Edition 92 - October 2004

Artwork by: William - Primary School

Artwork: Judie Weedon


Autumn seems to be approaching rapidly. The evenings are shorter, the leaves on the trees are turning brown and blowing off already - the result perhaps of a very dry spring and beautiful May - and the bushes and hawthorn in particular, are awash with red haws and berries. Summer has left!

Also leaving, in one sense, are Alan and Nora, who will be closing their door on the shop and post office. We wish them both health and happiness in their retirement. Details of where and how the shop is going appear elsewhere in this issue. I must thank Nora and Alan for their support of the Newsletter - collecting articles, donations and those 'gossip' items, and of course, distributing them, formerly with the newspapers and latterly for collection from the shop. I hope that you will continue to be able to collect your newsletter in this way. I was sorry to learn that Alan's mother had recently passed away and on behalf of everyone, send him and all the family, our best wishes and thoughts at this time of sadness.

For 'A Country Collection' - the Art Show held back in June - pupils from our Primary School were invited to produce a coloured cover for the Newsletter. Continuing the autumnal theme, the beautiful wrap-around cover of this issue is the work of William [front cover] and Daisy [back cover] and the inside covers show more of the pictures judged for the Horticultural Show as 1st, 2nd, 3rd and Highly Commended in the three school classes. Thank you all for giving us so much colour and pleasure.

Believe it or not, the next issue will be the December one again and the countdown to Christmas and the New Year - time flies! Articles, especially some of a 'seasonal' flavour please, will be needed by mid-November and Monday, the 15th November at the latest. Thanks.

Judie - Ed

Ross - Class 3

Amy - Class 3

Keelan - Class 1

Isobel - Class 1

George - Class 1




Seventeen members and three visitors met at the Manor Hall on the 7th September. In a change to our programme, our Secretary showed slides and spoke of a pilgrimage she had made to Singapore and Thailand. Marion was presented with a bottle of wine and the vote of thanks was given by Doreen Prater. Birthday gifts were given to Josie Bozier, Win Collins and Margaret Weller, and the raffle was won by Marion Carter. The competition for a horse brass was won by Jenny Caswell.

At our meeting on Tuesday, 5th October, Patricia Stout, the Curator of the Carriage Museum at Arlington Court, will be telling us about the Collection. So, ladies, do please come and join us - 2.30 p.m. at the Manor Hall. The competition will be for a holiday souvenir.

November will be our A.G.M. and nominations for Officers and the Committee must be handed in at the October meeting.

Marion Carter


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


It was with regret that we learned that Keith and Maureen Cooper were, after living here in Berrynarbor for some years [and one-time owners of our village shop and post office], on the move.

Maureen wrote at the time:

After spending many happy years in Berrynarbor, we are returning to our roots in Essex to be nearer the family. We shall miss the village but will have the Newsletter to keep us up to date. We also hope to visit in the future, when seeing Shaun and Cath in Pilton. Our thanks for the many cards. Health and happiness to you all.





It was, therefore, with profound shock and sadness we learnt that, on the 9th September, after such a short stay in their new home, Keith had died after his long illness which he bore with great patience and cheerfulness. It is hard for us with Maureen so far away, but our thoughts are with her and we send our love to her, Shaun, Neil and Dean and all the family at this time of sorrow. Keith's funeral took place at All Saints Church, Cranham, Upminster, on the 16th September.

May the roads rise to meet you, may the wind be always at your
back, may the sun shine warm upon your face and the rains fall
soft upon your fields and until we meet again, may God hold you
in the hollow of his hand.

Dear Friends,

On behalf of my family, it's with great sadness that I have to let all our friends back in Berrynarbor know that Dad passed away a few days ago in Old Church hospital, Romford. Unfortunately, the latest infection turned into pneumonia a couple of days after being admitted into hospital, and he was finding it increasingly difficult to breath. To the end, his thoughts were still of his family, as he held on for me to travel up from Devon to spend one last evening with him.

There's never a right time to lose someone you love and trust so much, but Dad died peacefully, with his family around him, knowing he had nothing more to give. Over the last few days, talking to so many friends from his Ford days, Youth Club and distant relatives, the one comment that best sums up how he was thought of was, 'the next best thing to a brother . . .' Only a week earlier, he had ridden his scooter, accompanied by Mum, from their new home to Upminster High Street, exploring their new surroundings and talking about old times together. He was his old self, recounting memories and stories of his youth - many of them funny and told by Dad in his usual style!

Losing a Dad at any time is upsetting and extremely sad, but more than anything, those who knew him will miss his boundless generosity and Cockney sense of humour.

Missing you, dad, for ever.



Artwork: David Duncan


St. Peter's has had a successful summer's fund-raising, thanks to the enthusiasm, efforts and generosity of its many supporters. The Summer Fayre raised £988 on the night, and this was quickly made up to £1,000 by a kind donation. The barbecue was particularly busy and altogether everyone enjoyed a lively evening with a lovely atmosphere.

Then it was the turn of the flower arrangers to organise the displays for the Flower Festival, 'Our Village', which was held over the second week-end in August. Visitors were most impressed by the professionalism shown, the use of colour and the imaginative interpretation of the various themes. With all the expenses paid, and thanks to so many who gave so freely [you know who you are], £440 has been added to the church funds. Our special thanks to Linda Brown who master-minded it all and coped with all the last minute crises admirably, and to Judie Weedon who, once again, produced the leaflet guiding visitors around the church.

The church was completely full for the Civic Service on Sunday, 12th September, when we were pleased to welcome the North Devon District Council Chairman, Councillor Mrs. Yvette Gubb, and her guests from all over Devon. The lessons were read by Councillors M. Prowse and R. Cann and as the Chairman's Chaplain, the Rev. Keith Wyer gave the address. A special collection was taken up for the North Devon Hospice and for the local Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Seen on a church notice board:

Carpenter of Nazareth
Joiners Wanted!

How true! At a time when the Diocese is planning cut-backs in clergy numbers [and the number of churches?], we need to keep our congregation alive and increasing. On a normal Sunday, services will continue through the autumn at 10.00 a.m., following the usual pattern. Please come when you can.

There will be an extra service at All Saints [see the article by Stuart Neale] and on Remembrance Day, Sunday 14th November, the special service will begin at 10.45 a.m. in the church.

Friendship Lunches will be held at The Globe on Wednesdays 27th October and 24th November, 12.30 p.m. onwards. Everyone welcome. There will be no meeting in December but we shall look forward to seeing everyone again in January.

Advance Notice: The PCC will be holding an Autumn Bazaar at the Manor Hall on Saturday, 23rd October, at 2.00 p.m. There will be a 'nearly new' stall, so this will be a chance to look out any impulse buys which have barely been worn or used!

Mary Tucker


There will be 'A Special Service for Loved Ones' at St. Peter's Church on Sunday, 31st October, at 3.00 p.m.

This service, which will be the first of its kind to be held in this part of North Devon, will be an uplifting occasion, complemented by wonderful music from modern and traditional composers and performed by our Berrynarbor Church Choir.

An invitation is extended to all parishioners who wish to remember a 'loved one' or 'friend'. A candlelit ceremony will be the highlight of the service which will be conducted by our Rector, Keith Wyer.

Refreshments will be provided at the end of the service.





Sally is currently in hospital having a new knee - we wish her well [as we do anyone else in hospital, just out of or going in to hospital, or just feeling below par] and look forward to having her home and skipping around again!

She tells me that the new Sunday School term began well, with 15 disciples returning after the summer break. During that break, the Sunday School took part in not only the Combe Martin Carnival, with their float of 'Joseph and his coat of many colours', but also 'Our Village' the Flower Festival at St. Peter's from the 5th to 8th August.

The photos show their contribution, depicting the village in the 1970's and showing the Manor Stores with its bow-fronted shop window. These beautiful scaled models were made by the late Helen Armstead.

The Sunday School will be taking part in St. Peter's Harvest Festival celebrations.




