Edition 9 - December 1990

Artwork by: Paul Swailes

Artwork: David Duncan


  • Saturday, 22nd December: Extension to 11.30 p.m.
  • Monday, 24th December: Extension to 11.30 p.m.
  • CHRISTMAS DAY: 11.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m.
  • BOXING DAY: Quiz Night to 11 .30 p.m.
  • NEW YEAR' S EVE: Fancy Dress and Free Buffet to 12.30 a.m.

There will be a dance between Christmas and the New Year - date to be fixed. WATCH FOR POSTERS in The Globe for details of this and the fancy dress theme.



Family Butchers
60a The Village
Tel: 882361


We are now taking orders for our:

  • Home-reared Free-range TURKEYS, GEESE, CHICKENS, DUCKS, etc.
  • Also Prime Beef * Pork * Home-made Sausages * Sausage Meat

Opening Times:

  • Saturday, 22nd December - All Day
  • Sunday, 23rd December - Morning only
  • Monday, 24th December - 9.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m.
  • Tuesday - Thursday, 25th - 27th December - Closed
  • Friday, 28th December - Open All Day
  • Saturday, 29th December - 9.00 to 1.00 p.m.
  • Monday, 31st December - 9.00 to 1 .00 p.m.




To celebrate their 10th Anniversary, Ilfracombe College Musical Society will be re-staging their first production, "The Pirates of Penzance" during the first week in December.

  • at Lynton Town Hall, Tuesday, 4th December, 7.30 p.m.
  • and The Pavilion Theatre, Ilfracombe, from Wednesday, 5th December - Saturday, 8th December, 7.30 p.m.

Tickets are now on sale from the College [863427, Mrs. Wills] or The Chocolate Box, High Street, Ilfracombe, price £3.00 [Concessions £2.00]. A Souvenir Programme, price £1.00, with photographs of the previous productions and details of this year's "Pirates" will be available by the time the Newsletter goes to press, and may be purchased with your tickets. Don't be disappointed - book NOW, as the seating at the Pavilion Theatre, due to last spring's storm damage, is considerably reduced. Support our village "stars" Elaine Fanner as the heroine, Mabel, and Peter Hinchliffe, a fierce pirate and not-so-fierce policeman, in this humorous, entertaining and colourful Gilbert and Sullivan operetta.



PP of DC [ex MLF] is confused. She thought she bought a house on HAGGINTON HILL, and indeed, if you look at the waist level sign at the foot of the hill, and if you cast your memories back to the tasteful old wooden signpost, that seems to be the case. But gentle councillors, raise your eyes and look at the "progressive" new sign - from somewhere it's acquired an extra 'G'!

PP is not too happy at the suggestion that those up the hill are 'hagging' and who indeed is being 'hagged'? If 'Haggin' [as in East Hagginton Farm] was good enough for Domesday, why the change now? PLEASE, let us put an end to these galloping 'G's' before they get the bit between their teeth, or we might all find ourselves living in BERRINGNARBOR near ILFRINGCOMBE!

PP of DC



Bus Service, Monday to Saturday, Combe Martin - Ilfracombe

Berrynarbor Church8.29Ilfracombe, High Street8.40Ilfracombe, High Street7.45Berrynarbor Church7.56
13.4413.55 13.0013.11



If you are approaching pensionable age and are an invalid or possibly may be in the near future...

If you think you might possibly require MOBILITY ALLOWANCE...

DO NOT WAIT until you are 66, or you will be too old to apply, according to the Application Form [NI211 as from April 1990]. It appears you must have intuitive powers to know you will be in need of Mobility Allowance after the age of 65!

Take heed of Eric Kenifeck's warning - it might seem ludicrous [even Tony Speller was utterly amazed], but it is sadly TRUE.


[or Self Catering Mumblings at the end of Another Season]


  • "I hate people!"
  • "Who's put Harpic in the Ajax container?"
  • "Something must have died in the dishwasher strainer."
  • "I do hope this is only chocolate sauce in the pan."
  • "From the state of the loo, it has to be an incontinent man."
  • "Heeeelp! It's another 10-legged ENORMOUS spider."
  • The 'boss' to the rescue with desperately needed glasses of cider.
  • "l hate people!"
  • "Only one biccy, they're quantity controlled for the guests"
  • "Look where the martins have built their new nest!"
  • Unmentionables found by the gross in drawers, 
  • Beck-aching scrubbing of bathroom floors.
  • Early arrivals, travel led through the night...
  • [fretful kids, barking dogs , grandma's been sick]
  • ... p'raps tomorrow will be all right!
  • "I hate people!"


