In Memoriam

Obituaries of villagers sadly no longer with us.


17.6.1943 - 24.8.2022

Philip, known as Ben, was born during the War in a nursing home in Ilfracombe on the 17th June, 1943.

He went to Berrynarbor Primary School and then Combe Martin Secondary School.

While still at school, he worked on his father's farm, Ruggaton, tending sheep and cattle when needed.

Times were difficult after the war but Ben made some good friends at school and when they had push bikes, he managed to beg, borrow and find bits of bike. He was very good with his mechanical skills putting the bits together to make a rideable cycle although brakes were a luxury, so a foot on the back wheel sufficed. It saved a lot of walking getting to school cycling down a rough lane.

Generally, a quiet, unassuming person, Ben made and was liked by many friends through the darts and skittles teams he played for, winning many trophies with them over the years as well!

On leaving school he worked on the farm helping his brother and sister in many various jobs - feeding, mucking out and checking stock, hedging, tilling the crops, milking, cleaning milk bottles, harvesting and delivering on the milk round for a while.

He left the farm and went solo, working for various farmers in North Devon and later gardening for a few customers right up until a minor stroke in July. Following a massive stroke on the 7th August, he passed away on the 24th August.

It was with sadness that villagers, many of whom had known Ben for many years, learnt that he had passed away following two strokes and our thoughts are with his brothers, sister and all the family at this time of sorrow.

Ben will be leaving the village he loved at 12.30 p.m. on the 23rd September for his funeral at Barnstaple Crematorium.


Villagers, especially on Berrynarbor Park, were saddened by the news that former resident, Di Hillier, had passed away on the 31st August. Although she had left the village some years ago, and had been unwell for some time, she still read our News and particularly enjoyed Bailey's Blog.

Di, together with her husband Biker Brian, were very active members of the village and following Brian's untimely death, the annual Bikey's Bash, a wonderful garden cream tea event raising money for the North Devon Hospice who had given Brian such care, was eagerly looked forward to. Thousands of pounds were raised over the years.

Our thoughts are with Sharon and Chris, and Geoff and Karen, and all the family at this very sad time.


Bet, nee Huxtable, was born and lived for many years in Shirwell, at North Hill Farm. On the death of her father in 1949, Bet and her brother John moved to Berrynarbor, No. 37, with their mother, Lilian Huxtable, a teacher at the Primary School, to live with her grandmother. Bet had lived in the village, later at No. 61, for some 70 years.

Full of fun, Bet was an active member and supporter of all things village. For very many years she took great care of the church, St. Peter's, opening and closing it daily, as well as working at The Globe and the Sandy Cove Hotel.

A very enthusiastic member of the Carnival Club [as her picture shows], she was Captain of the Darts team and thoroughly enjoyed spending time with the Wednesday Girls putting the world to rights!

Bet was the family matriarch. She had two sons, David by her first husband Bill Gammon, lives with his family in Southampton; and Kevin, who still lives at No. 61 by her marriage to Jim Brooks. Two grandsons, Gareth and Jay, have been followed by five great-grandchildren, and two great-great-granddaughters!

Sadly missed - loved by her family, Jay's poem that follows and which was read at Bet's funeral, is a warm tribute summing up Bet's joy of life, wicked sense of humour and love for her family.

Just over three hours' drive to Berrynarbor
First to spot the fox on the church, easy for the driver
Months' worth of work and plentiful crops, all gone in an instant the second we dropped
Berries, tomatoes, sweetcorn and peas, devoured in minutes the garden was robbed
You would hear Gran call, you ruddy fools,
They're my beetroots, not your cricket balls!
Gran's gravy, so delicious and thick, and this another of her recipes she hid
Despite our desire to replicate, it is probably best left under the pan lid
Food a plenty, many a cake upon a plate
Vinegared cucumber and post-pub sandwiches lying in wait
Captain of the darts team, brandy and lemonade at the pub
Some wonderful times spent with the ladies from Wednesday night club
Ye Olde Globe carnival float, at the centre sat Bet
Year on year winners, of a massive rosette

Cats from the village were drawn to number 61
All being fed whilst Gran's cats sat in the sun!

A stay at Gran's was a test for your back,
Those sloping beds and rock-hard pillows, more like a torture rack
Going back in time, but never given a thought
The Castle, crabbing, even, all part of the magic that Gran and Jim brought
From vegetables and Nativities, for Gran knitting was always a passion
New-born cardigans and bullseye balaclavas, we have to question, was she ever in fashion?
There was the sneaky, chuckling 2-fingered salute
Behind mum and dad's back, little offensive, but she found it a hoot
Random packages sent through the post,
Stickers and paper chains, it's the thought that counts most
Time in the kitchen with BBC Radio Devon
Country music, dosie-do's and Gran was in heaven!
The last hug and kiss, always on the lips
Big waves to Gran, we'll forever cherish those trips


Illustrated by: Paul Swailes



11.3.1982 - 19.5.2022

The village was stunned by the sudden and tragic passing of Kris on the 19th May and our thoughts are with Jane and Keith and all the family and his many friends at this time of sadness.

Kris, whose nickname was Chinny, moved here from Surrey with Jane and Keith to Rose Cottage some 27 years ago when he was 13. Attending Ilfracombe College, he soon made many friends, both here and in Combe Martin and Ilfracombe. A lot of time was spent surfing - anywhere there was surf - but mainly at Woolacombe and especially with his very good friend Rob Watkins. He and Rob always remained in touch, whether Kris was in Devon or in Surrey with his brothers and sisters.

Kris loved living down here and said that if he had children, he would always want to bring them up in Devon.

Although not always enjoying the best of health, at the time of his death, Kris had a lovely new flat and a happy relationship with his girlfriend - he was in a good place!

His red-themed funeral in Surrey was a tribute to his lifelong love and support of Liverpool Football Club. A party to celebrate his life with his many friends here was held at the Castle Inn in Combe Martin.

A larger-than-life character who made an impression wherever he went, Kris will be missed by so many, but never forgotten.

Jane and Keith would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their love and support at this time, and for the very generous donations given in Kris's memory for Belle's Place in Ilfracombe. They would also like to thank the staff at the Castle Inn and Bobbie's Bakes for a wonderful send-off party.

19.5.1933 - 31.5.2022

"Now don't go making a fuss and don't go yabberin' on, I've heard you before Jerry! There's no need for it! And with my ashes, don't mess about and don't go wasting money. You can go up to the churchyard one night and put my ashes in with Queen!"

Those were my orders direct from John, re-emphasised many times over the years and especially during the past few months. My response, "If you think I'm messing about in a churchyard late at night with a shovel, then think again!!" He could not help but smile, but he was entirely sincere, mainly because he never wanted to put us out or cause us any bother. He never did!

By the time this is published his ashes will have been interred within Queenie's grave, fulfilling his wishes, properly, with no late-night excursions on my part. There's no way that he didn't deserve a proper and fitting send off.

John Henry Clark was born at Twitchen Farm, West Anstey, to Lily and Percival Clark, on the 19th May 1933. Over the course of the next five years, he was joined by sisters Rose and Beryl. He was affectionately known as Joe to his parents and siblings; this as his mother had originally wanted to have him Christened Joseph.

Being born on the edge of Exmoor into a farming/country family, John was a man of the land and learned the practical skills from an early age that would carry him through for the rest of his life. A gifted horseman in his early years, helping his father who was Groom to the local Hunt on Exmoor, farm labourer and latterly professional gardener and groundsman in and around Ilfracombe until his retirement.

A confirmed cider drinker from an early age, he said that he was weaned on cider as he never liked milk. He attended firstly Oakford, then West Anstey and South Molton schools, although he wasn't a huge fan of school. Often, if he didn't feel like it, he didn't go to school, especially latterly when he would contrive to miss the school bus, sometimes inveigling/bribing my mum's help, much to her annoyance. "Oh, the bus must have been early it didn't come!" he would tell his mother, my mum agreeing through gritted teeth! He would rather stay home and help his dad with the horses. Mum soon put her foot down though and didn't go along any more with his skiving, meaning John had no excuse but to go to school.

His mischievous side would often land him in some bother, both with teachers and the local policeman. If in trouble at school and being kept behind, he would find a way to escape, usually hopping out through a window and heading homeward. Late one night, when cycling home without any lights on, the local bobby shouted out 'Where's your lights?" "Next to me liver!" was John's response as he cycled onwards. Not long afterwards, there was a firm hand on his shoulder and a stern "Less of your cheek in future!" The Policeman knew full well who the culprit was.

A school photo of his class, taken at South Molton School, shows evidence of yet more mischievousness! John, stood at the back, decided to flick the ear of a boy in front. Result - as the photo was taken, most of the kids are looking back to see what the commotion was all about! Leaving school at 14, he initially continued to work with his dad and horses before finding employment with a landowner at Skilgate, near Morebath.

When his National Service came in 1950, due to his knowledge and experience with horses, his employer told him that he would be wasted in the Infantry, and through his brother, who was a Colonel in the Cavalry, pulled some high-level strings. John was subsequently drafted into the 3rd The King's Own Hussars. He enjoyed the discipline of the Army and loved his 3 years of Service. Primarily based in Germany, he was the personal groom to one of the British Army's top show jumpers, Captain Dallas. Show jumping events took John across much of Western Europe, including Berlin. After only a few months, he was made Lance-Corporal. He later said he regretted not signing on for longer, but at the time, being a young man, he said he wasn't thinking with his head!

Soon after returning to civilian life and whilst working on his aunt and uncle's farm at Comyn, Ilfracombe, he met a local Berrynarbor girl, Queenie. They soon married and their home together was 1 Birdswell in Berry. In 1970, John joined North Devon District Council, working as a Gardner and Groundsman. His primary responsibility was maintaining the gardens/grounds around the seafront and planting the various floral display beds which Ilfracombe was especially known for during the '70's and '80's.

Sadly, he lost his beloved Queenie in 1986, which devastated him. He threw himself into his work and gradually became even more involved in local activities around Berrynarbor, helping and taking part, in the local BBC variety shows, carnivals and becoming a mean darts player, often beating players 20 plus years younger, much to their astonishment, their having misjudged the 'old man'. John had an impressive collection of darts trophies won over the years. I believe that the BBC Dad's Army sketch is still one of local legend to this day!

When not being busy, which was usually never, he loved reading, listening to music - Country and Western and the like, doing word puzzles and wood working. He maintained his home and garden in immaculate shape. He could also be found either at Ye Olde Globe or Sawmills, most often with his mates Derek and Mitch, telling yarns or just putting the world to rights, with a cider or whiskey in hand, getting more raucous as the night went on.

In the early '00's he underwent two hip replacements, was then diagnosed with bowel cancer followed by a brush with lung cancer. He took the treatments on the chin and blew us away with his resilience and fortitude in dealing with each challenge he faced. His last battle was with oesophageal cancer, its awful advance made it very difficult for him to enjoy food and latterly to eat at all. Although frustrated, he never complained and still maintained a very good sense of humour right to the end. Over the years, with attending hospital for treatments and check-ups, he became well known to the staff.

Last November, after John had been diagnosed, I had to book an appointment for him. "Oh, we know John Clark and his beans!" "His beans?" "Yes, he would bring us in runner beans when he came for his appointments in the past." That was John through and through.

He was still driving up until Lockdown 2020 when he left Berry for a small, wardened flat in Barnstaple. He had realised that a large home and garden was too much and he was frustrated that he could no longer manage. His body may have been giving up, but his mind wasn't.

John was straight-talking, no nonsense and great fun to be around; reducing many to tears of laughter just by his sharp tongue and wit, me included, right up to his last few days. Those who met him, would find him hilarious. Everyone will have their own memories of John and of who he was and what he meant to them.

On his 89th birthday, he was moved from Alexandra Ward to Capener Ward. He had asked me to take in cake to share with the nurses on his birthday. He was disappointed that he was moved and couldn't share with the nurses who had looked after him initially. He ordered me to take the cake down to Alexandra Ward and give to the nurses, "Aw, isn't he cute" was the response. He smiled broadly when I told him what had been said. He was still thinking of others and that made him happy.

Overall, he was a fantastic Uncle and mentor, to whom I looked up and respected right from an early age. I shall miss him, will never forget him but will still laugh when thinking of the hilarious things he would come out with. Whilst I agree with everything everyone else has said, I would describe him in one word - LEGEND! He'll be a hard act to follow.


John's village friends were so sorry to learn that he had passed away at the end of May and our thoughts are with his sister, his nephew Jerry and all his family at this sad time.


It was with much sadness the village learnt that Bet had passed away peacefully at the North Devon District Hospital on Friday, 24th June, at the age of 92.

Her funeral, attended by so many and taken by our past Rector, Keith Wyer, on a bright and sunny day was, although sad, a happy occasion, full of laughter and fun - Bet would have approved!

A much-loved and loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, our thoughts, at this time, are with David and Kevin and all her family, as well as her many friends especially in the village.

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

Artwork by: Judie Weedon



I heard your voice in the wind today and I turned to see your face;
The warm of the wind caressed me as I stood silently in place.

I felt your touch in the sun today as its warmth filled the sky;
I closed my eyes for your embrace and my spirit soared high.

I saw your eyes in the window pane as I watched the falling rain;
It seemed as each raindrop fell it quietly said your name.

I heldyou close in my heart today it made me feel complete;
You may have died, you are not gone you will always be a part of me.

As longas the sun shines, the wind blows, the rain falls,
You will live on inside me forever for that is all my heart knows.



How sad it was to learn that Margaret had passed away peacefully in her sleep on the 8th April, just 18 months since the death of her husband, her funeral taking place on the 10th May.

Our thoughts at this time of sorrow are with Peter and all the family, who would like to thank everyone for their kind help and support.


We were all sorry to learn that after a long spell of ill health but never complaining and always with a smile, Margaret had passed away during the afternoon of 9th May.

Our thoughts at this very sad time are with Roger, their two children Kim and Mark and all her family and many friends.



26.6.1938 - 7.2.2022

It was with sadness the village learnt that Bill, having spent a short time in Pinehurst, had passed away on the 7th February.

A full St. Peter's Church for his funeral on the 25th February, a service similar to that for his twin brother Ivan in 1996, showed the affection in which he was held.

Father John Roles in his welcome and address, spoke of Bill as a man very much of this land and this community. Local breeds [Devon Ruby Reds and Devon Closewell sheep, with an emphasis on Devon!] and, where possible, use of traditional methods, threshing and stooking make the farm seem very much in the mood of our own time, when these things are now seen as admirable and desirable, although the brothers' purchase of a second-hand combine, was like having a Rolls-Royce as far as they were concerned.

Bill's dedication to the farm and to fair business practice, accounts were always settled promptly, were exemplay. His purchase of a retirement bungalow with a clear view of the farm, speaks much of his love of that life.

Bill's life we celebrate today is one who has kept tradition alive despite the challenges of changing times, and part of that tradition is in the muffled bells we have heard today in tribute to his commitment to ringing and the companionship of a pint afterwards.

Tribute - Words from Bett Brooks

The twins, Bill and Ivan, were born on the 26th June 1938 to their parents, Jim and Emmie Huxtable of Woolscott Farm, Berrynarbor. It was a mixed farm. From age 5 to 11 they attended Berrynarbor School and, afterwards, Ilfracombe Secondary School. Leaving school, it was working on the farm for them both. Ivan did the tractor work, Bill looked after the herd of Ruby Red Devons, they were his pride and joy.

When their mother died in 1966, Bill took over the housework, cooking good wholesome English food. Their father died in 1981 and the boys carried on until 1996 when they decided to sell everything. The farm was sold and a bungalow bought in the village. The sale of the animals was booked when Ivan had a fatal heart attack outside the farmhouse. Bill carried on in his own way, had the sale and, with his three collie dogs, moved to the bungalow where he soon settled into village life.

He never learned to drive, going shopping on the bus was new to him. Bill started ringing in 1960 and so enjoyed going with the other ringers to ring in several churches in Devon and Cornwall.

Bill did everything his own way. Offers of help were refused always with the same answer, "I'm alright; don't worry about me I can manage." But health and age caught up with him so he moved into Pinehurst where he enjoyed the food and being looked after in his final months. He loved his ringing and having a drink in The Globe, talking about farming and Ruby Red cattle.

He will be remembered in many ways but most of all for his early morning phone calls. If the phone rang between 7.00 and 7:30, you could be sure it was Bill!

Life is but a stopping place,
A pause in what's to be.
A resting place along the road
To sweet eternity.

We all have different journeys,
Different paths along the way,
But never meant to stay.

Our destination is a place
Far greater than we know.,
For some the journey's quicker
For some the journey's slow.>

And when the journey finally ends
We'll claim a great reward
And find an everlasting peace
Together with the Lord.>



10.4.1939 - 9.8.2021

The village was saddened to learn that after suffering poor health for the last few years, Lorna had passed away peacefully on the 8th August. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family at this time of sorrow, with Bob and Jane, Chris and Helen, Richard and Delphine and her six grandchildren.

A service to celebrate her life taken by Rosie Austin, Rural Dean for North Devon was held at St. Peter's on the 3rd September. The church, full to the capacity allowed, was testament to the love and respect in which Lorna was held. Lorna was all things Berrynarbor!

Lorna was primarily a loyal wife, a loving mother to her three boys, a devoted grandmother to her six grandchildren and a teacher to many.

Her father, Jack Richards, moved from No. 22 Hagginton Hill to South Wales to take up work for the Penn Curzon family. There he met and married Lorna's mother, Susan Rebecca Salter. Lorna was born on the 19th April, 1939, growing up and attending school in Milford Haven. South Wales suffered badly during the War and life there was very hard. Her character was largely forged during her formative years in South Wales, Berrynarbor and the East End of London.

As things started to return to normal, Lorna regularly returned to Berrynarbor with her parents by Campbell Steamer to visit her father's family and mix with other children in the village. Her mother died when she was 10 years old and she and her elder sister, Margaret, were brought up by her father and grandmother and she was greatly influenced by her Aunt Muriel, who lived at Wood Park.

As a youngster, Lorna was a very good swimmer and a keen athlete. She followed her sister and aunt into teaching and attended teacher training college in Bristol. Following graduation, her first job was at a school in the East End of London, which she found both challenging and rewarding. Some of the families were so poor, she would take them food and clothing.

During one of her visits to Berrynarbor she met Michael and a few years later, in 1962, they married here in St. Peter's church. Bob was the firstborn and to make ends meet, Lorna opened a small gift shop in the front room of No. 46 the Village, and did some supply teaching, mainly in Braunton. Three years later Chris and Richard came along. However, with three small boys to look after, she gave up the gift shop but continued with the supply teaching. Once the boys were older, she took up a full-time teaching position at Combe Martin, which continued for 30 years.

Lorna was a great supporter of the village. She served on the Parish Council for over 30 years and was their representative on the Manor Hall Management Committee. Together with Jim Brooks, she ran the Youth Club during the 1970's, and for many years organised whist drives every Thursday night in the Penn Curzon Room to raise money for the Manor Hall and was a very keen bridge player. She was also a great supporter to the Village Shop, always shopping there and volunteering when it became a Community Shop.

Lorna's knowledge of the history of the village was immense. She researched the archives at the local library and church records, massing over more than 50 years a huge amount of her own chronicled handwritten records. She was a keen conservationist and to quote her family: 'Mother never wanted any trees to be cut down, but when father needed a trailer load of logs for a customer, it would get a bit heated at home!'

Family life was very important and again to quote her family: 'If you couldn't make the Sunday roast there would be a court of enquiry and wo betide you if you missed the next one!' With her six grandchildren - Samuel, Anna, Jonathan, Tom, Tyler and Archie, their parents, Michael and Lorna, Sunday lunch could be for as many as 14!

Sadly, Loran's health deteriorated during the last few years and despite being diagnosed with dementia, she never forgot the children she taught in the East End of London, Braunton and Combe Martin, her family or the different types of trees which wouldn't let Michael cut down!

Lorna was a quiet, gentle, unassuming person who guided her family and the children she taught by her own honest and high principles. She will be very sadly missed.


A Celebration of the Life of Lesley Symes, aged 63, was held on a beautiful sunny day, attended by a full house of family and friends allowed at that time.

The Service was simple, beautiful and very poignant, accompanied by Lesley's smile - a lovely photograph taken by Dave shortly after they first met. Planned by herself, Lesley chose the music, hymns and poem, and specifically asked for no eulogy.

Those attending entered to Om Namah Shivaya by Sacred Earth; reflected to Elgar's Cello Concerto played by Jacqueline du Pre and left as Diana Ross sang Touch Me in the Morning. They heard the hymns Morning has Broken and All Things Bright and Beautiful and listened to the poem Prayer for Always Peace.

In his introduction, Celebrant Michael Pearson, said: "We come together to celebrate Lesley's life, to remember all the good things about her life, her dreams and aspirations, her kindness and helpfulness to so many people. The music and words have all been chosen by Lesley to reflect what was important to her. First and foremost, they are about hope, which was so big a part of her approach to life. They also reflect her love of nature, which was seen in her enjoyment of the outdoors, of her dogs, of walking and in her devotion to gardens. Lesley was passionate about social justice and she loved to travel. She was interested in people and believed in kindness and nurturing. She found fulfilment through her relationship with Dave and through her opportunities for creativity through art.

"Lesley was highly thought of and loved by so many people many of whom recall the different ways they knew her and how she touched their lives and helped them."

Dave would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for the very many messages of sympathy and love for Lesley, and all those who were able to attend with him, the Celebration of her Life.

Prayer for Always Peace

I ask all the animals to open their mouths
to howl this prayer for peace
I ask all the birds to life their songs to the winds
and sing this prayer for peace
I ask all the trees and flowers, all that is green growing
to open their hollow throats where the sap runs
to call this prayer for peace
I ask the rocks to ream this prayer for peace
I ask the sand to rearrange its grains
and write this prayer for peace
I ask the ocean wave to shout this prayer for peace
or whisper it on the lonely listening beaches
where the rivers will send it upstream
in the willing breath of fish

I ask the deep wells to give rise to this prayer for peace
I ask the holy hills to toll this prayer for peace
I ask the stars to shine the spelling
of this prayer for peace
and the moon and the sun pause in the sky
as night and day, as right and left, as east and west
as all this is opposite yet may still come into balance
in harmony with this world, and in time
I ask for every candleflame to ignite this prayer for peace
so that this prayer is in the world and of the world
and becomes the world and the world is peace.

Rose Flint




The village was stunned at the untimely passing of Alan, in his garden, on the 6th June, and our thoughts are with Barbara, his family, Rosemary and Barry and his friends at this time of shock and grief.

We shall miss his cheerful presence - always happy to be doing something to help others or for the benefit of the village, especially through Berry in Bloom. A true community-spirited gentle man.

Alan was born in the South Devon village of Ipplepen, 75 years ago, on his father's market garden, where I think he got his love of gardening. We lived in Buckinghamshire for 40 years but he always wanted to return to Devon when he retired and have a larger garden. We have spent nine happy years in Berrynarbor and he wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else. I had a job to get him out of the garden.

We met Barry and Rosemary and their two sons some 43 years ago, and we became the best of friends. Without their help and other family members and friends, I would not have managed to get through these last weeks, thank you so much.

Alan could turn his hand to almost anything and in 50 years of marriage he very rarely said, "We will have to get somebody in to do this." there were no problems only solutions according to Alan. He was a very positive person who looked forward to each day and loved talking to people.

He did an apprenticeship with the Electricity Board and then worked for a boat hire company on the Thames at Maidenhead, fitting out and repairing their boats; next working for an Agricultural Merchants again in Maidenhead as an HGV fitter and finally he had his own company as a Corgi registered plumber and electrician, based in Burnham, Bucks.

We had or own narrow boat built in Cannock and brought down by road to a farmer's field near Slough, where Alan fitted the 60ft boat out, fitting a vintage engine Kelvin K2 and we launched her in 2002. We had many happy days on board Rooster, going up as far as the Lancaster Canal or down the Kennet & Avon canal. The engine was a great talking point and Alan was always happy to talk about it!

Alan was also a motorcycle enthusiast and we took his AJS to New Zealand in the year 2000. He broke his ankle and Achilles tendon at different times on motor bikes.

In the last years he took up woodturning and really enjoyed making the items in his workshop.

Alan really enjoyed the activities in the village, like Berry in Bloom, the Horticultural & Craft Show, Manor Hall, the Community Shop, the Newsletter and upholstery lessons. He was always happy to help out in any way he could, using his various skills and tools.

As you may know, we are collecting for a bench to be put in the village, hopefully near the telephone box which Alan restored. My brother commented, "A bench for Alan, a man that never sat down!"

The kindness of the people of Berrynarbor has been overwhelming, thank you everyone.

Barbara, Barry and Rosemary

The celebration of Alan's life to be held at the Manor Hall for afternoon tea and cakes, is pencilled in for the 25th September 2021 subject to covid restrictions. All our village friends will be welcome.



Villagers will be saddened to hear of the passing of Peter, just over a year since the death of his beloved wife Jean. He was born on 11th November 1941 in Worcester Park, south-west London and had a varied working life, mostly as a civil engineer, at Aubrey Watson Ltd in Henley on Thames, Associated Asphalt, Hanson, and Martin Collins equine surfaces.

He and Jean met in the mid-1990s and, in 2000, moved from Berkshire to Berrynarbor, taking up residence at The Cedars in the Sterridge Valley. It didn't take long before they, along with near neighbours Geoff and Christine Taylor, became the hub of social activities in the upper valley, be it garden parties, summer BBQs, Christmas get-togethers, games nights, or bonfire night extravaganzas (more often than not in the rain!).

In 2010 Pete tied the knot with Jean at Berrynarbor church. The many friends and family members who attended the wedding reception, held in Bood, near Braunton, will recall both a wonderfully happy day, but also the unseasonably arctic conditions, particularly the biting wind that whistled through the gaps in the barn's wooden structure. It certainly helped everyone to stay on their feet dancing!

Like Jean, Pete was a great 'doer', lending a hand wherever it was needed, including in the Village Shop where he was a member of the team that sorted out the daily newspapers. To say that he was active is certainly an understatement. He was a keen sportsman, enjoying rugby (with frequent trips to watch Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park), cricket (as a member of Somerset County Cricket Club), golf (as a member of Willingcott Golf Club where he was variously Chairman, Club Captain and Handicap Secretary), billiards/snooker (as a member of the Berrynarbor Men's Institute) and, in his later years, table tennis.

Other passions while living in Newbury were sailing, which he pursued for many years, winning a clutch of trophies, and eventing, at which he was also keenly competitive, taking part in cross country, show jumping and dressage. His interest in the latter was sparked when his first wife, Jane, and eldest daughter, Sarah, got into horses. He sold his boat and used the proceeds to buy horses for them, and later ponies for his younger daughters, Becky and Emma - and himself!

Another hobby during later years at The Cedars was model aeroplanes, which he built himself and flew from Woolacombe Down. Whatever Pete turned his hand to, he was good at, and this extended into all corners of life. Sarah recalls her dad teaching himself bricklaying, electrics, plumbing and so on when he built the family home in Newbury whilst holding down a full-time job in Henley. The girls would stack bricks ready for him to lay when he got home from work!

In their later years together, Peter and Jean bought a campervan which they christened 'Nellie-bell'. This brought them immeasurable pleasure, touring not only in the UK but also further afield in Europe, even letting the house for a year to do so. It was during these travels that they discovered Les Medes campsite in L'Estartit on Spain's north-east coast. This inspired them to sell the campervan, buy a caravan and drive it to Les Medes, where they subsequently spent long periods enjoying the Mediterranean lifestyle, warmth and sunshine in the company of many friends.

Pete and Jean, you will long be remembered, cherished and much loved by the many people whose lives you touched.

Tim Davis and Tim Jones

24.5.1935 - 17.6.2021

How sad it was to learn that Norman had passed away on the 17th June and our thoughts are with David and Louise and all the family at this difficult time. One of the few remaining people true born and bred in Berrynarbor, a loving father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother and uncle, Norman will be sadly missed, not only by his family but his many friends.

Tribute to Norman by his Nephew, Philip Squire

There are many people in the world who take a long time to figure out what they want out of life. They don't quite know who they are and what their purpose is for. They struggle to know what A Levels to take, what sports to play, what careers to pursue and they are unhappy in that respect. But Norman, father, brother, godfather, uncle, was not one of them, he knew from a young age that he was going to be a farmer.

But that said, he elected after school to do his National Service and joined the Devonshire Regiment. I struggle to picture Norman as an army man. I mean I have always seen him as giving instruction and never saw him as one receiving instructions! So, when the sergeant major apparently in some drill exercise commented that Norman was marching like a farmer. I was not surprised to learn that he retorted, "That's because I am a farmer!" Which he, of course, thought amusing but the SM otherwise!

So, I wonder why? Why did Norman join the Army? He did not have to, he could have taken the easy option and work on the farm. Was it out of duty? Was it out of conscience? Was it to explore what life was like away from the hills of Berrynarbor? What is for sure, is that in getting to Africa, he found he hated sea travel. He got extremely seasick, even on his return through the Suez Canal which is normally as flat as a mill pond! Of course, his mother Ivy was worried about the danger he might have been in and whilst the army were in Kenya to deal with the Mau Mau rebellion, he played it down, saying there was more chance of being harmed through accidents with fire arms. It was not in his nature to brag or boast, but perhaps above all his army experience reconfirmed here in Berrynarbo was where his life was meant to be. This was where he was happiest. This was what he stood for - a life, as Yvonne his sister put it, "tied to a cow's tail"! He had many opportunities to travel, he was welcome to come and visit us in Trinidad, the Middle East, Africa, but it was Angela who came, never Norman. As Norman once said to me as we drove up to his fields overlooking the hills and Sterridge Valley and in the mid-distance the Channel, "Why on earth would anyone want to be anywhere else."

I must admit as a youngster living on the farm, as I did from time to time, I was frankly quite terrified of Norman. I had never quite met anyone like him, and due to his broad Devon accent, I could not, on occasions, understand exactly what he was saying, but too nervous to ask! You could not quite make out if he was teasing you in a nice way or challenging you in direct way! If we mucked up his hay bales making camps or jumping into the grain piles or doing something stupid, he would let you know how he felt. But as I grew older, I saw a different side to Norman. When I brought girlfriends and now my wife, he just loved to tease them and they simply adored him.

When he was a member of Round Table and Rotary, he seemed, with Angela, to go out more and his circle of friends grew and we saw him become more sociable. Maybe it was as a consequence of David playing a bigger role in the running of the farm that allowed him to do so. He perhaps relaxed a bit more. It was devasting that he lost Angela so prematurely and, of course, Sally his daughter. But so touching to see him move in with Ivy to enable her to stay at home and not go into a nursing home. He was quietly generous and altruistic. In more recent times it has been David looking in on Norman, checking that he was alright, supported, of course, by the lovely Louise. I feel for David who has now lost his father, mother and sister.

We shall miss Norman and those memories: crook in hand herding the ewes, calling the dogs to go up to the fields, milking the cows, twinkle in his eye, the warmth of his welcome, but for me he will always be here, walking the fields of Berrynarbor.


We were all so sorry to learn that Lesley had passed away at home on the 28th June after a long illness, which she treated with positivity and cheerfulness. Our thoughts at this time of sadness are with Dave and all her family.

Lesley always took part in village activities, singing in the Church Choir, as a member of the Book Club and Combe Martin Writing Group, and if there was a Quiz in the offing, she would be there with Dave.

Many of us have benefitted from her relaxing hands as a member of the Association of Reflexologists.

She will be missed by so many. Bless you, Lesley.

And I've got to understand
You must release the ones you love
And let go of their hand.
I try and cope the best I can
But I'm missing you so much
If I could only see you
And once more feel your touch.
Yes, you've just walked on ahead of me
Don't worry, I'll be fine,
But now and then I swear I feel
Your hand slip into mine.


Joyce Grenfell



16.6.61 - 23.2.21

We were very sorry to learn that Bud had passed away peacefully, at home with his family beside him, on Tuesday, 23rd February. A much-loved husband to Lulu, loving father to Stephanie, Charlotte and his late daughter Becky, and much-loved grandad to Alice.

Our thoughts are with Lulu and all the family at this time of sadness. Donations in Bud's memory may be given to Over and Above - The Fern Centre.

14.9.1946 - 23.2.2021

The village was saddened by Chris's passing, peacefully at home, on the 23rd February and our thoughts are with Phil, Owen, Trudi, Emma and all the family at this time of sorrow.

Chris was born Christine Bach to Vincent and Beryl Bach in Church Crookham, Hampshire; she was the first of their two children, arriving before her brother, David. She went to school in Fleet then Aldershot High School. Once she'd finished school, she used her Maths' ability and went to work for Lloyds Bank in Aldershot. We met soon after, and married in 1965.

We have been blessed with three wonderful children: Owen, Trudi and Emma. Owen and his wife Jacqui have given us two lovely granddaughters, Jemma and Lauren. Trudi's partner, Richard, and Emma's partner, Bruce, complete our family.

Chris worked as my partner in our electrical business, in addition, she took on employment, managing three art galleries and a florist's, separately, over a period of years.

She was a busy person: Mum, Partner and Manager, but she still found time to learn to pilot three aircraft, but not at the same time of course! She flew a glider, a microlight and a four-seater Cessna.

She organised all our wonderful holidays, here and abroad, not only for the family but neighbours, friends and customers. After I retired, we took a trip of a lifetime and visited Singapore and had five weeks touring New Zealand, she planned every detail!

We moved from Church Crookham to Shepton Mallet and continued to head west and in 2007 we found Berrynarbor. Here we have made many new friends and she became involved again: with the Church Choir, the Wine Circle and a local walking group.

Her Captaincy of the Global Warmers, a village skittles team, won praise from all her team; she was, they said, the best, and their lifetime Captain. The Global Warmers, a village skittles team, which became The Global Fractures, a name-change due to team players, including Chris, breaking bones, but away from the alley! She was also Treasurer-Member of Ilfracombe's Musical Memories group that, under normal circumstances, brings music and songs to dementia sufferers.

So busy ... so many family and friends ... we miss you dearly.

Love Phil

I should like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support and the many messages of sympathy, cards and flowers. Donations in Chris's memory may be made to the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund and the North Devon Hospice, for their wonderful care and support.

This pandemic has affected everything and everybody with funeral numbers restricted to 30.  It is regretted, deeply, that we cannot invite everybody who we would normally include.  We are thinking about having a celebration of Chris's life when restrictions are lifted so that those of you, including skittles teams and Musical Memories, can join us with your tributes.


Doris Cooper
22.5.1921 - 11.1.2021

Doris was born in Cranleigh, Surrey, on the 22nd May 1921. At six months, with her parents and two older brothers, she moved to Smithwood Common.

Being a delicate child, Doris attended a special school leaving when she was 13 as she was struck down with rheumatic fever. As it took her over a year to recover, she never went back. Who

would have thought she would live to the ripe old age of 99 all those years ago?!

Doris worked at the Forrest Stores dealing with ration books during the War as she hadn't recovered from her illness and was tested unfit to be called up. When fit enough, she helped out in another shop.

After the war was over, the Curate formed and ran a club. It was a fun evening called Over Seventeens and it attracted many young people mostly in their early 20s. This was an important part of Doris's life and she made many friends there.

For many years, Doris returned to work at the Forrest Stores as a Cashier and Bookkeeper, before going to Guildford to work for Stephensons and Son, Wholesale Grocers, as Invoice Clerk where she met her husband, Bert Cooper. They married in 1955 and had two children, John and Valerie.

After caring for her parents in their later years, Doris went to work part-time at Cranleigh Bookshop for over 24 years, but left for a year to nurse her husband in his last illness. Her time at the Bookshop was a very happy one where she made many friends with colleagues and customers.

[Doris also joined the WI and Mothers' Union, having been a member of the Church since her early twenties and still kept in touch with many members with whom she had made friends.

In due course Doris and Bert moved to Summerlands, also in Cranleigh, where they spent many happy years and where Doris continued to live on her own after Bert had passed away. When her health deteriorated, she moved to Elmbridge Retirement Village, where she lived happily for 13 years, joining several activities and making many friends.

After Doris lost her husband, a good friend May invited her and two other friends to Sunday Lunch. This developed and the four of them ran a rota, meeting every Sunday after Church for lunch and tea at each other's houses returning home at 10.00 o'clock! Early on in their meet ups, May's son-in-law nicknamed them the Witches and they subsequently became known as the Coven. Sadly, the only surviving member of the Coven now is Jean, a very good friend of Doris's, and talking on the 'phone on a Sunday evening was an important part of the day for both of them, continuing until Doris died.

Doris was a regular visitor to the Isle of Wight where Val and Peter lived. She had an annexe on the side of their house as well as a holiday caravan where she enjoyed inviting friends to stay with her.

Following his retirement, Peter and Val decided they would like to move from the Isle of Wight to North Devon and they asked Doris if she would like to join them. By this time, Doris had had several admissions to hospital of a serious nature so she decided to as this would mean more care for her in her later years.

Doris was nearly 93 when she moved to North Devon but this did not stop her joining three clubs where she made some very good friends. She also joined the church in Combe Martin where she and Val received a very warm welcome. Doris was very popular in the small community where they lived and enjoyed many happy times at barbecues and garden parties. One of her close friends was David Hopper, who became part of the family and affectionately called her Duchess. David had planned on her 100th birthday to rename her Queen.

Doris was very proud of her son John's achievements with Walking Football and she kept photos and newspaper clippings, particularly when he represented his country.

Val and Doris liked nothing better than going out for afternoon tea, and their favourite memory was of going to the Cotswolds where, following a very early start, they managed to fit breakfast, morning coffee, lunch and afternoon tea into the day.

Doris had four grandsons of whom she was very proud, Christopher, James, Andrew and Ben. She mastered the art of texting allowing her to keep in constant contact with them all.

Doris was very fond of and also close to all her family and extended families, often spending time with John and Ann Marie at their home in Wolverhampton, enabling Val and Peter to have a break knowing that she was well looked after.

Over the years, Doris also enjoyed the company of Val and Peter's four Cavalier King Charles spaniels and following the move to Devon never an evening went by without one of them being on her lap keeping her legs warm!

Doris was delighted when Val and Peter decided to marry, with Doris becoming close to Peter's family and in particular to his sister and brother-in-law, Steph and Matt.

Val and Peter enjoyed Doris being with them but they found it exhausting keeping up with her social life! She, in turn, enjoyed the peace of mind knowing that she was safe and never lonely.

Doris passed away peacefully at home with Val and her little dog Jack sitting beside her. The number of tributes that poured in have been wonderful for her family to read, with people saying what an inspiration she had been to them. always happy go lucky and ready with a word of advice if asked. She had her fair share of sadness but always had a smile on her face and even at 90 used to say she was going to visit the old people.

Doris had many happy memories of Cranleigh having lived there for almost 93 years, returning twice a year when she enjoyed meeting up with friends and family. It was her wish to return to her roots, her funeral taking place at St. Nicholas Church at Cranleigh on the 10th February. Now together again with Bert.

Doris will never be forgotten by her family or friends. A much-loved Mum, Nannie, Aunt, Mother-in-Law and Treasured Friend.

