Edition 95 - April 2005
Artwork by: Debbie Rigler Cook
Now that April's there . . .
. . . And after April, when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows!"
With Easter and moving into British Summer Time behind us and, as heard on the Ken Bruce show, "the neighbour has returned the snow shovel and borrowed the lawn mower", we know that winter is past and spring has arrived!
It has been a busy time in the village just lately and thanks to those who have put pen to paper, details of the activities appear later.
Thank you, once again, to everyone who has contributed in any way to this issue and please keep writing - items and articles for the June issue will be needed as soon as possible and by Monday, 16th June, at the very latest. Thanks. They can be left at the Post Office or Chicane, popped in the post or sent by e-mail. If sending by e-mail, please note my new address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Judie - Ed
THE NORFOLK TERRIER
Cracknor Cause Celebre - a big name for a small dog! But she has just beaten off over 21,000 4-legged competitors to become the 2005 Crufts' Supreme Champion, in what will be her last event.
Coco, as she is known to her family and friends, is a Norfolk Terrier, from the United States, but whose owner was born in the UK.
The Norfolk Terrier, beautifully illustrated on the cover by Debbie, shares the same ancestry, probably a mixture of Irish, Border and Cairn Terrier, as the Norwich Terrier. They are amongst the smallest in the Terrier group, being about 10 inches in height and weighing about 11-12 lbs.
They are Britain's only short-legged terrier and identical in appearance apart from their ears. The Norfolk is drop-eared and the Norwich prick-eared. Both types were originally bred to kill vermin.
Both make formidable watch dogs - they are alert, fearless and loveable, but not quarrelsome, and make good pets, both in the town or country and are good with children. As a bonus, they need minimum grooming and only moderate exercise.
Mr. Roy Goodwin, Ilfracombe Town Crier, was a very interesting speaker at our February Meeting. He recounted the history of town criers who were employed to make public announcements in the streets. He passed around photographs of previous Ilfracombe town criers with snippets of information about each one. One actually rode around the town on a horse. Roy will be representing Ilfracombe in the World Championships in Queensland, Australia later this year.
Beryl Brewer received a birthday plant and card, the raffle was won by Maureen Wonnacott and the competition for three decorated fairy cakes was won by Janet Steed. She will now enter three more in the Group Competition in Kentisbury on 4th April.
On 1st March, Anne Rhodes recounted her experiences teaching in a university in China during the 1980's. She was the only westerner in the area at that time and conditions were pretty grim. She could only manage to eat rice and noodles, so her digestive system suffered as a result of a poor diet. She found the people very friendly and anxious to learn.
Birthday plants and cards were given to Janet Gibbins, Inge Richardson and Doreen Prater who also won the raffle. A jumper knitted by Marion Carter was chosen to be entered in the Group Competition.
It was reported that members had enjoyed a trip to see "Holiday on Ice" at Westpoint, Exeter and some members had taken part in the sponsored "Knit In" on 8th February to raise money for the North Devon Hospice.
Nineteen members enjoyed the annual Birthday cream tea on 15th March at the Watersmeet Hotel, Woolacombe. This venue was particularly enjoyable because of the glorious sea view from the hotel.
The next three Meetings are as follows:
- 5th April Mrs. Wendy Clarke - renovation of the "Kathleen and May". Competition: A sea view photograph.
- 3rd May W.I. Resolutions. Consideration of two resolutions to be presented at the National Annual General Meeting at the Royal Albert Hall, London in June. Competition: A ;Spring flower.
- 7th June "Life as a Bevan Boy" - speaker Revd. Jim Bates. Competition: A wartime memento.
As always, visitors and new members are very welcome. 2.30p.m. in the Manor Hall.
Doreen Prater - President
Stop Press: Recently we applied for a Lottery Grant from "Awards for All South West" which is a joint Lottery Grants' Programme supported by Arts Council England, Big Lottery Fund, Heritage Lottery Fund and Sports England. We have just heard that we have been awarded £1000 to make a mosaic depicting the W.I. and village life, to be sited in the Manor Hall. We have a working party set up and, with expert help, hope to commence the project shortly. Please contact Marion Carter or Doreen Prater if you would like to join us.
When Kathleen moved to her home at Parkview in Ilfracombe, we all missed seeing her being taken for walks around the village by her young and exuberant dog! We were sorry to learn that she had passed away peacefully on the 4th February and we extend our sympathy to all her family. A much loved sister, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, she will be missed by so many.
Kathleen Ellen Norman [nee Wainwright] 1913 - 2005
Kathleen, or Kathy as many villagers called her, grew up in Combe Martin with her sister Joan. They lived at Granta House, which in those days was run by her family as a general store and haberdashery. It was in childhood that her love of all out-door pursuits developed.
Kathleen was educated at The Convent of the Immaculate Conception in Ilfracombe. On leaving school she worked in an accountant's office and eventually was in charge. She always impressed on us what a great responsibility it was for one so young!
Kathleen met and married a local man and when he retired, his last work was to build them the bungalow, Maryvale. She loved Berrynarbor - her bungalow, garden and the church.
We are sure that our Mother will be remembered walking the lanes of Berrynarbor, in all weathers, with her beloved dog, and some of you may remember her balancing dangerously on steps to do her floral decorations in the church.
He who can call today his own:
He who, secure within, can say,
Tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today.
Be fair or foul, or rain or shine
The joys I have possessed, in spite of fate, are mine
Not Heaven itself, upon the past has power,
But what has been, has been, and I have had my hour.
It was with shock and disbelief that we learnt of John's sudden and untimely death, at home in early February. The funeral service, held on a beautiful sunny and crisp day, a poignant celebration of John's friendly and cheerful outlook on life, was attended by his family and many friends, who filled the crematorium. John, who came from Fremington, has returned there, his ashes having been laid to rest at Fremington Church.
John, Joyce and Tim came to Berrynarbor, to The Lodge, in 1996, having returned to Devon following a period in Germany. They soon became involved in the life of the village and John continued to return, to attend the Men's Institute and the Wine Circle amongst other things, after they moved to Combe Martin in 2002. His interests and hobbies were both countless and varied - cars, computing, shooting, sailing, swimming and many other sports, to name just a few.
John was a good friend to many and he will be sadly missed. Our thoughts have been, and continue to be with Joyce and Tim and all his family at this time of sadness.
Joyce and Tim would like to thank everyone for their kindness and support; for the many cards and messages of sympathy they have received and for attending the service in celebration of John's life. A sum of over £500 has been sent to the RNLI in his memory.
It was with sadness we learnt that Margaret had passed away peacefully on the 20th February. A much loved mother, she will be sadly missed by her family and many friends in the village and our thoughts are with Ian and Simon, Kate and Sue in their sad loss.