  • Apologising for yet another wet week.  
  • Overworked washing machine that's sprung a new leak.
  • Laundry mishaps: washed tissue, shrunk vest, an odd sock,
  • Interrupted lunches [albeit three of the clock].
  • Panic! 2.30! I've not done the 'hostility' trays,
  • Never mind people ... I hate Saturdays!
  • Of oh! so many things, too numerous to put to rhyme,
  • But most of all - no more
  • The Saturday cry, "I hate people!"
  • [at, least until next time!]

Anon [Ilfracombe]





Elizabeth Crighton, who died on 3rd August, had lived in the village since 1953, having moved from the Midlands where her husband was a violinist with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. She played the piano, often accompanying him at local concerts and had previously been a church organist.

She led a busy life running a Guest House at Sawmills [before the bar and restaurant were added] in addition to bringing up her four children, Alastair, Malcolm, Nick and Elaine.

She loved the countryside and often used to walk up Birdswell Lane and lean over the gate at the end thinking what a beautiful spot it would be to live. When three building sites came onto the market she bought the end plot. She had her house built by Les Bowen, moving there when her husband died in 1963, and living out her days in this idyllic place.

Elaine Fanner



The following letter from the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada has been received at our Post Office:

"The RASC on whose behalf I am writing, is celebrating the centenary of its incorporation this year. In recognition of this occasion I am writing a book about the history of the Society. One of our charter members was David J Howell who spent the last thirty or more years of his life in Berrynarbor, where he died in 1947 or 1948. I am particularly interested in photographs he took. A few of these have been published in our Journal, but only the originals are suitable for reproduction.

I realise it is very unlikely that anyone will know of Mr. Howell or his photographs, but I feel I should at least make an attempt to find out. Possibly he had descendants or relatives there, I don't know.

Could I possibly enlist your aid? If there are any Howells still in Berrynarbor, or if there is a local historian, would you be willing to help?"

Peter Broughton - Vice President

If there is anyone who can help in any way at all, please contact either Graham at the Post Office, or Judie Weedon, Chicane, Sterridge Valley, as soon as possible.


You are all invited to a


In aid of Berrynarbor Playgroup and Youth Club

7.30 p.m. in the Manor Hall

Christmas Draw and Refreshments. EVERYONE WELCOME
Kindly organised by Mr. R. Carter and Mr. T. Bartlett



Who went for an "Autumn Break" holiday and broke her wrist!? Glad to know, PP of DC, that it is well on the mend.

And who gave everybody, especially his family and fiancee, an awful shock when he was blown off the roof he was repairing? We are delighted, Richard, that you are now fit and well again and ready [?] to return to work.

We are delighted to report that as a result of his 'A' Levels, Alan Froud is at Plymouth Polytechnic studying for an HND in Electrical and Electronic Engineering [and not at the N.D. College as stated in the October Newsletter]. At the same time, our best wishes for a speedy recovery go to mum, Dorothy; who has had a short spell in hospital. [A change for you. to be 'nursed' Dorothy!]

A REMINDER from the Management Committee: Users of the Manor Hall facilities - please make sure the lights and heaters are turned off before you leave, and stack chairs in blocks of 4 ONLY. This helps us to help you!

Young Women's Group: Would anyone be interested in forming Young Women's Group [and wives and mums] in the Village? If so, please contact Jacqui on 883782 in the first place to see if something can be got off the ground.


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


to Pat and John Gale on the birth of their grandson, Gregory John.

and very best wishes to Sarah Lethaby and Paul Prentice who are getting married on 1st December at Devizes; also Carol and Noel, who are to be married on the 8th December, and to James Weedon, who has regained his 1987 B.R.C.A. 1/8th Rallycross British Championship title.



To the long suffering residents of Wood Park, it has some connection with the sound of a cross between a swarm of angry bees and a strimmer, which shatters the peace and quiet of the Sterridge Valley! However, to the followers of this esoteric sport it is the British Champion of the 1/8th Rallycross Section [other sections include both i/c and electric, circuit and stockcar] of the British Radio Car Association, who this year is James Weedon, ably aided and abetted by Ken as his mechanic. What you hear are the cars being tested and set up before a meeting.