Val and Peter would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for the many kind cards, flowers and messages of sympathy they have received. It is hoped that an event celebrating Doris's life can be held in the village on the 22nd May or when it is possible to do so.


My wife Carol passed away on 6th November last year. She was well known in the village as a teacher in the village school for many years.

She will be remembered for her efforts in the community - Senior Dudes' Christmas Dinner at the school, meals for parents, and shows she put on in the Manor Hall.

Carol died from motor neuron disease for which she was diagnosed just a few weeks after she retired from the school. She suffered with it for six years. Eventually she only breathed through a bi-pap machine, was fed through a peg tube and could not move or speak for the last months of her life.

Within a few days of being diagnosed we were visited by the MND specialist nurse for the whole of the Westcountry. Carol asked her how she got this disease. The nurse said that the medical profession will tell you that there is no known cause, but she said that everyone she ever met with the disease was a 'driven' person.

Well, you never met a workaholic like Carol! Apart from being an exceptional teacher, she took booster classes, gave private tuition. She ran five clubs in the school. Took children camping. Took them on residentials etc. I hardly saw her and she ignored my pleas to slow down. 

The progress of the disease is simple to understand. God gave us adrenaline so that we had a boost of extra energy to respond in an emergency. However, if we push ourselves week in and week out over a long period of time we are running on adrenaline. This leads to a build-up of cortisol in our body, the well-known stress hormone. If we keep stressing ourselves our body goes on to accumulate glutamate in excess. It is excess glutamate that then floods the brain and kills motor neurons which take messages from our brain to our muscles. Eventually our muscles die and we die. 

I mention this to demonstrate that we often need to look beneath the surface of a situation and not to accept it on its face value. 

If we apply this principle to the current Covid situation we soon discover that what is going on is extremely sinister. 

A buzzword of our time is sustainability. It has been decided that the current population of the world is unsustainable. Therefore it must be reduced. Measures are being undertaken to ensure this happens.

Denis Healey said, 'World events do not occur by accident. They are made to happen, whether it is to do with national issues or commerce, most of them are staged and managed by those who hold the purse string.'

The Bible says that the devil always appears as an angel of light. Something appears to be good but is not. There are sinister forces at work against us currently which appear to be beneficial but are certainly not. 

The wonderful philanthropist, Bill Gates, is deeply into eugenics. Even Boris Johnson said recently that we should have realised earlier that there are too many people on the planet.

I believe that the novel Covid virus was unleashed on us deliberately to enable governments to take control of the entire world's population. Anyone who believes that, come the summer, the current situation will subside and life will turn to normal is seriously deceived. What will follow will get worse and worse as the plot against us unfolds.

The Bible says that the heart of man is wicked above all things. Neville Chamberlain visited Hitler and came back saying he was a nice guy. Soon Hitler was raining bombs on us and exterminating millions of people. Our normalcy bias prevents us from accepting levels of wickedness that are far beyond our comprehension. 

I can't accept evolution as there is not one shred of evidence for it. Even Darwin himself said there is nothing in the fossil record to support it! God created the amazing world we live in. There is no other credible explanation!

Mankind screwed up by sinning against God and things have been screwed up ever since. 

God sent his Son Jesus into the world to save us. To believe this and accept the only Saviour is our only get out of jail free option. Jesus said He will take out of this world those who have put their trust in him. 

'God so loved the world that He gave His only son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life' John 3 16.

Anyone interested in exploring further what I am saying here is very welcome to contact me at


3rd August 1915 - 15th February 2021

Vera was born in Berrynarbor in 1915 to Beatrice and Thomas Ley. She had an older sister Evelyn and two brothers. Sadly, both brothers died in childhood. Vera's father was a carpenter who built Orchard House in the Sterridge Valley where the family subsequently lived. Vera had an episode of septic arthritis in her knee when she was a teenager which necessitated her spending many weeks in hospital, however she recovered with no deficit in function which was remarkable given the infection occurred in the pre-antibiotic era.

Vera married William [Bill] Lewis at Orchard House and continued to live there until 1944, her daughter Wendy having been born there. The family then moved to Ilfracombe before Vera and Bill moved to Torquay in 1966 where Vera ran a guest house until Bill's death in 1976. She then moved to Epsom in Surrey to live with her daughter Wendy, son in law Richard and grandchildren Charlotte and Andrew.

Vera was close to her sister Evelyn and her nieces Daphne and Betty, and made regular trips back to North Devon staying with Evelyn and Daphne in Combe Martin and enjoyed catching up with family and friends. After Evelyn passed away, Vera continued to visit staying with Daphne.

After her move to Epsom, Vera regularly attended ballroom dances. She enjoyed many a coach holiday, her last one being in her 101st year. She also enjoyed spending time with her family including her great-grandchildren. When Vera was 102 years old she fractured her thigh bone above the knee which required surgery. This was successful and she was able to walk around with the help of a frame. She moved to live in a care home in Tadworth, Surrey, spending as much time as possible outside, weather permitting. Her last year was spent in lockdown but she continued to have contact with her family by telephone and pod visits, celebrating her 105th birthday with Wendy and Charlotte on a beautiful sunny day in August. Vera maintained her independence and mobility until a few weeks before she passed away peacefully. She will be missed by all. Her funeral is to take place on 23rd March in Surrey, information can be obtained from Stoneman Tadworth 01737 814406.

Vera has been a very supportive reader of the Newsletter from the early days and it was very sad to learn that she had passed away peacefully at the grand age of 105. Thoughts are with her daughter Wendy, Charlotte and Andrew and all the family at this time of sadness.



7.2.1949 - 17.11.2020

It was sad to learn from his daughter Alice, that Terry, who was born in Berrynarbor and where he spent his young days, had passed away suddenly at home on the 17th November.

Our thoughts are with his wife June, son Christopher and daughters Rebecca and Alice and grandchildren Albert, Violet, Ivy, Mabel and Margot, and all the family.

1.5.52 - 24.11.2020

How sad the village was to learn that Sheila had passed away, at home, on the 24th November, and our thoughts, at this time of sorrow, are with Richard, who would like to thank everyone for their kindness, help and support, and her sisters and all the family.

Her sunny, cheerful and friendly personality will be missed by so many. Bless you, Sheila.

22.5.1921- 11.1.2021

It was with sadness we learnt that Doris had passed away peacefully at home with her family on the 11th January, just a few months short of her 100th birthday. A much-loved mother and grandmother and a very special friend to many.

She will be much missed by her family and her many village friends. Our thoughts are with her daughter Val and her husband Peter, her son John and his wife Ann Marie and her grandchildren.

As she wished, Doris has returned to her birth place in Surrey where her funeral will take place.

I'd like the memory of me to be a happy one.
I'd like to leave an afterglow of smiles when life is done.
I'd like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways,
Of happy times and laughing times and bright and sunny days.
I'd like the tears of those who grieve, to dry before the sun;
Of happy memories that I leave when life is done.

Helen Lowrie Marshall

JOHN VINCE - 18.1.2021

I was sorry to learn that John had passed away peacefully on the 18th January. Thoughts are with his family at this sad time.

Longer term residents of the village may remember that John was our Parish Clerk in the 1990's, resigning when he and his wife Ann moved to South Devon to be nearer their family. From that time, 1998, they were recipients of the Newsletter, something John continued after Ann passed away in October 2015. He always kept an interest in Berrynarbor.



June Marangone
4th June 1933 - 26th October 2020.

June, the eldest child of Hercules and Winifred Parkin, was born in Skirhead Lane, Combe Martin, elder sister to Pauline and brother Jimmy, who sadly died at a very young age. After a short while they moved to 4 Star Cottage, Combe Martin where she spent her younger years.

Her parents were so poor that she slept in a drawer instead of a cot, and she, like many, didn't experience the benefits of electricity until she was at least 12. June went to the local school but was never a very high achiever, presumably because of her poor attendance record!

However, she passed her 11+ at the second attempt and went to Ilfracombe Grammar School where she found her strengths in mathematics and home economics. She left school at 15 and immediately started a job in Boots the Chemist in Ilfracombe, where she remained for 10 years working her way up to become the manageress.

In 1948, at the town hall dance, she met Germino, a dashing young Italian who had moved to Combe Martin after the war. She befriended him despite neither being able to speak the other's language. They were apart for several years, during which Gerry found work in London whilst having singing coaching, but they kept in contact and eventually married in September 1955, so they were able to celebrate 65 happy years together just before she passed away. Despite Gerry being a Catholic, June retained her Methodist roots and supported the church throughout her life.

In 1958, June left Boots when she was expecting her first child, and ran a B&B business from her home in Victoria Street. Gerry was working as a mechanic at Irwin's garage, and studying to be a sign writer at night school. During this time June made lifelong friendships with many of the visitors who stayed with her.

They were a very sociable couple, loved their dancing, and frequently travelled to a dance school in Westward Ho! At that time Gerry [Gino] was singing in many of the hotels in the local area; they also compered 'Mr and Mrs' together at the Mount Hotel in Ilfracombe, which must have been a lot of fun!

In 1974, June and the family moved to Berrynarbor, to a bungalow which had been bequeathed to her. She loved living there and never tired of the views across the valley.

After her family had flown the nest, June started a new chapter in her life as a doctor's receptionist in the Ilfracombe Health Centre until her retirement. From then on, her close family and friends were never able to decipher her acquired 'doctor's handwriting'!

She had three grandchildren and when the youngest, Molly, started at Berrynarbor School she began to volunteer hearing children read and became affectionately known to many of the local children as Nanny June.

In the last few years up until her illness, June volunteered in Berrynarbor Post Office and Shop and always enjoyed a good natter with visitors and locals alike. She had an amazing ability to retain facts about people and their families, and had a genuine interest in everyone she met.

June will be sadly missed by us all.

Terry Goodman
7th February 1949 - 17th November 2020

Born in Dormer House on 7th February 1949, Terry was the son of Violet and Dave Goodman, brother to Gladys and Wilf Toms. When he was young, Terry's family took in visitors and Dormer Cottage remained in the family until 2002, when Vi passed away.

From a young age, Terry may be remembered by locals for helping Claude on the milk round. He attended Berrynarbor School and later Combe Martin Secondary School, where he was Head Boy and House Captain for Grenville House. After leaving school at 15, he joined Ayres and Grimshaw as an apprentice.

Terry was proud of having grown up in Berrynarbor. He rang the church bells and enjoyed taking part in village activities including athletics, football and playing snooker in the Manor Hall. He also became the youngest Parish Councillor at the time.

His trade as an engineer and toolmaker took him and his wife June to Kuwait, where Terry worked for Kuwait Airways as an aeronautical engineer. He made many lifelong friends while in Kuwait. When returning to Devon in 1981, he and June raised their three children in Braunton.

More recently, Terry may be remembered for running for many years, Colours curtain shop in Barnstaple. After Colours closed, he spent some years before retiring working for Eaton Aerospace in South Molton.

Terry had been retired for 4 years and he and June are now grandparents to 5 grandchildren. Two grandchildren, Albert and Violet, live with them and Terry spent most of his retirement enjoying looking after his granddaughter Violet.

Terry passed away suddenly in mid-November. Due to Coronavirus restrictions, a small family service was held, and a memorial will be planned to celebrate Terry's life once these have been lifted.

He will be greatly missed by all those who loved him.



4th June 1943 - 26th October 2020

Gerry and his family would like to give huge thanks to all friends and neighbours in the local community who have given him and his dear late wife June, immeasurable and continuing support over the last few months. Your love, generosity and kindness has supported us all through this difficult time.

June displayed great courage and stoicism until the end, rarely complaining and so appreciative of people's time, love and care, always more interested in others' well-being rather than her own. She leaves a huge void in all of our lives.

Due to the current Covid situation, the family plan to have a memorial service in the spring for local friends unable to attend the funeral to celebrate June's life.

With love and appreciation
Gerry and Family

[If anyone should wish to donate in June's memory, Gerry would be grateful for them to go to North Devon Hospice]

It was with much sadness that the village learnt that after brave acceptance of her condition, June had passed away peacefully at home, and our thoughts, prayers and love are with Gerry and all the family at this very hard time.

6.9.1935 - 29.10.20

How sad it was to learn that after a short stay at the North Devon Hospice, where she received outstanding care and compassion, Mary passed away peacefully on the 29th October. She will be missed and fondly remembered by her family and many friends.

Our thoughts and prayers are especially with her daughter Liane, and her family at this time of sorrow.

Donations in Mary's memory may be made to the North Devon Hospice through Braddicks and Sherborne, St. Brannocks Road, Ilfracombe.

03.01.1949 - 6.11.2020

We were all sad to learn that after a long illness which she always bore with a smile, Carol had passed away on the 6th November.

Our thoughts and prayers at this time of sorrow are with Graham and their five children, Elenor, Catherine, Oliver, Ivan and Colette, all the family and Carol's many friends.



31.1.1943 - 6.8.2020

It was with sadness the village learnt that Peter had passed away suddenly, but peacefully, at home on the 6th August. His funeral, at St. Peter's, took place on the 29th August.

Our thoughts and prayers at this sad time are with Margaret and all the family, who would like to thank everyone for their help and support, especially those at the Church.

30.7.28 - 11.8.20

Pat moved to Lee Lodge from Surrey nearly four years ago to be near her daughter Jane of Rose Cottage.

Pat was very happy at Lee Lodge and enjoyed attending church in Berrynarbor and often walked to the Sawmills for a glass of wine or a coffee. She made many friends in the village and attended coffee mornings and village events.

When Lee Lodge closed, she moved to The Warren at Knowle where she had a very happy life, enjoying outings for lunch with Jane and other friends, and enjoyed meeting more new friends and Musical Memories in Ilfracombe.

Pat's funeral took place on the 27th August when Father John Roles conducted a beautiful service.

Villagers missed seeing Pat when she moved to The Warren, and It was with sadness we learnt that she had passed away peacefully on the 11th August Our thoughts are with Jane and the family at this time of sorrow.


20.4.1940 - 16.8.2020

It was sad to learn in a letter from Vernon Jeffery, a fellow member of Kingskerswell & District Garden Society, that Sheila had passed away peacefully in Torbay Hospital, at the age of 80, on the 16th August.

Vernon says that Sheila

    ' . . . has told us of her early years in the village of Berrynarbor and often passed your brilliant Newsletter on to myself and others. She so loved Berrynarbor and all the places nearby and told us such wonderful stories of the people, the school and happenings, 'such larks'! Sheila told me how she worked at a care home in North Devon and at a pet and garden store in Torquay, helped at a large kennels in Coffinswell and lately she has lived in a delightful road called Nut Bush Lane. This lane leads down to Cockington Village where she loved to walk and enjoyed the horses, carriages, spring flowers, the lovely church and the forge. She was most knowledgeable and enjoyed her Garden Club trips in the summer and our Show at the village hall in September.'

Sheila [nee Buchan] spent her formative years here living with her grandparents at Goosewell, her mother having died only months after she was born. Sheila's memories of her life here and attending the village school, have been recorded in the Newsletter, of which she was a long-term supporter, the latest appearing in the April 2019 issue.

Our thoughts are with her friends and all those who knew her at this sad time.


I feel a warmth around me,
like your presence is so near.
And I close my eyes to visualize
your face when you were here.
I endure the times we spent together,
and they are locked inside my heart
As long as I have those memories
we will never be apart.
Even though we cannot speak anymore,
my voice is always there,
because every night before I sleep,
I have you in my prayer.

Louise Bailey



How sad it was to learn that three past villagers, Jean, Margaret and Mary, had passed away recently and our thoughts are with their families at this sad time.

29.4.1950 - 14.5.2020

Having suffered from cancer which she chose to treat in her own way, Jean passed away peacefully at home on the 14th May. A kind and generous lady with a ready smile and hearty laugh, Jean embraced life and even when she was unwell, she continued to embrace life to the full, counting each day as a blessing.

We are thinking of Peter and his family, and Jean's sons, Darren and Ben, and granddaughters Jazmin and Ellena.

Due to Corona virus restrictions, Jean's funeral was foreshortened and had a strictly limited attendance. When circumstances permit, it is proposed to hold a Service of Celebration of Jean's life in St. Peter's Church.

Jean was born in Epsom, Surrey on April 29th 1950 to parents Walter and Winifred Rowland, growing up with her younger brother Tom. Walter met Peter Ede whilst working at the Post Office and straightaway thought he would be a good match for his daughter. Jean and Peter hit it off from the moment they met and married on August 1st 1970, settling in Woodley near Reading as Peter worked for British Airways at Heathrow. They soon welcomed the births of their two sons, Darren and Ben.

On leaving college Jean worked at The Bank of England but found the train up to London every day was not to her liking and a number of jobs followed, including market research but, although lucrative, her heart wasn't really in it. One of her dreams was to open a tea shop. At the time her father said, "How many cups of tea do you think you'll have to sell, to make any money?" But Jean followed her heart and opened The Tea Cosy in the Thames-side village of Sonning in the 1980s. It was hard work but she loved it. Although a great success, Jean closed the business and decided on another career change, going back to college where she trained and qualified as a nurse. It was a role she enjoyed, working in the NHS and also for the Marie Curie organisation.

As a family they shared long and happy holidays but in May 1996, the unthinkable happened - Peter had a heart attack and died and those who knew him had their lives turned upside down but through these difficult times Jean found help and strength through God and was reconfirmed into the Christian Church.

A year or so after Peter's death Jean was introduced to a new man, Peter Pell. From their first meeting, they found in each other, great love and companionship living together in North Hampshire.

Looking to make a fresh start, Peter and Jean moved to Berrynarbor in 2000, where they spent 18 happy years together, making many lifelong friends. They took up many pursuits with Jean loving walking and cycling, her favourite place to walk was Watersmeet.Her love of cycling led her to cycle, on her own, from Land's End to John O' Groats, on her old push bike, complete with shopping basket on the front! Her decision to undertake this challenge in her 60's was for no other reason than wanting to do it. It came as a bit of a shock for everyone but at the same time, knowing Jean it came as no surprise! Peter had shown her how to mend a puncture, of which she had quite a few, eventually running out of patches and spare inner tubes on her last day. Undaunted, she rode on the flat tyre until it shredded, then removed it, running on the wheel rim for the last four miles! Such courage.

It was a joyous occasion when Jean and Peter married in St. Peter's Church on May 8th 2010 with Jean gaining three step daughters, Sarah, Emma and Rebecca, as well as eight grandchildren; Lottie, Jack, Maddie, Denis, Oscar, Lilly, Alice and Martha, to add to her own two granddaughters, Jazmin and Ellena.

Another of Jean's passions was to go travelling in a campervan. After discussion a suitable 'van was found and great times were had, including one year when the house was let out, and she and Peter toured a great deal of the United Kingdom and Europe. Having stayed at a lovely site in Spain, Jean proposed the idea of buying a caravan and taking it to Spain, where they spent longer periods of time enjoying the relaxed Spanish pace of life, good weather and a great many new friends.

Jean lived life to its fullest. She had a bubbly spirit that always found the positives in everything. To her, life was a fluid plan; which occasionally challenged Peter's ordered way of doing things to its limit! Never the less, their love and support for each other always won through.

When Jean was diagnosed with cancer, her willingness to live her life fuller than ever was driven from a great determination and a positive mind. Jean approached her death with a humility, grace, peace and acceptance that is an example to us all. She was many things to many different people; a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, a grandmother and a friend but above all else, the way she approached and lived her life was an inspiration to all she met.

Jean was a wonderful organiser who enjoyed rallying her friends into many and varied activities, including cycling, walking, camping, yoga, table tennis and boules to mention a few.

She enjoyed her tea from a china tea set and always had a nice piece of cake as a treat after a walk, cycle ride or when entertaining friends.

When she and Peter moved to the Sterridge Valley in 2000 they took up golf. Her father had been a scratch player and would have been proud of his daughter's achievements aspiring to be Ilfracombe Golf Club's Ladies' Captain in 2005 and representing her Club and County on many occasions. At the Golf Club, we were all proud of her for cycling from Lands End to John O' Groats.

In 2010 she married Peter at Berrynarbor church, a joining of two lovely families - it was a joyous occasion. She had been a member of the church choir and a church warden, and both she and Peter were volunteers in the Village Shop.

Jean was diagnosed with breast cancer and despite her best efforts to improve her lifestyle with diet, exercise and healthy living, she passed away on the 14th May. It is a tribute to her determination that just a few weeks before she died, she cycled to one of her favourite villages in Spain and back, a distance of some 20 miles.

Steph L


Following a fall and a short stay in a care home, Margaret passed away peacefully on the 1st June. As she wished, her ashes, like those of her late husband Ray, will be scattered off the North Devon coast.

Our thoughts at this sad time are with her nephew Ken and his wife Wendy, and her great-niece and nephews.

Margaret and Ray moved from Maidenhead to Glenbridge in the Valley in 1989. They soon became involved in village life, helping in the organisation of the Horticultural and Craft Show and the neighbourhood Watch Scheme, and Ray was also a member of the Parish Council.

The village was shocked when on the 18th July 2000, Ray suddenly collapsed and died whilst gardening. In his memory, the Ray Ludlow Award, a beautiful lead crystal bowl, is awarded for the Best Non-Horticultural entry in the Horticultural and Craft Show.

After several lonely, but happy years in the Valley with her dog Toby, Margaret decided to return to her roots and to be nearer her family, moving to Bishopsdown near Salisbury in 2004.

A very loyal supporter of the Newsletter, which she enjoyed reading until losing her sight just a year ago, Margaret kept in touch with many friends in the village. She will be sadly missed.

8.6.1939 - 9.6.2020

Having been diagnosed with throat cancer in January of this year, and electing to not receive invasive treatment, Mary's death on the 9th June was very peaceful. Her funeral took place on the 19th June and our thoughts are with her brother Peter and sister-in-law Margaret.

Mary and her husband Tom moved to Berrynarbor in 1986 and Mary's wish to serve the community soon saw her as a leading light at St. Peter's Church, serving on the Parochial Church Council as a Church Warden and Treasurer. Involving herself in church activities saw her flower arranging, cleaning, acting as a Deacon in administering the chalice and welcoming visitors and holiday makers into the church and until she moved north, acting as the Newsletter scribe, reporting on the many church activities. She also started and organised the monthly Friendship Lunches at The Globe for the elderly and lonely.

But, apart from her involvement with the church, Mary would regularly visit villagers who were lonely and sick, sitting and talking with them, shopping for them and even helping in the home. Always actively involved in village events, particularly fund-raising, Mary helped raise money to set up the Village Shop and Post Office.

For her services to the community, Mary was awarded the British Empire Medal in June 2012, the year of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, and was later presented with her award by Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of Devon on the 8th October. In May the following year, Mary was a guest at a Buckingham Palace Garden Party.

Sadly, in early January 2010, and after a brief illness, Tom died but Mary, in her inimatable way, carried on looking after others before herself.

In the autumn of 2014, Mary decided to return to the north to West Bradford, to be nearer to her family. Their gain was the village's loss - God bless you Mary!

If you would like to make a donation in Mary's memory, they are being given to Cancer Research and the Church and Christian Centre where she lived and may be sent to 18 Mather Avenue, Accrington, Lancashire, BB5 5AU. Cheques should be made payable to her sister-in-law, Margaret Capstick.



6.12.1942 - 4.4.2020

Having suffered from prostate cancer but able to lead a normal life until just recently, it was sad to learn that Jim had died on the 4th April. His funeral took place at the North Devon Crematorium on the 20th April.

Our thoughts are with Jean, Nick and Sue, and all the family at this time of sadness.

Together with Alex Parke and Keith Walls, Jim was instrumental in the setting up of our Village Shop and had been a stalwart on the Manor Hall Committee and a member of our Parish Council. His quiet presence is missed.



06.1939 - 02.03.2020

Brian passed away peacefully at home, with his family around him. Much loved husband to Vivian and devoted dad to Charlotte and Mickey, he will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him. The funeral has taken place.

A special thank you to neighbours and friends who have sent cards and messages of sympathy. A very special thanks goes to Dr. James of Combe Coastal Practice and all the carers, support workers, Hospice to Home, district nurses, Rapid Response and palliative care teams. Also Steve at the North Devon Hospice.

It was with sadness we learnt that Brian had passed away and our thoughts are with Vivian, Charlotte and Mickey at this time of grief.

A Tribute to Allan Maynard
7.3.1934 - 10.2.2020

Although they left Glaziers [now Ragstone Cottage], Hagginton Hill in 1987, many of you will remember Allan and Heather Maynard. Allan was Manager of NatWest in Ilfracombe, and shortly before we moved from Middle Lee Farm to Hagginton Hill, Allan was promoted to Manager of the Sidmouth bank. It must have been something we said! We've remained friends ever since.

Allan was born in Weston-super-Mare, but his banking career took him to many towns in the South West and Wales. Having settled in Sidmouth, he stayed as Manager for over 6 years and after retiring, led an active social life. He had for many years been a strong supporter of Rotary, which continued, and he very much enjoyed a round of golf. He and Heather enjoyed travelling, often across the pond to see their daughter and family in Texas, and Allan's cousin in Florida and Martha's Vineyard. But they very much enjoyed their time in Berrynarbor and until two years ago were members of our Wine Circle. [Heather is hoping to rejoin, soon.] All that, together with Heather's entertaining skills, kept him occupied.

About six years ago, Allan developed neuropathy in his left leg which restricted his movements over the years and then he succumbed to cancer of the liver.

Sadly, he died at home on February 10th and his funeral [family only] was held on February 28th. Fortunately, his daughter Ruth, had journeyed from Texas two weeks earlier to be with him and although due to fly home on the day he died, stayed until after the funeral which was a great support to Heather. Ruth's family, husband David and children Jason and Chloe, flew over for the funeral and Ian, their son, and his wife Ann, who live in Weston-super-Mare are regular visitors.

Allan will be very much missed by his family and many friends, and we send love and sympathy to Heather and her family through our Newsletter.

Pam and Alex

And others in the village who knew Allan and Heather when they were at Glaziers, are thinking of Heather and the family at this time of sadness and send their best wishes.




We are sad to announce that Eunice passed away on the 7th September. She died peacefully aged 90 after suffering with dementia for many years. Eunice and her husband Bernard, lived in the village at Bali Hai and both were active in village life.

She will be so sadly missed by her children, Val and Jeff and their spouses, her grandchildren, great grandchildren and wider family.


It was with sadness we learnt that Gordon, of Stapleton Farm, had passed away on the 21st September, aged 76 years.

Our thoughts are with all his family at this difficult time; with Richard and Ali, Julia and Neil, Adam and Natalie and his grandchildren, Hannah, Alison, Courtney, Katrina, Lucy, Emily and Daisy, and all his friends.


Joan Wood, born 5th January 1925, died 15th July 2019 - aged 94 for those like me who have difficulty with such things.

Where to start, what to leave out and how to finish looking through someone else's life of 94 years? This can only be considered as an attempt. If you take away any impressions from this retelling, they should be that Joan loved life, loved people and loved talking - her love of all three only to be surpassed by her love of laughter. Here we go!

Joan was born in Hadleigh, Essex [yes, a born and bred Essex girl] to Tom and Sarah Reynolds; the second youngest of six, following on from her twin sister Doris. The timing of the twins' birth was a little difficult, her father Tom being in hospital having lost his right leg above the knee.

Education was not Joan's cup of tea, particularly after a teacher stated that you could not see the moon in the day time. All hands in the class shot up to inform the teacher that they had observed such an object on the way to school that morning! The consequence to the unfortunate pupil who had contradicted the teacher was sufficient. Joan would never raise her hand again to ask a question at school.

But it was not all bad. Hadleigh was at that time quite a rural backwater; where cricket was played on the main London road and Joan was recognised as the best whip-and-top operator in the parish. The delights of employment were not introduced gradually, Tom - Joan's father - never allowed grass to grow under you, so organised a plum job of collar turning in a shirt factory; difficult enough even without the pressure of piece work and, of course, rejects came off the machinist's tally - not conducive to making you popular! Then came cleaning houses with no training, so laying a fire was achieved as per best boy scout practice and did not meet with universal acceptance. Glamour finally came with working at the cinema, spot lit in uniform [complete with button hat] while serving ice creams, tearing tickets in half and seeing people to their seats. Then came the Second World War.

The war effort required many to change occupation and so Joan went to working machine tools - pull this, turn this, measure here, take out, put in this bin. Working through the long nights and air raids, falling asleep at the machine was a particular hazard.

Hadleigh had the privilege of being the location of the first Salvation Army farm colonies where people had a chance to recover their lives from whatever their challenge was. They started supporting the war effort by manning canteens to provide sustenance to the many thousands of service men arriving in the area and this was Joan's next challenge. At sixteen [they never asked] they gave her a 3.5 tonne left hand drive V8 Chevrolet canteen, showed her how to change gear [double de-clutch, no synchro], where the brakes were and how they worked. Once around the square in Hadleigh, totalling just a half mile, she was signed off for driving duty, given a list of locations, an amount of food, tea, soap and other supplies, and sent on her way. Get up at 4.00 a.m., finish at 6.00 p.m. and, as can be imagined, she never stopped laughing for 4 years!

Driving became something Joan enjoyed; the war gave her a freedom that few could enjoy or experience, her ability was fostered by having to overtake long convoys of Army vehicles in the dark, fog, snow, black ice - no gritting and virtually no lights - in a left-hand drive.

After the war, at the ripe old age of 20, Joan became Manageress for Howards Dairies, running a tea room; butter cream and cake counter with three staff reporting to her, whilst enjoyable it did not provide the stimulus of war [what would!] and the loss of comradery in particular stayed with Joan all her days.

However, this pesky airman kept turning up on his motorbike and, in 1947, they were married - Joan Reynolds became Joan Wood. Upon hearing of Toby's proposal, the dairy put in their own counter proposals to Joan including a pay rise to keep her, but cupid's arrow had struck deep and she set sail for the deepest and most inland of black fens in Huntingdonshire - specifically to Roughs Farm.

As can be imagined, there was little opportunity after the war so it was not uncommon for the clans to gather. Joan arrived as others of the family de-mobbed from all over the world and so the farmhouse was populated with 14 others. Father-in-Law, George Wood, had purchased the farm in 1947 [he knew he was getting a lot of free labour, so . . .] whichhad been uninhabited; in the house, the floors had stinging nettles growing through them, there was no running water in the house, no electricity [oil lamps made a poor substitute] but it was perfectly equipped for the 19th century - including a copper and a three-seat bench toilet. The cooking facilities would not be out of place for a spit and dog. Joan's introduction to farming, along with her mother-in-law was to cook, scrub and clothes wash for 14.

Toby, Don and Joan knew all about hard work and pushed on. Now it was time to tackle living in the 20th century. The farm house was refurbished, a bungalow was built and more land purchased. The refurbishment and building achieved entirely by the brothers and Joan; once again, she taught herself a whole new set of skills, which were perfected building a grain store and dryer, along with a potato store. The final push took the farm to over 1,000 acres. During this time, as well as raising a family and working alongside, Joan was doing the book keeping -a legacy of selling cinema tickets, keeping record and billing all those contracted acres. Through hard-work, tenacity and that tiger spirit, Joan helped to achieve not just survival, but also stability and prosperity all within 15 years.

Toby had lived with his Grandmother, who farmed into her 90's, in Devon. Toby wanted to come home, his lungs gave him trouble when pollution levels were high and he discovered that North Devon had the cleanest air in England. Orchard House and another renovation beckoned. After more hard work and help from her sons, the renovation was completed, including Joan's dream garden. Large, with many different sections and opportunities for planting as many shrubs, flowers, vegetables and trees as possible - which, over the years and oddly managing to coincide with any family visiting Orchard house, had to then be cut down to let the light back in!

Alongside her joy of gardening, Joan became an accomplished artist, tried her hand at calligraphy and took up as many hobbies as she could, at last the hard work was over and they could begin to enjoy themselves in the haven they had created. They joined the University of the Third Age [founder members of North Devon Coast branch], Square dancing at Woolacombe, the Wine Circle, the WI and the Craft Group as well as being an avid competitor in the Village Show. She and Toby never lost their interest in farming and made close connections in the local farming community. Great fun was had with the Bowdens [Len and Michael], Dr. Black [the bailer twine was always appreciated], the Gubbs uncle and the Richards [Ivy]. Just a few of the people lost to us such as Tom and Vera Greenaway, Vi Kingdom, Vi Songhurst, who welcomed Joan and Toby to Berrynarbor. Joan and Toby made many friends in the area.

Toby passed away on the 3rd of April 2010. Joan had lived in Berrynarbor for 44 years.

Paul Wood


It was sad to learn that Barbara, who with her husband John lived on the Park, moving to Stourport on Severn some years ago, had passed away on the 13th November. Our thoughts are with John at this time of sorrow.



10th August 1946 - 4th August 2019

Into the freedom of the winds and sunshine, we let you go.
Into the dance of the stars and planets we let you go.
Into the wind's breath, we let you go.
We love you, we miss you, we want you to be happy.
Go safely, go dancing, go running home, we let you go.

As Editor, and friend, I was particularly saddened to learn that Peter had died peacefully on Sunday, 4th August. Peter's delightful pictures and illustrations have enhanced our Newsletter almost from its beginnings, for which I am most grateful.

A beloved and loving husband, father, stepfather and grandfather, our thoughts at this very sad time are with Sally and all his family.A beautiful and moving service remembering his life and attended by his family and many friends, was held in Barnstaple on the 23rd August, and to celebrate his lifelong love of Lundy, a walk in his memory took place there on the 14th September, a beautiful early autumn day, with clear blue skies and sunshine - go dancing, Peter.

Peter, a naturalised North Devonian, was born in Manchester.His parents moved to Ilfracombe when he was twelve, but he is proud of the fact that he spent every birthday up to that point in Ilfracombe.He attended Barnstaple Grammar School, leaving in 1965, to begin his art and design training at Dartington College of Arts, completing it at the West of England College of Arts, Bristol, in 1969 with a degree in Fine Art.

He worked as a freelance artist and designer for several years before being employed by Grand Metropolitan Hotels as an interior designer.It was the arrival of the first two of his four children, Marc, Trudi, Robin and Anna, that persuaded him to consider a career in teaching and he subsequently taught art and design at every level, from primary to post-graduate, ending his teaching as Co-ordinator for A Level Art & Design at the North Devon College, now Petroc, and later acting as an A Level Moderator.

Peter undertook commissions in painting, sculpture and illustration.His work features in private collections all over the world and he has illustrated a number of publications, both fiction and non-fiction and is responsible for 'Lundy - An Island Sketchbook'. He has also published 'The Lundy Granite Company - an industrial adventure', a fascinating account of the wheelings and dealings surrounding the attempts by a group of Victorian entrepreneurs to capitalise on the demand for granite, and 'Ancient Sunlight' a novel set in North Devon in the years following the First World War, a sequel to Henry Williamson's 'Flax of Dream'.Peter's books are available on Amazon, and his work can still be found and purchased in the Gallery Jessica Dove in Ilfracombe.

As well as the many covers and illustrations he did for the Newsletter, including the cover of this issue, Peter designed the Millennium Fountain with its apt words by Lorna Bowden, 'Drink in this beautiful place and leave refreshed'. He designed the cover for Gary Songhurst's 'Potted History of Berrynarbor' and the scenery for Gary's many BBC Shows.

Sadly, Peter was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease more than a decade ago, but despite this he maintained his independence and continued working until shortly before his death, working as a Librarian for the Landmark Trust and travelling around the South West.

The only child of elderly parents, Peter rejoiced in the love he gave and received from his family and his step-family, especially his grandchildren Caitlin, Millie, Dillon, Jack Evie, Missie and Heloise, and his step-sons, James, David and Robert and his step-grandchildren Ollie and Amelie.

A very gentle person, Peter embraced life to the full.


Our friendship began in the mid '80s when Peter was asked to help design and construct the village carnival float. We worked on these projects together and he taught me a lot about visual effects and construction - especially how to make a 15 foot peacock head out of withies and disused fertiliser bags! We found that we worked together well. So, when Gary Songhurst asked Pete to design and paint the backdrops we decided to work on them together. Pete was a hard worker and we often did 'through's' - working throughout the night, Beethoven playing in the background, to get things finished by the morning. He'd then take himself off to work at Petroc teaching A level Art and Design.
Peter started to follow The Parcel Of Rogues - a Berrynarbor band - and came on tour with us to Ireland in the early 90s.

Together we renovated Wescotts Gallery and coffee shop in Appledore during which Pete made and designed the 'Appledore Chair'. A chair made out of three planks of wood with no screws, nails or dowels to hold it together. He wove a whole story about the chair, claiming it was made out of old ships' timbers salvaged from wrecks! We had joint exhibitions of our work at the gallery when it first opened.
In the late 90s Pete, together with Ann Westcott, ran Lundy sketching breaks on the island. Peter asked me to tutor the drawing and painting sections of the course. The time we spent on the island hold my fondest and most poignant memories of him. We did a lot of drawing, painting, drinking, talking and walking, sometimes late into the night. I got to know the real Pete - highly intelligent, well read, cultured and generous. When we returned to the mainland we carried on the drinking and talking at the George and Dragon on Friday nights!
It was my pleasure to play for Pete and Sally at their wedding.

A much loved friend and "partner in crime", you will be sorely missed Pete.

Nigel Mason


Many readers will have happy memories of Mary and Brian Shillaker who lived at Rockton, moving to Shurton, Stogursey near Bridgwater some ten years ago.So it was sad to learn that Brian, after a long time of ill health, had passed away on the 15th August.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Mary, Helen, Richard and Nick at this sad time.

28th March 1935 - 17th August 2019

It was with sadness that the village learnt that having lived at Park Lane Care Home for several years, Inge, whose home with her late husband Alan had been in Barton Lane, had passed away on the 17th August.Our thoughts are with Zoe and her family in England, and all her family in Hamburg.

Inge, or Ingeburg to give her her full name, was born in Hamburg in 1935.Her mother died soon after her birth and as she grew up, she always had a close relationship with her brother, Harald.

Inge worked as a technical artist and it was whilst she was on a holiday in Jersey, that she met Alan Richardson.They fell in love, married and Inge moved to England, initially to Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire.

Inge and Alan's first home in Berrynarbor, a holiday home, was Forge Cottage, but when they left Hemel Hempstead to come to Devon to live, they bought and moved into Sherrards in Barton Lane.

Her brother also married and he and Gisela had three daughters, Maike, Imke and Antje, who still live in Hamburg.Inge was Antje's Godmother and Alan was Godfather to Imke. Sadly, Harald passed away in 1990 and Alan in 1993.The girls spent family visits to England when they enjoyed the country life and beautiful landscape, and in their words, "Inge was a careful host and she liked to cook delicious meals.At our birthdays and Christmas, we always received parcels with generous gifts."

Inge and Alan were active members of the community.Alan founded the still flourishing and successful Wine Circle, was Chairman of the Manor Hall Committee, always with Inge at his side, and together they were early and stalwart members of the local U3A group. They both liked to travel.Inge was an active member of St. Peter's Church until she was no longer able to attend.

Inge loved her garden and her two dogs, Rusty and Robbie; she was always interested in fashion and liked beautiful clothes and make-up.