Our Choir has, over the last few years, performed many wonderful pieces of music in our beautiful church, and also in the annual village show. A particularly memorable occasion at last year's Harvest Festival was a joint performance with the Berrynarbor School Choir of 'Look at the World' by the composer John Rutter. Another special performance by our choir was that of 'One Hand, One Heart' from the musical West Side Story, at the beginning of last year's BBC Show, and repeated this year at the wonderful village wedding of Richard and Sharon Hull, during the signing of the register. The Choir was filmed by 3 video cameras during the stunning performance!

Our musical repertoire continues to expand and we shall be performing a moving piece of music by the modern composer, Karl Jenkins, at the forthcoming Service for Loved Ones on the 31st October.

We are, however, anxious to expand our numbers in both sopranos and tenors, and whether you can read music or not, you would be welcomed with open arms to come along to our practice on Monday evenings at 7.30 p.m. If you are a contralto or a bass and also enjoy singing, then we need you as well!

The Choir usually sings at the monthly Village Service and also at Easter, Harvest Festival and for the very special Carol Service at Christmas.

So, if you live in our beautiful village or in an adjacent parish and really enjoy singing with a wonderful bunch of people - then come along and join us on a Monday evening or feel free to ring me any evening on 882447 to find out more about us!

Looking forward to meeting you.

Stuart Neale - Organist


Artwork: Paul Swailes


With Lindsay and Martin leaving, Bob and Eileen Hobson have become the new residents at Lynwood and we welcome them to their new home and wish them every happiness here in Berrynarbor.

Bob and Eileen's move was not far, having come from Combe Martin where for 17 years they ran a hardware shop and managed holiday flats. During that time, Eileen also worked as a local Health Visitor. Having retired three years ago, they decided to 'down-size', so here they are!

Their son and his family, two daughters and a son, emigrated to West Vancouver three years ago, whilst their daughter and her family, two sons, live at Weston-Super-Mare making two granddaughters and three grandsons!

Golfers both! There is now more time to indulge in their favourite pastime, through which they had already made friends in the village. Although she has not been for several years, Eileen was a 'spinner' again meeting villagers and she hopes to find time to take up this hobby once again.




August and September have been quite quiet really, although some members have enjoyed impromptu rides and several of us attended the Classic Scramble at Sloley Park.

The 7th September was a lovely day and three riders set off at 6 o'clock for an evening ride across Exmoor. The countryside looked absolutely wonderful, and with little traffic about we enjoyed a most pleasant 90 mile trip. Sadly, this will be the last semi-light evening, but we hope to arrange a Breakfast Run in the near future. Watch the poster in the Community Shop window for up to date information.



Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


A very warm welcome to baby Jazmin Ellen Ede who arrived on the 15th August, weighing in at 6lb 6ozs. A first child for Ben and Anna, making Jean Ede a very, very proud grandmother.



Despite a weather forecast promising us something approaching a monsoon, we had a successful and mostly dry afternoon, with a good number of people attending.

Many visitors found the gardens something of a challenge - the Sterridge Valley is not noted for level ground! One visitor was heard to remark that he had never climbed so many steps in one day before and intended to spend Monday in a horizontal position to recover.

Despite the climbing involved, the gardens were much admired and the cream teas greatly appreciated as a reward for the effort.

All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon for both visitors and gardeners, with over £220 being raised and divided between the Children's Ward, Blantyre Hospital, Malawi, and the Berrynarbor Newsletter. Donations collected at the event were sent to the Boscastle Appeal.


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


Robin and I have been privileged to welcome Dorothy and Ken Wooldridge to Middle Lee Farm. Dorothy and Ken spent their honeymoon here in Berrynarbor, staying at Langleigh Guest House, and have now returned for the first time in celebration of their 60th Anniversary.

They were married on 5th August 1944 at Stanmore Church in Middlesex and then embarked on what was to prove an epic journey to North Devon! The Normandy invasion was in full progress and troop trains had first priority on the whole rail network. Their train was constantly being shunted into sidings to make way so that the total journey time was a horrendous ten hours. Bad enough in itself, but the train was so crowded that neither of them had a seat and so they had to stand or sit on their case for the whole journey!

Arriving in Ilfracombe, the worst was over - or so they thought - but the bus to Berrynarbor left them at the end of Barton Lane with a heavy suitcase and a very long walk! I'm surprised that after that experience, they were ever willing to return! In fact, perhaps they weren't - their trip here was a secret organised by their daughters, Carol and Janice and son-in-law John, all of whom have been staying here this week.

Despite the perils of their journey, they have many happy memories of the village and countryside - of getting lost on long walks [Dorothy wore out three pairs of shoes], of the friendliness of the people they met, but most of all of the peace and tranquillity after wartime London.

We hope their latest week here, which included a celebratory dinner at The Lodge, will have given them many more happy memories to take home.





After the glorious weather we had in May and June, July seemed a rather disappointing month but compared with the previous three years, it was about average and was fairly dry, with only 69mm [2 3/4 "] of rain in the month of which 35mm [1 3/8"] fell between about 5.15 p.m. on the 7th and 7.00 a.m. on the 8th. Last year we had 140mm [5 5/8"] of rain in July.

The temperatures were down on the last three years with a maximum of only 24.2 Deg C, whereas July 2003 and 2001 topped 30 Deg C on several days. July 2002 was a bit cooler with a high of 27.2 Deg C. The hours of sunshine recorded were 157.07 compared with 177.71 in 2003.

The winds were about average with a maximum gust of 24 knots on the 2nd.

August was definitely a disappointment although compared with much of the country, and particularly Cornwall, we have been fairly lucky here in North Devon. On the 16th, the day that Boscastle was washed away, we had only 7mm [1/4"] of rain here. The first week of the month was pretty dry with no recorded rain but then we went into the unsettled pattern with very heavy showers. On the 12th we had 26mm [1"] in the 24 hour period. Despite this being the wettest August on record in some parts of the country, we recorded a total of 122mm [just under 5"] which was marginally dryer than August 2001 when we had 124mm [5"]. It was, however, considerably wetter than last year or the year before which produced only 39mm [1 1/2"] and 23mm [1 5/16"] respectively in August, these were the driest months of those years.

Temperatures were generally down on the last few years with a high of 27.9 Deg C on the 1st and a low of 10.3 Deg C overnight on the 30th. Chicane's hours of sunshine were also down on the last two years, with160.88 compared to 182.66 in 2003 and 172.54 in 2002. It was a breezy month with some quite strong winds at times as our beans will vouch for! The strongest gust was 23 knots on the 19th.

Having just been listening to the long range forecast, we have heard vague mentions of better weather in September and talk of an Indian Summer - let's hope they are right.

Simon and Sue



John Keats [1795-1821]

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the mossed cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For summer has o'er-brimmed their clammy cells.


Illustration by: Paul Swailes


Tenders for 2005/2006

The Parish Council will be inviting tenders in October for

  1. Maintenance of Seats and Shelters, and
  2. Grass Cutting, Garden Maintenance, Footpath Clearance, etc.
    for the year commencing 1st April 2005

Suitably experienced contractors wishing to tend should write to
Mrs. Sue Squire, Clerk to the Council,
Haxlea, 2 Threeways, Bratton Fleming, Barnstaple, EX31 4TG
for tender documents, to be returned by Friday, 15th October 2004

It should be noted that contractors intending to quote for footpath clearance must, on the stipulation of Devon County Council, have Public Liability Insurance in force for a Limit of Indemnity of £5,000,000


Artwork: Paul Swailes



Time flies when you're having fun!! It only seems like yesterday I was penning words for the Berry Newsletter and reminding folk of the 17th August date for the Berry Revels fund raiser for the Hall.

The weather could have been a little kinder, but the overall result was a tremendous success and a good time was had by all. Through the columns of the Newsletter, I'd like to express the thanks of the Committee to the many of you who contributed to that success.