Margaret was born and brought up in Leamington Spa and moved to Berrynarbor with her husband Hector in 1980. She loved the village and became involved in many activities, including the W.I. and U3A. She made many good friends and was always ready to participate in any social event. Due to failing health, she moved to Pinehurst Residential Home in 2002, and then, following a fall, to Edenmore Nursing Home in 2004, where she died following a short illness.
We should like to thank everyone for their cards and messages of sympathy and also all those who supported us at the memorial service for Margaret held at St. Peter's on the 3rd March.
Simon, Sue, Ian and Kate
Everyone who knew Chris was saddened by his sudden death, on the 13th February, after a short illness. To pupils of Ilfracombe College - past and present, to his fellow members of staff and to all those who worked alongside him on drama productions, particularly Studio Theatre, and his many friends, he was an inspiration. He will be remembered with affection, for his lovely sense of humour, his kindness and the support he gave to everyone. He will be sadly missed.
Our thoughts are with Penny, Tom and Hannah and all his family at this time of sorrow.
Fear no more the heat o' the sun,
Nor the furious winter's rages;
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone and ta'en thy wages:
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.
Fear no more the frown o' the great,
Thou art past the tyrant's stroke:
Care no more to clothe and eat;
To thee the reed is as the oak:
The sceptre, learning, physic, must
All follow this, and come to dust.
Fear no more the lightning flash,
Nor the all-dreaded thunder-stone;
Fear not slander, censure rash;
Thou hast finish'd joy and moan:
All lovers young, all lovers must
Consign to thee, and come to dust.
No exorciser harm thee!
Nor no witchcraft charm thee!
Ghost unlaid forbear thee!
Nothing ill come near thee!
Quiet consummation have
And renowned be thy grave!
Penny, Tom and Hannah would like to thank everyone for their kind cards, flowers and messages of sympathy, and the many people who attended the moving celebration at the crematorium and later at The Landmark.
ST. PETER'S CHURCH
Around forty of us from Combe Martin and Berrynarbor gathered for the Women's World Day of Prayer service on Friday afternoon, 4th March. The order of service was prepared by Christian Women from Poland and a gong was sounded to mark the beginning. Bread and salt were offered to all present and towards the end individual candles were lit from the Easter candle, symbolising the theme 'Let our Light Shine'. Doreen Prater led the service and the speaker was Margaret Andrews. Members from all the churches took part, reading the lessons, etc., and our special thanks go to Heather Jones who played the organ and inspired us when we rehearsed the hymns at earlier meetings.
A lively crowd gathered in church for Mothering Sunday and we were pleased to welcome so many parents and children. The play by the Sunday School was appreciated by everyone, as were the cards and flowers given out around the congregation.
The PCC will be holding a COFFEE MORNING in the Manor Hall on THURSDAY, 5th MAY, 10.00 a.m. onwards. There will be all the usual stalls and offers of help and gifts for the raffle, etc., will be most welcome.
PENTECOST falls on Sunday, 15th May this year and the special service will be at the usual time of 10.00 a.m. 15th May also marks the beginning of Christian Aid Week and envelopes for donations will be available at the back of the church.
Friendship Lunches will be held at The Globe on Wednesdays, 27th April and 25th May, 12.30 p.m. onwards.
The Shrove Tuesday Pancake and Coffee Morning was a great success, boosting our funds to the tune of £150.
The children took part in the Mothering Sunday service, performing a small play and giving out cards and flowers to all mothers and ladies in church, and lessons were read by Ella and Lucy.
Our members now number seventeen and except for the very youngest, all took part as Workhouse children in the recent BBC's production of 'A Twist on Oliver' - and didn't they do well!
Easter will be over by the time you read this and the Sunday School will be taking part in the service on Easter Sunday, displaying their Easter Garden and each child receiving an Easter egg.
Sunday school has now broken up for Easter but will be resuming on Sunday, 10th April.
We hope you all had a happy Easter.
Story: A small boy was given 20p, in two 10p coins, to take to Sunday School - one to put in the collection and the other to buy himself some sweets on his way home. Skipping along the road, he tripped and the coins flew out of his hand and rolled down the road, one dropping into a nearby drain. The boy looked up skywards and announced, "Sorry, God, there goes your 10p"!
MANOR HALL MATTERS
Regular users of the Hall will have noticed the recent completion of the refurbishment of the loos off the Bassett Room, and the building of an extra cubicle with facilities for the disabled and a baby changing unit, all of which brings us up-to-date with various legislations. We hope to re-carpet the Bassett Room to complete the project and have just been awarded a grant via Sure Start to help with the costs.
The next project will see the gents' loo in the passageway get a make-over to bring it into the 21st Century!
A further Table Top Sale has been planned for the morning of Sunday, 10th April, 10.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m., to build on the encouraging start we got with the experimental first shot back in February. Posters are already out announcing the event and tables can be booked through Vi Davies on 882696.
As the Financial Year draws to a close, it's time to remind User Groups, and indeed any interested party in the village, that our ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING is just around the corner, Wednesday, 4th May, and posters will confirm this. Please put the date in your diary NOW!
Over the next couple of months, planning will start for this July's BERRY REVELS fund raising evening for the Manor Hall funds. If you have some new fresh ideas for side shows, etc., then it's never too early to make them known.
Colin Trinder - Chairman
NEWS FROM THE PRIMARY SCHOOL
This term we have had something of a Literary Feast! Class 3 visited The Queen's Theatre to see 'The Tempest'. We enjoyed a special Creative Writing day at Exeter Cathedral. A story teller visited in March to add interest in our current History topics on Ancient Civilisations. We also had two wonderful shows from visiting theatre groups on the Gunpowder Plot and Pip's War. Added to this we enjoyed World Book Day on 3rd March, when we shared our favourite books and dressed as book characters for a parade. Class 2 are also providing an adaptation of two well-known stories for their Class Show for parents at the end of term.
Our Easter events include an Easter Service on Monday, 21st in the church. We will be finishing the term with an Easter egg hunt provided by the Friends of Berrynarbor and our annual egg throwing competition [hard boiled!].
Our new build is almost complete! We shall invite local residents to come and have a look one day after school next term. We'll put a poster up in the Community Shop about this.
One of our new rooms will be a new library. We hope to ask friends and villagers to sponsor specific age-related books for us from a 'wish list'. Unfortunately, we have to find very specific books for this age group and any donations of old reference books will probably be unsuitable.
Please let us know if you are interested in becoming a School Governor. We have a vacancy [details follow] and are interested in finding volunteers who live in the village.
Class 2 have written some wonderful poems on the theme of Love.
