventually revealed him inside an old Goblin washing machine, complete with mangle. No coaxing would make him budge, so I detached the mangle and turned the washing machine upside down, only to find the cat wedged tightly around the drum! All I could see were two huge, frightened, yellow eyes, two ears sticking up and a leg dangling from the guts of the machine. Now what?

Illustration by: Paul Swailes

Luckily, the lady's 'Carer' was there that day and she very kindly helped me. There was no hope in undoing the bolts and screws of the machine, they were rusted and corroded, even if we had been able to find a spanner or other dismantling implement. How to get him out? A poser for the vets?

A phone call to Mullacott explaining the predicament was met with much laughter from the girls, who thought I must be joking and said bring it in. A trip to the old shed down the lane unearthed, beneath the cobwebs, spiders and other creepy crawlies and in contrast with the washing machine, an immaculate and shining wheelbarrow! Just the job for transporting the load to my car. So, with one cat in a basket and the other in the machine, I sped off in the direction of Woolacombe.

When I arrived, the vet was a bit taken aback - the girls had omitted to fill him in on the quandary - and his look of disbelief was followed by amusement and then concern. Fortunately, the dangling leg allowed him to inject the cat, thereby relaxing its grip on the drum and allowing it to be extricated.

Once again I must thank the vets at Mullacott for all the care and help they always give me, and after checking the fellow out, he was pronounced none the worse for wear and is now residing in his new 'outside' home.



Crossword Solution


The Sanctuary has, in the past, sent articles for the newsletter and readers may be aware that over the past year a local complainant has questioned the legality of its development on the site at Winslade, forcing it to apply for a Certificate of Lawful Development in order to remain open. They would like to thank everyone for the wonderful letters of support and encouragement, which have given so much strength and hope. They are still trying to resolve many obstacles but the good news is that the application has been recognised and the Certificate of Lawful Development has been granted, allowing the Sanctuary to continue its wonderful work.

At the time of receiving this good news, due to the foot and mouth crisis, the Sanctuary were still only able to take in birds and where the casualty was a mammal, they were taking appropriate food, incubators, etc., to the site.

Due to the administration work involved in obtaining the Certificate, fund-raising has taken a back seat. The Sanctuary is, therefore, short of funds. If you would like to help this very worthwhile charity - caring for injured, cruelly treated, distressed and orphaned wild birds and animals either by becoming a member [annual subscriptions: Family £6, Adult £5, Concessions £3] or sending a donation, please either contact Judie [883544] or the Sanctuary direct [01237 451550]. Your support could relieve some helpless bird or animal.

Latest News! A lady has just donated a swimming pool for the water bird 'visitors' - things are getting better at last!




A reminder that the Christmas Meeting and Social will be on Wednesday, 12th December - admission by ticket only. Tickets should be obtained from a member of the Committee or telephone Jill McCrae on 882121. The January meeting will be on Wednesday, 16th January, when Alex Parke will be co-ordinating an evening of Members' favourite wines.


The Night Before Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of midday to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled and shouted, and called them by name:
'Now, Dasher! now, Dancer!, now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid!, on Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!'
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up o the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I hear on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes - how they twinkled, his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him in spite of myself;
A wink of his eyes and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
'Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.'

Clement Clarke Moore
1779-1863 [b. USA]


Illustrations by: Debbie Rigler Cook



It was an old, old, old, old lady and a boy who was half-past three,
And the way that they played together was beautiful to see.
She couldn't go running and jumping, and the boy, no more could he,
For he was a thin little fellow with a thin little twisted knee.
They sat in the yellow sunlight, out under the maple tree;
And the game that they played I'll tell you just as it was told to me.
It was like hide and seek they were playing, though you'd never have thought it to be,
With an old, old, old, old lady and a boy with a twisted knee.
The boy would bend his face down on his one little sound right knee,
And he'd guest where she was hiding in guesses one, two, three.
"You're in the china close," he would cry and laugh with glee.
It was not the china closet, but still he had two and three.
"You're up in Papa's big bedroom in the chest with queer old key."
And she said "you are warm and warmer but you're not quite right" said she.
"It can't be the little cupboard where mama's things used to be,
So it must be the clothes press, grandma," and he found her with his three.
Then she covered her face with her fingers that were wrinkled and white and wee,
And she guessed where the boy was hiding with a one, and a two and a three.
And they never had stirred from their place right under the maple tree,
The old, old, old, old lady and the boy with the lame little knee.
The dear, dear, dear old lady and the boy who was half past three.

