Edition 96 - June 2005

Artwork by: Nigel Mason

Artwork: Judie Weedon


It is the month of June
The month of leaves and roses
When pleasant sights salute the eyes
And pleasant scents the noses.

The Month of June
Nathanial Parker Willis [1806-1894]

As I begin working on the June issue, a solitary cuckoo has just been heard, we are watering our gardens and for once, hoping for rain! And by the time you read this, we'll be only a few weeks short of the longest day - where do the months go?

May I take this opportunity to thank everyone who has donated to funds - the readers on the mailing list who have 'subscribed' for another year; the readers who put generous amounts in the collecrting boxes at the Shop, The Globe, Sawmills and Sue's in Combe Martin; the unexpected but very welcome contribution from the BBC, the donation from our Community Shop and everyone who supported the 'table' at the Table top Sale, when a fantastic £65 was raised! Thank you.

I must also mention here the wonderful support received over the years from Ray and Marion Bolton from Erdington near Birmingham, who have been visiting our village for many years. Not only to they support the Newsletter, they have become shareholders of our Shop. We thank you both.

I think this Editorial is entirely one of thank you's because as always I must thank the illustrators - particularly Nigel for this issue's cover; writers of articles - the 'regulars' and the 'one-offers', and our printer and distributors. A reminder to keep writing and before you dash off on holiday, don't forget the August issue! The deadline for items for which is the 15th July please.

My final thank you is to Anne Tattersall for featuring Berrynarbor, Ron and the Newsletter in her article in the North Devon Journal a few weeks ago. But please note, Ron will actually be celebrating his 89th birthday this year [not 90th] and Ken and I arrived here 1959, ten years too early, before we were married!

The next couple of months look busy for us all, so make a note of all the dates and join in the fun!

Photograph - 'Berry Goes Potty' float of 2001, by Ray and Marion Bolton

Judie - Ed




The renovation of the ship 'Kathleen and May' was the subject of the talk given by Mrs. Wendy Clarke at our April Meeting. It was very interesting to hear how the ship was purchased by her son and, with help, restored to her former glory. Wendy illustrated her talk with a video of the progress and subsequent visit to Ireland. Visits to the Kathleen and May, which is moored at Bideford, can be made at week-ends.

The competition for a sea view photograph was won by Kath Arscott and the raffle by Eunice Allen. Birthday cards and plants were given to Edna Barnes, Linda Brown, Margaret Crabbe, Liz Paget and Janet Steed.

Fifteen members attended the Resolution Meeting on the 3rd May. Secretary, Marion Carter, read the two Resolutions for members to consider, namely:

  1. W.I. members are urged to do all in their power to raise public awareness of the unfair difference between the retail prices of British milk and the price paid to the farmers.
  2. W.I. members are called to take further action to reduce waste and conserve resources in their own homes and communities. To lobby manufacturers, retailers and decision makers to reduce waste in the production, packaging and transportation of public and consumer goods.

After due consideration, a vote was taken and members were l00% in favour of both Resolutions. The delegate from the Lundy Group [of which Berrynarbor is a member for this purpose] will be attending the National Annual General Meeting in the Royal Albert Hall in June and will vote on our behalf.

The raffle was won by Beryl Brewer and the competition for a spring flower was won by Marion Carter. Birthday plants and cards were given to Rosemary Gaydon, Eunice Allen and Marion Carter. The meeting ended with tea, cakes and chat!

The next meeting will be on Tuesday, 7th June when the speaker will be the Rev. Jim Bates, his subject being 'Life as a Bevin Boy'. The competition is for a wartime memento. On 5th July, Envoy Jean Tompkinson will tell us about the work of the Salvation Army and the competition is for six small decorated cakes - to be consumed at the meeting - forget the calories!

As usual, visitors and new members are always welcome to our meetings, held on the first Tuesday in the month, 2.30 p.m. at the Manor Hall. There will, however, be NO meeting in August.

Quick Tips for Inducing Sleep:

  • Starchy foods, such as banana, bread or biscuits, taken in moderation before bedtime, encourage sleep.
  • Take a teaspoon of honey in camomile tea.
  • Put two drops of camomile oil on your pillow.
  • A drink of warm fresh orange juice, sweetened with honey will help .
  • Put sprigs of dill on your pillow.
  • Lettuce is a natural sedative, so eat plenty in salads or try lettuce soup.

Doreen Prater - President

"It is said that the effect of eating too much lettuce is 'soporific'."

Beatrix Potter, The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies




After I Have Gone

Speak my name softly after I have gone.
I loved the quiet things, the flowers and the dew,
Field mice; birds homing; and the frost that shone
On nursery windows when my years were few;
And autumn mists subduing hill and plain
and blurring outlines of those older moods
that follow, after loss and grief and pain -
And last and best, a gentle laugh with friends,
All bitterness foregone, and evening near.
If we be kind and faithful when day ends,
We shall not meet that ragged starveling 'fear'
As one by one we take the unknown way -
Speak my name softly - there's no more to say -

Vera I. Arlett [1896-1948]


After a year of poor health, it was with much sadness we learnt that Brian had died, peacefully at home, on the 18th April.

Brian, who began his working life as a carpenter but ended it as a Project Manager for a construction company, and Madeline bought Orchard Park - previously the home of one of our real village characters, Tom Turney - several years before they retired and moved here in 1983.

They came from Wylie in Wiltshire and Wiltshire is still home to their family - Steven an Officer in the Merchant Navy and his wife Karen, and Laura and her husband Ian and their two sons Richard and Michael.

Over the years, Orchard Park has been transformed, and is continuing to be, with care and craftsmanship. The wonderful use of natural oak - stairs, beams, doors, cupboards, etc. - is inspired and incredible, all of which is to Brian's credit, with Madeline acting as his 'go for'! Orchard Park is now living up to its name, with the new terraced fruit trees.

Our thoughts are with Madeline, Steven and Laura and all the family at this time of sorrow.


I should like to thank everyone who attended Brian's funeral service, also for the cards and kind messages from so many people and the help I have received now and during the past year of Brian's illness. Thank you for the donations to R.N.L.I.

Madeline Harris

The village will be pleased to learn that our Rector, Keith Wyer, has been appointed Lifeboat Chaplain to the Ilfracombe Lifeboat Station. Quite apart from conducting the annual Harbour Service at the end of Lifeboat Week in August [as he has kindly done for the past three years], he will be responsible for the pastoral care of the lifeboat crew and those associated with the station. We are absolutely delighted that Keith, an ex-Royal Naval Chaplain, has agreed to accept this post and welcome him to our happy little band.

Len Coleman , President, RNLI Ilfracombe


Artwork: Helen Armstead


Special Services:

On PALM SUNDAY, the beautiful anticipatory service was ably led by Reader Margaret Andrews. The Palm crosses were distributed and members of the congregation walked around the church during the first hymn. At the end of the service, the Sunday School children came in to collect their crosses.

The EASTER flowers were outstanding this year, a wedding having been celebrated on the Saturday. The outer porch was lined with pots of daffodils and inside the white lilies were glorious. It was a pleasure to welcome so many families on Easter Day. The Rector had to go and find more eggs in the vestry for all the children present!

The church was not full on WHITSUNDAY but we had a good congregation nevertheless, with the singing being led by the Choir. A shortened Holy Communion was celebrated after the Village Service. The flower arrangements in red and white depicted fire and wind - thanks again to Linda and her team.

The Christians Together Service held annually in Berrynarbor will be on Sunday, 19th June, starting at 6.30 p.m. This is always an enjoyable occasion when we are joined by members of all the Combe Martin churches - not to be missed! Tea and biscuits are served afterwards.

Looking forward to July: on the 3rd a picnic is being planned with the Sunday School after the Family Service, and on 10th July, a Pets' Service will be held at 3.00 p.m. Look out for details nearer the time.

Election Day seemed unusually quiet, at least in the morning, but £107 was raised for church funds at the Coffee Morning held in the Manor Hall. Our thanks to everyone who helped in any way - we had some lovely raffle prizes.