Karen Crutchfield - Headteacher
Jack - Year 3
Kayleigh - Year 3
During the 1914-18 war, an appeal went out for pit props to strengthen the trenches. Many people left their farm work to join gangs of wood-fellers during this period. My grandfather, Dick Richards, was one. He worked for Mr. Ellis of Ilfracombe.
Ullscut Clayve [Woolscott Cleave] was cleared and suitable wood was cut into lengths and shipped off to France.
Next they moved to Swimbridge. Nan would pack Grandfer up with enough food for a week - excluding bread and potatoes. Very early on Monday morning, he would walk to Iron Letters, where he was picked up in an early type lorry and taken to lodgings at Swimbridge. They were housed several to a room and probably shared one bed. They returned late on Saturday.
Reading the article about Bert Gear, Aunty Lorna thought he may have worked with her father at this time. [Sadly, this was not the case nor have we been able to track down Yolanda's 'Gears' further. Ed.]
I remember my grandfather as an old man with bright blue twinkling eyes and a peppering of blue spots over the top half of his face.
As a young man, before his marriage in 1898, he was blasting lime rock from a quarry at Sawmills on the Old Coast Road. He lit the fuse which ignited the dynamite sooner than anticipated and he caught the blast in his face.
Richard John Richards [Dick]
Left to right:
- Jack Joslyn, who married Ethel Toms and went to Ilfracombe to live.
- Albert Jones, who married Ivy Trump, was the church verger for many years and lived at Croft Lee.
- Dick Richards, who lived at 22 Henton Hill.
The nets have been trawled and some newcomers, who have slipped through, have been caught and need belated welcomes!
Overdue by just a few months, eighteen in all, is a welcome to Lynsey and Paul Phillips and their daughter Ellie, who moved in to Goosewell a year ago last October! They both come from this neck of the woods and before coming to Berrynarbor lived at Combe Martin and Bickington. Paul, who comes from West Down and was a student at Ilfracombe College, is a builder; Marion, from Ilfracombe and a student at Edgehill, is a nurse in Intensive Care at the North Devon District Hospital. Ellie, who is six, is a happy pupil at our Primary School.
Since October, Paul and Lynsey have become keen scuba divers and are members of the Ilfracombe Club. Paul, the villainous Bill Sykes in 'A Twist on Oliver', is also into martial arts. Completing the family is Lettice the cat.
A year later, and so only six months overdue, are welcomes to Paul Moth and Mike and Wendy Amos-Yeo. All three are from Shirwell.
Paul now lives at the Coach House at the Rectory and says, "If you want a job done, he'll do it"! Caretaker, handyman, decorator, he is a jack of all trades.
Mike and Wendy are the new residents at the Old Rectory and say they are retiring after 25 years in the self-catering cottage business in Shirwell. They have two sons, one living locally at Croyde and the other in Buckinghamshire. Fishing, golf and relaxing in Portugal are their favourite pastimes, to which sea fishing is hopefully soon to be added.
No one walking up the Valley can have missed the wonderful and sympathetic renovation of Derrivale [or Vi's cottage to so many!], and the transformation of the gardens by Paul and Marion Coles - you must both be congratulated on your achievements. Having come the long way from Barton Hill, we can now welcome them to the Valley.
Paul is a local, having come originally from South Molton, whilst Marion [ex of the Pack of Cards] originates from Norfolk. Paul and Marion have four children: twenty-year-old twin daughters, Kate and Laura, who are both at university - Kate at Guildford taking a Tourism and Management degree, and Laura at Brighton, studying Product Design [Engineering]. Robert, who is fifteen and Jenny, thirteen, are both at Ilfracombe College.
Our very best wishes and welcome to you all.
Editor's Plea: [yet again!] Please DO let me know if you are new to the village, or are leaving us, so that we can either welcome you or say farewell - and preferably not eighteen months too late!
You've created the stars, the sun and the sea,
And now You've created a baby . . . that's me!
You've chosen my parents to love and to care,
And as part of our home will You always be there?
They'll teach me to love and give me a name,
From the look in their eyes, I'm glad that I came!
Melanie and Chris Ayres are proud and happy to announce the arrival of their baby son, at home at Parson's Pightle.
A 'water' baby, Harry tipped the scales at 7lbs 2oz in the early hours of Saturday morning, 12th February. Glen and Christine are delighted to welcome their fourth grandson, and Carol and Dave their third grandchild.
Our congratulations and very best wishes to you all.
Sue and Alan Richards of East Hagginton Farm are delighted to announce the engagement of their younger daughter, Louise, to Karl, son of Edith and Don Ozelton. Louise, an Intermediate Support Worker for D.C.C., and Karl, Chef at The Globe, are planning their wedding for June next year.
Congratulations and best wishes to you both from both families, and we add our congratulations too!
WEATHER OR NOT
2005 has started very dry with both January and February producing less rain than the previous four years. January had a total of only 77mm (3") of rain which was spread fairly evenly through the month, the wettest day being the 10th with 16mm (5/8"). February was even drier with only 60mm (2 3/8") of which 25mm (1") fell on the 12th. Neither were anywhere near as dry as January 1997 which, with a total of only 14mm (9/16") in the entire month, was in fact the driest month of that year. We saw a few flurries of snow over five days in February but it didn't last long.
January was a fairly warm month with a maximum temperature of 13.4 Deg C and a minimum of 1.9 Deg C though we did record a wind chill of -12 Deg C. By contrast, February was colder than the previous four years with a maximum of 11.5 Deg C and a minimum of -3.8 Deg C and a wind chill factor of -13 Deg C.
Wind speeds were about average for the two months but on the morning of the 13th February we had a squall come through which caused quite a bit of damage in the area, although due to the wind direction we were sheltered and only recorded 38 knots.
The hours of sunshine recorded at Chicane were not much different to last year with 8.95 hours in January and 28.91 in February.
The barograph for these first two months of the year was fairly high with no big variations in pressure, the lowest point was 1000mb on the 28th January and it rose to 1036mb on the 2nd of February.
The days are drawing out now and the spring flowers are brightening everywhere up, hopefully the worst of winter will soon be behind us.
Simon and Sue
RURAL REFLECTIONS 23
Bidding farewell to winter, the lane up Score Valley had suddenly come to life. Almost overnight it seemed the hedgerows had awoken with yellow, red, white and blue having been sprayed upon them now, with winter transforming itself into spring, the lane begins a display that will, as always, be its most impressive of the year. And like the wildflowers of late winter, these will put on a display that is also patriotic. Enter stage left the reds of Campion and Herb Robert, from stage right, the whites of Cow Parsley, Ramson and Garlic Mustard, and from centre stage, the blue of Birdseye - not forgetting Bluebells of course, the quintessential flower of spring.
