Edition 86 - October 2003

Artwork by: Nigel Mason

Artwork: Judie Weedon


Well, we certainly can't grumble about the weather this summer, although briefly as the children broke up from school, it looked as if it might change for the worse. And now here we are, in the middle of September, with blue skies, sunshine and temperatures in the 20s!

Contributions for Newsletter funds have been coming in steadily and I must thank everyone for their support. Special mention must be made of the proceeds of the raffle at the Open Garden Trails, the continued support of the Parochial Church Council and a generous cheque for £50 from the Devon North [Atlantic] Classic Motor Cycle Club following their successful international Scramble held at Sloley Park on the 16th and 17th August. The Chairman says that "the outstanding beauty of the North Devon countryside particularly impressed our European visitors, which should help the tourism industry next year.... but we are very aware that without the help and co-operation of the local community, we should be unable to stage the event. "

Don't forget if you have any problem picking up a copy of the Newsletter [that is if you don't have one delivered with the paper], a quick call to me can put your name on the mailing list.

Jigsaws aplenty! My stock of jigsaws in all shapes and sizes has, like Topsy, grown, and the loft is bowing under the weight of so many! So, thank you to everyone who has passed them on, but please no more! At least not for the time being as now I hope you will come and borrow them. So far requests have been slow but hopefully they will increase as the evenings draw in and we move into the winter months.

Having allowed Nigel some peace lately during the final year of his degree course, it is lovely to have another cover drawn by him - thank you. After five years of study, in Barnstaple and Exeter, Nigel has graduated with a B.A. Honours Degree in Fine Art at, as he says, the grand age of 51! Congratulations and well done!

I cannot believe that the next issue will cover Christmas and the New Year-again! Please hand in your regular and festive items for inclusion as soon as possible but no later than Wednesday, 12th November, either to Chicane or the Post Office.

It isn't always possible to hear of comings and goings, sickness, events or occasions that we should report or celebrate, so please forgive me if I have missed something, but also please, please contact me with your items of news - if I don't hear, I can't include!

Finally, thank you to everyone who has contributed to this, the 86th issue of our Newsletter.





Fifteen members and three visitors met at the Manor Hall on the 2nd September. The President paid tribute to Vi Kingdon, former President of Berrynarbor W.l. who had died recently, and expressed appreciation of all that she had done for the W.l. and the local community. Doreen Prater told us about her recent holiday in Eastern Canada and brought photographs and books for us to see. She was presented with a tin of biscuits and the vote of thanks was given by Josie Bozier. Birthday gifts were given to Josie Bozier, Win Collins, Ann Hinchliffe and Margaret Weller and the raffle was won by Jenny Caswell. The competition for a holiday souvenir was won by Di Hillier.

On the 7th October, our 'Intrepid Traveller', Kath Arscott, will be telling us about some more of her adventures and on the 4th November we shall be holding our Annual General Meeting. All ladies are welcome, 2.30 p.m. at the Manor Hall.

Marion Carter



I should like to thank all my friends from Berrynarbor Park and the village for the wonderful time they gave me for my 90th birthday. I thoroughly enjoyed the parties and the rest of the celebrations. Really, you all made it a truly wonderful birthday for me.

Daisy Carter

Daisy's 90th Birthday Lunch

Daisy, Daisy,
Oh, what a super 'do'.
The rain tried to spoil it
But then the sun broke through.
Not for a stylish marriage
Just a lovely ride in a carriage,
Then up the lane, and home again
To birthday cakes made for two.

Mavis Pesic




It has been another sad time in the village with the passing of Vi Kingdon and Sid Russell.

After spending the last fifteen months being cared for at the Tyrrell Hospital in Ilfracombe, Vi died peacefully on the 10th August. We send our sympathy and best wishes to her family, her cousins Jim, Lee and Hazel.

The village was sorry to say goodbye to Sid and Flo Russell when they moved to llfracombe - first to Oaktree Gardens and then to Pinehurst. And it was with much sadness that we learnt first of Flo's death in June and now Sid's, at the age of 93, in July 2003. Our thoughts are with their daughters, Joyce and Hazel and their families - the grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren at this time of sorrow.


Does the road wind uphill all the way?
Yes, to the very end.
Will the day's journey take the whole long day?
From morn to night, my friend.

But is there for the night a resting-place?
A roof for when the slow, dark hours begin.
May not the darkness hide it from my face?
You cannot miss that inn.

Shall I meet other wayfarers at night?
Those who have gone before.
Then must I knock, or call when just in sight?
They will not keep you standing at that door.

Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak?
Of labour you shall find the sum.
Will there be beds for me and all who seek?
Yea, beds for all who come.

Christina Georgina Rossetti


You will all know Vi quite well from her activities in Berrynarbor for the past 30 plus years, so these few words are to tell you a little of her earlier years.

She was born in Stoke Newington, London, where she lived until she married Derrick in 1951.

Whilst at school she became interested in drama and music, an activity that lasted until her marriage, and I particularly remember her rendering of 'My Hero' from the show 'Chocolate Soldier'.

Her family home was badly damaged by bombing during the Blitz of 1941 and for a while the family were accommodated in a hostel. In 1942 she joined the WRNS and served as a Writer until the end of the war. During that time she helped organise many social activities, connected mainly with music and drama. On her release from Naval Service, she returned to London where she resumed her pre-war job as a chemist Dispenser, a job she did until her marriage when they moved to Woodmansterne in Surrey. Both she and Derrick became involved in charity work with Charley Chester [of radio fame] and continued with that even after the move to Berrynarbor and up until Derrick's death.

During the last few days I have been privileged to see her documentation and realise just how much time, effort and money she gave to charities of many types, although biased toward bird and beast. She was extremely generous and supportive to everybody except herself, so much that she neglected her own needs in many, many ways.

The world is all the poorer for her passing.


May I take this opportunity to thank everyone who attended Vi's funeral and joined Lee, Hazel and myself at The Lodge afterwards, and also to the wonderful friends and neighbours who kept the front of her cottage colourful with flowers whilst she was in hospital.


Before Vi came to live in Berrynarbor, she had always lived in London or its suburbs, but she grew to love it here and entered into village life with great enthusiasm. She had no interest in going away and said the only time she had packed a suitcase all the time she was here, was to go into hospital.

She loved all animals and made sure all the birds and wildlife that found their way into her garden opposite the cottage were always well fed! Her dogs, Katy and more recently Mattie, were her great companions and she wouldn't leave them even to go for a day out.

Vi's life centered on her cottage: she was always buying things to decorate the rooms - she had many plates hanging on the walls and sewed a lot of tapestry pictures to display as well. She loved her garden and every spring bought many plants to grow. Anyone who saw the colourful display she had in front of the cottage each summer will understand her passion for plants. If she saw anyone admiring the display, whether visitors or locals, she would go out for a chat.

I couldn't end this without mentioning the W.l. She really enjoyed her work as President and spent a lot of time thinking up ideas for competitions and other activities. She always said to members at the Christmas meeting, "You are my family", and that was how she regarded us all.

It was very sad to watch someone who had such enthusiasm for everything spend the last months of their life going slowly downhill until her death on the 10th August.


In a happier time, Vi and the W.I. were involved, with other groups, in knitting teddy bears for children in war-torn countries in Europe and Africa and I wrote this and gave it to Vi - I think she found it amusing!

Peter H.

Berry Very Free Verse for Vi

A WI Wise woman lives among the trees,
Her chair secure as any kingdom's throne.
She always answers every call, and many
Though they are she always sees
Her duty to the forest creatures all
Of whom she knows by name,
And, even when they're naughty
Never blames but simply leads them
Gaily in their merry forest games.
From other Combes when bright young bears in fresh
Designer clothes arrive to party, her lane
Becomes a Rainbow Road, the starting
Point of voyages to earn the love of children who,
They find, have never seen a bear before
And consequently, she makes sure that
No-one accidentally leaves
A little bear behind.