She loved Sherrards.In later years when she was unwell and in care, on return visits there she became 'herself' again, making tea and chatting with those she was with.

One of her friends described her as being 'loud and fun'!She was certainly a big character with a big heart and who it would be difficult to forget once you had met her.

Inge and Alan gave so much to so many people through their lives and activities - she has been missed over the past few years.

She has run her race and is at peace and will surely have heard the words, "Well done, you good and faithful servant."

[From the Eulogy given by Zoe Curran at the
Service to Celebrate Inge's Life at St. Peter's on the 16th September.]



5th January 1925 - 15th July 2019

It was so sad to learn that after a long illness, Joan had passed away at home on the 15th July. A loving and much-loved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, she will be so missed by all her family and her many friends.

Our thoughts and prayers are with David, Jane and Paul and all the family at this time of sadness.


It was with sadness that longer term villagers learnt that Gerald, known locally as Nipper, had passed away and our thoughts are with all his family, especially those at Swimbridge, and his many friends.

Gerald was born in Berrynarbor on the 2nd of September 1934, the son of Fred and Rosina Bray. Fred sadly died in 1936 leaving Rosie, as she was known, to bring up Gerald and his sister Ivy, who was 9 years older. Gerald said Rosie was a very firm mother, and one day when he missed the bus to school, she made him walk, only for him to get the cane when he got there for being late!

When he left school he went to work as a farm labourer, first up at Smythen, after which there followed many years of farm laboring, going from farm to farm as was needed - harvesting, lambing and shearing. He also did trapping, at times working with Gordon Newton. Farmers would call them in when rabbits, foxes or even moles were getting out of hand. The resulting pelts would be dried and then sent off to end up in fashion houses.

Gerald was never short of work. He worked for Woolaway at Watermouth, tending the huge gardens which were at Sawmills, and a good few years were spent as a builders' labourer for various firms.

Gerald and Rosie reared poultry, especially turkeys for Christmas. His spare time was spent on gardening, playing skittles, darts and snooker, and pigeon racing - all very successfully. He enjoyed dancing, whether at the local dances which used to be held every week in the summer at the Manor Hall or at The Runnacleave in Ilfracombe. He would dress in his drainpipes, string tie, long jacket and thick soled shoes and off he would go with his mates to do his favourite rock 'n' roll - he never had a shortage of girlfriends!

In 1979, Rosie had a stroke and so he was left to look after himself, his sister Ivy helped out. Then he met Grace and romance blossomed. She moved in and together they made a success of the garden and poultry. They rebuilt Beech Hill, he still did farm work, private gardening and the local foot paths and life was good. Around 1997, they decided they needed more space for breeding poultry, so they moved to Withycombe, Combe Martin. Very sadly, in 2002, Grace died suddenly, which was a great shock to Gerald.

A few years later, he met Pauline and he introduced her to horse racing and she got him to go on holidays. So the first stop on any holiday was to find the local bookies.

By 2007 he had moved in with Ivy at Wood Park and Pauline had moved to Cornwall with her family, but they still went on holidays or he would go and visit her.

When in 2008 Ivy died, and not wanting to go back to Combe Martin, Gerald came to Wales with me where he enjoyed being with the family. I used to take him out and about and he spoke to Pauline every night, comparing winnings or lack of.

When the time came for us to move to Swimbridge, Gerald was quite sad as he had loved his time in Wales, but he soon settled and when Pauline died in the spring, he had a lot of support from us. He helped me form a vegetable garden and Tracey with her hens - a source of a few arguments as Tracey's hens were pets not money makers!

The last 4 years he was content with being an arm chair sports critic, an expert on politics and a judge on Strictly, all via the TV. He had a great interest in nature and loved to share it with Heidi [his great-great niece]. Alex, Devon and the postman were sounding boards for his football opinions - it was best not to get him going on politics! He got great enjoyment from feeding and watching the birds.

Once a month Bernard Newton would pick him up and take him to Berrynarbor calling on Chris and Barbara Gubb, and he was always pleased if he saw Elaine and Geoff and especially their children. Later, meeting up with Derek, they would go for lunch before Bernard returned him back to Swimbridge.

He was very content with his life; his visitors were few and far between but he could have as much or as little company as he wanted from my family. I just had to make sure I was on time when it came to giving him his meals every day and his trip to the bookies and Lidl's each week.

Gerald was a very colourful character and he will be greatly missed by all of the family at Swimbridge. But we won' t miss his corny jokes!

A thank you to Bernard, Derek, Chris, Barbara, Elaine and Geoff - he really valued your friendship.


We've known Nipper for more than 30 years. Over that time, he's been a thoughtful and generous friend, and always there when we needed a hand. He helped us with the garden and fields at Middle Lee and continued when we moved to Hagginton Hill.

I used to have a Labrador called Seamus. Many of you older folk may remember him. After he died, Nipper remarked to Grace, his long-time partner, "To see Pam walking around the village without a dog is like seeing a house without a chimney!"

A little later, we went away for a few days. On our return, I climbed to the top of the garden and there stood a small tree. When I looked closer there was a note attached. I don't remember the exact words but it was in Grace's neat handwriting and to the effect that it would be there longer than I should and it was in memory of Seamus. It's still there and yearly gives us Bramley apples. On Nipper's instruction, Grace had bought it in Barnstaple for him to plant whilst we were away, he knew how much I missed the beautiful old Bramley tree left behind at Middle Lee.

I said earlier that I had a Labrador. It's well-known that Alex doesn't like dogs. So, for one of my birthdays, Nipper arranged for a record to be played on Devon Radio acknowledging the fact. Its name? Love me, love my dog! He could reveal a wicked sense of humour!

These are just three of the pleasurable memories of our dear friend. For years we have exchanged Christmas gifts, but this year we shall just have to raise our glasses and remember this kind and gentle man. Farewell, Nipper, and thank you.

Pam Parke




Think of me as one at rest
For me you should not weep.
I have no pain, no troubled thoughts
For I am just asleep.
The living, thinking me that was,
Is now forever still,
And life goes on without me now,
As time forever will.

If your heart is heavy now
Because I've gone away,
Dwell not long upon it friend
For none of us can stay.
Those of you who liked me
I sincerely thank you all,
And those of you who loved me
I thank you most of all.

And in my fleeting lifespan,
As time went rushing by,
I found some time to hesitate,
To laugh, to love, to cry.
Matters it now if time began
If time will ever cease?
I was here, I used it all,
And now I am at peace.

Author Unknown

Illustration by: Peter Rothwell

15.8.1981 - 9.4.2019

It was with profound shock and sadness that the village learnt that Matthew, Chris and Phil Brown's eldest son, had died suddenly whilst on business in Qatar on the 9th April, 2019. Our thoughts are with Chris and Phil and all the family at this time of unbelievable sadness.

Although living in Denmark, Matthew's funeral took place here in North Devon on 13th May and Chris and Phil would like to thank everyone for joining them to say farewell, for the many messages of sympathy, cards, flowers and for the generous donations for Young Epilepsy.

If there is anyone who would like to support this very worthwhile charity, donations in Matthew's memory may be sent to A.D. Williams, 31 Portland Street, Ilfracombe, EX34 9NL.

15.10.47 - 17.4.19

A friend to many in the village and a supporter of our Newsletter, it was sad to learn that Ray had passed away peacefully, at home, with his family on the 17th April.

Our thoughts are with Lynn, Martin and Roy and all the family at this time of sadness.

Remembering Ray

Although Ray was proud to be a Berrynarbor boy, having many relatives in the village, he first lived temporarily in Ilfracombe - where he was also proud to be a 'Quayite' - for the first months of his life, while his parents were living with his grandparents in Rupert's Wood Terrace, his grandfather having a gentlemen's hair dressing shop in Broad Street. When he was a few months old, the family moved out to Berrynarbor, where they lived in the village, next to the primary school.

Ray was also quite proud of the fact that before he was three years old, he walked alone from the village, without being spotted, up to the Sandy Cove Hotel, to see his grandparents, who were caretakers there, and had to be brought home by car.

Later the family moved up to Croft Lee, where his sisters Lin, and eventually Debbie joined them.

A happy, carefree childhood, playing with his sisters and friends, getting into mischief, and wandering in the countryside observing nature followed, which led to his great knowledge of the countryside. He also spent many happy hours and days fishing off the rocks at Broadsands with family and friends.

Ray left Combe Martin Secondary School, aged fifteen, just as the savage winter of 1962-63 was beginning. This delayed him starting work for a while, so more exploring and adventuring took place. One of his enduring memories was walking on snow drifts as high as the hedges.

He finally started work for Harris, the builder, as a carpenter's apprentice in the workshop in Combe Martin, making coffins. During his building career he worked on housing estates around Ilfracombe and all around North Devon; working on Ilfracombe Comprehensive School, as it was called then, helping convert the Grammar School into the Junior School and spent a long time helping to build the North Devon District Hospital. He was proud of the work that he did there, and just a few weeks ago was able to point out features that he had built. Although the work was hard, he made many friends and enjoyed the camaraderie.

It was during these years Ray and Lynn met, famously, at Combe Martin Seaside, and were married soon after. Ray moved into Ilfracombe, where he and Lynn were later joined by their much-loved boys, Martin and Roy. A long and happy family life followed.

When the hospital was completed in the late '70's, work became hard to find and having bought a boat, Ray spent time fishing for lobster, crabs and mackerel and supplementing his income crewing on pleasure craft. He then worked sub-contracting as a carpenter, working for some time in the workshop in the Sterridge Valley.

In his spare time in the 80's he built his beautiful big boat, Thor, in Chris and Barbara Gubb's farm yard in Berrynarbor. She was sold soon after she was finished, and eventually found her way to Padstow where she appeared several times in TV programmes, with the likes of Rick Stein. She had been renamed Blue Fox, and was still going strong in January this year, when she was up for sale, in Rock.

The mid-80's brought Morris dancing into his life when son Roy started playing for the Cloggies. When the family saw what fun there was to be had, Ray and Roy joined the Muddiford and Milltown Morris Men and Lynn joined the Ilfracombe Red Petticoats. This made such a change to their lives, making dozens, if not hundreds, of friends and taking them to many places they would never have visited otherwise. Later, with friends, they started a Playford side, Playford being old English country dancing, and yet more happy times followed. Ray was also a founder member of the Oggle band - more fun and laughs! Later, Cotswold and North West Morris evolved into Border, with ragged jackets and blackened faces. Happy Days!

Retirement from Morris ended after twenty-six happy years, but not giving up on all things folksy, Ray continued with the Wassailing tradition that he had revived in North Devon, and where the apple crops had flourished. Always being an 'apple man', Ray planted a little orchard in his back garden. The blossom is just starting to bloom.

The family had moved to Bicclescombe Park Road in 1987 and Ray took a great interest in the park itself, eventually partly helping him to be awarded a Pride in Ilfracombe award.

He was the main instigator for getting the mill wheel restored, spending many hours in research and choosing the wood for the buckets. He was very happy to see it completed last year. He also supported the community tea rooms and for several Christmases played Father Christmas where at least one family thought he was the real Santa! 
Family was always paramount to Ray, always being there when needed. In his and Lynn's long and happy marriage, he was always there for her and their boys. Always there for his father in his final illness, and patiently looking after his mother-in- law in her last days. Looking out for his sisters, he was always ready with care and advice. The love and respect that all the family, nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews have poured out for him in these last days have been such a wonderful comfort and he would be, and indeed was, very proud of them.

Throughout his illness, Ray was so brave, never really complaining, his thoughts and worries were for Lynn such that he planned his funeral, relieving the family of any decision making. Well done Ray!

He would be so very proud of all the wonderful words, messages and comments Lynn and the family have received since his passing. So, thank you everyone and thanks to all who came to the funeral and gave him the send-off he deserved.

See all of Ray's articles in his series.


July 1925 - October 2018

John Gale was the first Headmaster of The Ilfracombe Academy or Ilfracombe School and Community College as it was then. A pioneer in community education, the founder of so many local institutions, a devoted husband, father and grandfather, he leaves behind a great legacy.

John was born in the seaside town of Littlehampton on the Sussex coast. Whilst his origins were humble, his father a railway worker and his mother a lady's maid, it was soon clear that he was an extraordinary child. With an ambition and a drive that came to define who he was as a man, he first gained entry to the local grammar school and then, at the age of just 17, gained a place in Oxford University. He talked of arriving at Oxford in clothes handed down by the aristocratic family his mother worked for and, not able to afford college membership, was part of the Delegacy for Non-Collegiate Students which later became St Catherine's College. These experiences had a profound effect, firing his life-long commitment to creating equal opportunities in education. However, with the country at war, it was not long before he abandoned his studies and joined the Royal Air Force where he trained as a pilot, reaching the rank of Flight Lieutenant. Known for his amazing eyesight and powers of observation, he was given the task of mapping and identifying enemy aircraft, often flying in dangerous territories. It was in 1942, stationed in Manchester and on his way to Canada for flight training, that John met Pat, and so began their 70 years together. Pat's family owned a butcher's shop in Manchester and she played her part in the war effort working in a munitions factory. They wrote to one another for the best part of three years, letters John would keep with him and treasure.

When the war ended, he went back to Oxford to complete his studies, and he and Pat were married in May 1947. He tried out various jobs and went on to take a 5-year commission in the Air Force as an education officer.

Now parents to twin girls, Elizabeth and Patricia, they moved to Leicestershire where John worked in adult education and they bought their first home using his end-of-service gratuity. His next move was a spectacular one when, at the age of 31, he was appointed as Headmaster of Swavesey Community College in Cambridgeshire, making him one of the youngest headmasters in the country. Community education was an exciting new initiative which combined comprehensive education with adult education, pre-school and community work. Houses were built around the college for staff, which was a centre for the community who were encouraged to get involved. This suited John perfectly.

Their third child John was born and the three children enjoyed happy childhoods together playing around the campus. John had found a career he truly loved, and he would look back on those seven years in Cambridgeshire as very happy and fulfilling.

Then, in 1965, John was given his most ambitious task to date. He was to move to Ilfracombe to establish and ultimately open Ilfracombe Community College. This would see him first take on the role of Headmaster of three other schools, before bringing them together to create a centre for a community that stretched from Woolacombe to Lynton and Countisbury, reaching out to all the villages, hamlets and towns in the area.

John's love of Exmoor began on these visits and, spurred on by his enthusiasm for sharing Exmoor with the students of the College, the school was bequeathed land on the edge of the moor. The Exmoor Centre was created. Built in the old grammar school hall, the Centre was the creation of staff, parents and young people, and was carried out to Exmoor on a fleet of tractors. To this day it is a wonderful place and is remembered by so many who had the experience of spending the first week of their time at the College at the Centre.

Ilfracombe Community College was officially opened in 1972, the first purpose-built comprehensive in the country. It was innovative and ambitious, and John was hugely energetic, inspiring those who worked with him to share his vision of community, of local people pulling together and to make things happen.

John wanted to offer opportunities to his students and one of them was travel. In 1972, Sixth Formers from the College became the first British entrants to China after the end of the cultural revolution, and a trip to India followed.

Despite the demands of running the College, John managed to support the community through the Rotary Club. At this time, Pat began Country Cousins, a business where students from overseas would come to stay in the town to learn English.

With the children now out in the world, John and Pat moved to Moorings, a beautiful home overlooking Watermouth castle and the sea, buying up adjacent land to give Pat the garden she had always dreamt of, but to visitors, more of a small forest or woodland. Whatever project John took on, he did to an incredibly high standard, and the garden was no exception. Gardening, always an interest of John's, became a passion.

Perhaps lured by the success the family was having with Country Cousins, John retired from the College in 1982. A new era had begun. The business was expanded, a building at Bicclescombe Park was bought, and later Patricia and her husband John Swan took over the day-to-day running of the business, focusing on achieving a standard of excellence in language teaching and the hosting of students from overseas. This focus eventually led to the prestigious award of British Council recognition, and Pat and John travelled across Europe promoting Country Cousins.

A few years later they gave up work and began to celebrate their retirement together, travelling the world, visiting South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, China, Canada and the United states; times together they loved. Retirement was a time when John and Pat threw their energy into numerous community groups and projects. Pat became a Samaritan and she and John undertook the daunting task of raising £30,000 to provide a building for the North Devon Samaritans. With friends they established a branch of the University of the Third Age, U3A, a group for retired people who strive to continue learning and sharing skills well into their later years. John even led an annual residential trip to places of historical interest. He was involved in the Civic Society, becoming Chairman in 1988, an organisation of over 100 local activists determined to encourage the development of the town. His involvement in the Exmoor Centre continued and he raised the funds for a full renovation. The Centre later became a charity independent of Ilfracombe College and opened its doors to children, families, young people and groups, who come from far and wide to have the experience of living simply in the midst of Exmoor.

A Rotarian for 50 years, John served the community tirelessly and was awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship for his many years of dedicated service.

Another retirement project for John and Pat was supporting their son who had gone to live in Tuscany. Together they bought and renovated a small settlement of cottages in the hamlet of Castello. High up on the hillside, surrounded by olive groves and with a simple farming population, this was a place John and Pat truly loved. It was then that they experienced a tragedy of the kind that no parent should ever have to experience. In August 1990, their son John died suddenly. His wife, Jenny, left heavily pregnant, gave birth to their first grandson six weeks later. With amazing courage and strength, Jenny was determined to bring their child up in Castello and to finish the project and John and Pat spent countless weeks in Tuscany, supporting her and doing all they could to help finish what their son had started. The olive groves of Tuscany, and the ancient twisted wood they had used to burn on the fires, inspired John to start woodcarving. Many hours were spent in rapt attention carving, sanding and chiseling, his work following the patterns he found in the wood.

To their three grandsons, John and Pat were known as Nonno and Nonna, English pronunciations of the Italian words for Grandad and Grandma, and many happy summers were spent at Watermouth with them, enjoying John's swimming pool and charging around the garden, following all the winding paths John had created.

When Pat was diagnosed with Alzheimers in 2002, John took on the advice of her psychiatrist who suggested that activity, stimulation and travel would be helpful. His unwavering devotion to her in her final years was befitting of their 70 years together and, when Pat's condition deteriorated, John took on the role of full time carer. She died peacefully at home with John, in May 2012. Their separation after a lifetime together was something from which John did not recover well. However, life at Moorings was far from empty for John. Always interested in his grandsons and their activities, he was a great source of encouragement and inspiration for them, passionately concerned in everything they were doing.

His final years in Moorings were helped by a team of loyal and lovely people. Maxine Putman, his gardener for 16 years and a talented horticulturist, worked with John and ensured that his garden flourished long after he was no longer able to tend to it himself. Sue Potter, his and Pat's carer for 12 years, supported by Alison, was a great friend, allowing him to maintain dignity during this time. It meant so much to him to be able to live out his final years there, and this would not have been possible without their help and without the ongoing loving support of his family.

Words cannot describe the deep respect and admiration so many have, and will always have, for John - the grandfather, the father, the husband, the headmaster and the friend - truly one of Ilfracombe's greats.

From the Editor:

    I was fortunate to work with John as his personal assistant for seven years at Ilfracombe College - seven very happy but busy and eventful years. After his retirement we kept in touch and I was glad to be able to enjoy with him, his 93rd birthday in July. I shall miss him but thanks to the family, I am lucky enough to have one of his olive wood carvings in memory of a very special boss.





John died on the 24th October, aged 93, in his beloved Watermouth home surrounded by the love of his family and carers.

John moved to Ilfracombe in 1964, a pioneer in education, he came to establish the first ever purpose-built comprehensive school in the country. Ilfracombe Community College was opened in 1973. John and his wife Pat, were passionate about the community and promoted and served its interest through their long lives.

It was with much sadness we learnt that John had passed away and our thoughts are with his daughters, Patricia and Elizabeth, and all his family.

A personal Tribute from the Family,
especially for her Grandchildren and Great-grandchildren
given at the Thanksgiving Service by John

Well, it falls to me to tell you a little about the life of Kath or Granny to a lot of you. Well, Granny Noodle to many of us, or Granny Bumble to some of you. Noodle was a nickname given her by her girls' father, Don.

Bumble was the name of a sheep which Jill brought home as a lamb the owners were going to put down because its front leg was a bit deformed and bent, so the lamb walked on three legs. Don said he could fix that and strapped its leg inside the hollowed-out stem of a sprout plant. The lamb lived and became known as Bumble, and was eventually given by Jill to her mother here in Berrynarbor. Carol's children then knew Kath as Granny Bumble because of this crazy Jacob sheep.

Margaret Kathleen Herbert was born on the 2nd January 1923, at Hedgeland Farm, Cadbury, near Exeter. It was a mixed farm, using shire horses and with no mains water, electricity or gas. Cider was made and apples, cream, butter and eggs were sold. Good times were had but hard work was the norm.

Kath and her brothers started school at Cadbury but were later transferred to Cheriton Fitzpayne which involved a bus ride. She was highly competitive and states that at school she was captain of hockey and netball. She also played cricket with the boys and was a better bowler than most in the area and held the records for running, high jump and long jump. She felt it was a tragedy that she couldn't take up the place offered to her at Crediton High School - there was no transport, she didn't have a bike and so she had to work on the farm.

She eventually got herself a bike after she joined Bickleigh YFC where she entered the young bull that she had reared from a calf for the competition. She came second and sold her prize-winning bull for £19, spending £6.10 shillings on buying the bike which gave her freedom. This freedom meant she could go to ballroom dancing classes with Don and they were very good dancers, embracing any new dance that came along.

In 1939 the Herbert family moved to East Ruckham Farm, Cruwys Morchard, near Tiverton. The distance between the two farms was about 8 miles and all animals were walked from Hedgeland to East Ruckham. Kathy looked after the pigs but also reared rabbits and used the funds for her bottom drawer. For you, younger ones, the bottom drawer has been replaced by The Wedding List!

Kath states that girls had to work outside on the farm all day but that the boys never helped with the housework! This meant she worked alongside her brothers in the field and then had to serve them their meals at lunch and dinner times. This certainly fuelled her feelings towards men in later life regarding equality.

Kath married Donald Arscott in April 1944, and they spent some years living at Cadbury before moving to Crandle Farm, Cruwys Morchard. At first they were tenant farmers, but later they were able to buy the farm. Kathy did all the milking to save money on employment. During this time they set up the Cruwys Morchard Young Farmers Club which certainly helped her three daughters' social life!

Kath's love of animals always persisted and this meant that you looked after them first, each day, before yourself.

My first memories of Kath were before we even met. My father and I had to raise a mortgage to buy Crandle Farm and did so by applying to the Agricultural Mortgage Corporation in Taunton. The valuer duly visited the farm and we then attended a meeting with him in Taunton to hear the result. He said there was no problem with borrowing the money and that he had valued the farm at what we were being asked to pay for it. But, in addition to that - he was a bit of a lad I think! - he told us he had valued the farmer's wife. He said that she was a cracker and she had a lovely daughter, which turned out to be true, and the lovely daughter was Jill who became my wife.

I remember when we moved in Kath was highly amused when she learned that we kept our dog in the house. "Very Townie," she said. She had never allowed a dog in the house, they were supposed to stay outside. She certainly changed a lot over the years with Barney sharing every meal with her and sleeping in her bedroom!

Kathy and Don then moved to West Ruckham, where they built a new homestead and buildings. On the sale of this farm in 1980, they moved to Berrynarbor, where they kept sheep and had some holiday bungalows at Woolacombe.

Carol says that the joyous and abiding memory she is left with, is a love of wildlife and flowers. This, no doubt, accounts for Carol never feeling happier than when she is in the garden.

Kathy loved colour. She could never understand the saying, 'blue and green should never be seen'. "What about bluebells?" she would say. The colours adorning her coffin are what she wanted. We have all been most impressed by her use of colour in her weaving and when we opened her wardrobes, the vibrant colours were amazing, hence the thought that all could wear some colour today.

Kath could see a picture and was a very good photographer and gave many slide shows of her varied and extensive travels. She was a beautiful sewer, a skill learnt from her mother, a seamstress. Her girls always had a dress in the latest fashion even if she cut up one of her own dresses to make it.

She started spinning and weaving with Don when they came to Berrynarbor 38 years ago. They were founder members of the North Devon Spinners, and I'm delighted that the group still thrives. Kath was the President to the end and loved going to the meetings. She told us recently when she was really ill, how much she missed it. The drape on her coffin is the very first piece of weaving she did and it was Kathy's request that it be used today.

Kath loved cooking and a pavlova was her signature dish. Don made a special wooden platter for it. She was still making her own bread up to a few months ago and always made me cake whenever I visited, insisting I took most of it home as she scolded Jill for not making cakes!

Her verve for life gave her the need to travel, inherited from her homesteader father. First with Don, overland to Australia and there are really not many countries Kath has not visited including some of the most dangerous and some you can't visit now. She was truly a courageous traveler, quite often as a single woman. When asked about her latest holiday she would reply it wasn't a holiday it was an expedition.

One of Donna's cherished memories is accompanying her mother in 2005 to Saskatchewan, Canada, to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the Homesteaders, Kath's father being one of them. They were invited to stay with friends in the town of Windhorst, which hosted the three-day event, with time to visit the site of the homestead. In her diary, Kath said she felt the journey was very rewarding and well worth the effort and that she still wondered about the journey her mother and father made, how many days they must have been in the horse drawn wagon, and her mother, Rainy, would have had her wedding presents with her and many memories of the country and family she had left.

After Don's death, Kath met Trevor, who also liked to travel. They belonged to the Rioja Club, which involved some interesting weekends!

When she was over 80, I managed to fulfil another of Kathy's ambitions. to ride pillion on a large motorbike around the streets of Brussels dressed in full leather gear- which for some reason she called rubber!

More recently, in August of last year, Donna and Kath drove around Exmoor and managed to tick all the boxes. The heather was gloriously in bloom, the weather was fine, they enjoyed a picnic lunch at one of Kath's favourite places, namely Horners Wood, followed by spotting deer resting up on the hill. And the icing on the cake was that Kath was able to hold a conversation with one of her favourite animals - a Highland cow!

I should like to thank those of you in the village who continued to visit Kath until she died. We all appreciate that, and thank you Judie for taking Barney for so many walks and for giving Kath her daily medication - Baileys in her morning coffee!

We asked her grandchildren for any special memories, these are a few of them:

    Holly remembers them playing in the woods and granny clanging saucepan lids together to call them in. Coralie feels she gave her the thought that girls can do anything - Girl Power long before the Spice Girls.

    Yan remembers granny getting him to help in the garden when he used to stay at weekends. He very soon got blisters on his hands and went to show her, I suspect expecting to get out of the work. But Kath just said, "Oh, that's nothing, just spit on them and get on with it."

    Ian says: Gran was such a strong, witty and inspiring person and he likes to think that his love of great food, wine and travel comes from her! He says, "Our visits to Berrynarbor will never seem the same again."

I don't know whether you have heard the Simon Mayo drivetime confessions on BBC radio, but this is Ian's confession!

    "Many years ago, on a fine summer's day when grandad was still alive, Barn Cottage lost its electricity supply, as did the rest of the Sterridge Valley, the entire village and large parts of Combe Martin!  I suppose that it is safe to admit to this now. It was Yan and I who were the cause. Whilst playing with an air-gun in the apple orchard, we shot at one of the insulators which exploded causing a dead short on the 11,000 volt overhead supply line with the consequent loss of power in the region. I am sure in the circumstances, you will now forgive us Gran!"

I will leave you with a final thought from Carol. "Mother, together with her love of dogs, was still a farmer at heart. Please note - a farmer. It would have been a very brave person indeed to have called her a farmer's wife. I believe a few foolish people did!"

. . . and lastly, the other day we found hand written on the outside of an envelope which contained a lot of her papers, "Make sure you give me a jolly good send off!"

God bless you Kath, go well.




It was with sadness we learnt that David had passed away peacefully at home on the 18th July after a long illness bravely borne. A loving husband and father he will be sadly missed by all his family and friends.

Our thoughts are with Pat and James at this time of sorrow.

[Kathy or Kath]
2.1.1923 - 22.8.2018

The Spinners' Prayer

Thanks to the tree for my spinning wheel
Thanks to the sheep for its fleece
Thanks to the Lord for giving me
Hands that work in harmony
Bless all for whom I spin
And fill their hearts with peace.

How sad it was to learn that Kath had passed away at home on the 22nd August. A loving and much-loved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, she will be so missed by her family and many friends. Our thoughts are with Carol, Jill and Donna and their families at this very sad time.

The well-attended thanksgiving service for her life, held at St. Peter's on the 19th September, was a beautiful tribute to an interesting and remarkable lady who lived life to the full.

Carol, Jill and Donna would like to thank everyone who attended the service and for the many cards and messages of sympathy they have received.



ROSEMARY [Anne Priscilla] GAYDON
30.5.1930 - 4.6.2018

How sad it was to learn that Rosemary Gaydon had passed away at her home in Combe Martin on the 4th June 2018, at the age of 88. Her funeral, a Russian Orthodox service, took place at St. Peter's on the 3rd July when she was buried beside her husband, Bernard.

Rosemary and Bernard moved to North Devon in 1980 - a home-coming for Bernard who had been baptised at St. Brannocks Church in Braunton, where his mother was born.

Sadly, Bernard died on the 16th May 1997 following a car accident and Rosemary later moved from their home in Barton Lane to Combe Martin. In her tribute to Bernard, Rosemary told us that the family were well-known in Barnstaple, even having a street named after them in the town.

A delightful lady, Rosemary was always cheerful and welcoming. She had been a member of the local U3A and Berrynarbor W.I., attended the Friendship Lunches and was a subscriber and supporter of the Newsletter. She will be sadly missed by her many friends.




We were sorry to learn that Peggy, late of Middle Cockhill, had passed away peacefully at home at Norah Bellot Court, Barnstaple, on the 19th April A good friend and fantastic listener to both her family and friends and loving wife of the late Laurie, mother of Clarissa, Martin and Elisabeth, grandmother and great-grandmother, she will be sadly missed. Our thoughts are with all her family at this time of sadness.


A Tribute from her Daughter Elisabeth

Mum was born Peggy Irene Brinkman on 7th May 1931, in Tottenham, London. Her father was a cabinet maker, her mother a shoe maker for a theatre. Her father's family came from Germany, her mother's from Ireland. Sadly, her father suffered from severe epilepsy and had to go to live in a sanatorium when she was only 2. Her upbringing was tough in effectively a single parent family.

During the war years, like many children, mum moved around a lot, living with relatives and strangers as an evacuee. She was living in London in 1944 when buzz bombs were being dropped and spent many nights in air raid shelters with her mother, which must have been terrifying.

Peggy left school at 14 with no qualifications - she had one pair of shoes and a second-hand coat. As it was the end of the war, there were many jobs to choose from and Peggy and her friend frequently changed jobs as the fancy took them!

Mum met my dad, Laurie, at a tea dance, and before they married they worked together at a dentist's. She was a dental nurse - a friend having explained to her how to mix amalgam for a filling before she went for the interview! Dad made false teeth and mum would polish them on the bus as she delivered them.

She gave up city life when she agreed to marry Laurie whose ambition was to be a farmer. The wedding took place in London in 1951, in a hired dress, which was too big! The reception consisted of sherry and a cake and lasted an hour. Things were much simpler then!

They moved from London to a field in South Devon where they lived in a converted single decker bus. Dad was a farm labourer and mum kept 'house'! Dad shot rabbits which she cooked for tea; they grew their own vegetables. This was quite a change for her - she was supporting dad in the career he loved.

They moved to Ilfracombe in 1959 and dad had various jobs before they started the carpet business in 1963 in a shop in the High Street. By this time they had 3 children. Mum helped in the business, brought us up, kept house and also took guests in the summer months - she was never idle!

I vividly remember mum learning to drive - dad taught her! We 3 children sat in the back with dad - calmly, of course - telling her what to do. As the car kangaroo'd up the road, the 3 of us would chorus, "Mum, can't dad drive!"

In 1970 they moved to Berrynarbor to start a new adventure and yet again mum rose to the challenge of this upheaval. The business grew, dad was the ideas man, mum was natural at making money, dad was better at spending it! Together they made a success of the business.

Mum was always involved in the business, even when dad retired she continued to support Martin, although she did in later years turn up for work at 10.00 a.m! Lunch hours - a thing of the past now - were spent either eating out, or playing squash with Rosie their secretary, or playing cards with all the staff! Card playing continued to be a family tradition and mum was hard to beat!

Family was very important to mum and dad. As we grew up mum supported us in every way, with our school work, our friendships - she was always welcoming our friends for meals and to stay. She was an excellent cook, we always said 'Peg's perfect pastry' when eating one of her apple pies, and as children would count out the spoonfuls of custard for each of us to make sure it was fair. Christmas was a definite family affair - mum could not only cook enough delicious food for all of us, she managed to still look good as she did so and no matter how many of us there were, she could always squeeze us round the table. She was very involved with the grandchildren - having them to stay, taking them on holiday.

Mum loved clothes and consequently shopping. We spent many happy hours in the shops, she even inadvertently tried her hand at shoplifting, walking out of a store in Exeter and up the street with a new coat over her arm. Luckily, we noticed it and I was sent back with the article to confess and pay!

Life with our parents was never dull. Mum liked to be early for everything and dad was always late! Mum enjoyed driving at a steady pace in her Mercedes sports car that dad had given her, dad drove his car down the lane to the main road as though in a Grand Prix - look out the postman! They both had strong opinions and were not afraid to share them!

They had a busy retirement. They had many friends, enjoyed gardening, caring for their 9 grandchildren, were involved with their great grandchildren, continued to be involved in church, the Gideons and Rotary. Mum certainly had the gift of hospitality, always feeding her family and having visiting Gideon speakers and their wives to stay, and through Rotary having foreign students to stay.

They loved to travel. Initially taking us camping, then away in a converted transit van, then a caravan, and took us to Morocco! On their own they travelled far and wide in their motor home, driving up through Scandinavia and also through Europe as far as Romania! They discovered the delights of cruising and saw much of the world this way in their later years.

Mum struggled for many years with her health but was very persistent in not giving up. She was a good listener and whoever was caring for her or helping her, she would quickly find out about their lives, she was always interested in others.

The last two and a half years of mum's life were spent without dad and she was very strong when she had to leave her home.

She was so well supported at Norah Bellot Court and got to know all the staff, and they her with her direct manner. You always knew where you were with mum, she could be very direct! She had a keen sense of humour and even in the difficult times we found something to laugh about.

Mum was not a preacher like dad, however, she had her own faith, it was here, at Pip and Jim's in 1960 that she gave her life to Christ. She taught in Sunday School, supported the work of the Gideons as dad did. In her later years, when her health deteriorated, she struggled with her faith. A few months ago, I had the privilege of attending a service with her at NBC where the message was taken from my dad's favourite Psalm which reminded us both that God knows us altogether. Mum kept a card on her window sill with the verse 'Jesus said I will never leave you or forsake you', and in her prayer book she had a card that said 'The Lord is risen, awake thou that sleepest and Christ shall give thee new life'.

Mum had a long and eventful life, and as her family and friends we surely miss her but know that as the Bible reassures us 'to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord'.




It was with sadness we learnt that Gordon Hughes had passed away peacefully at Pinehurst Care Home, Ilfracombe, on the 3rd February aged 90 years. A much-loved husband, father and brother, he will be greatly missed by Mary and their daughter, Liane, all his family and many friends, and our thoughts are with them all at this sad time.

Gordon and Mary have been an active part of our village for many years, living at Fair Rising before moving to Combe Martin just a few years ago.

Gordon came to live in Berrynarbor with his wife, Mary, and his daughter, Liane, following his retirement from the Royal Marines. During his 22 years, Gordon had seen active service both in Palestine and the Near East. The family lived in the village from 1967 and Gordon worked in Ilfracombe at Bonus Tapes and later at Pall UK.

Many people will have known Gordon as an avid fisherman as he loved to spend time fishing out at sea or from the rocks at Watermouth and Combe Martin. As a keen snooker player, he was for many years the Chairman of the Berrynarbor Men's Institute and helped to run the bar.

Following many happy years in the village, Gordon and Mary moved to Combe Martin in 2012 in order to be able to walk on the level to the shops and tend to a smaller garden. Despite failing health, he enjoyed the company of his many friends and retained his happy disposition and wicked sense of humour for which he is remembered fondly by the staff at Pinehurst Care Home, where he was looked after with much kindness, care and compassion and for which the family are very grateful.

Gordon's funeral was held at Barnstaple Crematorium on the 21st February where a fitting tribute was paid to him by the Royal Marines Association, who attended the funeral with a bugler to play the Last Post and provide a Guard of Honour.

The family would like to thank the many friends who have been so supportive at this sad time and all those who have sent kind messages of sympathy.


How sad it was to learn that after a couple of years spent at Park Lane Care Home in Barnstaple, Hedy had passed away peacefully on the 14th February.

Hedy and her husband, Josef, who sadly passed away in January 2002, were always active participants in village life, particularly with the Horticultural and Craft Show and Berry in Bloom, and Josef was an original member of the group that first produced the Newsletter in 1989. It was always a welcome sight to see Hedy walking her little dog around the village.

Our thoughts are with all her family at this time of sadness.

Hedwig, or Hedy as she is known, was born on 4th August 1930 in Vienna. Growing up during the war years clearly left a mark, although through her life she chose to keep events she witnessed private, and only during the latter years when memories began to trouble her were those memories shared.

It is thought that she moved to England during the winter of 1950 / 1951, and whilst working in a hotel in Lyme Regis she met Josef and so began a relationship that lasted over 50 years.

Josef was always very much the life and soul of the party. They were an ideal match with Hedy being happy to take a back seat most of the time, although "No Josef" was often heard when she felt his antics had exceeded her acceptable level!

They were married in London on 4th December 1951 and established homes with their family at a number of addresses, including two, now prestigious and sought-after properties in Central London, Bletchley and Northolt before moving and retiring to Blue Mist, their cottage in Berrynarbor in 1987.

Hedy and Josef had four children and as they grew, Hedy obviously decided to stretch herself.  Certificates for an A grade pass in English GCE and also for typing at 35 words per minute were found with her possessions.

They loved the village life, especially Berry in Bloom and Best Kept Village and the Horticultural and Craft Show, opening their beautiful garden on Open Garden days. After Josef died in 2002, Hedy maintained the garden so it could continue to be opened. She was clearly an able gardener.

Josef took delight in surprising Hedy with 50th wedding anniversary celebrations, culminating with a meal for over 50 people in the Globe.

Hedy also enjoyed going out walking on various parts of Exmoor. Something she did with Josef but continued with a local walking group and with her family when they visited. She especially enjoyed walking from Hunters Inn to Heddons Mouth, which she did for many years, with all the dogs, Scooby, Brandy, Ringo and Jacko all being introduced to this walk. After the walk, when back at Hunters Inn, she would always enjoy a drink, "But only a half, thank you".

Hedy and Josef were proud of their children and were delighted when the first of 3 grandchildren was born in 1979. More recently Hedy was delighted to meet the first of her great-grandchildren.

Always one to do things properly, Hedy became a regular attender at St Peters in Berrynarbor, and even with many years' experience of life, she felt it appropriate to complete the Alpha Course. That was just the way she was.