Red Campion will take lead role in this performance, its masses of flowers being on show all along the lane during April and May. Come summer it will be relegated to the chorus line and later in the year to just walk-on parts. Even in the winter, however, it will still make cameo appearances, particularly where it can find sheltered parts in the hedgerow. Also known as 'red catchfly' and 'red robin', the flowers were originally only found in woodlands; however, they were at the same time flirty little flowers, seeking cross-pollination wherever they could with other wild flowers growing just beyond the woodland boundaries. Nowadays, of course, Red Campion is as much a part of our countryside as any other wildflower.
The award for best supporting role must go to Campion's pink counterpart, Herb Robert. Personally, I love this delicate little flower. Small though its petals may be, their change of colour from purple at the stem, to pink at the tip is so subtle, one barely notices it; and edged by white as each petal is, this tiny flower offers the walker so much to admire. Its leaves are also to be cherished, sometimes offering a deep maroon colour, enabling the plant to stand out amongst the hedgerows. Herb Robert can also boast a sub-species that is a choice rarity in southern and western England. Called 'little robin', its stamens have a unique yellow colour.
The first wildflower of the carrot family to bloom this year will also soon be present up the lane: Queen Anne's lace, or to give it its more well known name, Cow Parsley. It will of course grow much more in abundance along our busy roads, the heads nodding enthusiastically as we drive past them; but greet us heartily though they might, they are a wildflower not to be messed with. This is a poisonous roadside companion.
Where the white of Cow Parsley will soon be present along the open lane, so the white of Ramsons will soon appear in the shade beneath the arching sycamores. Ramsons is of course a wildflower that reaches one's nose before catching one's eye! Indeed, many a woodland walk at this time of year can reek of garlic as its flowers are unintentionally trodden upon. The leaves, however, are edible and are said to add zest to peanut butter sandwiches; as it is one of my favourite spreads, watch this space!
Another form of garlic is already appearing up the lane against the high walled boundary of the chapel. Here, stems of Garlic Mustard are already emerging; their peaks soon to be showing off tiny white flowers. Like Ramsons, they too give off a pungent smell of garlic if crushed. However, Garlic Mustard doesn't just benefit peanut butter addicts though, as orange tip and green veined white butterflies also reap nutritional reward from it. Peculiarly, this wildflower is known by another name that makes me wonder why I find it growing up against a wall, being also called Jack-by-the-Hedge.
And so onto the blues. Birdseye, or Germander Speedwell as it is also known, is a small, bright blue flower with a tiny dot in the middle. Being one of our most delicate of wildflowers, its petals fall easily if picked. Perhaps this is why a superstition arose that harm would come to the eyes of either the picker or their mother. So don't say you haven't been warned!
Bluebells of course are a natural part of late spring, carpeting many of our woodlands. However, given sufficient shelter they will flower within a hedgerow, the Score Valley lane being no exception; and how I do so much look forward to admiring them once again as I stroll up it! As well as occasionally appearing within the hedgerows, others will flower in the shade alongside the Ramsons. Most of these will be the usual colour of violet blue but hopefully others will grow that will be a most beautiful shade of pink, as in previous years. Those that catch the dappled sunlight really do stand out amongst the rest, whilst those in the shade become almost illuminated.
Further up the lane, where the meandering East Wilder brook comes to meet the hedgerow, another blue wildflower will hopefully once again don me with its presence: the water Forget-Me-Not. With their distinctive yellow centres, these flowers offer a contrasting paler blue to that of Birdseye and the Bluebell.
But the lane will not be just full of reds, whites and blues over the next couple of months. Yellow will continue to be sprayed everywhere with existing celandines and dandelions. And another yellow flower will appear too, at the farmer's gate: the bulbous buttercup. It's the earliest of the three common grassland buttercups to flower and will have gone over by the end of May. Known in olden times as St Anthony's turnip, the whole plant is in fact poisonous and its sap can quite easily blister the skin. I'll just admire it in the meadow from the gate, I think.
Then, just before May is out, one final wildflower will greet the lane. Growing against a wall that was clearly built to support a particularly steep valley slope, I look forward to once again seeing Wall Pennywort. Also known as Navalwort, their leaves are arguably more striking than their flowers. Distinctively glossy and almost rubbery in appearance, they outshine their pale green flowers. Being small and tubular in shape, I have nicknamed these wildflowers 'premature foxgloves'. Whether it will catch on, so that in years to come wildflower books will say, 'wall pennywort, also known in millennium folklore as the premature foxglove', is something I shall have to wait and see. But I haven't got my hopes up!
THE PARISH COUNCIL
Chairman's Report for Annual Parish Meeting
Manor Hall, Tuesday, 12th April, 7.00 p.m.
It has been a very varied year for your Parish Council. From time to time we have to discuss the flooding of properties in the village, but this year our floods were at the top of the hill at Berrydown. The fire brigade dealt with the initial problem but we have some spectacular photographs of the water flowing across the fields to invade and damage properties. The Highway Authority [Devon County Council] are going to carry out works which hopefully will keep excess water out of the properties..
One of the earlier problems that merited consideration was the planned retirement of the village shopkeepers and the possible closure of the shop. Over the period of this debate we have convened a couple of parish meetings and thank you to everyone who attended or expressed an interest. The outcome, as everyone will know, was a small working party who successfully created a limited company which now operates a thriving post office and village stores. They are now laying plans for a long-term future and the Committee, Manager and huge team of volunteers deserve every congratulation for their efforts. Doesn't it just show what a village can do when the need is clear.
During the year we welcomed Mark Adams who has joined the Council. In two years' time, there will be an election and some new blood will be welcome. If you want to see what the work is like, all our meetings are open to the public and start at 7.00 p.m. in the Penn Curzon Room at the Manor Hall.
A recurring feature of the year has been our discussions with the Highway Authority. Changes to speed limits on the A399 are imminent and as an experiment, the County Council will be erasing the yellow lines from The Square down Pitt Hill. The present traffic order only restricts parking for four months of the year but the road markings remain all year round. The restriction in summer will be indicated by roadside plates and the success of the scheme will be reviewed next autumn. The success of the village in the Best Kept Village competition prompted the Highway Authority to review the impact of the yellow lines on Berrynarbor's streets, and so there is a real reward for all those people who worked so hard to win the village its national reputation.
Staying for a moment in the village centre, your Council has received complaints about youngsters playing football in The Square and a sign is to be erected to prohibit ball games in that area. The lads concerned, whose politeness has been exemplary, have been told about the sign and asked not to play football on the highway.