To members of various 'Hall User Groups', who helped with the setting up and running of the many stalls; to friends who donated prizes for the raffle, or who baked cakes or sent along their home-made jams; to those who busied themselves with the popcorn machine or cooked hot dogs over the BBQ, or entertained us with their spinning or danced their socks [Petticoats] off . . . to you all we offer our sincere thanks.

Thanks also go to everyone who came along to support the event and spend a £ or £££'s! The end result was some £1,250 going to Hall funds to help with the on-going running costs and future improvement plans, and all raised at a great pace over two-and-a-half hours!

Looking ahead, I hope it's not too early to give you a Manor Hall date for your Christmas Diary: Saturday, 18th December for Coffee and Mince Pies and the popular village Christmas Card delivery.

Colin Trinder - Chairman



All you need is enthusiasm, a love of The Body Shop products, an interest in our values and a few hours a week to start your own business. We'll give you full professional training and the support of a local team to help you get started and to develop your business to where you want it to be.

For more information 'phone Kate on [01271] 882018


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


The marriage of Claire Emma O'Regan, daughter of Bernard and June of Pink Heather, and Justin William Pickford took place at St. Margaret's Catholic Church in Epsom on Saturday, 31st July. The bride was attended by her childhood friend, Catherine Milner, and the groom's sister, Joelyne Pickford. The Page Boy was Louis O'Regan, Claire's four year old nephew, who performed his duties very well, managing at the same time to entertain everyone during and after the service. The happy couple honeymooned in Antigua.

Prayer of the Couple:

Lord we ask you that our love continues to grow and that in our old age we may love and cherish each other as much as we do at this very moment.
May we be blessed with children and be granted the ability to love and teach them under your loving guidance.
May you grant us the strength and courage to support each other during times of struggle and grant us gratitude in times of great joy.

St. Peter's Church has been the setting for four wedding over the summer.

  • The 7th August saw the marriage of John Gubb and Sarah Roles. John is the son of Barbara and Chris of South Lee and Sarah, the daughter of Sheila and John Roles of Ilfracombe. Neil Redwood was John's Best Man and the reception, held at South Lee, came to an end with a short but colourful burst of fireworks!

    John and Sarah, who live in Bedford, spent their honeymoon in Cuba. John is Head Green Keeper at The Royal Bedford Golf Club and Sarah, a qualified nurse, is currently working on the immunisation programme in schools.

  • A Royal Artillery Guard of Honour greeted Alison Jackson and Andrew Blackmore following their marriage service on the 21st August. Alison is the youngest daughter of Jim and Sandra Jackson of Ilfracombe late of Wood Park, Berrynarbor and Andrew the son of Vic and Steph Blackmore, also of Ilfracombe.

    Andrew is a Lance Bombardier in the Royal Artillery, now stationed at Woolwich Barracks having served abroad. Alison, who trained at the North Devon College in Sports Science and Physiotherapy, has been looking after mentally ill teenagers, but having moved to London, is now looking for a new job. The honeymoon is to be taken at Christmas time.

  • It was lovely to see Richard and Lynn Sullivan in the village again on the 4th September. Richard, of course, was Headteacher of our Primary School back in the 1970's, and he and Lynn now live in Holsworthy. They were here for the wedding of their youngest daughter, Caroline, to John Shepherd. Caroline, who works with adults with learning disabilities, has two girls Victoria who is off shortly to Aston University, Birmingham, and Helen who is in the second year of her 'A' Level course. Caroline and John, who is a self-employed 'controller of pests', spent their honeymoon in France.

  • Mauritius was the honeymoon destination of the newly married Mr. and Mrs. Stretton. Claire Victoria, youngest daughter of Janet and Anthony Gibbins of Coastguard Cottages, and Oliver James, son of Janet and Mike Stretton of Standish near Wigan, were married on the 5th September. The reception, on a beautiful hot and sunny day, was held at the Saunton Sands. Both Claire and Oliver are Chartered Surveyors and they live in Bristol.

Congratulations to all the happy couples. We send our very best wishes for your future happiness together.



The little melon plant nestles innocently amongst the courgettes and cucumbers in the garden centre. It conjures up memories of a friend's conservatory, a hammock swung below the ripening melons, waiting to catch the luscious fruits. I buy it.

Arriving home I read the label, 'fertilise by hand'. Visions of wielding a paintbrush sweep before my eyes. I reach for the gardening compendium [which I've had longer than I've had Alex!].

From there I learn that once there are 6 female flowers on the plant [identified by the tiny embryo melons at the base of the flower], I must peel back the petals of the same number of male flowers and without disturbing the pollen, introduce them to the female flowers. What is more, the operation is best carried out at mid-day when the female flowers are most receptive. I shall be taking their temperatures next!

As I'm working most days, I try not to pander to their own timetable, but to no avail. In the mornings they haven't woken up and by evening they've all modestly closed their little petals or withered.

On Sunday, however, I catch just 3 of them! Surely there is more to life than stuffing a melon, I say to myself as I peel back the petals of the male flowers and do as I'm told to the females. I leave the 6 flowers entwined. They might as well enjoy the experience. A few days later, to my immense surprise, the flower bases start to swell. Within two weeks I have 3 baby melons the size of (i) a ping-pong ball (ii) a tennis ball and (iii) a small grapefruit. If these grow to maturity, I shan't dare to eat them I'll take them to the taxidermist!

Ideas of triumphantly carrying off the Derrick Kingdon Cup in the Horticultural Show for 'Any other fruit' swim before my eyes. Who said it was difficult to grow melons?

Pride comes before a fall, they say. By early August the melons haven't put on any weight. By mid-August the leaves start to wither. In spite of all the loving care and attention, the melons are by now rock hard and very, very dead.

Will anyone notice if I put them in the Handicraft Section - No. 21 Any handcrafted item not covered under Classes 15-20 inc. - as pottery melons [various sizes]? I could perhaps win the Watermouth Cup!

PP of DC




Pioneered by Jenny Taylor and Derrick Kingdon, the first show was held in September 1978, since when it has run every year except 1984, when due to the lack of an organiser, it didn't get off the ground.

So 2004 marks the 25th Show, but this is not strictly true as due to the untimely death of Princess Diana, the Show in 1997 was cancelled at the very last minute - her funeral taking place on the day in question.

Following on from Jenny and Derrick, the event was chaired by Joy Morrow, Dave Beagley and latterly Linda Brown, who has run the Show for the last seven years. 2004 saw a new organising group 'having a go' in the face of falling numbers of entries and entrants.

It would certainly seem that the day was a great success, with over 600 entries from more than 90 entrants. The afternoon was popular and attended by in excess of 250 people, who were happy to view the displays, buy raffle tickets, partake of refreshments and finally bid for the items left for sale. The afternoon's efforts raised £325 to which must be added over £100 received from the Berry in Bloom Open Gardens' raffle in July. After expenses have been paid, the money will be put towards prizes for next year. A cheque was also sent, from the donations received in the afternoon, to the Red Cross Beslan Appeal.

A good day and the organising group thanks everyone who supported the event - the sponsors, the entrants, the judges, the helpers on the day and everyone who came in the afternoon.

Congratulations to all the prize winners and especially the Cup Winners, who were presented with their awards by Linda Brown.

The Globe Cup - Floral Art Pip Summers
The Walls Cup - Home Cooking Jane Gray
Junior Olivia Prentice
The Davis Cup - Handicrafts - Dorothy Froud, Junior Olivia Prentice
The Watermouth Cup - Handicrafts - Colin Harding, Junior Charlotte Cornish
The Watermouth Castle Cup - Wine Ken Gosham
The George Hippisley Cup - Art Samuel Pearce, Junior Samuel Pearce
The Vi Kingdon Award - Photography Jim Constantine, Junior Jonathan Bowden
Derrick Kingdon Award - Fruit and Veg. Tony Summers, Junior Becky Walls
The Lethaby Cup - Potted Plants Hazel Gosham, Junior Jonathan Bowden
The Manor Stores Rose Bowl - Cut Flowers Hazel Gosham
The Men's Institute Cup - Class 1 Ellie Gray
The Manor Hall Cup - Class 2 Charles D'Anger
The Mayflower Dish - Class 3 William Matthews

The Management Committee Cup for Best in Show Horticultural Exhibit - Tony Summers
The Ray Ludlow Award for Best in Show Non-Horticultural Exhibit - Colin Harding
The Rose Bowl for the Best Overall Junior Entrant - Olivia Prentice

Roll on next year!