GIFT DAY on Wednesday, 29th June - St. Peter's Day - will be our next fundraising event. Once again letters and envelopes for donations will be distributed around the village, and the Rector and members of the PCC will be at the lych-gate from 9.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.

Regrettably, Brian Holden has had to give up tending the churchyard, a post he has held for the past nine years, latterly travelling over from Stoke Rivers. It is difficult to please everyone but he has managed to strike a balance between the 'natural' look and over-tidiness, and his work has been commended by the judge for Britain in Bloom. He will be greatly missed and the PCC now have the task of finding others to keep both churchyards in good order. This should be sorted out early in June.

ADVANCE NOTICE: The Summer Fayre will be held on Tuesday, 16th August this year.

Friendship Lunches at The Globe will be on Wednesdays 29th June and 27th July, 12.30 p.m. onwards.

Mary Tucker




May began with our Family Service. Tia and Ella read the lesson about the Good Shepherd, and Anne and Aimee a poem called 'Little Lamb', while the other children held up a collage they had made with sheep and wolves and, of course, the Good Shepherd.

We have had two very generous donations to our funds - one from the Combe Martin Carnival Committee and the other from Gary 'Songbird' and the BBC, for which we thank them very much. We have decided to have an outing to Creeley Park on the 12th June, so we pray for a fine day and that we finish the day with the same number as we started!

This made me think of my dear Aunt Kitty Barten, who ran a Sunday School many, many years ago in Braintree, Essex. They went by coach to Southend, meeting up with several other Sunday schools for the day. On returning to Braintree, she counted the children back off the coach - no, she hadn't lost one, but gained one! A child from another school had got on to her coach. She then had to take this child back by taxi, at great expense and stress!

Sarah will be organising our Carnival Float again - so much hard work, but the children love it, particularly the ride down Combe Martin's street with hot food to follow at The Globe.

And so Sunday School plods on with seventeen children and cheerful, willing helpers - I am now seeing children of children that I used to teach - yes, that's how old I am!

Sally and the Young Ones

A Child's Letter to God

Dear God,

My name is Simon, that's from the Bible. I am eight and a half and we live across the street from the park. I have a dog called Buster. I used to have a hamster, but he got out and ran away. I am small for my age. My hobbies are swimming, bowling, my chemistry set, reading, coin collecting and tropical fish [right now I have three kinds].

Well I guess I said a mouthful. Goodbye.

Always a friend,


Artwork: Paul Swailes


Annual General Meeting, Wednesday, 11th May 2005

Treasurer's Report

The overall financial position of the Manor Hall accounts is positive and healthy. We started the year with £23,000 and closed with £21,500, so we're down a bit year-on-year.

Our Insurers have yet to issue renewal paperwork for March, so the real position of funds is actually down to £20,000 as the insurance is about £1,500.

Income from the hire of the Hall to our regular users at £5,900 is up significantly on the previous year because more new classes have started and extra bookings have arisen when Adult Education classes finish, but attendees continue to meet in affinity groups. Use for parties has increased and we have hosted one major wedding reception.

The support of the Parish Council with an £800 grant towards our insurance costs remains really important to us.

Income from fund raising is also up by almost £100 at £1900. This is due to a good result from the Berry Revels, a record result for our Christmas Card Coffee Morning and £150 from our two trial Table Top Sales. These offset monies now separated from the Manor Hall for the Horticultural and Craft Show in September.

Expenditure is higher than previously at almost £12,000 because of the added costs of the toilet refurbishment project and the building of the next extra toilet with facilities for the disabled.

Without allowing for any maintenance work, it is important to see that the basic annual running costs of the Hall are close to £6,000 per year [say £125 per week], so there continues to be a need to be vigilant on finances.

We continue to have a 'financial cushion' from the benefits of the donation from the Estate of Bobbie Hacker [October 2003], but that remains a one-off. The reality is that this year expenditure exceeded income.

May I thank Chris Walden for his continued support with an audit and preparation of the Accounts.

Vi Davies - Treasurer

Chairman's Report

2004/2005 has been a year of development for the Manor Hall and I feel it's been a good year overall.

Committee meetings have been held regularly each month. Attendance has been fair, quality of discussion good. Recording of discussion in the Minutes has been very good, so that anyone in the future can look back and easily get a picture on the background of a topic and the outcome.

Development of job descriptions for our Caretaker and Cleaners has had positive benefits with clarity now on our needs.

We quickly went up the learning curve to organise and get the important testing of electrics, extinguishers, fire alarms, etc., carried out to renew our Public Entertainment Licence and are now doing the same all over again! This will see us through to November 2005 when it is 'all change' and new Licensing Laws come in to play . . . understanding them and looking for routes to achieve simple, not too onerous solutions is challenging and we are not there yet! I have been comparing notes with The Men's' Institute to see if there are any common solutions for us.

News in just today advises that in the future events like the BBC Show will be needing Door Supervisors trained and registered with the Security Industry Authority [certificated bouncers?!] by 23rd August!

After a period of fact-finding on other local hall rental charges, last autumn we developed a new scale and tariff designed to help us offset our ever-rising costs. Implementation of the new charges was deferred until last month.

Fundraising events developed well. The Berry Revels was a pleasing result. The Christmas Card exercise and Coffee Morning was an all-time record and our two attempts at Table Top Sales have been encouraging but not runaway successes. There's scope to develop further and to look at new activities to fit in with otherwise vacant slots in the Hall diary. As an example, a junior badminton group has been formed and now meets on Sundays for a twilight session. No ideas have come forward from requests made in the Newsletter . . . disappointing, but that can also be interpreted that everyone is happy!

We've developed a system that all maintenance and repair works will follow a full written specification of what's needed and that quotes must follow that brief. This is being implemented for the plan to refurbish the gents' loo [long overdue many might say!] and redesign the door system to the under stage storage. The refurbishment of the other toilets and creation of a facility for the disabled means that your Hall now complies with 2004 legislation. Recarpeting has made improvements and thanks are due to Sure Start for important financial input.

I think that every Agenda over the last twelve months has featured the dreaded subject of under floor heating and reflooring. Objective advice on options and comparative running costs remains difficult to source and just one contractor from outside the area has come forward with a quote. Help and advice on which of the other 440 village halls in Devon have addressed similar issues has not been forthcoming from Community Council of Devon. We will pursue further because we really must follow the successes of others and avoid expensive pitfalls.

Looking Forward

There is little doubt that the Manor Hall will continue as a key focal point for social activities in this community. Ensuring it meets today's and tomorrow's needs does require fresh ideas and good communication. I hope there is a confidence in the Committee being there not only to manage the immediate affairs but also become even more forward thinking.

Presently we are financially stable and Vi has demonstrated this. However, it's my forecast that expenditure is likely to out-strip income for a second year running with the next refurbishment project already planned. Grant support may or may not be forthcoming to help. If that project is self funded, then our Bobbie Hacker legacy may be eroded further. A heating/flooring project, even with major grant support, could see those monies being totally used up and the village would see a Hall living 'hand-to-mouth' again financially.

There is little buffer to cover any MAJOR project - like a new roof or whatever was on the agenda some years back and never got actioned. The need, I feel, is to look forward and get inventive. Fundraising exercises to bring in an extra £4,000 a year for each of the next five years could be a goal [£5 per resident per year/10p per week]. Can the village rise to that challenge - I believe YES. It has already done it in the context of the Community Shop, and now the Community Hall?

In closing I should like to thank the Committee for their help and support over the past twelve months, and the villagers for their support of Manor Hall activities.

Colin Trinder - Chairman

Thank you Vi and Colin for your reports which give us a very clear picture of Manor Hall matters.

Since the AGM, however, we have learnt that due to their impending move, Colin and Annie have resigned from the Committee, although they will continue to give advice and support until their departure. Thanks must, therefore, be given to them both but particularly Colin for his excellent Chairmanship.

Please note that THE BERRY REVELS will be held this year on Tuesday, 26th July. Look out for posters giving details nearer the time.