For several years the Parish Council has held a contract for cleaning the public toilets in Castle Hill car park. We were shocked to learn that the District Council, who had themselves constructed the facility, now were contemplating closing it down. The Parish Council knew that this was a well used convenience and have negotiated to keep it +open. We shall now get a small grant from North Devon District Council but we have had to increase our precept [the Parish share of the Council Tax] to the highest level ever. We were most grateful for the letters of support that our action has brought forth and will explore ways of reducing the financial demand in future years.
At the May meeting of the Council, which will take place on the first Tuesday in the month [rather than the usual second Tuesday], the law requires that the officers of the Council are elected. This year your Chairman will decline nomination for any office and therefore this is an opportunity for me to thank everyone in the village, and most particularly my colleague Councillors, for the help and guidance I have received over the time I have held office in the Parish. In the sure and certain knowledge that no one is indispensable, I am confident that the Council will be able to elect new officers and the continuity will be provided by our very knowledgeable Clerk, Mrs. Sue Squire.
Graham E. Andrews - Chairman, Parish Council
THE PANCAKE KNIT-IN
Shrove Tuesday once again saw the Manor Hall buzzing with activity. By 10 o'clock, Sally and her helpers were up to their elbows in batter and lovely smells were issuing from the kitchen. At the same time, some 27 knitters were casting on their 20 stitches with wool of every colour and the Spinners were treadling and peddling their wares.
For the next couple of hours, the hall remained full - with folks indulging in pancakes and coffee and the children from the Pre-School and Primary School joining in, with pancake races outside.
Pancake makers and knitters alike were encouraged by Ali Hunt from the North Devon Hospice who dropped in for a chat and pancake.
At mid-day, over 100 pancakes had been made and eaten, raising a profit of £150 for the Sunday School; knitters downed tools and cast off and 27 feet 8 inches of brightly coloured strips [to make blankets] had been knitted, with the honour of producing the longest strip, 231/2inches, going to Hilary Stevens; and the North Devon Hospice had benefited by a magnificent £603.50 from the sponsorship. Well done, everybody - another most successful morning.
Three of us took the money to the Hospice and were given a guided tour of the nearly completed and very impressive new bedded unit. Ali has promised to let us know when it is complete and when visitors will be welcome. It certainly is worth a visit and will be of great comfort and benefit to cancer sufferers and their families.
Stitch and Bitch * Clatter and Natter * Draw and Jaw * Click and Cluck. Following on from everyone expressing how much they enjoyed sitting and knitting together, arrangements have been made and a small group has been meeting over the last few weeks, with three people learning to make lace. There has been stitching, drawing, clattering and clicking, but concentration has been too intense for much nattering, jawing, clucking and certainly no bitching!!
Why not come and join us? We won't be getting together over Easter, so will meet again on Monday, 11th April. See you there?
A reminder that the Hospice is running various community events and if you would like to participate or help, or for more information, please ring Ali or Anne on  344248.
Sunday, 17th April: Skies the Limit, Honiton Airfield - a tandem skydive!
Sunday, 7th May: On Target! RMB Chivenor. Men only, teams of 4 to battle it out in a variety of shooting activities.
Sunday, 5th June: Classic Cars at West Buckland School. Over 100 sports and classic cars, after 70 mile run across North Devon, will be on display in the afternoon for everyone to ogle over. Plus other sideshows, etc.
BIKERS OF BERRYNARBOR
Well it's Spring again, so we had better lay some plans for the ever youthful Bikers! With the better weather coming it is time to dust down the bike and plan for some pleasurable riding. Some of us have had the odd ride out on our own during the winter, but it will be nice to get together again in a more sociable manner. So, here are some proposed dates:-
- April 3rd - Hill Climb at Hartland Quay: Leave at 10 am rear of the Globe.
- April 13th - Evening Ride: Leave at 6 pm sharp, rear of the Globe.
- April 30th - Breakfast Run: Leave at 7.30 am, rear of the Globe.
- May 15th - Hill Climb at Wiscombe: Leave at 9.30 am, Globe. This will be a slightly longer ride taking in some lovely countryside towards Sidmouth.
- May 25th - Evening Ride: Leave at 6 pm sharp, the Globe.
We especially welcome new riders, regardless of machine type or size. Advice is always available for the less experienced and our aim is just to enjoy ourselves in the company of like minded people. There are no fees, and each rider is responsible for his/her own safety.
Someone remarked to me recently that walking through this village was a bit like being in Greendale. Now, those of you with young children will know all about Greendale, but for those who do not, it is a fictitious village on children's telly and all the characters know each other by name. So, as one of them goes down the street they are greeted by everyone they meet. "Hello, Mrs. Goggins, nice day." "Hello Pat [the postman and his black and white cat Jess], you are a bit late today." And so it goes on.
Now, I think that that is a great compliment to Berrynarbor. It is a friendly village and although it takes an hour to get to the shop and back because of the numerous 'chats' on the way, does it really matter? At least we keep in touch with each other and if someone needs a bit of help, there is usually a good soul on hand to assist a good soul on hand to assist. I think that the Community Shop has had a lot to do with this, because so many people meet there to get their pension, or a few groceries, and now we also have villagers behind the counter, who will greet us by name and help us to spend as much as possible! Those who have volunteered their time to work a few hours at the shop also enjoy the contact with other villagers who they may not otherwise see.
Let us all continue to support the shop to ensure its long term future, and in the coming summer months, let us all welcome the visitors to our Greendale.
When I was about fourteen and living in Berrynarbor for the duration of the War, I would roam all over the place - indeed, walking the woods, fields, beaches, etc., was how we spent a lot of our time.
I remember the bridge up Hagginton Hill. It must be pretty old because there are a kind of stalactite hanging from underneath. I don't know if it is still there now, but if you climbed up on the left-hand side and crossed the cart track and looked back, you could see what had been a bricked tunnel. Only a few feet in, the roof had collapsed and we often considered the possibility of taking up spades and digging through to find out where it went. However, we never did.
Now I will offer my explanation as to why it was there.
To start we have to go back to some time around 1816 or after, but before the present Watermouth Castle was built, when there were only the ruins of the old castle left. It was a time of smuggling on the north coast and cognac was the name of the game - a high quality grape brandy distilled near Cognac in south west France.
The family involved in this case were the Devlins. They lived in a wooden cottage not far from where today's coastguard houses are. There was Ernie, Keith, Frank and Ann - three brothers and a sister. During the day the brothers ran a log delivering business, taking fuel to the homes around the area, whilst Ann kept the house clean, washed their clothes and provided their meals.
However, it was their nocturnal, roughly monthly activities that were the most profitable!
The Devlins had a good arrangement with their counterparts in France, who would sail over to Watermouth Harbour each month with a cargo of twenty or thirty casks of their finest Cognac.
