Edition 77 - April 2002

Artwork by: Debbie Riger Cook

Artwork: Judie Weedon


Spring is here and don't you know,
This is the time when daisies grow.

This childhood ditty always makes me smile, but daisies are not the only things growing - the spring flowers are all in bloom, the trees and bushes bursting into bud and the grass is in desperate need of a haircut! But, no sooner do you think you can go out and cut it, than it rains again!

Sadly, the cuckoo, the harbinger of spring, is increasingly hard to hear and its population has declined sharply over the last thirty years. Unique, in concealing its eggs in the nests of other, smaller birds, it may be suffering from a lack of 'desirable residences', or a lack of caterpillars on which to feed the chicks. An initiative has been set up by the Woodland Trust to monitor cuckoo numbers, as well as other spring events - the appearance of bumble bees, swifts, swallows. They ask that anyone willing to help should contact them or register as a recorder at www.phenology.org.uk. Let's hope that it won't be that we may soon be hearing the last cuckoo call.

My call for articles has, as always, been heard. Thank you all. Thank you, too, everyone who has sent items - particularly snippets from elsewhere - and if yours has not appeared yet, be assured it has not been forgotten or discarded. The pile is quite large but precedence is usually given to 'original' pieces, but keep them coming!

June, with its Golden Jubilee celebrations, will be the next issue and articles will be needed please by the middle of May, Wednesday, 15th May, at the very latest. Thank you.

I should like to take this opportunity to thank Phil and Lynne for everything they have done for our village and particularly for their support of the Newsletter. I wish them a happy 'retirement', although I'm sure they'll be off on a new challenge before too long, and welcome the Ozelton Family to The Globe. With all good wishes for Easter.



The Spaniel

'Spaniel' is the term describing several breeds of medium and small gun dogs, characterised by large drooping ears and a wavy, long silk coat. As the title suggests, the breed originated in Spain in the Middle Ages. Spaniels can be divided into two groups: those that are still working gun dogs, including the Cocker, Clumber, Irish Water, Springer, Sussex and American; and the toy breeds kept as pets such as the King Charles - and Cavalier - and even the Papillon [butterfly spaniel] and Tibetan [Tibetan Prayer dog]. Working breeds normally have docked tails.

The most popular of the breed is the Cocker, developed by British sportsmen in the 19th Century for hunting woodcock hence its name. Although an excellent hunter and exceptionally bright and active, today's cockers are now bred chiefly for companionship and showing.

The Clumber takes its name from Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire, where it was developed in about 1770. It is one of the largest spaniels, with a thick, soft, white coat with orange or lemon flecks. The Irish Water spaniel, of medium size and rich liver coat, with tight and crisp ringlets all over, except the face, tail and fronts of the legs, is, with the Wolfhound, Ireland's oldest of dog races, having been taken there from the East, through Spain, some time BC.

The English Springer was bred in England and Wales for 'springing' or flushing out game. Its old name, Norfolk Spaniel, given after a Duke of Norfolk was a keen fancier, is now obsolete. The coat is brown and white or black and white, or a variety of solid colours, and the dog will spring game and retrieve from water.

Originating at Rosehill Park, Sussex, at the end of the 18th Century, the Sussex spaniel is shorter than its counterparts, standing about 15" tall and characterised by its golden-liver coat. It is a slow worker, but incredibly conscientious, differing from most sporting dogs by giving voice when on the scent.

The American variety is a miniature version of the English cocker, equally suited to work as a gun dog or a household pet. Always cheerful - a great tail wagger! - it can be an inseparable friend, especially of children, and is gentle and trusting but respectful of authority.




A well-attended meeting on the 5th February included a welcome return of Hedi Belka and two visitors - Mrs. French, daughter of the late Jean Cumings. How like her mother she is! In fact, seeing her sitting there reminded me of those many years when Jean was a member - a lovely lady, always full of fun. Her daughter wanted to give a donation in memory of those days, for members to have a tea or outing. It was opted for the tea for the 40th Birthday in March. Mrs. Fry, the other visitor, has since joined us, so we are pleased to welcome her, not only to the Institute but to the village as well.

Sitting quietly by the door were five flowerpot men and one flowerpot lady, waiting to be introduced by their creator, Rainer Jost. Introductions over, he explained how every model is an individual - one of them had come prepared to do some painting, with his own ladder, brushes, etc. A lot of thought and energy goes into getting the right outfits and one wonders why these inoffensive folk who only want to give pleasure and raise a few smiles, have been damaged in and around the village. 'POTRICK', now living in Sheffield, was quite upset to hear what had happened to some of his friends. He has been in Yorkshire two years and finds everyone most friendly - he loved Berrynarbor as well and can't believe what has happened ... kidnapping as well ... dear, oh dear! Rainer also showed us some of the brasses used for rubbing at his Centre in Lynton - another interesting hobby that attracts visitors. The vote of thanks, in conclusion, wished Rainer and his little folk Good Luck for the future, and lots of visitors to love them.

News for the knitters . Five boxes have been packed for collection: all in all, over 120 items .. jumpers, socks, blankets and teddies. Since we started knitting the latter, we have now reached the 600 mark - many thanks ladies, members and friends.

Members met at the Sandy Cove Hotel on the 5th March to celebrate the 40th Birthday. With ideal weather, it made a picturesque setting and the staff helped to make it a very enjoyable afternoon - a splendid tea and a beautifully decorated birthday cake. Many thanks to everyone.

Only one notice to give out to remind members of the Group Meeting at East Down on the 16th April. Would-be competition entrants were asked if they would bring their efforts to the meeting on 2nd April, when they would be judged by the other members as to who will be our representative at the meeting. There were raffle prizes and then it was time to go home - time flies when you are having fun! Hoping that one and all will have a Happy Easter - it doesn't seem possible that it's here again!

Vi Kingdon - President

Vivid against prolific earth,
The daffodil contrasts;
And tulips swaying straight and slim,
Yes, it is matchless, timeless,
English Spring.





In the last issue we reported the death, just before Christmas, of Kathleen Joslin, the last of the three Joslin sisters whose grandparents lived in the Sterridge Valley. It was, therefore, with much sadness that we learnt that Tom Tucker, husband of Audrey, had died peacefully on the 2nd March at the age of 87.

Tom was an llfracombe man, born and bred. For many years he was Manager of the Home and Colonial in the High Street. When the shop closed, he felt unable to work in the new 'self service' shops and for nearly two years, ran the Stores at RAF Chivenor. But llfracombe called and he returned to work, for 15 years until he retired, at Pedlar's in the High Street.

One of three brothers, Tom would drive his 'girls' - the three sisters and for many years their mother, too - over to Berrynarbor, their favourite place to visit. He will be remembered by many with affection.


'Sorrow makes spaces in the heart for joy'

Josef Belka, 24th June 1924 - 15th January 2002

Josef was born in Czechoslovakia and grew up in Pisek. He came to Britain just after the War, in 1947, and worked for three years on farms, mainly in Devon - Combe Martin, Holsworthy and Ivybridge. In 1951, when he was working as a chef in a Lyme Regis hotel, Hedi arrived from Austria on a summer Student Exchange, staying in the same hotel. They soon got to know each other and in December that year, were married at Marylebone Register Office in London.

Living at first in various addresses in central London, they both commenced working for the Kensington Gold and Silversmith's, Langland. They moved to Milton Keynes and lived there for sixteen years before moving to Northolt, Middlesex, after Landland's had relocated there.

In 1975 they discovered Berrynarbor and kept a caravan at Stowford Meadows. Liking the village so much, they bought Blue Mist in 1981, when our School's Headmaster, Richard Sullivan, moved to Holsworthy. They moved in at Christmas that year and were regular week-end visitors until Josef retired in 1986, when they moved down permanently. Many can recall late parties held at Blue Mist when Stilton and Vintage Port were always available!