Author Unknown

Illustration by: Nigel Mason


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


As some of you may know, I now live in the Colchester area, close to the Essex-Suffolk border. At one time, I lived about ten miles from here, in a village near another village. Now it was rather strange, because if I ever asked anyone, "Excuse me, please, but could you tell me the way to Tudwick?" they would nearly always reply, "Oh, you mean Tudwick Treacle Mine." Then they would walk on. I thought at first they were having me on, but since so many people said the same thing, I though it would be interesting to explore the matter.

I began to delve into books, old records, documents and even had the full co-operation of Gelderstein University, who were most helpful. Gradually, I pieced together a picture of what had gone on many years ago in the early 1800's.

Illustration by: Paul Swailes

Samuel Truneon was a much respected man in the Tudwick area and was a quite substantial landowner. He had large grounds to his fine house, of which he was very proud. In a very wet winter, between showers, he would take a stroll around his garden to admire the fine shrubs, trees, rockeries and so on. It was on one of these days, when he was about half way on his usual walk, that he was startled at finding a huge subsidence. An area about 30 feet across, more or less circular, had dropped some 15 feet, showing a 'cliff of sandstone'. Mr. Truneon called his gardener, who was bending weeding and totally unaware of things.

"Go and get a long ladder Olley, " Mr. Truneon ordered, and before long Olley had returned with the longest ladder he could find. "Will this do, sir?" he enquired. "It certainly will! Now put it down there and go and have a look." Olley duly obeyed. "While you are down there, have a look at that line across the sandstone and tell me what it is."

Olley scrambled across and examined the line. Thinking of oil, Truneon told Olley to put his finger on the line and to taste it. Olley did. but it was sweet - and this was the beginning of the treacle mine!

Samuel Truneon, being very astute, and after much testing of the substance, formed a company to go into production. Due to the nature of the very soft sandstone. only small tunnels were driven and only shortish people could be employed. His advertisement for staff even reached Zurich, and several people [under 5 feet tall] came over to work. The pay was good and they sent a lot of money home where their relatives opened banks.

Production survived for quite a number of years, upsetting the local bee keepers, who found the competition difficult. But, thirty years on, the treacle was beginning to diminish. People were made redundant and the works became run down. Luckily, in 1847, a new black treacle seam was discovered and production and prosperity bucked up. But nothing seems to go on for ever, and gradually this, too, dried up. Employment shrank to nothing and the mine was closed. In later years it became a rubbish tip, then it was filled in and grassed over. Today, sadly there is no sign of the old mine, people walk their dogs over the site and only have any knowledge of it, because I made the whole thing up!

I should, however, like to mention that the method of collecting the treacle was similar to collecting the latex from rubber trees - using little copper buckets pegged under dips in the seams with six inch nails.

"Mazed as a brish, I be." Cheers!

Tony Beauclerk - Colchester


Artwork: Helen Weedon


At the top of the Cairn Nature Reserve is a wooden bench, looking down upon the houses of Lower Slade. From it you can still make out the line of the old railway, now a footpath, bending round the valley as it makes its final turn before arriving at its Ilfracombe terminus. The hillside into which it cuts is now dense wood, with sycamores dominating.

The hilltop provides me and my two black Labradors with a well-earned rest, our climb having been ascended from the steeper western side. It is here that I often sit for some time, my mind deliberating over any matters that concern me. Recently, I've been 'chewing the cud' over perhaps the biggest issue of them all: the theory of evolution. Was all that I saw around me created in just 6 or 6 trillion days? As I glanced around at all the patchwork fields, I suddenly realised that both theories agreed on one matter - that the land upon which we depend, and the animals and plants that live with it, were all here before us. That, I then concluded, makes them older than us so doesn't that make them wiser? The more I considered this, the more I realised that the notion 'the older the wiser' can be seen in abundance in the countryside around us.

Re-cycling is just one example. whereas we have only just realised its environmental benefits, nature has been doing it for years. Around us at the moment, trees are shedding their leaves, becoming compost for the ground below. More than this, nature re-cycles life itself: as a dandelion dies it metamorphoses itself into seeds that glide in the wind to ensure its species survive. Man, in the form of transplants, has only just learnt this technique.

When a dead tree falls, it provides a natural home for woodland insects - no surveyor solicitor's fees required; no consultation with the tree's branch advisor and no terms and conditions - who's the wiser of who lives there? The twigs of that same fallen tree provide the bricks and mortar for the building of a bird's new home to raise its offspring - without any planning application having to be sought!

Of course, it is man that nature depends upon when it needs help, the law of the jungle being the survival of the fittest. This I could see for myself, sitting on the top of the nature reserve, where sycamore trees are dominating proceedings, preventing light to penetrate through for smaller plants.