[1906 - 1984]

Sir John Betjeman's poems are often humorous and affectionate pictures of provincial and suburban life, written in traditional rhyming stanzas. However, other poems reveal a rather darker side of his character and a lifelong depression and fear of death, against which his strongly held religious beliefs offered no comfort. He was knighted in 1969 and appointed Poet Laureate in 1972, a post he held until his death in 1984.

Sir John was born in London, the son of a cabinet-maker descended from Dutch immigrants, which led to him being bullied in school. As an eight-year old during the First World War, children claimed and teased that he was a German spy!

At Oxford he found his niche, entertaining with his comic verse and taking part in amateur dramatics. However, he failed to complete his degree and became a school teacher before beginning to write. In 1932 he met and married Penelope Chetwode and they settled at Uffington, in Oxfordshire, where their son Paul was born.

Betjeman did not see active service during World War II, working instead for the Ministry of Information and later being posted to Dublin, where their daughter Candida was born. After the War, he returned to writing and his career as a poet dividing his time between London, rural Oxfordshire and the Cornish coast, which he had loved since childhood. Penelope converted to Catholicism as he became increasingly Agnostic, the difference in their religious faiths finally coming between them. In 1951, Sir John met Elizabeth Cavendish and their mutual attraction was immediate and lifelong.

Sir John's final years were lonely and were not helped by suffering from Parkinsonis disease and a series of strokes. He died at Trebetherick in North Cornwall in May 1984, at the age of 77, and was buried at the church of St. Enodoc, approached from the 10th fairway of the local golf course.

One of his humorous poems, 'Seaside Golf, follows and 'A Subaltern's Love Song' appears later in this Newsletter.



How straight it flew, how long it flew,
It clear'd the rutty track
And soaring, disappeared from view
Beyond the bunker's back -
A glorious, sailing, bounding drive
That made me glad I was alive.

And down the fairway, far along
It glowed a lonely white;
I played an iron sure and strong
And clipp'd it out of sight,
And spite of grassy banks between
I knew I'd find it on the green.

And so I did. It lay content
Two paces from the pin;
A steady putt and then it went
Oh, most surely in.
The very turf rejoiced to see
That quite unprecedented three.

Ah! Seaweed smells from sandy caves
And thyme and mist in whiffs,
In-coming tide, Atlantic waves
Slapping the sunny cliffs,
Lark song and sea sounds in the air
And splendour, splendour everywhere.

Illustrated by: Paul Swailes






The May meeting started a new 'Parish Council' year. The first business of the meeting was to elect a Chairman. This year, the Chairman of the last few years, Graham Andrews, declined to be nominated for a further term of office due to his failing eyesight. Berrynarbor has been fortunate to have had a leader of such experience and knowledge and his undoubted wisdom has served the Parish very well indeed over the years. Graham will continue as one of the team as an active backbencher. The other Councillors and their respective areas of responsibility are listed below, together with the address of the Clerk.

Parishioners are welcome to attend our meetings and can raise matters that concern them. If you cannot get to one of the meetings but have an issue you want to draw to the Council's attention, then you can write to our Clerk, Sue Squire: Haxlea, 2 Threeways, Bratton Fleming [01598 - 710526]. Meetings are usually held on the second Tuesday of each month. Exceptions to this during the year are July 5th[one week early] and August [no scheduled meeting].

I look forward to meeting some of you during the year.

Jim Constantine - Chairman

Appointments for the Municipal Year 2005-2006

  • Cllr. Graham Andrews - A member of the Combe Martin & District Tourism Association. A member to check Invoices for payment at each meeting.
  • Cllr. Len Coleman - Footpath Warden. A Home Defence Adviser and Emergency Officer.
  • Cllr. Jim Constantine - Chairman. Deputy Highway Liaison Officer.
  • Cllr. Richard Gingell - Deputy Footpath Warden. Highway Liaison Officer to work with Area Environment Officer and his staff. Tree Warden.
  • Cllr. Ann Hinchliffe - A Member of the North Devon Police Liaison Group. A member of Ilfracombe District Crime Prevention Group. A member of the Berrynarbor Neighbourhood Watch.
  • Cllr. Sue Sussex - Vice-Chairman. A Home Defence Adviser and Emergency Officer. A member of Berrynarbor Community [Sure Start] A member of Berrynarbor Manor Hall. A member of the Governing Body of Berrynarbor Primary School


Artwork: Paul Swailes


March and April were both fairly average months, with no great extremes.

The total rainfall for March was 71 mm [2 7/8"] of which 14 mm [9/16"] fell on the 3rd. This was slightly down on last year but up on the previous two years. We also had a few snow flakes on the 3rd and the 6th, but they did not settle. The first three months of the year have produced a total of 208 mm [1/4"], well down on last year when for the same period we had 372 mm [14 3/4"].

The maximum temperature we recorded was 19.1 Deg C, the minimum was -1.5 Deg C and the wind chill was -5 Deg C. Winds were lighter than the previous four years reaching only 26 knots. April's rainfall of 80 mm [3 3/16"] appears low against 2001 when we had 148 mm [5 7/8"]. However, the average between 2002 and 2004 works out at 80 mm [3 3/16"], so it would appear that 2001 was exceptionally wet. The maximum temperature of 20.9 Deg C was fairly normal though the minimum of 3 Deg C was warmer than previous years. The wind chill of -8 Deg C which we recorded on the 8th was the lowest since April 2000 when we recorded -13 Deg C. Wind speeds were about normal with a maximum gust of 30 knots from the south west being exactly the same as last year, except that then it was from the south south east.

The total hours on Chicane's solar panels for March were 62.15 - very similar to last year. In April they recorded 118.66, which was about 9 hours up on last year.

As we write this, the trees are greening up and the azaleas are looking magnificent, but it is very cold for May and the tender plants are shivering!

Sue and Simon


Artwork: Helen Weedon


The lane running through Score Valley is but a quarter of a mile long from its start by the cadet hut to its finish high up on St Brannocks Road. Yet in that short distance it encounters back garden boundaries, field hedgerows, woodland margins, open grassland, meandering streamside, steep banks and towering walls. Within each setting Mother Nature has elected specific wildflowers to represent them. Those that were appointed for the spring term of office have now stepped down allowing new wildflowers to be returned for the duration of early summer. So as May gives way to June, a walk up the lane takes on yet another new look.

The first wildflower to be spotted is a single yellow poppy. Unlikely to be the Yellow Horned Poppy found closer to the coast and on beaches, this lone flower is probably a Welsh Poppy. A native in the southwest as well as Wales and Ireland, it is likely to be a garden escape if spotted elsewhere. Whether this flower is an escapee or one sitting naturally in its surroundings is open to debate, though it is but a seed's throw from a back garden fence. Either way, its bold attempt to stand out amongst the surrounding nettle leaves gets my admiration as well as lifting my spirits.

  Lifting one's spirits is something closely associated to the next wildflower I spot. Up on my right hand side, at the edge of a small copse of trees, are a few clumps of St John's Wort. A herbal remedy for depression, some doctors have been known to prescribe it ahead of conventional medicines. In the past it was used for a somewhat different cure, being once thought to ward off witchcraft and spells. (Not so sure my GP would prescribe it if I told him that was the problem!) The past did, however, find a more practical purpose for this flower, being used in pagan summer festivals. This was later applied to the Christian celebration of St John's Day on the 24th June, from which the flower's name originated. The plant though is less useful to our farmland four legged friends, being poisonous to stock and in particular making their skin sensitive to sunlight.

  A few strides further up the lane, where the copse begins to thin a little, a wildflower is growing that is also poisonous to livestock and a particular nuisance to horses, who seem to love it - Ragwort. But as with everything in nature, where there is a negative there is sure to be a positive. In the case of Ragwort it applies to the caterpillar of the Cinnabar Moth which is able to feed on the plant without any lethal consequence. On the contrary, the poison is of great benefit to the moth, acting as protection against any birds that may be viewing the caterpillar as a tasty snack. Humans too can suffer at the hands - or nose to be precise - of this flower. Bruise Ragwort's lovely flat-top flowers, whose bright yellow florets smile sweetly at you in their packed clusters, and discover why the plant is also called "Stinking Willy"!