Sidney Ernest Russell [just Sid to all who knew him] was born on the 1st July 1907, at Freshwater on the Isle of Wight. One of eight children, his mother died when he was about nine years old and his father, being unable to care for such a large family, put them in children's homes - the boys in Dr. Barnardo's, the girls in another home. Sid stayed there until he was fourteen, when a farmer from Marwood wanted a lad to help on the farm and so sent for one from the home, and that's how Sid came to Devon. He loved the work and after about four years met Flo, who also lived in Marwood. They married in 1929 and had two daughters, Joyce and Hazel, and two sons whom they lost in babyhood. Sid then moved to West Stowford, where he stayed until the farm was sold, moving to Two Potts Cottages. After a short while, Sid went to work for Albert Richards and his family at East Hagginton Farm, Berrynarbor, where he stayed until Albert's two boys, Ken and Alan, grew up. He finished his working life at Shapland and Petter's.

Sid with Kenny and 'Lion' carting hay
outside the cottages at Goosewell

Sid and Flo celebrating their Golden Wedding in 1978
- Reproduced courtesy of the North Devon Journal

The year after Sid and Flo's Diamond Wedding anniversary, they moved from No. 3 Birdswell, where they had lived for over 40 years, to a bungalow in Ilfracombe. After a few years, owing to old age and deteriorating health, they moved into residential care, where sadly they both passed away. Flo in June 2001 at the age of 93, and Sid in July 2003 at the age of 96.

They may have gone but they are certainly not forgotten.



We are sorry to record that John Brain passed away on the 8th August. John and his family came to Watermouth in the 1950's and later moved to Mill Park. In recent years he has lived in Plymouth with his partner Rachel, but loved spending time at his home in Berrynarbor. His ashes will be interred at a simple ceremony at St. Peter's Church at 12.15 p.m. on Sunday, 5th October and any friends will be very welcome. He will be greatly missed by Rachel, Mark and Liz and his grandchildren Gemma, Jak and Ryan.


Artwork: David Duncan


Thank you to everyone who helped at the Summer Fayre: those who gave, helped in any way or came along to support us on the night. It was a lovely evening and we raised £876 [just under £800 once all expenses have been deducted] - slightly less than last year, but a brilliant effort nevertheless.

FRIENDSHIP LUNCHES - at The Globe will continue during the autumn and will be on Wednesdays 22nd October and 26th November. The lunch in August had to be cancelled due to Edith's sudden illness. Edith has been very kind to us accommodating our fads and looking to our needs. We wish her well and look forward to having her back with us again.

REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY - falls on the 9th November. We shall gather in church at 10.45 a.m. ready to proceed down to the War Memorial for the laying of wreaths and 'Silence' at 11.00 a.m. Then we shall return to the church for the special Service.

The date of Wednesday, 12th November has been booked provisionally fora BRING & SHARE SUPPER in the Manor Hall. Please look out for posters and more details nearer the time.

As we go into autumn, a reminder that all our Sunday Services begin at 11.00 a.m. and will continue to follow the established monthly pattern:

  • 1st Sunday Family Service with a short Communion to follow
  • 3rd Sunday Village Service with no Communion
  • 2nd, 4th and 5th Sundays Sung Eucharist

Our services are open to everyone and a warm welcome is assured.

And there is coffee or tea and biscuits afterwards!

Mary Tucker




Our summer break is over, so back to Sunday School.

We were kept very busy during the holidays - under Sarah's instructions, encouragement, patience and faith, building our Carnival Float, so it was papier-mache time again! This year our theme was The Life of Moses - bulrushes, mask, lots of locusts, frogs and fish, Moses, slaves, a princess with hand maidens, two sphinx, one pyramid, and a partridge in a pear tree!

A magnificent achievement resulting in 3rd prize - some of the younger ones also entered the Raft and Wheelbarrow races. So a very sincere thank you to Sarah, without her we would never have got plastered, yet again! Also thanks to Graham for driving us safely down Combe Martin's long street, Tania for loaning us Graham, Nigel for pyramid painting, Sylvia for digging up and delivering bulrushes, Charlotte [now a grown-up ex Sunday school pupil] for cheerful and willing help, Joyce and Sandra for costumes, Gary for not grumbling when bits of wood and paint mysteriously vanished from his workshop, Be Barten for her pyramid scenic masterpiece, and all the children who kept us going and awake, covering us, the garden, the cat and themselves with gold paint, all friends and neighbours who gave, or missed, hundreds of hydrangeas without complaint, and last but by no means least, dear Edith from The Globe who so kindly organised and served hot food and drink for us all on our triumphant return! Get well soon Edith, you are in our thoughts and prayers, we cannot manage without you.

So, New Term, Harvest Festival - we have much to be thankful for; the sun has shone and our children have grown strong, brown and free in this village, a caring supportive community.

Bye for now.

Sally B and Berrynarbor Sunday School

P.S. By the time you read this, I shall have been banished to Australia!



Patricia Beer

Twilight is brown and the ghost wind makes itself a body out of dead leaves, flaps the seamy side of winter at us, takes our breath away.

Over the hedge, straight across our path comes a broomstick fast as wickedness. The witch and the cat have been blow off. It cannot harm us, only fellow humans throw accurately.

The leaves were slow yesterday and incomprehensible, now like a chess game speeded up they make sense.

The wind's passion is more conniving than the law of where it should prevail.

Six months ago beginners, the leaves are old hands now. They deceive. Is it a leaf or a field mouse that scampers out of the grass and dodges back?

The stars look brilliant and useful. That Plough would work.

No one in these lanes sweeps up leaves but they will go in time, and perhaps bequeath the radiance of a Roman floor where once a mosaic sparkled.

Perhaps the sky will be smooth at dawn and two or three white tough clouds Armada across it.

Illustrations by: Paul Swailes


Artwork: Paul Swailes


Having said our goodbyes to Jenny in the August issue and welcomed the newcorners to No. 6, it is nice to hear from Gill and Rob Lomax:

Having decided to move from Somerset to North Devon, our only obstacles were finding new jobs and a new home.

The new home found us, from the pages of the North Devon Journal. One morning Rob declared that he had found us a home. Still being rather sleepy, my comment was to phone quickly. Only when an even sleepier lady asked to be phoned back in twenty minutes did we realise that it was only 7.30 a.m. and that we had probably blown any chance of securing the house!

Luckily for us, Jenny Taylor saw the funny side and allowed us and our dog Meg to move into No. 6 Goosewell at the beginning of August. The jobs both fell into place later that same week, with Rob working as a manager in a hotel in Woolacombe, whilst I am taking a break from teaching to work in a training and consultancy firm in Barnstaple. We hope to spend our spare time surfing, walking the coast paths and enjoying being part of the community here. We have already been made to feel very welcome by everyone we have met and feel very lucky to be here. Gill and Rob

Welcome home Brian and Mary! Could there be anything worse than returning home from a New Year cruise to be confronted with water pouring down the stairs and your home awash? No! But that was in January and it was six months later, at the end of July, that Brian and Mary were able to move back into Rockton.

We have been concerned for you and although you will have been comfortable in your temporary home at Middle Lee, it must be great to be back in your own home again. We wish you both well.

Following the fall that meant a stay in the Tyrrell Hospital, Bobbie Hacker has now moved to Park View Residential Home in Ilfracombe. We send her our love and best wishes, and hope that she will be happy there.

A warm welcome to Craig Brown, Head Waiter at the Sandy Cove Hotel. Craig, who has moved into Lee Side from llfracombe, is football crazy, having played for Ilfracombe but now a member of the Woolacombe Team.

