Edition 98 - October 2005









Artwork by: Primary School

Artwork: Judie Weedon


Autumn is here, the evenings are drawing in fast but we've had a pretty good summer weather-wise. Certainly nothing to grumble about when you think of the thousands of people affected by Katrina and Rita.

I have been asked, as a guide, to give a few details of the cost of producing the Newsletter. Currently the costs of printing - although paper prices are just about to go up again - and sundry expenses, such as toner cartridges, paper, telephone, amount to approximately 50p per copy. This obviously increases considerably for those issues with coloured covers or insertions. 450 copies are circulated, with nearly a quarter of these being sent by post to addresses all over the country, abroad and also to Berrynarbor itself! Yes, in order to ensure they get a copy, quite a few local readers are on the mailing list. If you would like to do the same, please let me know. There is a minimum subscription for this.

Costs are offset by the Parish Council and the Parochial Church Council who give annual donations, as do other businesses and organisation in the village, and advertisers are asked for a minimal donation. The previous biennial Art Shows have also produced welcome funding and, thanks to your donations, it manages to keep afloat!

As always I thank everyone who has contributed not only to this issue but past issues, but it is always good to hear from new contributors. If you feel unable to write an article yourself, why not help by putting forward your favourite photograph or even your favourite poem?

Is there a poem you first encountered when you were young, learnt by heart or which is in a long-treasured anthology which has stayed with you over the years? is there a poem that has influenced or affected your life? Or one that has helped or inspired you at significant times in your life? If so, it would be great to hear from YOU!

I shall look forward to receiving poems and photographs together with items for the December and Christmas issue as soon as possible, and by Monday, 14th November at the latest please. Seasonal items would be particularly welcome.

Read on and [hopefully] enjoy!

Judie - Ed




After the August break, it was good to meet up again with members - and two guests - for our September meeting. Viv Blackman and her husband brought the amended picture of the proposed mosaic which was duly approved by members. Work starts in earnest on Monday afternoon, 12th September at 3.00 p.m. in the Manor Hall - and every Monday thereafter. Anyone from the village who would like to add a few 'tiles' would be most welcome.

The speaker was Mrs. J. Breeds who showed us some excellent slides of the wild flowers and grasses which grow on Braunton Burrows. The best time to see most of the flowers is in June and July and organised walks take place during the spring and summer. The raffle was won by Di Hillier and Vi Davies won the competition for a vase of wild flowers.

On the 4th October, Margaret Patten will be speaking on Victim Support and the competition is for a child's comfort toy - to be donated.

1st November sees the Annual Meeting again - where has the year gone?

Fifteen seats have been booked to see Holiday on Ice at Westpoint on 23rd February. This is for the matinee which starts at 1.00 p.m. There will probably be a few spare seats. Anyone interested in seeing this spectacular show should telephone either Marion Carter on 882206 or Doreen Prater on 882822. The price, including minibus, is £26.

The December meeting will be on the 6th when the speaker will tell us about the Exmoor Wildlife Park.

Doreen Prater - President




Let me but live my life from year to year,
With forward face and unreluctant soul;
Not hurrying to, nor turning from the goal;
Not mourning for the things that disappear
In the dim past, nor holding back in fear
From what the future veils; but with a whole
And happy heart, that pays its toll
To Youth and Age, and travels on with cheer.

So let the way wind up the hill or down,
O'er rough or smooth, the journey will be joy:
Still seeking what I sought when but a boy,
New friendship, high adventure, and a crown,
My heart will keep the courage of the quest,
And hope the road's last turn will be the best.

Henry Van Dyke


Having been a splendid Nelson on our Carnival float at Combe Martin, it was with disbelief and shock we learnt that Jim had died suddenly, whilst in Plymouth, on the 14th August.

    Our thoughts are with Bett, Kevin, David and all the family at this time of sorrow.

    We send our sincere thanks to everyone for their support, cards and offers of help at this very sad time. Especial thanks to Phil and Lynne and all our friends who provided tea and food after the service; our Rector Keith for his help; the bell ringers for the muffled peal; the bearers and all who came to the service. To see a full church and know that so many people had come to remember Jim was a great comfort to all the family.

    The collection for the Church Bells came to £615.

    Thank you all very much for everything.

    Bett, Kevin, David and Family

Remembering Jimmy Brooks

Jim was a quiet, unassuming, hard-working, sports loving, funny, quick-witted, family man - attributes etched in the memories of those who knew and loved him.

Born in Combe Martin, the family moved to Berry when Jimmy was 5 years old. They moved into the house where his father was born to live with his grandfather, Alf Brooks. His aunt Laura Draper lived next door with her five children, so he had plenty of playmates.

By nature he had no difficulty in settling into the village school, even when the number of children swelled nearly threefold when evacuees arrived from London. At Combe Martin School he developed his sporting, gardening and woodworking skills, so it was no surprise that he chose carpentry as his vocation, following in his grandfather's footsteps. He joined Bert Bryant, the builder in Ilfracombe, to learn his trade.

Jim was involved with most community activities. He excelled at badminton, skittles, darts, snooker, bowling and bell ringing. More recently he had been enthusiastically involved with the Berrynarbor Carnival Float. He loved all kinds of dancing and was one of the few local lads who would actually take to the floor at the weekly summer dances. Socially he was very good company. His humour and ability to tell jokes would keep you in stitches.

Jim was a good servant to the Church. For years he climbed the tower to wind the clock and was always available to raise and lower the flag on Saints' Days and other important events. He and Bett were also church caretakers, keeping the building spic and span. When the children were young he helped me run the Youth Club and never let me forget the day we took them to Butlins. I fell in the boating lake and spent the day in the laundrette whilst they had a whale of a time!

The large congregation at Jimmy's funeral was testimony to a very popular man. He will be greatly missed. Our sympathy goes out to Bett, Kevin, David and all the family.



It was with profound regret we learned that Graham had passed away peacefully at Tyspane Nursing Home on the 19th September.

Graham, a much loved family man - husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather - will be sorely missed and our thoughts are with Margaret and all his family at this time of sorrow.

For more than three decades, Graham gave great service to his local community. He was Chairman of the Devon Association of Parish Councils for most of that time and was a member and Chairman of our Parish Council and Combe Martin Parish Council. He served as a North Devon District Councillor, including Chairmanship of that body and a member of the Standards Committee. For many years he was a Governor of Ilfracombe College. We are grateful for all he did for our village.

A service of Thanksgiving, followed by private cremation, took place at St. Peter Ad Vincula, Combe Martin, on Friday, 30th September.


Artwork: Alvary Scott


All the time and effort put into the Summer Fayre made for a successful evening. With all expenses paid, £1,140 has been added to church funds. The weather was kind and many visitors came to join in the fun. Our thanks to all those who gave so very generously - too many to name but you know who you are.

"ABSOLUTE PERFECTION!" One of the many compliments paid to the Concert held on 22nd August, all making full use of superlatives. We were promised variety and were in no way disappointed, from the church choir singing The Benedictus to 'Fall or Fly' from the Atee Ates ['88's]. Thank you, Stuart, for a wonderful evening which we hope will be repeated before another ten years have gone by! Proceeds from donations and sale of programmes amounted to £340, again a welcome addition to church funds.

From October, Sunday Services will return to the time of 11.00 a.m. The Rector will again be able to take services in both Combe Martin and Berrynarbor when the need arises. Our thoughts and prayers are with our Readers, Chris James who is facing a long haul back to good health, and most especially with Margaret as she mourns the loss of Graham.

A reminder of the monthly pattern of services:

  • 1st Sunday: Family Service with the Sunday School
  • 2nd Sunday: Sung Eucharist
  • 3rd Sunday: Village Service with the Choir
  • 4th Sunday: Sung Eucharist or Holy Communion by Extension
  • 5th Sunday: See Notice Board

On Sunday, 30th October, there will be a Village Service at 11.00 a.m. and then in the afternoon at 3.00 p.m. there will be, as last year, a special Candle Service to commemorate All Saints/All Souls. There will be hymns and prayers and the Rector will invite members of the congregation to step up to the altar and light a candle in memory of loved ones. Afterwards, tea and biscuits will be served. This service is for everyone, so please do come and join us.

Remembrance Sunday falls on 13th November this year and the special service with laying of wreaths at the War Memorial will begin in church at 10.45 a.m.

Friendship Lunches will continue at The Globe, Wednesdays 26th October and 30th November, 12.30 p.m. onwards. Give me a ring [883881] if you would like to join us.

Mary T.




Sunday School has commenced again for the Autumn Term, run very ably by Val, Sarah, Julia and Rachel.

The outing to Crealy Park was very successful, the children and adults had a lovely day. Thank you to all who organised and helped in any way. The Carnival Float, again very ably organised from start to finish by Sarah, won 3rd Prize - a great achievement - and so enjoyed by the children. Thanks to Edith and The Globe for topping up their energy supply with refreshments on their return.