The Organising Group

Was it really 26 years ago that I made a rash suggestion at a Manor Hall Management Committee Meeting that a Horticultural Show could be FUN, a fund raiser for the Hall and a Village event in which everyone could take part? The reaction of the rest of the Committee was 'What a good idea, you will run it of course?" Why didn't I keep my mouth shut!

I knew nothing about running a Show and had many consultations with the Secretary of the Ilfracombe Show who helped me to prepare the Schedule. Then there was the advertising, judges to arrange and also some cups. I think we had three to begin with.

At last everything was in place. It had taken months! The entries poured in. The night before the Show, the laying out of the tables went on into the wee small hours. On the day the Hall was filled with fruit, vegetables, flowers, arts and crafts, and looked wonderful. The Show was a success which made all the hard work very worthwhile. It was, as I had hoped, a truly village event.

For some years I continued to run the event and exhibit. I am so pleased that the Show continues and would like to congratulate everyone who takes on the huge amount of work which makes it possible. Long may it continue.

I am now gardening in France and learning to cope with heavy clay and flint and the climate, which although I am only in Normandy, is very different. At the moment we are in drought situation and it was 90 Deg F in the shade the other day. I have a vegetable plot which is always a talking point for French visitors. I am growing some very English crops - runner beans and parsnips, neither of which the French understand. Imagine not eating parsnips, they don't know what they are missing!

Can I suggest a new class in the vegetable section? Un tệte d'ail [one head of garlic]. Mine are huge!

Jenny Taylor - Le Bois Belloir

How time flies another Horticultural and Craft Show, this one celebrating 25 years. Well done, sending the schedules and entry forms for us with the Newsletter. Three jars of redcurrant jelly stood cooling on the shelf, so taking courage in both hands, I entered 'jar of jam', and later wandering round the garden, I added beans and carrots, onions and shallots, a picture for the handicraft section.

Show day arrived, everything was ready. I went to the Manor Hall to be greeted by calm. Tickets were all made out for me, tables organised, lots of advice and help to put entries in place. Returning later, the Hall was packed; so many handicrafts, floral arrangements, potted plants, flowers, fruit and vegetables, good things to eat, photographs and so many items from the children. It was wonderful to see so many happy people there.

The raffle, the teas, the Community Shop Enterprise team were there. The elusive band of judges had been and left certificates, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and even Highly Commended! My shallots did very well, but my onion only made the majestic trios look even more magnificent. The picture took a First and I was very proud to be awarded the Davis Cup for Handicrafts - I still can't believe it.

As I scrape a carrot or slice a bean, I smile and think what a good show this village and its children put on this year. Look forward to next year, I shall be there.


Readers may recall Dorothy's article 'More Fruit and Vegetables' in last December's issue. It obviously became a reality in 2004 - well done, good on you, Dorothy!



As most people already know, but for the benefit of any newcomers, the Mobile Library visits Berrynarbor fortnightly on a Wednesday. It arrives at 11.30 a.m. and stays outside the Sandy Cove Hotel for 15 minutes before moving on to 'The Green' in Barton Lane for 11.50 a.m, The driver and librarian, Jacqui McKenzie, then has her lunch break before arriving at The Square, outside the Church, at 1.15 p.m., staying for 25 minutes. The final call is in the Sterridge Valley, at Wood Park, at 1.45 p.m.

The selection of books available is excellent and Jacqui is extremely helpful in finding suitable books for you. She has an incredible memory as to the kind of books readers enjoy and what they have read before! One benefit of using the mobile library rather than those in llfracombe, Combe Martin or Barnstaple, is that although you are not meant to keep your books indefinitely, there is no time limit and certainly books do not have to be returned the fortnight later! As in most libraries, if you want a certain book, it can be obtained for you at a nominal charge.

So, if you have not done so already, why not give the Library a visit? The next time it will be in the village is Wednesday. 6th October.

Like so many services these days, if they are not used they are likely to disappear. It would be a great pity if we lost this excellent facility, so 'Don't lose it, use it'! Have we heard that somewhere before?




Times change, and now as you read this the Post Office and Stores will no longer be managed by us. For 10 years we've provided what we hope has been a good service for the village, and sincerely believe that the action we've taken to press for the emergence of the Berrynarbor Community Enterprise Ltd. has been the only way for the village to retain its shop. We wish the Enterprise much success and pledge to help it should any help be called for.

What we've called the Shop, Post Office, Mini Super Market or Super Mini Market has been our life, but now it's yours. This pleases us, for we, like all villagers, can only benefit from the continuance of a shop in our midst.

Yours, Alan and Nora


The Heart of our Village

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By the time you read this Newsletter, our Community Shop will be on the verge of opening.

Since the first public meeting over two years ago, a lot of hard work has taken place to ensure the continuity of our shop and post office. Initially and for nearly two years, this was undertaken by the 'Gang of Four' - Jim Constantine, Paul Crockett, Alex Parke and Keith Walls - and sincere thanks must go to them all for the endless hours they have put in on our behalf.

The crunch came when Alan and Nora gave notice that they would definitely close the shop on the 30th September. The results of a questionnaire circulated around the village clearly indicated that a shop was needed and a larger number of people became involved in trying to resolve the situation.

Amidst rumour and counter-rumour work has gone ahead, and with valuable guidance, an industrial and provident co-operative society named Berrynarbor Community Enterprise Ltd., has been set up. This is in no way connected to the Co-Op or Leo's, and definitely not a substitute for the Wilder Road proposal!

Over the last few weeks this enlarged group has met regularly. It has been fortunate in the 'advisers' within it: David Steed and Paul Crockett on financial matters; Melanie and Chris Ayres on legal, health and safety and hygiene; Richard Gingell on insurance; Roger Paget, now working in the shop, has given his advice and Judie Weedon has assisted with publicity. Everyone has helped in the distribution of forms around the village.

At the last meeting it was agreed to reduce the Committee to a more workable number and the new 'Management' Committee is:

    Jim Constantine is Chairman. He has been working tirelessly and done a brilliant job keeping everyone in order and on track at meetings. He will be taking on the task of looking into new premises and will hand over to Sandy Anderson, Chairman Designate, in a few months' time. Sandy will be assisted by John Boxall - a very strong team.

    Alex Parke has acted as Secretary to the group, working hard to organise, devise and put the co-operative in place. His hard work has been invaluable and he will continue for the time being, but is anxious to hand over to someone else in the near future in order that he can spend more time at home. Any takers?

    The financial side of the business will be in the capable hands of Brian Hillier as Treasurer.

These 'officers' will be supported by:

    Mark Adams, whose practical and financial business advice is essential; Mike Lane, who has not only agreed to do 'Newspaper' duty but will probably, after training, be the first Liquor Licensee; Pam Parke will, amongst other duties, be dealing with publicity and advertising.

Without the help of Don Ozelton, the post office could not be ready to 'up and run'. He has been accepted by the Post Office as Postmaster and has agreed to take on that duty. His help in obtaining planning permission for the post office to be transferred to The Globe if necessary, is very much appreciated. Paul Crockett's printer has been red hot of late, and thanks to him there have so far been no printing costs. Keith Walls, whose input as a past postmaster and owner of the shop - together with Margaret - has been extremely helpful and he will be responsible for the initial stocking of the shop. Chris Walden has come up trumps, offering a free stocktaking service, and Matthew Walls, Gary Songhurst and Clive Watson-Harrison are kindly doing the alterations and installing a washbasin and toilet at the rear of the shop. Staff, you can relax! You won't have to shut shop and dash to the car park!