Having moved from Ilfracombe, David and Christine Burbridge are the new residents at Ashcroft.

After many years living in the North Devon area, Val and David Hann, who in the past have worked at llfracombe College and Luscombe House, have decided to leave Croft Lee and live nearer the south coast, probably in the Chichester area of West Sussex. We are sorry to say goodbye, but wish you both well in your move.

We were sorry to lose Shane and Sandra Roach and their children, Peter and Shayana, when they moved to Combe Martin, but Parson's Pightle is now home to Chris and Melanie Ayres. Melanie, who grew up in Combe Martin and is a lecturer at the North Devon College, and Chris, an electrical designer, have moved, not far, just from Braunton.

The nice coincidence is that Parson's Pightle - renamed such by the late Preb. Eppingstone and his wife Peggy - was built in 1970 by Melanie's grandfather and father, who also built Chicane and Holmleigh.

Highlands is the new home of John and Kath Thorndycroft and their son Chris. For the past 11 years they have lived in The Hague, Holland, but spent a few months in Georgeham whilst looking for a permanent home. John and Kath have both retired from teaching, and Chris has just started his second year at Bangor University studying for a degree in Psychology. Making up the household is their nosey, Kath says, cat called Zoe. Keen sailors, they hope to bring their boat over from Holland for next summer, but in the meantime are being kept busy in the house and garden.

To all newcomers to the village, we extend a very warm welcome and wish you every happiness in your new homes here in Berrynarbor.


Artwork: Paul Swailes


This summer has been quite a busy time in the Manor Hall. There have been the three fetes, a great singalong with the Harmonica Singers, an evening of melodrama from the Studio Theatre and, with the onset of autumn, the Horticultural and Craft Show.

On top of these events, the kitchen has been refurbished, the hall painted and the Penn Curzon picture sent off for repair and cleaning.

The number of entries for the Horticultural and Craft Show was disappointingly down from previous years and yet the large number of villagers who came along in the afternoon to view the exhibits, have a cuppa and a chat, indicates that there is still a great deal of support for the event.

Is it just that we don't like competing? Can we alter the Schedule? Can we improve the format in any way?

So far there have been 24 annual shows. If an answer is not found, then the quarter century event may well be the last! Even though the number of exhibitors was down, the Judges did comment on the high standard of the items presented.

Awards for the year were as follows, and they were presented by one of our greatest supporters, Ron Toms:

Globe Cup [Floral Art]
Walls Cup [Home Cooking]
Davis Cup [Handicrafts]
Watermouth Cup [Handicrafts]
Watermouth Castle Cup [Wine]
George Hippisley Cup [Art]
Vi Kingdon Award [Photography]
Derrick Kingdon Cup [Fruit and Veg
Lethaby Cup [ Potted Plants]
Manor Stores Rose Bowl [Cut Flowers]
Angela Legg
Sarah Sanders
Sally Barten
Malcom Davidson
Ken Gosham
Jim Constantine
Judie Weedon
Ken Gosham
Hazel Gosham
Hazel Gosham

The Management Committee Cup for the best Horticultural Exhibit in the Show was a choice between a plate of onions and a bottle of wine. As Ken Gosham had entered both items, he received the Cup. The Ray Ludlow Award for the best non-horticultural exhibit went to Malcolm Davidson for a superbly crafted wooden bowl.

Congratulations to you all.

John Hood

Illustrated by: Debbie Rigler Cook

Another Show over and now the inquest begins. Is it too late? Was the season too hot? Was the publicity poor or are we faced with total apathy'? Certainly something went wrong as only 28 people entered compared with 48 last year - 3 came from llfracombe and 2 from Combe Martin, so that meant 23 from the village, which was pretty dismal!

Perhaps the time has come to put the Show gently to rest or find a new fresh team to re-think the Schedule. Anyone who would like the challenge should contact John Hood who will be pleased to listen to new ideas.

Meanwhile I have been asked to take on a new challenge for the village next summer, which will be planned throughout the winter and will take up most of my time, and as I have been involved with the Show for the last nine years, I think it's time to move on to pastures new.

I must conclude by thanking all the team who helped in different ways - John and Marion Hood, Margaret Ludlow, Judie Weedon, Debbie Luckham, Chris Jesson and the two Janes Jane V and Jane J. and, of course, all the judges who gave us their time and expertise. My genuine good wishes to the new team for 2004.

Linda Brown Devon Cottage

From both John and Linda's reports of the Horticultural and Craft Show, it is obvious that there is genuine concern for its future and the Committee is seeking YOUR support. Please do let them know your thoughts - why perhaps YOU didn't enter, new ideas for classes, new subjects within the classes - chats and discussions have taken place around the village, so don't keep those comments to yourselves, share them, either by speaking to John or jotting them down on paper and giving them to John or putting them in the Newsletter box at the Post Office.

Thank you, Linda, for all your hard work and enthusiasm over the past nine years.





It seems incredible that another two months have flown by and it is time to look at the weather for July and August.

July started brilliantly but went downhill rapidly in the second half, which was disappointing for the holidaymakers [and locals!]. The temperature was well up for the whole month and peaked on the 14th at 16:33 hours when the thermometer hit 34.1 Deg C - strangely the lowest temperature was 8.80C at 04:46 on the 13th. This was the highest temperature we have recorded for any month since our records began in 1994, the nearest being 32.4 Deg C on 11th August 1995. July was the wettest month of the year so far, with a total of 140mm [5 5/8"] of which only 11mm [ 1/2"] fell before the 17th. On 25th July, the rain gauge collected 25mm [1"] between 07:30 and 11.00 hours - not very summery, even January only produced 101mm [4"]. Winds were generally light in the first half of the month but freshened in the second half, with a maximum of 22 knots on the 18th. Chicane recorded 177.1 hours of sunshine for July.

The sunshine records started in August 2002, which had a total of 172.54 hours compared with 18.66 hours this August.

The temperatures were consistently high peaking at 34.5 Deg C on the 9th. This broke July's record of our hottest recorded month. The 6th was forecast to be one of the hottest days ever, to beat all records, but here it was overcast and cool all day, with the temperature only reaching 22.7 Deg C, one of the cooler days of the month.

Due to our holidays, our August records only go up to 04:50 on the 29th. Up to the 28th we recorded only 8mm of rain, this would have made it the driest month since our records began in 1994, beating the previous driest month of August 1995, which produced a total of 11mm. However, rain started to fall on the evening of the 28th and by 04:50 the next morning the gauge had collected a further 15mm.

Now the Met Office has moved to Exeter, it will be interesting to see if our local forecasts are more accurate.

Sue and Simon



Calling all cast members of BBC Shows [past and present] and anyone else who may have flotsam and jetsam in the attic; We are busy working on the 2004 BBC Show and Fenella Boxall has kindly agreed to become Wardrobe Mistress. If anyone has any old costumes, wigs, props or articles of clothing they think might be useful in future shows, please bring them to Sloley Farm on Saturday 2nd and Sunday, 3rd November between 10.00 a.m. and 4.00 p.m. Thank you.

Gary Songhurst


Artwork: Harry Weedon


Illustrated by: Debbie Rigler Cook

What a wonderful summer it has been for the village and our thanks and congratulations must go to Ann and Vi for their enthusiasm, commitment and sheer hard work, which has resulted in a bumper crop of events and awards.

The second Open Garden Trail, on an equally beautiful afternoon was just as successful as the first - another perfect day. The two raffles held on the Open days raised £100 for the Newsletter, which was very much appreciated.

Our entry into the CPRE Large Village section of the Best Kept Village competition took the award, with a score of 98 out of 100.