A lot of people to thank, especially from myself - not very mobile at present. For the past three months my home has been awash with family and friends, cleaning, shopping, making me laugh 'til it hurts, getting me up in the morning when I didn't want to, and putting me to bed also when I didn't want to! But I am improving and hope to be around the village again soon, which I have missed, and getting to the church and choir practice. But I did get to the Concert on 22nd August - a mixture of music by young and not-so-young. A special 'Thank You' to Stuart, his skill and encouragement in bringing out the musical talents in this village is remarkable. He made a lot of people very happy that evening.

To finish, a child's letter to God:

Dear God,

I like the Lord's Prayer best of all. Did you have to write it a lot? Or did you get it right the first time? I have to write everything I ever write over again.

Love Louis

Love Sally and the Sunday School



I should like to take this opportunity to thank the people of Berrynarbor and visitors to our village for supporting our Music Concert held in St. Peter's Church on the 22nd August.

Judging by the comments I have received, it was a great success and it was personally very rewarding to see so many people filling our church to capacity to enjoy the evening's music. I must, therefore, pay tribute to all the talented musicians who took part for providing such a varied selection of music with such professionalism. Our Rector Keith [whose comments about tins of tomatoes being thrown were extremely amusing] showed just what a fine trombonist he is, performing classical and jazz selections with great aplomb. And I must thank him and the PCC for all the encouragement and support in staging the concert in Berrynarbor's beautiful church.

Finally, a great big thank you to our compere, Paul Crockett, for 'knitting' the concert together and to those people - too numerous to mention - who helped prior to and on the evening itself.

To continue:



As many of you will know, St. Peter's has a very fine choir - singing not just at church and occasionally for weddings, but also in the annual BBC Village Variety Show. At the Music Concert, the choir performed a wide variety of songs composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Leonard Bernstein and Karl Jenkins. And there's the heart of the matter for we are determined to continue our policy of singing music covering a wide musical spectrum and to enjoy performing to the highest possible standard! Some of our singers openly admit that they have difficulty in reading music, but that is not a problem for me, for it's how they sing that's most important of all!

This is where YOU come in. We need to expand our numbers of both male and female singers to keep our choir vibrant and enjoyable for many years to come. We especially require younger singers to join us and would encourage those parents whose children are keen to expand and develop their musical skills - be it singing or instrumental - to become an important addition to our wonderful choir.

We make music and have a lot of fun in the process. So, just come along on Monday evenings [7.30 to 8.30 p.m.] and sing with us. If you come along and find that singing or playing an instrument is not your scene, then at least you've come out and tried! The last time I made an appeal for new members, I received not one telephone call or communication. Am I doing something wrong? Come on you people of 'Berry' and elsewhere, pick up the phone and talk to me! I'm available on 882447 or leave a message on the answerphone if I'm not in and I will get back to you.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Stuart Neale
Organist and Choirmaster, St. Peter's Church




July was a month of contrasts. The first week was cool, fairly dry and rather overcast, then we had two dry, sunny and hot weeks before a final cool, overcast and fairly wet week. Apart from the middle period, it seemed a bit dismal but with a total of only 57 mm [1/4"] of rain, it was the driest July since 1999 when we had only 27 mm [1 1/16"]. Despite the mini heat wave, the maximum temperature of 28.5 Deg C was not exceptional - in July 2001 we recorded 30.5 Deg C and in 2003 34.1 Deg C. The minimum temperature of 10.9 Deg C was, however, higher than the minimums of the previous four years, hence the uncomfortable sticky nights. The winds were light with a maximum gust of 21 knots, slightly below recent years.

August was also a dry month although with 54 mm [2 1/8"] of rain it was not as dry as 2002 or 2003 when we recorded only 39 mm [1 1/2"] and 23 mm [7/8"] respectively. August is often the warmest month of the year but this year it was a relatively cool month until the 30th when the temperature shot up to 25.4 Deg C. This was still slightly down on the maximums recorded for the last four Augusts and was also cooler than the hottest days of June and July this year. The minimum temperature of 8.8 Deg C was also down on the last three years and again was below the minimum for last month. Wind speeds were about average with a maximum gust of 23 knots, although we think we were sheltered here on the 25th when a severe gale was forecast and we recorded only 20 knots.

The sunshine hours recorded for July and August were 169.37 and 186.55 respectively. This was considerably up on last year, but not so good as July 2003 although slightly better than August of that year.

By the time this is published, we shall know whether or not Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, which have caused so much devastation in the southern states of America, have stings in their tails for us.

Simon and Sue


Artwork: Paul Swailes


Following last issues' farewell wishes to Betty and Colin and Annie, we hear that Betty has happily settled in to her new residential home at the Old Rectory in Gloucestershire, and Colin and Annie have settled into their new home. Annie is spinning again and has formed a group in the village, with a patchwork group to follow shortly! Colin is bell ringing with a local group and has lined up five towers for Berrynarbor bell ringers when they visit on the 15th October. Ann and Dave are settling in to their new home.

    We should like to thank everyone who helped us in many various ways during our protracted move from Hagginton Hill to Rectory Hill. Special thanks to June and Bernard for putting us up - or putting up with us! To John and Fenella for looking after the van and Gilly for guarding our vacuum cleaner! We are now settling in nicely and do not plan to move again - ever! Dave and Ann - Croeso [Halldene]

Although we welcomed Mike and Wendy Amos-Yeo to the Old Rectory back in April, we are delighted that they are now in full residency and we look forward to meeting them at village activities. We must, however, wish a warm welcome to Wendy's mother, Phyllis, who has moved in to the Glebe House. Phyllis, who was born in Fulham, London, some 70 plus years ago, has lived with Wendy and Mike for the last ten years. An animal lover who enjoys jazz and music of all kinds, Phyllis confesses to being a Frank Sinatra fan, having a collection of all his records and photos and other memorabilia - 'You Make Me Feel So Young'! We hope that like Mike and Wendy, you too will be very happy here in Berrynarbor.

A belated welcome to Sallie and David Nochar who moved into Woodside, Goosewell, a year ago!

Originally from Oxfordshire, they moved to Torrington four years ago before retiring here. Sallie, who was a Special Needs teacher and David, a General Manager in the motor trade, have four children - 3 boys and a girl. Both are keen gardeners and David enjoys the dubious pleasures of the golf course and volunteering with the CAB.

Jackie and Roy have now retired - or so they say! - leaving Langleigh House in the capable hands of Carole and David Rodgers to whom they send their best wishes and hopes that they enjoy running the guest house as much as they have. And we add our best wishes and welcome to them both too. Jackie and Roy are, of course, staying in the village at Lee View and will continue running their two holiday cottages. Their new telephone number is 882396.

For Carole and David from Sheffield, taking over a guest house is a completely new way of life. Both have previously been very busy people and their jobs have meant that they have been like ships passing in the night! David was in company accountancy and IT, whilst Carole covered over 40,000 miles a year travelling for a national sawmill company. Although they are looking forward to the challenge of running their own business, they will still be kept very busy! In their spare time, David enjoys walking their Brittany spaniel, Baggins, and 'real' ale, and they are both looking forward to tending the beautiful garden at Langleigh House and trying out the many local eating places!

As mentioned in the August issue, Linda and Adrian Hughes have moved from Hayes End in Middlesex to No. 30 Berrynarbor Park. Adrian fell in love with Berrynarbor when he camped here as a Cub Scout some years ago and for the last three years they have spent their holidays at Mill Park. So, when they discovered the park homes, it was the obvious place for semi-retirement. Adrian, an ex-military man and a National Express coach driver is seeking employment but keeping busy helping out with local jobs, whilst Linda has found a part-time job with Combe Martin Parish Council. The family consists of three sons and two grandchildren - a boy and a girl - and not forgetting Sophie the cat!

Linda and Adrian say they are really enjoying life here and feel very settled and Linda, whose hobbies are craft and decorative painting has already joined one of the Globe's skittle teams, and Adrian enjoys walking. A very warm welcome to you both.

About to slip through the net is Mike Patterson who has moved into Stable Cottage and we hope to welcome him more fully in the next issue.



We are at the end of another growing season and this year with sales at the gate and occasional donations, we shall be able to send a further cheque for £500 to Malawi. The funds raised, as before, will go to the children's ward at Blantyre hospital. This year we understand that the need is even greater, with crop failures in that part of Africa exasperating an already dire situation. As many of you will already know, the monies sent go directly to a trusted and senior doctor at the hospital who ensures that every penny is used for essential supplies that are simply unavailable otherwise.

Many thanks for your support once again.

Bernard and June

P.S. Our daughter Mary recently returned again from Africa and is, for the time being, about to take up a locum consultant's post at Lincoln Hospital.