With this thought in my mind, I looked down at my two dogs, Bourton and Gifford, the former sat up alert, whilst the latter was laid beside him, licking Bourton's coat as though it tasted of his favourite dog meat!

"If you were in the wild right now," I said to them, "You might not know what to do if one of you became ill; but at least you wouldn't intentionally hurt each other without reason. You're the wise ones, not man." Bourton just turned his head slightly, gave me one of his casual glances, then returned his attention to the high, circling buzzard he was concentrating on. In contrast, Gifford stood up, wagged his tail profusely and started licking my hand, not caring what I said, just pleased I had paid him some attention.

With that, a cold wind suddenly took hold, so gradually we began descending back through the wood. As we walked, I listened intently to the old trees, swaying and creaking in the wind. Just for a moment it was as though they were trying to speak to me.

"If these trees could talk," I thought, "They really would have some tales to tell."

Then I realised it would be more than just tales they could tell us; moreover, it would be the lessons they could teach us about the value of life itself.

Steve McCarthy

Illustration by: Peter Rothwell



I had the fortunate experience of spending my youth in a pretty village called Berrynarbor in North Devon. It is a typical English village setting - a summer's evening, the sun going down to the sound of church bells echoing through the sweet smelling air, and a sense of peace surrounding this picture postcard rural view. I have reflected on this many times, wondering why God had been so kind to this cockney lad in giving me an experience of this vision so many times in my life.

St. Peter's Church - the centre of the village - holds many memories. There I was a choirboy and attended Sunday School services with people with whom I had grown up. One person I looked up to was a mate called Colin Leworthy, who was very talented in art, writing and sport. Whilst he was Captain of the school football team at Combe Martin, they remained unbeaten for two years. He was nicknamed 'the Mighty Atom' by the many that followed his football progress. Unfortunately he is no longer with us, having died of multiple sclerosis - a sad ending to a young life.

A place which also holds many memories is the Manor Hall. Here there was dancing every week during the summer months, to the Densil Butler band, fetes, whist drives and a badminton club. We had a team in one of North Devon's lower leagues. The ceiling of the hall was low for this game, although with practice we got used to it, but not so our visiting teams whose shuttlecocks hit the ceiling many times!

Near the Manor Hall was the Men's Institute where we played snooker.

In the Ilfracombe & District Snooker League, we had two teams - Berry A and Berry Z - and our captain was an ex-London police officer called Bill Kingdon. Bill watched over his young team like a hen looking after her chicks. When playing away in Ilfracombe, he would very often buy us fish and chips after our match. This went down a treat with growing lads like us!

The annual summer fete in the Rectory gardens, to raise money for the church, was sell supported by all, with various stalls, tombolas and many games to entice people to part with their money in the hope of winning a prize - a goldfish or a cuddly toy. The ladies of the parish clubbed together to provide home-made food of all kinds - scones, jam, clotted cream, cakes and pasties and I always made for those stalls, being a growing lad! Two of the main attractions were pony and trap rides, up and down the Rectory drive and a skittle competition for the men with a live pig being the prize. The whole place was decorated with bunting, Union Jacks and floral designs. This festive time seemed to attract fine weather and a good time was had by all. It still gives me a glow and a lasting memory.

The Old Globe Inn was a pub in the olde worlde style of brass ornaments, oak beams and log fires. I have spent many happy hours in the winter evenings with my mates, talking over the activities of the day.

I must mention a landmark of the village - the first television! Miss Cooper was the owner of the village store and she obtained one and invited a party of people to watch the Stanley Matthews Football Cup Final at WembJey. She very kindly put on a buffet and drinks at half time and everyone had a wonderful time.

When visitors ask, "What did you find to do in a quiet place like this?" I often smile and explain to their amazement, the various activities I have described to you.

There were many characters in the village and it was never dull with them around! Deaf Jimmy, 'Arffer' Edwards - Rustler to us - Pop Smith, who had an answer for everything, but the one who stood out in my memory was Uncle Jack Draper. At Christmas he played the part of Father Christmas for the children's parties and he needed very little help, apart from a red costume. For with his twinkling blue eyes, red face and white beard, he could have come direct from Santaland! Jack had a scar on each cheekbone, the result of catching smallpox in the First World War when he was in India. I believe this nearly cost him his life.

Jack was a jobbing mason and much of his handiwork can still be seen in the village today. I remember seeing him many times in my youth going about his work, with an aroma from his pipe which was pleasant to the senses. He had two fingers missing from his right hand, but I never did find out how he lost them. His favourite pastime was to be in the Globe Inn, talking about the history of the village, with more than one pint before him, his face becoming more and more flushed by the heat of the log fire! I can picture him now, that weathered face with so much character to cover an interesting life. He knew the passage links from Watermouth Castle to the sea, used by smugglers of old, collecting bounty from shipwrecks caused by the treacherous seas around our coastline. One could imagine oil lamps, or naked flames in these tunnels, with men struggling with their ill-gotten gains. I wonder if Jack's spirit is wandering around his beloved Berry, proud and content with his lot of this beautiful place.