The judges comments were:

    "What a delightful village - it was very difficult to find any fault with it at all. The private houses were all well maintained with attractive gardens. The flowerpot men in their various guises added to the attraction. All the commercial properties were in an excellent condition and looked welcoming. The public toilets were housed in an attractive building and in a spotless condition. They were situated in a good, well landscaped car park.

    The 'Quiet Garden' open to the public, was a joy to visit- a real haven og peace in a lovely setting overlooking the village. It was nice to see that the W.l. had planted a Mazzard tree there to commemorate the Millennium. There were several cherries on it - do hope the birds don't get there first! It was obvious that everyone was proud of their village as it was so well cared for. Looking at the notice board there are many activities for all ages.

    It was a pleasure to visit such a lovely village although it was a dull damp day. Well done!"

Then at Shepton Mallet, Ann received the fantastic news that our entry for the Southwest in Bloom [RHS], small village category, had won the Gold Medal and Mary Mortimer Trophy. Now we await the outcome on 30th September of our entry into the Britain in Bloom [RHS] National Competition in the large village category. There are nine villages in the running, but we hope to have good news in the next issue. Well done Vi and Ann, all your helpers and all the village gardeners!


Not Just an Event an Experience

It was a gloriously balmy evening after yet another day of sunshine. We followed the clearly lit trail past the agreeable sounds of willow on leather at the cricket match and 'trad jazz', through stone portals topped with beautiful flowers towards the magnificently floodlit Castle Hill.

From there the vista stretched down into the valley and up the opposite hillside to a skyline temple from which laser lighting was streaking across the heavens. Moving to the end of the terrace, we watched a croquet game 'a la Cluedo', where Miss Scarlett - on the lawn with a croquet mallet - was giving her all! Passing the millennium gardens - a delight of pinks and mauves - our attention was drawn to a distant hillside folly from where drifted operatic excerpts from an unaccompanied soprano. Within minutes we were wafted to Bonnie Scotland by the dirge of bagpipes which failed to 'cheer us down'!

As the skies darkened and the lights shone brighter, we wound our way along lantern or lamplit paths for over three hours of utter pleasure, meeting old and new friends on the way. We cheered as the 'goody' won the fair maiden in a medieval challenge at the castle, marvelled at the daring firewalkers, lingered on the memorable 'Ugly Bridge' with its far from ugly harpist, and left the country market refreshed. These were just some of the highlights - there were many, many more.

However, all good things come to an end and what a spectacular end! We had lingered so long that we missed the beginning of the grand finale [repeated at regular intervals during the evening]. The most lasting and poignant memory is of the water fountain cleverly used as a video screen to remind us all of the reason for the event raising funds for our local hospice. Although we found the accompanying music incredibly loud, we had nothing but praise for the organisers and volunteers who managed to park, entertain, feed, water and send home, without delay, 11,000 happy people on that evening.


"Write something about Dreamwalk," mum said. Where do I start to describe such a magical and unique evening? Not sure what to expect, we arrived at our allocated car park to be greeted by a fairground of entertainment. A quick look at the map and we opted for the easier family trek. "That way we can see the house" was our excuse! Off we set at a gentle pace and before long we had met a jazz band, an old-fashioned cricket match and a river masked in softly scented incense. The house looked magnificent all lit up and the gardens were truly beautiful. I fell in love with the spherical water feature which we stopped to admire whilst listening to the Torridge Male Voice Choir. It was a steep climb to the castle and by this time the crowds had gathered and we gave the fire and drama there a miss. Hog roast sandwiches and we continued our magic journey through the grounds. I was especially taken with the river fairies and most impressed by the standard of the home-grown 'Make Me Smile Band', who were causing quite a crowd to gather on the river's edge.

I was anxious to find the grand finale field. I had spotted some interesting looking lighting equipment when we arrived and heard snatches of a soundscape reminiscent of Jean Michel Jarre. Finally, we reached the end and what a treat! A massive wall of water with fire, lights, motorbikes, explosions and live music; the house formed a stunning natural backcloth to a unique mirage of images, poetry and dreams projected on to the water screen. I was enthralled. "Please, let's stay and see it again from the very best position," I virtually demanded the rest of our party. They were not disappointed second time around it was even more poignant. I'd have happily stayed until the sun came up to watch the spectacle, but the others were tired and concerned about getting out again.

I am now settling into my new job as Arts Officer for Swindon Borough Council and quietly scheming a way to organise my own Dreamwalk adventure!

Helen Weedon

On arriving at the fairground, a decision had to be made and we chose to take the Discovery Trail. We proceeded towards the house and so began an enchanting evening of entertainment ending with the moving and spectacular son et lumiere. I look forward eagerly to next year's event!

Jan Gammon



Combe Martin Carnival Committee would like to express their most grateful thanks to all who helped to make this year's Carnival such a success. From the opening night on the beach to the closing firework display, we could not have wished for more support.

Special thanks to all those who helped with donations to get this year's Carnival off the ground and to Damien Hirst who kindly paid for the firework display. The biggest thanks, however, must go to all the people who entered or attended the various events and brought such a great atmosphere to the week - you really put Combe Martin on the map. See you next year!

Sue Sussex - Combe Martin Carnival Committee

A 2 1/2 hour video of Carnival Week is now on sale at the Main Post Office and Sue's at £7.99. A copy will be running at Sue's, so call in for a preview. DVD's may be ordered at a price of £9.99. There will be a Carnival Club meeting on 7th October, 7.30 p.m. at the Bottom George and the AGM will be held on 18th November, 7.30 p.m. at the Village Hall Annexe.


Brian Wright

Solution in Article 27.


Adult and Community Learning


Wednesdays 11.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.
Commencing 1st October

For all ages and abilities. A fun, effective and safe workout with an experienced and qualified instructor. The total fitness class that tones and conditions all parts, improves cardio-vascular and respiratory function and increases flexibility and control. You will learn how to work your body correctly. Enrol at first session.

Any enquiries ring Valerie on [01598] 763250 or llfracombe College on [01271] 864171




Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


Once again the Berrynarbor Carnival Club's float has pulled in the prizes. "Full Steam Ahead" won both its Class and the Overall award at Combe Martin and was 1st in its Class at both llfracombe and Barnstaple. The beautifully constructed and finished [with great care to detail as always] train was based on the Lynton to Barnstaple railway and the newly reopened Woody Bay Station, the engine being a replica of one used on the line. Congratulations to everyone involved - we look forward to next year's entry!

We are delighted to announce the engagement of Victoria [Vicky], daughter of Judith Maunder - a regular contributor to our Newsletter - to Graham [Mac] MacDonald. Very best wishes to you both.



llfracombe & District Short Mat Bowls Club will begin its new winter months' season at the beginning of October. The Club plays bowls at the Manor Hall on Friday evenings, from 7.00 to 10.00 p.m., and on Sunday afternoons from 2.00 to 5.00 p.m. Anyone who is interested in joining should please contact Brian Mountain on 882920.


POTTY PEOPLE - get everywhere! Readers and regular visitors to
Berrynarbor, Ray and Marion Bolton, tell us that the terra cotta army has
invaded the gardens of their friends and family in Brum!


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


The Rectory
Combe Martin

Dear Friends,

Have you noticed that in this life if you want something, you have to work jolly hard to get it? Whether it be exams, getting into a sports team, or wanting to buy a house, or get promotion at work. There are always hurdles and obstacles to overcome and be mastered - like learning to use a computer! So, it came as no surprise that when three people set out to gain the water of eternal life they took all their skill and art with them.

The first was a great warrior who reasoned that the water of life would be a roaring torrent and would need to be fought and defeated before giving up its eternal power. So he put on his armour, sword and shield, and took two lances in case he lost one, and for good measure put four daggers around his belt. [You can't be too careful!]