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


The first holiday I can remember was probably when I was about three years old. We were staying at Clacton and spending a lot of time on the beach. There was a man who organised any children around into doing exercises and marching. This was all right until I stepped out of line and in trying to get me back into place, he pushed me over. Well, kids of three don't like being pushed over, even if the sand makes a good landing and being three, I didn't have far to fall. Anyway, a good cry to mum seemed to clear the matter up.

Other holidays seemed to follow the 'beach for half the day' pattern almost regardless of the weather. I recall swimming on overcast days when the water was cold and the sea quite rough. I think it must have been the time when the British kept a stiff upper lip.

When 1939 came we were on holiday at Slade. Then the war came and we continued in Berrynarbor until January 1946. Although I was at school, it was nevertheless a bit like one long holiday - village life, the scenery and a chance to roam about getting into mischief and scrumping!

Moving back to Upminster after the war, we developed an interest in caravanning. This was mainly at Cromer in Norfolk. A lovely spot, but the winds can be cold up there! For several years we went back and never missed the pier pavilion shows, and of course visited Sheringham Wells and Blakney Point where there were a lot of seals.

Illustrated by: Paul Swailes

In 1976 we went to Broughty Ferry near Dundee in Scotland. It was a heat wave and real shirt sleeve weather. Not a drop of rain fell for the whole holiday. Our accommodation was the house of friends whilst they took their caravan away. There are certainly some hills there! I remember going up Cairn o'Mount. We went up and up and up and eventually came to a signpost pointing to the summit, it was another 1200 feet! Another year we went to Betws-y-Coed in Wales and being of a sweet tooth, my memory here is of candy floss and rock! Now, what's the name of that Welsh place that goes on and on? Heck, if only they made local rock there it would be as thick as a rolling pin!

Other holidays followed in places as far apart as Skegness, Hastings and the south coast, Bournemouth, Lands End and Looe in Cornwall. We had a trip up the river at Looe and it was heavenly, sighting such things as kingfishers and clusters of heron's nests and their occupants - a magical experience of nature's peace and tranquillity.

Now we always seem to leave the arrangements for a holiday to the last minute and this year was no exception. Shall we stay at home and let our minds wander, or shall we go away?

Every fortnight in the national press, a certain hotel not far from Berrynarbor advertises with a picture of the Hangman Hills as a view from the hotel. This, of course, always catches my eye - I think it must have a magnetic effect. Just by chance, our youngest son and his wife, having missed a holiday in Spain, suggested that we holiday together, which we thought was a good idea and told him to go ahead and make the arrangements. He located a little place called Eastleigh not far from Bideford. The accommodation was a nicely furnished home which backed on to fields. It was a lovely holiday and of course it enabled Betty and me to come back to Berrynarbor with its church, manor hall and many, many happy memories.

Bless you Berrynarbor.

Tony Beauclerk - Colchester



I was interested to read of Gerald Beauclerk, by his half-brother Tony, in your August issue. I cannot claim to have known Gerald intimately nor for a great deal of time, but his personality and bonhomie left an impression I have never forgotten.

When the Beauclerk family returned from their wartime sojourn in Devon to Upminster, Essex, I met and became a friend of Tony. With many long lapses I am pleased to say the friendship between us still exists. Now, due to distance, carried on by 'phone and letter.

My first memory of Gerald was meeting him on an invited visit to the family home to watch the 1948 Olympic Games that were held in London, on their then very rare television set. It must have been one of the very few then operating in Upminster. Both Mrs. Beauclerk and Gerald made a very callow and shy youth feel very welcome. I spent a few more evenings watching what must have been the biggest sporting occasion since the war.

From the first meeting on, Gerald always made it clear that he was pleased to see you. This was apparent even when he was cycling through the centre of the town. There would be a raised arm and a cheery salutation as soon as he saw you.

Gerald was never too busy for a chat if you met. Always cheerful, he conversed in a friendly and warm manner. I was always pleased to meet and exchange pleasantries with him. Apart from sound and helpful advice if asked, he had a great and finely tuned sense of humour that made any meeting a pleasure.

With the inevitable ravages of time, moves, marriage and all sorts, touch is often lost, but in Gerald's case never forgotten. I personally remember him always as a gentleman and a gentle man.

Eric Hammond


Brian Wright

Solution in Article 27.


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


On a sunny day in April, the marriage took place of Alan Richard Froud, youngest son of Dorothy and Bob, and Victoria Louise Pearson at the ancient hillside church of St. Mary and St. Julian at Makee, near the Cornish village of Kingsand.

Radiant Tori was attended by four bridesmaids, a tiny flower girl and pageboy Sam. John, Karen and Sam flew home from New York and Tori's brother flew in from Antigua to complete the families.

Following a reception at the Edgecumbe Arms at Cremyll, the happy couple went on honeymoon to the Maldives. Alan and Tori have bought a house in the Turnchapel area of Plymouth.

Our congratulations and belated good wishes to you both.

Our best wishes and congratulations also to Norman and Brenda Richards whose marriage took place at St. George's Church, Dunster, on the 6th August, followed by a reception for family and friends at Reeves Restaurant, Dunster.

St. Peter's Church, on the 24th September, was the scene of a real Scottish kilted wedding when Vicky Jones, eldest daughter of Zoe and Peter Bowden married Martin Hayes.

Martin, son of Theresa and Colin Hayes, originates from the Isle of Bute and his family and friends travelled south of the border to wish the happy couple well.

Vicky was attended by two bridesmaids, Becky and Rosie, and a flower girl Chloe and Martin's Best Man, Paul, also travelled down from Scotland. Following a reception at the Sandy Cove Hotel, the newly-weds are spending their honeymoon in the Dominican Republic before returning to Edinburgh where they both work in the food industry.

Our congratulations and we wish you both every happiness in your future together.



The U3A is an organisation which is for the benefit of adults who have retired from paid occupation. We have monthly lunches, at hotels along the coast, with a variety of speakers. We have garden and theatre visits, reading, art, a local history group and many others, which are run by the members themselves for other members and which are open to everyone.

At present we have vacancies and would welcome you to our organisation. Just 'phone Bernard Allen, our Membership Secretary, on [01271] 882491.


James Reeves

In autumn down the beechwood path
The leaves lie thick upon the ground.
It's there I love to kick my way
And hear their crisp and crashing sound.

I am a giant, and my steps
Echo and thunder to the sky.
How the small creatures of the woods
Must quake and cower as I pass by!

This brave and merry noise I make
In summer also when I stride
Down to the shining, pebbly sea
And kick the frothing waves aside.

Illustrated by: Paul Swailes



Combe Martin Pharmacy is pleased to announce an additional, free of charge, service for all residents in the Berrynarbor area. From Monday, 3rd October, your repeat prescriptions can now be sent direct to the Pharmacy. We shall deliver them either to Combe Martin Health Centre or llfracombe Health Centre, On a daily basis, Monday to Friday, we shall pick up the scripts from the Surgery. For those people unable to collect the prescriptions from the Pharmacy, we now offer a free of charge delivery to Berrynarbor between Monday and Friday, excluding Bank Holidays.

If you require any further information relating to this service, please ring
John or Trevor on [01271] 883357.



Although we all like to keep our gardens 'waste' free, with our new green wheelie bins this should be a lot easier and don't forget that garden waste can always be taken up - as many do - to the Recycling Centre in Ilfracombe.

Do, therefore, please have consideration for your neighbours - particularly during the day and especially on 'change-over' days - when you decide to have a bonfire.

"Bonfires can be a major nuisance to people nearby for they produce smoke, smell and ash; they damage air quality in the area; they may cause problems to anyone who is asthmatic or has a chest condition; they stop people enjoying their gardens, opening windows or hanging out washing; they can be a fire hazard and they may reduce visibility on roads and cause accidents.

"If you are considering having a bonfire please think of the alternatives but if you MUST go ahead, to ensure you don't cause a nuisance, only burn dry material; don't burn household rubbish, such as plastic, foam, paint or rubber; don't use old engine oil, meths or petrol to light or encourage the fire; don't light a bonfire on a damp, still day, or when the wind will blow smoke over roads or into neighbours' gardens; don't have a bonfire when people nearby want to enjoy their gardens; don't have a bonfire when air quality in the area is less than 'Very Good' [phone 0800 556677 - free call - to check]; don't leave a bonfire unattended or smoldering.

"Just one more thing! The Highways Acts states that it is an offence for smoke from a bonfire to drift onto a public highway. If this is the case, the Police should be contacted."





Pork, Lamb and Fresh Chickens Beef
topside - sirloin - rib - fillet - rump
chuck steak - brisket - mince
Large, small & special orders taken by 'phone

Ring Louise or Dave Richards
[01271] 883201 or 07748685188


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


The Committee would like to thank everyone who helped, donated and supported the Berry Revels - a very successful evening which raised £1700 for our Hall. Special thanks to Ivan Clarke and his family who not only ran the barbecue but also supplied and donated all the food.