As life became more difficult Hedy moved to Park Lane Care home in Barnstaple. A popular resident with the staff, she continued living in her own private way to the end.

21.1.1946 - 28.2.2018

It was with sadness we learnt that Jenny had passed away at the North Devon Hospice on the 28th February - the sad loss of a kind and wonderful mum, nan, sister and wife. Our thoughts are with Martin and all the family at this sad time.

Although living in Combe Martin, Jenny involved herself here in Berrynarbor, participating in classes and kindly volunteering at our Village Shop.

Partners for 23 wonderful years, at Christmas when they were in the hospital, Jenny and Martin sealed their love for one another by exchanging vows and rings.

Martin would like to thank everyone for their kind messages of sympathy and for joining him in saying good-bye to Jenny at the service on the 14th March.


"Those we love don't go away.
They walk beside us every day."

Well, there's not a lot I can say about my dad that hasn't been said before, his life story has been well documented. I think my cousin Peter's Eulogy sums it up well.

    "As Ron's nephew, Peter, and on behalf of Sheila, Tony and all the family, I've been asked to welcome you all today to celebrate Ron's life. A long life, a contented life, living here in Berry with Gladys, Sheila and Raymond.

    "Ron always said he had never needed to travel because he had everything he needed right here in Berrynarbor. Berry was Ron and Ron was Berry. Testament to that was the turnout to celebrate his 100th birthday. It seems it was only yesterday that the whole of Berry turned out to celebrate this milestone with Ron. The Manor Hall was packed with villagers and friends enjoying a proper Devon tea and a lot of reminiscing. His arrival in a carriage pulled by two shire horses to the sound of the church bells, was something that all of us, I am sure, will never forget.

    "Ron's life here in Berrynarbor has been well documented. There was the Long Service Award for Agriculture from the Devon Show. An article in Village Life and more recently, The Book of Berrynarbor, the real life story spanning 100 years.

    "For a quiet, contented, unassuming man who loved his family, his work on the same farm and most of all his village life, Ron really made an impact on us all and will be sadly missed by all."

As was dad's wish, he died only yards from where he was born over 101 years ago, in the village he so loved.

Tony, myself and our family, wish to thank all the people who sent us cards with such kind words and lovely tributes to dad, such a great comfort to us at this sad time. Thanks also to those who attended the funeral service and the cremation, and, of course, to the staff at Lee Lodge who looked after him so well for nearly ten years.

To date, the donations have exceeded £500 and we intend to purchase a bench to be situated in the village, dedicated to his memory. Any monies left over will be donated to the Newsletter.

We shall certainly miss dad, but as Judie so aptly said in the previous Newsletter, "We couldn't keep him for ever!"


Life, believe, is not a dream

Life, believe, is not a dream, So dark as sages say;
Oft a little morning rain, Foretells a pleasant day.
Sometimes there are clouds of gloom, But these are transient all;
If the shower will make the roses bloom, O why lament its fall?
Rapidly, merrily, Life's sunny hours flit by,
Gratefully, cheerily, Enjoy them as they fly!
What though Death at times steps in, And calls our Best away?
What though sorrow seems to win, O'er hope, a heavy sway?
Yet Hope again elastic springs, Unconquered, though she fell;
Still buoyant are her golden wings, Still strong to bear us well.
Manfully, fearlessly, The day of trial bear,
For gloriously, victoriously, Can courage quell despair!

Charlotte Bronte


Sheila, nee Bowden, and sister to the late Michael, passed away in January, as reported in the February Newsletter.

Sheila and I met when we were 17, and so we have been married a very long time, in fact since my 21st birthday.

Sheila was brought up on the family farm on the edge of the beautiful village of Berrynarbor. For family reasons, at the age of 13 she went to live with an aunt and uncle in industrial Yorkshire. She always had great

affection for the farm though, loved the animals, especially Dolly, the horse she claimed as her own almost as soon as she could walk. In recent years her mind often lived in those times.

For reasons beyond her control, she was not able to go on to higher education, in spite of her qualifications, but concentrated on caring for our young son and supported me in what I wanted to do, including going to university at the ripe old age of 27, and living with our 3-year-old son in a basement flat in Bristol. The bath was in the kitchen, Doug slept in what amounted to a walk-in cupboard and we had an outside loo kept from freezing in the winter with a hurricane lamp. Sheila got a reduced rent from your landlady in return for doing the garden.

My career in Probation took us to Manchester where we bought our first house and where we stayed for 7 years. We moved back to Devon after my father died to be nearer my mother and we lived in Brixham, where Sheila established and ran their first Citizen's Advice Bureau. She also worked for Torbay Social Services and for Social Services in Southampton, which was our next move. We finally took root in Chichester in 1974 and until her retirement, Sheila worked in Family Planning.

Sheila had many interests; she loved dogs and horses and took evening classes in sociology, English literature, languages and upholstery, not forgetting gardening. She knew the regular and Latin names of pretty well every plant and could turn an empty garden into a jungle almost overnight!

But our life has not been all work and we have enjoyed many holidays both in the British Isles and Europe.

We've had a good life together and it's so sad to be saying goodbye, but in spite of the excellent care she received at Kings Lodge Nursing Home, Sheila's life had really become no life at all. She is now at rest. Her ashes will be scattered on land in North Devon which she cherished.





It was with sadness we learnt that June had died suddenly at her home, Watermouth House, on the 1st November and our thoughts are with all her family at this time of sorrow.

Alice Emily Kelly Annear, June to her friends, grew up in Ilfracombe, the daughter of Frank, Solicitor, and Alice Annear and sister of John, who died in 2015. The family moved to Watermouth House when the Watermouth estate was sold in 1946.

June's higher education was in catering and she initially took a position as Domestic Bursar at Somerville College, Oxford.Together with the Treasurer, Miss Jane Hands, who in later years was a regular visitor to Berrynarbor, she kept a firm hand on the tiller, but they also both enjoyed spending time on fly fishing expeditions in Ireland.After her mother died in 1962, June returned to Watermouth, to support her father, and took over as Catering Manager at the North Devon College, as it was called in those days, where she stayed until her retirement in 1990.

On her retirement, and with her friend Miss Dina Sifton, who lived at Ding Dong, also at Watermouth, she went on a round the world trip, visiting a great many places and friends, often with an equestrian connection.June kept horses at Watermouth for many years along with Hannah the goat, and various other livestock, always including a succession of Belgian Griffon dogs.She enjoyed riding with friends and was able to continue this for a number of years, until she suffered an accident that left her needing the use of a wheelchair. This in no way affected her individual sense of humour, her determination or her style and thanks to the District Nurse team, Homelife Carers and other positive, supportive professionals, she was able to enjoy the company of her good friends at home and remain living at Watermouth, which was one of her most determined wishes.


How sad it was to know that following a tragic accident at home nearly 4 years ago, and after dedicated nursing care at Tyspane, Bet had passed away on the 26th November.A much-loved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, she will be sadly missed by all her family and her many friends and our thoughts are with them at this time.

The Tribute

Betty, who was always known as Bet, grew up in Combe Martin; her dad, Alf. was a market-gardener and her mum, Nan, proudly ran a summer B&B at Homedale, close to the seaside.

Her courtship with her husband to be, Bob, was one in which Bob pursued her with much love, which was evident from the letters that they exchanged at the time.

After they married, Bet slid easily into the role of a farmer's wife;she looked after the house, her family, the chickens and in the summer ran the B&B. Lodgers, many of whom became lifelong friends, were always exceptionally well looked after.The farmhouse was a place alive with tempting, appetising aromas because, Bet was a wholesome cook, who always provided delicious food for the family and farm workers, using everything proudly grown or reared from the farm, as was the way in those times.There always seemed to be a big pan of full-cream milk from their cows simmering for hours on the Aga, skimming the top for clotted cream etc., and what always seemed like hundredweights of runner beans each summer, frozen to eat year round with the mandatory tag of roast beef every Sunday.  

When her sons, Mike and Clive, were young, wider family always gathered regularly at the farm at Christmas time, New Year, or other occasions to eat, drink and play cards and games. Socially, Bet played bowls with Bob and skittles in the local pub ladies' team with a few local friends. She also enjoyed some great holidays with Bob and friends, or relations in Portugal, a place they both loved.

Latterly, especially after a knee operation, Bet became a keen TV fan. She liked to watch the shopping channels, snooker and soaps, munching on her favourite chocolate brazils, or dunking a digestive biscuit into a cup of tea.Whenever anyone visited, the sweets were always out - Bet always said she preferred giving to receiving, and that was very true. 

Bet had a lovely lifetime friend/companion in Rose, a childhood evacuee to Combe Martin, who regularly enjoyed long visits with Bet once or twice a year at the farm, and later at Seascape, the bungalow she and Bob had built for their retirement.Bet and Rose maintained close contact right up until Bet's accident; sadly after that Rose, through illness, could not continue the visits, but they remained loyal friends until the end of Rose's life, often speaking together on the phone from Bet's bed. Unfortunately, Rose passed away just a few months ago.

Bet maintained almost total independence prior to her accident;still driving and enjoying trips out to Barnstaple and exeter.Losing her mobility was a very difficult time for Bet - she spent nearly four years in Tyspane, with memory failure associated with worsening degree of dementia, which in some ways was a blessing, and suffering several bouts of infection.All the staff at Tyspane looked after her so well that she always seemed to rally round, but sadly her condition gradually deteriorated and this last time she couldn't pull through, passing away on the 26th of November, after 84 full and eventful years.

Personal Reflections

from her sister-in-law Noel:

I suppose I've known Bet longer than anyone here today, we used to share the same school bus to Ilfracombe - Bet to the Convent School, me to the Grammar School.

In our late teens, Bet became friendly with my brother, Claude.  I went away to college at 18 and left Devon.  Things changed, apparently, because two or three years later I received the invitation to the wedding of Bet and my other brother, Bob. Somehow, she was destined to be my sister-in-law.

Bob and Bet moved into Home Barton where I was brought up, so it always felt like going home to me, and Bet was always welcoming.  She was a somewhat feisty character at times, but always interesting. 

Her Sunday lunches were legendary;always a huge joint of beef, and anyone was welcome to share. She was a great wine-maker too; although she, herself, was almost tea-total.  The big demijohns of wine stood high like sentinels along the big kitchen mantelpiece - wheat, barley, damson, ginger etc., until one summer evening when a crowd of us went back to Barton after some 'do' in the village, the men, including my husband, decided it was time to sample the contents of the wine jars.  The alcoholic content must have been vast.  I've never seen the like of, men staggering down the lane hitting the hedges from side to side with, no doubt, a few headaches next morning - what a laugh that was!

I must just mention Ron, who spent all his working life at Barton.He often said to me, "You never knew quite which mood Bet would be in, but she was always kindness itself ", and he has "Very fond memories of life at Barton". 

My father, Fred Richards, too, had a very soft spot for Bet. She was very kind to him during his four years of incapacitation following a stroke.

Now she is at peace, after a gruelling four years, which she endured with huge fortitude.

We shall remember the happy times with love, Bet.


And from Clive:

The night before mother passed away, she asked to look at photos which she always liked to do. They always made her chuckle and would bring a smile to her face.Later in the evening, a nurse walked over to mother looking confused and forgetting why she had come!Mother piped up and said jokingly to the nurse, "You'd forget your head if it wasn't screwed on!"

That night she asked to go home with us on leaving.She said "I'll come home with you".The last thing mother said as I left her room was, "See you later alligator!"So, I put my head back around the door and said, "In a while crocodile!"To which she replied, "Love You".

Throughout mother's life she had a strong will that she kept right to the end.



The village was very sad to learn that Ron had passed away peacefully on the 6th January at Lee Lodge in his 102nd year.A very much loved and loving father, grandfather and great-grandfather, he will be missed not only by his family but by his very many friends.

Our thoughts are with Sheila and Tony and all the family at this sad time.

Ron was a true inspiration to all who had the pleasure of knowing him, but we couldn't keep him forever.

[nee Bowden]

How sad it was to learn that so shortly after Michael's death, his older sister, Sheila, had passed away on the 11th January.Her funeral is to take place in Chichester on the 7th February.Our thoughts are with her husband David and all the family at this very sad time.



With much sadness, the Village learnt that Michael had passed away on the 19th October following a short spell in hospital.

St. Peter's Church was filled to capacity with family and friends from the village, locally and further afield for the Thanksgiving Service for his life on the 3rd November, an indication of the love and respect in which he was held. What a fitting floral tribute from the family! 'Michael's Tractor' was known to everyone, but especially to the many children and visiting grandchildren. He will be sadly missed by so many.

Our thoughts are with Lorna, Bobby, Christopher, Richard and all the family at this time of sorrow.

A Family Tribute

    Dad was born on the 24th December 1935 at Ruggaton Farm, son to Leonard and Maud Bowden. At the age of 5, his mother left home and he was brought up by his father and step-mother, Valerie.

    Dad went to Berrynarbor Primary School and then Combe Martin Secondary Modern, finishing at the age of 14 when he went straight into full time work on the farm, which he loved - ploughing, tilling, combining and thrashing. He used to milk 20 cows by hand in the '40's, '50's and '60's, then the milking machine came in which made life a little easier. He had a large milk round in the village, which doubled when the campsites opened. He would deliver milk in the morning, then go back to the farm to dig potatoes, bag them and then deliver them to the campsites and shops. There would be a few choice words when he got to the last customer and he was a pint short, meaning another trip back to Ruggaton.

    A customer stopped him one day and said, "Mr. Bowden, there are bits in my milk!" Dad took the pint, drank it down in one, beat his chest and said, "If I'm not here tomorrow, I won't charge you."

    Dad and Mum met at the local dance and were married in November 1962 in Berrynarbor Church. Children soon followed - Bobby, Christopher and Richard.

    As Leonard and Valerie's family grew, circumstances changed and he decided to leave the farm to work on his own - logging, contracting, stone walling. There aren't many places in the village where dad hasn't left his mark!

    Bell ringing was a big part of his life, starting when he was about 20 and hardly ever missing a Sunday morning, Christmas Eve or Thursday practice night for 60 years. He never liked change and when somebody asked him if he could cancel Thursday's practice because there was a function in the Manor Hall, he looked him straight in the eye and said, "Ringing night is ringing night!" And they were rung.

    Dad and Mum were big supporters of the village shops and in the '60's, '70's and 80's, the village had two shops and a butcher's, and they did all their shopping within the village. Dad said, "No need to go over the border to Combe Martin, everything you need is here" and that is what they have done up to a few weeks ago.

    Gary Songhurst and friends decided to put on a village show every year to raise money for the Manor Hall and Dad enjoyed taking part. One year, he, Danny Lloyd, Derek Phillips and Johnny Clarke were the group The Village People - Dad was the cowboy and they sang YMCA. He was out of tune and all the actions were wrong, but it was priceless!

    Gary also decided to raise money for a big Millennium party for the villagers and a fountain to be built next to the bus shelter. Dad and Danny decided to do a sponsored walk from Berrynarbor to Simonsbath which they achieved in under 8 hours. It would probably have taken longer if there had been a few pubs on the way! They raised £2,000.

    Dad took great pride in his family, especially when his grandchildren came along - Samuel, Anna, Jonathon, Tom, Tyler and Archie. He would help with the school run, baby sit and take them for rides on his tractor. He was always checking to make sure we were all alright. Even when he was so very poorly in hospital.

    Dad wasn't a great traveller. When he went to Cornwall for a few days he would phone home after about 2 hours and ask if everything was alright. When it was the last day, he would be back in the village by 9.00 a.m. and Mum said he broke all speed limits getting home. After much persuasion, Dad's sister Sheila managed to take him to France for a holiday - we were amazed!When he got back he said he had enjoyed it and it was like going back to the 1960's there were a lot of vintage tractors still being used.

    At Christmas he would order the biggest turkey he could. If it didn't fit in the oven, he was pleased, he knew he had got enough for everyone until February. The trouble was, his birthday was on Christmas Eve. So, after he had rung the bells for midnight mass and then been to celebrate his birthday in The Globe, it's a miracle we had Christmas dinner at all.

    But we did and it was always ready by one o'clock, with a lot of help from Mum, of course.

    Everybody was welcome in Dad's home and if we were having dinner and somebody knocked on the door, he would day, "Come in, sit down and have something to eat." If they didn't, he'd be offended. Roast dinner on a Sunday was very important to him and if you couldn't make it there'd be a court enquiry and woe betide you if you missed the next one!

    Dad didn't like fancy food, he was a meat and two veg man. He tried Chinese and Indian once, and once was enough.

    Bob and he called into a service station on the way back from a sale and the waitress said to him, "What would you like sir, cappuccino, latte, Americano?" Dad paused for a second or two, and said, "No thanks, I'll have a coffee."

    Dad was a generous man and if anybody had any problems and needed somewhere to stay, he and Mum would take them in until things got sorted. A roast dinner was a good start.

    Sadly, he suffered from emphysema for 15 years and then in 2014 underwent an operation for oesophagus cancer, which knocked him for six. He made the best of it and when he was strong enough, he even went back to hedge trimming.

    Straight talking and not very politically correct, Dad's heart was in the right place. He lived life to the full.

    We shall all miss him greatly.

The family have been overwhelmed by the number of messages and cards received, even from as far away as Australia.

Michael would be very humbled.




It was with sadness we learnt that Joan had passed away at Lee Lodge on the 29th July, just a month after her 93rd birthday, and our thoughts are with all her family at this sad time.

Joan will be fondly remembered as a kind, warm and caring person and will be much missed.

Joan was born in Bedlington in Northumberland on the 21st June 1924. Her father, Thomas, was a coal miner who sadly suffered from being gassed in the First World War, although he somehow managed to carry on working in the mines. It is believed that her mother, Florence, was in service for the local doctor. The family later moved to Washington in County Durham.

Joan had an older brother, George, and a younger brother, Jack, followed by a sister, Marjorie. Marjorie was able to attend the funeral service on the 8th August, along with Joan's daughter Patricia and grandson Ewen, who both flew over from Australia.

During the Second World War, Joan was called up to serve in the Army, serving at Chilwell Army Camp near Nottingham. Whilst there, she made friends with a girl from London who invited her to stay with her at her parents' home when they had leave. Unbeknown to Joan, a blind date was arranged and this turned out to be William Berry, Bill, who became her husband, marrying in Holy Trinity Church Washington on the 19th June 1948.

After serving with the Signals Branch of the Army during the War, Bill joined the newly-formed communications branch of the Foreign Office and he and Joan were soon on their way to his first posting in Trieste. During this posting, in 1949, Patricia [Trish] was born, and in 1955 during a posting in Jordan, a second daughter, Susan, was born. Over the years they travelled to many different parts of the world but when Bill retired, they moved to enjoy a quiet life in the peace of North Devon, here in Berrynarbor. Sadly, after a long illness, Bill passed away in September 1999.

Looked after by Sue and Simon, Joan continued to live in her home on Mill Lane until earlier this year when, due to ill health, she moved in to Lee Lodge.

Joan was, until it ceased in the village, a member of the W.I. and also the Pensioners' Club in Ilfracombe. With her daughter Sue, who sadly died suddenly in May this year, Joan was a regular member of the congregation at St. Peter's Church and was often to be seen making her way up the hill towards the church, whatever the weather, until ill health prevented her.

An independent person who never wanted to put anyone to any inconvenience, Joan was much loved by all who knew her and was the best Mum-in-law that Simon could have wished.

The family would like to say thank you to everyone for all the messages received and for attending Joan's funeral and a special thank you to all the staff at Lee Lodge for the great care and attention they gave Joan during her time there. Simon would like to add his own thanks for their compassion and support during this very difficult time for him.


A sincere thank you to the many kind people of the Berrynarbor area. Peter would not have wished to be outside of this beautiful area he loved so much.

After time spent in hospital, he was placed in a Wellington [Somerset] Nursing Home. Unfortunately all efforts for Peter to be cared for nearer to home did not come to fruition and he was there for a period of two years. His character, energy and love of walking was Peter! Also his interest for others, now so sadly missed.

All donations were credited to Barnardos and gratefully received.

I thank all those who attended Peter's funeral service at Barnstaple Crematorium and our village church in Berrynarbor, where Peter's ashes are now buried.


Helen West


They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We shall remember them.

Laurence Binyon

Ode of Remembrance was published just a few weeks after the First World War began. Binyon was too old to enlist as a soldier, but volunteered in hospitals helping wounded French soldiers.



29.7.1955 - 08.05.2017

Sue's parents, Bill and Joan, were married in 1948. Bill worked for the Foreign Office D.W.S. [Diplomatic Wireless Service]. Their first posting abroad was to Trieste where Sue's sister, Patricia, was born in 1949. In 1955, while working in Jordan, Sue arrived. Patricia went to boarding school but Sue wanted to stay with her parents and travel with them to the various postings which included Vietnam [during the conflict], India, Singapore, Germany, Swaziland and Poland.

The last few years of Bill's working life with the Foreign Office were spent in Bletchley before he retired. At that time Sue had a job with Social Services, and her sister had married and was living in Australia. So, in 1980 Bill, Joan and Sue moved to Berrynarbor and Sue managed to move to the DSS Office in Barnstaple.

We were married in St. Peter's on the 5th May 1988, and one of Sue's delights was arriving at the church by fire engine! I had an interest in old fire engines and this was one I owned.


A 'selfie' taken in the Yorkshire Dales, September 2016

We soon settled down to a very happy married life in the Sterridge Valley and Sue continued her work for the DHS. Later she left to join Ian, Kate and myself in running the Caravan Park in the Valley.

In 1998, we sold the Caravan Park and in 2000 Sue and I purchased a boat called Sorry Shark. She was kept at Watermouth Harbour where we also joined the Yacht Club, supporting it and helping out with events.

We spent many happy hours going to various places in the Bristol Channel but our favourite was Lundy Island.

We managed to have some fantastic holidays and were frequent visitors to the Isles of Scilly. Our first big holiday was to New Zealand via Singapore where Sue showed me the places she knew so well whilst she was there with her parents. Then it was a cruise around South America rounding Cape Horn and visiting the Falkland Isles. Our next holiday was to Cape Town to join the RMS Saint Helena, setting sail for the Isle of

St. Helena before going on to Ascension Isle. We really fell in love with the island and Sue said it was like nothing she had experienced before.

Shortly after, a rare opportunity came up to visit Tristan da Cunha, the most remote inhabited island in the world. Again, this was on board the RMS Saint Helena, so we returned to Cape Town to board her for Tristan da Cunha and a second visit to St. Helena.

[Sue and Simon told us all about their trip to the most remote inhabited island in the world in the February 2014 issue of the Newsletter. This very interesting article can still be seen on the website]

More recently we have enjoyed two boating holidays on the Caledonian Canal and several trips to the Yorkshire Dales. One new experience for us was to hire a narrow boat to travel the Llangollen Canal.

Sue was a regular attendant at St. Peter's Church. She was a sidesperson, on the church cleaning rota and helped out at activities such as church fetes and so on. Her faith was important to her and she served the Lord in many ways, not just in the church but outside in the community. She will be sadly missed by us all.

Sue loved her garden but also her birds. She would feed and care for the many wild birds that visited our garden, always cleaning the feeders and washing out the water bowls to prevent infections. So, it was very fitting that her garden was the last place she would know.

Sue was the very best wife I could imagine, and her absence will leave a large hole in my life. I shall miss her tremendously.

Dear Friends,

I should just like to say a very big thank you to everyone for your support and sympathy following the sudden loss of my dear Sue. It has been a very difficult time but with your help I have been able to cope much better with my loss.

I feel the future is going to be hard, but with your backing life will be that much easier to manage.




'Wild Violet' 11.3.17

Mother was born on the 2nd March 1923 - I'll leave you to work out her age! During the War she worked at Harris Lebus in Totteham, her birth place, making Mosquito aircraft parts. It was here that she met Ernie Songhurst, who was working as a carpenter and joined making mock-up tanks.

Mother's maiden name was Hurst, so when she married Ernie he added a song to her name! Before they could marry, Ernie was conscripted into the Army. Not to be put off by a little thing like a war, mother decided she wanted to marry before father went off. So she took herself up to Bullford Camp and requested to see the C.O. Amazingly, he agreed and they were married in Tottenham, spent one night together and the next day Earn was on his way to Italy.

Father was captured and mother spent her nights listening to Lord Haw Haw and eventually she heard, to her relief, that he was a prisoner of war.

They had married in 1942 and the next time mother saw him it was 1945. For this reason they were after that pretty much inseparable.

In 1957 father decided the family needed a change and we wound up in Berrynarbor. Mother used to take in guests and working in the garden was one of her abiding passions, and in 1957 it needed abiding passion to get it back into a garden. She would walk to the shop every day, but for the last 17 years these trips got less until she found it hard to walk at all.

Father died in 1982 and mother found herself alone again. Sadly, about 17 years ago she began to suffer with vascular dementia and died this year leaving 1 child [me], 2 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren and 3 great-great-grandchildren.

Her ashes were scattered with those of my father, her father and mother, and her sister, in the garden of Wild Violets.Fair to say, it was the end of an era but Wild Vi lives on.

Joyce and I should like to thank all the people that came to Vi's funeral service. £100 was raised for the Dementia Society.


17.6.1947 - 18.3.2017

It was with shock and sadness that we learnt June had died suddenly at home on the 18th March. and our thoughts are with her daughters Katharine and Charlotte and their families at this time of sorrow. A loved and loving mother and grandmother she will be sadly missed.

Many from the village attended her funeral on the 29th March at which the following poignant poem was read and Katharine and Charlotte have asked that it is shared in the Newsletter.

They are not dead,
who leave us this great heritage of remembering joy.
They still live in our hearts,
in the happiness we knew
They still breathe,
in the lingering fragrance windblown, from their favourite flowers.
They still smile in the moonlight's silver
and laugh in the sunlight's sparkling gold.
They still speak in the echoes of words we've heard them say
again and again.
They still move,
in the rhythm of waving grasses, in the dance of the tossing branches.
They are not dead;
their memory is warm in our hearts, comfort in our sorrow.
They are not apart from us, but a part of us
for love is eternal,
and those we love shall be with us throughout all eternity.

28th November 1923 - 26th March 2017

Joan sadly passed away at the end of March at the age of 93. Our thoughts at this time of sadness are with all her family, but especially Linda and Stuart [Long Acre], and Andy and Andrea [Cherry Ridge].

Joan's links to Berrynarbor go back to her schooldays when she attended Adelaide Ladies College.She spent most of her working life as a school secretary, firstly at Ilfracombe Grammar School, then as Bursar at Ilfracombe Community College until she retired in the 1980's.

Her father, Captain Percival Adams, retired to Berrynarbor after his service as Chief Armourer in the army inspecting artillery, guns, and weapons and all armaments in the Near East. The Adams family had strong links to both Berrynarbor and Combe Martin. Joan's eldest brother was Eddie Adams, an electrical engineer who ran the only electric shop in Combe Martin, and brought the original TV signal to the area by installing a mast where it currently stands on Park Hills. Her sister, Irene lived in Barton Lane since 1945, and Captain Adams ran the original On-a-Hill petrol station.He was a regular at The Globe, where a lot of the family artefacts from their time in the Sudan and Egypt remain today.Captain Adams was also a long serving member of the Parish Council. Each successive generation of the family were married and christened in St. Peter's church.

During the war years, Joan became engaged to Sergeant Albert West from Wandsworth, and during a happy but short marriage to Bert, they lived with his parents and their two young children, Andy and Linda, in a 2 up 2 down terrace around the corner from Wandsworth railway station.Sadly, Joan was widowed at 36, when Andy was 15 and Linda 12. The three of them moved to Combe Martin to be closer to Joan's family where she was supported by brother, Eddie Adams, and of course Irene and with Eddie's advice Joan bought Scaena in1961. A few years later she met Donald McCallam. They married in1963 and spent over 40 happy, busy years together, making friends all across the world from New Zealand to Norway and all points in between.  Five grandchildren came along followed by ten great-grandchildren, the youngest one born in Canada just last September.

Joan loved the simple things in life and often picked dandelion flowers and put them in water to save them from the mower before Donald cut the grass because they were so beautiful. Her wealth was measured in friends and friendships which she valued above all else. She was a talented artist, poet and singer and got so much joy from these and many other interests. She and Donald had a thirst for travel and there are few places in the world where they could not call upon friends for a bed for the night.Above all she was a people person and nothing was too much trouble for her to help anyone out.Any hour of the day or night she and Donald could be called upon.They spent many years working as Samaritans on the night shift.Frequently, Andy and Linda would get up in the morning for work and school to find a stranger either asleep on the couch or tucking into a hearty breakfast, rescued from the previous night shift. Then off she and Donald would go to work!

Joan's house is a testament to every country ever visited. She and Donald have summited Everest flying over in a small plane, snorkelled the Great Barrier Reef, visited the Forbidden City in China, and walked part of the Great Wall.They travelled to Russia and St. Petersburg, adopted Titus a taxi driver and his family in Sri Lanka with whom she still corresponded and regularly received gifts of spices and tea. She has a French son Harry, and a Norwegian daughter Christine, who were billeted for a year in Scaena whilst working as language students at Ilfracombe College. Joan's cup was always half full, never half empty. She led her life with a positive approach to everything and everyone. She was always in charge of every situation and had her way of getting things done. She would share whatever she had no matter how little and was completely resourceful. A founder member of the North Devon Coast U3A, she also started the Combe Martin Gardening Club, which is still going strong. Donald was a superb actor and they spent a good deal of their time supporting, and giving their energies to the Studio Theatre in Ilfracombe.

A wife, mother, grandma and great-grandma who made the most of every minute of every day with kind words and deeds, friendship and unconditional love to the family, friends and the wider community.

When I am gone, release me. Let me go.
I have so many things to see and do.
You mustn't tie yourself to me with tears.
Be happy that we had so many beautiful years.
You can only guess how much you gave to me in happiness.
I thank you for the love you each have shown,
But now it's time I travelled on alone.
So grieve a while for me, if grieve you must.
Then let your grief be comforted by trust.
It's only for a while that we must part,
So bless the memories within your heart.
I won't be far away, for life goes on.
So if you need me, call and I will come.
Though you can't see or touch me, I'll be near.
And if you listen with your heart,
You'll hear all my love around you soft and clear.
And then, when you must come this way alone,
I'll greet you with a smile and say 'Welcome Home'.

June 1926 - April 2017

Many readers will remember Keith, Ilfracombe's Photographer who, for many years, judged the photographic section of our Horticultural and Craft Show. So it was sad to learn that he had passed away peacefully on the 10th April, now united with his beloved wife Ro who died just a year ago.

His funeral on the 4th May, attended by so many local people, was testament to the respect and love in which he was held. A much loved father, grandfather and great-grandfather, he will be sadly missed by all his family, by his fellow Rotarians, having been a member for more than 60 years, and his very many friends.

Our thoughts at this time of sorrow are with Andrea, Jonathan, James and Amy.


22.4.1947 - 25.4.2017

How sad it was to learn that Eve had passed away peacefully at the North Devon District Hospital on the 25th April.

The beloved wife of Dave and sister to John, a wonderful mum to Suzanne and Jamie, mum-in-law to Ali and Nicole, and devoted granny to Rosalind, Frances, Anna, Thomas, Alex and Charlotte, Eve will be sorely missed by them all and indeed by her many friends. Our thoughts are with them at this time of sadness.

Dave and the family would like to thank everyone for the many cards and messages of sympathy they have received and for attending Eve's funeral on the 9th May.




2.3.1923 - 11.3.2017

It was so sad to learn that Vi had passed away peacefully at home just following her 94th birthday.

A loving and much loved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother she will be so missed by Gary and Joyce and all her family, and our thoughts are with them all at this time of sadness.


Rob, Shirley and Family would like to thank all friends and neighbours for their kind messages of support and all the lovely cards.

Thank you to all who attended the Celebration of Janet's Life. Your kind donations raised £324 which has been split between Diabetes UK and the Special Care Baby Unit, Barnstaple.


3.6.1927 - 23.3.2016

It was sad to hear recently from Simon Underdown that his mother Maureen had died last spring. Maureen subscribed to the Newsletter and contributed a most interesting article in December 2013 describing the dance classes, concerts and ladies keep fit in which she took part during her family's stay in Berrynarbor during the War.

In his Eulogy, Simon spoke of that time:

"In 1939, some relatives were already staying in Devon in a pretty village called Berrynarbor and so the whole family went down there and found somewhere to stay. Maureen's father, Bill, approached his bank for work and luckily there was a vacancy in the Ilfracombe branch, so the family were able to stay together in Berrynarbor for the duration of the war. Despite the difficulty of transferring to a new school inundated with evacuees, Maureen had a very happy time in Devon, various other relatives went to live in the same village at different times and she made many friends locally.

"Despite being shy in everyday life, she revelled in performing and was able to express herself on the stage; she attended drama classes at the Manor Hall and took part in several shows there, wearing in one a dress that had belonged to Isadora Duncan. Her father became Captain of the Berrynarbor Home Guard and much of their life there had a distinct Dad's Army flavour.

"After the war the family moved back to Essex . . .

"Maureen was a vibrant soul who lit up the room and was always welcoming and happy to see you. She had a good and full life."

Simon finished his eulogy by reading a poem that Maureen had written for a W.I. competition which she won; the judge described it as a thoroughly pleasing, unusual poem . . . a literary delight. Simon hopes that readers of the Newsletter will think so too.

Our thoughts are with Simon and his brothers on the loss of a much loved and loving mother.

Scarecrow in the yellow frock
Leaning at an awkward angle
By the rusty wash-house mangle
Like a broken hollyhock.

Do you feel the wind and sun
See the change when light is dawning
Know your work starts in the morning
Take your rest when day is done?

Do those arms so stiff and straight
Yearn to curve around a waist
And to be turn embraced?
Are you happy with your fate?

Does that brain of string and straw
Know that there is life and death?
Do you almost draw a breath
At the thought of nuclear war?

Sunshine Lady stand at ease!
Other women can protest,
To each the job that suits him best,
Reign as guardian of the peas!


Illustrated by: Debbie Rigler Cook



[26th October 1934 - 5th January 2017]

It was so very sad to learn that after a trying period of stays in Belmont Grange and the North Devon Hospital, Jan had passed away on the morning of the 5th January.

A loving and much loved mother and grandmother, she will be very much missed not only by her family and extended family, but by her very many friends here in the village, locally and further afield.

Our thoughts are particularly with Rob and Shirley, Charlotte and Sophie, Jane and Martin and all the family at this sad time and in the difficult time ahead.

When I am come to the end of the road
and the sun has set for me,
I want no rites in a gloom-filled room,
why cry for a soul set free!
Miss me a little, but not too long,
and not with your head bowed low.
Remember the love that we once shared,
miss me but let me go.
For this journey we all must take,
and each must go alone.
It's all part of the master plan,
a step on the road to home.
When you are lonely and sick of heart,
go to the friends we know
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds,
miss me but let me go.


Illustration by: Peter Rothwell

[22nd February 1931 - 6th January 2017]

A keen walker and rambler, many readers will remember Peter striding out around the village, so it was very sad to learn that after a lengthy and debilitating illness, Peter had passed away on the 6th January.

A much loved family man, Peter will be sorely missed by his wife Helen and his extended family - his twin brother John, his son Mark and his grandchildren, as well as Helen's daughter Nicola and son Sean and her grandchildren.

Our thoughts are with you all at this time of sorrow.




How sorry we were to learn that after a few weeks in hospital, Mavis had passed away peacefully on the 23rd May. Her well-attended funeral on the 6th June was a celebration of her happy and eventful life. Our thoughts are with her son Clive and Bernard at this time of sadness. They, like many of us in the village, especially members of the craft group, will miss her cheerful and happy personality.

Clive and Bernard would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their messages of sympathy and for attending Mavis's funeral. Clive writes ...

    My mum loved living in Berrynarbor. She and her husband Mish had first come to Devon in 1976, redesigning a lovely big house in West View Avenue, Bideford, which overlooked the town and river from high above the Old Barnstaple Road, and they were determined to enjoy the county Mish called 'Paradise' by visiting National Trust venues and discovering walks in beautiful villages. So they had been regular visitors to Berrynarbor prior to discovering Number 3 Wood Park for sale in 1993, and a wildly excited Mavis couldn't resist making it the last of her many amazing property conversions! Creating stunning homes and gardens was the passion of my mum's life.

    Mavis Jones was born on 3rd June 1929 in Gravesend, Kent, to Albert and Doris, and had two younger siblings Barbara and Tom. The family relocated to Grappenhall, near Warrington in Cheshire where, despite Depression and War, my mum enjoyed a stable and loving home life. As a young post-war woman she adored Hollywood fashions and Clark Gable, became a prolific shorthand typist and in 1948 eloped with my dad [Grayham Weaver] to Gretna Green because her parents thought her too young to wed! And in typical soap-opera fashion, my paternal grandmother Linda was in on the secret, offering valuable assistance to the young couple! Cue family feud!

    I came along in 1950, my parents having moved to Shropshire where my father founded the very successful design-engineering company Salop Designs. My mum flourished in the 50's and 60's, putting her expert touch to several houses including an ultra-modern purpose-built designer property and an old 18-room village rectory in the Church Stretton hills [Hope Bowdler House], and my parents were extrovert social animals, both solo and as a couple, who enjoyed life to the full, hosting fabulous Christmas parties and the annual village fete. They were both involved in so many things, my mum in particular having boundless energy. Mum always made me feel loved, and this in turn gave me the confidence to sail through Grammar School and University.

    Tragedy struck twice, however, as mum lost two young husbands in the space of five years. My dad died of a heart attack in 1967 [he was just 39], and after mum remarried Bob Mason in 1968, he too was a heart-attack victim in 1971, aged 47. Mum always said that the happiest time of her life was when she was Mrs. Mason. Bob was an Art Lecturer [Stoke on Trent College], painter and sculptor, a sophisticated man of the world, and they were very much in love. With mum as his muse, Bob made a life-size nude sculpture of her and painted a beautiful portrait in oils of her; many of his other works decorated her house and garden in Berrynarbor.

    Moving back to her beloved Shropshire, mum sought therapy another wonderful cottage conversion and found love again with Mish Pesic, from Yugoslavia, whom she met in 1974. Although their plans to run a B & B never came to fruition, both found work in the West Country [mum at Barnetts in Bideford] and settled very quickly. From 1993 to Mish's death in 2006, they could often be seen strolling hand-in-hand through the village lanes, revelling in the rural scenery and country air . . . maybe on warm balmy evenings they can still be glimpsed, who knows?

    Over the last decade mum greatly enjoyed her Friday trips to Tesco, her Monday craft group sessions and the occasions of opening her house and garden to the public. She often told me of the many nice people in the area that she regularly chatted to and got to know - from Olive Kent, Linda Brown, Alec Wigmore, Tony and Norma Holland and Ken and Marion Woodward [regular visitors from Ilfracombe] to Anne, Bett, Joan and others from the bus, the lovely friends from the craft group whom I met at her funeral, the ladies in the village shop, lovely postman Neil . . . and, of course, Jenny and Lee Beer and their family who so enhanced the quality of mum's later life. And then there were Judie Weedon and Anne Bailey, angels of mercy whose input during mum's short period of decline cannot be overestimated [a huge 'thank you' from me]. And, of course, there were many others - mum liked people, she was good to be around and had a great sense of humour and fun, and I know that many of you reading this will, like me, miss her, never forget her, and wish her well wherever she may be.