Josef soon became very much involved with the Best Kept Village and Berry in Bloom projects, The Globe and the Men's Institute. In 1987, when Dave Goodman died, he took over the piece of land at the rear of the Chapel and was soon winning prizes galore for his onions, raspberries and other fruit and vegetables.

He soon became a village 'character' and always found time to talk to and welcome visitors. So much so, that when they returned, if he wasn't around, they would soon be asking 'Where is Josef?' He would often be seen around the village, walking his two dogs, Brandy and Ringo. Josef also raised money for the Scanner Appeal and other charities and on one occasion had half his beard shaved off! He will always be remembered for his cap and cheery smile.

Just before Christmas, he and Hedi celebrated their Golden Wedding at The Globe, with all their family and friends, and a wonderful evening was had by all. Josef will be sadly missed by everyone and our Rector, Keith Wyer, gave a moving address at his funeral service.

Tom Bartlett

The Berry in Bloom Committee felt that, in recognition of Josef's enthusiasm and support, a bench should be placed in his memory in the Recreation Field. The Parish Council has given its blessing [and some financial support] but if YOU would like to contribute personally, please pop something in the collection jar at the Post Office.

Jill Songhurst

It was with sadness that I heard of the death of Jill Songhurst. During my time at the Tyrrell Hospital, as Staff Nurse, Sister and ultimately Matron, Jill was a wonderful support. Whatever we wanted, I only had to 'phone with a request - anything from equipment to televisions. She would then hold one of her famous 'Waffle' sessions to provide it! I know she raised money in many other ways for us as well.

Jill always arranged and paid for all the Christmas decorations. About ten days before Christmas, she would come to the Tyrrell, walk around deciding what theme she would use, then return two or three days later loaded with decorations of all shapes and sizes. Off would come her shoes and she would start work. Jill never worked with her shoes on! There were little Christmas presents for all the staff, doctors and consultants.

She worked so hard to support her 'Beloved Tyrrell' as she called it and will be long remembered with affection for her devotion and support.

Jeanne Rumson-Waltho - SRN, SCM, Combe Martin

Gladys Toms

Gladys was my mum's cousin and I remember coming to Berrynarbor with my Mum and Dad, many years ago, and have continued to visit whenever possible.

In 1967, three friends [one of whom is now my husband] and I spent a holiday at Aunty Glad's. During this holiday, Barry proposed to me whilst walking down the lane in Berrynarbor - he thought that if I could cook like Aunty Glad, he'd be well looked after!

Over the years we have brought our children down with us and were always made at home.

The last time we saw Aunty Glad was in August 2001, in hospital in llfracombe, and she was still the same cheerful lady we had always known, albeit not able to get around as she would have liked. We did not expect to return so soon after to say 'goodbye'.

It was a glowing tribute to see so many people in the Church on such a sad day.

We shall still visit 'Berry whenever possible and know that we shall continue to receive the same welcome from Uncle Ron and Ray, and Sheila and Tony when they are 'home'.

Jill and Barry Bentley - Coventry

Vi Goodman
and thinking of Frank

After a long spell in hospital, Vi returned home for the last time just before Christmas. She found she could no longer do the things she enjoyed and it was a sad time for everyone who loved her.

It wouldn't have been possible though without the tremendous care and support from Frank, of course, and John and Jacqui Weaver for whom nothing was too much trouble and following the sad loss of Vi, they continued to care for Frank as well. He will miss them so much now they have left for Australia.

Thanks also to Bob and Jeanie, Ray Toms, Mary Tucker and Peter West for popping in, fetching, carrying, shopping and generally keeping an eye on Frank as he continues to live at Dormer Cottage, which is what Vi wished.


Artwork: Helen Armstead


At least 70 attended a superb service on 10th March, Mothering Sunday, with the Sunday School at full strength and the Choir leading the singing of the hymns. The children sang 'I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing' and also distributed bunches of daffodils to their mothers and all the other ladies in the congregation. The Rector gave out a special Mother's Day card. We were pleased to see Sally back in church after her accident and our thanks to Anne, Doreen, Sylvia and Mary for making up the bunches of flowers, not forgetting Paul and Theresa who once more provided so many of them.

Easter Services will be: Good Friday, 2.00 p.m. a quiet hour of devotion. Easter Day, Family Communion. Our services will be following the regular pattern during April and May. There is one special Sunday 19th May, Whitsunday or Pentecost.

The PCC will be holding a Coffee Morning on Thursday, 2nd May, in the Manor Hall, from 10.30 a.m. onwards. There will be the usual stalls and a raffle and, as always, we shall be very glad of any gifts. But most important, please do come along on the day.

Mary Tucker


Friendship Lunches at the Globe

Around 30 of us gathered for our regular Friendship Lunch at The Globe on 20th February. Our thanks to Edith, Karl and staff for their continued hospitality. I should like to take this opportunity, on behalf of us all, of thanking Lynne and Phil for all they did for us over two years - can it really be so long? - and especially for getting the project well and truly off the ground. We shall next meet again on Wednesdays, 24th April and 22nd May.

For anyone who would like to join us, just come along 12.15 - 12.30 p.m. You will be sure of a good meal [we choose what we like from the menu and there is usually a roast as well], and friendly, welcoming company. Or, you can give me a ring on 883881.





A very busy Pancake Morning raised £111.75. A cheque for £20 has been sent to Little Bridge House, the Children's Hospice, and the remaining money, after expenses, will be used for items required by the Sunday School.

Mothering Sunday was very well attended. The children dressed in the National Costumes of different countries and sang 'I'd Like to build the world a home in perfect harmony' to show that all women, be it mothers, grannies, aunties or Godmothers unite in keeping all children safe. The children will be joining the choir from our Primary School in Gary's Show, singing this song again.

It will be Easter next and we shall be constructing the Easter Garden and decorating the Children's Corner.

On the 5th May at the Family Service, we shall be holding a 'pretend' Christening with the casting and production by some of our older children. This was Becky's great idea and if successful we shall go on to produce a Confirmation, Wedding and Funeral. Being a small community, all these events touch our lives often, and many times I have been thankful for the help and kindness shown to me, and to my rescue once again they came.

On 9th January the earth moved in llfracombe, quite high on the Richter Scale - no, it wasn't an earthquake, it was me! A very large and very friendly dog jumped up at me and down I went, breaking my hip. I am making a too slow recovery, but without the care and kindness of family, friends and neighbours, I couldn't have coped at home.

Stuart and the Choir have to be mentioned! Ginny and Stuart visited me in hospital, proudly carrying a player and cassette of the choir singing especially for me. I felt very moved, and expected to hear a beautiful anthem full of emotion. I couldn't have been more wrong - what burst forth was 'The sun has got his hat on, hip, hip, hooray! ! ! I laughed so much I fell out of bed and broke the other one - I didn't really, just pulling your leg.

My thanks again to Val, Sarah, Julia and Becky for keeping the Sunday School going with such enthusiasm.

Two Little Tales

  1. from the Parish News: We are delighted to report that the Choir raised £120 for the building fund during their recent sponsored sing. This included £10 not to do it again! [Just getting my own back, Stuart!]
  2. 8-year old Peter was at the Christening ceremony for his new baby brother. Afterwards, the Rector jokingly asked Peter if he could take the new baby home with him. "Oh, no," replied Peter, shocked. "We bought him - you only get to wash him!"

Bye for now.

Sally B, Val, Sarah, Julia and Becky



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



The North Devon Journal are looking for a Correspondent to cover news and views in the Berrynarbor area. Interested? Want to know more? Contact Sandra on [01271] 347464.