The village has really pulled together on this project. Firstly, 45 residents have offered to work voluntarily in the shop, which will be open:

8.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and 1.30 to 5.30 p.m. daily
except Wednesdays and Sunday: 9.00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.

A 4-weekly rota has been set up. However, there are still vacancies, so if you have a few hours you could spare a month and would like to help, please do get in touch.

Secondly, to date nearly £7,000 has been given to buy shares - a wonderful response. This money will be used not only for rent of the premises and the necessary alterations, but also re-stocking and providing equipment, including a van. Shares - £1 each purchasable in £5 blocks - are still available. Forms can be obtained from the Post Office or through Alex Parke [883758], who would be happy to explain the procedure in more detail. Grants to assist the operation are being sought.

So, it is all systems go! The aim is to keep the shop going without a break. The Post Office, however, will be closed on Friday, Saturday and Monday, 1st, 2nd and 4th October. The shop will remain open but for a basic service only to begin with. Be patient, we are all learning and may not have your favourite goodies at first or be able to serve you as quickly as you would like! The shop will need to be restocked and we have to walk before we can run! The only way the shop will survive is if we all use it and pull together.

As you may have noticed, the efforts to keep our shop open have not gone unnoticed by the media, but when the dust has settled, we still have a lot of hard work to do to set up and maintain a viable business.

Please support your shop by taking up shares, buying from it and let us know how we are doing. Support fund-raising activities, and volunteers, please keep up your enthusiasm - it could be a lot of fun as well as hard work!

Remember - if you don't want to lose it, use it!

Finally, thanks go to Alan and Nora for their help. We wish them both a long, active and happy retirement.



North Devon District Council Chairman's Civic Service

I should like to thank Keith Wyer, the Choir, the bellringers and all those involved in making the Service special. Many of the Civic guests travelled up from the south of the County and they remarked on how beautiful the village and the surrounding area were -- despite the weather being overcast.

Thank you.

Councillor Mrs. Yvette Gubb - Chairman
North Devon District Council


Frances Cornford

As on the highway's quiet edge
He mows the grass beside the hedge,
The old man has for company
The distant, grey, salt-smelling sea,
A poppied field, a cow and calf,
The finches on the telegraph.

Across his faded back a hone,
He slowly, slowly scythes alone
In silence of the wind-soft air
With ladies' bedstraw everywhere,
With whitened cord, and tanny poles,
And far-off gulls like risen souls.

Illustrated by: Paul Swailes




Well, here we go, another new school year!

During the summer break our playground was re-surfaced and enlarged, thanks to the BBC donation of £700, Friends of Berrynarbor fundraising and a Government grant. We raised £10,000 in total to complete the work. The playground is fabulous! We have about double the space and can now spread out at playtimes and have proper PE lessons. Our sports clubs will also benefit. Alongside this good news, we have also been awarded the Activemark award from Sport England for aiming to be a fit and healthy school. The assessors thought we were doing very well with quite difficult facilities for sport.

This week [20th September], Class 3 has left us for a week for an Off Site Educational Residential Trip to Bude for a multi-activity adventure experience and we have a Harvest Festival in the church on 29th September. This term we are hoping to start some music lessons. Is anyone in the village a qualified music teacher who could offer paid musical instrument lessons? We would require full police checks for anyone who could help and space in the school to work one-to-one or with small groups. Please give us a ring if you can help.

The major part of the building work is set to begin during the half-term break, Thursday, 21st October. We are really looking forward to having a staff room, ICT suite, storage space, front entrance, library and two offices, and hope the village can support the minor disruptions that may occur.


Karen Crutchfield - Headteacher

The Athens Olympics 2004

George - Year 2

Swimming - Daisy - Year 1




Narberth Town Hall - Pembrokeshire
Alan Hughes / Narberth Town Hall / CC BY-SA 2.0


What has a quaint, busy little town in mid-Pembrokeshire got to do with us? Well, we inherited its name as part of our own, following the Norman Conquest. ARBERTH was a Welsh settlement before the Romans, Saxons and Vikings invaded our shores. It features as a 'LLYS' [a hall or court of a king] in the 'Mabinogion'. This is a book of magical deeds, myths, tales and legends from ancient Welsh history. ARBERTH is derived from the Welsh word PERTHI meaning 'a slope clothed in bushes or trees'. YN is the Welsh equivalent of AT or IN. Yn Arberth became anglicised to NARBERTH.

In the late 12th and early 13th centuries, the manors and lands of BerryNarbor were granted to Phillip de Nerebert and William Nerbert. In 1196 William Nerbert was in dispute with William de Poniard over certain lands in BerryNarbor, while in Pembrokeshire, in a charter relating to St. David's 1176-1198, a grant was made by William of Narberth - a figure of obvious status. It was during this period that the Domesday name for BerryNarbor - Hurtesbury, was simplified to BURY, BERI, BERY or BYRI [depending on the spelling by various scribes] before gaining the suffix Nerebert [also written in various forms].

Who were these knights? We can only speculate. Why BerryNarbor? Perhaps granted to them for service against the warring Welsh princes, or for brave deeds on Crusade, through inheritance or marriage. Did they ever come here or were they absent landlords?

There was one very famous knight, probably one of the greatest knights of this period [c1146-1219]. He was William Marshall 1st Earl of Pembroke. He married Isobel of the wealthy de Clare family in 1189, so acquiring vast estates in Britain and Ireland. He certainly acquired Narberth! Could he possibly be our William de Nerbert?

Pembrokeshire is a beautiful county. Its coasts are straddled with sandy beaches comparable to those of Cornwall and North Devon. It is steeped in antiquity from prehistory relics to numerous Norman castles. The unpretentious cathedral nestling in its hollow at St. David's would bring solace to any pilgrim, ancient or modern. Should you pass that way, try to visit the little town of Narberth. You will not be disappointed.

Lorna B.



  • Congratulations to students from the village - Ben, Hannah, Becky and Katrina - on the results of their recent G.C.S.E's. Especial congratulations to Katrina who gained 11 A grades, 8 at A*. Well done, you are a star! Katrina is now in the Sixth Form at llfracombe College taking A Levels, and hopes to go on to University.
  • Retirement - Our 'Father Christmas' Postie, Rod, has retired. Rod, who delivered in the High Street in Combe Martin, also made the collections, particularly in the evening, at the Post Office and round the village. We send him our best wishes for a happy retirement.
  • Farmer Lerwill - The memories of Scat Lerwill in the last two issues prompted Georgine [nee Long] to send this photograph of him taken, with his pint, in The Globe in 1960. Thank you for sharing this picture of one of the village's most coloutful characters with us. Finding the Family Back in June I had an e-mail from Yolande Ghosh who had seen the Newsletter on line and was looking for Irwins. Iwas able to put her in touch with Alvina and so the families have been linked up. It is great to know that the Newsletter has been able to reunite quite a few families. Yolande is now seeking further family history and wonders if anyone can throw light on GEARS from Berrynarbor. [If you can help, please let me know. Thanks. Ed.]
  • All Round Body Workout - A reminder that Valerie has already started the autumn term's sessions at the Manor Hall, Wednesday mornings, from 11.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. The 10-week course costs £21.00 [a reduction from last year!]. It is what it says it is - an all round body workout. Not perhaps as strenuous as aerobics, but you certainly know you've 'worked out! Everyone works at their own pace and to their individual capabilities -so come along and see how YOU get on.
  • My Fair Lady - Studio Theatre, llfracombe College, proudly presents My Fair Lady at the Landmark Theatre, llfracombe, on Friday 12th November at 7.45 p.m. and Saturday 13th November at 2.30 and 7.45 p.m. Tickets are available from the Box Office on [01271] 324242 or call in at the Queen's Theatre or The Landmark. Directed by Anne Bacon, Pamela Beecham and Lee Baxendale, with Larry Fabian as Professor Higgins, Lucy Beecham as Eliza and Alan Bailey as her father, Alfred Doolitlle. A show not to be missed book your tickets NOW!
  • One Girl and Her Dog If you enjoy walking then I am sure you'd enjoy 'One Girl and Her Dog', favourite walks by Hazel Parker. The booklet contains 20 pages comprising 5 detailed walks in the Exmoor area, each with snippets of information varying from local history and monuments, to folklore and wildlife. All proceeds will go to the Exmoor Search and Rescue Team, registered charity No. 1098037, of which Hazel is a member. if you would like a copy, please send a £2 cheque, made payable to the Exmoor Search & Rescue Team or E2 cash to Hazel's proud mum, Sue Shrimpton, Easter Cottage, 7 Goosewell, Berrynarbor, EX34 9SA.
  • Combe Martin Historical Society - The Society meets at Combe Martin parish Church Hall on Thursday evenings, once a month. Membership is £4.00 but visitors are welcome at £l.50 per evening.
    • Thursday 21st October: Kester Webb -A Beach Walk from Holdstone Down to the Camel's Eye
    • Thursday 18th November: John Bowden - the English Civil War in North Devon.