Having been born in London a foreign place to country folk in those days - being included as one of the village gave me a sense of belonging, because Berrynarbor is my adopted home and the people I grew up with I am proud to call my friends.

John V - Ilfracombe



"When the clouds are on the hill-tops." R.D. Blackmore

A frieze of cows stretched along the horizon. On the grey stone of an ivy-clad table tomb, a red admiral spread out its wings. As it was now mid November, this was likely to be the last we should see until next year.

The yellow flowers of the winter jasmine contrasted brightly against the autumn sky.

Neat clumps of cyclamen grew beneath the sycamores outside the churchyard; an intricate tracery on their heart-shaped leaves.

We should be visiting the church later but first we descended the narrow lane in search of a footpath which we had not taken before. A black cat stood watching a pair of tweedy dunnocks in the hedge bank; turned its attention to us and marched along beside us down the lane; its jaunty, bushy tail held high like a flag.

The helpful animal led us to the waymarker arrows, which were rather hidden away and there across a muddy yard was the footpath sign. Once out on the high field, sloping down to a meandering stream with woodland extending along the other side of the valley and several more small mixed woods ahead, the scenery was wonderful lovely rolling countryside.

Behind us there was a fine view of the village of Marwood, with its church tower rising above a varied roofscape of hip roofs and dormers, a late Georgian house, a thatched summerhouse and part of the famous Marwood Hill Gardens.

Pied wagtails and larks were flitting about the field. A jay emerged from the woods with a raucous screech and a solitary grey wagtail stood by the stream. Suddenly we heard distinctive liquid notes approaching; a call evocative of estuaries and there, flying over the next field, were three curlews.

At the far end of the field, a sheep was struggling desperately to free herself. She had gone under an electric fence, then under some barbed wire and finally pushed her head through the square mesh of a wire netting fence. This in turn was against a hedge of spiky blackthorn. The poor creature appeared to have been there for some time - a lot of wool was deposited on the wire and the grass had been entirely worn away around the sheep, exposing a large patch of shiny, slippery earth.

By now a light mist had turned to drizzle. My walking companion managed to free the sheep's head without spiking himself or the sheep on the thorns, although he did receive a couple of mild shocks from the electric fence. [It was also necessary to duck under this electric wire in order to reach the stile and footpath beyond.]

On being set free, the sheep gave a sort of somersault baaaed once and went off to rejoin the rest of the flock below.

We crossed the stream at a footbridge, climbed up the hill on the other side and reached a quiet lane with an old mill nearby. After a short distance, another footpath took us back over the fields to the village.

Both the Reverend Sabine Baring Gould in his 1907 Guide to Devon and the architectural historian, Nikolaus Pevsner praised Marwood Church and its attractive settings. It is noted especially for its sixteenth century screen and carved bench ends.

Unfortunately, only the part of finely carved Renaissance screen, which stands in the north aisle, has been preserved. The section above the nave and the chancel was destroyed in 1852 under the instruction of a clergyman carrying out 'restoration' work. Outside on the South Porch, is a stone sundial made in 1762 by John Berry and similar to one he made for Tawstock church. Its unusual feature is that it indicates the time in Paris, Madrid, Vienna, Berlin, Jerusalem, Tenerife and Quebec.

It is interesting that a still small and secluded village had such global aspirations two and a half centuries ago.

Illustrations by: Paul Swailes

Sue H



Or, is it still half full? It doesn't change the amount of our drink in the glass, but it is our perception that makes us sad that it is half gone, or glad that we still have half a glass to go.

As we near the end of this year and look back at so many bad and worrying things that have happened - foot and mouth, inadequate and insufficient services, and the situation in the Middle East - it is easy to become pessimistic going into the New Year. But, out of all these bad things some good has, and will, emerge. The farming community has come a lot closer together in crisis: those who have no involvement in farming have helped support those in desperate need; many countries have united against terrorism, where previously they distanced themselves from America and Europe. So, we can look forward to good things in 2002, or we can perceive everything with doom and gloom. The choice is ours.