Artwork: Paul Swailes


The Annual General Meeting of the Management Committee will be held in the Hall at 7.00 p.m. on Wednesday, 3rd April 2002. This is, of course, an open meeting and I invite as many of you as can to attend. I particularly ask, please, that each of the groups who use the Hall should be represented.

The Hall is now being used by more and more people and at different times. This sometimes leads to problems with the car parking. May I remind everyone that the area in front of the Manor Hall is for the use of those who are attending classes and functions in the Hall. Other vehicles should, please, be parked preferably in the public car park up Castle Hill.

John Hood - Chairman




The last two meetings of the 2001-2002 programme will be held on Wednesdays, 17th April and 15th May. The April meeting will be 'Special Six Wines' presented by six members, and the May meeting will be a 'Surprise, Surprise' Evening with John Hood.

Meetings of the Wine Circle are held at the Manor Hall and commence at 8.00 p.m.



Tuesday, 9th April, 2002, 7.00 p.m.

Parliament legislated in 1894 to create Parish Councils and Berrynarbor, like a great many other communities up and down the Kingdom, elected its first Council by a show of hands at a Parish Meeting in December 1894.

It started meeting in January 1895 and continues to this day. Major Local Government Acts were passed in 1933 and 1972 and the governments at those times did not seek to vary the roles of Parishes.

The 1972 Act allowed Parishes to call themselves 'Towns' if they wished and formed new Parish/Town Councils where some of the former Urban Districts and Municipal Boroughs had been previously.

It also designated councils at that level as 'Local Councils' and County and District Councils as 'Principal Councils' - a nice distinction which has not really reached the media everyday language. There are therefore nearly 10,000 local councils and around 100,000 local councillors, the sort of number of voluntary unpaid workers that most sensible people would not wish to antagonise. However, we now have a Government willing to risk that. The Local Government Act 2000 does a number of things:

In the first place it requires every councillor [and there are a number of these] to register their personal interests in a register open to public inspection - local holdings, share portfolios, etc.

There is a review of the rules about 'Declaration of Interest' which is aimed at making councils better informed. The Code of Conduct that stands alongside these changes has been adopted by your Council with effect from 1st May.

Another change is that some Parish Councils may apply to be designated 'Quality Councils'. It is perhaps divisive for councils with the same powers and duties to be treated differently. Berrynarbor will not become a Quality Council because one of the criteria is that it must budget to spend at least £30,000 per annum. We do not spend that sort of money, and have no ambitions so to do - Council Tax payers will be glad to hear!

The other criteria which we do not meet is really much more important. The Government, quite rightly in my view, has declared that better treatment will be given to those councils which have freely contested elections at each 4-yearly election of the council.

We have not had a contested election for, I believe, some eleven years. Only four members out of the current nine have ever been elected, the rest having been co-opted or returned unopposed. No blame attaches to those who are serving now, but others who could seek election and have not, might reconsider their position before the next election in 2003. By the time next year's Annual Parish Meeting is held, nominations will have closed, and so now is the time to appeal for candidates for a task which is not very onerous anyway.

As to the work of the Council this year: we have had much routine, and some good news. Barton Lane has been resurfaced at the higher end and the road from Diggers Cross to Cross Park is expected to be done this summer.

Your Council has defended the Village Plan against applications in the 'Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty' that surrounds us. They have supported unreservedly applications for accommodation for the disabled on our tourist sites.

We have been unable to insure Claude's Garden against the danger of landslip and will now have to take professional advice.

May I invite you to attend the Annual Parish Meeting at 7.00 p.m. in the Penn Curzon Room on Tuesday, 9th April. The Manor Hall is not available to us and we have asked that in future, it be reserved for us so that more electors have the opportunity to question the Council.

An increase has been reported in dog fouling and the exercise area has been refurbished. Please use it. We shall be erecting some dog bins but the company who were to supply us are in liquidation, so there will be a further delay.

My thanks go to all the members and to the Clerk for their work.

We are, on the whole, a friendly bunch and a good team!

Graham E. Andrews - Chairman

A Personal Statement

As most people know, Margaret and I have left Treetops and relocated at Moory Lodge, Moory Meadow, Combe Martin, where the 'phone number remains [01271] 883385.

My membership of the Council continues and I shall complete my term of office. As I reside within 3 miles of the Parish Boundary, I shall be eligible to contest the next election. Already I have been asked to do so, and if the signs are right, I probably will.

The District Council have offered me the chance to represent Parish Councils on the new Standards Committee and indeed serve until 2007, provided I remain a Parish Councillor.

Very many thanks to all of you for making us welcome in Berrynarbor for so many years. We should both be happy to remain a useful part of the Village life.





In recent months we have had stolen cars abandoned in the village, the attempted theft of a car, wheels stolen from a vehicle and tyres that appear to have been punctured deliberately on a number of occasions. Add to this the theft of a slate doorstep and almost weekly vandalism of the flowerpot men, and their disappearance in a number of cases, and you have a situation which invited discussion with the Police. Anne Hinchliffe [Neighbourhood Watch] is arranging for police officers to attend a meeting with parishioners. Details of when this will be will be publicised as soon as they are available.

Please make every effort to attend this meeting, after all it is our environment, homes and property that are being abused.

Michael Lane [Parish Councillor]


Artwork: Paul Swailes


Here we are into March already and as we have been washed and blown out of the garden, we thought we'd better write our report before Judie chases us!

January started off quite pleasantly, cool with some frost and very little rain. On the 11th, however, the temperature started to rise bringing in the gales and rain. The wettest day was the 26th with 26mm of rain. The gales seemed to be continuous with gusts up to 37 knots [45mph] here in the Valley. The temperature peaked at a very mild 12.9 Deg C on the 27th. We did not see any snow in the month, although we had 172mm [6 3/4"] of rain - somewhat wetter than last year when we had 111mm [4 1/2"] or 2000 which produced only 77mm [3"] in the same period.

The warm, windy weather continued into February and stayed with us for most of the month, apart from a few days in the middle when the temperature dropped and we had a few bright frosty days. The maximum wind gust was 42 knots [52mph] on the 26th and we recorded a wind chill of -0.9 Deg C on the 27th. Snow fell on three days but did not settle. The wettest day was the 25th with 33mm [1 5/16"] of rain. The total rainfall for February was 195mm [7 3/4"] compared with 139mm [5 1/2"] last year and 290mm [9"] in 2000.

That's it for now, hopefully the worst of the winter weather is behind us and spring is on its way for us all to enjoy.

Sue and Simon



A.A. Milne [1882-1956]

John had
Great Big
Boots on;
John had a
Great Big
John had a
Great Big
Mackintosh -
And that
(Said John)

Illustration: Debbie Rigler Cook



Many thanks to everyone who sponsored me on the 2002 walk on the night of 9th/10th March. Special thanks to Alan and Nora for their help.

The walk was centred around the Valley of the Rocks and consisted of 6 gruelling sections totalling 16 miles. We started the course at 20.15 on Saturday evening by making a major navigational error and ended up walking nearly twice the distance on this section. We persevered and finally completed the walk at around 6.45 on Sunday morning! Thankfully, the weather stayed dry, but windy with a starlit, clear sky.

Over 80 teams of walkers [4-6 per team] took part. Our team managed to raise £710.90 for the North Devon charities: Children's Hospice South West, Hospice Care Trust and the Make Me Smile fund. A total of over £29,000 was raised altogether.

Congratulations to the Rotary Club of llfracombe and all of the Services, for a well organised and safe event.