The second person was really wealthy and reasoned that he would have to pay a king's ransom for this most precious of all gifts. He therefore stuffed his pockets with jewels, gold and precious stones - all his wealth - and staggered off into the sunset to search for the water which he thought would be a majestic fountain.

The third person considered that the water would be special and mysterious with magical powers protecting it, so she put on her special 'magic' robe and took her book of magical spells with which to enchant and trap the special water. Off she struggled into the sunset to discover the source for eternal life which must surely be a deep, mysterious pond.

It so happened that they all arrived together at the source of water of eternal life. It was no mighty stream or deep pool, or fantastic fountain.

In fact it was a gentle brook coming up from the earth.

The warrior could not drink it because of his armour, and the merchant couldn't drink it because he couldn't bend down, and neither could the woman of charms because of all her books.

Before they could all drink, they had to get rid of everything in which they had trusted, and humbly kneel down to drink the water of eternal life.

In the Christian faith, the gift of eternal life comes free from God, if we are humble enough to accept it.

With all good wishes
Your Friend and Rector

Keith Wyer


Artwork: Helen Weedon


It's early afternoon with August nearly at its close. I enter my summerhouse, pen in one hand and notebook in the other and then sit down to write my next "Rural Reflections" article. My mind, however, draws a complete blank. So I sit and wait for inspiration and wait ... and wait...

As I do so, some water droplets reflecting sunlight into the summerhouse distract my eyes. They rest delicately upon the stretched out leaves of the montbretia. Every so often the leaves bob up and down in the early autumn breeze, shifting the dappled reflection about the cabin. There are mini drops, too, upon the lawn. Watching them shimmer, a small shadow flutters over the grass; this way, then that way, it flickers until the shadow and its creator combine as one upon a deep purple hydrangea head. The shadow's creator, a cabbage white butterfly, has a moment's rest before taking to the air. Steeply it rises upwards and soon its white fluttering wings are a sharp contrast against the clear autumnal sky.

The word clear does not seem to do the sky justice. Its vivid blue colour is also in sharp contrast against the trees high up on the Cairn wood. Intensely I study their colours, knowing that soon these shades of green will be transformed to gold.

Suddenly a seagull glides across my tree-lined panorama. I follow its flight until it comes to rest, if you please, upon a nearby bungalow roof. Soon its partner joins it and together they give out their ever-familiar squawk. Yes, I know it's a din, but when you have been a city boy like me, the sound of gulls always brings to mind childhood days at the seaside.

Now there's another bird song to enjoy. In the hedge behind a robin is singing his melodic tune. As I listen my eyes gently return their gaze to the hydrangea head, and soon notice that not just the occasional butterfly but streams of them are wooed towards it, leaving all the other hydrangea heads without even a look in.

Well would you believe it? Those pair of seagulls have now contentedly perched themselves upon the roof ridge tiles and are basking in the afternoon sun - as is a red admiral butterfly, except he is sunning his. wings upon the shining p.v.c roof of my log store!

Suddenly the sun becomes hidden behind a double chocolate cloud - white on the top but dark underneath. The wind suddenly gets up, making the red admiral take off at quick speed. Trying to take control, he nearly flies into my summerhouse but at the last moment the wind dies down and he is able to carry on his flight path. I follow his route past the pear tree where the gust of wind has forced a few more pears to drop to the ground. Ah well, more for the insects and birds!

The cloud soon passes allowing the dazzling sunlight to return. At the same time a small garden spider appears on the path leading up to the summerhouse. It dashes one way, then stops, then dashes another way before stopping again. After almost five times of stopping and starting he finally reaches the other side of the path. Why he didn't save himself a lot of energy and go straight across the path without stopping, I will never know.

Now another sound occurs, one that makes me look automatically upwards - that of a buzzard. I feel, however, that his cry is coming from the other side of the valley and out of my sight. But for me it does not matter, for his calling sound is enough - as is the sound of the robin still singing, the bee that is humming close by, and the ducks that are quacking in the nearby park. Instinctively I find myself closing my eyes to listen to their harmonious calls. Then, before my eyes have properly shut, the local church bells begin their melodic echo up the valley. I savour the moment: it's one of those occasions when all seems well in the world.

Suddenly the feel of a wet nose on my hand disturbs my special moment - it's our older black Labrador, Bourton. He is giving me that hang dog look, looking at the floor, then back at me, and so on. But I know his game. He is waiting for me to say, "Come in then and lie down". Behind him is Gifford, our younger Labrador. Now having two in this summerhouse is going to be difficult as there is not enough room! So what do I do? You've guessed it; I rearrange things to let them in. Anyway, I think that's enough of my rambling thoughts which have taken up too much of my precious time - I really must get on, if I am going to get this next article written... !

Steve McCarthy

Illustrated by: Debbie Rigler Cook



Everyone was shocked and upset to learn that Edith had suffered a brain haemorrhage and been admitted to the High Dependency Unit at Derriford Hospital, Plymouth. She has now been taken off the monitors and is progressing slowly.

Edith, our thoughts are with you - and Don, Karen, Karl and all the family - and we miss you. Get well soon and keep smiling!

A trip north to Doncaster for a family wedding turned into a nightmare for Graham and Margaret Andrews, when Graham was hospitalised with a. very unpleasant and worrying case of septicaemia. It took some persuading, but the medical staff allowed him out of hospital for just a few hours so that he could give his granddaughter, Charlene, away at her wedding.

Margaret returned home alone, but now Graham, too, is back where his recovery is progressing, if slowly. We are thinking of you both and hope that it won't be too long, Graham, before you are back to full health.

Our thoughts are with everyone who is unwell and send our best wishes for speedy recoveries.



Boston, Boston, you are Number One,
If anyone is busy, you'll be the one.
You sit in the sun, your coat like silk,
Are you the one who gulped down the milk?
Bostie, sweetie, you're only a cat
So why do you walk about like you're an actor from Sister Act?
You are the boss,
Even when you're drowned in moss.
Oh Bostie Boston you cute thing,
Are you the one who coughed up that wing?
It might be a spider or maybe a mouse,
But go home now, or mummy'll be cross,
After all, we all know really she is the boss!

Sophie Mummery [Age 12], Holmleigh


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


A Red Indian Wedding Prayer

Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter for the other
Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth to the other
Now there will be no loneliness, for each of you will be companion to the other
Now you are two persons, but there are three lives before you:
His life, her life and your life together
Go now to your dwelling place to enter into the days of your life together
May beauty surround you both in the journey ahead and through all the years
May happiness be your companion to the place where the river meets the sun
And may your days together be good and long upon this earth

The sun certainly shone on the three brides at the recent village weddings.

St. Mary's Catholic Church in Barnstaple, on the 6th September, was the setting for the marriage of Philippa Anderson and Benjamin Hann. A happy and joyous service was followed by a lovely reception held in the delightful garden of the bride's home, Beech Leigh.

Pip, the youngest daughter of Sandy and Ann - who jointly gave their daughter away - has recently completed her articles and is now a fully qualified Solicitor - well done, Pip! A new job in Leicester is due to start soon. Ben, youngest son of Valerie and David Hann, late of Croft Lee, is a member of the Police Force, but with the impending move to Leicester is contemplating a career change.

After a couple of days staying in Bath, followed by house hunting, Pip and Ben are off around the world - a trip which will culminate in Australia tor Pip's brother David's wedding in Sydney in October, and, of course, the Rugby World Cup!

Two weddings on one day and the village, guest houses and car parks were overflowing! The 6th September was also the day of the marriage at St. Peter's Church of Nicholas Hooper and Sarah Hodges of Lower Court, Ruggaton.

Sarah, eldest daughter of Jane and the late David Hodges of Uffculme near Tiverton, was brought up in a farming family, so is very much at home at Ruggaton. Nicholas, who has been in this country for several years, comes from Canada and is the son of Peter and Sally Hooper of Toronto.