As I walk around this village I think, every day, that this is a truly beautiful place in which to live. When we pass the time of day, isn't it better to say something nice rather than to moan that it is raining, or it is too windy, or too hot? We need all the elements, so let's leave our friends and acquaintances with a positive word to send them on their way. Where my son lives, the temperature will soon be -30 or -40C, animals will be dying of cold and starvation because there is not enough rain to keep the grass growing, his medical aid is 1000 miles away! We are just so fortunate to live here - a temperate climate, a train to take us farther afield, roads that enable us to travel quickly [most of the time!] to see family in other parts of the country, and a hospital just 12 miles away.

So, what I am trying to say is 'try to be a smiley person and not a misery'. Not only will we feel better ourselves, but we will help cheer others and leave them feeling happier for having met us.

Happy Christmas and a contented New Year.

Brian Hillier



Feather soft and quiet the snow;
It covers the road
and the walk
and the rooftops
and whispers to the world:

Margaret R. Moore


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


The Rectory
Combe Martin

Dear Friends,

A friend of mine loves Christmas and its true meaning. He recounts the story of one Christmas when the family had strict rules about not going down early on Christmas morning to look at what 'Father Christmas' had brought. The rule was for the first person awake to rouse the others and all the family to go down together. Well, at 4.30 a.m. on this one particular Christmas morning, the youngest member of the family, her eyes filled with excitement, came into their bedroom shouting: "Mommy, Daddy, come quick! It's lovely!"

My friend guessed that she had been downstairs and found the bicycle she had wanted. Feeling cheated and disappointed, they duly roused the other members of the family and went downstairs, being led by their youngest daughter.

Full of excitement, she went straight past the Christmas tree and the bicycle, to the eastern window, where she pulled back the curtains to reveal the night sky. "Look, isn't it lovely? The Star! The Star! I've seen the Star of Bethlehem!"

It seems a shame that many people have forgotten the wonder, awe and beauty of Christmas. Perhaps that is what Jesus meant when he said "Unless you become like children you will never enter the kingdom of God." Perhaps he was waking us up to the wonder and magic of God's world which is all around us, if only we had the eyes to see and the ears to hear!

Truth to tell, the most wonderful and beautiful thing about Christmas is that God's love became flesh and dwelt among us, to reveal our true nature and our final destiny.

With every Blessing for Christmas and the New Year,
Your Friend and Rector,

Keith Wyer


Artwork: Paul Swailes


The Village Get Together on the 14th November would seem to have been a success. There were certainly plenty of villagers in attendance, the noise level as they chatted away was quite something, and the many and varied displays around the hall were much appreciated.

Many thanks are due to those people who set up their interesting exhibits and to all those who helped. Indeed, thank you to all of you who turned up I hope you enjoyed the occasion.

More 'thank you's' - thank you to everyone who has supported the various functions and groups who have used the Manor Hall during the past year. May you continue to do so.

Sadly, during the summer between the Berry Revels and the Church Fete, two bags containing the balls, pins and wedges for use with the skittle alley went missing from inside the Manor Hall. They are not likely to turn up again now and will have to be replaced. If anyone knows where we might acquire suitable replacements - condition not all that important - please let me know.

Christmas Cards for distribution within the Parish may again be left at the village shop from Friday, 14th December. Please include at least 10p per card donation for charity.

The collection will conclude with a sherry, mince pies and coffee morning in the Manor Hall at 10.00 a.m. on Saturday, 22nd December, when the cards will be distributed. If anyone has suitable Christmas items for sale, then tabletops can be 'hired' at £5.00 a time.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Peaceful New Year.

John Hood - Chairman


in aid of Children's Hospice

Meet 6.00 p.m. at The Globe - Back by 8.00 p.m.

[Please bring a torch and wear warm clothes!] There will be stop en route for Mulled Wine and Mince Pies!


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


We are now running our Two-for-One offer on bar meals throughout December and January, Monday to Friday, Lunchtime and Evening.

We also have a four-course Christmas Menu available for bookings of up to 60 people, priced at f,9.50 per head, from 1st December until Christmas Eve.

On Friday, 14th December, we have Gary Songhurst and his newly formed band, The Elderly Brothers, performing hits from the '60's.

Friday, 21st December, is our Killer Games Night, including pool, darts and skittles, with prizes on offer. Saturday, 22nd December, will be your last chance to buy tickets for the Christmas Draw as we shall be making it that night, with prizes including a Mountain Bike, a Week-end Away for Two, and, of course, alcohol! We will also be holding a Quiz that night.

We shall be open on New Year's Eve from 7.00 p.m. and there will be a buffet available, karaoke between 11.00 p.m. and 2.00 a.m., with a disco either side. The bar is open until 4.00 a.m. Fancy Dress is option, but there will be a prize for the 'best dressed'! Tickets for New Year's Eve are now on sale.