8th June 1929 - 5th May 2016

Vera Mary Emily Greenaway was born at 38 The Village, Berrynarbor in 1929 while her mother, Hilda Melhuish was visiting parents George [Harry] Henry and Mary Jane Camp. Harry Camp was a blacksmith and his 'smithy' was originally in Silver Street, a few doors up from the village school.

Vera was brought up and went to school in Tedburn St Mary, a village near Crediton, and it was there she met her future husband. Apparently she did not take to Thomas [Tom] straight away as he used to pull her hair when they were in class!

During school holidays a lot of time was spent in Berrynarbor visiting grand-parents learning about cooking on a Bodley and watching Harry in his smithy workshop.It was during these visits she was taught sewing and tailoring by her Aunt, Vera Camp.Aunt Vera was a very accomplished seamstress whose talents were employed by the landed gentry in the area, when they required new outfits or garment fittings and alterations she was called upon to visit them at home.

Tom, when not at school, was an extra hand to local Tedburn St Mary farmers tilling crops, harvesting, working with the horses and driving the very first tractor that arrived in the area.The older farm hands were very suspicious of this new technology!He kept ferrets and used them with his dog to flush out and net rabbits for the table.The skins were cleaned, stretched, dried and sold on for extra income.

Vera left school at 14 years of age and sometime after moved in with her grandparents and secured a job in Luxmoore's Department Store, High Street, Ilfracombe [now Drapers Discount Store].Government Rationing was in place and coupons were required when purchasing clothing, material, ribbons and lace.Items were wrapped in brown paper and string in such a way that the string could be untied and brown paper unfolded for reuse.Vera was very artistic and adept at making all manner of items for customers and was especially renowned for making wedding fascinators and hats out of 'end of reel' ribbons and feathers.This 'make do and mend' ethos remained with her all her life.

Meanwhile, Tom left school and became an apprentice butcher in Tedburn St Mary.After two years he was called to National Service and joined as a Royal Marine based at Lympstone and Bickleigh Barracks, Plymouth.Tom and Vera began corresponding during this time with Tom visiting Vera whenever he had a few days' leave.They became engaged, married on 6th November 1948 at Berrynarbor Church and took the train from Ilfracombe railway station to Bournemouth for their honeymoon.

Tom had completed his National Service and they returned to Tedburn St Mary to stay with Vera's parents while he searched for a job. He had been an apprentice butcher in the village before being called up, but this job was no longer available. He found work as a bus conductor in Exeter and they moved to lodgings in the city where Vera became extremely good at cooking meals on a single gas ring.

In 1950 Vera's grandparents offered them the opportunity to move next door to them in Berrynarbor.Tom took an apprenticeship with a carpenter and builder in Combe Martin on half pay and studied his books in the evenings.

Two children later and with another on the way they made plans to move somewhere larger and Tom built a house at Pitt Hill, Berrynarbor.By this time, they had their own carpentry and building business and were employing workmen.They took over the old Rawle Gammon & Baker building in Combe Martin and ran it as a builders' merchants for several years before developing the site and building houses and bungalows.Another move to Newberry Farm saw Tom return to his farming roots and a camping and caravan site evolved in its beautiful valley and seaside location within Berrynarbor Parish, but adjacent to Combe Martin village.

Thirty years later and with thoughts of slowing down, they helped their son set up his skip hire and recycling business and moved to another countryside location to the south of Ilfracombe at Hore Down Gate.Vera and Tom continued to take an active interest in their son's business until Tom passed away in 2013 with Vera following three years later.

They had known each other practically all their lives.Had lived and worked together in near perfect harmony and created a warm and homely base for their family and friends. A truly great achievement.



Life is a book in volumes three -
The past, the present, and the yet-to-be.
The past is written and laid away,
The present we're writing every day,
And the last and best of volumes three
Is locked from sight - God keeps the key.

Author Unknown

[25.7.1913 - 6.4.2016]

How sad we all were to learn that Ethel, our oldest resident, had passed away peacefully on the 6th April, just a few months short of her 103rd birthday.

Her funeral, taken by Keith Wyer in the new crematorium and well attended by her family and many friends and neighbours, was a celebration of her long and happy life.

Our thoughts are with Linda and all her family at this time of sadness.

Ethel was born in Walthamstow, London, the third of seven children. She went to the local junior school and her mum met one of the teachers who told her she had a terrible girl in her class. On asking the name of the girl, the teacher said 'Ethel Cuthbert', and her mum had to admit she was her daughter. Ethel didn't like school and was always up to mischief, but she certainly made up for it as she grew up.

She lived through two world wars and saw much in her life time. One of the most memorable being able to press a switch and the light coming on.As she grew up she met her husband Stan, who had a motorbike. They joined the Walthamstow & District Suicide Club and would go on the surprise runs, meeting at a given point and ending up in all different places, sometimes in Devon.At a fair they wanted someone to go on the wall of death - and yes she went and thoroughly enjoyed it!

Through the War her husband, brothers and all the brothers-in-law served in the forces and luckily all returned, the only one hurt was her father who broke his leg whilst in the Home Guard.

Ethel worked winding raw asbestos for a while but her main job was Hoffman pressing, which she did for most of her working life, along with several other members of her family.

Ethel and Stan had one child, Linda, to whom they gave a wonderful life full of love, warmth, kindness and contentment.

When Linda met and married George and moved to Devon, Ethel and Stan followed them two years later.Stan worked for Loverings and Ethel had several jobs as well as looking after the grandchildren when Linda and George were at work.

Ethel had green fingers and loved the garden and greenhouse, often giving plants away.She also enjoyed making costumes for all the family and anyone else who needed them. She knitted for Cecil Gee and made Mary Maxim cardigans and jumpers which were large chunky fairisles depicting pictures.Many people in the village probably have something

knitted by Ethel. In later years she enjoyed crosswords and puzzles as well, of course, her plants and knitting.

She had a really good sense of humour and took everything in good part when people joked with her.Darren remembers that when he met her she could still do cartwheels, she was 78!

Ethel flew for the first time when she was 75, going with the family to Spetse in Greece.From then on she went to Turkey, Cyprus, Egypt, America, Yugoslavia, Thailand, Mexico, Gambia and most of them more than once. The man at Heathrow looking at her passport, couldn't believe she was 90 when she flew to Washington.

Ethel loved her family and friends and would do anything for them. A very special lady and an inspiration to most. She will be missed and spoken about for a very long time with love, affection and a big smile.

The family would like to thank everyone for their kindness at this very difficult time and for all the cards and flowers. The collection in Ethel's memory raised £600, £350 of which was sent to North Devon Talking Newspapers and £250 to Crisis. Thank you all once again and God bless you Mum.

Linda, Allan, Tracy, Darren, Caitlin, Jasmin and Connor



Our thoughts are with June, Betty and Tony following the death of their mother, Vera, who passed away on the 5th May.A much loved mother, she will be sorely missed by her family and her many friends.

Although living at Hore Down, Vera and her late husband, Tom, who passed away in August 2013, lived here and were very much a part of the village community for many years.Vera was a keen member of the North Devon Spinners and supporter of the Newsletter.

Her funeral is due to take place on the 20th May at the North Devon Crematorium and donations, if you wish, to the North Devon Hospice.




Miss Me

When I come to the end of the road and the sun has set for me,
I want no rites in a gloom-filled room, why cry for a soul set free!
Miss me a little, but not too long, and not with your head bowed low.
Remember the love that we once shared, miss me but let me go.
For this journey we all must take, and each must go alone.
It's all part of the Master plan, a step on the road to home.
When you are lonely and sick of heart, go to the friends we know,
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds,
Miss me but let me go.

It was good to see so many from the village at Edna Barber's funeral on a very wet and unpleasant afternoon. A simple and happy service was taken by Mavis and Chris Eastlaugh. Flowers were sent by the Parish Council, Goodenough and Berry in Bloom to which the collection was donated. A big thank you to Wendy who invited everyone back for tea at Bessemer Thatch.

How interesting but sad to receive the following e-mail:

    I have just seen an obituary for my Auntie Edna on the Berrynarbor Newsletter website which made me cry as I know Auntie Edna would have been so proud. I am her next of kin and the last member of my family to have seen her in about 1970. I moved to London from Chelmsford with my husband to run a public house and then Auntie Edna sold the family home and, I thought, moved to Norfolk. In fact, I have been researching and trying to find her since 1993. One of my sisters told me that Fraser and Fraser were trying to find our family and they have put in a claim under my name for her estate. I knew she used to keep in touch with her Uncle Cecil who lived on the border of Norfolk and that he died in the 1960's which is why I thought she moved to Norfolk. My family moved from London to Norfolk in 1976. The Barbers originally came from Norfolk.

    Sandra Barber

28th February 1917 - 7th February 2016

How sad it was to learn that Phyl had passed away peacefully, as she wished, at home at Cherry Tree Cottage on Sunday, 7th February, just three weeks short of her 99th birthday.

A much loved and loving wife of the late Len, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, she will be sorely missed by all her family, relations, friends and neighbours.

The happy and moving celebration of her life conducted by George Billington to a full and colourful [another wish] gathering at the Crematorium was testament to the depth of love, respect and affection in which she was held by so many.

Our thoughts are especially with Chris, David and Ivy, James, Bev, Gracie and Ruby at this time of sadness.

Phyllis Jessica Helmore was born in Forest Gate, London. She grew up with her three older brothers in a happy fun-filled Victorian terraced house. She attended East Ham Grammar School where she amassed a good knowledge including music, composers and poetry. She was also good at sports, excelling at hockey and tennis.

When she was 19 she featured in a series of Esso Motoring advertisements which her cousin, a commercial artist, had been commissioned to produce.



In June 1939 she married Len Walden and the family home was set up in Chigwell, later moving to mid-Essex to a house set in one and a half acres of glorious orchard - it was fantastic!

At 60 and after a successful career, Len retired and in 1971 they moved to Lynton, where they bought The Highway, a delightful house built at the end of the old station platform. The garden included the first mile and a half of railway track and the views were magnificent.

Len had a 17-inch Suffolk Punch motor mower and he would light up a Woodbine to keep the flies at bay, fire up the engine and disappear down the track, a cloud of flies circling at a safe distance waiting to pounce when the first cigarette burned out. Two hours later, he would return having cut a 34-inch strip, turn round and repeat several times over. What dedication!

Len and Phyl took up golf and after 8 years they moved to Ilfracombe to be nearer the course they so loved. Over the years they both represented the Club and played all over Devon, both together and individually. Phyl served as Lady Captain in the late 1970's.

Several years later they moved again, to June Cottage in Berrynarbor.

In 1985 after selling up in Essex, I moved down to Devon and was staying with Phyl and Len while I looked for a house. Sadly, one month after arriving, Len died suddenly. Phyllis didn't want to stay at June Cottage and incredibly, as luck would have it, Cherry Tree Cottage came back on the market. We went to look at it, loved the house, the garden and the setting and bought it between us. That was 30 years ago.

Phyllis gave up playing golf at the age of 81, shortly after scoring that elusive hole-in-one, arguing that she could improve on that feat only with assistance from above.

In all Phyl enjoyed 45 years of wonderful retirement, 25 years of active golf and a garden packed with flowers and wildlife, in particular the huge variety of birds visiting the feeders every day.

The squadron of hen pheasants that flies in several times a day was a constant source of delight. She asked me recently to name 'that' pheasant Phyllis. I asked which one. "That one" was the reply - I couldn't tell the difference! "We'll call all 17 Phyllis as well as the two young cocks - until they gain their spurs!"

I should like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who looked after, visited and sent messages to Phyl in the last few weeks, and to everyone for their kindness, messages of sympathy and for attending the light-hearted, at Phyl's request, service celebrating her life.





Those who remember Edna will be sad to learn that she passed away on Boxing Day at the age of 91. Her funeral is due to take place at the North Devon Crematorium on the 26th January.

Often outspoken, Edna was a very intelligent lady, fiercely independent and private. Younger than she appeared, many will remember her walking to shop in both Combe Martin and Ilfracombe - something she continued to do well in to her 80's.

Knowledgeable about flowers, she used to help Berry in Bloom by looking after the baskets and containers both around the bottom of Pitt Hill and the seated area below Claude's Garden.

Before going into care over the last few years, North Lee had been Edna's home, for many years.

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



A Berrynarbor Boy
1923 - 2015

Percy, the son of Bert and Edith Thomas was born at Wards, Victoria Street. Combe Martin, on the 6th February 1923. He spent a lot of time with his grandparents, Granny and Granfer Jones who lived at Wild Violets in Berrynarbor, where the toilet was in a shed built over the stream! He attended Berrynarbor School, moving on to the Grammar School in Ilfracombe where he excelled, amongst other things, at cricket which became a life-long interest.

After leaving school, Percy worked briefly at his father's market gardening business. He was then articled to an accountancy firm in Ilfracombe, became a member of the Parish Council, Snooker Club and a regular at The Globe! He and his wife Meg, had two children, Stuart and Loraine, and when they were grown he decided a move to Canada would further his career. In 1966 he became an auditor with the Canadian Federal Government specialising in Inuit and Native Indian affairs, distributing government aid to native tribes and groups in many areas of northern Canada. His work was based in Toronto but took him away from home for weeks at a time. He travelled in small planes often landing on frozen lakes or desolate areas in far flung places like Attawapaskat and Moosonee. He told stories of different people with whom he met; amongst the tribal chiefs and leaders were George, Half Shot in the Leg, and another called John Weaselfat! The names say it all.

He retired to sunny Florida and spent many happy days on the golf course or in the club house telling his favourite jokes, making new friends and enjoying the climate.

Percy was well known by all for his 'Percyisms'! He loved language and played with words and phrases constantly; had a dictionary in his brain and loved using words like promulgate!*

Apparently, when playing his favourite card game Nap [which by the way was also the name of the family cat!], he would lay a king with a flourish announcing 'Zog!' Many may have been confused, but those who knew the code knew it to mean 'King'. However, it was much later that the family found out that in fact Zog, was indeed a king, the King and ruler of Albania from 1925 to 1939 - not many people know that!

Percy had a joke for every occasion and his quick wit could manipulate and steer a conversation so that he could introduce one of his favourites. If anyone did something well or achieved a difficult task he would declare that he would make them King of all Baghdad!

If, in conversation, anyone should mention a visit to the doctor, he would recount one of his old favourites about a visit to the doctor. When asked to put out his tongue to be checked, the doctor would ask him to do it again standing facing out of the window. "Why?" he would ask the doctor. The reply, "Because I can't stand that woman in the house over the road!" This was predictably followed by at least an entire 60 seconds of his own laughter, accompanied by raised eyebrows and groans from the assembled group!

Percy was unique, no one quite like him. His wit, humour and generosity will be missed by all the family, and his many friends. He is simply irreplaceable.

Linda and Stuart Thomas

Our thoughts on the loss of a much loved father are with Stuart and Linda and all the family at this time of sadness

* Promulgate: Make known to the public, disseminate, proclaim!



It is sad to report that two strong contributors to our community have recently passed away.

1927 - 2015

I have fought the good fight,
I have finished the race,
I have kept the faith.

Sadly we learnt that Laurie, following a long illness borne cheerfully and bravely, had passed away peacefully at home on the 10th June at the age of 88 years.

A much loved and loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, he will be sadly missed by all his family and all those who knew him.

The Service of Celebration for his life held at the Parish Church of St. Philip and St. James, Ilfracombe, was just that. A full church in full voice and many happy memories - a fitting tribute.

Our thoughts are with Peggy, Clarissa, Martin and Elisabeth and all the family at this time of heartache.

Laurie was born in North London to working class parents, the middle child with two sisters. Even as a child he had a steady disregard for anyone in authority and got the cane most mornings for being late to school. He felt the pain was worth the price just to mess around in the stream a bit longer!

He joined the Navy in 1944 and served for two years. He longed to see action but was posted to an aircraft carrier that never left port!

Laurie's working life was varied and colourful. As well as taking a course in farming at Bicton College, he made false teeth, drove lorries and a mobile grocery van before setting up in a tiny shop in Ilfracombe that expanded to today's highly successful King's Carpets. In the early years he sold carpets by day and fitted them by night.

In his tribute, Martin compared Laurie's life to a fifty pence piece with its seven sides - there was more to his life than met the eye.

  • A dedicated father and grandfather who drove his car at speed whilst lighting his pipe
  • An entrepreneur and businessman
  • A good farmer who cared for his animals and stacked his bales higher than anyone else only to see them fall over
  • A general builder and handyman
  • A world traveller
  • A valuable charity worker especially for the Rotary Club
  • A man with a real appreciation of classical music, opera and the Dutch School of Painting

But at Laurie's heart was his unshakable Christian faith. A founding member of the Gideon's in North Devon, he preached in many chapels, was Vicar's Warden at St. Philip and St. James for 11 years and was also a bell ringer.

His final message to those present at his funeral followed words taken from the Bible:

For the wages of sin is death
but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus.

Will you accept the gift or do you want to receive the wages?

19th May 1940 - 11th June 2015

It was with sadness we learnt that Richard, owner of Watermouth Castle, had passed away quietly on the 11th June. Following his cremation at Barnstaple, St. Peter's Church was filled with family and many friends for the Service of Celebration conducted by our Rev. Keith Wyer. Like the service for Laurie, it was a joyful occasion with many happy memories and favourite hymns.

A much loved husband, father and grandfather, Richard will be greatly missed and our thoughts are with Christine, Jonathan, Antonie and Rachel and all the family, including his eight grandsons, at this time of sadness.

Those who knew or came into contact with Richard over the many years he lived at the Castle will know he was not easily forgotten, with his booming voice and crazy stories of his many businesses in catering and vending - he was remembered with affection by everyone who met him.

Richard came to Watermouth Castle from Lincolnshire with his first wife Ann and their children in 1977 buying the almost derelict Castle for just £50,000.00! His original plan was to open a boutique-style hotel but the local Tourist Association advised him that North Devon was, at that time, very short of places for tourists to visit. So Richard set about turning Watermouth Castle into one of North Devon's premier tourist attractions. He was an avid and compulsive collector! Over the years he accumulated a great variety of antiques, slot machines and Victoriana. He also recycled everything long before it was fashionable to do so.

The gardens are now a delight, filled with rides, suitable for all ages, and with play areas and mini-golf, it is very easy to spend many hours at Watermouth Castle and not see everything. All of this achieved by a lot of foresight, unbelievable hard work and unfaltering dedication by Richard and his sons.

Richard, a well-known face of Ilfracombe Rotary Club, could often be seen with his miniature fairground organ at local fetes and carnivals raising money for local organisations.

Locals and visitors alike, grandparents, parents and children of all ages, some parents now themselves, have much to thank Richard for - endless hours of fun at Watermouth Castle - It's Cool in the Castle!

Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away into the
next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
that we are still.
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you for an interval.
Somewhere very near, just
around the corner.
All is well.



30th March1945 - 10th March 2015

The village was saddened to learn that after a long battle, fought bravely and with his inevitable smile, George had passed away peacefully at home on the 10th March. A much loved and loving husband, father, grandad and brother, he will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved him. Our thoughts are with Linda, Tracy, Allan and all the family at this time of sorrow.

George and his sister Sylvia were brought up in Upton Park, London, until moving to Devon. He trained as a ring maker and worked in Hatton Garden where he met Linda. Shortly after their marriage, he was taken ill and had to change his job and so they moved to Berrynarbor in 1971, where they have lived happily ever since.

Villagers will remember George working both as a milkman and then a postman and for a short time he was Caretaker at the Primary School.

George and Linda have two children. Allan and Tracy, both of whom live in the village, and later came son-in-law Darren and their two grand-daughters, Jasmin and Caitlin.

Well-known here in the village, George was for many years Chairman, and player, of the Badminton Club, helping with many activities. He was also a keen bowler and table tennis player in Combe Martin. He loved any sport but especially his beloved West Ham whom he supported through thick and thin, often disappointed but always positive. He also loved card games, crib being his favourite and enjoyed holidays and meeting people. He was always happy and full of life.

Afterglow by Helen Lowrie Marshall

I'd like the memory of me to be a happy one.
I'd like to leave an afterglow of smiles when life is done.
I'd like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways,
Of happy times and laughing time and bright and sunny days.
I'd like the tears of those who grieve, to dry before the sun;
Of happy memories that I leave when life is done.

The family and I, should like to thank everyone who sent cards and asked after George, especially those who visited him during his illness which really gave him a boost and he would have been overwhelmed by the kindness and lovely things said about him. £1200 was raised in his memory for the North Devon Hospice who had been so kind to him. Our thanks to Angie, Janet, Jenny, Sarah, Sharon and Steve and also the District Nurses and South Molton and Exeter Hospitals.


8th November 1911 - 28th April 2015

It was with sadness we learnt that Joyce had passed away on the 28th April aged 103. She had been at Lee Lodge for 7 years. Wife of the late Dr. Alan Clay of the Warwick Practice, who died in 2003, she is survived by her daughter Vanessa in South Africa, and her two sons, Robert and Nicholas.

A loving and much loved wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, she will be greatly missed by all who knew and cared for her. Our thoughts are with all the family at this sad time.

With an interesting background of German, Jewish and Irish ancestry, Joyce herself was an Essex girl, born in Ilford, later moving to Clacton-on-Sea where she met and married Alan in 1937. During the War, Alan served in India with the Royal Army Medical Corps, leaving Joyce to bring up the family - Robert, Nicholas and Vanessa.

In the late '40's, they moved to Newport Pagnell where Alan was in practice. When the first motorway, the M1, was built, together with one of the first service areas at Newport Pagnell in the late 50's early 60's, Alan campaigned against the serving of alcohol, drinking and driving was something about which he felt very strongly. In 1975 he retired and they moved to North Devon, to Woolacombe, where for some time Alan assisted with the Warwick practice.

In her younger days, Joyce enjoyed amateur dramatics and was a keen member of the Congregational Church, later the United Reform Church, singing in the choir. She was a member of the W.I., enjoyed gardening and loved cats! Her passion was playing bridge, a very proficient player, she enjoyed the challenge until only a few years ago.

From her room at Lee Lodge she loved watching the birds on the feeders outside her window and, although not a great book reader, every day she read the Daily Mail from cover to cover right up to the end!

Joyce and her sister, Kathleen, both celebrated their 100th birthdays and received telegrams from the Queen, and both passed away at the age of 103, Kathleen in August 2012.

Life is but a stopping place, a pause in what's to be,
A resting place along the road to sweet eternity.
We all have different journeys, different paths along the way,
We all were meant to learn some things, but never meant to stay.
Our destination is a place far greater than we know,
For some, the journey's quicker, for some the journey's slow.
And when the journey finally ends, we'll claim a great reward,
And find an everlasting peace, together with the Lord.



ALVINA IRWIN [nee Richards]

It was sad to learn that Alvina, a long time reader of the Newsletter, who spent the last couple of years at Lee Lodge, had passed away on the 17th February.

Alvina was born just before the end of WW1 in October 1918 in Combe Martin, but spent the first 11 years of her life with her grandparents at Hammonds Farm. She always looked upon Berrynarbor as her home village and spent her school days here being taught by Miss Veale, Miss Balkwill, Miss Lily Richards, Miss Jones and later by Miss Muriel Richards.

After the death of her grandfather, she went home to live with her parents, four sisters and brother at Kentisbury.

In November 1949 she married Maurice Irwin, who was born in Appledore in 1911, and they lived all their married life in Combe Martin. Maurice was a keen bridge player and introduced Alvina to the game. Although they both enjoyed playing bridge, they did not partner one another! After retiring as a haulage contractor, Maurice spent time boating and fishing. Sadly, he died in May 2009.

Alvina's funeral took place at the North Devon Crematorium on the 5th March.

Although she and Maurice had no family of their own, our thoughts are with their many relatives at this sad time.

For those of you who keep past copies of the Newsletter, Alvina wrote of her memories of the village in August and October 2003, unfortunately just before the Newsletter went on line! Ed.



February 1913 - December 2014

It was with much sadness we learnt that after breaking his arm and spending time at the North Devon Hospital and Bideford Hospital, Trevor passed away peacefully with Kath beside him on Friday, 5th December, just two months short of his 102nd birthday.

Our thoughts, at this time of sadness, are with his daughter Anthea, son Victor and his wife Caroline, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They are also with his adopted family; Kath, whom Trevor called his 'guardian angel', Carol and John, Donna and James, Jill and John and all their families.

At his wish, Trevor's funeral on the 11th December, with his family and all his adopted family, took place at Great Bradley Cottage Burial Ground, Templeton near Tiverton. This secret garden, high in the hills, is unlike any churchyard or cemetery where the graves are amongst the flowering trees and in the spring surrounded by snowdrops, primroses and daffodils. Poems, taken from his recent 'Twitters' in the Newsletter were read, together with the following poem by Pam Ayres.

Woodland Burial

Don't lay me in some gloomy churchyard shaded by a wall
Where the dust of ancient bones has spread a dryness over all,
Lay me in some leafy loam where, sheltered from the cold
Little seeds investigate and tender leaves unfold.
There kindly and affectionately, plant a native tree
To grow resplendent before God and hold some part of me.
The roots will not disturb me as they wend their peaceful way
To build the fine and bountiful, from closure and decay.
To seek their small requirements so that when their work is done
I'll be tall and standing strongly in the beauty of the sun.


Kath would like to take this opportunity to thank all the kind people who took her to visit Trevor, first in Barnstaple and then in Bideford, and everyone for their many cards and messages of sympathy.

Higher Trayne Farm

Long term residents of Berrynarbor and members of the Bridge Clubs were sorry to learn that Richard had died, peacefully at home, on the 8th December. His funeral took place on the 9th January at Barnstaple Crematorium and our thoughts are with his daughters Kate and Jan and all his family at this time of sadness.

Latterly better known as Dick and a resident of Berrynarbor since the 1970's, Dick Pool will be known to only a few here, as Higher Trayne lies almost in Hele.   However, he was influential in so many diverse fields, that a few words of remembrance are well deserved.

His parents were both part of Sir Frank Whittle's team in inventing the jet engine, so with this background he too became a scientist.  A Doctorate in Physics and Chemistry at Oxford led to a place on the team developing the first British fast-breeder nuclear reactor at Dounrea, Scotland.

Later, he became a barrister-at-law and gentleman farmer at both Trayne and Sloley Farms, and was active working for the independent milk producers battling against the Milk Marketing Board, and also within the European Common Market.

Sadly after his wife Pam and two of his daughters died, he withdrew somewhat, but eventually took to competitive bridge with Roger Luckham, and worked to the end refurbishing his Grade 1 listed home.

Dick died at home as he wished, fiercely independent, aware of his illness, yet in good spirits and humour. Many people have said to his daughters Katherine and Jan, "A nice man, I liked him!"  Who could ask for a better epitaph?

June 1931-December 2014

After suffering from a debilitating illness for several years, how sad it was to learn that Vic had passed away peacefully on Christmas Day.

St. Peter's church, on a blustery day with sunny spells, was full for his funeral on the 10th January. Family, friends and villagers gathered to say goodbye as he was laid to rest in the churchyard.

A loving husband, father and grandfather, Vic will be sorely missed and our thoughts are with Anita, Mel, Bill and Samantha and all his family at this time of sorrow.


Vic was an Ilfracombe lad, a 'Quayite' as people who lived down at the Quay were known and where he spent his early life. When the Americans were based near St. James's church, Vic would run errands for them. His reward? A doughnut! Living on the Quay gave Vic his lifelong love of the sea and boats. He was a keen member of the Yacht Club sailing up and down and across and back the Bristol Channel. Unable to swim and never using a life jacket, he always said there would be a plank of wood floating by of which to catch hold!

When he was 14, his mother told him to go to the shoe repair shop and ask for a job. He did so and other than when he did his National Service, he remained there repairing shoes until he retired in 1990 when he was 58. By this time it had become the age of 'throw away shoes' and although the stiletto heel era had provided some good business - young ladies were always getting their heels caught and breaking them, and always needed them straight away to go to the dance that night! - business had declined.

Vic and Anita, an Ilfracombe lass, were married in 1961, their daughter Melanie was born in 1964. After living in Ilfracombe for a while, they moved to Berrynarbor, the birthplace of Anita's grandmother, in the early 1970's.

When he was not dicing with the Bristol Channel, Vic enjoyed snooker, a game he took up when he was 14, playing in Ilfracombe and acting as Treasurer of the Ilfracombe Snooker League for many years.

He was, of course, a member of our own Snooker Club at the Men's Institute where he was also the Caretaker.


Anita would like to thank everyone for their cards and kind messages of sympathy, especially the staff of the Park Lane Care Home whose care and kindness for Vic had been wonderful. Also to Keith Wyer and Stuart Neale for the beautiful service in Vic's memory, and the wonderful spread put on by Karen and all the staff at The Globe. Finally, she would like to thank everyone for attending the funeral and for the generous donations to Dementia UK.



When I am dead
Cry for me a little
Think of me sometimes
But not too much.
Think of me now and again
As I was in life
At some moments it's pleasant to recall
But not for long.
Leave me in peace
And I shall leave you in peace
And while you live
Let your thoughts be with the living.

Traditional Indian Prayer
The Native American Ishi People of the Pacific Northwest


It was sad to learn from Don's daughter, Jenny, that following a short illness Don had passed away peacefully with his family beside him on Friday, 10th October. His last days were spent at St. Austell Community Hospital where the family say his care was wonderful and they could not have wished for better.

A much loved and loving husband, father and grandfather, Don will be sadly missed by his wife June, daughters Jenny and Amanda and son Patrick, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Jenny tells me that her uncle, Patrick Thirkell, Don's brother, is listed on our War Memorial. Patrick Thirkell, DFM [Distinguished Flying Medal] was killed when his Lancaster bomber was lost without trace while on an operation over Germany on Friday, 8th May, 1942 at the age of 24.

The Thirkell family lived here in the village and readers will remember that the cover of this year's April issue of the Newsletter depicted Lower Rowes Farm, a watercolour by Lilian Thirkell, Don's mother, painted about the time of the end of WWII and given to Farmer Lerwill. Like Lilian's, Don's ashes will be scattered here in the churchyard of St. Peter's in the village that he loved and which held many happy memories for him.

Our thoughts and good wishes are with June, Jenny and all the family at this very sad time.



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]


Although she had been unwell for some time, it was with much sadness we learnt that Ina had passed away on the 3rd July.

Ina and her husband Cecil, who sadly passed away last November at the age of 102, moved to Devon from Coventry in 1952 and for 44 years ran a small pottery business in Braunton.

Married for 71 years, Philton House with Pip and Tony, was latterly home to them both - for Ina for 11 years before increasing dementia meant that she could no longer be looked after at home and she moved to a residential home. As her condition became worse, she moved to Edenmore Nursing Home in Ilfracombe, where she was wonderfully looked after. Gradually weakening over the last months, particularly since Cecil's death, she died peacefully in her sleep at the beginning of July.

Our thoughts are with Pip and Tony and all her family at this time of sorrow.





It was with profound shock, disbelief and sadness the village learnt that following a fall, Wendy had died suddenly on the 21st March. A loving and much loved wife, daughter, mother, grandmother and friend, she will be sorely missed by everyone who knew her.

A sunny day and St. Peter's was filled with family and friends for a service that was both poignant and happy, a fitting tribute to a caring lady who was always full of fun.

Our thoughts are with Mike and all her family at this time of sorrow.

"A big meaningful kiss
A firm and comfortable hug
Warmth love concern loyalty and fun radiating from an ENORMOUS heart
That was Wendy
God bless her forever"

Lesley Holder

Mike and family would like to thank all villagers for their kind messages of sympathy and for attending Wendy's funeral.

Donations, for the Children's Hospice South West, are still on-going and have so far reached nearly £2,000.


Visitors to Lee Lodge will be so sorry to learn that they will no longer be greeted by the cheerful smile and 'Hello darling' from Ursula, who passed away peacefully at the Lodge on the 27th April.

Our thoughts are with Fenella and John, Fenella's sister Susan and cousin Nigel, and all the family at this time of sadness.

I should like to thank, on behalf of myself, John, my sister Sue in Australia and cousin Nigel, all those who have been in touch about Ursula:  letters, cards, calls and flowers, it has been quite overwhelming. To us she was our wonderful mother, aunt and "wife's relation", someone who had always just been there with her wicked sense of humour and very practical approach. But she obviously made a bit of an impact in her new home in Berry - be it as Mrs Reading Lady, in the shop, at the Berrynarbor Ladies Group, Friendship Lunches, as a neighbour or latterly as an enthusiastic singer at Musical Memories We are hearing lovely stories of her daily which makes her passing that bit easier.

We should love you to come and share yet more memories of her with us on Saturday 7th June at 3 o'clock at Sloley Farm, Castle Hill for afternoon tea.  She could always whip up a mean cucumber sandwich [and whisky and water] so we shall continue the tradition.  If you could just let me know numbers it would be a help on the cake front! We shall hopefully rise to the occasion as it was always a running family joke that Ursula had a well-stocked larder and could easily have fed the Russian Army should they have been passing! She would always welcome everyone into her home be it in Reigate or Berrynarbor.  Even at Lee Lodge she would politely ensure that the staff would rustle up a cup of tea for every visitor. This particularly delighted Shane who owns the place!

  Talking of Lee Lodge we must say an enormous thank you to Carol, Debbie, Tina, Aran, Beverley, Liz, Jan, John and the entire team of staff, who have cared so beautifully and lovingly for Ursula over the last five yearsLee Lodge was a true home for Ursula; they treated her like their own mother and have over time become family to us all.  We cannot praise or thank them highly enough.  She will be sadly missed but never forgotten.





We were all very sad to learn that Malcom had passed away on the 3rd February at the age of 80.

Malcolm and Joan came from the Midlands to live in Berrynarbor, at the Park, in the early '90's. they very quickly became involved in many of the village activities, always ready with a smile to help where help was needed. In 2000 they moved to Lichfield to be near Joan's mother and after she sadly died, we were able to welcome them back in 2004, first to Corfe Cottage and later to Staddlestones on the Park. Once again they became an active part of our village and could often be seen striding out with their walking poles. It was a sad day for us when they decided, once again, to move nearer the family to Stourport-on-Severn where they have been happily settled since 2011.

Our thoughts are with Joan at this time of sorrow and she would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their cards and messages of love and condolence.



If I should die and leave you here awhile,
Be not like others, sore undone, who keep
Long vigils by silent dust and weep.
For my sake, turn again to life and smile,
Nerving thy heart and trembling hand to do
Something to comfort weaker hearts than thine.
Complete the dear unfinished tasks of mine
And I perchance may therein comfort you!
Mary Lee Hall

[3.4.1911 - 29.11.2013]

Villagers were sorry to learn that Pip's father, Cecil Hodkinson, had died on the 29th November and our thoughts are with Pip, Tony and all his family at this time of sorrow.

It is sad to report the death of Berynarbor's oldest resident, Cecil of Philton House, Barton Lane.

Cecil lived in the village for 13 years and despite some lack of mobility after a stroke, was very independent and still looking after himself virtually unaided long after reaching the 100 year milestone. He moved to Edenmore Nursing Home in Ilfracombe in late October following hospitalisation after some falls, which unfortunately seemed to have knocked the stuffing out of him and his health declined rapidly and he sadly died in Edenmore at the end of November at the grand old age of 102. Thankfully he did not suffer any pain or prolonged illness and died peacefully in sleep after a long, constructive life.

Pip, Tony and family would like to thank everyone for their kind thoughts and condolences at this time of sadness.


It was with sadness we learnt that Fred, formerly of Devon Cottage, Hagginton Hill, had sadly passed away after a prolonged illness on the 22nd November. Fred and Linda had many happy years in Berrynarbor, all the memories of which are cherished. Our thoughts are with Linda, their three children and five grandchildren at this time of sorrow.



Love is immortal, and death is only a horizon,
and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight.

Rossiter W. Raymond [1840-1918]

It is always with sadness that we learn of the passing of friends:


Having suffered ill heath for a number of years, David died on August Bank Holiday. He and his wife Val lived for many years in homes in the village and the surrounding area. They were both keen supporters of our Primary School and involved in the many events of its newly formed Parents' Association in the 1970's. A silversmith by trade, David worked as a manager at Luscombe House in Barnstaple and as a Social Worker at the North Devon District Hospital. He and Val retired to West Sussex in 2003.

Our thoughts are with Val and their sons Jeremy, Simon and Ben and their families.


Marie and her husband Ray from Erdington, Birmingham, have been regular visitors to our village for many years, staying at Whitely Cottage until 1998 and then other places in the village and Combe Martin. They were supporters not only of our new Community Shop, being shareholders, but also the Newsletter - two of its greatest champions!

It was so sad, therefore, to learn that Marie had passed away aged only 70 at the end of May, having suffered for several years with dementia-Alzheimer's. Ray continues to come down to the village and we send him our sympathy and best wishes.


One of the village's kindest and most generous men, Tom passed away at the end of August. Although living at the time at Hore Down, he and his wife Vera had lived in our village for many years. Tom was a first class builder constructing homes at The Lees, Hagginton Hill and other places in the village as well as their own home for a while, the Haven.

Tom was a great supporter of our Church, acting as a Warden for very many years and, in fact, constructing the impressive gates for the lychgate.

He will be sadly missed by many but none more than his family and our thoughts are with Vera, June, Betty and Tony at this sad time.

Vera and the family would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their kind thoughts and messages of sympathy at this time of sadness, and for attending Tom's funeral. A sum of £420 in his memory has been sent to the Chemotherapy Unit Appeal at the North Devon Hospital.


One of the most cheerful past residents of the Sterridge Valley, it was with sadness that village friends learnt that Rowena [or Mitch as she was known] had died on the 7th October, just 3 days short of her 90th birthday.

Our thoughts are with Don, her three boys, Michael, Dennis and Paul and all their families. Friends from the village were present at her well-attended and warm funeral, leaving the chapel to the sound of Gracie Fields singing 'Wish Me Luck As You Wave Me Goodbye'!

Many of the older residents of Berrynarbor will remember Rowena as a proud member of the village community. It must be some sixty years ago that the Mitcham family arrived in Berrynarbor, first living in the cottage next to what was previously the butcher's, and then moving to the Sterridge Valley.

Rowena's husband Tom was a footballer, lured to North Devon from Boston United to play for Ilfracombe Town, and Rowena and her sons duly followed. Soon afterwards Tom was asked to move again to Southampton but Rowena put her foot down and said she was not going to uproot the family again!

Tom sadly passed away suddenly in 1966 leaving her to raise three boys on her own.

For many years she worked for the Richards family at Moules Farm before going to Coutant Electronics [now Lambda TDK] in Ilfracombe where she stayed until her retirement.

In 1975 Rowena married widower Don Mason and they lived in the Valley for many years before moving to a bungalow in Ilfracombe where they spent over 20 years. Both keen gardeners, their front garden was their pride and joy.