John Mabin - The Lodge



A big thank you to everyone who supported 'An Audience with the Elderly Brothers' at the Landmark Theatre in aid of funds for llfracombe & District Volunteer Bureau. A great evening was had by all and the Bureau should benefit by over £600. My sincere thanks to everyone who helped, but especially Gary and the boys for their support.

By now, the Saturday Concert Goers will have experienced a short audience with the Brothers - aren't they great!


Congratulations to Philippa Anderson and Ben Hann on their Engagement at the end of January. Ben, the youngest son of Val and David Hann of Croft Lea, is a Youth Officer with the Devon and Cornwall Police, based in North Devon. Pippa, youngest daughter of Sandy and Ann Anderson of Beach Leigh, is a Trainee Solicitor in Exeter. Very best wishes to you both.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Too many of us hear without heeding, read without responding, confess without changing, profess without practising, worship without witnessing, and seek without sharing.

William Arthur Ward



Following the War, the Association was formed to raise funds to provide a Christmas Party for the children of the Parish, including those school children who came in every day from East Down.

A hardworking committee of parents and grandparents, aunties and uncles, organised funfairs, dances, whist drives and jumble sales. The proceeds from these bought every child a present, a slap-up jelly and cake tea - including the traditional cut-rounds, jam and clotted cream and plenty of prizes for the following fun and games.

These photos of Christmas Parties Past, are from the collection of my late Aunt, Muriel Richards. 

The first photograph the Boys! - was taken 1949/50 and shows, left to right, Theodore and Malcolm Chalmer [twins], Michael Bowden, John Vallance, Charles Leigh, Henry Hill?, Bill Huxtable and Richard Armstead. Seated in the background are Vera Newton and Doreen Spear, and standing, Victor Harding and his wife.

The second photograph, probably 1951/2, shows standing: Fred Richards and his family - his son Claud holding his granddaughter Cheryl [Layton], his daughter Vera Sidebottom with John, his daughter Brenda Layton and his daughter Noel Richards. Standing on the end is Ivy Richards. Seated in front are: Marlene Bray, ? Adams, Janet Harris, Eileen and Gordon Stanbury, Billy Brown and Michael Warburton. Behind Fred are Brian Smyth and Ronald Cook.

The picture above shows Muriel cutting the cake at a Christmas Party in the 1950's. To the left seated are: ?, John Sledman, Raymond Thorne, Larry Bray, Nicholas Crighton, with Chris Smallridge behind. Standing, L to R: ?, Michael Mitcham, Linda Thorne, and Jennifer Stuckey. Behind them are: unknown small boy, Lorna Sledman [nee Draper] holding ? Butcher, me [Lorna] in my pinnie, and Pamela Thorne [Brookman]. At the very back are Heather Jones and Lilly Huxtable [nee Richards]. To Muriel's right are: seated ?, ?, Cheryl Layton and Alastair Crighton. Standing: Ivy Richards with Yvonne, Phyllis Dummett, Brenda Layton with Michael Richards and Rita Smith.

[If anyone can help with the dates, the '?'s' and any other information, it would be lovely to hear from you. Please get in touch with Lorna or Judie. Thank you.]

Lorna Bowden


A Prayer for the Stressed

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I cannot accept, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of those I had to kill today because they got on my nerves, and also help me to be careful of the toes I step on today as they may be connected to the feet I may have to kiss tomorrow.

Help me always give 100% at work: 12% on Monday, 23% on Tuesday, 40% on Wednesday, 20% on Thursday and 5% on Friday.

And help me to remember ... When I'm having a bad day and it seems that people are trying to wind me up, it takes 42 muscles to frown, 28 to smile and only 4 to extend my arm and smack someone in the mouth!

Given to me by a good friend during a particularly busy time at work.

Lorna Bowden


Artwork: Paul Swailes


It was a sad day when we waved goodbye to John and Jacqui Weaver, off to live down under. Ragstone Cottage, their former home and home for just a short while to Judy, Nigel and their three dogs, is now occupied by Nigel and Elaine Waters. Nigel and Elaine, who come from Cranleigh in Surrey, have chosen the village because of its proximity to Exmoor and the North Devon coast - of which they are very fond - and it is also significantly nearer to relatives in Cornwall. Nigel works with the Highways Agency on motorway systems and Elaine is a Home Care Provider working with the elderly. Also at home is Pippa, the family black cat.

After five years at Thistledew, Birdswell Lane, Sylvia and Ernest Baker have moved to Grange Over Sands. They would like to take this opportunity to say 'goodbye and thank you' to all their friends.

Newly arrived at Thistledew are David Hubbard and Madeline Worth. David and Madeline have been living in Winchester but in fact are returning this way, since they used to live in llfracombe. David, a Project Manager in London, says he is too busy for hobbies at present, but, whilst taking a break from teaching, Madeline will enjoy working in her new garden - weather permitting! It is another of Alex's coincidences that Dorothy Hubbard [but no relation] who taught so many of the young of the village to play the piano, lived here and nice to know that Madeline has brought her boudoir grand with her - there is a piano again at Thistledew!

We have said goodbye to Ann and her family who have lived at Ducky Pool for many years, but it is now home to Sally and Mark Ellis and their three children - Barnaby, Polly and Kitty. Mark, an officer in the RAF, and Sally used to live in Plymouth and Truro and have felt the pull back to the West Country ever since! In Sally's words: 'We absolutely adore Ducky Pool, so hope that I can reassure Ann that the cottage is well loved, although with three noisy children, its poor old walls shake somewhat!'

To all those who have left, you take with you our best wishes for happiness in your new homes, and to all our newcomers, welcome! We hope that you will be very happy here in your new homes.



  • Arlington Court - Arlington is one of the county's most attractive country estates, with its Victorian mansion, outstanding collection of horse drawn carriages and working stables, wonderful gardens, woods and parkland grazed by Jacob sheep and Shetland ponies needs Volunteers. If you could spare some time each week during the season to help look after and show visitors this treasured property, whether you are interested in the mansion or carriage collection, please call [01271] 850296 for more information. Regular volunteers receive a National Trust discount card for use in NT shops or to give you free admission to other properties.

  • The Calvert Trust - The Calvert Trust, a charity providing outdoor activity courses and holidays for people with disabilities, is also looking for volunteers to help with the riding activities. The purpose built stables and activities rely upon help from volunteers who kindly assist with preparation and leading of horses during the riding sessions. Volunteers can be of any age, but to lead the horses they must be over 14 years. Experience is not essential as full training will be given. Help is required on an occasional/regular basis and all that is asked is that you are keen and reliable. You will find a great deal of satisfaction working with the clients, who in turn experience enjoyment as well as being provided with many personal challenges.

    If you have a spare few hours, please contact Vicki Alford, Stables Manager on [01598] 763221 for more information.

  • Combe Martin Museum - The Museum now has a smart new extension which we believe will make a big difference to presentation, storage, etc. We were fortunate in having grant aid for this on the understanding that we agree to open for a little longer through the season. We have a most loyal band of volunteers who help to man the Museum through the summer, but we really do need more. Can YOU help?

    The Museum opens every day except Saturdays. In the main it runs from about 1.30 to 4.00 pm. During August this becomes 11.00 am to 4.00 pm. Volunteers work in pairs and help by selling admittance tickets, a few shop goods and most importantly, by welcoming visitors. It is not essential to have a vast knowledge of local history, but it has to be said that you will be surprised how much you will absorb about Combe Martin and Berrynarbor whilst being in the Museum. Your help would be greatly appreciated and if you would like to know more, please contact Hilary Beaumont on 882636 or Brian Mountain on 882920. Thank you!