  Along the lane a little further the trees hanging onto the valley's steep incline disperse. Here a wildflower comes into view that loves to flourish on any bank side - the Foxglove. Also known as Fairy Bells, this flower does indeed wave over our countryside that extra bit of summer magic in the same way that Primroses wave a wand over a Devon spring. But beware of the Foxglove's spell ! Strikingly beautiful though it may look, its fairy bells wave a sinister wand as you drive past, just like their roadside counterpart of spring, Cow Parsley. For the Foxglove is also completely poisonous. Once again, however, nature steps in to counteract the plant's negative feature, extracting the drug Digitalis from its leaves in order to help in the treatment of heart complaints. In the past it was also used for treating oedema and blood pressure. So not all is bad about this wildflower whose name has nothing at all to do with foxes or gloves but more to do with people and music. With "fox" being a corruption of the word "folk's" and a "gliew" being an Anglo-Saxon instrument with many small bells, one can immediately see how this tall conspicuous flower assumed its name.

  Whilst woodland and steep banks characterise one side of the lane, a hedgerow accompanies the other. Here at the moment Hogweed is in abundance accompanied in places by its "parent", Giant Hogweed. Belonging to the carrot family, a clan of wildflowers who look very much alike, each plant member has a specific feature that tells them apart. In the case of Hogweed, its distinguishing marks are the unique broad and hairy leaves that, if picked whilst still young and boiled, are said to taste just like asparagus. (Perhaps I will wait until there is an asparagus shortage to find out! In the meantime I'll stick to visiting Evesham.) Pigs, however, love Hogweed whether the plant is young or old and it was once a major source of sustenance for them, hence the name. The plant does have a negative side, one that is bestowed upon mankind this time. The hollow stems exude a substance that can cause the skin to become sore or even blister in sunny weather. And on the subject of weather, Hogweed has become a plant that is rarely out of flower in Devon, thanks in part to our ever milder winters.

  All the same, Hogweed is undoubtedly at its most prolific just now. In contrast, Nipplewort is only just appearing alongside it. So-called because of the shape of its small yellow flowers, this is a plant regarded more of a troublesome weed than a wildflower. Perhaps gardeners could make use of this weed by picking its young leaves and then using them as part of a salad as they did in days of yore?

A break in the hedgerow at the farmer's gate brings another wildflower onto the scene. Scattered about the ground White Clover has appeared, a plant that helps out nature in more ways than one - or three, to be precise. Firstly it is a very economical fodder crop, as the sheep and cows that come into this particular field often prove. Secondly it is a great source of nectar for bees. Lastly, but by no means least, bacteria in the nodules of the plant's roots convert nitrogen into a most useful plant nutrient. Nature really does provide for its own!

  Further up the lane, the East Wilder brook meanders momentarily up against the hedgerow. Here a different spread of wildflowers are always appearing, ones that prefer the damp atmosphere of a streamside. Hemlock is one such flower. Yet another member of the carrot family, it is distinguishable by the purple blotches on its stems and the offensive odour of its flowers. Once again, this is a plant that is deadly. In fact, Socrates is believed to have drunk its poison in fatal quantities as a means of his execution, no wonder it also called Devils Blossom! The flower does, however, have other names of a more productive nature, including Gypsy's Curtain, Lady's Needlework and Lady's Lace.

  Near to the Hemlock another streamside companion is beginning to show itself. The Great Hairy Willow herb produces ornate flowers with purplish pink petals and cream coloured stamens. These colours give the plant its other name, Codlins-and-Cream, "codlin" being an old word for an apple. The plant though can at times be a bit too creamy - not in the sense of colour but in texture. Growing in thick clusters as it does, it can become so "clotted" it will almost block streams.

Opposite the streamside, the bricked wall of the old chapel towers high above the lane. Here the snapdragon shaped flowers of Ivy-leaved Toadflax are in abundance, spraying the wall with patches of lilac. First used in rock gardens back in the 17th century, the plant took on the characteristic of one of its other names, Roving Jenny. Gradually it roamed away from its formal enclosures, spreading along any wall, rocky side or stony ground it could find. Indeed, its method of movement leads to it also being christened Creeping Jenny. It also became known as mother of thousands, which is hardly surprising as it has such a good reproductive system. Curling away from the light, its long stalks find dark crevices into which it deposits seeds a-plenty. The plant is also resistant to drought, meaning it can carry on its method of multiplication in even the driest of summers.

  Whether our coming summer will be dry or wet remains to be seen. What is certain is that as summer progresses, new wildflowers will appear up the lane that are adept at coping with dry spells and soaring temperatures, but we will leave these for the August issue.

Illustrations by: Dean Hawker

Steve McCarthy


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


It is good to have a wedding to include in this issue. The village, on Easter Saturday, 26th March, was truly the setting for the marriage of Adam Stanbury and Natalie Wheelan. The service took place at St. Peter's on a lovely sunny day, and the Manor Hall was the venue for the reception.

Adam, youngest son of Joy and Gordon, is carrying on the family farming tradition, running Stapleton Farm. Natalie, from Barnstaple, second daughter of Graham and Lin - who was responsible for all the catering - teaches at the Pre-School here in Berrynarbor.

Thailand was the destination of the honeymoon. Now back in the village, we wish them both every happiness in their future together.




The April meeting saw Pam and Alex Parke presenting wines from our village Community Shop, followed in May with Tony Summers' presentation 'Viva Espana'. His theme was the large rivers in Spain and how they related to the wine making areas. The samples were enjoyed by all and we learned some interesting bits of geography too!

The May meeting, the last for this season, was also the Circle's AGM and our Chairman, Alex Parke, gave his Report. There are currently 67 members with an average meeting attendance of 39 imbibers and more members would be welcome. Look for details of meetings in the October Newsletter, when the first meeting of the 2005-6 season will be held on Wednesday, 21st October.

The Committee were re-elected 'en bloc' with the addition of one new member, Ruth Diggle, a loyal member from Barnstaple who has a wealth of knowledge about wine. The Committee for the new season will, therefore, be:

  • Chairman - Alex Parke [883758]
  • Secretary - Tony Summers [883600]
  • Treasurer - Jill McCrae [882121]
  • Publicity - Tom Bartlett [883408]
  • Committee: Ruth Diggle, John Hood, Inge Richardson, Jan Tonkin, Brian Wright.

Tom Bartlett


Brian Wright

Solution in Article 19.


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


'All things bright and beautiful' - what a delightful hymn. Although we live on the outskirts of Colchester in what you might call 'suburbia', we nevertheless get a lot of wild life here.

We have outside lights that come on at night and we sometimes see a big dog fox rummaging around on the green in front of our bungalow. Badgers and muntjak deers are not far away. There are squirrels who take the bird food and bury hazel nuts in our lawn.

Hedgehogs are lovely little creatures too. Our gentle Labrador, Bernie, sniffs them and walks away. But then, perhaps, she pricks her nose. Frogs get the same treatment.

I am writing this in early April and as I do so, I can look into our back garden and see that the three blue tit boxes are being investigated prior to moving in.

We never see the babies fly! This, it seems, is because they never leave the nest until they are absolutely ready to do so. No special flying lessons here!

Looking up at a tree adjoining us, we recently saw a woodpecker at work. Surely they must get headaches! Then it came down on to the lawn to dibble for ants, or was it cranefly? What lovely colours. Jays, with their colourful plumage occasionally visit, or are they really just crows in their Sunday suits?

Isn't it nice to do a bit of digging accompanied by the robins. They are so tame and pretty, with their little red breasts. We have families of them nearby and they always come and join in with the gardening.

Two years ago, we had our twenty foot Portuguese laurel hedge cut almost bare and to a height of about eight feet. It has now re-grown its foliage and is ideal for our blackbird and thrush friends. We do, of course, put plenty of food out for all of them and are rewarded by their visits.