Eventually they both moved into Pinehurst Residential Home where they were well looked after for 4 happy years until Rowena was taken ill, passing away from pneumonia in the hospital in Barnstaple.



May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
May the rains fall softly upon your field until we meet again.
May God hold you in the hollow of his hand.


Unfortunately, since the last Newsletter the village has learnt of the deaths of Kathleen Bond, Val Bowden, Bill Jones and just before going to print, Michael Patterson and our thoughts are with all their families.


Kathleen passed away peacefully at Park View Residential Home in Ilfracombe on Monday, 25th March, where she had spent just a short time having some respite care, at the age of 99. She would have celebrated her centenary in August.

Ludleigh House on Hagginton Hill had been home to Kathleen for nearly 40 years and until fairly recently she had been able to enjoy village life. Many people will remember the sales she held in the Manor Hall, the proceeds going to animal charities - she loved all animals and birds, but especially cats. Gardening too was one of her pleasures, as was choral singing, and she had enjoyed the fellowship and activities of the U3A.

Mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, she will be sadly missed by all her family and friends. ouseHouse


Val, beloved wife of Leonard Bowden who passed away at home in March 1991, died peacefully, also at home, Ruggaton Farm, on the 30th April at the age of 93. A much loved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother, she will be sorely missed and our thoughts are with all her family.

7th [September 1934 - 18th April 2013]

How sad it was to learn that Bill, a much loved and loving husband, father and grandfather, had passed away peacefully with Jill and his family beside him, on the 18th April.

Although he had not been in the best of health for some time, his sudden and unexpected death came as a shock. Only a couple of days earlier he had spent a happy day out with family, enjoying his 'go faster' mobility scooter and plans were being formulated for future trips and possibly some fishing.

The Thanksgiving Service for his life was celebrated at Basingstoke Crematorium in its delightful setting on a beautiful sunny day, Friday, 3rd May. Conducted by our Revd. George and with the village well represented, the Service was a lovely and heart-warming tribute to Bill.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Jill and all the family at this time of sorrow.

Born in Sheffield , a life-long supporter of Sheffield Wednesday, Bill was a true Yorkshireman.

Active sports, particularly cricket and football, played a major role in his younger days but his enjoyment of sports of all kinds was also life-long. even if latterly participation was from his armchair!

After a short spell in the RAF, he made a career in electronics. On retirement, he and Jill came to North Devon from Cheshire, moving into Berrynarbor and Riversdale in 1999. They soon became involved with many village activities, and Berry in Bloom very much appreciated Bill's input.

Do-it-Yourself formed a compelling pastime, the garden his pride and joy. He loved showing visitors around especially on many village Open Garden days.

A determined man, following his untimely stroke and the medical prognosis, Bill was single-minded in believing that he would walk again, and he did! Although activities in the garden were curtailed, he enjoyed pottering, enjoyed a spot of fishing, continued to play skittles for The Globe and took pleasure in the boys' outings to Taunton to watch the cricket.

Although sad to leave the village last year, he and Jill settled in well to their new home where Bill was able to enjoy, for a brief time at least, the nearby company of family and grandchildren.

Jill and family would like to thank everyone for all their kind messages and cards; it was such a great comfort to know everyone was thinking of us at this difficult time. Bill loved his years spent amongst you all in Berrynarbor and we all have wonderful memories of times spent in Devon.


Although he had not been well for some time, Michael bore his illness bravely and he never lost the smile that would light up his face.

It had been so lovely to see him at the Manor Hall recently for a coffee morning - he never could resist cakes! It was, therefore, with much sadness we learnt that he had passed away peacefully on the 7th May.

Michael came to live at Stable Cottage in April 2005 to be near his son and soon became a familiar figure around the village, enjoying the Friendship Lunches, the Quiz at The Globe and attending many of the activities in the village.

This true 'gentle'man will be missed by all his friends in the village but even more so by his family and our thoughts are with them all at this time of sadness.




Following the joyous occasion of reaching her 100th birthday, it was sad to learn that Ivy had passed away peacefully on the 22nd January. A loving and much loved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great grandmother, she will be sorely missed not only by her family but also all those who had the pleasure of knowing her as was testament to a full St. Peter's church on a beautiful day with sunshine to see her leave the village she loved so much - a fitting service for a lovely lady.

I thank thee God, that I have lived
In this great world and known its many joys:
The songs of birds, the strongest sweet scent of hay,
And cooling breezes in the secret dusk;
The flaming sunsets at the close of day;
Hills and the lovely heather-covered moors;
Music at night, and the moonlight on the sea,
The beat of waves upon the rocky shore
And wild white spray, flung high in ecstasy;
The faithful eyes of dogs, and treasured books,
The love of Kin and fellowship of friends
And all that makes life dear and beautiful.

Elizabeth Craven [1750-1828]

Ivy's family would like to thank everyone who sent messages of support and sympathy following her death on the 22nd January. They were much appreciated. Her 100 years had been happily lived in Berrynarbor and her funeral service was a celebration of her long life - thank you to those who celebrated with us.


Kevin was, in fact, the first illustrator of our Newsletters in 1989 when it was produced on an inky duplicator and stencils and so it was with sadness I learnt that following a long illness bravely born, he had lost his battle and died peacefully on the 20th January.

Pupils, parents and many others involved with Ilfracombe College will remember him fondly and our thoughts are with Suzanne and all his family at this time of sorrow.


Illustrations by Kevin for articles by Preb. Eppingstone on the Bells of St. Peter's [left] and Patricia Gale on Dobson's Ducks at Watermouth [below].




On Sunday, 16th September our dear daughter Eileen passed away at her home in Ilfracombe at the very tender age of 49. She has left three children to face life without the love and care of a mother. Although she spent most of her life outside the village, she is none-the-less very sadly missed by all of us and those she cared for.

Do please remember her in your prayers, especially during this the month of the Holy Souls. Requiescat in pace.

Peter and Margaret and Peter John Hiscox at Little Woolhanger.

Such very sad news and our thoughts and prayers are with you all at this time of sorrow.


It was a sad day when we learnt that Marion, after several years of coping with poor health, had passed away peacefully at home on the 17th October. Our thoughts have been with her and John during the last few difficult years and continue with John who always gave her the most wonderful loving and tender care but especially of late.

Our thoughts also go to their three children, six grandchildren and all the family at this time of grief.

Marion and John, who were married for 53 years, came to live in Berrynarbor 18 years ago from Birmingham where they were both born. Following the birth of their children, Christopher, Melanie and Richard, Marion worked at the University of Birmingham, firstly in research [of solarnum, or to us potatoes] and then in library work particularly with overseas students. Marion was a keen reader. She loved Cicely Mary Barker's Flower Fairies as a child and enjoyed reading them and looking at the delightful illustrations with her children and their children.

Song of the Snowdrop Fairy

Deep sleeps the Winter,
Cold, wet and grey;
Surely all the world is dead;
Spring is far away.
Wait! the world shall waken;
It is not head, for lo,
The Fair Maids of February
Stand in the snow

Illustration by: Paul Swailes

After John's retirement as a Police Officer and moving to Berrynarbor, they spent a lot of happy times walking locally and on Exmoor, and enjoyed travelling abroad on holiday, as well as helping and supporting many of our village groups and activities.

John would like to thank everyone for their cards, messages of sympathy and words of comfort, the Revd. John Thompson for a beautiful service at the Crematorium and the many family members, friends and neighbours from the village who attended Marion's funeral.

He would especially like to pay tribute to their granddaughter Katie who came to stay and kept Marion's spirits up during his treatment in Exeter, and to congratulate her on taking and passing her practical driving test whilst here. It was, he says, so fortunate and comforting that she was here at this sad time.




'The peace is yours
The memory ours.'

John's sudden death on the 11th August came as a great shock to us all, but especially to Bett, Kevin and all his family, Nita, Vic and Melanie. Our thoughts are with them all at this time of sorrow.

The love and esteem with which John was held in the village was evident from the very full church of those who attended his funeral. He will be sadly missed by everyone.

John was born at North Hill Farm, Shirwell, where with his two sisters he had a happy childhood, working on the farm, riding his pony and rabbiting with his pet ferret. His love of ponies, the Exmoor in particular, remained with him all his life. The donations for the Exmoor Pony Society made at his funeral amounted to a fantastic £850.

John went to school first at Shirwell, then Barnstaple and later at Combe Martin. In 1949, when his father died, John and his mother moved to Berrynarbor to live with his grandmother, where he lived for the rest of his life.

After leaving school, he went in to farming, always his first love. When that came to an end, he spent his time gardening for and helping people in the village and taking care of his few sheep. A familiar sight in his blue van with a silver roof.

John really enjoyed his snooker at the Men's Institute and had been a member for sixty years. Not only an excellent player, he served for many years as Secretary and latterly President of the Club.

John will be remembered for his kindness, his friendly, outgoing manner and his ever cheerful smile. This 'gentle'man was happy with his lot!

With thanks to George Billington for sharing his Eulogy for John with us.

Bett and family, Anita, Vic and family would like to say thank you for all the messages of sympathy, cards, flowers and offers of help, and everyone who came to the funeral, it was such a comfort to us to see a full church. He will be missed so much by all who loved him.




It was sad to learn that after some years of poor health, Pat had passed away peacefully at home at Watermouth on the 31st May at the age of 91.

Many in the village will remember Pat particularly through the U3A which she and John were instrumental in setting up some 25 years ago.

Pat and John, together with their three children, came to Ilfracombe from Cambridgeshire in 1965 when John was appointed Headmaster of the Grammar School and Headmaster Elect of the future comprehensive school and community college. Here she was introduced to the idea of home-stay students from abroad from which grew the very successful Country Cousins Language School, with Pat as Managing Director and centres at Barnstaple, Bideford, Exeter and Plymouth. In 1972 she and John attended a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace.

Pat's energy and business drive saw her setting up letting apartments and houses in Tuscany and having become a Counsellor for the Samaritans, she and John took on the daunting task of raising money to provide a centre in North Devon.

After John's retirement they spent many happy times travelling all over the world and in May celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary.

In 1942 Pat was a sales correspondent with Metropolitan Vickers and her interest in the English Language and Literature remained with her throughout her life, reading The Times daily until a short while ago.

Our thoughts are with John and all the family at this time of sorrow.

If you feel sad,
do think of me
For that's what I'll like.
When you live in the hearts
of those you love,
Remember then you never die.

Rabindranath Tagore




Praise Life

Men and boughs break;
Praise life while you walk and wake,
It is only lent.

David Campbell


It was sad to learn that following a short stay at Fremington and just a few days at the North Devon Hospice, Madelaine had slipped away peacefully on the 27th March. Her funeral took place at St. Peter's a week later when she was laid to rest with her late husband Brian, who died seven years ago.

Madelaine and Brian purchased Orchard Park a few years before they retired here in 1983. Together they transformed it with great care, craftsmanship and taste, a pleasurable task that kept them both very busy. Sadly, work was not finished when Brian died, but Madelaine carried on and completed their dream home.

No longer acting as Brian's 'go for' and with workmen helping to complete the house, Madelaine had more time to spend on village activities, joining the Ladies Group - unfortunately now defunct - and becoming a keen member of the 'Alley Cats', one of the Globe's skittle teams. She was a staunch supporter of our community shop, both old and new, having an order delivered each week. She will be much missed by her many village friends and acquaintances.

She will also be sadly missed by her family - her son Steven and his wife Karen, daughter Laura and partner Dave, her grandsons Richard and Michael and her great-grandchildren. Our thoughts are with them all at this time of sorrow.



I was very sad, as I am sure readers will be too, to learn that after a few days in hospital feeling unwell, Walter had passed away suddenly but peacefully on the 28th April.

When I first met Walter at Lee Lodge he told me his family boasted longevity, his mother and father both living to the age of 96, and he was going to break that record! Sadly, he fell just short of doing so.

An only child, he was born in London and attended Dulwich College where he excelled at Maths and Latin, making his choice of career as a Chartered Accountant an obvious one. He was also an obvious choice to be Treasurer of the British Automobile Racing Club for 12 years, was also a Rotarian, being President of the Portslade Club in West Sussex in 1973, and a founder member of the Sussex Film Society.

From the age of 7, Walter was a very keen stamp and coin collector, was always interested in aircraft of all types and enjoyed gardening.

In 2003 he came to live with Sue and his son Malcolm at Goosewell, before taking up residence at the newly established Lee Lodge. It was whilst he was there he began to contribute items for the Newsletter and he continued to do so when he moved to Burrow House in Ilfracombe a couple of years ago.

We'll miss his interesting and informative 'Whispers' but how much more will he be missed by all his family. Our thoughts are with his sons Graham, Malcolm and James, and daughter Mary, his four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.



The mists rise over
The still pools at Asuka.
Memory does not
Pass away so easily.


It was with shock and incredulity that we learnt Tom had passed away unexpectedly on the 11th January after a brief illness. A loving and much loved husband, Tom will be sorely missed and our thoughts are with Mary and all the family at this very sad time.

A true gentleman, Tom will be missed in so many ways by his friends, neighbours and everyone who knew him. The overflowing chapel at the crematorium at his funeral was a tribute to the respect and love in which he was held.

One of his last wishes was to thank everyone for their get well cards, messages and visits during his only spell in hospital, he found them 'very cheering'. Bless you Tom.

Mary would like to thank everyone for the many cards, messages, and for attending Tom's funeral and the help and support she has received over the last few weeks.




It was with sadness we learnt, although she had been suffering from Parkinson's for some years and it was perhaps a happy release, that Joan had passed away peacefully on the 2nd October, only just over a year since her husband, Maurice, had died. Her funeral took place on her 90th birthday.

Joan was born in Milltown, Muddiford - a true Devon born lass. She married Maurice in 1946 at Marwood Church and they moved to Brendon where they farmed until 1958 before moving to Berrynarbor and Sloley Farm. Joan was a true farmer's wife, keeping the farm running! She enjoyed riding right up until she was 70 and painting, particularly scenes of Exmoor, was a favourite hobby.

When Maurice and Joan retired from farming, they moved into Little Oaklands, which Maurice had built and where they continued to enjoy life in the village.

A mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother, Joan will be sadly missed by her daughters Margaret and Angela and all her family and friends and our thoughts are with them at this time of sorrow.

Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you planned:
Only remember me; you understand

It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.

Christina Rossetti [1830-1894]


Always interested and supportive of our Newsletter, it was sad to learn that Daphne had passed away suddenly but peacefully on the 7th October and our thoughts are with her family at this time. As Rev. Chris Steed said at her funeral, we are all unique, and Daphne was no exception!

A Combe Martin lass through and through, Berrynarbor came a close second for Daphne as her mother, Evelyn [nee Ley] was born here at Goosewell, later moving to Orchard House and attending our school. Evelyn's marriage to Bill Challacombe took place at St. Peter's in 1935.

After leaving school, Daphne's secretarial and administrative skills were much appreciated first at Combe Martin Secondary School and then when the local schools amalgamated, at Ilfracombe School and Community College [now Ilfracombe Arts College] where she stayed until her retirement.

Passionate about all things Combe Martin, she was a founder member and helped in the setting up of the Combe Martin Museum and for many years was on the Committee of the Combe Martin Historical Society.

Her dogs were the love of her life, closely followed by her interest in and support of Manchester United and the adventures of Rupert and his Nutwood friends.

Daphne will be sadly missed by her family and many friends and neighbours.


'A tired heart is now at peace'

We were all shocked to learn that Laurel had passed away suddenly on the 4th November, shortly after visiting the village and having suffered from ill health for some time. His funeral took place at St. Peter's on the 11th November, attended by many of his friends from the village.

A loving and much loved husband, father and grandfather, Laurel will be sadly missed and our thoughts are with Celia and all the family at this time of sorrow.


Betty and her husband Bernard, who died in September 2000, moved to Goosewell in 1986, having spent many years at Lee where Bernard managed the Lee Bay Hotel. They both had a long and very happy association with Arlington Court, working and volunteering there for well over twenty years.

When Bernard died, Betty moved to North Yorkshire to be nearer her son Bernie, but has kept in touch as a reader of our Newsletter.

It was, therefore, with sadness that we heard she had passed away and our thoughts are with Bernie and his family and her friends at Robin Hood's Bay and her family and many friends here in Ilfracombe and North Devon.

Betty's funeral will take place on the 2nd December, but there will be a short service in the Chapel at Ilfracombe Cemetery on the 19th December at 11 o'clock



30.5.28 - 9.8.11

We were sorry when Ann and Peter left the village to live in Combe Martin and saddened to learn that after a long struggle, borne with bravery and a smile, Peter had lost his battle, passing away peacefully on the 9th August. Our thoughts are with Ann and all the family at this time of sadness.

Peter was a man of many talents with a rich variety of interests. As a young man he walked through Lapland before it opened up to tourism, seeing people living as they had for generations. He was a climber, climbing throughout Scotland and Wales and exploring many of the wilder parts of Europe, as well as being a member and walking with the Mid-Surrey Ramblers.

Singing was another passion and his lovely bass voice was heard with the North Devon Choral Society, the Ilfracombe Male Voice Choir and for many years in the Gilbert and Sullivan productions staged by staff, pupils and friends of Ilfracombe College.

A gentle giant and a true gentleman, he will be remembered by those seeking help from the C.A.B. for which he was a volunteer for many years. A keen member of the U3A, Peter participated in many of the groups, particularly Play Reading, World Religions and his great love, Poetry Reading and Writing.

Peter himself asked that his thanks be expressed to the staff at the North Devon Hospice, where he was loved and well cared for, as he was by everyone involved in his medical treatment. He will be sorely missed by many.

Ann and her family would like to thank everyone for their kindness at this time; for the cards and letters showing in so many ways how close they were to Peter and their fond memories of him. Never one to blow his own trumpet, they were justly proud when Peter was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in his 70's. They also say that throughout his 83 years, he always looked forward and enjoyed life to the full.

So friends, don't grieve, he would like you to enjoy the memories you have of him.

Many readers will remember the late Vi Kingdon, a President of Berrynarbor W.I., who had everyone knitting Teddies for Tragedies and for whom Peter wrote the following:

In a happier time Vi and the WI were involved, with other women's groups, in knitting Teddy Bears for children in war torn countries in Europe and Africa. I wrote this and gave it to her and I think she found it amusing.

Berry Very Free Verse for Vi

A WI Wise woman lives among the trees,
Her chair secure as any kingdom's throne.
She always answers every call, and many
Though they are she always sees
Her duty to the forest creatures all
Of whom she knows by name,
And, even when they're naughty
Never blames but simply leads them
Gaily in their merry forest games.

From other Combes when bright young bears in fresh
Designer clothes arrive to party, her lane
Becomes a Rainbow Road, the starting
Point of voyages to earn the love of children who,
They find, have never seen a bear before
And consequently she makes sure that
No-one accidently leaves
A little bear behind.

Peter H.

4.7.1928 - 20.8.2011

Our thoughts are with Viv, Brian, Charlotte and Mickey following the death of Viv's mother, Sylvia, on the 20th August.

Mum passed away peacefully with her family around her on the 20th August. She was a very loving and caring Wife, Mum and Nan. She was also a very private person.

Born in Portsmouth, she spent her working life in various pharmacies in and around the Portsmouth area. After the death of her husband Harry in 1987, she came to live with us in West Sussex before we all moved to Berrynarbor in 1988. She loved living in the village and made many friends at W.I. Following her first heart attack in 2004, she spent most of her time at home or on regular family outings. One of her pleasures was watching the wildlife that frequented the garden.

Donations of £350 were given at her funeral and this will be passed on to the Waterside Practice.

Mum will be sadly missed by us all.

Viv, Brian, Charlotte and Mickey



Alice Dummett

Formerly of The Retreat in the Sterridge Valley, Alice passed away at Catherine's Court, Yelland, on the 7th June at the age of 89. Alice and her late husband, Len, were married at Combe Martin in 1948 and moved to Elizabeth House in Berrynarbor, which they ran as a guest house. On Len's retirement in 1969 they moved to The Retreat.

Here they spent a happy retirement together, gardening, walking the dog and enjoying time spent with friends and neighbours until Len sadly died in 1998. Although well cared for in the following years, Alice was lonely and bereft without Len.




Not how did he die, but how did he live?
Not what did he gain, but what did he give?
These are the units to measure the worth
Of a man as a man, regardless of birth.
Not, what was his church, nor what was his creed?
But had he befriended those really in need?
Was he ever ready, with word of good cheer?
To bring back a smile, to banish a tear?
Not what did the sketch in the newspaper say.
But how many were sorry when he passed away.


It was with sadness that those in the village who knew Alastair from the many facets of his life - at Ilfracombe College, Ilfracombe Rugby Club, Ilfracombe Golf Club and latterly Ilfracombe Male Voice Choir - learnt that he had died peacefully at home following a short final chapter to a long illness on the 10th February. Our thoughts are with all his family and those who loved and cared for him in the last few years, but particularly his sister Elaine and her family.

Alastair moved to Berrynarbor from the Midlands with his parents, brothers Malcolm and Nick and sister Elaine in 1954. He completed his A Levels at Ilfracombe Grammar School before achieving a Combined BA Honours Degree in English and Physical Education at Birmingham University. He taught at Combe Martin Secondary School, also Salisbury and spent three years in his beloved New Zealand at Wanganui Technical College. He became Head of English and then Head of Sixth Form, Deputy Head and Acting Head of Ilfracombe College. He leaves wife Jill, son Simon, daughter Kate and grandchildren Amy, Louis and Elliot.

Heartfelt thanks to everyone who attended Alastair's wonderful Thanksgiving Service and for the cards, flowers, donations and messages of sympathy. Seeing Ilfracombe Parish Church full of friends and relatives and the extent of the love and respect which surrounded him was both humbling and comforting.

Alan Bacon, former Head of Ilfracombe College, gave an inspired and uplifting eulogy which was a fitting tribute to a gifted and vibrant man, who touched so many lives before his illness, whether through teaching, music or sport. He will be sorely missed by many.

Elaine and Family

It is with sadness we received details of the deaths of Jack Rollings and Margaret Draper and our thoughts are with Phil and both their families.


Jack was the youngest of four boys and a girl born to William and Maud Rollings who lived on Bedminster Down in Bristol. Jack was a twin to his sister Jean. During the war, Jean was evacuated to stay with William and Nellie Draper at Number 94 Berrynarbor [Jacobs Well] whilst Jack was evacuated to South Devon. The twins pined for each other, and eventually Nellie wrote to his parents to ask if Jack, too, could come to Berry to stay with them. He settled into the family and thoroughly enjoyed himself, reunited with Jean and becoming part of the Draper family. He went to school at Berrynarbor and later Combe Martin, and when the war ended, returned to Bristol. He completed his National Service in the Royal Navy and went to work at W.D. & H.O. Wills. A keen gardener and an accomplished local footballer, he played for Bath City among others.

Jack enjoyed his time at Berry so much that he spent many holidays and weekend breaks with his wife Margaret in Ilfracombe, visiting members of the Draper family. His visit last year was his final trip. In August he was diagnosed with lung cancer and after a brave struggle he passed away on the 28th December.

His wife Margaret and his sons, John and Andy, will continue their visits to the area Jack enjoyed so much.


Margaret was one of five children born to William and Nellie Draper at Number 94 Berrynarbor [Jacobs Well] - Winnie, Phyllis and Sheila being the other girls and the one boy, Denzil. She was the middle child and the last of the family to survive. She went to school at Berrynarbor and later at Combe Martin

The family moved to Ilfracombe in 1946 and resided at 14 Brookfield Place. She worked at the Salad Bowl in the High Street and at The Co-op, Woolworths and finally until her retirement at Coutants. In 1993 Margaret moved into Clarence Cottages in Ilfracombe and stayed there until August last year when she decided to move into the Susan Day Home.

She was a bright and intelligent person with a sense of humour and fun, who would often have a joke to tell. Quizzes, crosswords and puzzles also provided much enjoyment. She was also quite an accomplished poet and had at least two poems published, particularly acrostic poems, and included them in any birthday cards she sent. She was a keen darts and skittles player and for many years was among the organisers of the local leagues, serving on many committees and also winning many trophies, individually and as a team member. Despite never marrying or having children of her own, she adored them. Whether it was her nephews and nieces, great nieces and nephews or the children of friends.

She was diagnosed with cancer three years ago and fought valiantly. However, the struggle became too much and she died peacefully early on the morning of the 24th January. Her funeral was at Emmanuel Church Ilfracombe on the 4th February. She is sadly missed by her nephews and nieces who live in Barnstaple, Bristol, Scotland and Canada. One of her published poems is below.

Phil Rollings

Towards Spring

The weather, at this time of year
Gives so little warmth or cheer
Day's are dull, so seldom bright
In fact! It always seems like night
The rain comes down the wind doth blow
Plus hail, sleet and sometimes snow
Although it's cold, the lambs are born
And birds sing sweetly every morn
Giving us joy and hope each day
As we go along the way
Nature is a wondrous thing
And very soon it will be spring

Margaret Draper




Many of us in Berrynarbor will remember Hedy's son, Josef. Christmas, a year ago, he was in the village, staying with his mother, when Hedy slipped on a walk at Hunters Inn and broke her leg. Josef stayed on for many weeks to help her, and was a familiar face around the village and visitor to the Shop.

On previous visits, he also joined in the walks on Exmoor with our local Walking group, and we came to know a thoughtful and very pleasant young man.

This Christmas he had arranged to come and stay with his mother, but 'phoned a few days before to say he was ill with 'flu and so unable to travel. On the 23rd December, Hedy was unable to contact him on the 'phone and became concerned. Josef was found later that day, having passed away in his home.

His funeral took place on the 26th January and Josef's ashes will be brought to Berrynarbor where they will be buried with his father's ashes, in the village church cemetery.

Our thoughts and love are with Hedy and her family at this very sad time.

Yvonne Davey

Every so often, when I look
at the dark sky, I know he remains
among the old endless blue lightedness
of stars; or finding myself out in a field
in November, when a strange
starry perhaps first snowfall blows
down across the darkening air, lightly,
I know he is there, where snow
falls flakes down fragile softly
falling until I can't see the world
any longer, only its still shapes.

Galway Kinnell




It was with much sadness that the village learnt that Doreen had sadly passed away on the 26th September and our thoughts are with her niece Pam and her many friends and neighbours.

As some of you may know, my aunt sadly passed away at the end of September, age 91 years. She was born in Birmingham and after leaving school worked in the offices at Cadbury's for 25 years. In her youth she was a keen swimmer and an enthusiastic member of the Girl Guide movement. She was also an accomplished needlewoman. During the war years, as she was rejected for the armed services because of a suspected heart condition, she volunteered for the St. John Ambulance service.

Doreen married Charles in 1960 and soon after they moved from Birmingham to Berrynarbor. It was then they developed a keen interest in growing fruit and vegetables.

Sadly, Charles passed away in 1979 but Doreen continued to live in the village and developed many friendships. These friendships became even more important to her and indeed to me, when, as her health began to fail she moved to Belmont Grange Care Home in 2004.

She was always good company, with a wonderful sense of humour. She liked to collect verses or quotations that appealed to her, some of which she sent for inclusion in the Newsletter, one of which was printed on the service sheet at her funeral. Many times I suggested that she should come and live near me in Worcestershire but she was reluctant to leave Berrynarbor and her friends, and it is to these friends of hers and now mine, that I should like to say a grateful 'thank you'.

Pam Danks

Blessed are they who understand
My faltering step and shaking hand
Blessed are they who know my ears today
Must strain to catch the things they say
Blessed are they who seem to know
My eyes are dim, my mind is slow
Blessed are they with cheery smile
Who stop to chat for a little while
Blessed are they who make it known
I'm loved, respected and not alone.


Win was born in 1919 and at the age of two travelled with her parents to Lahore, then in India, at a time when the 'Raj' was in full flow. She experienced an extraordinary childhood but at seven left her parents and young brother, John, to attend school in England, staying with her grandparents in Bristol.

She later trained as a Domestic Science teacher in Bath and during the War taught in Birmingham, where she met and married her first husband, Reg Burrows.

Married life with their boys was spent in the Midlands but sadly Reg, who had suffered from rheumatic fever as a child which affected his heart, passed away in 1957.

A fellow member of the church they attended, Dennis Collins, had lost his wife Ann, but he and Win found happiness again together and married the following year. Win happily took on Dennis's two children and both families 'gelled' as a unit, all sharing wonderful family holidays.

When Win and Dennis retired, they fulfilled a dream and moved to Devon, to Berrynarbor. Gardening was a great passion, as was the church and village life, a source of much happiness to them both.

After twenty-four years and with good timing and some regrets, they left Devon in 2006 for a comfortable retreat at St. Monica's in Westbury-on-Trym, nearer the family. In 2008 they celebrated their Golden Wedding, quite an achievement as both their first marriages had lasted for twelve years.

Following a short remembrance at St. Peter's Church on the 31st October, and with family and friends in attendance, Win's ashes were laid to rest with her husband Dennis.

Win's family thank everyone for their kindness and sympathy cards and wish everyone a blessed Christmas and a peaceful New Year.


I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavement grey,
I hear it in the deep heart's core,

W.B. Yeats 1865 -1939

Illustration by Nigel Mason



Never more will the wind cherish you again, Never more will the rain.
Never more shall we find you bright in the snow and wind.
The snow is melted, the snow is gone, and you are flown.
Like a bird out of our hand, like a light out of our heart,
You are gone.

Hilda Doolittle 1886-1961


Phyllis was one of five children, Winnie, Denzil, Margaret and Sheila being the others, born to William and Nellie Draper at number "Ninety Four", Berrynarbor, now known as Jacobs Well. In1946 the family moved to Ilfracombe and Phyl subsequently joined the Army as a driver, based at Regents Park barracks, also at Chester and other places around the UK. While at Regents Park she delivered mail to Buckingham Palace.

After Army life, she joined the NAAFI at St Merryn in Cornwall and later the GPO telephone service, working as a telephonist at Banbury and Bristol.

During the war, twins Jack and Jean Rollings were evacuated to Berry and stayed with the Draper's at 94. In 1953, while in Bristol, Phyl was visiting Jean and Jack when she met their older brother Dennis. In 1954 they married and had 56 happy years together living in Bristol.

Sadly, last autumn Phyl broke her hip, her recovery was forestalled by deep vein thrombosis, which resulted in the amputation of her left leg. She battled on valiantly but finally died peacefully on the morning of August 1st at the age of 81.

She leaves husband Dennis and two sons Philip and Martin and a grand daughter Lorna and is survived by her sister Margaret Draper who lives in Ilfracombe.

Many villagers will remember Phyl, and I am grateful to Philip Rollings for letting us know the sad news and we send him and all the family our thoughts at this time of sorrow.


It was very sad to learn that, when looking forward to her holiday in a week or two, Win passed away peacefully in her sleep on the 16th September. A lovely way for her to be reunited with Dennis, her husband of fifty years, but a shock for her family. We send them our condolences and prayers at this time of sorrow.

Win and Dennis moved to Bristol to be nearer to their family in 2006, having lived and been very happy and involved in the village for twenty-four years.



The village was saddened in late May and early June following the deaths of Edna Barnes, Dan Weller, Maurice Fry and Michael Bain.


We were all sorry to learn that Edna had passed away at the end of May. A cheerful lady who supported many village events and a stalwart member of the Ladies' Group, she will be sadly missed by us all and our thoughts and sympathy go out to her son David.

In Memory of Edna

Edna of Barton Lane, passed away on Saturday, 29th May, at the Tyrrell Hospital, Ilfracombe, aged 89. Edna and her husband, Alf, moved to Berrynarbor from Chipperfield in Hertfordshire in 1980 and enjoyed their retirement together until Alf sadly died in 1986.

Edna continued to join in the various village activities and made many friends. She loved going on outings, to meetings and indulging in pub lunches and cream teas, and was very appreciative of all the car lifts that made life easier for her.

I should like to express my deep and sincere thanks to everyone who gave my mother care and kindness over the years - carers, doctors, nurses, neighbours and friends. I should also like to thank all those who sent letters, cards of condolence and made donations to Arthritis Research. Thank you all.

David Barnes


We were shocked and saddened to learn that Dan had passed away on the 3rd June, and our thoughts have been with Margaret at this time of sorrow.

Dan Weller
Died 3rd June 2010

'Always Look on the Bright Side of Life'

Thanks to Judie's hard work producing our delightful Newsletter, I have this opportunity to say thank you for all the wonderful warmth and support which surrounded me and helped me cope at such a sad and stressful time - Never to be forgotten.



Maurice's sudden death on the 3rd June, just short of celebrating his 90th birthday saddened us all.

Our thoughts are with his wife Joan and daughters Margaret and Angel, his five grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and his one great-great-granddaughter.

Maurice and Joan, with their daughters, moved to Sloley Farm, which Maurice farmed for many years, from Brendon in 1958. When he had to give up farming, in the early 1980's, due to ill health, he and Joan moved into Little Oakland, the bungalow they had built next to Sloley.

In his leisure time and retirement, Maurice turned his hand to wood-working, making tables, chairs, stools and other pieces of furniture. He also enjoyed riding and until comparatively recently, he could be seen, accompanied by his niece Elizabeth, riding up the Sterridge Valley to the woodland at Woolscott Cleave.

His funeral at St. Peter's was attended by his family and many friends and neighbours.

Joan and the family would like to thank everyone for their kind messages and cards and for attending Maurice's funeral. Especial thanks to the Rev. Keith Wyer for a beautiful service and Brian Baker for the funeral arrangements.


It was sad to learn that Michael, of Longsawte, Newberry Close, had passed away in the North Devon District Hospital on the 6th June aged 64 years. For many years, Michael, with his parents, ran the Foxhunters Inn at West Down, later moving to Europa Park in Woolacombe. Sadly missed by all his friends, Michael's funeral took place at the North Devon Crematorium on the 11th June.


Following the service taken by the Archdeacon of Barnstaple, David Gunn-Johnson, at St. Peter's on the 18th July, the Rev. Margaret Howard conducted a lovely service in memory of the late Betty Dudley-Ward, followed by the interment of her ashes.

Betty, fondly known in the village as 'Matron', having been Matron of the Susan Day Home in Ilfracombe, lived here for 40 years before moving to a residential home in Longhope, Gloucestershire, near to her niece Lucille.

Members of her family were joined by friends and neighbours to say their final farewells. A wonderful 'carer' of both the young and elderly, it is fitting that Betty rests beside the children's playground, with a view over the Chapel to her home beyond.



Oh all the time that e'er I spent,
I spent it in good company;
And any harm that e'er I've done,
I trust it was to none but me;
May those I've loved through all the years
Have memories now they'll recall;
So fill to me the parting glass,
Goodnight, and joy be with you all.

Oh all the comrades that e'er I had,
Are sorry for my going away;
And all the loved ones that e'er I had
Would wish me one more day to stay.
But since it falls unto my lot
That I should leave and you should not,
I'll gently rise and I'll softly call
Goodnight, and joy be with you all.

Of all good times that e'er we shared,
I leave to you fond memory;
And for all the friendship that e'er we had
I ask you to remember me;
And when you sit and stories tell,
I'll be with you and help recall;
So fill to me the parting glass,
God bless, and joy be with you all.


Toby died peacefully at home on the 2nd April. We, and the family, should like to thank the village for the words of comfort and sympathy, and the cards and flowers we received.

Toby moved to Orchard House 35 years ago on retiring from farming. He enjoyed the village life, attending most local events. He loved his painting hobby, local history, wine making and gardening. He enjoyed the snooker club, meeting up with Len Bowden, Don Arscott and many others, ending the night with a pint or two. He was a founder member of the U3A and the Berrynarbor Wine Circle.

It helps us to know that he was so well thought of by the village.

Joan and David

We have been thinking of Joan and David during the long time they have looked after Toby - he could not have received more loving and supportive care - and our thoughts continue to be with them and all the family at this sad time following Toby's death on Good Friday. Bless you all.



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 forgone, 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 Arlett [1896-1948]



Too young! The village was stunned to learn that having treated her illness with cheerfulness and disdain, Sally passed away peacefully at home on the 17th February. Our thoughts are with Martyn, her father Norman and her grandmother Ivy and all her family at this time of such sadness.

On the day of her funeral, the sun shone and there was 'standing room only' in the Chapel. So many members of her family, friends and colleagues from work were there to wish her well and send this much loved free spirit on her way 'home'. Bless you Sally from us all.

Norman, Dave and Martyn would like to thank everyone for the cards and kind words of sympathy following the sad loss of Sally.

Thanks also go to the Rev. Keith Wyer for being fantastic at such a difficult time and all the care and support of the community, Macmillan and Hospice nurses. Money raised, £367 so far, will be split between Macmillan Cancer Support and the North Devon Hospice.

Sally was born in Ilfracombe and grew up in Berrynarbor. She moved away to take on many new ventures, returning home some years ago.

Such a lovely, free-spirited friend, daughter, grand-daughter, soul mate, sister and aunty, she will be greatly missed.


Those we love don't walk away
They walk beside us every day.
Unseen, unheard, but always near,
Still loved, still missed and very dear.




I was saddened to learn from Patsy that her husband, Alan, had died, following a long time of illness, on the 2nd October. I am sure that everyone will join me in sending Patsy, her daughter Lisa and the family, our prayers and thoughts at this time of sorrow and bereavement.


Not many readers will have had a chance to meet my husband, Alan, even though we moved to the village nine years ago. This was because, following a stroke, he was unable to walk very far - and not keen on using a wheelchair - we were not, therefore, able to join in with all the lovely village activities.

I am sad to say that Alan, after a long series of illnesses stretching back twelve years, lost his fight for life in the North Devon District Hospital. The hole that he will leave in the lives of myself and our daughter, Lisa, and her two boys Dan and Jake, is immense. Even though he couldn't get about much, he never lost his ready smile and the twinkle in his eyes. I was so thrilled that he was able to enjoy the beautiful view from our windows, even though he was more or less housebound, and that together we were able to fulfil our dream of one day living in beautiful North Devon.

It is now my strong faith in our Lord, which he shared, which I must rely upon knowing that the Lord has called him home.



It was with sadness we learned that Margaret had passed away suddenly at home on the 9th October. Margaret and her late husband Graham were actively involved in the life of our village and our thoughts are with all their family and friends.

Margaret came to Berrynarbor when she married Graham and they lived for many years at Tree Tops on the Old Coast Road. For some years Margaret continued to work as a Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Plymouth, returning home each week-end.

She played a full part in the life of St. Peter's Church, acting as Secretary to the Parochial Church Council. On her retirement, and ten years ago, Margaret qualified as a Reader, mainly taking services at St. Peter's and in Combe Martin.

A keen member of the W.I., Margaret served on the Committee as well as acting as Vice-President. She and Graham were dog lovers, enjoying the company of their King Charles spaniel and Bichon Frise.

In 2002, when Graham's health began to fail, they moved to Combe Martin to be nearer amenities. Sadly he died just over three years later. Bereft, Margaret suffered a fall from which she never really recovered, becoming housebound and devoting her time to her beloved poodle, Tammy, who was with her when she died.


Many of you will remember Bernard and Arline Lewis who spent 28 very happy years here in the village at Alberta in Barton Lane. Ten years ago they left to move to Martock in Somerset, but always kept in touch through the Newsletter. Sadly Bernard died in 2007.