Artwork: Harry Weedon


Once again we were the proud winners of a Gold Medal and the Mary Mortimer Trophy, presented at the Bristol Flower Show earlier this month. We should like to thank everyone who took part in tending and watering the displays, litter picking, strimming, etc., and most importantly . .. for the fantastic support we have had from the village.

The primrose bank is still an on-going project and should you have primroses for planting, we will be following the same procedure as last season, i.e. removing the old plants and re-planting with native ones.

In the Best Kept Village competition, we were Runners Up in the category of Previous Winners.

Ann and Vi

In turn, Ann and Vi, we should like to thank you both for the incredible amount of hard work and time you put in to make the village so successful in these two competitions.

We are sorry to learn - but fully understand after the years of hard work they have put in - that our two 'leading lights' are intending to take a back seat next year, although we also understand that Ann will hopefully remain on the B in B group. The group will be meeting before too long to plan for next year and will be looking for someone to lead the group and carry on Ann and Vi's good work. Watch out for posters giving details of the meeting.


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


My only experience of the flying bomb was just after World War II. Gerald, my half-brother, had lived in a house at Snaresbrook until he was seven and he and I went up to Essex from Berrynarbor just after the War. He had heard that the old house had been hit by a flying bomb and suggested we might visit the site. Which we did. A fairly large part of the bomb was still lying in the back garden, although a large part of the house had been blown out. Nevertheless, the staircase was still intact and we ventured upstairs where Gerald was able to see his old bedroom. What a shame, the lovely old house was ruined. We wandered around other parts which were intact, but it was in a dangerous state and I'm sure Gerald's feeling must have been very sad.

Now I'll tell you about The Doodle Bug Kid!

    Ernie was a lad of about 15 who had no wartime fears. Indeed, when he came out of a cinema in the next town, there was an air raid on. Calmly, he walked the mile and half home, with bombs falling, shrapnel flying and anti-aircraft guns blazing. It was he who asked me to change the names in this true story, so as to protect the guilty!

    On one occasion, Ernie and his friend Henry found a live incendiary bomb and quarrelled over who found it first. In the end it was agreed that Ernie keep it and hide it away in the garden shed. Henry, however, had premonitions of danger and decided to tell the Police, who soon called at Ernie's home and took it away.

    Ernie lived in a little cottage in Upminster and was busy one afternoon mending a puncture on his bike. Just as he got everything back together again, there was an enormous 'bang', far louder than he had ever heard before. It seemed to come from the nearby hamlet of Cranham.

    Boys at that time loved to collect wartime souvenirs, such as bits of planes, bombs, mines, etc., and Ernie was no exception. Keen to learn what the bang was, he jumped on his bike and pedalled furiously for Cranham. Knowing the area well, he soon found and walked into the huge crater which was still smoking, realising that this had been no ordinary bomb, but a Doodle Bug or flying bomb.

    Now Ernie was well versed in wartime weaponry and knew that doodle bugs carried two very collectible devices - they were called something like magnetic gyro compasses. The one up-front kept the bomb on course and the other, near the rear, caused it to dive or climb at the appropriate time.

    Ernie searched frantically, for if he could find these, they would be a prize indeed! They had a lot of gears, beautifully engineered in Germany.

    At the time, the authorities were anxious to find these parts because it was thought the information from them could assist in finding out where they came from. However, this later proved incorrect.

    Tucking the parts under his coat, Ernie got on his bike and pedalled as fast as he could for home. On the way he passed both an ARP [Air Raid Precautions] Warden pedalling in the opposite direction and an RAF vehicle.

    As usual, Ernie hid the parts in the garden shed.

    Three years on, when Ernie was just eighteen, he married Helen. Being so young, everyone said 'That won't last!', but it did, and they are still together after more than 50 years.

It was at the christening of their first child, Emma, when Ernie and his father-in-law, Artie, were chatting about the war, that strangely the matter of gyro compasses came up. "I was an ARP warden when the doodle bug came down at Cranham," said Artie, "And do you know, the Home Guard and RAF searched until dark, but never found those bits." "Would you like to see them?" asked Ernie. Looking a little surprised Artie replied, "Little chance of that now!" But that chance was there for the next day Ernie produced the parts and they both had a good laugh!

Illustrations by: Paul Swailes

Tony Beauclerk - Colchester


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


The Rectory
Combe Martin

Dear Friends,

Nothing contributes more to the "Good Old Days" than a bad memory. I am told that most people know where they were and what they were doing when President Kennedy was assassinated way back in the 'sixties - I know I do. But were school days the "happiest days of my life"? I don't think so! But sometimes we look over our past with a pink haze of enjoyment and happiness, and rightly so, for life is made up of ups and downs.

I am told that we forget or suppress our painful memories so that the 'pink haze' dominates our recollections. That may be true in lots of cases but when we get to autumn we suddenly find ourselves at All Saints tide, and Remembrance Sunday when we are asked to "remember" not only those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country, but also those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their faith. The 'pink haze' must disappear as we remember the realities and the pain of the suffering and the causes for which they died. Have we honoured their memory by maintaining the causes for which they died?

Today, as I write, it was announced on the radio that the Secretary General of the United Nations has declared that the act of invading Iraq by the allies of USA and Great Britain last year was illegal. The Home Secretary is about to announce new measures of 'security' for Parliament and Buckingham Palace after recent breaches of security. In a Government booklet we are asked to report to the authorities any activity that might be regarded as potential terrorist activity, such as 'return goods for large cash refunds'.

Let's not forget the men and women who had a vision of God's love for the world and were prepared to suffer and die for that faith and hope. They tried to live in the light of the example set by Jesus in his earthly life, and by so doing, were lights in their own generation, keeping alive the hope and vision for us, that we too might be partakers with them in God's eternal kingdom where there is no pain or sorrow. We remember the price paid by Jesus on the cross, but we also remember the glorious resurrection when a new dimension to "life" was revealed. Now, that is worth remembering.

With all good wishes,

Your Friend and Rector,

Keith Wyer


David Prowse - May 1994

Illustration by: Paul Swailes

Can it be that, as I played on clover-cushioned Cornish hay,
Another generation's youth were fighting, just a Channel's width away?
Can it be that, as I dreamed, without a care, at Mother's knee,
Life and death were random partners on the shores of Normandy?

Father, mother, sisters, brother, self-appointed guardians all,
Shielding me from fear's intrusion even if the sky should fall,
In their smiles and whispered secrets, love would find conspiracy,
Love, the patron saint of soldiers on the shores of Normandy.

Putting up the blackout curtain, tip-toed on the window-seat,
Knowing not the why's and worries, insulated by deceit,
Tilley lamps and saucered candles cloistered my security
Championed by willing strangers on the shores of Normandy.

Only later, older, wiser, only then was I aware,
Pock-marked uncles told their stories, softly, like an angel's prayer,
Pictures incomplete and hazy, drawn, with tears, on our settee
Brought me face to face with horror on the shores of Normandy.