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
from All at The Sawmills



As far as is known, no species of reindeer can fly, but as there are 300,000 species of living organisms yet to be classified, this does not completely rule out flying reindeer.

There are 378 million Christian children under 18 in the world. At an average of 3.3 children per household, that's 91.8 million homes and one presumes that there is a least one 'good child' in each home.

Santa has 31 hours of Christmas in which to work, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west which seems logical. This works out to 822.6 visits per second. That means that he has 1/1000th of a second to park, hop out of the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left, get back up the chimney, get back into the sleigh and move on to the next house. Assuming that each of these 91.8 million stops are evenly distributed around the earth [which of course we know to be false, but for our calculations, we will accept], we are now talking about 0.78 miles per household, a total trip of 75.5 million miles, not counting pit stops. This means that Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second, 3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle on earth moves at a pokey 27.4 miles per second - a conventional reindeer can run, tops, at 15 miles per hour.

The load on the sleigh adds another interesting element. If each child gets nothing more than a medium-sized Lego set [2 lbs], the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa who is invariably described as 'overweight'! On land, reindeer can pull no more than 300 lbs, and even granting that 'flying' reindeer could pull 10 times the normal weight, we cannot do the job with 8 or even 9 beasts. We'll need 214,200. This increases the load, but does not include the sleigh, to 353,430 tons. This is four times the weight of 'The Queen Elizabeth'.

353,430 tons travelling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance, heating up the reindeer in the same fashion as spacecraft reentering the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair will absorb 14.3 quintillion joules of energy, per second, each. [No wonder Rudolph's is red!] In short, though, they will burst into flame, exposing their colleagues behind them and create deafening sonic booms in their wake. The entire team will be vaporised within 4.26/1000's of a second. Meanwhile, Santa will be subjected to centrifugal forces 17,500.06 times greater than gravity. At 250 lbs Santa [which seems rather slim] would be pinned to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015lbs of force. In conclusion, if Santa ever did deliver presents on Christmas Eve, he's dust now!

[Please do not tell me these calculations are incorrect! Ed]


A CHARITY CHRISTMAS CONCERT at ARLINGTON COURT on Thursday, 20th December 2001, 7.30 p.m with Cameo, Doreen Reading and Community Carol Singing Tickets, £7.50 each to include wine on arrival and a light buffet supper, can be obtained from: Judie Weedon [01271-883544]

Proceeds in aid of Ilfracombe & District Volunteer Bureau




The Post Office and Village Store will be closed for Christmas and the New Year:

  • Sunday & Monday, 23rd & 24th December - Open Morning, Close 1 p.m.
  • Christmas Day & Boxing Day - CLOSED - No Papers
  • Thursday & Friday, 27th & 28th December - Open All Day
  • Saturday, Sunday, Monday & Tuesday, 29th December - 1st January 2002 Open Mornings, Close at 1.00 p.m.

For the Christmas season we shall be stocking up on cards and annuals, gifts, wrapping paper, etc., as well as seasonal foods and goodies! Christmas trees will be on sale and orders can be placed to ensure that you get YOUR tree. Once again we shall be holding a raffle in aid of the Salvation Army and the Hospice.

We thank you all for your custom and wish everyone the Tidings of the Season.

Alan, Nora and all their Staff


The Cancer Research Campaign - Combe Martin Branch


Saturday, 8th December, 2.00 p.m. Combe Martin Town Hall

Cakes - Bric-a-Brac - Craft Stalls Tombola
Lucky Dip Raffles
Tea and Mince Pie or Biscuit 50p
Singing with the Primary School Choir

Come and meet Father Christmas
Children Bring and Post a Letter

Come and Enjoy Yourselves!


Artwork: Paul Swailes


Our Quiz Nights continue every Sunday, all winter, and everyone is welcome, 8:30 p.m. The Barnstaple Carnival was a great success. Our Bill and Ben float won Best in its Class, and the title of Best Float in the Parade.

A wonderful evening was held to celebrate Colin's birthday on the 16th November - what a celebration as Wendy and Colin had tied the knot earlier in the day! Colin asked for no presents with donations going to Children in Need, and a cheque for £375 has been sent to them.

Christmas at The Globe

On Monday, 17th December, at 9.00 p.m., a group from West Down will be performing their Mummers Play [about 20 minutes], which will be followed by a sing-a-long.

On Christmas Eve we shall be open from 11.30 a.m. to 2.30 p.m. and again from 7.00 p.m. to midnight. There will be carols by candlelight in the back room at 7.30 p.m. and the Christmas Draw will take place at 9.30 p.m.

Christmas Day -- we hope you will join us for a Christmas drink between 11.30 a.m. and 1.30 p.m.