Sarah, who works in public relations and Nicholas, in investment banking, have spent their honeymoon in the Ionian Islands off Sicily.

Following their civil wedding in France, Lynne Wilson and Philippe Delaye's marriage was Blessed at St. Peter's Church on the 13th September, on another day of glorious sunshine.

Lynne, a self-employed art dealer and Philippe, a financier, chose Berrynarbor as it is the home of Lynne's half- sister, Alice Wilson and her husband Simon Browne. Alice and Simon live at Top Shippen, Home Barton. Simon, a chef, and Damien Hirst are partners in the new restaurant in Ilfracombe but due to the fact that it was not quite ready, the reception had to be relocated to the Manor Hall at the last minute! However, it proved a great venue with guests from all over the world - Japan, the Philippines, Germany and, of course, France - appreciating the hospitality of the village and its guest houses.

Congratulations to all three couples and we wish you health and happiness in your future life together.




August was a mixed month for us. We had an excellent Breakfast Run on the 2nd, when we set off for Dulverton via South Molton, Crediton and Tiverton; however, a closed road meant that we had to divert to Exeter before we could turn back to Bickleigh, Tiverton and then on to Dulverton where a fine breakfast awaited us at the Lion Hotel. A run across the moor finished a most enjoyable morning.

The evening run on the 6th was 'fogged' off ... in fact no one turned up except Brian and Geoff [the intrepid Hilliers] who did Woolacombe, Braunton and back to llfracombe for a fish and chip supper on the pier in lovely sunshine!

The 10th September was a damp day, but a greatly improved evening. We took a ride across Exmoor again, thence to the Little Chef at South Molton for refreshment. The sunset was fantastic and it remained warm [14 Deg C] and dry until we arrived home.

That is it for evening runs this year, so we shall meet for a chat instead. There is, of course, the Hill Climb at Hartland Quay, and we ought to get a group together to ride down there.



Something, but nothing to do with bikes! Thanks to those responsible for cutting a decent path across the field by Rectory Hill. The improvement is appreciated by locals and visitors alike.




Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


The stork has been busy and it is lovely to be able to welcome five new babies!

Congratulations and best wishes to the parents, grand-parents and the little ones.


Artwork: Angela Bartlett



At about the time I was eleven and my sister Jean thirteen, like most kids we had 'secrets' which we didn't want the adults to know and it was for this reason that Jean invented our new 'language'. She gave it the name shown above and after some practice we became quite fast at speaking it.

In fact we got good enough to confuse mother, much to her annoyance! Mostly what you do is to put a 'U' after almost any letter of the alphabet and then the letter again. There are, of course, exceptions which had to be invented, but rather than point them out separately, I'll give all the letters and how we said them.

A is A, B is BUB, C is CUC, D is DUD, E is E, F is FUF, G is GUG, H is HUSH, I is l, J is JUG, K is KUK, L is LUK, M is MUM, N is NUN, O is O, P is PUP; Q is qwuck, R is RUN, S is SUS, T is TUT, U is U, V is vtJ\/, X is X, Y is Y' and Z is ZUZ.

This 'language' was taught in fun to my children so we have a bit of fun even now speaking it to each other. I even taught it to a student from Essex University, so who knows what future it may have!

I hope that mums and dads and boys and girls of Berrynarbor will 'have a go' so that when I next come to the village, we'll all be able to have a chat.


Now There's a Funny Thing!

  • Firstly, a few things about music. I started writing it but I've only got as far as M . . U

  • Then there was this chap who wrote a tune in four flats he was evicted from the first three.

  • When I was being taught the electronic organ, my playing was so emotional that my teacher used to clasp his hands over his ears and cry.

  • The neighbours would throw bricks through my window so that they could hear me better.

  • I am teetotal, so I won't play music by Boosey and Hawkes. I have been advised to play at concerts for the stone deaf and why is it that the instrument I play makes so many mistakes! It's as bad as my typewriter. You'd think they'd improve these things with all this new technology. I can now play simple tunes backwards. I simply move the instrument to the other side of the room.

  • But this is true. I sent myself for theory lessons but ended up teaching my teacher to swim - successfully, I'm glad to say.

  • Anyway, whilst at my local garage recently, I was talking to the salesman and he told me this story: a customer came in and said his tyres were not doing their job properly and he felt it was due to the stale air in them. The salesman said he could top them up and everything would be OK. The customer, however, insisted that was not good enough and that the old air had lost its bounce, so could they be deflated and then reflated with fresh air as he was sure this would make a difference to the car's performance. Always anxious to please, the salesman duly did as asked and the customer went away quite happy!

A few statistics . . . [probably wrong!]

  • Did you know that you should never go to bed, it is very dangerous? Lots of people die in bed.

  • Did you know that when motoring you should drive as fast as possible? The reason being that the roads are dangerous so you should spend as little time as possible on them.

  • Did you know that some of the worst criminals have been known to eat bread? Probably the cause of their crimes.

  • Rabbits are vegetarians, but they still wear real fur coats.

  • How about the mean man who went into the music shop to buy a penny whistle but wanted a discount.

Oh, well, all for now!

Tony Beauclerk - Colchester




What a busy summer!

The School has had a thorough clean and tidy over the summer break. We have also secured government funding to refurbish the main building and to develop our school grounds. Our thanks go to the Manor Hall Management Committee who donated paint for our kind volunteers to redecorate the Parish Room.

Thank you to all of our friends in the village who have helped us to develop the garden area at the top of the site, particularly Ann Davies and her team of volunteers. Our new mosaic and arbour are particularly striking.

We have an exciting academic year ahead of us. We hope you can join us for some of our Christmas events - dates to follow in the next issue.

Mrs. Karen Crutchfield -- Headteacher

The following still life compositions are the work of pupils in Years 5 and 6.



At the age of six weeks, I went to live with my grandparents [Benjamin and Minah Richards] at Hammonds Farm, and I remained with them until I was ten years old.

My childhood was a very happy one - my grandparents and an uncle and aunt who lived at home on the farm, made for a pleasant family life. I also spent many hours with my cousins at Barton Farm and would walk across the fields to be with them. We would often go to Sandaway beach for picnics, etc., and I was invariably asked to join them for several other activities.

My grandmother would take me to various houses with her to have tea with her many friends around the village. We would walk for long distances along the lanes it was most enjoyable.

One of my fondest memories is of being taken with her to Watermouth Castle to have tea with Lady Penn Curzon. The chauffeur would come to the school and ask Miss Veale if I could please be allowed to leave early to accompany him, and then off I would go! I think many of the tenant farmers' wives would be invited at different times to the Castle. On those occasions, my main enjoyment was to be allowed to turn the tap of the silver urn to pour out cups of tea. I doubt whether my grandmother was at ease, for she had visions of my overfilling the cups and the tea being spilt on the tablecloth! I would be taken up to the turret by the Major and then I could look through the telescope to view the ships in the harbour. So the hours would pass and I would return home very pleased with having spent a pleasant afternoon.

Illustrated by: Helen Armstead

On Sunday mornings - weather permitting - about once a month after church I would walk with my grandparents to Woolscott Farm to have lunch with our relatives, the Huxtable family, and I would also go up there for some of the school holidays.

I started school at the age of four and a half. This came about by the fact that my uncle had taken me with him to the village to have one of the farm horses shod. The blacksmith's premises were next to the school and my cousin, Vera Richards was out in the school yard for morning break. Seeing me she asked me in to see the school.