[or Motorcyclists of Berrynarbor]

A further meeting of the Motorcyclists of Berrynarbor took place on 13th February and it is becoming obvious that this group is very much 'safety' orientated. Two of the members have already passed Advanced Tests, and two more are currently undergoing training with ROSPA. As responsible motorcyclists, we are all concerned with maintaining a good standard of riding and encouraging car drivers to be aware of our vulnerability. Motorcyclists sometimes get a bad press, but it is usually the case of the minority making it bad for the majority, as happens in many other activities. We want to help other, less experienced, riders and apart from discussion, we shall also be taking rides out, both as a training and social event.

Following the March meeting, April's will take place on the 10th when we shall be taking a ride out with a coffee stop. We'll meet at the back of The Globe and the ride will be approximately 60 miles, taken at a leisurely pace. All riders are welcome. The proposed starting time is 5.30 p.m. This can be confirmed nearer the date by 'phoning Brian on 882388.

Future plans include a longer day out [when the weather improves!] and trips to sporting events if members are interested. The May meeting will take place on the 8th, and June's will be on the 12th. Watch this space for further news.




Brian Wright

Solution in Article 26.




February was obviously a busy month for the stork and new arrivals, and we send our congratulations and best wishes to all the new babies, their parents and grandparents.

Rita and David Duncan are very proud and happy to announce the arrival of their 4th grandchild. Robin Michael David, a second son for Fiona and Nick and baby brother for Patrick, arrived on the 5th February, weighing 7lbs 4oz. Rita and David send their love and best wishes to everyone in Berry.

Jill and Alastair Crighton are delighted to announce the arrival of their third grandchild. Louis, son of Kate and Greg, now has a baby brother, Elliot Luc, who arrived at the beginning of February.

David and Louise Richards are very pleased to announce the arrival of Elyse, who weighed in at 7 lbs on the 11th February. A baby sister for twins Kirsti and Kayleigh, Elyse is a very welcome third granddaughter for Norman and Angela, and another greatgrandchild for Ivy.

Anna and Bill Scholes are very proud and happy to announce the arrival of their first grandchild. William Scholes Moore, a son for Louise and Lee, was born on 16th February and weighed 7 lbs 5 oz.

None of these beautiful babies are, of course, like the one depicted in the following poem!



by Charles Causley

Illustration: Debbie Rigler Cook
Don't you love my baby, mam,
Lying in his little pram,
Polished all with water clean,
The finest baby ever seen?
Daughter, daughter, if I could
I'd love your baby as I should,
But why the suit of signal red,
The horns that grow out of his head,
Why does he burn with brimstone heat,
Have cloven hooves instead of feet,
Fishing hooks upon each hand,
The keenest tail that's in the land,
Pointed ears and teeth so stark
And eyes that flicker in the dark?
Don't you love my baby, mam?
Dearest, I do not think I can.
I do not, do not think I can.


Artwork: Helen Weedon


For many people summer is their favourite time of year. For workers returning home after a hectic day, the light evenings allow them to unwind as they view the countryside around them. Foxgloves line country lanes, leaning out from hedgerows, all vying for attention; with each one wanting their own deep pinks to be appreciated. Other roads disappear under natural tunnels of trees, their branches arching either side like a guard of honour to the commuter entering underneath. The driver's vehicle goes suddenly dark, intermittent light being offered only by a setting sun as it flickers through the dappled shade of green leaves.

Later in the season that same worker could go for a refreshing evening walk, perhaps over Exmoor to gaze at the splendour of its purple heather, or maybe to Lee to survey the hundreds of Fuchsias cascading down through the valley.

For others, however, summer is not a good time. Ironically those same late summer evenings can be unbearable if it is hot and sticky. Indeed the humidity that is guaranteed with a hot English summer can drain our countryside of its colour too. Fields and meadows are brown parched and barren.

It is this same climatic reason, which makes autumn a favourite time of year for others. Cooler days mean they can once again walk through the countryside without getting hot and sweaty; and through a countryside, which has now become an artist's paradise. For green has now given way to gold, resplendent through the woods, each tree boasting a unique shade of its own. Autumn also offers a chance to relive traditional patterns of life before the age of Supermarkets. Crab apples, blackberries and mushrooms can be picked as we gather up food for the winter ahead. Also the sight of conkers hatching from their shells as they ricochet to the ground allows us to recall days spent in September playgrounds attempting to smash an enemy's best conker into bits.

Yet for others autumn is not so enjoyable. The seemingly-too-quick shortening days, the first cool northerly winds, strong enough to rob the trees of their first leaves all act as a reminder of dark days to come.

A rural winter, however, offers many a spectacle. It is only at this time of year that a wood of conifers can be transformed into a winter wonderland when their branches are heavily laden with snow. On other days one might look across to Exmoor and see only its peaks scantily covered, the chance to tell a child that God has sprinkled icing sugar over the hills whilst making his Christmas cake. It is also a chance to giggle at the seagulls as they take daring steps over a frozen lake and then roar with laughter when the ice suddenly snaps! Those same frosty mornings also let us admire the splendour of the deepness of a robin's red breast, standing out against the white scenery around him; even better the tree upon which he is perched is now stripped of its leaves, so bearing the colour of its bark beneath. How lovely in winter to see the varying colours like that of the silver birch bark.

Other trees now find themselves another use at winter: having been felled and chopped, their logs provide that unique heat that can only be experienced when burnt on an open fire; and can only be appreciated when the curtains are drawn on a wet, cold and windy night outside. Many, of course, find the dark days of winter and all the coldness and rain that goes with it their excuse for disliking winter most of all. It's as though we too are like our rural counterparts, hibernating within our dwellings and rarely seen. So whilst summer, autumn and winter have their good points, for many these seasons also have negative aspects. Yet I defy anybody to say the same of spring: it may not necessarily be everyone's favourite time of year, but how can any negatives be found? Snowdrops give way to crocus, which in turn give way to narcissi. Soon the March winds will blow them over allowing the tulips, camellias and primroses to take centre stage; and before they have completed their final encore, May blossom trees will be in splendour, woods will be thick with bluebells and gardens will be boasting azaleas and rhododendrons. What's more, with each passing day the sun is getting a little higher, offering that extra bit of warmth as the weeks pass by.

Our countryside at this time of the year is like an adolescent; growing and maturing so quickly and full of energy - so if you are feeling lethargic go out there and zap some of its energy up!

Illustration by: Paul Swailes

Steve McCarthy



Crossword Solution

Our very best wishes to get well soon go to everyone not feeling their best at present. Special wishes go to Betty Davis and Doreen Spear both currently in hospital.

It is good to have Lorna Price home again after her stay in hospital, and Olive Kent is also out of hospital and enjoying being a new resident at Park View in llfracombe. We send her our love and best wishes and hope she will be happy there.

We were sorry to learn that, like Humpty Dumpty, Alan's new paperboy suffered a 'great fall' on his first day of deliveries. Fortunately, he was able to be 'put together again' and has now recovered!



A village on a hill - a lovely place to holiday - Tower Cottage, The Globe, Grattons, The Globe, Bessemer Thatch, and other lovely places around. And for a meal ... Miss Muffet's ... what a treat! And what to take home as a present? We have found, in the Sterridge Valley, the flower pot men. The church and its bells - how softly they sound. Then down the hill is the Sawmill Inn, Big and Little Meadow and still more lovely holiday places. Then you can join the Duck Race - what fun that was! And wander down to Watermouth - so much to see, so much to do. Everyone is so friendly and helpful. What a lovely place we have found!

Ray and Marion Bolton - Birmingham

[We wanted you all to know how we feel about coming to Berrynarbor on holiday.]




We are enjoying the beautiful weather [in between the gales and showers] and signs of Spring are appearing in the School grounds, with buds and flowers everywhere!