Boxing Day we shall again be open from 11.30 a.m. to 2.30 p.m. and in the evening from 7.00 p.m. to midnight, when we shall be holding our annual Boxing Day Quiz Night with special questions all about the last year!

New Year's Eve we shall be open at lunchtime and at 7.00 p.m. the festivities begin! 'Friends, Romans and Countrymen lend us your ears and get your togas on! There will be merrymaking in the Forum until 4.00 a.m.

New Year's Day - opening times as normal.

Phil, Lynne and Staff would like to wish you all




Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the wisest of them all? This week.
Quiz Night for local brains, a chance to shine [or not]. This week.
The pens picked up, the chatter stilled, the teams chalked up. This week.
The pictures might not all look like the Adams Family. This week.
Perhaps we'll recognise a song, a group or two or three. This week.
A favourite hobby, novel, film could be the difference. This week.
Last hope [no hope], Lynne's adding up could fail! This week.
Look out, Phil winked! Who is 'The Weakest Link'? This week.



for all your Christmas Gifts

We have a large selection of Toys and Games in Stock as well as 3 Catalogues for you to Order from
Action Man, Barbie, Cindy, Bob the Builder Fisher-Price - all the big names and more!

We probably have the largest display of jigsaws in North Devon!

Lots of Chocolates at special Sue prices and many other gift ideas, including fireworks which may be ordered [and stored] to see 2002 in with a bang!

Visit us at Seaside, Combe Martin
Open Daily from 6.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m.



4th W.I. Meeting, 2.30 p.m., Manor Hall: 'Getting Ready for Christmas' - Mr. Green. Visitors welcome
5th Mobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
6 & 7thPrimary School: Book Fayre from 3.30 p.m.
8th Cancer Research Campaign: Christmas Bazaar Combe Martin Town Hall, 2.00 p.m.
10 & 11th Primary School: Book Fayre, from 3.30 p.m.
11th Parish Council Meeting, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
12th Wine Circle, 8.00 p.m., Manor Hall: Christmas Food and Wine BY TICKET ONLY
14th Village Charity Card Box Open
16th Carol Singing for Children's Hospice: 6.00 to 8.00 p.m. Meet at the Globe
17th W.I. Christmas Lunch at the Globe, 12.30 for 1.00 p.m.
Primary School: Service of Christmas Celebration, St. Peter's, 2.00 p.m. Bazaar in Manor Hall.
N.D. Mummers Play at The Globe, 9.00 p.m.
19th Mobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
Primary School & College: End of Autumn Term
St. Peter's Church: Carol Service, including the Lamb's Tale, 6.30 p.m.
20th Concert at Arlington Court in aid of Ilfracombe & District Volunteer Bureau
22nd Management Committee Coffee Morning and Distribution of Christmas Post, Manor Hall 10.00 a.m.
23rd St. Peter's Church: Crib Service, 11.00 a.m., including the Lamb's Tale
24th Christmas Eve: Carols by candlelight at the Globe, 7.30 p.m.
St. Peter's Church: Blessing of the Crib and first Communion of Christmas, 9.30 p.m.
St. Peter's Church: Family Communion, 11.00 a.m.
26th BOXING DAY Quiz Night at The Globe
30th St. Peter's Church: Family Communion with Carols, 11.00 a.m.
31st New Year's Eve: Roman Evening at The Globe
1st W.I.Meeting, 2.30 p.m., Manor Hall: The Prince's Trust - Peter Sanders. Visitors welcome
2nd Mobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
3rd Primary School & College: Start of Spring Term
8th Parish Council Meeting 7.30 p.m. Manor Hall
16thMobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
Wine Circle: Manor Hall 8.00 p.m. - Members' Favourite Wines co-ordinated by Alex Parke
30thMobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
5th W.I. Meeting: 2.30 p.m. Manor Hall. Visitors welcome.

Manor Hall Diary:

MondaysBadminton, 7.30 p.m.
TuesdaysYoga, 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
1.15 - 1.40 p.m.The Square
11.50 - 12.05 p.m.Barton Lane
1.45 - 2.05 p.m.Sterridge Valley



  • COUNCILLOR GRAHAM E ANDREWS - Treetops, Old Coast Road, Berrynarbor, EX34 9RZ. Telephone: 01271 883385 Fax: 01271 883375 E.Mail: Andrewsgraham@Talk21.com
    Chairman of the Parish Council.

  • COUNCILLOR ANTONY (BUD) R RICE - Leewood, The Lees, Sterridge Valley, Berrynarbor. EX.34 9SD. Telephone: 01271 882051. (Day) 01271 883034 Mobile Number: 07768223522 E.Mai1: antonyrice@AOL.com
    Vice Chairman of the Parish Council.