By day their sailing ship could be seen by the Devlins from their cottage, which looked out over the Bristol Channel. They could always identify the ship by its unusual sails. Looking like a fishing boat, it would drop anchor and wait for the pre-arranged time and tide, when they would sail, at night, into Watermouth Harbour.
Once anchored, the next step was to throw a large bag, made of fishing net edged with floats, overboard and when this was in place and tied to the boat, the Devlins came into action!
After wheeling hand carts down to the harbour and wading in the sea, they would gather all the floats together, closing in and trapping the casks the crew of the boat had thrown in. Money exchange hands and the Devlins would bid farewell to their accomplices from the Continent until their next visit.
Making their way back across the road in the darkness of night and with their heavy prize, was not easy. Once over, they would make their way back past the old castle ruins and on to the track which led up to the bridge on Hagginton Hill and to the tunnel mentioned earlier. The entrance was well hidden by foliage grown across it and whilst two of the Devlins held back the branches, the other two wheeled the cart into what was a large cave.
One night, Harding and his men positioned themselves in what they thought would be a good place to catch their prey. Ernie, Keith, Ann and Frank were almost through with their normal procedure, and just getting near the tunnel. Suddenly the clouds cleared and a bright moon shone on them. Harding shout to his men to give chase, which they did, but the Devlins just disappeared.
Harding and his men eventually found the entrance to the cave and stood there shouting for the Devlins to come out.
"Want to say in there, do you?" Still there was silence.
"Right ho, stay in there you shall!"
Then taking a large explosive, Harding placed it about six feet into the cave, lighting the fuse as he and his men moved well back.
There was a huge explosion and when the smoke cleared and the debris settled, Harding and his men went to investigate. The roof had caved in.
"Well, that's the end of them" declared Haring, much to the disgust of some of his men, and they began to make their way back to Barnstaple.
However, it was not quite like that. Frightened as they were, the Devlins had reckoned upon this happening and had always made sure there was another way out. Moving a large piece of slate, there was a rush of cold night air and the moon was still shining.
Over the next few weeks they distributed the casks, from which by then they had made a vast sum of money, but before doing so and to prevent evidence being found, they had burnt their cottage down.
Illustrations by: Paul Swailes
Many years later, people walking their dogs over what had been the site of their cottage, found odd bits of jewellery - the odd ring or necklace. It was believed that the Devlins had bought such things as a saving, later to be turned into cash.
It is understood that some of the jewellery was exhibited at a museum for a while.
Frank, An, Keith & Ernie D evlin were a remarkable family! Can you see what I mean?
Tony Beauclerk - Colchester
With reference to Tony's quiz in the February issue, may I point out the following corrections:
1. The church tower is 100 feet from ground to pinnacles.
2. The Devonshire pronunciation of 'wood' is OOD, which rhymes with RUDE, therefore Bayment's Ood and Mill Ood.
3. 'H' is (h)ignored, except where it isn't written! e.g. _er's very (h)indignant.
HORTICULTURAL & CRAFT SHOW
"What?" you are probably saying, "Already!" Well this is just to give you lots of advance notice of the date: SATURDAY, 3RD SEPTEMBER!
Last year's organisers have already met to start planning the schedule - there will be a few minor changes. The provisional schedule will once again be given in the June issue of the Newsletter, but in the meantime, sew those seeds, plant out those cuttings and keep working on all those craft items!
To help cover the costs involved, a COFFEE MORNING to raise funds will be held on SATURDAY, 21st MAY at the Manor Hall. Please make a note of the date and look out for posters nearer the time.
LETTER FROM THE RECTOR
The other day I came across this short passage by Louis Evely [b. 1910], which made me stop and think. It is called 'Raised from the Dead'.
"God has never spoken to anyone other than the way he speaks to you.
God has never healed anyone other than the way he heals you.
God has never raised anyone from the dead other than the way in which he raises you from the dead . . .
The gospel narratives and the teaching of the Church do nothing more than express the understanding of the experiences lived by those men who wrote the gospels and formulated the teachings of the Church - an understanding that they now seek to impart to us so that we, too, may grasp the meaning of what we experience in common with them."
And I also came across this modern translation of St. Paul's letter to the Romans:
"Nothing can ever take away from us the love of God that we have seen in Jesus; nothing can ever separate us from the love of God made real in Christ.
If God is for us, who can be against us?
If God forgives us, who can still accuse?
If God has cleared us, who can call us guilty? No one.
No hardship, no kind of deprivation, no persecution, suffering or pain, in peace or war, no trouble, threat or ganger, nothing.
Nothing on the earth or in the heavens, nothing that exists or is still to come, nothing in our life, not even dying, nothing.
With all good wishes,
Your Friend and Rector,
A TWIST ON OLIVER
On Friday and Saturday, 11th and 12th March, at the Manor Hall, the good people of Berrynarbor and surrounding districts were treated to a wonderful evening's entertainment.
Gary Songhurst [also Producer/Director], Debbie Luckham and Alison and Nick Charalambous, took the well-known musical, 'Oliver', and created their own amusing, and sometimes quite irreverent , version. The audience were treated to some really lovely renditions of the old favourites - Food, Glorious Food, Who Will Buy My Sweet Red Roses, etc. The children, dressed as workhouse boys, sang like angels and the grownups did likewise. Interspersed with hilarious sketches and dances [plus the occasional moment of impressive, quicksilver ad-libbing], the whole production was a resounding success.
Well done, Berry Broadcasting Company, when's the next one?
After the excitement of Christmas and before the anticipation of Easter there is something unique in Berrynarbor to look forward to - the village show!
What will the show be? Who will be in it ? When are tickets available? And just how can the cast find time in their busy lives for rehearsals as the weeks are ticking by to the opening night?
But no need to worry, the show goes on for all to enjoy and this year's was as enjoyable and appreciated as ever.
'A Twist of Oliver' was the apt title of the show as Mick Jagger, a sand dance, a brilliant sketch of three men in a gents' toilet, not to mention a strange array of detectives in search of Jack the Stripper, were somehow woven between wonderful scenes of the show that we all know and love.
The forgotten lines, late entrances and ad-libs and 'in' jokes all added to the pleasure of the evening - the belly aching laughs from the audience when things go wrong make amateur dramatics the joy that it is. But beyond the mishaps was as usual, a creative and inspirational show that provided much enjoyment.
The roles couldn't have been better cast as we were entertained by some excellently acted scenes and wonderful singing. 'Where is love', 'As long as he needs me', 'Gotta pick a pocket or two' were just some of the songs the audience most enjoyed, but 'Who will buy' stole the show as great voices and choreography showed what an amazing wealth of talent there is in such a small village. The children were great throughout and sang with enthusiasm 'til the end. We hope they have caught the acting bug so that the village show may continue for many years to come.