Bookings for the Hall are now into the autumn session and a reminder that they should be made through Margaret Weller on 882927.

Work to improve the facilities continues and the men's toilet is now finished. Thank you for your patience whilst the work was carried out. This has completed the refurbishment of the toilets.

The Committee are currently in the process - no mean task - of updating the health and safety aspects and regulations for the Hall - more information in the December Newsletter.




Having slipped the net and the August newsletter, a belated warm welcome to baby Jacob Matthew.

Jacob, the son of Samantha [Bailey] and Matthew, was born on the 7th June weighing 8lbs 5oz. Samantha, a Detective Sergeant, and Matthew, a Chief Inspector, both in the Bristol area, live in Somerset. Jacob is the second grandson for Brian and Ann in less than a year, baby Louis, Jenny's son, arriving last October. Ann confesses that she was a frustrated grandmother but having waited so long, just like buses, two came at the same time! After living at Broad Meadow for the last year and a half, Jenny, Lee and Louis are now moving into their new home in West Down and we wish them luck and happiness there. Ann and Brian will find it rather quiet as they become 'Darby and Joan' again!

Elaine and John are delighted to announce the safe arrival of their two new grandchildren: Sunny, a lovely daughter for Elise and Paul, a little Aussie sister for Stanley, born at home in Nord's Wharf, New South Wales, Australia, on 27th June, weighing in at 8lbs 11oz. Also, James Geraint, a first child for Ben and Sara, born on the 29th August [Stanley's 2nd birthday], weighing 5lbs 15oz. All are thriving!

On 17th August, Phil 'came of age' and became a grandfather and he and Lynne are very happy to announce the arrival of a 7lbs 13oz baby boy, Samuel, a son for Katie and Adrian.

A new home, a new baby! June and Bernard are delighted to announce the arrival of their third grandchild. Daughter Claire, a Modern Languages teacher, and Justin, a Consultant Project Manager, moved from Woodmansterne in Surrey to Combe Martin in early June and Keenan Shea was born on his due date, 21st August, tipping the scales at 7lbs 9oz. We take this opportunity to wish you happiness in your new home.

Bill and Jill are delighted to report the arrival of grandchild No. 14! Oliver Tarun Christopher, the son of Bill's youngest son Philip and Dee, was born on the 20th September weighing 6lbs 6oz.

A very warm welcome to all the little ones and we send our congratulations to the proud parents and grandparents.



Our get well wishes go to everyone who has either been unwell, in hospital, recovering or generally not feeling at their best.

Ken and Hazel Gosham thank everyone, neighbours and friends, for their kind help and support following Hazel's operation and convalescence, first at her daughters and now at home at Bowden Farm Cottage. They were both very disappointed that, for the first time for many years, they were unable to participate in the Horticultural and Craft Show. We were, too, and their contributions, especially Hazel's cut flowers and potted plants, were noticeable by their absence. Not absent but there! It was lovely to see Gordon out and about again.

We were sorry to learn that Doreen had unexpectedly suffered from a detached retina, but glad to know that things are improving slowly. She would like to thank everyone for their cards and messages.

Mavis, too, would like to thank everyone for their cards and good wishes both before and after her heart operation. Now thankful to be home again, she is taking it gently - not an easy task for Mavis!

P.S. Since starting the Newsletter, Mavis has had to return to hospital and we send her our very best wishes - come home again soon!

Although still in hospital, it is good to know that Barbara has had her operation and is now on the road to recovery. Get well soon.

Jane, Keith and Kris, our thoughts and prayers are with you all at this very difficult time.



The Veterans' Agency was recently given a Lottery grant of about £10 million to allow veterans to visit the countries where they had served during the war, a project they named 'Heroes Return'.

Residents of Berrynarbor during the 1970's and early '80's will have fond memories of George and Jean Ferguson who lived at Middle Lee before retiring to Pennington in Hampshire in 1982.

Through the grant, George was lucky to be given the opportunity to revisit the Far East where he had served.

Now 83, he joined the army in September 1939 and was in active service until 1971 when he and Jean came here to farm in Berrynarbor. He served in the Middle East, Italy and parachuted into Southern France and Greece, later volunteering to go to the Far East for the invasion of Malaya scheduled for September 1945, although the war ended in August. He remained in the same region until July 1946 and was then moved to Palestine. He finally returned to the UK in February 1947.

George was awarded 3 bars to his General Service Medal for the campaigns in S.E. Asia, Malayan Peninsular and Palestine and was made a M.B.E. in 1969.

Born in Dumfries he was a boy piper until he joined up at the beginning of the War. Following World War II, he served in the Canal Zone from 1951 to 1954, Borneo in 1966 and Northern Ireland in 1971.

He says that revisiting Malaya was very strange as it had become industrialised and no longer resembled the jungle landscape he remembered. During his return, he visited the cemetery at Ipoh where those who were killed out there are buried.

Thank you, George, for sharing with us your 'Heroes Return' - a wonderful experience.

Dennis Collins was also hoping to take part in the Heroes Return, revisiting the Aegean where he served with Force 281, responsible for the German's surrender of Rhodes. Sadly, he felt unable to cope with the amount of walking the trip would have involved.



The Club was formed in 1991 and this year, our 14th, has again been one of the best, with Best in Class and Best in Show at both Combe Martin and Ilfracombe, and Best in Class and Runner Up Best in Show at Barnstaple.

This year's theme, suggested by Dave Harris, was very topical being the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar and HMS Victory. Torrington claimed fame with their effort, but Berrynarbor's was equal to it although a little smaller!

HMS Victory needed a Nelson and ours was Jim Brooks, a founder member who looked absolutely resplendent in his uniform expertly made by Bett. Sadly Jim was only able to be at the first carnival in Combe Martin, as he passed away unexpectedly a few days later. Jim worked tirelessly every year on the float and we shall always remember him as Nelson. He will be sadly missed by us all. Bett was insistent that 'the show must go on' and Ivan Clarke bravely stepped in to take Jim's place - difficult for them both.

Our thanks go to all our sponsors - Hele Building Supplies, John and Fenella Boxall,Pete Rothwell, Don and Edith at The Globe, Ken Richards, Richard Gingell and Kevin Brooks for help with the tractors, Jones & Lancey [Builders] and, of course, to all the crew.

We hope to see you all next year and anyone wishing to help or take part should contact Bett on 883113.

Phil and Wendy


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


The Rectory
Combe Martin

Dear Friends

Did you hear about a bishop who died and went up to heaven? As he arrived in heaven he was shown into a waiting room where there were other bishops and clergymen who had also just died. They all exchanged warm greetings, until the new bishop asked why they were all waiting.
"Funny you should say that," answered one bishop, "I've just summoned St. Peter to ask that very question." Whereupon St. Peter duly arrived.

"I am so sorry to hold you all up," he said, "But we are expecting a very special person who is due any moment. Please excuse me, I must go and finish off the preparations."

"Well, I never!" said a bishop, "Someone very special, eh? I wonder if the Archbishop has died, or even the Pope?"
With that, an eighteen year old buxom blonde walked into the room and straight into heaven.
The bishops and clergy were dumbfounded. Had their eyes deceived them? Not all of them surely! Slowly a senior bishop regained his composure.
"There must be some mistake," he said, "I demand an audience with St. Peter." With that St. Peter duly arrived.

He listened to the words of disapproval. Finally he said, "Gentlemen, that young lady has got into heaven before you because she has been driving a red sports car for a fortnight, and in that time she has put the fear of God into more men than the whole of you lot put together."

Putting the "fear of God" into people is not, nowadays, the main thrust of the Gospel message. When we become aware of God's presence, the awe of his nature is all the "fear" we need. It's then that we need the reassurance of God's grace, love and goodness towards us. The Gospel message of God's love that passes all understanding is the core of the "good news"! The enfolding of God's love drives away fear, so that for the Christian, it is the expression of God's love in our lives that becomes the distinguishing feature of the Christian witness.

With all good wishes, Your Friend and Rector,

Keith Wyer

A note for your Diary: Friday, 4th November, 7.30 p.m: Barnstaple Concert Band is giving a concert in the Parish Church. They gave a great concert earlier this year in Combe Martin, and it should be a cracking evening. [Someone you know is a member!]



Dear Editor

May I please submit the following for the Newsletter?

Tick Tock

Whilst sitting in the garden, my thoughts were disturbed by a microphone-assisted voice coming from a Shearings coach, temporarily halted on the other side of the hedge. "We are now entering the silliest village in Devon. Why? Because there are flowerpot people everywhere. Yes, the people of Berrynarbor have gone potty."