The 1990 Championship was run between March and September over a series of 10 one-day meetings at venues as far apart as Hull and Hackney, Maidstone and Ilfracombe, and 2 two-day meetings, the British Nationals at Staverton, Glos., and the British Grand Prix - an international event - at Alcester, Warcks. Also in the racing calendar this year was the biennial World Championships held in Bangkok, where due to the distance and cost involved, only a few competitors represented the U.K. and the annual European Championships, supported by a full U.K. team, in Geneva.

Meetings are run on a format of 3 five-minute qualifying heats followed by five finals made up from the top 50 qualifiers. The finals run for 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes and the A Final for 30 and sometimes 45 minutes. Points for final placings are allocated 51 to the winner, and then from 49 - 1. An extra point is awarded to the driver who qualifies with the fastest time of the day. The points gained in each driver's best 9/12 results are amassed, giving a total for the series. James's total was 452, 12 points above his nearest rival.

The four-wheel-drive cars, which have to conform to internationally agreed technical specification are, as the title implies, 1/ 8th scale and are powered by 3.5 cc internal combustion engines capable of producing over 2 bhp at 30,000 rpm. They have only one forward gear - no reverse - and a twin disc brake system. Wheels are shod in a wide variety of tyres [studs, spikes, etc.] selected by the individual drivers according to track and weather conditions. The choice of tyre has a very significant effect on performance. Cars can reach speeds of up to 50 mph and are controlled by a hand-held radio transmitter from a rostrum some 6 to 8 feet high with a view of the whole track. Fuel tanks are 125 cc maximum and this allows a car to run from between 6 to 8 minutes. It is, therefore, necessary to refuel several times during a 'final' necessitating the help of a pit mechanic.

Over 150 drivers, from all parts of the country and of all ages, contested this year's Championship in a wide variety of manufacturer's cars, which are purchased, in the first place, in kit form. Those most in evidence are Mugen [Japan], Mantua Magika [Italy], Yankee [France] and outnumbering the rest by a long way, the Kyosho Burns [Japan]. Of the top 10 drivers, 8 were racing Burns. Sadly, the British car, with which James won the 1987 Championship, is no longer manufactured.

Now the season is over [peace reigns in the valley?] and drivers relax and plan for next year. Which car to drive? Which engine to use? Which team to support? James and Ken plan a change of direction - to race 1/8th circuit cars - another ball game altogether.

So, for those of you who may have wondered what radio car racing is all about, from this 'potted' write up you can see that it is quite a complicated sport and far from the playing with 'tiny toy racers' as implied by our local press! In fact, the BRCA are currently striving to have it designated an official sport under the Sports Council.

Judie Weedon

2022 Update

Since the mid 1990's the BRCA has been affiliated with the Motor Sports Association (MSA), who manage all motorsports in the UK, although primarily dealing with full-size racing rather than scale model racing.

Since the BRCA joined the MSA, BRCA members have gone on to win the F1 world championship multiple times (i.e. Lewis Hamilton), the Le Mans 24 hours, compete in the World Rally Championship (WRC) and numerous other parts of the motor sport world. In addition, the number of BRCA members employed within race teams is huge - illustrating that the knowledge and skills RC racing delivers are applicable to cars of all sizes!

James Weedon



Our programme for this Autumn has been a busy one with a lot more still to come. We have been to Club Ruda "Cascades"; a fun evening at "The Log Inn", Watermouth; Ilfracombe Swimming Baths and a Fancy Dress Hallowe'en Party [it poured with rain for trick or treating!!], plus the normal Youth Club nights.

We had a very successful Jumble Sale on 6th October [together with the Playgroup] and we should like to thank all the mums who helped and gave jumble. A big 'thank you' to Pam and Alex Parke who had a good old sort out when they moved and gave us bags of jumble and bric-a-brac.

Youth Club are putting on their Variety Show on Thursday, 20th December, at 7.30 p.m. in the Manor Hall and we hope, as in previous years, that you will come along and support the children who put a lot of hard work into their Show - don't forget - THURSDAY, 20TH DECEMBER, 7.30 p.m.