Magpies are in abundance here, in fact almost in colonies. There is one particular bird which has only one leg - I wonder if another bird got the better of him? The finches are amongst my favourites. The goldfinches were among those birds trapped for the cage trade in the 1800's. Their groups are aptly known as 'charms'.

Then there are the two ducks who visit our green - a drake and his missus. They waddle about as though they own the place, sometimes standing on door steps hoping, no doubt, for some hospitality.

Every summer, and on most days, we have a bumble bee fly along our back windows. At about every foot or so he hits the glass really hard and we have named it 'head banger'. Sadly, birds too will fly into the glass - sometimes killing themselves but sometimes they are stunned for a while.

Before the leaves come on the trees, we see across a road to where friends have an ornamental fish pond. Living nearby, on an island in the lake in a small park, are a couple of herons, which are often seen flying about. One day I saw one of them flying slowly in the area of the pond. Just like a bird of prey, it dropped quite suddenly behind the house and out of view. Moments later, it ascended with one of the prize gold fish in its beak. A common practice, I believe.

Our bird bath and table are just outside on the patio. The scallop shaped bath has to be topped up most days as the birds love it and can be seen dunking or drinking. We have a very large pigeon which alights on the edge and slowly paddles in before crouching down in the water. For some reason, it then turns on its side and stretches one wing in the air, staying in that position for a while. Nature's entertainment!

There are steps up from our lawn leading to the patio and as we were sitting, looking out, a small creature began to climb the steps. It was in no hurry, in fact merely crawling. Once up on the patio, it slowly made its way to the bird table, where it tried to climb up, but fell off three times. Eventually it managed to reach the lower tray where there was food.

Looking more carefully, we couldn't decide whether it was some sort of vole or mouse. It was unconcerned about us looking at it, so I got my camera and went outside. As I took the photo, about eighteen inches away, it looked up at me and went on munching! 'Poor little thing', I thought, 'it must be ill or something.' However, suddenly, and I mean suddenly, a blackbird alighted on the bird table, which taking the scale of things, must have been like the arrival of a Boeing. Did the little creature move? I'll say! It was down the post and off in a flash.

Pretty is my garden
With music of the birds,
So pretty is my garden
I'm almost lost for words.
Pretty is my garden,
The colours and the song.
The pleasure that it gives me
Last the whole day long.
Pretty is my garden,
And I give thanks to Him,
Pretty is my garden
I'll sing another hymn.

Tony Beauclerk - Colchester




The first ride-outs of the season were a little disappointing in that for two of them , no-one turned up except me! And the trip to Hartland Quay was enjoyed by just Darren and myself.

It is good to know that Tim's Norton is back on the road and looking and sounding great. He is 'running-in' at the present time, and I am sure there will be many memorable rides in the future.

Due to health reasons, I cannot be sure of leading rides for the foreseeable future, so there are no plans made. We shall ride when two or more contact each other to arrange something, but we should like to extend this offer to any visiting Bikers who would like to share a ride with one of us through the lovely countryside which we can enjoy all year round. The initial point of contact is 882388.


We're gunning for you, Brian, and send you our very best wishes.




This term we have seen the near completion of the new school building. It has given us two new offices, a library, an entrance area and a staff room. We have also had several areas of the school updated, e.g. the heating system. It has been an upheaval but a very necessary one. I must thank all the people of the village who were patient with us when things were being delivered to the school, also to those people who suffered when the security lights went on and didn't go off! When the school is finally completed, we shall put a notice in the Post Office to invite everyone to see it for themselves.

As mentioned earlier, we have a new library in school and so we should like to make a plea for new books. If anyone would like to buy a book for the library we should be very grateful. As we have to be sure that any book fits in with our needs, please come in to school and donate a sum of money and choose from a range of books, or ring us on 883493 and we can arrange it for you. Any donations would be very welcome as we get the money for the build but not enough for all the extras!

This term we are going on two whole-school trips - one to Rosemoor Gardens, to fit in with this term's Science , and the other to Bicclescombe Park for a Victorian day out.

The children's pictures this time result from a visit to Berrynarbor Church by Class 2. The Rector gave them a tour and told them all about the building as part of their Religious Education curriculum. The resulting pictures are very impressive.

Karen Crutchfield, our Headteacher, is on maternity leave and has just given birth to a 9lb 12oz girl! We all send her our good wishes.

Don't forget our School Fete on Tuesday, 12th July.

Mary-Jane Newell - Acting Headteacher

May we, too, take this opportunity to congratulate Karen and her husband on the birth of their daughter. Our congratulations as well to Mary-Jane who has taken over as Acting Headteacher.

An Evening with the Parcel of Rogues organised by the Friends of the School on Friday, 20th May, was a great success. It was very well supported, particularly by parents and pupils, who had a great time. The energy and enthusiasm of the band was catching, with everyone, especially the children, joining in. £370 was raised which will go towards an interactive white board.

Gardening Club - With Chelsea in mind, 16 youngsters at our Primary School, under the guidance of Sarah Darch and Julia Fairchild, are setting up a new Gardening Club.

Wanted! - They are looking for donations to help them and plants, pots, compost, gardening tools, etc., would be very much appreciated. Rubble, too, would be welcome! In order to make a base for a small greenhouse, rubble is required to fill in a rather large pond.

If you can help in any way, please ring Sarah [882026] or Julia [882783] or take items to the school between 9.00 a.m. and 4.00 p.m.

Skye [Age 8]

Isobel [Age 7]

Charlotte [Age 8]




Artwork: Peter Rothwell


The Rectory
Combe Martin

Dear Friends,

Well, I suppose my secret is out now. Yes, I am a secret trombone player who last summer joined up with the Barnstaple Concert Band, because they practice on a Tuesday evening, my day off. It struck me that in the many orchestras and bands I played in had a lot to teach me about the Christian life.

When we want to play an instrument, we have to be shown how to play it, and to practice a lot. (Which reminds me of a book marker I have which says "Love thy neighbour - even if he plays a trombone!") But strangely, to be a good player or singer, the first thing is to listen. Listen to yourself, the others, to make sure you are in tune, and in time with the rest of the players.

We have to discipline ourselves to follow the conductor and play softly or loudly as the composer intended, and not just as we want. We have to discipline ourselves to practice, to read music if we are to play the kind of music the composer intended.

All these items seem to mirror our Christian life, where we need an example to follow, whether it be our parents or good friends. We need to work at loving and caring for people, even those we don't get on with too well. We need to discipline ourselves if we are to progress in the area of life, and that is true for worship as well. We need to listen to our conscience, the wise words of others, and, of course, God. The conductor represents the person who has the insight or awareness of what the composer/God intends and tries to shape a group of individuals into a coherent group/community to reflect his intention and will. To read the composer's intentions is reflected in the Bible as a score for what God wants his children to be doing and become.

In which case we are all musicians in the symphony of life, with its slow movements, its lively movements, and its very fast sections. All I can tell you, is that for a wonderful sound, everyone is needed to make their contribution to the best of their ability. I know that I'm still learning.

With all good wishes,
Your Friend and Rector,

Keith Wyer.


John Betjeman

Miss J. Hunter Dunn, Miss J. Hunter Dunn,
Furnishtd and burnish'd by Aldershot sun,
What strenuous singles we played after tea,
We in the tournament you against me!

Love-thirty, love-forty, Oh! weakness of joy,
The speed of a swallow, the grace of a boy,
With carefullest carelessness, gaily you won,
I am weak from your loveliness, Joan Hunter Dunn.

Miss Joan Hunter Dunn, Miss Joan Hunter Dunn,
How mad I am, sad I am, glad that you won,
The warm-handled racket is back in its press,
But my shock-headed victor, she loves me no less.

Her fathers euonymus shines as we walk,
And swing past the summer-house buried in talk,
And cool the verandah that welcomes us in
To the six-o'clock news and a lime-juice and gin.

The scent of the conifers, sound of the bath,
The view from my bedroom of moss-dappled path,
As struggle with double-end evening tie,
For we dance at the Golf Club, my victor and I.