  • COUNCILLOR BOBBY BOWDEN - Lower Birdswell, Birdswell Lane, Berrynarbor. EX34 9SF Telephone: 01271 88 3887.
    Liaison Officer with Local Highway Authority.

  • COUNCILLOR LEN COLEMAN - Swan Cottage, The Village, Berrynarbor. EX34 9SG Telephone: 01271 883763
    Representing the Parish Council as Footpath Warden.

  • COUNCILLOR PAUL CROCKETT - Berrynarbor Park, Valley, Berrynarbor. EX34 9TA. Telephone: 01271 882631 Fax: 01271 882404 E.Mail: Info@Berrynarborpark.co.uk
    Representative on Claude's Garden Committee.

  • COUNCILLOR RICHARD GINGELL - Hempster Farm, Berry Down, Combe Martin. EX34 ONY Telephone: 01271 883306
    Representing the Parish Council as Tree Warden.

  • COUNCILLOR MRS G ANN HINCHLIFFE - Castle Hill, Berrynarbor. EX34 9SX. Telephone: 01271 883708
    Representing North Devon Rural Transport Forum; Neighbourhood Watch.

  • COUNCILLOR MIKE LANE - Brookside, 63 The Village, Berrynarbor. EX34 9SE Telephone: 01271 883059
    Representing Berrynarbor Primary School Governing Body, Ilfracombe and District Crime Prevention Group, North Devon Police Liason Group, Home Defence Officer.

  • COUNCILLOR MRS MARY MALIN - Mill Park Touring Site, Mill Lane, Berrynarbor. EX34 9SH Telephone: 01271 882647 Fax: 01271 882667 E.Mail: millpark@globalnet.co.uk
    Represntative on the Manor Hall Committee.

  • PARISH CLERK; MRS SUE SQUIRE - Haxlea, 2 Threeways, Bratton Fleming, Barnstaple. EX314TG. Telephone: 01598 710526 Fax: 01598 710107 E.Mail: smsquire@hotmail.com

  • If you would like to raise any issue, please write to the Clerk who will put it on the Agenda. Even if you have spoken to a Member it is still very useful to write to the Clerk to arrive if possible by the Monday of the week before the Meeting. G.E.A.

    The Parish Council normally meets on the second of each month (except during the August recess) at 7.30 p.m. in the Penn Curzon Room of the Manor Hall.



    Treann, Trenode Avenue,
    Combe Martin. EX34 OAJ.
    Telephone: 01271 882692
    Fax: 01271 882498
    E.Mai1. mhknight@devon.co.uk



    Glenwood, Hangman Path,
    Combe Martin. EX34 ODN,
    Telephone: 01271 882634


    Holmleigh, Woodlands
    Combe Martin. EX34 OAT.
    Telephone: 01271 882364

    Printed and published by Berrynarbor Parish Council


    Artwork: Angela Bartlett


    Christmas Past In Berrynarbor

    This picture shows from left to right, No. 54 The Village, now known as Dunchideock House, together with the small, barn-like building which, when we first moved into the village was used as a dairy and was where the fresh milk was bottled and distributed by Claude Richards. Then we see the row of thatched houses which are now known as Little Gables [No. 50] on the corner and Bessemer Thatch [Nos. 48 & 49]. The postcard has been sent from Brentford at 5.45 a.m. on 23rd December 1908, and would have reached its destination either the same day, or at the latest on the 24th. In those days there was even a delivery on Christmas Day!

    The message on the reverse reads:

      'Wishing you & all a Merry Christmas & prosperous New Year. From J.A. Bowden & Sid 1908'.

    The picture has, to my mind, been produced for Christmas by the unknown - to me - photographer, and with its borders has an Art-Nouveau touch.

    [See original postcard on right including border]

    The second and third pictures are from a collection of photographs I acquired many years ago which had been put together by Miss Iris Hebbert, who lived at Beech Leigh during the early part of the last century.

    The first of these [on left] shows Captain James and friends, including Iris Hebbert [standing on the far right], dressed in fancy dress for celebrations at Watermouth Castle for Christmas 1916. In the centre can be seen the austere Mrs. Curzon.

    The second [ on right] shows a party from Watermouth Castle on Broadstrands Beach', presumably having been rowed across from the Harbour and not having climbed down the 235+ steps down to the beach! Iris can be seen again on the far right, and it would appear that they have devoured their picnic, as the basket looks pretty empty! The picture includes a Major Williams and possibly Captain James.

    Wishing everyone a peaceful Christmas and healthy New Year.

    Tom Bartlett
    Tower Cottage, November 2001
    e-mail: tomandinge40@gmail.com