How nice, I thought, especially as some of the 'potties', by the look of them, should be in a nursing home.

My thoughts were, 'There's open warfare going on in this village, all competing for titles. Bloomers of Britain, Silliest Village in Devon and there's another dark horse coming up on the rails, Best Displayed Wheelie Bin [village section].

Warfare, take a look at the square. The bloomers are under attack, two wheelies proudly stand, their lids crying 'snap me'. But beware, next door is Father Potty's shop with full mobilization of his army guarding the entrance. A large sign proclaiming 'P Free Toilets' separates these warring parties. Thankfully it brings a bit of sophistication, doesn't it? Very tasty like. The only thing left is for Mickey Mouse to walk the main street every afternoon!

Mr. G - Barton Lane




    Eileen Atkins [Actor]
    on Cats

    "They select you. Upset them and they'll leave and seduce another household!"

    Louis Macneice
    on Contentment [in 'Autumn Journey']:

    "... music on the gramophone, a cat and the smell of jasmine."




Following a break for the summer, the Monday afternoon Craft Group is again meeting at the Manor Hall from approximately 2.30 p.m. each week. Come and indulge your hobby - the one that you normally don't find time for - with friends and refreshment! Knit, sew, paint, draw, embroider, lace-make - whatever you do, why not come and do it together! Currently, W.I. members are working on their village mosaic, so the Hall is a hive of activity with very little time for gossip! DO COME AND JOIN US.


Artwork: Helen Weedon


If there was a season best suited for outside decorating - or painting, to be more precise - then surely, it has to be autumn. True, one cannot guarantee a dry spell of weather, but when it comes, the daytime temperatures are just right for applying that much needed coat of paint to an outside wall or windowsill. Leave until winter and the undercoat cracks with the cold. Undertake in the summer and the baking sun dries out the gloss before you can see where you have been. Come spring, that unexpected shower causes the emulsion to drip on the outside masonry.

  This is, of course, my own personal philosophy on painting - I'm no Handy Andy or Tommy Walsh! Quite the opposite. In fact, given the choice to read either the instructions on a pot of paint or the descriptions in a wildflower book, I know what my choice would be! But that's not to say there are still times when recording wildflowers with pen and paper need to be swapped for the more important duty of brightening up a wall with paintbrush and pot.

Whilst such duties mean a temporary suspension to my countryside walks, I am at least fortunate to be able to look out on beautiful rural scenes whilst carrying out such work. What's more, they are scenes that lend themselves to autumn; for wherever I paint I look out on to trees that are majestically turning golden. If it's the kitchen window I am painting, then the wooded hillside of The Cairn looks down upon me. If it's the wall to the back bedroom, then the woods clinging onto the Score Valley look at me from afar. And if it's the front of the bungalow, then the trees in Bicclescombe Park stand close by inspecting my every brush stroke.

Last autumn, however, I was applying some gloss to the front door when my strokes were suddenly interrupted - not by an unexpected visitor, nor by a sudden telephone call. It was the sound of a girl's scream, somewhere behind me, that stirred me from my semi-conscious painting trance. Swiftly, I turned my head and instantly noticed a young girl, aged around 10 or 11, perhaps even 12, lying deep within a row of hydrangea bushes bordering the park. In front of her stood two boys of around the same age, laughing to themselves and doing "high fives", both seemingly satisfied with their successful attempt at pushing the girl as far into the bush as they possibly could.

I stood for a moment as the poor girl attempted to clamber out from the bush and was about to go over and assist her (the boys did not seem intent on helping) when she suddenly sprung to her feet. Momentarily annoyed with the two boys, my emotion changed to bewilderment when I heard the girl say to the boys, "That was great fun. Push me in again". Which, of course, they more than happily did, to the simultaneous sound of screaming, then cheering, and "high-fiving". This ritual was carried out a third, a fourth and then a fifth time. By now the poor hydrangea bush really was starting to look the worse for wear.

When the girl asked to be thrown into it a sixth time, I instinctively disregarded my half-glossed door and, with paintbrush still in hand, began a slow wander across the road. It was the two boys who first became aware of my impending attendance at their scene of joviality. To put it simply, they just froze - but not before they had transformed themselves into images that the Archangel Gabriel himself would have been proud of. Bless! Their innocence, of course, was just slightly tainted by the vision of their female accomplice, still up to now unaware of my presence and still trying to climb her way out of the bush. When she finally managed to heave herself out of the almost flattened bush she was obviously still unaware of my presence. "Throw me in again, throw me in again!" she exclaimed. Discreetly, one of the boys pointed behind her, to which she gave out another scream as she swirled her head round and discovered me standing the other side of the bush.

I must admit the scene was rather comical, the girl now looking like she had just seen a ghost whilst the boys were standing as if to attention. Inside me, I felt the desperate desire to laugh but I knew I must not. Instead, I forgot the gap of 30-odd years that bridged our ages and said, "Hi guys! How yer doin?" My inquiry got no response. The three of them just continued to stare at me, occasionally allowing themselves the opportunity to blink.

"Don't mind me", I continued, "I'm just here to watch you have your fun. Please, do carry on". It was the girl who finally plucked up the courage to speak. "Well come on then", she said, looking at her male companions as though they were daft. "You're not afraid to are you?" Of course, when a girl asks a boy a question like that, the boy feels compelled to carry out the challenge. So instinctively, yet at the same time reluctantly, the boys went to push her into the bush again.

"Mind you," I quickly added, "It would seem such a shame to kill the poor bush. It's given so much pleasure to people this summer."

"And how would you know?" the girl asked, with a noticeable assertion in her voice. Thinking quickly, I replied, "Because I have sat by my lounge window, just over there and notice people smile and point at it as they've gone past". (Bit of a white lie there, I must admit, but I had to somehow keep the upper hand.) "Still", I continued, "Like I've said, don't let that spoil your fun!"

"But isn't the bush already dead?" one of the boys tentatively asked. His question took me aback momentarily - not because of what he said, but the innocent way in which he asked it. Somehow, I could sense he hadn't asked the question as an excuse for his actions. On the contrary, he appeared to genuinely think that the hydrangea bush, its leaves drooping and brown and its petals curled and pale, was actually dying. If I thought he was trying to fool me, his next question confirmed to me that he wasn't. "Doesn't the park keeper come and dig it up and replace it with another next year?"

Before I could reply, his chum standing next to him interrupted.

"Of course he does stupid! Haven't you seen him do it to the other flowers in the park?" His pal was referring to the park's summer bedding plants. "Well if the bush is going to be dug up anyway," the girl shouted, her eyes full of excitement once more, "Then let's carry on!"

"To answer your question," I quickly remarked, looking at the first boy, "No, the plant isn't dead and no, the park keeper does not dig it up and replace it every year. Now if you've all got a moment, I'll explain to you what the park keeper does in fact do to it to make sure it comes back to life next spring."

There then followed a brief little chat about the effects autumn has upon plants, and how they are just nature's way of preparing them for the winter ahead, so protecting them against the low temperatures and lessening of daylight that would otherwise cause them to die. At the end, the three youngsters strolled off through the park with their tails between their legs, whilst I returned to my glossing - having meanwhile breathed a huge sigh of relief.

On completing the door, I went indoors to put the kettle on. Sitting on the kitchen bench waiting for it to boil, I reflected for a moment on what had just taken place. In doing so, part of me became filled with the satisfying thought that I had prevented some youngsters from doing any further harm to the shrub - and without confrontation. Would I have achieved the same result, I asked myself, if I had gone over to them shouting something like: "What in hell's name do you think you lot are up to?"

Yet at the same time a feeling of dismay rose within me. It was, after all, a shame to discover children with such poor insight into their rural surroundings. Luckily, my (disappointment) was not to last for long. That evening I received a distraught telephone call from a teacher friend, panicking that she had no time to go out collecting items from the countryside for the autumn scene she was planning for her children's next art lesson - and could I please make sure it wasn't just items that were brown and yellow, as she wanted to use the lesson to teach the youngsters how in autumn the countryside is still full of varied colours.

"But I'm supposed to be painting the. . . oh of course I will!" I replied.

I decided the painting could wait - well if it's something to do with the countryside then that's a good enough excuse for me to stop painting!

Illustrated by: Dean Hawker

Steve McCarthy




The meeting held on the 20th September began with everyone present standing for a minute's silence in respect for Councillor Graham Andrews who had died the previous day. It was a very solemn moment in which we all had time to reflect on the legacy Graham has left behind for us as a Council to continue to work for the village he loved. The knowledge and wisdom he shared with us can never be replaced.

Madeline Worth has filled Jim Constantine's position on the Council and we welcome her. There is now, however, another vacancy and if you would like to serve your community, please write to our Clerk, Sue Squire, at Haxlea, 2 Threeways, Bratton Fleming.