On the floor of her bedroom lie blazer and shorts,
And the cream-coloured walls are be-trophied with sports,
And westering, questioning settles the sun,
On your low-leaded window, Miss Joan Hunter Dunn.

The Hillman is waiting, the light's in the hall,
The pictures of Egypt are bright on the wall,
My sweet, am standing beside the oak stair
And there on the landing's the light on your hair.

By roads 'not adopted', by woodland ways,
She drove to the club in the late summer haze,
Into nine-o'clock Camberley, heavy with bells
And mushroomy, pine-woody, evergreen.

Miss Joan Hunter Dunn, Miss Joan Hunter Dunn,
I can hear from the car park the dance has begun,
Oh! Surry twilight! Importunate band!
O! strongly adorable tennis-girl's hand!

Around us are Rovers and Austins afar,
Above us the intimate roof of the car,
And here on my right is the girl of my choice,
With the tilt of her nose and the chime of her voice.

And the scent of her wrap, and the words never said,
And the ominous, ominous dancing ahead.
We sat in the car park till twenty to one
And now I'm engaged to Miss Joan Hunter Dunn.

Illustrated by: Paul Swailes



North Devon

Marwood Hill is an 18-acre garden with three small lakes and extensive collections of Camellias and is home to National Collections of Astilbe and Japanese Iris.

Dr. Jimmy Smart, M.B.E., V.M.H., the creator of the gardens, came to Marwood in 1949. The garden and walled garden were very neglected and it took him some years to restore a degree of order. Not until the early 1960's, following the purchase of some rough pasture land to the south and east including the small stream through the valley, did the planting of trees really begin.

Dr. Smart moved from Marwood House and into his new home in 1973 and in 1975, having retired from medicine, the planting progressed rapidly. The plant sale area was increased to help finance the improvements. Another 12 acres was purchased and was gradually incorporated into the main garden to make up the present garden.

Open all the year round, there is much to enjoy at Marwood. Visitors say that it has a very special atmosphere and that they feel inspired by the gardens. The Snowdrops, Daffodils, Rhododendrons and large collection of Magnolias are in flower in the spring. The Wisteria, waterside planting, streams of Candelabra Primulas, Astilbes, Japanese Iris and Australian native plants are glorious in the summer months. The autumn colours are not to be missed.

In the walled garden the plant centre sells plants, which are grown and propagated in the gardens. Many of them are rare and not often available at garden centres.

This year visitors can sit and enjoy views of the garden from the new Garden Tea Room, whilst trying out delicious home cooked lunches and teas.

The gardens are open to the public all year [except Christmas Day]. The plant sale area is open from 11.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. The Garden Tea Room from 10.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. For further information Telephone [01271] 342528.

Dr. Smart died in May 2002 and his nephew, Dr. John Snowdon, now owns the Gardens. Malcolm Pharoah - the Head Gardener - is still lovingly looking after the gardens. Malcolm joined Dr. Smart in 1972 from Wisley and worked closely with the Doctor for 30 years.

Illustrations by: Debbie Cook

Friends of Marwood Hill Gardens

If you live locally, have an interest in gardening and have some time to spare to help us look after these lovely gardens, please contact

Mrs. Patricia Stout - 01271 342528
Marwood Hill Gardens
Marwood Hill
EX31 4EB

The tasks we need help with are;

  • Welcoming visitors at the entrance and in the gardens
  • Helping the gardeners with weeding, potting up, watering and garden projects

All the revenue received from admission ticket and plant sales goes towards the upkeep of these lovely gardens. We do not receive any outside funding.

Marwood Hill Gardens




During July, the Hospice is holding two special events:

  • Sunday, 3rd July Ladies Driving Day, RMB Chivenor. A once-in-a-lifetime chance for ladies to raise money and show their expertise behind the wheel of some challenging forms of transport. You must hold a current driving licence and there is a £10 registration charge.
  • Sunday,10th July National Sandcastle Competition, Woolacombe Beach. A chance for companies or groups to show off their sand-sculpting skills. Teams of 6 will have 3 hours to create their masterpieces. Why not take part or go along and join in the fun - dance to the sounds of an energetic samba band and marvel at the sand artwork.

If you would like to learn more about these two events, ring Ali [Hunt] or Anne [Tattersall] on 01271 344248.

When our Newsletter Editor asked me if I would like to visit the new Bedded Unit at the Hospice with her, I must admit that I had my doubts. Having lost my husband to cancer three years ago, I did not know how I would feel.

But from the moment we entered the building I was overwhelmed with the sense of calm and the great care that had been taken to anticipate every need of the patients and their families.

From the individual balconies with stunning views in all directions to the walk-in bath, everything has been planned to the last detail. JG

Following the success of their Knit-ins, the Hospice is again appealing to knitters:

"From Sleeves to Leaves"
The World's Largest Knitted Christmas Tree!

Yes, that's right, they are planning to knit a 25 ft Christmas Tree and the knitting instructions are:

Using only green wool [of any shade] knit a piece 8" to 10" wide and between 12" and 15" long. The exact size will depend on the weight of wool and the size of needles used. Be as inventive as you like - stripes, Arans, rib, garter or stocking stitch - whatever stitch you like, or even a combination of stitches].

The target is 2000 pieces and the tree, when complete, will be on display, hopefully from mid-November at Atlantic Village, Bideford.

Once you have knitted your 'leaf' or 'leaves', they need to be sent or taken to the Hospice for wiring and fixing to the tree.

Leaves need to be accompanied by a form giving your name and address, plus a minimum £2 donation [to go to the Hospice]. These details will be included in the Master World's Largest Knitted Christmas Tree Book. It is also hoped to enter it, and all the names, in the Guinness Book of Records.

The forms may be obtained from Judie at Chicane, who will also collect them and the leaves for passing on to the Hospice.

If anyone can help supply knitters with odds and ends of green wool, please let me know [883544] or take it along to the Monday Craft afternoon at the Manor Hall. In fact, why not:

  • come along to the Monday Craft Afternoon, 2.30 p.m.
  • knit your sleeve 'leaf'
  • complete the form and give a £2 donation
  • leave your leaf and form to be taken to Barnstaple!





Berrynarbor Community Enterprise Limited, (I sometimes wish we had chosen a shorter name!) has celebrated its first Annual General Meeting. That is a misnomer really, because it has only been trading for 6 months. However the Committee was conscious that they were self-appointed. Responsible for the considerable sum of money, and the time and effort that the villagers (and some visitors) of Berrynarbor have put into the cooperative, it was felt that villagers should be given an account of what had been done and the present situation. It was also felt that there should be an opportunity for alternative committee members to be elected.

About 50 people attended the meeting, which opened with Chairman, Jim Constantine, giving a welcome and account of how the cooperative had been formed, how the shop was trading, and finally the ambitious plans to build a new shop with accommodation on the edge of the village car park. The Chairman Elect, Sandy Anderson, repeated a computer presentation given to members and officers of North Devon District Council, concerning the plans for the new shop. He was able to say that it had been very well received by the Council, given considerable encouragement, and the promise of whatever support they could provide. Since then, the Planning Officer has reported that, with a few minor modifications, the plans are good enough to be submitted for formal planning approval, and it is proposed to do that very shortly.

Since the Shop had only been trading for 6 months, a full set of accounts was not available to present to the meeting, but the Treasurer, Brian Hillier, outlined the financial position which is really very good. Trading is at a considerably higher level than estimated in the original business plan. Stock taking and valuation is a considerable task, with something like 1000 different lines to count and value. At the moment the exact value of the stock is not known, nor the true profit level. However, the costs are more than covered and the non-returning costs of start up have already been recovered.. All the indications are that when the visitors arrive in the summer, the Shop will do very well indeed. Brian emphasized that without the excellent work of the Manager, and the sterling contribution of volunteers, the situation would be very different.

Resolutions to fix the year end to 31st December, appointing an Auditor and approving the Accounts to date were put to the meeting by Secretary Alex Parker, and passed unanimously. No new nominations for the Committee had been received and the existing Committee was, therefore, re-elected.