It was an evening of much enjoyment and our thanks go to Gary and all the cast and crew who worked so hard and generously give of their time to make the show such a success. We look forward to the next one.
Maureen and Pat
BERRY IN BLOOM
After many very successful years running Berrynarbor's Britain in Bloom, Ann and Vi Davies have decided to take a well-earned rest. However, the group that helped Ann and Vie have decided to carry on keeping the village looking nice, but not to enter the competition this year.
To raise funds for planting out the many tubs and hanging baskets, particularly in The Square and around the Manor Hall, several events are being planned. Everyone is welcome to join in.
Keeping our village litter-free is also on the agenda and the first litter pick up took place on the 13th March. The second one will be on Sunday, 10th April, starting at Middle Lee Farm at 3.00 p.m. Please bring your 'marigolds' and a black bag. Tea and cakes over a chat will be provided on the return to Middle Lee.
Following on that evening, The Globe will be hosting the first of four more Quiz Nights at 8.30 p.m. This one, however, will be one with a difference as the entry fee per person will be £1 and all funds raised will be given to Berry in Bloom.
The next meeting of the group will be at The Globe on Monday, 18th April, at 8.00 o'clock.
Open Gardens in the Sterridge Valley will be on Sunday, 19th June, followed by cream teas at Chicane.
A Village BBQ will be held at Middle Lee on Sunday, 3rd July.
Make a note of these two events in your diaries NOW!
COFFEE MORNING AT FUCHSIA COTTAGE
We should like to thank everybody who came to the Coffee Morning on 11th March, when we raised £150 for the Village in Bloom fund. A special thank you to all those who baked cakes, donated raffle prizes and helped on the day.
We look forward to the next one!
Maureen and Pat
Berrynarbor Community Shop wants to produce another one or two Berrynarbor Postcards and to this end is running a photographic competition where one or more of the winning pictures will be used on a postcard for the benefit of the shop. There will be prizes of £10 vouchers for the shop for any picture used, and the photographer will be acknowledged on the card.
Pictures should publicise the village, or the area around Berrynarbor, and show scenes that visitors would find attractive or interesting. A group of two or four pictures that might be used together could be submitted.
Pictures should be good quality prints that can be scanned or available as a digital file.
Entries should be handed in to the shop, or if digital e-mailed to email@example.com [preferably jpg files of 100 to 200 kbs] by the 24th April. Judging will take place on or about the 30th April.
BERRYNARBOR COMMUNITY SHOP & POST OFFICE
Thanks to much support, our shop has survived the 'doldrums' of winter and is now heading into calmer waters - we hope - welcoming back our many visitors. Thanks to Jill Massey and Kathy Thorndycroft, there were attractive displays for Valentine's Day, Mothering Sunday and Easter.
At February half-term, the first of our food orders sent out to self-catering visitors bore fruit - over £30 of groceries, which were paid for promptly and a further sum of money spent in the shop! Further grocery order forms are available from Pam Parke.
Every week new products - many of them local - are appearing on the shelves and Ross is eager for practical ideas for further improving the range of goodies.
Don't forget that over Bank Holidays [except Christmas] only the Post Office is closed, the shop is OPEN . . . and it is open every Saturday afternoon throughout the year.
On the subject of the Post Office, shareholders will have received details of the range of services on offer, and anyone can pick up these details, which include:
- Sending flowers by post
- Paying bills
- Mobile 'phone top-ups
- Travel needs [currency, medical care and insurance]
and these are just a few of over 40 services available. Remember, if we don't want to lose it, use it!
Two Final Reminders:
The Questionnaire for Volunteers should have been returned by 28th March, but if you have overlooked it, the information would still be useful so please return it as soon as possible.
Our Inaugural AGM will be held on Saturday, 9th April, 10.00 a.m. in the Manor Hall. We hope that as many shareholders as possible will be there to support it. On the Agenda will be the planning for the new shop, and members of the Committee are already working hard on this. There is a business plan, a site has been chosen if not finalised and a programme has been drafted for building. A very positive meeting was held recently with members and officials of the North Devon District Council, who are enthusiastic in their support.
Until the W.I. article in the February Newsletter - the subject of their April speaker - I had never heard of 'Kathleen & May'! O.K. so this was something to do with boats, but was it one or two? A visit to a friend in Bideford put me right - it was just one boat named the 'Kathleen & May', a 3-masted schooner moored alongside the Quay on the east side of the Torridge, close to the old Bideford bridge.
When another friend sent copies of the Bosham Life - the magazine of Bosham Church and Village - I was intrigued when in the Photo Quiz in the January issue, the question was: When was the 'Kathleen & May' ice bound? 1962, 1947 or 1938. Shown in the photograph below, it was icebound in Bosham Creek during the very cold winter of 1962-3.
The Kathleen & May Icebound in Bosham Creek, 1962.
The Kathleen & May was built in 1900 on the estuary of the River Dee. She was the last merchant schooner registered at a home port in the UK to earn her living at sea carrying cargoes, until her retirement in 1960.
But no more . . . . it will spoil Wendy Clarke's talk. But if you would like to find out more, why not be a visitor at the W.I. meeting on the 5th April.
The Kathleen & May alongside the Quay at Bideford, 2005.
Did you, like me, look at the above photograph and think - Watermouth Castle? In fact it's Caerhays Castle near St. Austell in Cornwall, where the Williams family have lived for many generations. It featured in a recent edition of the Western Morning News, with an article about the threat of 'sudden oak disease' to the rhododendrons in its beautiful gardens.
Perhaps it is no coincidence that our Castle is so similar. The Bassett family had mining interests in Cornwall and certainly knew the William family. In 1858, Arthur Davie Bassett's daughter, Harriet, married Charles Henry Williams, son of William Williams of Tregullon.
When Arthur Davie inherited his Berrynarbor Estate, he was obliged to change his name to Bassett. He forsook the old Manor House in the village, for the house at Watermouth, which he greatly enlarged in the style of Caerhays, finishing it in the 1850's.
When his son, the Rev. Arthur Crawfurth Bassett died in 1880, Harriet inherited and her husband 'assumed the name of Bassett in lieu of that of Williams' 11/10/1880. Her son Walter died young, leaving the estate to Edith Pencurzon, Harriet's daughter - the lovely portrait in the Manor Hall. When the family fortunes declined, it was she, about 1920, who had the east wing of the castle pulled down.