Art, Music and Drama have been featuring high in the curriculum of late and we hope you will be able to see or have seen the children's work at one of the following events during the next few weeks:

  • The Children's Choir featuring Berrynarbor pupils and the Sunday School will be part of the BBC Show
  • Work from all the pupils at the school will be on display at Grove House Studios, Newport, Barnstaple, from 16th to 30th March. The work is a mixture of 2D and 3D work and includes the children's 'Smartie Art' entries, which were part of our recent competition.

The proceeds from the recent pantomime were donated to the Children's Hospice South West. The £300 will go towards a 'soft play room' which is being constructed to form part of their new facilities. We shall be enjoying World Book Day on the 14th March - I wonder if you saw any miniature storybook characters around the village on that day, as Fancy Dress was part of the activities.

More from us next issue, in the meantime we hope you enjoy the art work of children in our Reception Class.

Simon Bell - Headteacher

Spring Haikus

[Haiku - a 17-syllable Japanese verse form, usually divided into three lines of 5, 7 and 5.]

Haiku for Spring

The world starts to warm
Animals blink eyes then yawn
Winter's night Spring's dawn

James Farrell [Year 6]

Haiku for Spring

Daffodil yelllow,
Snowdrops are starting to bloom
Lambs skip happily

Julian Smith [Year 6]

Postcard from Holiday

Charlotte Cornish

Tia Darch

'In Our Hats'

Joe Barnes

Gareth Howell

Liberty Sweet-Escott



Last year we were due to fly out in September to the Grand Canyon to explore this area of the USA. Unfortunately our flight was cancelled due to the events on September 11th in New York. As I had already booked the time off work we had to make a decision where to go and opted not to travel by plane but to take the car across to France and discover an area where we had not been before near the Dordogne valley. We managed to book up a hotel with the local travel agents in a place called Rocamadour. The hotel was described as a littl gem and it certainly lived up to its name. I expect some readers will have been to this area of France and visited Rocamadour as it does seem to be on everyone's tourist route. This hotel was in the main street which is pedestrianised and has lovely views over the dry river gorge of the Alzou valley. Staying in the village you can explore all the areas when the tourists have gone home and find the hidden paths and walkways and try out the various restaurants. For those used to walking round Berrynarbor you will have no problem with all the steps and steep lanes. As the village is literally built into the rock face it can be quite exhausting to walk from one level to another.

Whilst we were in the area we decided to have a boat trip on the river Dordogne from La Roque Gageac, where they have built leisure boats which are replicas of the sailing boats which used to ply up and down the river. The trip takes you upstream past the beautiful gardens of Marqueyssac, which are worth a visit, to a wonderful view of chateau Fayrac. On the way we saw many birds on the banks including some spectacular kingfishers. Amazingly only a few weeks before I had seen my first kingfisher in the Sterridge valley by the stream near our cottage. These beautiful birds move very quickly and you have to be quick to see them. After our experience on the boat we decided to try something more adventurous and opted to hire a Canadian canoe from Gluges. Down the Dordogne there are numerous places where you can hire canoes and paddle downstream. As neither of us were keen on going too far we decided to opt for a two hour trip of 10 kilometres but when we booked in we were persuaded to do 20 kilometres, as we would otherwise have to wait some time for our return transport. It sounds a long way, but with the stream behind us the distance was soon covered and we had a pleasant afternoon drifting along and seeing the beauty of this area of France. There were only six of us paddling downstream, in three canoes. The river was very quiet and quite eerie at times with the tall rock faces on either side. We reached our destination at Pinsac in time to meet the minibus to take us back to the car.

We then spent a few days at Blois in the Loire valley on the way back to the UK visiting various chateaux and old French towns. This was very different from our planned holiday, but we had been to a spectacular gorge and experienced an area we had not visited before and with the added bonus of spotting some kingfishers. You do not need to travel so far. Next time you walk over the bridge in the Sterridge Valley look out for the kingfisher hiding in the trees by the stream. You will have a treat if you see it.

Illustrated by: Paul Swailes

Alan & Wendy Lord - Brookvale


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


The Rectory
Combe Martin

Dear Friends,

What would you think if someone out of the blue said to you 'Fish'? I expect some of us would think 'chips' or something like that. What would you think if someone said 'Easter'? Perhaps you might think, 'eggs', or 'spring flowers', or 'chicks'. It might bring to mind springtime, yellow flowers, new life. Deep down it refers to Jesus rising from the dead and the new life he came to bring. It's a day of victory and new hope, and with it comes a joy that is infectious. Do you remember the bad old days of President Amin of Uganda? All the evil things that went on there?

Do you remember that Archbishop Janani Luwum stood up to Amin and condemned all the evil that was going on? He was arrested and a few days later he was shot, although the authorities said he was killed in a car accident while trying to escape.

The Church was very sad, and planned a big funeral service for the Archbishop at the Cathedral. The grave had been dug and all the preparations had been made when suddenly the authorities refused to hand over his body, saying he had been buried elsewhere, but actually they didn't want anyone to find out that he had been murdered.

The service went on regardless, and at the end, the congregation processed out to the empty grave and stood round it in deep sorrow. But as they stood there, they realised that this empty tomb was actually a sign of hope. They were reminded of what the man in white said to the women at Jesus's tomb: "Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here. He is risen!" Their sorrow turned into joy, and they began to sing a great hymn of praise. So, when we hear the word 'Easter', it should remind us, not just of eggs and flowers, but of Jesus coming to be with his friends to give them lite hope, and to remember his words: "I am with you always, even to the end of Time." Have a Happy and Joyful Easter.

With all good wishes,

Your Friend and Rector,

Keith Wyer

Illustrated by: Paul Swailes


VACHEL LINDSAY - 1879-1931

The Moon's the North Wind's Cooky

[what the little girl said]

The Moon's the North Wind's cooky.
He bites it, day by day,
Until there's but a rim of scraps
That crumble all away.
The South Wind is a baker.
He kneads clouds in his den,
And bakes a crisp new moon that ... greedy
North ... Wind ... eats ... again!

Illustrated by: Paul Swailes


The Little Turtle

[A recitation for Martha Wakefield, three years old]

There was a little turtle.
He lived in a box.
He swam in a puddle.
He climbed on the rocks.
He snapped at a mosquito.
He snapped at a flea.
He snapped at a minnow.
And he snapped at me.
He caught the mosquito.
He caught the flea.
He caught the minnow.
But he didn't catch me.

Illustrations by: Paul Swailes


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


It must have been 1940 or 1941 when we were sitting in class at the then llfracombe Grammar School. As usual, I was looking out of the window instead of concentrating on the lesson. Gradually it became more and more overcast, so much so that Miss Chadder had to put the light on. I just continued to look out of the window and, what was that? A feather, I thought. No, there's another and another. Soon the snow was falling fast. Miss Chadder looked worried and soon there was a white layer covering the ground. Shortly, Mr. Tatten, the Headmaster, called in at every class to say we could all go home early.

There would have been other similar stories to this as the boys and girls came from different areas such as Woolacombe, Mortehoe, Braunton, Combe Martin, and so on.

However, Don [who lived at Goosewell] and I set off, firstly to Hele and then to Goosewell. l, of course, had to get to Berrynarbor. Well, by the time I got to ascending Pitt Hill, it was about a foot deep. My feet and clothes were soaked and I was glad to get home to our house in Barton Lane to dry out.

Being off school meant having some fun - snow ball fights in the village and tobogganing. If you look across from the car park at Castle Hill, you will see a field with a slight cart track cut into the side of it. When tobogganing down the field, you would hit it causing the toboggan to 'jump' - great fun! Even the dogs joined in to help pull the toboggans up the hill for your next ride.