Earlier this year, Arline moved to a home to be cared for and nearer her family in Essex. She had not been well for several months and died peacefully in her sleep on the 31st October. Her ashes are to be placed with Bernard's in Dorset.

Our thoughts are with their daughters Merilyn and Susan and grandchildren Daniel, Katie and Charles at this time of sadness.



Because I have loved life,
I shall have no sorrow to die.
I have sent up my gladness on wings,
to be lost in the blue of the sky.
I have run and leaped with the rain,
I have taken the wind to my breast.
My cheek like a drowsy child
to the face of the earth I have pressed.

Amelia Josephine Burr [1878-1968]


It is with regret that we report the passing of Vera on the 22nd July. Our thoughts are with Jill, John and their families at this time of sadness.

Vera died at home on July 22nd aged 94 years. The eldest of the seven children of Fred and Emma Richards, she was brought up at Barton Farm and attended Berrynarbor Primary School before going on to the then new Grammar School in Ilfracombe.

On leaving school, Vera ran the farm milk round for her father in Berrynarbor and Combe Martin, often assisted by younger brothers Brian, Bob and Claude.

In 1940 she married Jack and moved to Wheel Farm - a true farmer's wife until Jack's death in 1973. On moving to Combe Martin, Vera still maintained her strong links with the village, supporting many events, often with sisters Brenda and Freda, until ill health and age prevented her.

Vera is now back in Berrynarbor, reunited with Jack.

John and I and our families wish to thank everyone for all the cards, messages and telephone calls we received, we were touched that so many people remembered her.



It was with much sadness we learnt that Daisy had passed away peacefully on the 15th August, just short of her 96th birthday.

Daisy came to Berrynarbor with her daughter, Marion, in the summer of 2000 and attended many of the activities and events held in the village. A football fanatic, she maintained her interest in the game right to the end.

Our thoughts are with Marion and all her family at this time of sorrow.

We should like to thank everyone who sent cards and letters to us after my mother Daisy died.

We are very appreciative of all your kind words and sympathies and should also like to thank everyone who attended mum's funeral and made such a wonderful congregation.

Marion and Family


Mum was born in April 1940 in Romford in Essex. The war was on and she and her two brothers, John and David, looked forward to getting away to Devon to stay with their cousins, Pat and Janet, who lived in Combe Martin.

The family loved North Devon and in the 1950's decided to relocate to Lydford Farm where Mum spent the remainder of her school years living on the farm. She would walk to the old coast guard hut and stretch out in the sun, ostensibly doing her homework, but in reality dreaming her dreams of becoming a nurse.

Mum was a very competent horse woman and would ride for hours on her horse Heidi, riding right out to Hunters Inn and exploring the countryside. Her independent streak showing itself early perhaps?

She began her nurse training at St. Helier Hospital in Surrey and loved her chosen profession, she was sure that nursing was what she was cut out for.

In March 1959 she married Dad at St. Peter's in Berrynarbor. She had three bridesmaids, her cousins Pat and Janet and her new sister-in-law, Val. These friendships were some of the most important in her life and they remain true to this day. She was loyal and her lifelong friendships are a testament to the wonderful friend she was.

She postponed her training and settled in Barnstaple where two of us were born, Wendy in 1960 and Rachel in 1962. Shortly after, the family moved to Berrynarbor and took over the Manor Stores, which is now known as Flowerdew Cottage. She would tell us the story of the day we moved in - arriving in the rain with our furniture only to find the previous owners sitting down to dinner!

The family settled in to being shop owners and quickly became part of the village. In June 1965 Jan was born upstairs and had the decency to arrive outside opening hours! Mum was to be found two days later back serving customers. Jan was the last baby to be born in the village until Mum delivered a little girl, Skye, on the bathroom floor of Hammonds Farm, in late 1996.

Our mother had a beautiful voice and in the late '60's she started the Choir at St. Peter's. On Christmas Eve at the Midnight Service, she would stand on the top step of the font and sing the solo first verse of 'Once in Royal David's City' as the choir walked in - beautiful and moving, a treasured memory.

In 1973 she found herself single handedly raising three girls and running a business. She taught us to be independent, self-sufficient and resilient. She ran the shop through the day and worked behind the bar at The Globe in the evening to make ends meet. They were tough times but she displayed strength and courage and guided us through the storm.

In 1977 Mum sold the Manor Stores and moved to Berryhome. She rekindled her dream of becoming a nurse and in 1980 completed her SRN training at the North Devon District Hospital - one of the proudest moments of her life. She became a brilliant nurse who was loved and respected by colleagues and patients alike.

She had a wonderful sense of humour and loved to tell amusing stories about her day. Her observations on life were very dry and she enjoyed a sense of the ridiculous. One story she told was of a young nurse just starting out. Mum asked this girl to collect all the patients' false teeth so that they could be sterilised. She eagerly set about her task and when Mum asked if she had completed it, she proudly showed her all the false teeth in one big bowl - it took ages to reunite the right teeth with the right owner!

In 1982 she was diagnosed with non lymphatic Hodgkin's disease, receiving treatment at Charing Cross Hospital in London. We were told to expect the worst but they had underestimated Mum's bravery and determination to beat the disease. The next two years were spent at Charing Cross or recuperating with her cousin Pat, finally coming back to the village in 1984 with the cancer in remission. The support from her family and friends gave her the courage to face this dreadful disease and win.

Recovered, she went back to nursing and her personal experience with illness only enhanced her skills and she was a calm, empathetic, supportive friend to those who trod the same path. She enjoyed many more years doing the work she loved and retired in 1998.

Her retirement was spent pottering around her lovely garden, making baskets of colour to hang around the village. She did tapestry and loved a good book and taught the village Sunday School, keeping her close connection with the church. She enjoyed long chats with Philip, her companion of many years. Her extended family grew and she revelled in the role of Grannie to Molly, Rory, Jane and Fergus and Godmother to her nine Godchildren. She loved and cared for her parents and nursed them through their old age.

She adored living in Berrynarbor, and in her final days when she was told she was going back to Berry, she smiled.

Our mother passed away on the 7th June, surrounded by people she loved and on the 15th June, the village came together to celebrate her life. On the 17th June, a rainy afternoon, the Fanner girls and her brother laid her to rest, within the length of the church tower, under a tree, beside the park that she helped to raise funds for when we were children.

Our Mum was a kind, gentle woman with a good heart. She was honest, loyal and worked hard her whole life. She fought many battles and taught us how to be brave. Her advice was invaluable and we miss her. We are so proud that she is our Mum and through our memories we continue to cherish her presence in our lives.

We should like to thank you all for all the kindness you have shown us over this sad time.

Wendy, Rachel and Jan



Look upward for the sky is not all cloud
Look forward, think not of the dismal shroud;
No lane has not a turning, and no road
That leads not somewhere to a warm abode.
Take courage, if the day seems rather long
The cooling dew will fall at evensong.
[From the Chapel at Powderham Castle]


"Nothing is so strong as gentleness
Nothing is so gentle as real strength"

Although she had not been well for some time, it was still a shock to us all to hear that Sally had died peacefully on Sunday, 7th June. Everyone was saddened by the passing of a lovely lady who had given so much to our village, the village she loved.

Her funeral on the 15th June was a joyous celebration of her life, with the bells of St. Peter's ringing out a happy peal, the full church decorated with country flowers and cheerful music and hymns, but there was not a dry eye when at Sally's request, 'Danny Boy', was sung so beautifully by Bobby - a very poignant moment.

One person to whom Sally meant a lot was Shaun Cooper, and unable to attend her funeral he wrote:

'Dear Wendy, Rachel, Janet and Sally's friends,

I am so sorry not to be with you today to remember and celebrate Sally's life. You are all in my thoughts and as Sally often said to me - they can only be positive thoughts!

Whenever I think of Sally, I see someone who was a genuine 'giver', someone who was always interested in you, wanted you to enjoy life and was always there when needed. I am sure wherever her spirit is now, it will continue to inspire us to live life to the full and face challenges head on.

In 1985, Sally mobilised Berrynarbor and its unique community spirit to rally round to help me to fight, win and recover from a cancer scare.

Before each chemo treatment, I would always receive a little card from Sally at the hospital, either in Barnstaple, Exeter or Birmingham - she seemed to know exactly where I would be - with an inspiring message and most important of all, a piece of Devon heather. That piece of heather from her garden, wrapped in aluminium foil, would follow me around the hospital reassuring me that I had a little luck on my side.

Then when I returned home to recover from each session, I would pop down to see her and we would talk, just talk about stuff that I couldn't say to anyone else in case I should worry them. Sally would simply listen and offer a perspective that helped me face the next treatment, operation or problem with a little more courage.

Courage is a word that isn't used very much today and without unique people like Sally, there would be even less of it.

Thank you Sally for your luck and I hope that one day I can pass it on to someone . . .


Like Shaun, our thoughts are with Sally's family, but especially her three daughters Wendy, Rachel and Janet and the grandchildren.



If I should go before the rest of you,
Break not a flower nor inscribe a stone.
Nor when I'm gone speak in a Sunday voice,
But be the usual selves that I have known.
Weep if you must, parting is hell,
But life goes on, so sing as well.
Joyce Grenfell [1910-1979]


It was with sadness we learnt that after losing Ivy last November, Walter himself had passed away peacefully on the 21st April. The muffled bells of St. Peter's - an honour accorded to royalty, the clergy and bell ringers - preceded his funeral at St. Peter's on the 30th April. A much-loved 'Dada' to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, he will be sorely missed by them and our thoughts are with Marlene and all the family at this time of sadness.

Born in West Down, Walter was the eldest of five children. At an early age he followed the family tradition and learnt to bell-ring. Ringing alongside his father and other family members, they were the formidable West Down team which won a great many competitions. The greatest accolade came when West Down team was chosen to be part of the BBC broadcast to welcome home the Queen from her overseas tour. Walter rang as often as he could until poor health in his later years meant he had to give up.

He was also a keen sportsman and in his younger days enjoyed playing football and cricket and he had been known to enter the boxing ring at Barnstaple fair!

He learnt his trade as a bricklayer, and after the war returned to bricklaying, working on many of the local civic projects such as the North Devon College and the sea wall at Ilfracombe. Later he began to work on bigger contracts and became Site Foreman/Agent, working away from home.

In 1955, he and Ivy were married and he moved in to Beech Hill, but two years later, the family moved to Wood Park, their home for more than fifty years. For many years Walter continued to work away, coming home at week-ends whenever he could. Sometimes, Ivy would go and stay with him.

He always enjoyed driving and when he bought a Capri in British racing green it was his pride and joy - he also enjoyed a flutter on the horses! Always willing to lend a hand to help anyone, he took a lot of pleasure in helping his grandchildren. But when his sight began to deteriorate, he was unable to carry on driving and became depressed, finding life very difficult at times. However, the arrival of the great-grandchildren gave him a lot of pleasure.

When Ivy's health became so poor that she was no longer able to look after him, he moved reluctantly into Burrow House, but with their kindness and TLC he soon came to like it there, His brother Fred, and sister-in-law Margaret, would pick him up and take him out to Wood Park once a week to have a fish and chips lunch with Ivy, which was lovely for them both.

After Ivy died, Fred and Margaret would take him to their house at Braunton for fish and chips, but Walter thought he was doing them a favour by going! He was usually pleased to have visitors, but would soon let them know if he thought they had stayed too long.

To all friends and family who came to Walter's funeral and donated to the bell fund, Rector Keith for the service, Mr. Baker for his undertaking services, the bell-ringers for the muffled peal [he would certainly have appreciated that], The Globe for the buffet and Burrow House for the care and affection given him, many thanks to you all.



For some time we watched with admiration the cheerful and determined way that Brian, and Di, coped with his illness and his death has left a gap in our village community. The sum of money, raised so far, and given to the North Devon Hospice in Brian's memory has amounted to well over £650.

We are still thinking of you Di and all the family.

Brian's glass was always half full, he always saw the best in everything. Even when diagnosed with terminal illness, he was determined that it would not beat him down. To the last he managed to drag up some humour, and there wasn't a lot to smile about at times. He remained patient, good humoured and independent as long as possible.

He loved Berrynarbor and as a 'newcomer' liked to be involved in village life. He was very enthusiastic about the shop, becoming the treasurer, was very keen to see it succeed, and I suppose only the long suffering me knew just what he put into it! He was like a dog with a bone when it came to solving problems and if he came over as stubborn it was only because he had the best interests of everyone at heart. He always had a strong sense of justice and fair play.

Another of his projects was the 'Berrynarbor Bikers'. When he came up with this idea, I thought it hadn't a chance in a place like this. I was wrong. A group was formed and various rides enjoyed as well as a couple of Christmas meals. Few were as enthusiastic as he was, especially when it came to 'breakfast runs'. As far as he was concerned, it was great to be out on the bike, come rain or shine, or time of day.

I know that of all the places anywhere, there is nowhere else he would have chosen to spend his last years than in this village.

Thank you so much to all who have been so kind with offers of help, for coming to the funeral and for all the lovely cards and messages of sympathy - he would have been overwhelmed. A special thank you to all our friends and neighbours on Berrynarbor Park.

Brian was a big personality and will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved him, even his 'song of the day'! God bless you Brian, enjoy riding those heavenly roads.




Lead, kindly Light, amid th' encircling gloom,
Lead Thou me on! The night is dark
And I am far from home; lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene; one step enough for me.
I was not ever thus, nor prayed that Thou
Shouldst lead me on; I loved to choose
And see my path; but now lead Thou me on!
I loved the garish day, and , spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will. Remember not past years!
So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still
Will lead me on. O'er moor and fen,
O'er crag and torrent, till the night is gone,
And with the morn those angel faces smile,
While I have loved long since and lost awhile!

John Henry Newman [1801-1890]


As reported in the February issue, we were all saddened at the sudden death of Brian. St. Peter's Church was overflowing with family, friends, neighbours and colleagues, all anxious to say farewell to a 'true gentleman' [and our Crossword Puzzler]. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with Sue and the family.

Born in Basingstoke, Brian spent his early years in the village of Sherfield-on-Lodden. His interest in sport was developed on the village green - football and cricket. On leaving Queen Mary's Grammar School, he enlisted in the Royal Air Force as a navigator/bomb aimer, but didn't experience active service, spending some time at the Air Ministry, where he honed his 'organising skills'.

Before starting at teacher training college, Brian had a brief period at the Prudential Insurance. Most of his teaching career was spent in Reading, specialising in Sports and English, but his first love was football. He was Secretary of Reading Schools' Football Association for many years. In 1964 he joined English Schools' Football Association Council, representing Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Hampshire and the Channel Isles. He took the English Under 15 team to Germany, France and Holland on many International matches, and in 1976 became Chairman of the E.S.F.A. when he had the privilege of taking the team to Australia.

Brian started playing golf at Henley but it wasn't until he retired and moved to Lynton, where we ran a guest house for five years, that he took up the game seriously. He joined Ilfracombe Golf Club in 1983 and quickly became involved in the Veterans' Section, taking over as Secretary/Treasurer in 1994. During his time at the Club, he became both Club Captain and President.

The family and I should like to thank everyone for the numerous cards, 'phone calls and support during this sad time. The collection following the funeral was overwhelming and we were able to donate £500 to St. Peter's Bell Fund and £500 to the Salvation Army.



Jack, of Goosewell, sadly passed away on Tuesday, 25th January. A much loved and loving husband, brother, father and grandfather he will be sorely missed by his wife Joyce, his sister June and brother-in-law Bill and his children Karen and Steve and the grandchildren. Jack was a keen walker, a member of the Globe skittles team, the 'Seasiders' and a supporter of the Berry Broadcasting Company, taking part in the early shows at The Globe.

Our thoughts are with all the family at this time of sorrow.

[April 1939 - February 2009]

David was born and brought up in the village of Aldbourne in Wiltshire. The only child of Joseph and Rose Bowes, he attended Marlborough Grammar School and was a very keen scientist, in particular he was interested in chemistry. This led onto his first job working for many years at Harwell Atomic Research and Development Establishment in Oxfordshire, which was part of the Department of Trade and Industry.

With the general slowdown within the industry in the 1970's, David changed jobs and worked for the next 17 years as a computer consultant and lecturer in London, after which he worked as a freelance computer consultant, travelling all over the world to such places as Finland and Saudi Arabia.

He and Carol met by chance through friends and their relationship developed. They married in 1992 and for many years lived in Highworth, near Swindon, with Carol's daughter Lisa. For 3 years they both worked at GWR, a local radio network assisting at outside broadcasts.

After moving and living in Weymouth for 7 years, Carol and David visited Berrynarbor Park in 2001, decided to have a lodge as a second home - away from Weymouth at the height of the tourist season - but soon realised that Berrynarbor was far more tranquil. David soon became involved within the local community, videoing events such as the annual BBC Show. He also joined and became Chairman of the Tarka Radio at the North Devon Hospital, which he loved.

On the Friday before he died, David attended the hospital radio where he did his show.

Lisa loved David dearly as a father, he was always kind and gentle. He was the love of Carol's life for thirty years and both Carol and Lisa feel privileged to have known him.

We, too, in the village feel privileged to have known him and our thoughts are with Carol and Lisa at this time of sadness.


Readers will be very sorry to learn that Derrick, Debbie's father, died suddenly in February. We send her, and her brother Steve and his family, our heartfelt sympathy at this time of sorrow and thank her for, even under such sad circumstances, once again delighting us with a cover and illustration for our Newsletter.

Derrick was born and brought up in Yorkshire - a farmer's son - and in farming circles he was known to plough the straightest furrow. Later, his engineering skills came to the fore and he worked in and produced some very beautiful and intricate wrought iron work - for churches and gates for prominent places.

In 1989, he and his late wife Margaret, moved with Debbie and assorted family pets, to Ellis Cottage, Pitt Hill, and it was during their three years here in the village that both her parents encouraged and supported Debbie with her involvement with the Newsletter. In 1992, they moved to Heddon Mill, near Braunton.

Derrick's pride and joy was his 1/3rd scale Showman's Steam Traction engine that he built and which he took, with the family, to many shows, including the Devon County Show and the North Devon Show.

A modest man of many skills, the reading at his funeral of writing by Charles Darwin was so fitting:

    Whenever I have found that I have blundered or that my work has been imperfect, and when I have been contemptuously criticised and even when I have been over praised, so that I have felt mortified, it has been my greatest comfort to say hundreds of times to myself that 'I have worked as hard and as well as I could, and no man can do more than this.'


It was with sadness that we learnt that Betty passed away peacefully on the 24th February at The Old Rectory Residential Home in Longhope, Gloucestershire, and our condolences are sent to her niece Lucille.

Known affectionately in the village as 'Matron', due to the fact that for many years she had been in charge of South Lodge, now the Susan Day residential home in Ilfracombe, Betty was in her late 90's. She left the village in the summer of 2005 to move nearer her niece and family.

On leaving, Betty wrote: ...

    "I was in charge of the Susan Day Home in Ilfracombe - a resident post - so on my retirement I had to make a home somewhere. As I had friends in the village and there was a bungalow [Halldene, now Croeso] available, I decided to come to Berrynarbor.

    I have spent many happy years here and I have made many friends. As I have become old - 92 now - I have appreciated these friends very much. Everyone has been so kind and helpful to me and I am very sorry to be leaving the village but feel it is right to go near my family at this time.

    Berrynarbor is a lovely village to live in and look at - Goodbye to you all."

And we sadly say 'goodbye' to you, Betty.


The whole village learnt with great sadness that after his long, courageous and always cheerful battle, Brian succumbed and passed away at the North Devon Hospice on the 14th March. A loving and loved husband, father and grandfather, he will be missed so much not only by his family, but by all villagers who had the privilege to know him.

Our thoughts have been with him and Di, and continue to be with Di, Geoff and Sharon and all the family.



14.9.1909 - 29.12.2008

I should like to thank everyone who sent me sympathy cards after the loss of my dear mother in Burrow House, aged 99 years.

Many in Berrynarbor will remember her as she lived with us in the Sterridge Valley after moving from Caterham in Surrey. For several years she was the School Cook, until retirement, and remembered many of the children.

She will be greatly missed by myself and all the family.

Doreen [Harding]

Lee Lodge

Pamela was a friend to everyone. Although she was not able to get about very well she always had an open door, and friends and neighbours frequently dropped in for a chat.

She was poorly over Christmas, and suffered a fall just after, from which she unfortunately did not recover. The angels took her on the 30th December. Her cremation took place at Barnstaple on 12th January 2009, with many relatives and friends attending.

Pamela was a lovely lady. She had a wicked sense of humour and was loved by all. God bless, Pam.


Our thoughts are with Doreen and all her family and everyone at Lee Lodge at this time of sadness. Those of us who pass by Lee Lodge, either on foot or in cars, will miss Pam's cheerful wave, from her chair, well wrapped up, in the garden on sunny days, or her room during the winter.




19.11.1925 - 30.9.2008

It was with real sadness that the village learnt that Ivy, one of its longest-term residents, had died peacefully during the afternoon of the 30th September, after suffering stoically, but with her usual humour, ill health for many years.

Ivy, a loving and much loved wife, mother, sister, grandmother and great-grandmother, and friend, was a real character - always ready with a smile, a joke and wonderful tales of village life past. 'Wild and wicked' was how Keith Wyer described her at her funeral on the 8th October, when the sun shone as she left, for the last time, the village she so loved.

Our thoughts are with Walter, Marlene and Gerald [Nipper] and all the family at this time of sadness.


16.6.1924 - 5.10.2008

Margaret's stay at Lee Lodge was brief and it was with sadness that we learnt that she had passed away peacefully on the 5th October. Margaret, daughter or the late and much-loved Lorna Grove-Price, was the beloved wife of the late John Stewart. Our sympathy and thoughts are with the family, but especially with Lorna and Michael at this time of sorrow.

Dennis Collins

Born in 1918 in Sutton Coldfield, Dennis was the youngest of six children, and after leaving school began training as an apprentice with Lucas, preparing him for the family business of industrial jewellery.

The war interrupted his training and he joined up at the age of 21 in 1939, spending the war in various postings both home and abroad - he was involved in the evacuation of Dunkirk and narrowly escaped capture, as a signal officer, whilst taking messages to another regiment.

On a short leave home, he met his first wife Anne and they were married on a snowy day in January 1941. After the war he returned to the family business and he and Anne settled to family life in Hockley, Birmingham, bringing up their daughter Sheila and son Bob. Tragically, Anne died in an accident in 1956. But happiness was to come again when Dennis met Win, and they were married in 1958.

On his retirement, in 1982, Win and Dennis moved to Berrynarbor and both quickly became a part of the village community - Dennis acting as a Church Warden, both were members of the U3A and the local Gardening Club, and they enjoyed and supported the many activities and fund-raising events held in the village.

After living here for 24 years, they moved to Westbury-on-Trym to be nearer the family.

Always cheerful and willing to help everyone, Dennis was a family man, never happier than when he and all the family were together.

Margaret Stewart, nee Grove-Price

My cousin Margaret died peacefully at Lee Lodge after a long illness. It was fitting that she spent her last days in her home village. Michael and I should like to take this opportunity to thank Ann-Marie and Jan for their dedicated care during the time she was with them. Our gratitude also goes to the District and Hospice nurses who attended her. They're great.

Margaret and John were very interested in the natural world, spending hours walking and bird-watching throughout Cornwall. There were few wild plants they couldn't name and would identify a bird by its song long before it was visible. They also loved gardening. Margaret's love of nature was influenced by her early school years at BerryNarbor by Miss Veale and our Aunt Muriel.

In 1943, at the age of 19, she joined the ATS, finding her shorthand and typing skills useful for clerical work. In 1945 she was posted to Belgium to the British Army HQ of the Rhine in Brussels under Field Marshall Montgomery. By 1946 she was in Germany at the HQ at Bad Oeynhausen doing administrative work in hospitals .

She had already met John when he was posted to Woolacombe. They met again in London and were married there in 1947. John retrained for the Civil Service and was posted to Barnstaple. Promotion took them to St. Austell in Cornwall, where Margaret worked in the County Library.

They retired to Barnstaple at Norah Bellot Court, wardened, Methodist apartments, where they met many new friends and were very happy.

Copied from Margaret's autograph book 1934:

There was a Knight of Bethlehem
His men-at-arms were little lambs
His trumpeters were sparrows.
His castle was a wooden cross
Where on he hung so high
His helmet was a crown of thorns
Whose crest did touch the sky.

With best wishes from L.C. Veale
Little Thatch Berrynarbor [now Little Gables]

Think of me on the ocean
Think of me on the lake
Think of me on your wedding day
And send me a slice of cake.

G.M. Keen 6-10-1934
[Greta - Ronnie Tom's sister]

Christmas Menu 1945

  • Breakfast: Porridge, Fried Egg and Bacon, Tea, Bread & Butter, Marmalade
  • Dinner: Roast Turkey, Roast Pork, Roast Potatoes, Green Vegetable, Apple Sauce and Stuffing - Christmas Pudding, Custard Sauce, Mince Pies, Beer
  • High Tea: Cold Ham, Pickles and Sauce, Russian Salad, Tea, Bread & Butter, Jellies, Christmas Cake, Pastries

'Monty' - 1945

Margaret and John in their garden at St. Austell in the 1960's


Lorna found the following letter addressed to me from Margaret in Cornwall for inclusion in the newsletter, but it had never been sent. Ed.

    "Does anyone remember in the 1930's going to school on Ash Wednesday with a piece of ash twig with at least one black bud? I was one of the children arriving at school with my piece of ash to avoid being pinched. But after twelve o'clock, this was reversed, then any child still carrying an ash twig was pinched by those children who had thrown their's away. I wonder if children going to Berrynarbor School today still take their ash twig with them on Ash Wednesday, or has the custom been lost in time?"

Phyllis Ivy White

Ivy, born at Castle Hill, was the second daughter of Fred and Rosie Bray, who worked a smallholding. In 1927, when she was only just over a year old, Ivy and her sister Audrey were very ill with pneumonia; sadly Audrey died but although she was not expected to live, Ivy made a full recovery. Some years later, in 1934, the family was joined by her brother Gerald.

Ivy always remembered how she nearly burnt the house down! Climbing on a chair to get something off the mantelpiece, she knocked down the shirt collars airing in front of the fire. Being cellulose, they quickly ignited and the fire spread rapidly to the clothes airing on the rack above. Quick action by Rosie and the farm boys saved the day! The family moved to Beech Hill in 1935, due mainly to Fred's poor health - he suffered having been gassed in the First World War. He died shortly after in early 1936 at the age of 41, leaving Rosie to care for Ivy and the young Gerald, as well as her own elderly mother.

Being older, Ivy was expected to keep an eye on Gerald but she had other ideas, particularly when friends called to play, and on one occasion she locked Gerald in the porch whilst she went out, getting back just in time before her mother returned from work. She was suitably chastised and threatened with being shut in the attic if she did it again! She was in trouble once more when the latest 'must have' fashion accessory was hair curling tongs. With no money, Ivy improvised by heating two knitting needles in the fire, but to say her 'model' friend ended up with a frizz is an understatement and the singed hair had to be cut off!

After leaving school, Ivy worked at Watermouth Caves before joining the ATS and being stationed at Plymouth, where she operated the search lights. She returned to the village and by 1947 had her two children - Marlene and Larry. Her husband, Roy Hunt, returned to Canada, but for some reason Ivy never followed him. In 1955 she married Walter White and with Marlene and Larry they moved into 2 Wood Park in 1957. In 1963, Tracey, the first of her grandchildren was born, followed by Paula, Tina, Kerry and Alex - she doted on them all.

During her working life Ivy had a variety of jobs, mainly in catering. Latterly at Coutant Electronics [now Lambda] where she made many friends with whom she spent happy holidays abroad, and then The Sandy Cove Hotel. She was reluctant to retire but a fall resulting in a broken foot when she was over 70 forced her to admit defeat. Her life then revolved around her great-grandchildren and she was sure to tell anyone who would listen how wonderful they were, especially clever little Vashti and her temper to match her great-grandmother's!

Over the last ten years, Ivy endured a great deal of pain and several operations, spending long periods in hospital. Her final stay was at the Tyrell Hospital where she died on the 30th September. Being diabetic, Ivy's diet was strictly controlled but a lasting memory will be of her drinking Baileys through a straw during her last few weeks in hospital!

We should like to thank everyone who gave their help, support and time to Ivy during her ill health, whether on a friendly or professional level, all who sent messages of condolence, attended her funeral or donated money in her memory, Rev. Keith for the service in which he summed her up to a T, Mr. Baker, the undertaker who conducted the funeral arrangements, and The Globe Inn where we held the wake.

Thank you all.
Marlene and Family



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 -
And speak my name softly - there's no more to say -


It was with much sadness that we learnt that Dennis, having suffered a stroke earlier in the year, had passed away peacefully on the 9th September. Win and Dennis left the village two years ago - having lived here in Barton Lane for many years - to move to Westbury-on-Trym. In January this year, they celebrated their Golden Wedding.

Our thoughts are with Win and the family and we send her our love at this very sad time.



Crossing the Bar
Alfred Lord Tennyson

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea.

But with such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For though from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.


It was with deep sadness the village learnt that after his long and patient struggle, Len had died peacefully on the 27th June, at home with June at his side. He will be sadly missed.

Len loved the village and took an active interest in its many events and activities, serving on our Parish Council for many years. St. Peter's Church was filled with family, friends and neighbours for his final farewell on the 9th July.

Len's last couple of years had not been easy for him but they were made more bearable due to the incredible care and love given him by June, and we send her our love and prayers at this time of sorrow.

Len was born in London in 1916 but spent most of his life in Buckinghamshire, where he and his first wife, Peggy, owned and ran The Old Swan public house near Great Missenden. They bought Swan Cottage as a holiday home and retired permanently to it in the late 1970's.

After Peggy's death in 1989, Len devoted his life to serving as a Councillor with the Parish Council for more than twenty years. He also became Chairman of the Ilfracombe Lifeboat Station - a position he held for over twenty years - a cause close to his heart because of the succession of boats he kept at Watermouth Harbour.

Len loved this village and enjoyed the friendship and kindness of its inhabitants.

He and I met and married in June 1998 and have spent ten happy years together. The last year of Len's life was difficult, but the kindness, help and support of so many friends and neighbours made his last few months more bearable. He passed away peacefully in my arms on the 27th June.

I should like to offer my heartfelt thanks to everyone who sent such kind messages of sympathy and who attended Len's funeral service at the Parish Church in such appalling weather conditions. The service was conducted beautifully by Keith and the love and support of all those present meant so much to me.

This village and its residents are truly wonderful - long may it stay so.





Readers who knew Betty in any way, will know that sadly she died, after a short illness, on the 22nd December.

Although not a resident of Berrynarbor, I should like to pay tribute to this very special lady, a 'beloved Mum and Nanny to her family and Auntie Betty to hundreds'.

Betty, a great supporter of many of our village activities, art shows, coffee mornings, lunches, etc., and since we began doing the teas at the Valley Open Gardens, helping behind the scenes. She would be there preparing scones, cream and jam - there was always a discussion on which should go on first! - and donning her pink 'Marigolds' to keep the continuous stack of dishwashing under control. She was a keen reader of our Newsletter as well as a contributor and repeated below is a favourite piece of hers that appeared in the December 2005 issue.

Many youngsters, both girls and boys, were influenced by her, learning confidence, discipline and self-belief through dancing at the Betty Blackmore School of Dancing or one of her other interests. Betty herself was taught by the late Esme Preston as well as appearing for a short time as a Tiller Girl with her sister Mary. Through Betty's annual dance shows, literally thousands of pounds were raised for local and national charities and she was always a welcome, smiling face at the local residential homes when they joined in with her armchair keep fit sessions.

Ilfracombe Parish Church was full to say farewell at a happy service in her memory - Nigel Jackson-Stevens remarked that he had never heard so much laughter at a funeral - and at the crematorium, Betty's final bow saw everyone singing, a standing ovation and a well deserved round of applause!

Bless you Betty for all that you have done, making a difference for so many people over the years.




For those of you in the village who knew or remember John, it was sad to learn that he had died at the age of 71 on the 22nd April 2007. A much loved half-brother and friend, he will be sadly missed by all his family and friends.

John lived in Berrynarbor from an early age with his mother Maude Perrin. He had lived in Ilfracombe most of his life and spent many happy times there. He was known mainly for his work as a plumber and builder by trade. John was a keen football player most of his life, and a follower to the end.

His funeral took place at the North Devon Crematorium on the 2nd May and the chapel was filled with his family, many friends and neighbours from Berrynarbor, Combe Martin and Ilfracombe.

The family would like to thank everyone for their cards and kind contributions. Money received in his memory amounted to £530, which was donated between the Rainbow Family Trust and the Greater World Church, Ilfracombe. I should be interested to hear from anyone with photographs of John and any stories about him that you may have. I am woking on the Vallance family history and will be taking it to Australia to show our Vallance family.


It was with sadness that I learnt from Patricia about John's death - for some time he had been a contributor to and recipient of the Newsletter. If anyone can help her in her quest, please contact me on 883544. Ed.




Margart Elsie [Peggy] Gingell [1915-2007] passed away peacefully on the 28th June, shortly after a stroke at her flat in Essex, where she had moved after leaving the village to be near her daughter. She had many happy memories of her 15 years in the village. Much missed by her family and friends in Berrynarbor and elsewhere.


How sad it was to hear that having just moved in to the bungalow he had built, Andrew passed away on the 17th May, peacefully and happy in the knowledge that their home was finished. His funeral and burial took place at St. Peter's on the 15th June.

Our thoughts and condolences are with Iris, his sister Sue and all the family.


It was with sadness the village learnt that Reg had passed away, having been unwell for some time, on the 10th July. Many friends and villagers joined the family to say their farewells at his funeral at St. Peter's on the 16th July - a wonderful service taken by Keith Wyer. Reg was, of course, our Organist and Choir Master for many years.

Reg and music are synonymous. His love of music began as a young chorister at the Chapel Royal, Hampton Court, continuing all through his life.

He was a composer, not only of church music - he set the Communion Service for St. Peter's to music - but also orchestral scores. On one occasion, learning from his publisher Weinberger that he was due royalties, he was heard to remark that he would then be able to buy Anne a new hat!

Reg possibly reached more homes musically than most people, having written the theme tune for the BBC's Nine O'Clock News which was used for many years. A long term employee of the BBC, when Reg and Anne moved to Berrynarbor he would commute to London, spending one week here and then a week in the big city. He was involved in the early black and white days of television, recording many programmes. If you ever get a chance to see a re-run of 'Muffin the Mule', which was recorded in a church in the East End, according to Reg if you listen hard enough you'll hear the rumble of the No. 10 bus in the background!

Perhaps not generally known, Reg was colour blind. This was a useful asset during the war when he was able to 'look past' camouflage when identifying objects, but it became a problem when colour television was introduced. However, with care Reg was able to pull the wool over the BBC's eyes and they remained unaware of the fact.

A very generous man, Reg gave so much to so many: his music at weddings, for worship and even at funerals, made them something special to remember.

He will be sadly missed by so many and our thoughts are with Anne, their son, and all the family at this time of sadness.

I should like to thank you all for your kindness and support at this sad time following Reg's death, but especially Keith for the beautiful service and my sister who has always been here for me.




It is with sadness that we report the deaths of Alec Davies, Win Sanders and Brenda Walton.

Prayer in the Gethsemane Chapel, Bath Abbey

Keep joy within, keep bitterness out;
Keep generosity within, keep greed out;
Keep love within, keep self-seeking out;
Keep light within, keep darkness out.


Win, late of the Lee House and latterly the Susan Day Home in Ilfracombe, passed away peacefully on the 22nd April at the age of 87. She will be missed by her family and our thoughts are with Graham, Sarah and Ben at this time of sorrow.


How sad we were to learn that Alec had passed away on the 6th April and our thoughts continue to be with Vi, Brian, Ann and all the family in their loss.


[18th May 1923 - 6th April 2007]

Vi and family would like to say thank you to everyone for their kind messages of sympathy and support following the death of Alec. Alec was a quiet man who enjoyed nothing more than walking his dogs Charlie, Badger and Nutty and 'pottering about' at home.

Following a private funeral, £400 was collected at Leeside and this has been donated to the North Devon Hospice who cared for Alec with compassion and dignity during his final days.

He will be greatly missed and not forgotten. A specimen oak tree is being planted at Leeside to celebrate and remember the life of this quiet and much-loved man.


Although Brenda lived in Combe Martin, her heart was in Berrynarbor where she had spent happy years at various points of her life. So it seemed fitting to say our last 'goodbyes' to her here in Berrynarbor under the kind guidance of Keith. Thank you to so many who were there.

Brenda never married but she had a very varied and interesting career. After graduating in Zoology at Birmingham University, she worked in Birmingham General Hospital as a haematologist. Whilst still in Birmingham, she worked at the Natural History Museum. A change of career to be an Abstracts Librarian, firstly at Avery's and then moving to Wantage to work at the Radio Biological Station. Back to museums to take up a post as Assistant Curator at the Manx Museum. She really loved the Isle of Man but indifferent health brought her back to Berrynarbor to recuperate. Her final career change was to teaching and she found great satisfaction in teaching the youngest in primary school.

Brenda took early retirement in order to look after our mother, which she did with great love and devotion. Once more she was living in Berrynarbor but then had to battle over nearly 20 years with cancer and depression.

God bless my dear Sister, who was also a much loved aunt.

Jill McCrae


Jill, our thoughts are with you not only in your loss but also for your stay in hospital - get well soon.

Eunice would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their generous donations. A cheque for £741 has been sent to Cancer Research UK in Bernard's memory.



It is with sadness we report the death of Bernard Allen and three past residents of the village, Joan Smelt, George Ferguson and Bernard Lewis.


Joan, and her husband George, lived at June Cottage, Cross Park, and those who knew her will remember her as a cheerful lady, friendly, full of fun and willing to help anyone, but who terrorised the village on her speedy mo-ped! When George died, Joan moved to Rickmansworth in Hertfordshire to be nearer her family - her daughter Jean and her many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Jean says she often spoke of her time in Berrynarbor, of which she had very fond memories.

Sadly, following a stroke last summer, from which she never fully recovered, Joan died peacefully just before Christmas at the age of 86.

We extend sympathy to Jean and all the family in their loss.

[1922 - 2007]

Having visited the village last November, attending the Armistice Service at St. Peter's and writing in the December Newsletter, it was a shock and with much sadness that we heard George had died on the 7th February. His funeral at the Parish Church of St. Thomas at Lymington, was attended by his good friends Keith and Margaret Walls.

We send our sincere sympathy to Jean, Sally, Ian and all the family.

George was born in Dumfries, South West Scotland. On leaving school he started work as an apprentice in the motor trade. However, his apprenticeship was cut short as in 1939 he signed up for military service. In 1942 the Parachute Regiment was formed and George was one of the original 'Red Berets'. The War took George to many battle fronts - North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France, Greece and the Far East.