Village Toilets: The position of caretaker of the village toilets has become vacant. Anyone interested in the post should please write to the Clerk at the above address. Thank you to Peter Hinchliffe for all his years' service.

Traffic Calming: Speeding is a problem throughout the village - something that is always being complained about. A meeting is being arranged with Mr. Netherway from Devon County Council Highways Department to be held in the Manor Hall. The date has yet to be fixed so please watch out for posters giving details.

This is YOUR chance to express your concerns, so please support your Council. At this meeting, we shall also be discussing the possibility of changing the road layout at Berrydown Cross.

Police Liaison Officer: Cllr. Ann Hinchliffe is the Council's first line of contact with the Police. Any problems regarding vandalism, etc., please inform Ann on 883708.

Chairman's Pigeon Hole: I have kindly been given a pigeon hole in the village Post Office if you wish to leave correspondence for my attention.

Dog Fouling: Whilst the majority of dog owners clear up after their dogs, it has been pointed out to me that there are a few who are not. May I point out to them that it is an offence, they are breaking the law and are liable to prosecution. Please look after our beautiful village and clear up what your dog leaves!

Sue Sussex - Chairman




We'd first like to thank our neighbours and visitors to the shop for their patience during the building work at the school. Our new build is now complete and we are enjoying the extra space that has been created.

We have a new entrance, two offices, a staff room, a library, caretaker's room, a kiln room, storage cupboards and improved ICT facilities. We hope to announce an official opening date shortly.

This year we hope to improve our outdoor spaces further to maximise their use for learning. If any local residents would like to offer a donation to help us buy books for our new library, we should be most grateful.

Our Harvest Festival was held in the church on Thursday, 22nd September when produce was sold afterwards in aid of Amigos Orphanage in Uganda.

Please keep an eye open at the village shop for details of our Senior Citizens Christmas Dinner this year.

Karen Crutchfield - Headteacher


BERRYNARBOR - From Outside Eyes!

After a smooth but long 300 miles' journey down from Halifax, West Yorkshire, we at last spotted the signpost 'BERRYNARBOR' and from the map, recognised 'Barton Lane'. We'd arrived!

"Just round the corner now," we said, . . again . . again . . and yet again! A long lane, this one! . . . and then, down the narrow steep hill to Langleigh Guest House. By the time we reached Room 4, we'd discovered the whole area is hilly - steep or very steep! But an afternoon in the garden and a walk through the village helped us to relax into it.

As the week went on, and the sun kept shining, we knew we were seeing the village at its best and we had lots of thoughts about it all.

The village is so neat and pretty, it's almost unreal! There's a sense that the villagers want to keep it that way all year round and not just for the 'Competition'. There is a real community spirit, seen from the efficient running of the village shop by its manager and 45 volunteer helpers - all very welcoming to us. The ancient church is alive and welcoming people, with a challenging message, and that same spirit was seen at the School Fete when so many age groups were represented and finally we must mention the delicious ice-cream and menu at Miss Muffet's!

Call this the quiet countryside though? What about the crows, wood pigeons, the 'moo' of what seemed to be a solitary cow! The cock, the general chatter of birds . . . not forgetting the night sounds from the owls and being woken up by badgers banging the feeding dishes. Needless to say, we loved it all and wanted to pack up our bags and join you. [Pity about the house prices . . . and the fact that the sun doesn't shine all the time!]

It made us think though. You all live in an area where you can see God's great handiwork all around you - the greenery, the flowers, the animal life, etc. There seemed especially to be a profusion of fuchsias, which led to the thought that just as each flower needs to be connected to the bush to display its true beauty and colour, surely every person too, needs to be connected to the God who made not only this wonderful place, but created us too?

What better way to have a reputation, as well as for all we've mentioned above, but also to be known as a community that acknowledges the One central to it all.

Illustration by: Nigel Mason

John and Val Frankland
July 2005


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


Well done, Jancy! Jancy Davies has recently passed her final Advanced Exams to become a Qualified Chartered Accountant and has secured a job with a firm in London. She will be moving there in October. Good luck, Jancy, and success in your future career.

Congratulations to June and Gerry Marangone who celebrated their Golden Wedding on the 17th September. We all wish you many more happy years together.

    We should like to thank all the family and many friends for joining us for our Golden Wedding Weekend. It was so lovely and far better than we ever expected and we were also blessed with lovely weather. Thank you so much for all the cards, flowers and gifts we received. Special thanks to you all for the lovely surprise gift, which was the biggest secret ever kept from us until the day. May we both thank Sarah for the beautiful cake and all the help she gave us. Our love and sincere thanks to you all.

    June and Gerry

Congratulations to our Carnival Club for once again doing us proud - 1st in Class at Combe Martin, Ilfracombe and Barnstaple, and Best in Show at Combe Martin and Ilfracombe and Runner-up at Barnstaple. Well done, everyone!

At St. Peter's Church on Saturday, 13th August, a very happy event took place. Three of my great-grandchildren were Christened - Thomas [22 months], his brother Jack [2 months] and their cousin Lucille [11 months] from British Colombia. These three are my daughter Linda's grandchildren. I was married at St. Peter's in 1943, Linda in 1968, my two children and one of hers christened here also. Both in the church and at Long Acre afterwards, it was a great family gathering - a truly memorable day.

Joan McCallam nee Adams [of On-a-Hill fame!]

Our congratulations to Joan and all her family.


Artwork: Harry Weedon


What a lovely summer we've had and now it is the time of mellow fruitfulness and we are just about finished in our work for this year.

The good news is that we have won the Best Kept Village award again! This year the award is very special as we were entered against the villages in Devon of our size that have previously been winners, and we won! So you could say that we are the Best of the Best. Well done to all the willing helpers and well done to the Village. The award is sponsored by Mole Valley Farmers and they will be presenting the award in the Manor Hall on Saturday afternoon, 22nd October, at 3.00 p.m. There will be a cream tea and the whole village is invited, so do come along.

Unfortunately, there was a spate of graffiti and vandalism in the late summer, but we hope that this was just 'high spirits' and is now over.

A work party was held on the 25th September to tidy up the shrubs at the bus shelter at Pitt Hill and also to clear the walls. Another work party is planned [look out for the date on our posters] to clear the summer bedding and plant miniature daffodils and winter bedding. There will also be a last litter pick about the school half-term, and again look out for the posters.

We all had a great afternoon on 11th September, when we held a BBQ and games afternoon at Middle Lee Farm. There was a mean game of rounders!

Thank you to everyone who has helped to look after our lovely village. Just to pick up one item of litter or to put out one tub of flowers makes a great difference.




Cogitating, as we old codgers are wont, on the past, I began to recall the simple games and toys of my boyhood in a small West Riding mill town long ago.

Some of these, like the skipping rope, are still with us but others seem to have vanished into the mists of time.

  • Marbles

    Although I see the odd mention on the box, children actually playing have not been sighted by me for many years. I don't even remember my own children having them. In my day, every boy had a pocketful. They came in three sizes, in descending order known as 'noggies', 'stoggies' and 'frannies'. The latter were so small as to be virtually useless and poor indeed was the boy who had no other. The most prized were glass ones with swirly patterns, some highly coloured. The game was simple. Each player put one or more into the 'ring' and took turns to throw another as hard as possible in order to knock out one or more, which then became his.

  • Cigarette Cards

    These were issued in sets of 24, I think, and albums were available to keep them in. One way to build up a complete set, apart from swapping, was to play a simple game of skill. There were two varieties:

    1. 'Skimmerimmers', in which the cards were skimmed along to land on the ground a more or less given distance and

    2. 'Drops' in which the cards were dropped from a given height against a wall. In both cases the aim was to cover another card, which became your property along with the one dropped or skimmed.

  • Whipping Tops

    As I remember, these emerged from hibernation about Shrove Tuesday and for a few weeks thereafter the streets would be alive with boys and girls urging their tops along with energetic lashes of a whip. This consisted of a leather thong attached to a stout stick as a handle and usually ending in a few inches of twine. By skilled manipulation, this would give a sharp crack in imitation of circus ring masters. If your top was light enough [which mine wasn't], you could make it jump off the ground, for example, over the kerb on to the pavement. Of course they would be considered much too dangerous in today's traffic, but in those far-off days it was quite infrequent and mainly horse-drawn.

  • Bowling Hoops

    Most boys and quite a few girls had one of these and they would be propelled along the streets at great speed, urged along and guided by a stick, to the great hazard of pedestrians. Most were light wooden ones, about a yard in diameter, but I had an iron one about half that size with an iron rod having a hook at one end [useful for an 'emergency stop']. Again quite unthinkable in today's traffic.