A vote of thanks to the Committee and the Manager was given by Jill Massey. There being no further business the meeting closed.

Jill has, of course, contributed much to the success of the Shop through her marketing efforts. Currently there is a very attractive display showing the source of many of the Shop's locally supplied goods. Do come in and see it and help further success by buying regularly. Jill's article telling you more follows.

The competition for a postcard photograph was well supported and the judging panel decided to award the prize to a single photograph - rather than produce another multi-picture card. The winner was Tim Massey for this picture of Watermouth Harbour, but it will need to be seen in colour to be really appreciated. Congratulations Tim and thank you, too, for all the help you have given to the Shop, particularly on the DIY front.

Alex Parke of DC


Throughout the summer we are highlighting the increasing variety of local produce which the Shop is now selling. It might be of interest to both the village and the visitors that the Shop can now offer good quality locally sourced food and drink, from local farms and small produces, and often or organic origin. This means we are supporting the local economy, keeping delivery distances to a minimum and therefore reducing road traffic. And, of course, it tastes good too!

To date we have:

  • Hancocks Cider and Quince Honey from South Molton.
  • Turton's Pies and Pasties and Roly's Fudge from Ilfracombe.
  • Fruit Salad Jams and Chutneys, Village Bakery Bread and Cakes, Blue Ginger Catering Cakes, Quiches, Pies and Lasagne, and Nutcombe Farm Spring Water, all from Combe Martin.
  • Westhill Farm Organic Milk, Cream, Yoghurt and Little Comfort Farm Free Range Eggs from West Down.
  • Ivan Clarke at Mullacott Cross sourcing West Country Cheese and Meat.
  • Stapleton Farm Yoghurts from near Torrington.
  • Miles Tea and Coffee from Porlock.
  • Devonshire Farm Ice-cream from Chagford.

As well as food we have greeting cards by local artists, Debbie Cook and Jackie Stickland, our own postcards produced by the Community Shop, the Exmoor and Devon Life Magazines and Goodenough's flowers from Ilfracombe.

So why not come and see for yourself. If you know of any more local quality products which we might be able to stock, please tell Ross at the Shop.

And a big Thank You from the Shop to the Berry in Bloom group who are donating plants for the tubs and hanging baskets outside the Shop. It is great to be a part of this community team effort - what a lovely village we live in!

Jill Massey

Illustrated by: Debbie Cook



5th Berry in Bloom: Litter Pick Up, 3.00 p.m. Middle Lee
6th Primary School & College: Return after Half Term
7th W.I, Meeting, 2.30 p.m., Manor Hall; The Rev, Jim Bates - Life as a Bevin Boy
12th Sunday School Outing to Creeley Park
14th Parish Council Meeting, Manor Hall, 7.00 p.m.
15th Mobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
19th St. Peter's Church: Christians Together Service, 6.30 p.m.
Berry in Bloom: Open Gardens, Sterridge Valley 2.00-5.00 p.m.
26th Village Bar-B-Q at Middle Lee Farm
29th Mobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
St. Peter's Church: Gift Day.
Friendship Lunch, Globe, 12.30 p.m. onwards
3rd St. Peter's Church: Family Service followed by Picnic with Sunday School.
Berry in Bloom: Litter Pick, 3.00 p.m. Middle Lee.
N.D. Hospice - Ladies' Driving Day
5th W.I. Meeting, 2.30 p.m., Manor Hall: The Salvation Army - Envoy Jean Tompkinson.
Parish Council Meeting, Manor Hall, 7.00 p.m.
6th Road Closure [1 day only] Sterridge Valley - Pink Heather to Higher Rowes.
Exmoor Border Morris Dancers, The Sawmill Inn 9.00 p.m.
10th St. Peter's Church: Pet Service, 3.00 p.m.
Berry in Bloom: Open Gardens, The Village, 2.00 - 5.00 p.m.
N.D. Hospice: National Sandcastle Competition, Woolacombe.
12th Primary School Fete, Manor Hall, 6.30 p.m. Look out for posters.
13th Mobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
20th Exmoor Border Morris Dancers, The Globe, 9.00 p.m.
21st Primary School and College: End of Summer Term
26th Manor Hall Management Committee: Berry Revels, Manor Hall, 6.30 p.m.
27th Mobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
Friendship Lunch, The Globe, 12.30 p.m. onwards.
9th Parish Council: NO MEETING

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



'From point to point'

A square headland jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean, looking on the map like a bear's head with Navax Point and Godrevy Point forming the two 'ears'.

When travelling further west along our coastline to the neighbouring county of Cornwall, it is interesting to observe the similarities and more particularly, the differences in landscape and flora and fauna between North Cornwall and North Devon. We started our walk at Hell's Mouth, a narrow cove where there is a colony of shags on a tall pyramidal stack of rock. They were perched in pairs on narrow ledges or walking up the steep rock face. The bottle green sheen on their black plumage was clearly visible.

There were patches of spring Squill [Scilla verna] on the short turf of the cliff tops - clusters of pale blue star-shaped flowers with narrow curly leaves close to the ground. The naturalist, Richard Mabey, considers: 'The massed drifts of thrift, sea campion, spring squill, bluebell and primrose on the granite cliffs of south west Britain in May are one of the most glorious sights our flora has to offer.'

I have only once found Spring Squill growing on the North Devon coast so it was a delight to come across it unexpectedly. Another wild flower I have seen in North Cornwall but not in North Devon is the summer blooming Golden Samphire. The white bells of the three-cornered leek or triangular garlic are quite common in the woods and shady hedgerows of North Devon, but they were covering long stretches of the Cornish roadside verges and banks, like drifts of snow.

We paused to watch gannets flying past close to the shore, circling and diving frequently; wings drawn back, plunging like arrows with great speed and force, each dive ending in a large and audible splash.

I looked down and noticed on the blades of grass at the cliff's edge several two-spot ladybirds. We came to an area of heathland called The Knavocks, managed by the National Trust and grazed by a troupe of five Shetland ponies. There were warning notices that some visitors found the attention of the ponies disturbing. The blonde, short-legged creatures looked innocent enough but once they'd seen us they headed in our direction at a gallop.

Illustrations by: Paul Swailes

At the trig. point on Navax Point the wind whipping around the headland was so powerful that it was difficult to stand, so we hastened around to Mutton Cove where a treat awaited us.

It was late afternoon and Atlantic grey seals were swimming towards the secluded cove and hauling themselves out of the sea. There were already more than sixty seals lying on the beach, rolling, stretching and scratching, nudging, patting and embracing each other. They were assorted sizes and colours. Although called grey seals, some were almost black; others were different shades of brown and fawn or grey with mottled or stippled markings. The youngest were yellowish white. Seals can live to the age of forty or more.

It was a short distance from Godrevy Point, overlooking Godrevy Lighthouse, which stands on its own small island. It is a very handsome lighthouse, tall, white and hexagonal. It was the inspiration for Virginia Woolf's novel 'To the Lighthouse'. She spent childhood holidays in the area. Margaret Drabble wrote, 'Godrevy Lighthouse, enigmatic and ageless . . . sends out its incomprehensible appeal, a link between the present and the past.'

From Godrevy Point we looked west across the broad sweep of the bay to the three miles of sandy beach beyond Red River and behind the sands; the extensive system of dunes, known as 'towans' in Cornwall. This must be one of the best views in the South West.

Virginia Woolf describes it in 'To the Lighthouse': 'the whole bay spread before them and Mrs. Ramsay could not help exclaiming, "Oh, how beautiful!" For the great plateful of blue water was before her; the Lighthouse, distant, austere, in the midst and on the right, as far as the eye could see, fading and falling, in soft low pleats, the green sand dunes with the wild flowing grasses on them.'