The footpath, which was constructed about three years ago, at the top of Newberry Hill, is a great asset, providing a safe and pleasant walk into Combe Martin for much of the route. Unfortunately, you must first brave the increasingly hazardous bend on the main road from the Sandy Cove to the entrance to the new path. There are blind spots here and few places for the pedestrian to escape motorists, who whip around the corner clinging to the edge of the road, apart from leaping onto a bank, proclaiming itself to be "dangerous" [note the warning signs], on one side, or shinning up the sheer rock face on the other side.

Alternatively, you may avoid this by using the footpath from Barton Lane [now re-routed a few yards down the road] which goes over the fields and down the little track - pretty in the Spring - behind Windyridge. But then, in order to link up with the new path, it is necessary to double back along the main road and around another of its fast bends.

When you do reach the top of the flight of wooden steps you will be rewarded by a sweeping view of Combe Martin Bay. On an October afternoon recently, as I approached the little wooden bridge, which carries the path over a stream, I was aware of a lot of shrill piping and busy activity in the bushes along the stream. The cause was a party of gold crests.

Europe's smallest bird looks quite insignificant at first glance with its dull olive and buff plumage, but as it turns its head you see the bright crest set off by a bold black stripe on each side. In the females, the crest is yellow and in the males it is orange. On this occasion, most of the gold crests were female and on that rather overcast autumnal afternoon, as they flitted noisily among the branches, the tops of their heads flashed vividly.

The path continues along the edge of the field, just below the road, and has an uninterrupted view of the sea. There are often jackdaws and pied wagtails strutting about among the sheep. Incidentally, can anyone offer an explanation as to why pied wagtails in particular like to frequent car parks?

The footpath ends near the Sandaway camp site and you can either walk along the verge for a short distance before turning down the steep lane to Newberry Beach, or take the path on the immediate left to the hidden coves of Sandy Bay.

Sue H


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


  • 1/4 pt Milk
  • 4 oz Marshmallows
  • 1 tsp Instant Coffee
  • 1 tsp Cocoa
  • 2 oz Raisins
  • 1 oz Currants
  • 2 oz Chopped Nuts
  • 2 tbs Sherry
  • 2 oz Glace Cherries [chopped]
  • 1/2 pt Thick Cream - Whipped

Put milk, marshmallows, coffee and cocoa in a pan. Heat gently until marshmallows are melted. Allow to cool. Mix dried fruit with sherry, allow to stand for 30 mins, then add to marshmallow mixture with cherries and nuts. Freeze for a short time until slightly thickened, fold in whipped cream, pour into basin and freeze.

A recipe that might be useful - sent to me and from what I have heard, very popular in the North ... forget those waistlines!!

Vi Kingdon


Outbreak starts in thatch


Garratt No. 12 [c1904]

Known to thousands of visitors, and situated on the top of Berrynarbor Hill, North Devon, the picturesque Bessemer Thatch House was destroyed by fire last evening. The damage is estimated at nearly £1,000.

The lower portion of the house, with its modern interior, is owned by Canon Jolly, of the Deanery, Southampton. Every summer he visits the place, and has done so for a great number of years. At the time he was not in residence, but the news of its destruction was conveyed to his wife, who told the Canon, who it is understood had left hospital only yesterday after an operation.

The higher portion of the Thatch is owned and occupied by Miss L.C. Veale, head mistress of the Berrynarbor Council School . She was at home at the time.

Spark from chimney

It appears a spark from a nearby chimney caught the thatched roof on fire shortly after five o'clock. The first to notice the thatched roof on fire was Mrs. D. Toms , who lives almost opposite, and she at once sent for Ilfracombe Fire Brigade. Men in the village also noticed smoke coming from the thatched roof, and with buckets of water endeavoured to put the blaze out, but it spread so quickly their efforts were ineffective. They removed all the furniture of both sections.


Ilfracombe Fire Brigade, under Officers Westaway and Webber, were quickly on the scene and began to pour water on the blaze.

In the meantime Mr. F.J. Richards, a County Councillor of the district, had arrived on the scene and immediately sent for the Barnstaple Rural Fire Brigade which arrived some time after under Capt. F. Parker.