  • Tip-Cat

    This was played on any reasonably level bit of waste ground. The 'cat' was a short length of wood, pointed at both ends. It was set up on an upended brick, or other convenient perch. When the overhanging end was struck by a stick, the cat sprang up and could then receive another hefty blow sending it a considerable distance. The 'batsman' then ran to a post at the far end of the 'pitch' and tried to reach it before the cat was 'fielded' and thrown back to base. There must have been other games we played which I have forgotten, so I should be grateful if any of my contemporaries could refresh my memory and indeed correct me if necessary. I should also like to hear of other games played in those days in other parts of the country.

Illustration by: Paul Swailes




Muffet's Bistro will be opening every Friday evening from 7th October, serving a set price menu of 3 or 4 choices of Starter, Main Course and Desserts. Booking is essential as we have limited places.

We are not licensed, so please bring your own wine, etc., for which there will be a small nominal charge for use of glasses. Soft drinks will, of course, be available.

To book, please phone Eve Walker on 883014 or Sue Tod on 870640.




Once again we were blessed with a beautiful September day for another quality Show.

The Hall was packed in the afternoon with villagers and visitors viewing the wonderfully colourful, tasty looking, first class exhibits and staying for the presentation of cups and awards and the auction.

How nice it was to see so many of the children from our Primary School collecting their prizes. Working under the supervision of staff, all the pupils had produced black and white drawings on the theme 'SeaBritain'. Those judged the best in each Class were on display and are reproduced on the covers of this Newsletter. Class 1 and the Men's Institute Cup was awarded to Oliver Ivan; Aimee Hunter took the Manor Hall Cup for Class 2, and Simon Hopkins and Kyle Chivers shared the Mayflower Dish for Class 3.

The Globe Cup for Floral Art was won by Linda Dovell with her 'Take Five' exhibit of yellow gerberas in a glass vase. Linda also won the Ray Ludlow award for the Best Non-Horticultural exhibit in the Show, gaining high praise from all the judges. The judge for the Home-Cooking and Walls Cup deliberated hard and long, tasting every item [!] with Maureen Scott-Nash's 'naughty but nice' cake taking the honours, and Hayley Parkin's quiche the Junior Prize. A framed crewel embroidery of a vase of flowers, worked by Judie Weedon, won the Davis Cup for Handicrafts, with Megan Jones's tapestry bumble bee taking the Junior award. Everyone was intrigued with Poppy and Lewis Andrews' recycled 'New Globe' and they were awarded both the Watermouth Cup and the Junior Prize. Lorna Bowden's delightful Scrap-book of 'Watermouth Castle for my Grandchildren', beautifully illustrated with drawings and photographs, walked away with the newly designated Watermouth Castle Cup. The late George Hippisley - Head of Art at Ilfracombe College - would have approved of the varied and excellent works of art vying for his cup! Emma Vanstone's pencil portrait was judged the best Junior entry, and Lisa Shelley's charming picture of hellebore [Christmas Roses] took the George Hippisley Cup. 'These Precious Things', a mother and son photograph, gave Judie Weedon the Vi Kingdon award.

Tony Summers certainly knows his onions! For the second year running his onions took not only the Derrick Kingdon Cup for Fruit and Vegetables, but also the Manor Hall Management Cup for the Best Horticultural Exhibit in the Show. Pip Summers' beautiful magenta orchid won her the Lethaby Cup for Potted Plants, and five year-old Callum Rudd won the Junior prize with his home-grown seedling.

From the wonderful, colourful display of cut flowers, Tom Bartlett's dahlias gave him success and the Manor Stores Rose Bowl.

Lots of entries from juniors [under 14 on the 1st January 2005] and for the second year running with the highest cumulative score and the Rose Bowl, Olivia Prentice just pipped Emma Vanstone by one point.

Thank you to everyone who came to view, partake of refreshments and buy raffle tickets. The sum of £335 has been banked in readiness for 2006!

Finally, thank you to Bob Hobson for presenting the prizes; the judges who gave time and thought to every single entry; the bidders at the auction; the people who helped set up and kindly stayed on afterwards to clear the Hall, and finally to everyone who entered - another Show to remember!

The Organising Committee

With the first hint of autumn, it's a good time to reflect on this year's Horticultural and Craft Show. Once again a great success - lots of entries in all the different classes and an especially good number of junior entries. Lots of certificates and prizes for those juniors too.

The recipe for the date and walnut loaf brought a great number of entries - what a task to judge the best!

Germination of seeds for flowers and vegetables was a problem for many this spring, lots just didn't appear! But Tony's onions were magnificent again. It's good fun to try and produce the best and I read that there is a new record for a prize onion - 16lbs 8oz - but with my three weighing in at 1lb for all three, I've a long way to go.

All those cups and prizes were presented for beautiful craft items, floral displays and plants, and as the weather was fine we were able to enjoy our tea and cakes outside and catch up with friends.

I look forward to next year's Show.










By the time you read this, we shall hopefully have celebrated, with tea and cakes, our first birthday on 1st October, with Wendy making a delicious birthday cake, Roy and Jackie providing the awning and Fenella in charge. Hope you were able to come and join the fun!

So much has happened during the year under the capable management of Ross [supported by the Committee] and his stalwart band of volunteers, including Mike's dedication to newspapers and magazines. Ross has introduced many new lines including the popular range of 'Blue Ginger' quiches and cakes, delicious pasties and pies from Mike Turton, a wide selection of 'deli', fruit and vegetables, and great cards. If you don't see what you want on the shelves, then his 'stock' book is always open for suggestions.

All this of course would have been to no avail without your increasing support and that of our visitors. Orders through our self-catering establishments trickled in, but those who took up our offer spent generously. One order worth over £35 was settled on the Saturday and the visitors then spent another £25 on booze!

Thanks to a recent flurry of interest in shares, we now have 101 shareholders who have contributed an amazing £10,255 - all of which has, is, or will be put to good use! Thanks to all of you.

During the last month the stock has been 'bar-coded', making it easier to work the till [once we have all got used to it!] and definitely easier for stock-taking.

Plans for our new shop on the car park [prepared by Jim Constantine before he left] are in with the planners and if all goes well, we hope to start building within the foreseeable future? Raising funds is well in hand with several bodies prepared to offer grants, so we hope that most of the £100,000 is to hand . . . watch this space!

Most of our visitors have returned home so we need your support even more to see us through the winter. Remember the high cost of petrol before dashing off to Combe Martin, Ilfracombe or Barnstaple! A good selection of Christmas Cards will soon hit our shelves and it's not too early to think about orders of cakes, puddings, pies, etc., for the Festive Season. [Sorry to mention it so early but by the December edition it will almost be too late!]

Finally, thank you Ed for keeping me on my toes and making sure I don't miss the deadline.

PP of DC




Studio Theatre has begun rehearsals for its November production, NETWORKNOTWORK, written and directed by member Robert Zarywacz.

To be staged at Studio Theatre, llfracombe College, from Wednesday, 16th to Saturday 19th November, this new full-length comedy examines the complex relationships within a group of business people who meet regularly at breakfast network meetings to boost their business.

Meet the colour consultant who not only wants to change your dress sense but run your life for you; the fiery PR lady who manages her clients by shouting at them down her mobile phone; the property developer without planning permission for his middle-aged spread; the health-food distributor with constant nasal congestion; the financial advisor with his eyes on your investments for his own profit and the friendly craftsman who is as solid as his furniture, but has none of its polish!

Bang up-to-date, NETWORKNOTWORK is firmly based in the modern world of business and individual entrepreneurs, providing entertainment and comedy for everyone.

For further details, please call Robert Zarywacz on 879376 or visit www.studiotheatreonline.org.uk.




At the A.G.M. in May, the Committee were elected as follows:

Chairman: Alex Parke [883758]
Treasurer: Jill McCrae [882121]
Committee: Ruth Diggle, John Hood, Inge Richardson, Jan Tonkin, Brian Wright

Secretary: Tony Summers [883600]
Publicity: Tom Bartlett [883408]

After the summer break, the Wine Circle will start its 2005-6 season on Wednesday, 19th October, with a talk entitled 'The Fabulous Wine Company.' Meetings are held in the Manor Hall commencing at 8.00 p.m. on the third Wednesday [except in December, when it is a week earlier] in the months from October to May. The November meeting will be on the 16th, when the presentation will be given by Bruce Evans of Majestic Wines.

Membership is £3.50 a year and there is a charge of about £4 a meeting to cover wine costs. New members would be very welcome. For more information contact Tony Summers [883600].




It may seem rather early to be talking of Christmas, but it will come round again all too quickly! Phil and Lynne will be serving Christmas Meals at The Lodge during December for parties up to 25. Booking is essential, so please contact Lynne [883246] for more details.



"Blue Lagoon"

A sunny Sunday afternoon in late August, a cobalt blue sky, the waters of Wistlandpound sparkling, a few boats anchored there - enough to make the scene even more pleasing. Several fishermen were stationed about the shore. There were a couple of groups of picnickers. A father pointed out dragonflies to his toddler son.