At Pitt Hill I remember a double-decker bus stuck and abandoned. It had slid against the wall and looked very precarious. However, it wasn't long before the courting couples found it a very convenient place to meet! Rosslyn Hammett [nee Huxtable] told me that there was a similar marooned bus in the same place in 1947. So there you are youngsters, wait for the next good snowfall!

There was also ice skating, although not often. I did once stand on Mill Farm lake, though I resisted walking out to the island - I should not recommend such folly as it is very dangerous and could be fatal.

Then, at other times, there was the rain! Each winter we rode upstairs on the bus and would look out over the field adjoining Mill Farm, which would be flooded [but not very deep]. The only way Jim Chugg and his family could come and go from his back door was wearing wellies. It has improved there now as the Sterridge has been deepened and possibly re-routed.

Continuing our journey past Sawmills and looking left high on the field, we always watched for the coloured rabbits. That is tame, escaped ones that bred with the wild ones white, black and white and so on. I wonder if their descendants still live there or if they were wiped out by myxomatosis? Further on down the road towards Watermouth Caves, there would be more field flooding.

Come summer the Sterridge would be back to its old, pretty self, with the trout in the main stream, ducks with their young and right down at Watermouth Harbour, the little elvers [eels] that we used to catch.

Weatherwise, how things seem to have changed. North Devon is now described as virtually 'frost free', but then I am talking about 50 years ago!

Tony Beauclerk - Colchester



Friday, 5th April - FREE FUN DAY - SPRING ACTIVITIES, Manor Hall, 10.00 a.m. to 12.00 noon.

Come along and join in the Craft activities with your children. All the family welcome - activities for the over 4's and adults too. Refreshments available.

Monday, 15th April, ANNUAL PARTNERSHIP MEETING, Combe Martin Town Hall, 1.00 - 2.30 p.m. Guest Speaker: Peter Dixon, Specialist in Early Years. Doors open from 12.00 noon, light lunch will be available.

Friday, 26th April, COMMUNITY GROUP MEETING, Manor Hall, 11.00 to 12.00 noon. All welcome. Refreshments provided.

For more information, please telephone 865825 or pop in to the office in Market Square, llfracombe.



"Blossom by blossom the spring begins." Swinburne

We visited the village of 'the dwellers in the hollow' to see its church, highly esteemed for its tower, claimed to be the finest in the whole of Devon.

Chittlehampton is a large village occupying high ground above the valleys of the Taw, Bray and Mole, between Umberleigh and South Molton.

It was a pleasant walk around the village, with its great variety of building styles, including a lot of thatched cottages and secluded corners. It was in one of these - the site of the old pound where stray animals would once have been rounded up - that a set of stocks had been placed.

At the centre of Chittlehampton is a huge, sloping square, with buildings on three sides and at the top, St. Hieritha's Church. Hieritha [or Urith] was martyred by a gang of Chittlehamptonians armed with scythes, possibly at the instigation of her jealous step-mother, or because she was held responsible for a drought.

According to legend, 'where the holy maiden fell a spring of water gushed forth and flowers blossomed'. From the time of her death in the 8th Century until the Reformation, Chittlehampton was a place of pilgrimage and the offerings donated by visitors to Saint Hieritha's shrine largely financed the building of the church.

After the suppression of these pilgrimages in 1539, church revenue plummeted due to the 'takyn away of the imagys of St. Urithe and cessyng of offerynges used to be made there by pulgremes'. Little was known about St. Hieritha/Urith until 1901 when a 15th Century manuscript was rediscovered at Cambridge, which included the Hymn to St. Urith in Latin. The hymn commanded:

'O let Chittlehampton raise,
With all Devon, songs of praise
That the saint hath won such fame.'

The path leading to the south porch is lined by rows of pollarded lime trees. The twiggy branches have knitted together to form an intricate archway or tunnel. The effect is unusual. The impressive porch and medieval door escaped drastic restoration. Nearby a small turret contains the stairway which led to the rood loft.

Inside, among the various monuments to the Rolles and Giffards, the most intriguing is the recumbent figure of Grace Giffard who died in 1667 from pricking herself with a fern. Her effigy holds a large and vicious looking frond.

The stone pulpit incorporates a carving of St. Hieritha bearing the palm branch of martyrdom. There are gilded angels in the chancel roof, a mosaic reredos and a parish chest, a hundred years older than the church itself.

Then back outside to admire the highly praised tower. The Reverend Sabine Baring Gould said it was 'without rival in Devon'. Pevsner called it 'spectacular'. Another guide said it is 'unsurpassed in gracefulness and strength'. It is in the Perpendicular style and resembles the church towers of Somerset.

It has six buttresses and a great number of pinnacles arranged in groups - even the buttresses have pinnacles and this all gives the tower a gradually tapering outline. There are friezes of quatrefoils at the base and at each of the four stages of the tower. The battlements, too, are decorated with openwork quatrefoils. There is a niche containing an image on the south side and eight openwork pinnacles provide the crowning feature. [The church has between eighty and ninety pinnacles altogether.]

Behind the church a pleasantly curving millennial stone wall has been added recently as an extension to the churchyard. A pale ginger and cream cat strode across the grass and settled itself under one of the yew trees. A quiet place for contemplation.

On returning to the village square, my curiosity was aroused by the representation of a dodo on the recycling pavilion, when I suddenly felt something forcefully jammed against the back of my knee. What could it be? I looked around to find a lone Jack Russell with a big rubber ball in its mouth!

The village had been given the Dodo Award by South Molton Recycle in recognition of the high tonnage of recyclable rubbish it had managed to collect.

Along the lanes the first buds of the blackthorn blossom were, as always, a welcome sight, an early indication of the coming of spring.

Illustrations by: Paul Swailes

Sue H



30thGolden Jubilee Celebrations Coffee Morning, Manor Hall, 10.00 a.m.
1stEaster Monday
2ndW.I. Meeting, Manor Hall, 2.30 p.m. An Audio Visual: Mr. Tovey
3rdManor Hall Management Committee: AGM, 7.00 p.m.
5th Sure Start: Fun Day Spring Activities, 10.00 a.m. to 12.00 noon
9th Annual Parish Meeting, Manor Hall, 7.00 p.m.
10thMobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
MOB Evening Ride, 5.30 p.m. The Globe
15thPrimary School & College: Start of Summer Term
Sure Start: Annual Partnership Meeting, Combe Martin
16thW.I. Chichester Group Meeting, East Down, 7.30 p.m.
17thWine Circle, 8.00 p.m., Manor Hall: 6 Wines, 6 Members
24thMobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
Friendship Lunch, The Globe, 12.30 p.m.
26thSure Start: Community Group Meeting, Manor Hall 11.00 a.m.
2ndPCC Coffee Morning, Manor Hall, 10.30 a.m.
6thMay Day Bank Holiday
7thW.I. Meeting, 2.30 p.m. Manor Hall: Resolutions
8thMobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
MOB Meeting.
14thParish Council Annual General Meeting, Manor Hall 7.30 p.m.
15thWine Circle, 8.00 p.m, Manor Hall: Surprise Evening: John Hood
22ndMobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
Friendship Lunch, The Globe, 12.30 p.m.
3rdGolden Jubilee Day Bank Holiday: Celebrations at Manor Hall, 3.00 p.m.
Primary School & College: Half Term Week
4thSpring Bank Holiday

Manor Hall Diary:

MondaysBadminton, 7.30 p.m.
TuesdaysYoga, 7.00 p.m.
2nd & 4th week: North Devon Spinners, 2.00 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



It would seem that the Golden Jubilee is not going to pass by without celebrations in the village! Thanks to a small group, coordinated by Ann Davis, things are being planned!