But time would pass and, with its passing, scars and soldiers' tales would fade,
Growing up would mean forgetting sacrifices starkly made,
For heroes, too, succumb to age which masks and cloaks their pedigree
While the ocean curls, regard!ess, on the shores of Normandy.

Now it's 50 years thereafter but, for those who battled there,
The sights and sounds and stench and smoke still taint the morning air,
One part of them forever lost to sands across the rolling sea
And to those who fell beside them on the shores of Normandy.

Reproduced by kind permission of David Prowse


Artwork: Helen Weedon


Have you ever read a story or listened to the words of a song or perhaps even looked at a picture and thought, "That's a pretty good reflection of my life"? Well that happened to me recently, except I wasn't reading a book, or listening to the radio, or walking around an art gallery, I was sitting on a bench.

The seat in question lies at the very top of the Cairn, just outside Ilfracombe. Recently placed there, the bench is one of a few that have been situated about the area by the Cairn Conservation Carers group. The bench is nothing special to look at, its cosmetic appearance literally taking a back seat to the more important matter of durability. It is, after all, subject to all matter of wind and weather up there. Not that it was the bench I was looking at when I suddenly saw a reflection of my own life. It was the view; and the sounds that accompanied it.

From my vantage point high above Ilfracombe, I looked down upon the town's rooftops, glistening in late summer sunshine. In the valley, vehicles were going about their business, the sound of their engines whispering up the hillside to greet me. A car door slammed, a pneumatic drill began thumping and the breaks of a bus cried out loud. Noises being produced by invisible creators beneath the tiled roofs; and noises I associated so well with my urban childhood in London's metropolis.

Sat alone on the bench with my thoughts, a faint droning sound then caught the air. Was it a chainsaw? Or maybe a lawnmower? Whatever it was, its distant whine seemed strangely familiar. Then it came to me. The sound reminded me of my Dad's model aeroplane. In an instant my mind flew back to childhood days when the idea of "going to the countryside" meant trips to the disused Croydon Aerodrome. Here, on Sunday afternoons, Dad would contentedly fly his radio controlled model aircraft. But whilst he looked upwards, my eyes scanned sideways, amazed at the amount of grass around me.

So you can imagine how my little eyes nearly popped out of their sockets when Dad drove me and his model plane to Epsom Downs! Astounded at the foreign landscape, I began to think it wasn't just rockets that could get people to distant planets. And wasn't all this green colour around me the same as those Martians in my comic? And if so, where were they? Perhaps they were all in that spaceship over there, I thought, too frightened to come out with all these aeroplanes flying around. [The spaceship, of course, was a building I had never seen before: the grandstand. Ah! The innocence of childhood!]

Thinking back to those days as I sat on the bench, children's laughter caught the air. Some dogs then began yapping madly and the echo of ball upon racket ricocheted nearby. I assumed the sounds were rising up from Bicclescombe Park, somewhere down to my right. Being just across the road from where I live, it's a park I take for granted, quite unlike the one I discovered as a young boy, when as a family we moved out to London's suburbia. Called Nonsuch Park, it covered over 400 acres and lay on the site of a long since vanished Palace belonging to Henry VIII.

The park had everything I could have wished for. A dense wood in which to make camps; a lane with horse chestnut trees running either side, the ideal place to find conkers for those famous school playground competitions [hence it being affectionately known as "conker alley"]; an unnatural crater deep in the ground, where only the bravest of us dared to ride our bikes [less affectionately known as "devils dyke"); small thickets of trees dotted everywhere that became imaginary bases when playing soldiers; even two strange pieces of concrete road, perfectly straight with nothing at the beginning or the end, but great for sprint races. The list is endless.

The fun days of childhood became the moody days of teenage and another move, this time from suburbia into the Green Belt. Before long, adulthood loomed just around the corner. Time to leave home - but where to go? Not back to London, that was for sure, as by now I was used to life beyond the claustrophobic environment of the Big City. But I wasn't quite ready for rural life either. Not yet. Of that I was certain, having no interest in the green aspects of the Belt around me; and I wasn't particularly interested in its birds and bees either. Not that sort, anyway!

Sat on the bench reflecting back on those days, I looked down upon the streets of Ilfracombe. Here I saw another parallel with my life. Upon a hillside in the distance all the roads were heading downwards, not across, as though they were cascading streams. And in the foot of the valley below, roads were heading in that same direction to which all rivers run - the coast. The same route my own life took upon leaving home.

And there, looking out from the bench, was a landmark to which all the roads in the valley seemed to be pointing - Capstone Hill. There it stood, its flag flying proudly in the strong sea breeze; just like myself who, on leaving home and moving to Sussex by the Sea, stood proudly on my own two feet. Life was great, living it to the full and having fun beside the seaside - or was it?

Looking beyond Capstone Hill, I suddenly noticed that same sea breeze was causing turbulence out at sea. Huge white horses were rearing themselves. So not all within my panoramic view was settled. And come to think of it, nor was I. Yes, life was fun, in a fashion, but something was missing.

As I watched the sea horses appear then disappear, a butterfly flew across my line of vision. I followed its course as it undulated in the wind, eventually going out of sight behind a young oak tree to my right. Either side of the tree's slim trunk, a clearing in the wood behind offered a pleasant countryside view. In the scene's foreground, a large farmhouse stood out boldly, nestled within a steep hill. On three of its sides, barns and out-houses prevented sunlight from reaching its walls. Horses grazed contentedly within the surrounding fields whilst high in the top field, sheep wandered around aimlessly, none of them daring to venture beyond the flocks huddled security. A hedgerow ran the field's ridge, whilst three distant hilltops rose up behind it. Being naturally framed by the hedgerow and the trunk and branches of the young oak nearby, two scenic pictures emerged. In one, the peaks of Little and Big Hangman were on view, whilst the other had Holdstone Down's summit looking down upon all that was around it. Cloud breaks in the afternoon sky allowed shafts of sunlight to beam down upon their slopes and create the most perfect painting for an artist's brush.

Somehow, it seemed, these pictures reflected my own life of recent years. Having moved away from the madding crowd of the city, I now prefer to live in an environment more rural than urban. Rather odd, when one considers that there is nothing rural about my upbringing; and even odder is the fact that this "boy from the city" now finds himself writing what is his twentieth "Rural Reflections" - something I would never have imagined myself doing, even five years ago. I just hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them!

Oh, and by the way, if you ever venture up to Cairn Top sometime, the bench I have been referring to is the one that has an inscription, reading: "Special Memories of Mum and Dad. The Folks Who Lived on the Hill".

Please feel free to sit there and enjoy the view.

Illustrations by: Dean Hawker

Steve McCarthy


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


So the sumrner - if you can call it that! is over, Back to a bit of normality. The shops are now stocking Halloween goodies, and some are even providing us with the opportunity to buy Christmas Cards!

Our Christmas details will be available in the December issue, but we do have our Christmas menu now, as people start looking in September. The price is held at the same as last year just £9.95 for 3-course and coffee, available from the 1st to 24th December, inclusive. However, there are other things to tell you about for October and November:

  • Sunday, 3rd October: Start of the fortnightly Quiz at The Globe, arrive between 8.00 and 8.30 p.m.
  • Saturday, 30th October: "All You Can Eat" Chinese Night at The Sawrnill. Early booking is advised at £8.00 per person - the seats fill fast.
  • Sunday 31st October: Halloween Quiz at The Globe. Prize for best fancy dress in Quiz. Children are invited to "Trick or Treat" -a tub of sweets will be kept at the bar.
  • Friday, 5th November: After Fireworks and Bonfire at Derek's [please put contributions in the tin on the bar before the night], we invite you to warm up in the family room at The Globe with complimentary jacket potato [in foil!] and a cup of hot soup.
  • Saturday, 13th November: "All You Can Eat" again for £8.00 per person. Curry Night at the Sawmill. Book early to avoid disappointment.
  • Saturday, 27th November: "All You Can Eat" Chinese Night at The Sawmill, £8.00 per person. Again, early booking is advised. This will be the last theme "All You Can Eat" nights until January.
From the 1st October, Table service will resume at The Sawmill and in The Globe with new meals and specials available. Booking is advised.