On the gravelly edge of the reservoir a grey wagtail flickered delicately. We took the track up through the woods. Water mint grew beside the dampest sections with a strong menthol fragrance compared to garden varieties of mint.

As we emerged from the trees we saw patches of white in the short turf at the water's edge. These were the tiny flowers of eyebright, one of the many plants whose names are derived from an ancient medicinal use.

Despite the combination of the time of year, the sunshine and the flowers, there was a lack of butterflies. However, there were a lot of green lestes sponsa damsel-flies and a few brick red common sympetrums [a type of darter dragonfly] to lend some fast moving flashes of colour.

A small group of tufted ducks floated past placidly, the males still 'in eclipse', the normally bright white underparts now dingy and much of the tufted crest missing. At the end of the breeding season, ducks moult, shedding their primary feathers and appearing duller as a result. This process is called going into eclipse.

We paused to watch two little grebes [or dabchicks] diving. They were keeping further out from the shore but the sun glinting on their wet heads and necks showed off their bright chestnut brown summer plumage. Leaning over a bridge at the northern end of the reservoir we were pleased to witness a kingfisher appear from some bushes where there was a hidden stream. It perched on some waterside vegetation, in all its orange and turquoise-blue glory, before speeding away under the bridge.

On the western slopes, where little clearings had received the full impact of the sun, a slow-worm stretched out on the warm ground. These are delightful creatures, silver bronze and agile. They can burrow into the earth and disappear very fast. Looking like slender snakes, slow-worms are actually legless lizards. This one was a female slow-worm with thick dark lines down the centre of her back and on her sides. The small grey slugs, which are such a nuisance on green vegetable crops, are the favourite food of slow-worms.

And talking of food, during the course of our walk we gathered sufficient blackberries for a summer pudding: a basin lined with bread and filled with the fruit [heated beforehand with sugar to release the juice]. Another slice of bread for the lid and then a saucer on top, weighted down and left overnight so that the juice seeps through the bread giving it a mousse-like texture. The next day the heavy weights and saucer are removed and the basin inverted onto a plate. Result - a luscious purple dome of seasonal fruit, a traditional delicacy.

Illustrations by: Paul Swailes

Sue H


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Berrynarbor C.L.B. - View No. 97

In 1913, the annual Whitsun Camp of the North Devon Battalion of the Church Lads' Brigade was held at Berrynarbor by kind permission of Mrs. Basset of Watermouth Castle. The training extended from Saturday, 10th May until Wednesday evening, 14th May, but until the Monday the weather had been dreadful.

The first picture shows a group of Church Lads, whilst the second shows the Officers and Clergy in front of the tents, with the harbour in the background.

The main body of Church Lads, numbering approximately 100, arrived about 8.00 p.m. on the Saturday. The Battalion was under the command of Col. Kindersley, the Commanding Officer of the Exeter Regiment of the C.L.B. The Camp Chaplain was our Rev. Churchill. Capt. P.E. Barnes was the Camp Correspondent and had been mainly responsible for the many arrangements necessary for setting up such a large camp. Sadly, due to the inclement weather and difficulties in approaching the camp field, it had taken the pioneer party, under Sgt. Major Dennis, over two hours to get the large van transporting the Barnstaple and Bideford Companies into the field, and this with the help of five horses and twenty men! It was 10.30 p.m. before the large marquee was erected and after a stormy night, a cyclone at breakfast-time nearly demolished it.

The programme for Sunday was Reveille at 5.30 a.m. and at 7 o'clock a special celebration of Holy Communion for the Brigade at Berrynarbor Church. The Battalion paraded at our church at 11.00 a.m. and 6.30 p.m., and on each occasion our church was crowded. Ernest and practical sermons were preached by the Rev. Churchill and Capt. Rev. P.E. Barnes.

The 'Grand Field Day' on Whit Monday followed the following programme:

  • 5.30 a.m. Reveille
  • 6.30 a.m. First Parade
  • 8.00 a.m. Lads' Breakfast 8.15 a.m. Officers' Breakfast
  • 10.30 a.m. Commanding Officer's Parade
  • 12.30 p.m. Lads' Dinner 12.45 p.m. Officers' Dinner
  • 2.00 p.m. Kit Inspection 2.30 p.m. Inspection & Drill Competition
  • 4.00 p.m. Lads' Tea
  • 5.00 p.m. Shooting Competitions
  • 6.30 p.m. Officers' Supper
  • 8.00 p.m. Social in marquee
  • 10.00 p.m. Last Post 10.15 p.m. Lights Out

Tea was provided for visitors during the afternoon and among those present were Mrs. Penn-Curzon [Watermouth Castle], Mrs. Chichester, Major and Mrs. Manning and the Reverends Johnson, Hodgson, Wallington, Robinson, Trelawney Ross and Munford.

It is interesting to note that ladies and gentlemen from Berrynarbor, with Miss Bray as accompanist, entertained the Lads in the marquee to a sing-song at 9.00 p.m.

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


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


QUIZ NIGHTS - have started again - every other Sunday, 8.30 p.m, start. The next one after this Newsletter is circulated, will be Sunday, 16th October, Each week a raffle is held to raise money for either Berry in Bloom, the Carnival Float, Berrynarbor Pre-School, Sunday School or the Kids' Christmas Party. Your support is appreciated.

ALL YOU CAN EAT NIGHTS - at the Sawmill Inn - we shall be serving Chinese and Curry Dishes every Saturday, the first one on the 8th October. £10.00 per person. Booking is advised. CHRISTMAS MENU - we shall have our Menus available soon. It will be available for bookings at either The Globe or Sawmill Inn from 1st to 24th December. Saturday nights will be All You Can Eat Chinese and Curry nights for those of you who want a Christmas Party with a difference!

BUFFETS, PARTIES, KARAOKE, etc - please enquire if you want to hold an event at either establishment, phone Karen on 882259.

KIDS' BIRTHDAY PARTIES at The Globe, £3.95 per child. Please phone Karen for more details if you are interested in having your child's birthday party in the Family Room. They do not have to be within our normal opening times, 3.30 to 5.30 p.m. is quite a popular time.



11th Parish Council Meeting, Manor Hall Penn Curzon Room 7.00 p.m.
16th Quiz Night at The Globe
19th Mobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
Wine Circle, 8.00 p.m. Manor Hall: The Fabulous Wine Company
21st Primary School - Non Pupil Day
22nd Best Kept Village Celebration Cream Tea, Manor Hall, 3.00 p.m.
24th to 28th October, inc: Primary School & College Half Term
26th Friendship Lunch, The Globe, 12.30 p.m.
30th St. Peter's Church: All Saints/All Souls Candle Service, 11.00 a.m.
1st W.I. Meeting, 2.30 p.m., Manor Hall: Annual Meeting
2nd Mobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
4rd St. Peter's Church: Barnstaple Concert Band, 7.30 p.m.
Parish Council Meeting, Manor Hall, 7.00 p.m.
13th Remembrance Sunday St. Peter's Church: Special Service with laying of wreaths, 10.45 a.m.
16th Mobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
Wine Circle: Bruce Evans of Magestic Wines, Manor Hall, 8.00 p.m.
30th Mobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
Friendship Lunch, the Globe, 12.30 p.m.
6th W.l. Meeting, 2.30 p.m., Manor Hall: Exmoor Wildlife Park

Manor Hall Diary:

MondaysCraft Afternoon, 3.00 p.m.
Badminton, 7.30 p.m.
Tuesdays2nd & 4th in month: N.D.Spinners 10.00 a.m. onwards
Yoga, 7.00 p.m.
ThursdaysWhist Drive, 7.30 p.m.
FridaysShort Mat Bowls, 7.00 p.m.
SundaysShort Mat Bowls, 2.00 p.m.

Mobile Library:
(Assistant - Jacqui Mackenzie)

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



The Hospice's 25 foot knitted Christmas Tree will be on display at Atlantic Village from 14th November to 6th January and everyone who has knitted a leaf will be invited to a thank you get together. Others make sure you go and see it!

All knitters' names will go in a special book and it is hoped that the tree will get an entry in The Guinness Book of Records. Leaves are now needed as soon as possible over at the Hospice so that the 'tree growers' can get to work! If anyone has leaves they would like taken over to Barnstaple, please contact Judie [883544] and she will collect and deliver them for you: Through the Newsletter, leaves have come in from Sharon and Maureen of Wolverhampton and a good 'bundle' from our own Ursula.

The Hospice will again be 'Lighting Up a Life' across North Devon with their meaningful and moving Christmas Appeal. If you would like to know more about this way of remembering someone you have loved or someone who has touched your life in a special way who is no longer with you, please ring [01271] 344248 for more information.