The Headmistress, Miss Veale, said I could stay for the remainder of the morning, so I went in to the infant room, where Miss Lily Richards was the teacher. I felt quite at home as she was a relative of ours and I knew her quite well. Vera and her sisters came to Hammonds for their lunch, so again I was asked if I should like to return with them to school in the afternoon. So my schooldays began, as I went from that day onwards. It was fun having other children to walk to school with you and to join in their lives and all the other activities of the village.

The first Christmas of my school life I remember going to the Manor Hall for a Christmas party, and there to my amazement in the middle of the hall stood a massive tree with all the candles lit and a present for every child. Such pleasure it gave us children, and I am sure that every one of us went home extremely satisfied with our happy afternoon.

The teachers at the school were always very kind to me, and when Miss Balkwill and Miss Veale lived together at Raeburn Cottage, I used to go there with my grandparents for an evening. I always had to be on my best behaviour, which sometimes was rather hard as I often got up to mischief one way or another. Another teacher, Miss Gladys Jones, would invite me to tea with her and her mother at their home on Hagginton Hill, and weather permitting, Gladys would walk me out to Watermouth Harbour or to the Caves for an hour or so in the evening. When I left school, Miss Muriel Richards was one of the teachers, and she was also a member of our family.

Illustrated by: Nigel Mason

Walking to places took up many hours of our days and when I was taken to Ilfracombe with grandmother, we had to alight from the bus at Sawmills and walk to Hammonds. I enjoyed it on the summer evenings, but was not too happy when the winter set in and we had to walk in the cold and the dark.

Of course there were times when we went visiting in the village and were driven in the jingle. My Aunt Audrey would drive the little pony-it was so quiet along the roads in those days, and I would certainly not appreciate doing that now!

One of my cousins from Barton Farm would sometimes come at weekends to stay with me and we would have fun playing around the farmyard and sitting in the fields making daisy chains or having a picnic.

At those times when I had company, I would be asked to walk to Berrydown to see if the sheep in grandfather's field were all present and none missing. I thought it rather a long walk, but we were given a penny to spend in the little shop at Berrydown. Mrs. Hockridge ran the little shop and she was very kind to us - we always got good value for our money!

On the evening of my grandfather's death, I went home with my father and mother to live with my sisters and brother at Sevenash Farm, Kentisbury.

What a different environment from being the only child in the house to having four sisters and a brother around me, but I soon settled down and, of course, returned to Berry Narbor for school holidays a couple of times and always looked forward to those occasions. I would visit various school friends and if she were at home, call on Miss Veale. I felt I owed her so much for her kindness - in fact when I was married she was invited and came to my wedding, so my connections with the village continued.

Whilst writing this article, I've been thinking all the while how good it is to have happy memories!

Alvina Irwin - Combe Martin



James Reeve

They rise like sudden fiery flowers
That burst upon the night,
Then fall to earth in burning showers
Of crimson, blue, and white.
Like buds too wonderful to name,
Each miracle unfolds,
And catherine-wheels begin to flame
Like whirling marigolds.
Rockets and Roman candles make
An orchard of the-sky,
Whence magic trees their petals shake
Upon each gazing eye.

Illustrated by: Paul Swailes



5th Bikers of Berrynarbor: Hartland Quay Hill Climb
7th W.I. Meeting, 2.30 p.m., Manor Hall: Kath Arscott Travels
Combe Martin Carnival Club Meeting, Bottom George, 7.30 p.m.
8th Mobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
Bikers of Berrynarbor: Chat at Old Sawmill Inn, 7.30 p.m.
15th Wine Circle, 8.00 p.m., Manor Hall: A Taste of French Wine [£4.50]
16th Combe Martin Historical Society: Methodist Hall, 7.30 p.m. Your Tales of the Supernatural [by candlelight]
22nd Mobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
Friendship Lunch, The Globe, 12.30 p.m.
24th Primary School & College: Non-pupil Day
27th to 31st inc. : Primary School & College - Half Term
4th W.I.Meeting, 2.30 p.m., Manor Hall - AGM
5th Mobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
9th St. Peter's Church: Remembrance Sunday, Service 10.45 a.m.
11th Bikers of Berrynarbor: Chat at the Sawmill, 7.30 p.m.
12th St. Peter's Church: Bring and Share Lunch at the Manor Hall
18th Combe Martin Carnival Club: AGM, Village Hall Annexe, 7.30 p.m.
19th Mobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
Wine Circle, 8.00 p.m. Manor Hall: Magestic Wines, Barnstaple [£6]
26th Friendship Lunch, The Globe, 12.30 p.m.
3rd Mobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.

Manor Hall Diary:

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

Mobile Library:
(Assistant - Jacqui Mackenzie)

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

Our best wishes to Jacqui who is currently suffering problems with her shoulder and is unable to drive the Van. We miss you - get well soon.




A total of 42 members and friends went on a truly memorable trip organized by Chairman, Alex Parke, to the Camel Valley Winery, preceded by a visit to the Smoke House at Tregida, Cornwall. We all had great admiration for our driver, who reversed his coach for almost quarter of a mile, with shrubs brushing both sides, to enable a lady driver to pass us!?!

A full programme has been organised starting on Wednesday, 15th October, 8.00 p.m. at the Manor Hall. The season begins with a taste of the 'French Wine Trip', organized by the Secretary, Tony Summers on the 24th September when members sailed from Poole to Cherbourg on a 'booze cruise'! [Cost £4.50]

The November meeting,on the 19th, will be a presentation given by Majestic Wines of Barnstaple and will commence, as usual, at 8.00 p.m. [Cost £6.00]

The December meeting 'Christmas with Uncle Alan' will take place on the 10th and this meeting is by ticket only, price £7.00.

Tom Bartlett - Publicity


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


First of all we should like to thank everyone for their cards, flowers and support over the last few weeks. As yet we don't know when Mum [Edith] will move from Plymouth to Barnstaple, and we don't know when she will be able to come home. However, she is having physiotherapy now to get her back on her feet and moving around. She has read all of her cards and remembers everybody, and is keen to get back to Berrynarbor.

Since Karen wrote this piece for the newsletter we have had wonderful news. Edith has progressed well enough to come back to North Devon and is now in the hospital in Barnstaple. Carry on the good work, Edith!

News of Events for October and November:

The Globe

The Old Sawmill

Both Pubs



An Exmoor Lido

An unobtrusive track leaves the road between Lanacre and Withypool Cross. We walked down it to Sherdon Hutch where the Sherdon Water joins the River Barle and forms a deep pool. The junction of the two waterways is a popular inland bathing resort surrounded by wild moorland.

It was early September and children were paddling and using small inflatable boats. Many had nets and buckets and were engrossed in pond-dipping.

All this activity did not deter a heron from flying low down river and landing in the clear bright water. A few sand martins, brown and white, flew to and fro across the Barle.

Along the river bank spread a brilliant orange blaze where montbretia [crocosmia] had colonized extensively. This common but striking 'garden escape' was first hybridized from two South African plant species by a French nurseryman in the 1870's. Although montbretia has naturalised and taken to the sea cliffs and country lanes of the South West in a big way, in its native land it has chosen to remain firmly rooted in the garden.

There was the fresh scent of water mint growing with pink valerian on long wiry stalks. Valerian was also known as 'all heal'. A medicinal herb, the drug extracted from its roots was used as a sedative.

A gorgeous gold-ringed dragonfly whizzed past - a large 'hawker' with bold bands of yellow and black along its body, with broad wings and large eyes meeting on top of its head. It flies strongly and fast along streams, especially in upland areas and is on the wing until the end of September.

We climbed up from the river on to some boggy ground and it was here that we found a bog asphodel. From a little distance the orange spikes gave the impression that the plant was still flowering. But on closer study, we found that the yellow star-shaped flowers with scarlet anthers had turned into the deep orange fruits of autumn.