Water from Stream

The Barnstaple Rural Brigade with their powerful engine, pumped water from a stream down the village, while men of the Ilfracombe Brigade worked very hard in throwing off the burning thatch.

Among others who rendered great help were Sergt. Holland who and Con. Munton and Northey of Combe Martin.

Up to a late hour the brigade were still at work but were expected to finish about midnight, as they had to take the thatched roof completely off.

Western Morning News




Barnstaple Rural Fire Brigade returned to Barnstaple about 2 a.m. yesterday after a night call to the scene of the fire which destroyed Bessemer Thatch House, a picturesque dwelling on top of the hill at Berrynarbor on Wednesday night and at which two brigades had been engaged.

Barnstaple Rural Brigade under Capt. F. Parker found a beam in the chimney between Bessemer Thatch House and a cottage and stores occupied by Mr. R.J. Baker had apparently continued to smoulder since the previous outbreak.

A great deal of thatch among the debris of the earlier fire had caught alight, but with a plentiful supply of water from a stream in the village the brigade concentrated on extinguishing the fire and removing the thatch and beams from the burnt out portion and were able to save Mr. Baker's cottage from any serious damage.

Western Morning News




Although the next financial year starts on the 1st April and like spring seems a long way away, Councils are already addressing the budget for 1991-2.

At the District Council there has been heated debate right from the outset. There was a move to aim Community Charge of £100.76, but I am pleased to say that a reduction to £98.72 was eventually carried. It remains to be seen if it can be achieved. Each Committee has its own battle!

Of course, there is more to the Community Charge bill than the District Council's expenditure. For this year the bill was split three ways, thus:

Devon County Council£685.35 per head
N.D. District Council94.86 per head
Berrynarbor P. Council2.85 per head
less Central Govt. support & Business Rate466.00
so that our demand in Berrynarbor was for£317.06

At its November meeting, Berrynarbor Parish Council reduced its precept - which falls entirely on the Community Charge - by £130, which should reduce the level by about 22p. Clearly we must look to others to make a bigger impact on this expensive impost.

Meetings attended 17th September to 18th November - 79.

Good news on the roads front. The N.D. Highways have set their priority list for 91/2 and a scheme to improve the A399 just west of Watermouth should be completed in this period. This is a notorious Accident Black Spot and should be a lot safer for us all soon.

An M.P. spends so much time in London that he does not reach every village in a huge country area very often. I was very grateful that Tony Speller made it, although he was suffering from a sore throat at the time.

May I extend to everyone, the Season' s Greetings. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for 1991, but perhaps most of all in these anxious days, a peaceful festive season and year to follow.

Graham E. Andrews - District & Parish Councillor
Tel: 883385


She's 109 - It's A Record!

Many villagers will have happy memories of Rebecca Hewison and her daughter, Frances Kett, who, for many years, lived in Barton Lane and by Sandy Cove, and be delighted to read the newspaper report of her 109th birthday on 19th October.

It's all smiles for Rebecca as she receives a bouquet, drink and a card from the Post Office and the Humberstone Road postmaster Graham Berett and staff after collecting her pension. With her (left to right) are counter assistant June Hickling; Post Office Counters Ltd area manager Ron MacLauchlan; matron Clephane; and Mr Berrett.

WHAT better way to spend your 109th birthday than by going out and drawing your pension?

It was just a routine Friday job for Britain's oldest lady, Mrs Rebecca Hewison, of Struan House, Eleanor Street, Grimsby.

Then it was back home for a slap-up party - where one of the guests was her 84-year-old daughter Mrs Frances Kett and a visit from the Mayor of Grimsby, Coun Helen Hooton.

Rebecca was born in Duncombe Street, Grimsby, in 1881 and returned to her home town three years ago from North Yorkshire, having previously lived in Devon for some years.

And what does it feel like to be 109? Rebecca laughed and said: "l can't make it any bigger! It feels no different from being 108."

Rebecca celebrated her 100th birthday here - at Bessemer Thatch with the Leisure Club and at Sandy Cove with her family. Her ambition now - to be the country's oldest person!




The Primary School is holding its Christmas Concert on Wednesday, 12th December, at 1.45 p.m. and anyone from the village is welcome to attend to see their Nativity Play and two short Pantomimes. The Friday evening performance is for ticket holders ONLY, and tickets are now sold out.