Sue H




The first thing we must do is to thank everyone who supported, in any way, our Coffee Morning on the 21st May. Fortunately everyone had come - and most gone - before the heavens opened and we got the much-needed rain for the gardens! Thanks to your generosity, the fantastic sum of £196 was raised. This will go a long way towards providing the prizes for the different sections. It had been our hope that this year we should be self-sufficient and not have to go on bended knee to sponsors. We've done just that! So, yes, there will be prizes again.

We were delighted with the response to the inclusion of a junior level of entry and hope that the word has spread and even more youngsters will enter this year. Just a reminder that they must be under 14 on the 1st January 2005.

There is one major change to the Schedule. After several years of a poor level of entry in the Home-made Wine section, we have included this under 'Home Produce'. Consequently, the Watermouth Castle Cup, presented by the Haines Family, has become superfluous. With Richard's blessing, a new concept has emerged and for this year the subject will be: A Representation of Watermouth Castle

How you interpret this is up to you! It could be, for example, a sewn item, an artist or photographer's view, poetry, prose, even a cake. So see how imaginative you can be.

May we remind all the holders of cups and awards that these should be returned to a member of the organising group by the 1st August please. Thank you.

This year is SeaBritain 2005, a national maritime celebration marking the bi-centenary of the Battle of Trafalgar and the death of Nelson and we have tried to reflect this in one or two of the items in the schedule.

The provisional list of sections and subject is given below, but the Schedule giving full details will be available from the beginning of August and will again be distributed with the August Newsletter.

For now, make a note of the date: SATURDAY, 3RD SEPTEMBER and give thought to YOUR entries and JUNIOR entries. Start sowing, sewing, snapping, drawing and designing, and encourage everyone you know to have a go - we are not looking for perfection, just what we, in our village, can achieve. Let's see if we can surpass last year's bumper crop of entries!

  • Floral Art: 'Take Five', 5-flower arrangement, The Glory of Grass, Songs of the Sea, 'Sunshine', a petite arrangement in a shell.
  • Home Produce: A different but similar range of jams, savouries, cakes, including a date and walnut loaf to a given recipe [which will be included with the schedule] and wine/cordial.
  • Handicrafts: Again the usual items which give a wide scope and including an item made from re-cycled materials.
  • Watermouth: A representation [see above]
  • Art: A Maritime Painting. 'Fantasy Landscape' - a collage using old pictures from magazines, postcards, photographs, etc. 'Gardening' A Still Life to include either fruit or a favourite ornament. A Sketch - pen and ink, pencil or charcoal.
  • Photography: SeaBritain, Shades of Blue, These Precious Things, Country Pursuits, 'Zoom!'.
  • Fruit and Vegetables, Cut Flowers and Potted Plants: These will basically follow last year's pattern. Entrants are reminded that items in the Potted Plant section should be either home-grown, or if purchased must have been bought before the end of 2004.

Maximum two entries per class.

Working under the supervision of teaching staff at the School, pupils will enter the 3 classes specifically for pupils at Berrynarbor Primary School.

Vi, Yvonne, Pip, Tony, Janet and Judie


Artwork: Harry Weedon


Things have been happening since the last Newsletter.

The Quiz Nights at The Globe have been very successful raising needed money for plants. A couple of Litter Picks have left the village cleaner BUT a really heartfelt [even nose-felt] plea to dog owners, please, please pick up the pooh and dispose of it in the correct manner - not under or on bushes! 'Fouling' is particularly bad again around the outer reaches of the village and it is extremely unpleasant for the litter-pickers bent on keeping the village clean and tidy.

Planting has taken place and pots, tubs, containers and hanging baskets will all be completed shortly.

Although the village has not entered the Britain in Bloom Competition this year, the high standards of the past, under Anne and Vi's guidance, must not be allowed to slip. So, it is hoped that everyone will continue to do their bit to help keep our village as beautiful as ever.

The Best Kept Village competition has, however, been entered and judges will visit the village on two or three unannounced occasions during May, June and July, so again please do your bit to ensure it is looking its best, with no litter, out-of-date advertising, etc.

There are things continuing to happen during June and July.

Firstly the two Open Garden Days. The Sterridge Valley ones will be open on the 19th June and the Village ones on the 10th July. Cream teas will be available at Chicane and The Lodge respectively, and the gardens open from 2.00 to 5.00 p.m. The cost to visit, including tea, is £3.50 and programmes/tickets will be available from the Post Office, Globe and Sawmills, or at the gardens in a couple of weeks' time.

If anyone would like to open their garden and have not been approached, please do contact Wendy on 882296. The more, the merrier! And don't forget, Chelsea exhibits are not required or expected - the afternoon is a walk with a purpose and a cream tea at the end!

There will be a village Bar-B-Q on Sunday, 26th June [please note change of date] at Middle Lee Farm. Everyone welcome. Bring your own food to cook and drink, salads will be provided, and there will be stalls and a raffle. Watch out for posters!

Two Litter Picks are scheduled, 5th June and 3rd July. Meet at Middle Lee Farm at 3.00 p.m. and return there for tea and cakes afterwards.

Carer Needed!

A new permanent carer is needed from 1st July 2005 to take over some pruning and weeding along the footpath each side of the bus shelter at the bottom of Pitt Hill. The shrubs can be cut right back in August if necessary. This work has many rewards but is now beyond our carer, whose help over so many years has been very much appreciated. The idea to plant this area came from Joy Morrow and was subsequently entered in the Best Kept Village competition.

Wendy Applegate


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


The Exmoor Border Morris Dancers will be performing:

  • 1st June - 9.00 p.m. at the Sawmill Inn
  • 6th July - 9.00 p.m. at the Sawmill Inn
  • 20th July - 9.00 p.m. at The Globe

Both pubs are now open from 6.00 p.m. for Evening Meals.

During the school summer holidays, the Sawmill Inn will be open all day, every day from 12.00 noon. The pub food menu will be served at lunchtime and in the evening, with a selection of snacks available through the afternoon.

Soon to be opening for Take-away Fish 'n' Chips [and more] from 5.00 p.m. at the Sawmill Inn.

Hope you all have a good summer from all at The Globe and Sawmill Inn.



Over the last few weeks I have received several e-mails - from Nebraska, Montana and nearer home, Kent - all seeking information on ancestors. David Huxtable of 1 The Hurst, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN2 3HX [01892] 537420 says 'my father was born in 1912 at Well Farm or Wheel Farm. He trained as a plumber to a firm in Ilfracombe before leaving the area in the early '30's. He died in 1969. He may have lived in Combe Martin at the top end of the High Street.' Can any readers help David with his research? If so, please contact him.


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Berrynarbor and Church - View No. 95

This sepia-tint postcard of Berrynarbor and Church was printed and published by Jarrold & Sons Ltd., of Norwich, around 1950, shortly after Birdswell Cottages Nos. 1 to 4 had been completed for Barnstaple Rural Council in 1948.

Ron and Gladys Toms moved into No. 4, the last to be completed by the builder, Gerald Goss of Combe Martin, in November 1948. Ron can remember moving from 16 Hagginton Hill with Gladys and little Raymond, who was then just two and a half years old. And, of course, Ron remains living there today. It is noticeable that each of the gardens for the cottages is well looked after and planted up with vegetables. To the left of the cottages in Birdswell Lane can be seen 'Prospect' bungalow, which had been built in 1930 by Vera Lewis's father. This had been built for John and Ada Ley who moved into it from Watermouth Cottage.

Further up Birdswell Lane is Thistle Dew' and behind these properties on the west and lower side of Barton Lane, 'Berrydale' and 'Berry Ridge' are in view.

On the higher east side the large bungalow 'High Trees' can be seen and this is where Reg and Ann Gosling have lived since 1961. 'High Trees' was built in 1935 and was originally named 'Pembroke Lodge' because of its clear view of the Pembroke coastline. To its right is 'Chatsworth', where Reg and Betty Davis and now their family have lived since the 1960's. The house was built by Jack Richards in 1931. The house was named 'Chatsworth' as this was near where Betty was born in Derbyshire.

I wonder if anyone can throw any light on the square, dark structure in the field above 'High Trees'?

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage, May 2005
e-mail: tomandinge40@gmail.com