1st Berrynarbor Community Enterprise takes over Village Shop and Post Office
5th W.I. Meeting, 2.30 p.m., Manor Hall: Patricia Stout - Curator, Carriage Collection, Arlington Court
6th Mobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
12thNorth Devon Spinners, Manor Hall, 10.00 a.m. onwards
Parish Council Meeting, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
20thMobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
Berrynarbor Wine Circle, Manor Hall, 8.00 p.m. Magestic Wines - Bruce Evans
21stCombe Martin Historical Society, Parish Church Hall, 7.30 p.m.
22ndPrimary School & College: Half Term to 1st November
23rdSt. Peter's Church: Autumn Bazaar, Manor Hall, 2.00 p.m.
26thNorth Devon Spinners, Manor Hall, 10.00 a.m. onwards
27thFriendship Lunch, The Globe, 12.30 p.m.
31stSt. Peter's Church: Service for Loved Ones, 3.00 p.m.
1stPrimary School & College: Return after Half Term
2ndW.I. Meeting , 2.30 p.m., Manor Hall: AGM
3rdMobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
9thNorth Devon Spinners, Manor Hall, 10.00 a.m. onwards
Parish Council Meeting, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
12th'My Fair Lady', Landmark Theatre, 7.45 p.m.
13th'My Fair Lady', Landmark Theatre, 2.30 and 7.45 p.m.
14thSt. Peter's Church: Remembrance Sunday, 10.45 a.m.
17thMobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
Wine Circle, Manor Hall, 8.00 p.m. Quay West Wines - Andy Cloutman
18thCombe Martin Historical Society, Parish Church Hall, 7.30 p.m.
23rdNorth Devon Spinners, Manor Hall, 10.00 a.m.
24thFriendship Lunch, The Globe, 12.30 p.m.
1st Mobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
7thW.I. Meeting, Manor Hall 2.30 p.m.

Manor Hall Diary:

MondaysBadminton, 7.30 p.m.
Tuesdays2nd & 4th in month: N.D.Spinners 10.00 a.m. onwards
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




The 2004-2005 season begins on Wednesday, 20th October at the Manor Hall at 8.00 p.m., when the Manager of Majestic Wines, Bruce Evans will be making a presentation. The cost per person will be £5.00.

The November meeting will be on Wednesday, 17th November with Andy Cloutman of Quay West Wines - same place, same time, same price!

The Berrynarbor Wine Circle was formed in 1988 and meets from October through to May. Meetings are held at the Manor Hall at 8.00 p.m. normally on the third Wednesday of each month. There is usually a charge of approximately £5.00 - sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on the presentation.

A warm welcome will be given to new members who are invited to come along to the October meeting. If you would like further information, it can be obtained from:

Alex Parke [Chairman] 883758 Tony Summers [Secretary] 883600

Jill McCrae [Treasurer] 882121 Tom Bartlett [Publicity] 883408



Before we get to our regular article on Local Walks, a reminder to dog owners walking their pets around the village - please scoop the poop! Sadly, it seems to be on the increase again, spoiling the walks for others and our 'Best Kept Village' image. Thank you.



" . . . a world in a grain of sand
and a heaven in a wild flower"

William Blake

On a Sunday afternoon towards the end of August, we meandered across the Burrows from Sandy Lane to Saunton Sands, keeping roughly parallel with the Northern Boundary Track.

'Meandering' is an especially pleasurable method of crossing the dunes, enabling one to make detours to explore anything that looks unusual - and there is always something interesting to be discovered on the Braunton Burrows; our beautiful Biosphere.

Illustration by: Paul Swailes

As we emerged from the Sandy Lane Copses, a pale butterfly-like moth fluttered past. We watched to see where it landed and walked over to some willow scrub to confirm what it was a - magpie moth; very pretty and distinctive with its yellow ochre stripes and rows of black spots on a white background. In a broad plain between 'fixed' dunes, we noticed clumps of tiny yellow flowers, arranged in short spikes with linear leaves, not very spectacular to look at by any means but worthy of a second look for their sheer rarity value. The French or sand toadflax is not found wild anywhere else in the country except at Braunton Burrows.

At one of the damp dune slacks behind Flagpole Dune we came across a few delicately scented flowers of round-leaved wintergreen [subspecies Maritima] which looks rather like lily-of-the-valley. This, too, is quite a rare plant first discovered on the Burrows in 1958. I remember when I was a small child wintergreen ointment was available in dark blue glass jars. I think it was used as a salve in the treatment of wounds.

A handsome blue emperor dragonfly was charging about. A strong and fast flyer, we could actually hear a thwacking noise each time it hit vegetation. It was a male. The female emperor dragonfly has a long green abdomen.

We crossed carpets of short-cropped water mint which was being grazed by plump rabbits. The scent wafted up pleasingly from our tread to be followed soon afterwards by the even more fragrant wild thyme. True aromatherapy. How flavoursome those bunnies must be with their diet of herbs. We left them in peace.

When we reached the beach it was almost deserted despite its being the height of the season and close to the bank holiday. The complex rippling patterns left by the sea were uninterrupted by footprints. There was an absence even of sea shells or seaweed. The sea was a long way out. We saw the graceful silhouettes of three sandwich terns flying over the sea, not far from the shore. They get their name from the town of Sandwich in Kent, not from their eating habits.

A group of common gulls stood quietly together on the beach, near the water's edge. Despite being called common, they are not nearly as common as their larger cousins, the herring gulls. Unlike the herring gull, the common gull has no red spot on its bill and its legs are greenish-yellow instead of pink. It has dark eyes and a rounder head somehow giving it a more gentle expression.

As we walked towards Airy Point we found that a log of mainly wooden debris had been washed up; shelves, broken cupboards and with them part of the front section of a car with the name 'Wadebridge' on the number plate. A little further off a litter bin with one side missing and the words, 'North Cornwall District Council' embossed on it, was wedged in the sand. This was not long after the devastating storms of August the sixteenth.

We made our way back over the dunes, meeting some bewildered holiday makers who said they regretted not bringing a compass. A large eagle-like bird flew low over the dunes just ahead of us. It was very white underneath and as it turned we saw that its back was dark brown and its face was white with a black stripe through the eye.

We had never seen an osprey before. There were a couple of buzzards in the vicinity, so we were able to get a size comparison but its snowy white plumage and unusual head markings made it unmistakable. It is a bird of prey which feeds on fish and the sides of its feet resemble coarse emery paper. This helps it grasp the slippery fish.

The magnificent bird made a stunning and unexpected appearance that day but a very welcome one.

Sue H


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Berrynarbor N. Devon - View No. 91

This view of our village has been taken from a gate near the top of Hagginton Hill in 1908 by A. Parker, a photographer I have never come across before in North Devon.

From left to right we see the tower of St. Peter's Church, a corner of the Manor Hall, which is now home to the Men's' Institute snooker room. Then we have a fine west view of The Old Court and both parts of the Congregational Chapel. Next to the Chapel is the back of Ye Olde Globe public house. Fuchsia Cottage and a relatively new Lodge, built in 1904, follow this. Behind the Lodge can be seen the Parish Room, with its then thatched roof. To the right of the Lodge are the cottages which included the Berrynarbor Post Office until 1921, when it transferred to Silver Street [see Newsletters No. 42 and 43]. Finally, Beech Lee can be seen on the right. What is interesting is that on closer inspection of the wooden gate, barbed wire, yes barbed wire, can be seen on top of it, presumably to stop children and adults climbing over the gate to take a short cut down to Berrynarbor Mill.

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage, September 2004
e-mail: tomandinge40@gmail.com



Wishing our new Community Shop and Post Office every success.

Charles - Class 2

Charlotte - Class 2

Joe - Class 2

Harriet - Class 3

Ellie - Class 1


Artwork by: Daisy - Primary School