If anyone would be willing to pop into the school for a coffee and chat to 1 or 2 children about their memories of the school before 1960 [or bring photographs], they would be most warmly welcome. If you can help with this project in any way, please contact Pam Cruse at the school - 883493.



It is sad to report the closure, after many years' trading, of the Manor Stores, and take this opportunity to thank Stuart and Ginnie [and previous proprietors] for all their help and kindness and wish them both well for the future.

In August 1920, an auction took place of properties under the Watermouth Estate, which comprised of valuable freehold farms, small holdings, accommodation lands, woodlands, cottage residences, free and fully licenced inn, artisan cottages and unique building sites. One of these properties, known as Lot 51 at the time of the auction, eventually became known as The Manor Stores.

Lot 51 was described as follows: "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, etc.] 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 property was sold tor £650 and in its 1920 format incorporated our present neighbours' property [Hedi and Joseph Belka]. Throughout the years, the property changed hands many times, as did the interior - even to the extent of turning the staircase leading to the upstairs living accommodation through 180 degrees.

In 1985 we purchased the Manor Stores from David and Rita Duncan - thus joining grandma Neale, who retired with her husband some 25 years earlier in Berrynarbor. The shop was run very successfully and profitably for 5 years and a great deal of attention was paid to quality, presentation of product and above all, service to the customer. However, with the constant demands on time and effort, two growing children, the effects of the super- market and increased mobility of many people, trading became a most exhausting process. It's a sobering thought that if it were not for the visitors who come to this beautiful village each year [and as previous owners of the Manor Stores would agree], then there wouldn't be ANY village shops in Berrynarbor at all! What a character change that might be!!?

It was with some regret, therefore, that we decided to close the shop down and spend more time with our family and extend our living quarters into the original shop area. Ginny and I must thank most sincerely all those loyal customers who have supported us over the past five years. We enjoyed it too - yes, really!!

So I have returned to the industrial scene [having been Head of Marketing for the Industrial Division of Reckitt & Colman for 14 years] as a marketing consultant and we are planning a thing called a holiday - our first in five years!

Stuart Neale




October meeting members were transported to China through the courtesy of Joy Morrow and her slides. Wearing a beautiful Oriental jacket - and fighting a cold - she gave a very interesting commentary, enjoyed by all.

Fifteen of us travelled to Loxhore for the Group Meeting and the lack of space in the hall was truly compensated for by the warm welcome and excellent refreshments. Mr. Thompson was the Guest Speaker and he showed a film of Victorian Ilfracombe, and lo and behold, there was my late mother-in-law still feeding the chickens outside the cottage! Little did she know in her lifetime that she would become such a star. Joan McCallam, Edna Barnes and Peggy Gingell secured us second place in the competitions - first attempts for all of them, so well done ladies.

November saw our General Meeting [where has the year gone?] when we welcomed Mrs. E. Ressel V.C.O. and I presented Joan Adams and Bobbie Hacker with gifts in recognition of all the hard work they have done over the years preparing birthday posies and floral arrangements, and we wish Joan McCallam every success as she takes over the birthday spot. Joan Adams presented plants to the retiring officers on behalf of members [thank you, ladies, a very kind thought] and as we were later re-elected for another term, I trust that we, like the plants, will grow strong and give pleasure. How nice to welcome back Ivy Richards to the Committee, with Margaret Kemp, Margaret Parkin, Jean Priest and Sylvia Yates, The competition - words from 'Home and Country' was won by Ethel Tidbury, with over 500!

By the time you read this, a coachload of members and friends will have filled a few tills in Exeter and some of will have partaken of the Progressive Supper in Combe Martin in aid of Hospice Care, for which we are having a Coffee Morning on Saturday, 8th December, in the Manor Hall, 10 .30 a.m. So please come. Christmas Party - 4th December, Lunch at the Globe - 18th December and our first meeting for 1991 - Wednesday, 2nd January, when I shall hope to give a talk about the deaf, "Living in a silent World".

Seasons Greetings to One and All. Keep Well and Happy.

Vi Kingdon- President

Our lives are filled with simple joys,
And blessings without end;
One of the greatest joys of all -
Is to have, or be, a friend.