A member of the lily family, the bog asphodel grows in acid soils and on damp heaths. Its Latin name, ossifragum, means 'bone breaking' because it was once believed that the bones of cattle grazing on it became brittle.

We followed the course of Sherdon Water below Ferny Ball. It soon felt increasingly isolated and remote. But here was company of a colorful sort - a flock of goldfinches on the thistle seeds, many of them young birds lacking the red face but with yellow markings on their wings.

Then, linnets poured out of the wind sculpted bushes and mingled with their fellow finches. A mistle thrush flew into a mountain ash tree joining two more thrushes already there, feasting on the abundant, orange-red berries.

Illustrations by: Paul Swailes

Sue H



The village was a rather quiet, sleepy place when War was declared in 1939. Not many people owned cars in those days and the majority made their journeys by bus. Wireless [radio] gave them the news, but as war went on, very little was heard because of letting the enemy know.

The first thing the people had to do was black out all their windows with either black curtains or blinds. ARP Wardens would patrol after dark and if a glimpse of light showed, they would knock on the doors to warn people. Petrol and food soon became scarce and some foods went on rations, as did petrol which cost 1/6d. a gallon, 7 1/2p in new money. And, as petrol got into short supply, private motoring was a thing of the past. Villagers with gardens planted vegetables, even in the flower beds and lawns were done away with. If it was possible, hens were kept at the bottom of gardens for laying eggs, because with meat, fats, cheese, bacon and sugar, eggs too were rationed and dried eggs came into shops as a substitute. This was all right for cooking cakes, etc., but not very tasty scrambled!

Young men and women were called up for the forces and the village became quieter still, until the Blitz started and people from the cities came to the village begging the house owners to let them a spare room or two. They paid about £1.10.0 per week and bought their own food - some helped with the cooking but sparks would fly with some people with more than one in the kitchen! In late 1940, when it became much worse, coachloads of children arrived with labels around their necks and very little clothing except what they were wearing. They came mostly from the East End of London. The Manor Hall was the landing place and people came and chose who and how many they could cope with. The lucky children were billeted on farms where there was more milk, cream, butter and meat to eat, also plenty of fields to run and play in. The school seemed able to take them all for lessons - in those days children were there until they were 14 years old.

Some children had never seen cows or sheep before and looked in amazement at milking time. It was also great fun at hay making time and corn harvest, when older children helped the farmers and had rides on the horse-drawn carts.

The Rector's wife, Mrs. Yendell-Hignell, organized classes for making many kinds of bandages, some with many tails, for body dressings; also knitting groups making gloves, scarves and balaclavas for the troops, particularly those sent to Norway and other cold countries. These classes were held in the small parish room on the road to the Rectory. Life settled down for many evacuees but some soon tired of the dull weeks spent in a small village and returned to their homes in London.

Summer double time was brought in to save light and it would be daylight until 11.00 p.m. during summer months. The one scary thing was hearing the drone of German bombers overhead, night after night, on their way to bomb Swansea and other towns across the Bristol Channel. Children from London were very frightened during this time because they knew the sound - the flares and bombs dropping could be seen and heard across the water. There was local excitement one day when a German bomber, damaged by gunfire, crashed on the downs outside Combe Martin, and a number of people walked there to view it. Some evacuees stayed throughout the war and joined in the many activities that went on, such as whist drives, ballroom dancing and concerts. Mrs. Penn Curzon gave permission to open the Castle grounds and part of the Castle for summer fetes in aid of charities for the forces.

There were sad days when a telegram would arrive with the information that someone had been killed or reported missing. The whole village would mourn with the relatives because everyone was well known.

Vera Lewis [nee Ley]

Vera lived at Orchard House in the Sterridge Valley, her father having built the house in the late 1920's.



David Prowse

Illustrated by: Helen Armstead
His shoes were spotless, shining-black,
His hair close-trimmed and pasted back,
He stooped and shuffled, pale of face
And strived to match the martial pace
Of others, holding banners high
Against the grey November sky.
But, medals gleaming on his chest,
He laid his wreath with all the rest
And, iron-willed, so briefly then
Was ramrod-straight and young again,
His eyelids closed, his pain concealed.
Another day. Another field.
His duty done, he turned his head.
'Your poppy, sir,' a young man said,
Retrieving from the ground beneath
The crumpled token stem and leaf,
So, as the clock proclaimed the hour,
Their hands entwined upon the flower.
The one forever robbed of youth,
The other reaching out for truth,
Two halves of duty's willing heart
By generations placed apart,
The veteran and the young cadet
And each our own . . . lest we forget.

"David Prowse is a master poet with that rare talent of reaching right to the heart of a subject, never wasting words, yet retaining the beauty of language for which English, in the right hands is renowned."

Graham Danton

* Reproduced by kind permission of David Prowse.


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


PLUTO The Harbour Watermouth View No. 85

PLUTO: Pipe Line Under The Ocean

The first indication that anyone in North Devon had that 'something was going on' was in the autumn of 1942 when a tank landing craft, fitted with what looked like a large cable drum on her vehicle deck, turned up in Ilfracombe harbour. She was soon joined by a second vessel of the same type and these two laid the pipeline between Swansea and Watermouth harbour. It was some weeks later that a large number of grey painted petrol tankers with 'Pool' on their sides, were seen passing through llfracombe on a regular basis.

During the war there were no branded petrol supplies and all petrol was 'pooled' and distributed under that name. The pipeline from Swansea had been brought up on Watermouth and the line taken along the path of the stream to Sawmills and across to Mill Park, and outlets positioned near where the Berry Mill House stands beside the road. Hardstandings were constructed for loading points and many large storage tanks were installed, half buried, right up through the valley there.

Petrol tankers would load up and then take fuel to Chivenor Airfield, Winkleigh and other military installations throughout the South West and to other petrol depots in North Devon. Chivenor was a very active operational Coastal Command station at the time. A number of large 'NO SMOKING' signs were erected by the roadside from Watermouth up to almost the entrance to the village- Road blocks were set up and vehicles and buses stopped and the occupants reminded of the 'No Smoking' regulation as well as being questioned on their business and reason for their travel. These road blocks were manned by special military police wearing distinctive blue caps, they were a special wing of the Military Police and were called Vunerable Points Police. They wore a diamond shaped flash on their arms with the initials 'VP' and were established in 1941 and disbanded at the end of the war. In addition, protection against possible fires was provided by a number of fire appliances and firemen based at what is now the Old Sawmill Inn. These men were mainly from the Bristol area and belonged to the A.F.S., the wartime Auxiliary Fire Service.

The first picture shows a line of the grey 'POOL' tankers loading up with petrol from the various loading bays on the road to Sawmills from the village, with Hagginton Hill rising up behind them. The second picture shows the pipeline coming ashore in Watermouth harbour.

For the pictures I am grateful to Moira Allsford, Commodore of the Watermouth Yacht Club and to the Maritime Museum of Appledore. For much of the information I have to thank an old friend from Dover, Peter Southcombe, who as a child lived in Ilfracombe, and David Huxtable, who as a boy of 12-13, remembers the road blocks and has carried out research on the subject of the Blue Caps. David is married to Sheila Bowden and they now live in Chichester. I should very much welcome any further memories of those days during the war and which we can write about in the next Newsletter.

For further information see the articles in April 1998 by Tony Beauclerk and Don Taylor, and more recently in April 2000, the article by Jimmy Brooks.

Tom Bartlett,
Tower Cottage, September 2003
e-mail: tomandinge40@gmail.com

P.S. My thanks for the contributions that came forward regarding the colour postcards of paintings by H. Hughes Richardson. Yes, Linda, I can confirm that the rear cover picture is of Devon Cottage on Hagginton Hill.

[And I can definitely confirm that Nigel's picture on the cover is Whitecote, Pitt Hill! Ed.]