Monday, 3rd June, will be the day, and events are likely to be held at the Manor Hall, both in the afternoon and in the early evening. It is also hoped to join the beacons being lit around the country, our beacon will be at Sloley Farm. Posters giving full details of the events will be displayed and also publicised in the June Newsletter, but in the meantime, keep the day free!




[prizes for best hats, adults and children]

Easter Sunday, 30th March

Manor Hall, 11.00 a.m.

Cake Stall Raffle Bring-and-Buy

Everyone Welcome in aid of the Jubilee Celebrations



Just to say thank you for continuing to send us the Newsletter - it is much appreciated. Also to let you know we have moved to llfracombe, where we're nearer to our daughter, Sarah, her husband and our three grandchildren, whom we see most days, which is lovely. With best wishes to everyone in Berrynarbor,

Jackie and Paul Lethaby

We think you do an excellent job with your band of talented artists and contributors, compiling a very interesting and informative [and at times rather humorous!] booklet, which we look forward to receiving.

Just to say that we keep very well for a couple of 'oldies' getting out and about quite a bit, motoring and walking. Bernard is over 90 and he says he has to slow down so that I [at a mere 78] can keep up with him! Very best wishes to all.

Arline and Bernard Lewis - Martock, Somerset

I'm sure you will remember our family. My name is Caroline Blackman [nee Sullivan], youngest daughter of Lynne and Richard. Every time a newsletter is published, Doreen Prater sends me a copy. Although we left Berrynarbor in December 1982, I still have a great affinity with it and consider it my home. I get great enjoyment from reading and learning about people I have known since an early age. Just to let you know that I have been married to Denzil Blackman for 16 years and we have two children - Victoria and Helen, 15 1/2 and 14 1/2 respectively. Unlike their mother, they are both very well behaved and excel at school and with their music! Victoria plays the 'cello and piano and Helen the violin. Since having them, I have trained as a Learning Disability Nurse and now manage 4 homes and a Day Centre for Adults with Learning Disabilities.

Dad [Richard, an inspirational Headteacher at our Primary School from 1970-1982] is now very happily retired, having taught both Victoria and Helen, and spends much of his time playing the 'cello, either solo or with others. He also spends a lot of time playing duets and trios with Victoria and Helen. Mum [Lynne] has also retired from General Nursing, although she works for me when she is not supporting our two girls. Clare, my sister, lives in Frimley with her husband, Chris, and their 7year-old daughter, Naomi. She works part-time in the field of computers and both our families go away for a holiday together every year.

Please give our love and regards to everyone that we know still living in Berrynarbor.


Thank you all for contacting me and sending your news - it is always nice to hear from ex-residents. It was also good to have a telephone call from Jenny Stuckey, who had recently seen a copy of our Newsletter.

Jenny, who appears in one of the Christmas Party photographs, spent much of her younger days here, at Manor Cott, where she was brought up by her Aunt, Annie Leworthy, until leaving for university in 1982. Jenny, too, has many happy memories of living in Berrynarbor and particular wishes to be remembered to her ex-tennis Partner, Elaine [Fanner], Keith and Margaret Walls, who were then at the Post Office, Ivy White and her daughter, Marlene, and Helen Armstead. And, of course, everyone who remembers her. Hopefully, we shall hear more from Jenny in the future.


BBC 10th Show

I was delighted to find that my visit to Berrynarbor last week coincided, again, with the notorious village show. My first experience, last year, had left me with memories of a tremendously talented company and I wondered whether such a high standard could be sustained. However, I was not disappointed. This year's show again drew together all the generations in the village and there was a tremendous sense of fun, laughter and enjoyment on both sides of the stage.

From the children who sang and played with such enthusiasm to the 'older' folk taking part there was an obvious delight. The costumes were colourful and sparkling, the music zipped along with us all tapping our toes, and the variety of 'turns' had us wondering what would happen next. The vocal groups get more sophisticated and the dancing reflects longs hours of practice to get it right - the concentration on the faces of the Greek dancers was wonderful! The caterpillar, the flowerpot men, the dancing dummies, the sketches all added an extra something.

Congratulations to those who have inspired and encouraged (and probably bullied!) so many people over the years to share their talents and enabled them to be part of such an important community project - the village has benefited materially in the wonderful facilities now provided at the Manor Hall but it also has a greater sense of community because people of all ages have worked together.

Long may it continue and good luck for the next 10 years. I hope to see you there.


Illustated by: Paul Swailes


[as explained to a Foreign Visitor]

You have two sides, one out in the field and one in.

Each man that's in the side that's in goes out and when he's out he comes in and the next man goes in until he's out.

When they are all out, the side that's out comes in and the side that's been in goes out and tries to get those coming in out. Sometimes you get men still in and not out.

When both sides have been in and out including the not outs, that's the end of the game!


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Pitt Hill

I believe this picture to have been taken around 1910, but not published until around 1921. It shows a horse drawn 'jingle' or 'butt' outside the two-stall stable and coach house opposite The Globe Inn, which was knocked down and rebuilt in the late 1950's/early 1960's by Charles Leyton as a bungalow, with cellar, now known as 'Blue Mist'. The stable and coach house formed part of Lot 51 in the Watermouth Estate Sale on August 17th 1920, with completion on Lady Day 1921.

Lot 51

All that Slated Dwelling House,
Shops, Garden, Premises, Tiled 2-stall Stable, Coach House and Loft
situate in the Village, No. 43, in the occupation of Mr. C.F. Ewens
[Grocer, &c], as a Quarterly Tenant.

The Tithe apportioned on this Lot is 3s.3d.

This Lot gets its Water from a Tap in the road and a Branch-pipe supplies the W. C.

The right to maintain the existing Water-pipes in Lots 50 and 51,
and leading to the road known as John Braggs Hill [Rectory Hill]
and the right to enter for the purpose of
repairing, cleansing and renewing the same is reserved.

The price achieved for Lot 51 was £650, by comparison the Globe and adjoining two cottages, Nos. 41 and 42, fetched £1,100 and No. 39 [Fuchsia Cottage] fetched £325.

The Stable and Coach House had originally been used by the Bassett's from Watermouth Castle to park their coach under cover whilst attending the morning service at St. Peter's. In the late 1800's, or early 1900's, the large cellar of the Coach House had been used for storing coal for Mrs. Leaworthy, the local coal merchant. The coal would be brought over from Wales and the vessel would anchor up at high tide in the harbour. Directly the tide receded, anyone from the village with a horse or donkey cart would go down, load up and bring the coal up to this village store or deliver it direct as a full cart load to villagers. It would be unloaded in the road with the villager having to carry it all inside or to a store at the back of his/her cottage. Mrs. Leaworthy had a whole team of donkeys that she would take into llfracombe in the season, for visitors to ride on to Lee or to Watermouth. Having returned them all to llfracombe, she faced the further long journey back to Berrynarbor with her team!

The old Post Office can just be seen behind the young lad, together with its steps up to the front entrance. Note the telephone wire isolators on the chimney. The steps and front of No. 39 [Fuchsia Cottage] can be seen on the right.

If anyone can name the young lad and put a correct date for the picture, I should love to hear from you, or let Judie know. Thanks.

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage, February 2002
e-mail: tomandinge40@gmail.com



Fair daffodils, we weep to see
You haste away so soon:
As yet the early-rising sun
Has not attained his noon.
Stay, stay,
Until the hasting day
Has run
But to the evensong;
And, having prayed together, we
Will go with you along.
We have as short time to stay, as you,
We have as short a spring;
As quick to growth to meet decay,
As you, or anything.
We die,
As your hours do, and dry
Like to the summer's rain;
Or as the pearls of morning's dew
Ne'er to be found again.

Illustration: Paul Swailes

Robert Herrick