Artwork: Helen Armstead


Sundays: 10.30 a.m. The Eucharist and Sunday School
Thursdays: 10.00 a.m. Holy Communion


  • 2nd Advent Sunday
  • 9th Bible Sunday - Bible Reading Plans available: Envelope Collection for the Bible Society
  • 16th 3.00 p.m. - The Children's Society CHRISTINGLE FAMILY SERVICE, Combe Martin [a lovely service]
  • 20th 9.30 a.m. - School Carol Service followed by Holy Communion
  • 23rd 6.00 p.m. - Combined Churches Carol Service, Combe Martin
  • 24th CHRISTMAS EVE - the Church will be decorated 11.30p.m. The Midnight. Mass
  • 25th CHRISTRMAS DAY 10.30 a.m. - The Eucharist of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ


  • 22nd 7.15 p.m. Exeter Cathedral, "Christians Together In Devon" Inauguration Service



This year the distribution of Cards for charity will be in support of further improvements to the Manor Hall.

Cards addressed to anyone in the village can be placed in the collecting box in the Post Office, together with a contribution of 10p per card, during the week commencing 10th December. Cards will be sorted in the Manor Hall and be distributed on the 16th December. Helpers will be most welcome on that day.



3rdBadminton Club, 8.00 p.m.
4thW.I. Christmas Party
5thSouth Molton Recycling Collection, 11.00-1.00 p.m.
Mobile Library in Village from 12.05 p.m.
to Saturday, 8th December: I.C.M.S "Pirates of Penzance", Pavilion Theatre, Ilfracombe.
8thW. I. Coffee Morning, Manor Hall, 10.30 a.m.
10thChristmas Card Post Box available at Post Office until Saturday, 15th December.
Badminton Club 8.00 p.m.
11thParish Council Meeting, 7.15 p.m.
12thPrimary School Christmas Concert, 1.45 p.m.
Family Christmas Bingo, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
13thU3A Christmas Luncheon, Woolacombe Bay Hotel
16thVillage Christmas Post Distribution.
Christingle Family Service, 3.00 p.m. Combe Martin Parish Church
17thBadminton Clubs 8.00 p.m.
18thW.I. Lunch at The Globe.
College Annual Carol Service, 7.30 p.m. Ilfracombe Parish Church
19thMobile Library in Village from 12.05 p.m.
Wine Appreciation Group: "Wines for Christmas", Graeme Barber [Wickham's], Contribution £2.50.
College: Sixth Form Miscellany, 7.30 p.m. All ex-sixth Formers warmly welcome.
23rdCombined Churches Carol Service, 6.00 p. m. Combe Martin Parish Church.
24thChristmas Eve: Midnignt Mass, St. Peter's Church, 11.30 p.m.
25thCHRISTMAS DAY The Eucharist, 10.30 a.m.
26thBoxing Day
31stNew Year's Eve
1stNew Year's Day
2ndMobile Library in Village from 12.05 p.m.
South Molton Recycling Collection.
W. I. Meeting: "Living in a Silent World"
7thCollege & Primary School Start of Spring Term
Badminton, 8.00 p.m.
8thParish Council Meeting, 7.15 p.m.
10thU3A Luncheon: Granvile Hotel - Joan Lorraine "A Village in Rumania"
14thBadminton, 8.00 p.m.
15thCollege: Year 10 [4th Year] Parent's Evening
16thMobile Library in Village from 12.05 p.m.
Wine Appreciation Group: Tasting of Members own Choice of Wines. No contribution.
21stBadminton, 8.00 p.m.
28thBadminton, 8.00 p.m.
30thMobile Library in Village 12.05 p.m.
College: Year 11 [5th Year] Parents' Evening on Sixth Form Opportunities
4thBadminton, 8.00 p.m.
6thSouth Molton Recycling Collection, 11.00-1.00 p.m.



The sea runs back against itself
With scarcely time for breaking wave
To cannonade a slatey shelf
And thunder under in a cave
Before the next can fully burst.
The headwind, blowing harder still,
Smooths it to what it was at first -
A slowly rolling water-hill.
Against the breeze the breakers haste,
Against the tide their ridges run
And all the sea's a dappled waste
Criss-crossing underneath the sun.
Far down the beach the ripples drag
Blown backward, rearing from the shore,
And wailing gull and shrieking shag
 Alone can pierce the ocean roar.
Unheard, a mongrel hound gives tongue,
Unheard are shouts of little boys:
What chance has any inland lung
Against this multi-water noise?
Here where the cliffs alone prevail
I stand exultant, neutral, free, 
And from the cushion of the gale
Behold a huge consoling sea.