As a child, friends and I would wander through Northfield Wood and the Castle grounds [as children would and could in those days]. I remember very colourful rhododendrons growing tall and profusely in the wild chaos. The Castle was empty and neglected. We never saw anyone, although we half expected to see the ghost of a child in the Rose Garden. We never did see her, but there was always a definite 'aura' in that place.
On my next trip to Cornwall I should like to visit Caerhays Castle and refresh my memory of the beautiful rhododendrons and see how things may have been at Watermouth.
With help from her Aunt Lorna, 101 years wise on March 6th and still as bright as a button - bless her!
LOCAL WALK - 89
A Bend in the River
The lane passed between Straypark Wood and a great angular loop of the River Taw. Among dog's mercury and goose grass there was a bank of white violets; a variety of Viola odorata, the fragrant sweet violet. These white violets are more common in the South West than the rest of the country.
We crossed New Bridge, a mile and a half south of Bishop's Tawton. Beside the roadside at a gateway on the far side of the bridge we were sad to find a dead redwing. I picked it up. It was still warm. I tucked the poor bird into a hollow behind a log. The handsome thrush had arrived four or five months earlier, probably from Scandinavia. It had survived the winter and now on a sunny March day, when it would have been preparing for its return journey, it had been killed.
For a couple of weeks during a prolonged cold spell with flurries of snow, three redwings had been rummaging about in the ivy clad trees bordering our garden - very welcome visitors.
But today, in contrast, there had been continuous sunshine and the wide river was looking very beautiful, its clear waters reflecting a cloudless blue sky. There were a few wild daffodils in the fields and starry patches of lesser celandines.
In a water meadow beside the Tarka Line, thirty swans had ed. The mute swans were packed sociably together but slightly apart from them two whooper swans were grazing. Winter visitors from Iceland and the Arctic tundra, the whooper swans are the same size as mute swans but have a more rounded shape and hold their long necks straighter. The most obvious difference, however, is that instead of orange bills, the whooper swans have bright yellow bills with a black tip. The yellow colouring tapers to a point so that it resembles a wedge of Cheddar cheese. This gives the whooper swans a more benign appearance than the haughty mute swans with whom they often associate when over-wintering here.
The whoopers are truly wild swans and rather shy. Something had made this timid pair wary. They had stopped grazing and lifted their heads stiffly. Gradually they edged nearer to the other swans until they were in their midst and then, satisfied that there is safety in numbers, they had resumed their grazing.
Two more mute swans were flying over the river, their wing beats making the characteristic 'singing' noise. This sound is absent when the whoopers are in flight. Neither do they arch their wings aggressively when disturbed.
Before following the course of the meandering river, we took one last glance at the whooper swans. They are special creatures. The sunshine highlighted the yellow of their bills, making them appear glossy and freshly painted.
Illustration by : Paul Swailes
Berrynarbor - View No. 94
This photographic postcard of Berrynarbor was taken from what is now the garden of The Haven, home to John and Marion Hood. As with View No. 93 [February Newsletter], this was taken by A.H. Hawke of Helston around 1928, and gives a good view of the village from the West.
On the left we have Rose Cottage, then known as No. 32 Duckpool, whilst in the foreground we have the two small cottages then known as Ellis Cottages, 30 and 31.
From the extreme top left we have Court Cottage, then known as 53 The Village; part of Manor Cottage just behind the large and impressive Old Court, where Alfred Duchesne lived. Beyond Old Court can be seen the Manor Hall building comprising the Manor Hall and Men's Institute above the Penn-Curzon Room.
Standing out proudly we have St. Peter's Church with its beautiful tower with clock face, and to the right the Chapel and School House. The former and smaller chapel building built around 1841 became unsafe and so in 1881, Ilfracombe Congregational Church provided the financial backing for the building of a new Chapel and School Room. The Foundation Stone was laid by Thomas Jones of Ilfracombe on 6th June 1881 and can still be seen on the outside of what is now Church House.
Further to the right are the backs of some of the central cottages and The Lodge with a part of Lee View just visible on the extreme right.
It is interesting to note that in the first Watermouth Estate Sale of 17th August 1920, what is now Old Court and Court Cottage were sold as Lot 45:
A charmingly situated Slated Detached Private Residence, known as
Mrs. Harris, whose tenancy expires at Michaelmas next, comprising:
A Porch Entrance, Entrance Hall, Morning Room, Drawing Room,
Dining Room, Back Lobby, Kitchen, Back Kitchen, Larder, Pantry,
W.C., Five Bedrooms, Two Dressing Rooms, Two Boxrooms,
Upstairs W.C., etc/
Lawn and Vegetable Gardens, Tool Shed, Poultry House, Stable,
Coach House or Garage, Coal House, etc.
Front, Side and Back Entrances, Two Staircases, Verandah,
the whole containing 2 Rood;
Also a conveniently-arranged Five-roomed Tiled Cottage,
With Potato House and Wash House, No. 53, situate adjoining the grounds of Court Cottage, as now in the occupation of Mr. T. Latham as a Quarterly Tenant.
The Apportioned Tithe on this Lot is 4s. (shillings) The Timber to be taken in the sum of £5.0s.0d. There is a Water-tap, W.C. and Bath on this Lot also a Tap in the Tiled Cottage.
The right to maintain the Stop-tap, and pipe through the Garden is reserved.
This entire lot fetched the sum of £850.
Tower Cottage, March 2005
LETTER FROM AN IRISH
BRICKLAYER TO HIS EMPLOYER
I am dictating this to my kind nurse from my hospital bed to let you know how I come to be here.
When I had finished building the wall I realised there was a quantity of bricks left over at the top of the scaffolding, so I cast about for some means of returning them safely to the ground.
I came upon an old barrel, which I attached to the end of a rope, passed the other end over a pulley at the top, hoisted up the barrel and made all fast below. Then proceeded to fill the barrel with the bricks, returned to the ground and cast off.
Unfortunately the barrel full of bricks was heavier than myself and I was jerked off my feet with considerable force, dislocating my shoulder.
Halfway up I met the barrel coming down. It caught me a shrewd blow on the shoulder, fracturing my collar bone.
On arrival at the top, my hand jammed in the pulley, breaking two fingers.
When the barrel hit the ground, it burst asunder, scattering the bricks in all directions.
As the barrel was now lighter than myself, I was released from the pulley and descended rapidly, meeting the barrel again halfway. It belaboured me heavily about the shin, causing severe
lacerations. I landed on the pile of bricks with such force as to break both ankles. At this point must have lost my head, for I let go the rope, whereupon the barrel
descended smartly upon my head, causing multiple contusions.
[As remembered from Gerard Hoffnung's famous Oxford Union Address.]
Illustrated by: Paul Swailes
[As remembered from Gerard Hoffnung's famous Oxford Union Address.]