This John Betjeman poem is a favourite of one of our readers. Have you a favourite poem? If so [as long as it isn't The Rime of the Ancient Mariner!] , please submit it - perhaps for a new regular feature?



Alfred Robert Quinton, whose watercolour of Watermouth Castle appears below in article 30, was born at Peckham, London: on the 23rd October, 1853, the youngest of seven children. He studied at Heatherley Arts School and after working as an engraver, took up painting in oils until 1885 when he concentrated on watercolours and black and white drawings.

He cycled from Lands End to John O'Groats with his friend "B" [probably artist Henry Bailey] in 1894, and produced wonderful watercolour landscape pictures which often featured at the Royal Academy.

It was in 1911, at the age of 58, that he commenced working exclusively for J. Salmon, the postcard manufacturers, and this continued up until his death in December 1934 at the age of 81. During this time, he produced almost 2,000 pictures, all of great detail, giving an almost photographic portrayal of the buildings and countryside painted.

Tom Bartlett



Thanks to Daphne Challacombe [of Combe Martin] and her aunt, Vera Lewis, for the photographs of Bessemer Thatch and the Western Morning News write-up's following the fire that destroyed the thatch on the evening of 5th May, 1937.


Artwork: Judie Weedon


Very many thanks to all this issue's contributors. Following a non-existent December issue at 15.11.90. and having to hastily put pen to paper myself, articles flowed in and so we have a bumper Christmas edition. PLEASE don't leave it until the last minute again [or you'll be bored by more prattlings from me!] and have your 'news and views; in the box at the P.O. by 15th January at the latest. Thanks.

Judie Weedon


Artwork: Angela Bartlett

"Watermouth Castle - Ilfracombe"


This postcard is taken from a watercolour of around 1915 by the highly accomplished and prolific artist, A. R. Quinton or ARQ as he is known by postcard enthusiasts and collectors of his work.

Whilst Berrynarbor, the Castle and much of the surrounding area comprising of almost 50 farms had been purchased in 1712 by Joseph Davie Bassett, it was not until 1825 that the building of the present Castle was commenced for Arthur Davie Bassett, and completed about 1830. He married Harriet Sarah Crawforth at Dulverton in 1828 and they returned to Watermouth and set up home with a staff of approximately 40 domestics, 7 gardeners, 2 grooms and many workers and craftsmen employed on the estate, including quarries, saw and flour mills, etc. Mrs. Penn-Curzon was the last of the Bassett family to live at Watermouth but then, a few years after the Great War in 1920, the first large sale of Watermouth Estates took place, including the majority of farms, cottages and land around and in the village of Berrynarbor. The remainder of the Estate [excluding the Castle and its grounds] were offered by auction at the Manor Hall on Thursday, 5th June, 1924. Finally, in September 1943, the antique and period contents of the Castle, its garages and sawmills went under the hammer - a Morris Cowley 12hp car realised £2.10.0., an old Russian sleigh and rubber typed cart £1.1.0. and an oil painting of a man's head attributed to Rembrandt, 15" x 17", 7 guineas [£7.7.0.]. The Castle itself was then sold in 1946 severing the last family ties and since such time has been sold and purchased several times.

During the First World War, the Castle was used as a convalescent home for army officers. During the last War, it was used to accommodate army engineers and personnel connected with the 'PLUTO' pipeline supplying fuel from South Wales into Watermouth Harbour and ending in the fields below the village, from where it was collected and taken to Chivenor for fuelling the RAF bombers stationed there.

Fortunately for Berrynarbor and North Devon, it was Richard and Antjie Haines and family who purchased the Castle back in 1978 for £50,000 - a reflection of the rundown and overgrown state it was then in. As a family they have worked hard and enthusiastically, giving it and the gardens a new lease of life and a great deal of employment and business locally. Watermouth Castle is now recognised as one of the top leisure industry Theme Parks in the country, scoring 9 out of 10 points in last year's Daily Mirror "Best Value Guide to Britain's Theme Parks". It has won several Tourist Awards and often been featured on television.

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage, November 1990