After the War, he decided to remain in the armed services until 1970, when he retired as a Major. During these years he met and married Jean, and they had two children, Sally and Ian. In 1971, George and Jean came to Berrynarbor and purchased Middle Lee Farm and within twelve months, had turned certain of the outbuildings into self-catering holiday accommodation. He also ran the small farm keeping sheep, chickens, pigs and two donkeys.

They very quickly fitted into village life and George became a member of the Men's Institute, he served as a Parish Councillor and was an enthusiastic member of the local Conservative Party. He was also a member of the Ilfracombe Freemasons' Lodge. In 1982, George decided to retire so Middle Lee Farm was sold and he and Jean bought a house at Pennington, Hampshire. Now, with more time, George started to play golf more often, and he also became a computer fanatic. Between his hobbies, he and Jean had numerous holidays, often travelling to Australia where his son Ian has settled.

George was last in Berrynarbor in November 2006 when he attended the Armistice Day Service at St. Peter's.


Life Unbroken

Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
that we are still . . .
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you for an interval.
Somewhere very near, just
around the corner.
All is well.

Henry Scott Holland [18347-1918]
Canon of St. Paul's Cathedral


The village was deeply saddened to learn that Bernard had lost the battle he had so bravely and cheerfully fought and passed away on the 12th February aged 81 years. St. Peter's, beautifully decorated with yellow and white flowers, was full for his funeral on the 21st, and the sun shone as he finally left the village, his home for some thirty years.

A beloved husband, dad and granddad he will be sorely missed and our thoughts are with Eunice, Val and Jeff and his five grandchildren at this difficult time.

I should like to thank all my friends and neighbours for the wonderful support and sympathy they showed me during the time both before and after Bernard's death in February. The tributes to him and the large number of cards and flowers which were sent, were a great comfort to me and my two children, Val and Jeff, and my five wonderful grandchildren.

Eunice - Bali Hai

Bernard Allen
[with thanks to John Gale and John Saffin]

Bernard and Eunice have known one another from the time she was in her pushchair! Their parents were friends and they grew up together through the school years. They lived in Maidenhead and were married in 1951 where they brought up their two children, Val and Jeff.

During the War, Bernard became a Bevan Boy, later completing his engineering apprenticeship, gaining qualifications, and over the years his engineering skills secured him various posts until in 1978 he joined Selkirk in North Devon where he rapidly became a much respected employee until his retirement.

An articulate, positive man with very high standards, Bernard was a perfectionist in all he undertook - from mending things in and around the house to his wonderful hillside garden. Over the last years, he was a stalwart of the North Coast U3A, giving generously of his time to various groups, especially history and local history, and acting as an outstanding Membership Secretary.

In his eulogy at Bernard's funeral and we couldn't agree more with him, John said: 'For the last five years I'm sure we have all been impressed by Bernard's bravery and strength of will to overcome the effects of his cancer. He could so easily have given up and turned inwards. Speaking was difficult but he continued to speak publicly and to ignore his difficulties; asked for and expected no special consideration, he just wanted to be treated normally. Only Eunice will know how much it cost him to persevere. I have always admired Bernard, never more so than in these last years, months, weeks and final days!


It is with sadness that I am writing to tell you that my beloved husband Bernard passed quietly away in his sleep on Tuesday, 6th March, in his 96th year. A few days before that, he had a fall resulting in a fractured hip and although he survived the operation, other medical problems arose which he was unable to fight, due no doubt to his advanced age. However, he had a very good life, especially the 28 years at Berrynarbor.

We shall be having a private family humanist funeral at Yeovil Crematorium on Friday, 16th March.


Arline, we are deeply sorry to hear your news and send you our love and thoughts at this time of sadness.

[1920 - 2006]

One of ten children, Gordon was born at Berrydown in June 1920 and spent all his working life in Berrynarbor. He married Vera Dummett, one of eleven children, in 1940 at Berrynarbor church and lived at 6 Croft Lea with Vera's sister Doreen, her husband Fred Spear and mother-in-law Louisa Dummett. Gordon was then working as a farm labourer at Sloley Farm for Lester Bowden and the next five years saw the arrival of Gordon and Vera's first three children - Derek, Joan and Bernard - all born at No. 6. As the house became more and more crowded with only three bedrooms, and no bathroom, Gordon decided it was time to move! So he bought the cottage at 18 Hagginton Hill for the sum of £500. There was no inside toilet until the mid to late 1960's when the main sewers came down the hill. The family lived there happily for another five years and then another three children were born - Christine, Pamela and Patsy. The baby, Patsy, was just eleven months old when Vera tragically died of cancer, aged 39, in 1957, leaving Gordon alone with the six children. His sisters-in-law helped and Joan was given special dispensation to leave school at the tender age of 14 to bring up the three young children.


During the time the family lived at Hagginton Hill, Gordon did many different jobs to earn a living: working on several farms, and before the arrival of myxomatosis, he caught rabbits using gin traps [later banned]. He caught hundreds of rabbits a week, supplying local butchers and sending many to London to help with the food shortage after the war. He rented many plots of land around Berrynarbor, growing fresh vegetables and supplying local shops and guest houses. He also grew anemones which the older children helped to pick and put into bunches of 12. These were put into boxes and sent to the flower markets in London. Later on, Gordon went to work on the buildings, first working with Les Bowen in the Sterridge Valley and then with Tom Greenaway. He helped build and renovate many properties around the village and surrounding area.

When he finally retired and all the children had left home, the house and garden became too much for him and so No. 18 was sold. He was sad to leave the village and all its fond memories, where he had spent his life and had so many friends. He moved to a small bungalow in Ilfracombe where he met Grace, who became his partner for the next 17 years until his death.

Gordon sadly died in November 2006 and leaves his partner Grace and his 6 children and their families, which include 16 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. He was much loved, much admired and will be greatly missed by all his family and friends.

Derek and Cyndy

It was not without sadness and nostalgia that I read in the February Newsletter that Gordon Newton had died. As a family, we lived next door to Gordon and his family - Mrs. D. Miller, my grandmother, lived in Sunrise Cottage and my mother, Mrs. Heather Zapletal, my brother Rod and myself lived in the bungalow up the garden.

Most fine days we would see Gordon working his garden and very often veg. or fruit would be handed over the hedge for us. I remember my grandmother saying that Gordon had helped her with the odd jobs she was unable to do. I remember the excitement at lambing time and occasionally Gordon would take me up to the field behind us to see his lambs and bottle feed some of them. My first introduction to clotted cream on jam and bread came from sometimes having tea in his house.

Those wonderful childhood memories have always stayed with me. My sympathy and best wishes go to all his family at this sad time.




Music, when soft voices die,
Vibrates in the memory;
Odours, when sweet violets sicken,
Live within the sense they quicken.

Rose leaves, when the rose is dead,
Are heap'd for the beloved's bed;
And so thy thoughts, when thou are gone,
Love itself shall slumber on.

Percy Bysshe Shelley


For those of us in the village who knew or remember Gordon, it was sad to learn that he had died at the age of 86, on the 19th November. A much loved father, grandfather and great-grandfather, he will be sadly missed by all his family.

Our thoughts are with his partner Grace, his two sons Derek and Bernard and their families, and his four daughters Joan, Christine, Pam and Patsy and their families.

His funeral took place at St. Peter's on the 27th November and the church was filled with his family and many friends and neighbours from Berrynarbor, Combe Martin and Ilfracombe.

The family would like to thank everyone for their cards and kind messages of sympathy, and all those who came to say 'goodbye'. Donations in his memory amounted to over £500, to be shared between the North Devon Hospice Care Trust and Cancer Research U.K.


We learnt with sadness that Alf had passed away on the 12th December and our thoughts are with his sons Charlie and Martin.

It is with regret that we have to report the death of Alfred Bulled, aged 69, on the 12th December. Alf had lived in North Devon all his life. He had many friends and his sons, Charlie and Martin, were gratified to see so many of them at his funeral at St. Peter's here in Berrynarbor. Alf was known mainly for his work as a blacksmith and he produced wrought iron work for many businesses and individuals. Many of the stands for the Britain in Bloom displays, both in Ilfracombe and Barnstaple, were his work.

Money received in his memory amounted to nearly £500, which was donated to the North Devon Hospice.



You can shed a tear that he is gone
or you can smile because he has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that he'll come back,
or open your eyes and see all he's left.
Your heart is empty because you can't see him,
or you can be full of the love you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember him and only that he's gone,
or you can cherish his memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back,
or you can do what he'd want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.



My darling Mish passed away after a short illness, peacefully at home during the evening of the 26th October. His funeral, a beautiful, private family humanist service, followed by a celebratory lunch in his honour, took place on Thursday, 2nd November.

I should like to thank all friends and neighbours for their messages of sympathy and kindness at this sad time of bereavement.


It was with much sadness we learnt of Mish's death and we send our condolences to Mavis, to his daughters and son, Daniela, Joan and John, and Mavis's son Clive.

Mish was born in Yugoslavia in 1921 and as a young man in the 1930's played international football as a member of his country's Under 23 squad. Mish came to this country in 1948, after the War in which he found himself a prisoner of war, and it was 45 years before he was reunited with his mother.

Mish, an engineer by trade, and Mavis moved to Berrynarbor from Bideford over thirteen years ago, having come to the South West from Shropshire in 1976.

Apart from his family, the loves of his life were bridge and sport. He had played or taken part in virtually every sport and even had a go at banger racing! Latterly he had enjoyed all sport on television, especially horse racing. But bridge was perhaps his favourite pastime and in the 1980's he was a Local Master, Club Master and County Master of the English Bridge Union. He loved gardens but was quite happy to leave the gardening to Mavis, and enjoyed sitting in the sun in the garden watching her work!

Our thoughts are with Mavis and all his family at this time of sadness.

[26.6.1918 - 9.11.2006]

John had a long association with Berrynarbor, being the husband of our cousin Margaret, daughter of the late Lorna Grove-Price. We shall remember him as a modest, quiet, upstanding gentleman with wide interests and a nice sense of humour.

As it is the time of year for remembering our Service Personnel, past and present, we've written this little tribute to John, although he rarely spoke of his military career.

John was born in Northern Ireland where, aged 16, he joined the 1st Battalion Royal Ulster Rifles as a boy soldier in the Military Band. Here he learned to play the clarinet. He served in Egypt, Hong Kong and Shanghai, protecting British interests during Japan's incursion into China. He went on to India and served on the North West Frontier. As a full rank NCO, he landed by glider in Normandy on D-Day with the Sixth Airborne Division. He was a keen sportsman and a fine shot, winning many trophies in this sport.

After the War he joined the Civil Service and was on the administrative staff of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, continuing his career in Barnstaple and St. Austell until retiring back to Barnstaple six years ago.

Lorna Bowden - for Margaret Stewart

We are thinking of Margaret and all the family and thank Lorna for her tribute.


For those of us who were privileged to know her, it was with real sadness we learnt that Phyl had died suddenly but peacefully on the 7th November. Her funeral took place at St. Peter's on the 16th November.

Although for some time she had lived in Ilfracombe, Berrynarbor was always a second 'home' to Phyl. She was born in Wales but in her early years spent long spells here, at Cockhill, the family home of her grandparents, attending the primary school, a classmate of Ron Toms. The family later moved to Chambercombe and Phyl worked at the Chambercombe Laundry.

She met her husband, Lionel Dummett - one of the Dummett brothers - whilst visiting her sister Ivy [Richards] and her husband Ivor and they were married in 1942. Their first move to Berrynarbor was to Rockville [now Budicombe House] and later, in the early 50's, to Tower Cottage.

Unfortunately, Phyl suffered very badly from arthritis from an early age and this was one reason for moving to Ilfracombe. However, she did not let it stop her making the most of life. A gentle but very determined lady, with a ready smile for everybody, she never ever complained.

She will be missed by her many relatives and friends and our thoughts are particularly with her daughter Maureen and her husband Eddie, her three grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren and her sister Ivy.


It was sad to learn that Olive had passed away at Park View on the 13th November, at the grand age of 94, and our thoughts are with all her family and friends at this time of sorrow.

Although born in Devon, Olive [nee Pugsley] grew up in Croydon in Surrey where she met and married James Kent in 1944. Before his retirement in 1960, they undertook an epic cycle ride to Devon to seek a quiet place to live. Proud of her Devonshire ancestry, Olive fell in love with the little cottage up on the hill - Woodlands Cottage - that became her home for over 40 years.

To many, it seems that Olive has always been a part of Berrynarbor and we remember her with great affection and visualise her walking to the village, stick in hand, in welly boots, accompanied by her dogs, either Panda or Pickles.

I was saddened to hear of the death of Olive Kent but reminded myself I was to be considered fortunate that she came into my life or, to be more precise, I was thrust into hers.

Some time in 2001, as a care worker, I was asked to make a home visit to a client in Berry who was in need of some help. Eventually, I found myself walking up a primrose clad lane to be met by a beaming lady with cats at her ankles. This was to be the first of many looked-forward to visits to the delightful Olive, who was always full of greetings, happiness and extraordinary generosity, whether offering a cup of tea or her last piece of cake. Her beloved cats, both house and semi-feral, were similarly spoiled - how she loved them!

Our conversations were always lively and stimulating. As her carer, Olive paid me one of my most cherished compliments, calling me "one of the jewels in her crown." I thought that was just so lovely. May she rest in peace.

Judith Maunder



If I should go before the rest of you,
Break not a flower nor inscribe a stone.
Nor when I'm gone speak in a Sunday voice,
But be the usual selves that I have known.
Weep if you must, parting is hell,
But life goes on, so sing as well.

Joyce Grenfell [1910-1979]


Longer term residents of the village learnt with much sadness of the sudden death of Dave Yeo on the 20th May 2006.

Dave will be remembered by people both here in Berrynarbor and Ilfracombe and Combe Martin as their cheerful coach driver, and Ilfracombe Parish Church was filled by so many people wishing to bid him farewell.

Dave, a Combe Martin lad, came to Berrynarbor when he married his first wife, Marlene, living here for several years with their two daughters, Tracey and Paula at Riversdale Cottage. A mechanic by trade, he started coach driving first with Blue Coaches, continuing when they were taken over by Loverings and latterly with Filers. 'Tacker' as he was nick-named, was a bell ringer, here at St. Peter's and also in Ilfracombe and Combe Martin; he loved playing skittles, was a proficient bowler and enjoyed driving the bowling clubs to their matches and the gardening clubs on their outings. Renowned for losing his way, he was even known to drive three times round Mullacott roundabout!

Our thoughts and sympathy are with all his family, especially Marlene, Tracey and Jason, Paula and Stuart and 'Mother' Ivy and Walter. Dave will be sadly missed by them all, and he will be missed by his grandchildren Dylan, Vashti, Devon and Scarlett and Tilly and Finn.


The Village, as one, was shocked and saddened by Ken's sudden and untimely death on the 2nd June. He will be sorely missed by his family and many friends and our thoughts are with Sandra, Neil and Jayne at this time of sorrow.

Sandra, Neil and Jayne would like to thank everyone for their cards, letters, flowers, visits and telephone calls following Ken's sudden and unexpected death. Also, thanks to everyone who came to his funeral, it was a great comfort to us to see the church so full.

We received donations in his memory amounting to £835.00, which we have taken to The Children's Hospice. Ken was a wonderful husband, dad and granddad, who had so much pleasure from his grandchildren.

He lived and worked all his life on the farm and lived life to the full. We all miss him so much.

Kenny has left a big hole to fill. Not only in the hearts of all who loved him, but in the lives of most of the villagers. The Carnival Gang will miss his jokes, his enthusiasm and his absolute dedication to the idea of carnival - not only having fun but raising money for charity at the same time.

The Carnival will go on - as it has for the past sixteen years - but he [and Jimmy] will be very much in all our thoughts as we 'sail' through the carnivals this year.

Phil and Lynne


It is with regret that we have to report the death, suddenly but peacefully, of Alf Turner of Watermouth on the 23rd June and our thoughts are with Betty at this time of sadness.

Alf and Betty first visited the area when friends moved here in 1974, and they themselves moved here from London ten years later, in 1984.

Although Betty took holidays away, Alf didn't. He said that living here was one long holiday. His world, with which he was very contented, was Watermouth and Sandy Cove. Always a 'hit' with the holidaymakers, he was like the Pied Piper, collecting children who enjoyed being with him.

Animal lovers both, Bet and Alf became foster parents to a female jackdaw. Readers as far back as April 1999 may remember the story about Tootsie. Her arrival is reproduced here so that newer readers [and those who have forgotten it!] can enjoy the antics of this amusing bird:


Our friends, Inge and Tom, brought Tootsie to us late one night in early June 1990. She had been trapped down a chimney for nearly a week and was full of soot. We quickly found our bird cage and Alf set to work on cleaning her up. Poor little thing was so full of soot she couldn't keep food or drink down and we were afraid she wouldn't last the night.

However, next morning found her quite perky. She stayed in her cage for a few weeks, then took to wandering around, indeed taking over the whole household. The dogs weren't too keen on her at first, but soon accepted her as one of the family. We always have the kitchen window open, so she started flying around in the garden and meeting the ducks and other wild birds. We put a green ring on her so we could pick her out amongst the other jackdaws.

She always appeared at mealtimes and various intervals, and slept in the cage at night, with the door open of course. The first night she stayed out all night, we were worried sick - it was a dreadful night, raining hard and very windy. She turned up the next morning, wet and bedraggled, but she must have enjoyed it because she's stayed out every night since, although she's at home all day to torment and amuse us!

She was a great hit last summer with the holidaymakers at the Castle - they couldn't believe how friendly she was. She loved sharing their lunches and picnics. A couple of loud claps and she'd appear from nowhere on to Alf's shoulder. She's always around when I'm cooking and gets to taste and pinch anything that's going. She loves onions - raw or cooked - and eats anything from mustard to ice creams. She sits on the tap and makes noises until we turn the tap on for her to have a drink. She enjoyed Christmas, with her own Christmas pudding and presents, along with our other pets. The cold weather doesn't seem to worry her much as she can fly in and have a good feed, then settle on Alf for a sleep. She doesn't bring her friends in, but I've a suspicion she takes food out for them though!!

Bet and Alf

Tootsie sadly died in 2000, having lived to the ripe old age of 11 1/2 years.



Love survives,
Lives on and grows.
It gilds the dawn
And paints the rose.
Makes a snowman,
Cuts the grain.
Graces laughter,
Eases pain.
It lights the soul
Through countless lives.
All else must fail
But love survives.

Tricia Sturgeon


It is so sad that as the Newsletter reaches its centenary edition we are mourning the loss of our well-loved village centenarian, Lorna. Lorna passed away peacefully on the 9th January.

However, it is fitting that as we celebrate 100 issues we also celebrate nearly 102 years of a wonderful life - an inspiration to so many.

A much loved and loving mother and aunt, Lorna will be sadly missed by everyone who knew her, but none more than her family.

Our thoughts and prayers are with them all: her daughter Margaret and her husband John, and especially her niece Lorna and Michael and her great and great-great nephews and nieces.

Her funeral - a lovely service with the church beautifully decorated with white lilies and pink and white flowers - was held at St. Peter's on the 16th January, with many relatives, friends and neighbours there to wish her farewell.

The family would like to thank everyone for the messages of sympathy and kindness shown to them at this sad time, and for attending the funeral. Especial thanks to Rector Keith, Stuart and the Choir, the Bell Ringers and Sue for the beautiful flowers.


[1932 - 2005]

A Valiant Pilgrim

Thank you all for the visits and messages to Graham during his illness and for all the letters, cards and telephone messages since his death. Berrynarbor was always regarded by Graham as his much loved family. These are a small number of your memories of him.

  • I shall always look back with pleasure to the years I served with Graham on the Parish Council
  • Many of us feel the loss of a great man who merited more national recognition
  • Graham will be greatly missed by many as he did so much in this community
  • He had years of struggle with his health but it never prevented him from being 'action man'
  • It's impossible to know the perfect words right now - just that we will miss him
  • With fond memories of a man who was above most others in so many ways
  • Graham was a man of great kindness who helped us on several occasions and will be greatly missed

The donations for Graham's three choices - the parish churches of Berrynarbor and Combe Martin and the Ilfracombe Lifeboat - now amount to the total of £930.

Again thank you all.




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.



Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other
that we are still . . .
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you for an interval.
Somewhere very near, just around the corner.
All is well.


It was with profound sadness we learnt that Iain - a gentle, gentleman - had died suddenly at home on the 17th June.

Iain was born in Glasgow in 1920 but spent most of his youth in Ayr. Having served in the Fleet Air Arm during the War, he returned to Cannock to help run the family business. It was here that he met Jill and they married in 1952.

Following a take-over of the family business, Iain and Jill moved to Uplyme, near Lyme Regis, where they ran the village post office and stores. In the mid-eighties they retired to the north of the County, to Channel View on Barton Hill, moving some ten years later to Woodmead.

Iain was a keen supporter of village life, particularly enjoying, until the last couple of years, the Wine Circle and his involvement with Ilfracombe Rotary Club and the U3A.

Our thoughts, at this time of sorrow, are with Jill and all his family - his son Michael and his wife Christina and the grandchildren James and Ella, and his daughter Nicola and her husband Paul.

Jill and family would like to thank everyone for their kind messages of sympathy following Iain's death.

Iain greatly loved this beautiful village and its kind and caring people. He would have been quite overwhelmed that so many came to say 'goodbye' to him at the lovely thanksgiving service so sensitively conducted by the Rev. Keith Wyer. Thank you all.

Jill, Michael and Nicola


It is with sadness we report the death of Edith Hockridge on the 5th July at the age of 86.

Edith and her husband John, known locally as Jan, came originally from East Down, later moving to Berry Down and then to Higher Rows Farm - hence his shippen is now known as Jan's Barn. He worked for the late Denzil Rice at Stowford Farm and in latter years for the Council.

Jan died in 1981 and Edith moved to Barnstaple where she has lived for more than twenty years, keeping in touch with the village and a staunch supporter of the Newsletter.

Her funeral and interment, like Jan's, took place at St. Peter's Church on the 11th July. Our thoughts are with her daughter Sybil and her husband John, and her three nephews and nieces.

Dear Mother, rest thy work is o'er,
Thy loving hands shall toil no more.
No more thy gentle eyes shall weep,
Rest, dear Mother, gently sleep.



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




When Kathleen moved to her home at Parkview in Ilfracombe, we all missed seeing her being taken for walks around the village by her young and exuberant dog! We were sorry to learn that she had passed away peacefully on the 4th February and we extend our sympathy to all her family. A much loved sister, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, she will be missed by so many.

Kathleen Ellen Norman [nee Wainwright] 1913 - 2005

Kathleen, or Kathy as many villagers called her, grew up in Combe Martin with her sister Joan. They lived at Granta House, which in those days was run by her family as a general store and haberdashery. It was in childhood that her love of all out-door pursuits developed.

Kathleen was educated at The Convent of the Immaculate Conception in Ilfracombe. On leaving school she worked in an accountant's office and eventually was in charge. She always impressed on us what a great responsibility it was for one so young!

Kathleen met and married a local man and when he retired, his last work was to build them the bungalow, Maryvale. She loved Berrynarbor - her bungalow, garden and the church.

We are sure that our Mother will be remembered walking the lanes of Berrynarbor, in all weathers, with her beloved dog, and some of you may remember her balancing dangerously on steps to do her floral decorations in the church.

The Family


Happy the man, and happy he alone,
He who can call today his own:
He who, secure within, can say,
Tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today.

Be fair or foul, or rain or shine
The joys I have possessed, in spite of fate, are mine
Not Heaven itself, upon the past has power,
But what has been, has been, and I have had my hour.


It was with shock and disbelief that we learnt of John's sudden and untimely death, at home in early February. The funeral service, held on a beautiful sunny and crisp day, a poignant celebration of John's friendly and cheerful outlook on life, was attended by his family and many friends, who filled the crematorium. John, who came from Fremington, has returned there, his ashes having been laid to rest at Fremington Church.

John, Joyce and Tim came to Berrynarbor, to The Lodge, in 1996, having returned to Devon following a period in Germany. They soon became involved in the life of the village and John continued to return, to attend the Men's Institute and the Wine Circle amongst other things, after they moved to Combe Martin in 2002. His interests and hobbies were both countless and varied - cars, computing, shooting, sailing, swimming and many other sports, to name just a few.

John was a good friend to many and he will be sadly missed. Our thoughts have been, and continue to be with Joyce and Tim and all his family at this time of sadness.

Joyce and Tim would like to thank everyone for their kindness and support; for the many cards and messages of sympathy they have received and for attending the service in celebration of John's life. A sum of over £500 has been sent to the RNLI in his memory.


It was with sadness we learnt that Margaret had passed away peacefully on the 20th February. A much loved mother, she will be sadly missed by her family and many friends in the village and our thoughts are with Ian and Simon, Kate and Sue in their sad loss.

Margaret was born and brought up in Leamington Spa and moved to Berrynarbor with her husband Hector in 1980. She loved the village and became involved in many activities, including the W.I. and U3A. She made many good friends and was always ready to participate in any social event. Due to failing health, she moved to Pinehurst Residential Home in 2002, and then, following a fall, to Edenmore Nursing Home in 2004, where she died following a short illness.

We should like to thank everyone for their cards and messages of sympathy and also all those who supported us at the memorial service for Margaret held at St. Peter's on the 3rd March.

Simon, Sue, Ian and Kate


Everyone who knew Chris was saddened by his sudden death, on the 13th February, after a short illness. To pupils of Ilfracombe College - past and present, to his fellow members of staff and to all those who worked alongside him on drama productions, particularly Studio Theatre, and his many friends, he was an inspiration. He will be remembered with affection, for his lovely sense of humour, his kindness and the support he gave to everyone. He will be sadly missed.

Our thoughts are with Penny, Tom and Hannah and all his family at this time of sorrow.

Fear no more the heat o' the sun,
Nor the furious winter's rages;
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone and ta'en thy wages:
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.

Fear no more the frown o' the great,
Thou art past the tyrant's stroke:
Care no more to clothe and eat;
To thee the reed is as the oak:
The sceptre, learning, physic, must
All follow this, and come to dust.

Fear no more the lightning flash,
Nor the all-dreaded thunder-stone;
Fear not slander, censure rash;
Thou hast finish'd joy and moan:
All lovers young, all lovers must
Consign to thee, and come to dust.

No exorciser harm thee!
Nor no witchcraft charm thee!
Ghost unlaid forbear thee!
Nothing ill come near thee!
Quiet consummation have
And renowned be thy grave!


Penny, Tom and Hannah would like to thank everyone for their kind cards, flowers and messages of sympathy, and the many people who attended the moving celebration at the crematorium and later at The Landmark.




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

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

Dear Friends,

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

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

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

Missing you, dad, for ever.




Just a few words to thank everyone - friends and family - who attended Julie's funeral, and to those who came back to Napps afterwards. All the wonderful flowers, thoughts and support meant so much and thank you to everyone who sent one of the hundreds of cards we received.

It's been over two months now since my Julie passed away on the 10th May, but it still seems like yesterday. A special thanks to my two kids, Justin and Gemma, who although I know are hurting just as much as me, have been like rocks for me. Julie would have been so proud of them. She saw Dylan, our first grandson, but never saw Jay, her second, who was born only three weeks later, and now a third grandchild is on the way - due at Christmas - so Julie lives on through them.

Thanks again.

Mike Richards




It is sad to report that Freda Sharp, wife of the late John Sharp of Combe Mattin died peacefully at Castle Dene on 5th May. We send our condolences to all her family and her many friends. "She lives in the hearts of those who loved her."

Freda was born at Home Barton Farm, Berrynarbor, sister to Vera, Brian and Noel, and the late Bob and Claude Richards and Brenda Layton. She was educated with her brothers and sisters at Berrynarbor Primary School, and she and her husband John were married here at St. Peter's.

Freda, who trained as a nurse and spent time nursing in Birmingham, returned to Combe Martin to live in the 1950's. She always maintained strong links with our village, supporting its many events over the years. To celebrate their Golden Wedding, Freda and John had the board in the church listing the Rectors of St. Peter's re-gilded.


It was with much sadness that we learnt that Julie had lost her short battle against cancer and with her family beside her, had passed away peacefully during the evening of Monday, 10th May. A loving wife, mother and grandma, she will be sadly missed by her family and friends.

Our thoughts are with Michael, Justin and Gemma and all the family at this time of sorrow.

Farewell my Friends

  • It was beautiful as long as it lasted, the journey of my life.
  • I have no regrets whatsoever save the pain I'll leave behind. Those dear hearts who love and care. . . and the strings pulling at the heart and soul.
  • The strong arms that held me up when my own strength let me down.
  • At every turning of my life I came across good friends, friends who stood by me even when the time raced me by.
  • Farewell farewell, my friends, I smile and bid you goodbye. No, shed no tears for I need them not, all I need is your smile.
  • If you feel sad, do think of me for that's what I'll like. When you live in the hearts of those you love, remember then you never die

Rabindranath Tagore

To lose two of your family within a week is unbelievably sad and our sympathy goes out to every one of the Richards' family.



The Life that I have is all that I have and the life that I have is yours.
The love that I have of the life that I have is yours and yours and yours.
A sleep I shall have, a rest I shall have, yet death shall be but a pause,
For the peace of my years in the long green grass will be yours and yours and yours.


I occasionally read the newsletter from here in Bristol. My mother, Phyllis, was born in Berrynarbor, one of four girls, Winifred, Margaret, Phyllis and Sheila, and a son, Denzil, of Mr. and Mrs. William Draper of Jacob's Well. The family moved into llfracombe in 1946. My mother came to Bristol in the 1950's. Her sisters Margaret and Sheila stayed in llfracombe, Sheila moving to Yeovil and Taunton with the Somerset Constabulary, eventually returning to llfracombe with the Devon Constabulary. She passed away in July of 2002. My mother still lives in Bristol and Margaret in llfracombe. Winifred, the eldest moved to Campbeltown in Argyllshire in 1952.

There may still be some people in the village who might remember the family. So it is with regret that I inform you that Win passed away peacefully, but suddenly, at Campbeltown on 6th January, and was interred with her late husband, John, in Campbeltown Cemetery. Win joined the Navy during the War and met and married John Trappe in Ceylon. After the war, his work as a customs officer took him around the country and eventually to Scotland where they settled and brought up their three children - Margaret, Tim and Jennifer all of whom were born in either Berrynarbor or llfracombe. Win's last visit to llfracombe was sadly for her sister Sheila's funeral, but she always kept in touch with news of the area through her sister Margaret.

Philip Rollings - Bristol


It was with much sadness the village learnt that Bobbie had passed away peacefully at the age of 98 on the 28th January at Park View in llfracombe.

Bobbie was a regular worshipper at St. Peter's where her floral arrangements, especially behind the lectern, were much admired and appreciated, as was her support of parish activities. Many of her W.l. friends attended her funeral service at St. Peter's and the retiring collection echoed her interest and support of the Manor Hall.

Bobbie will be missed and our thoughts are with her friends and relatives, particularly her niece Beryl.

Florence Jessie Hacker

Florence Hacker, known to us all as Bobbie, is the last of a large family of seven girls and one very much loved brother, killed in the First World War. The family were poor but close, and Bobbie as a younger member of the girls was encouraged by her sisters to keep up her dancing and drama. On leaving school, she went to work in the teashop of a large departmental store, where she eventually became Manageress, and where she met her husband Charles.

Charles was in fact 33 years older than her, a widower and Headmaster of Emmanuel School in Battersea, with children older than Bobbie who resented their father's second marriage - a problem Bobbie managed admirably. Charles had a little car and for their honeymoon they motored around Italy. For some years, they lived in East Sheen and a holiday with their caravan brought them to Berrynarbor. Both fell in love with the Longsawte plot and in 1938 they had the bungalow built and moved in, just before war broke out.

They had 22 years together. Uncle Charles died in 1952 and since then Bobbie had been on her own.

My aunt was to me more like a big sister - we both loved cooking, sewing and gardening - it was uncanny how we always did alike. For years we had an hour-long telephone call at 4 0'clock on a Sunday, but since she had been in Park View, we had been unable to speak so often. However, on Christmas Eve we had a 20-minute conversation, just like old times. I shall miss her dreadfully but hope one day we shall be reunited in our Heavenly Home.

My thanks go to all who did so much for Bobbie in the village and for the support you have given me during the last few months - bless you. Thank you to Rev. Keith Wyer and all who helped with a beautiful service on the 5th February.

Our greatest comfort in sorrow is to know for sure that Jesus lives.

Beryl [Lake] - Isle of Wight

"Bobbie's Story"

"How are you my dear?" says a voice from the right,
The cataract eyes view the misty daylight.
"You'll be wanting your brekkies," echoes the voice,
"Is it toast, flakes or porridge? You have the choice."
Bobbie surveys the Nursing Home door,
Awake from her dreams of walking the Moor,
Remembering the days when with wind in her hair
And cheeks full of roses she strode without care.
Recalling with pride, when as a young bride,
She would measure the ebb and flow of the tide,
From her home on the cliffs, abutting the sea
She was happy and loved, and bountifully free.
"Tea or coffee, my dear?" from a voice at the rear,
No answer from Bobbie, she does not want to hear.
She's away with her thoughts of being up with the dawn
Making the scones for cream teas on the lawn.
Brought back to the present to wipe away tears,
She feels every one of her ninety-eight years.
Oh! for one moment to go back in time,
Would be for this lady, truly sublime.

Doreen P. Damsell - Oaklands, Newberry Close


Leslie passed away peacefully on 2nd February 2004, having just attained the age of eighty years.

He was born in llfracombe and following a career in the Royal Navy, qualified as a chartered accountant, subsequently moving to Nigeria where he lived and worked for many years. Leslie returned to the UK in 1978 and later bought Cherry Tree Cottage, where he and Betty enjoyed many happy years. This was followed by a move just a little further up the Valley to Higher Rowes Farm.

Whilst living in the village, Leslie was actively involved with the 'Berry Revels' and was always a staunch supporter of the RNLI. For a considerable time, he was the Treasurer of llfracombe Rugby Club. Les and Betty's final move took them to Yatton, near Bristol, to be closer to their daughter Jean and her family.

We send our love and condolences to Betty, Jean, John and the five grandchildren, Louise, Laura, Sophie, Ricky and Michael.




It is with deep regret we report that Ted, having been unwell for some time, died peacefully in his sleep on the morning of 15th January, at the age of 89.

Our thoughts are with Michael and Jo at this time of great sadness.

I should like to thank everybody in the village for their sympathy and condolences on the death of my father 'Ted' [Edward Lane]. He died peacefully in his sleep at Pinehurst on Thursday, 15th January.

I thought it might be of interest to tell you a little about his life. Born at the start of World War l, he was the youngest of five children who lost their father at the Third Battle of Ypres. Times were hard and he was sent to live on a farm in Somerset. By the time he returned to London, his mother couldn't understand a word he said!

During World War II he trained as a Commando in Scotland. He received news from my mother that their twins had been killed and promptly applied for compassionate leave. This was refused. Later it transpired that they were under secret orders to leave for Italy the next day. Dad promptly went A.W.O.L. and was eventually arrested in London. It didn't improve his military career, but at least he lived to have another son, and heir. Many of his friends died in the raid that he should have been on. Life is strange and fickle!

After the war he worked for my mother's farming family, the Potters. The farm is in Hertfordshire, with the Great North Road passing through it. A toll gate barred the way at one end - this is only of interest if you are traveling down the M25 trying to get to a place called Potters Bar!

Just to add a footnote, Dad loved the village and I still can't pass the bus shelter by the church without seeing him sitting there, smoking away and meditating on the world!

Michael and Jo

Our thoughts are also with Kate Kemp and the family following the death of her father, Alec Judson of Combe Martin, on the 5th January at the age of 88.




Ray died on the 22nd October 2003 in the Tyrell Hospital, at the age of 79. Both he and Jean will be remembered for living at the Old Court in Birdswell Lane, from about 1988 until they moved to Hope House, opposite the Tyrell Hospital, in Ilfracombe in 1999.

Ray constructed the lovely lake-type pond, complete with island, at the bottom of the field which runs from the Old Court right down to the stream at the bottom of Pitt Hill. Jean's ceramic classes were appreciated by all who attended them.

Ray and Jean and their family are well known in North Devon, first for their llfracombe restaurant in the 1960's and '70's, where the best fish and chips in 'Combe could be purchased! Later, with a complete change of direction, they opened the Marlborough Club in about 1980.

The friendly funeral service held at Brookdale Church was a family affair, with their daughter Amanda taking part, and in her turn, Amanda's daughter, Shelley, gave a very professional and emotional rendering of 'Ave Maria' for her granddad.

Our thoughts are with Jean, Amanda and Tim and family, Derek, and Gillian and Dave and family.

Tom B of TC - November 2003


Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry. 
I am not there; I did not die.



It has been another sad time in the village with the passing of Vi Kingdon and Sid Russell.

After spending the last fifteen months being cared for at the Tyrrell Hospital in Ilfracombe, Vi died peacefully on the 10th August. We send our sympathy and best wishes to her family, her cousins Jim, Lee and Hazel.

The village was sorry to say goodbye to Sid and Flo Russell when they moved to llfracombe - first to Oaktree Gardens and then to Pinehurst. And it was with much sadness that we learnt first of Flo's death in June and now Sid's, at the age of 93, in July 2003. Our thoughts are with their daughters, Joyce and Hazel and their families - the grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren at this time of sorrow.


Does the road wind uphill all the way?
Yes, to the very end.
Will the day's journey take the whole long day?
From morn to night, my friend.

But is there for the night a resting-place?
A roof for when the slow, dark hours begin.
May not the darkness hide it from my face?
You cannot miss that inn.

Shall I meet other wayfarers at night?
Those who have gone before.
Then must I knock, or call when just in sight?
They will not keep you standing at that door.

Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak?
Of labour you shall find the sum.
Will there be beds for me and all who seek?
Yea, beds for all who come.

Christina Georgina Rossetti


You will all know Vi quite well from her activities in Berrynarbor for the past 30 plus years, so these few words are to tell you a little of her earlier years.

She was born in Stoke Newington, London, where she lived until she married Derrick in 1951.

Whilst at school she became interested in drama and music, an activity that lasted until her marriage, and I particularly remember her rendering of 'My Hero' from the show 'Chocolate Soldier'.

Her family home was badly damaged by bombing during the Blitz of 1941 and for a while the family were accommodated in a hostel. In 1942 she joined the WRNS and served as a Writer until the end of the war. During that time she helped organise many social activities, connected mainly with music and drama. On her release from Naval Service, she returned to London where she resumed her pre-war job as a chemist Dispenser, a job she did until her marriage when they moved to Woodmansterne in Surrey. Both she and Derrick became involved in charity work with Charley Chester [of radio fame] and continued with that even after the move to Berrynarbor and up until Derrick's death.

During the last few days I have been privileged to see her documentation and realise just how much time, effort and money she gave to charities of many types, although biased toward bird and beast. She was extremely generous and supportive to everybody except herself, so much that she neglected her own needs in many, many ways.

The world is all the poorer for her passing.


May I take this opportunity to thank everyone who attended Vi's funeral and joined Lee, Hazel and myself at The Lodge afterwards, and also to the wonderful friends and neighbours who kept the front of her cottage colourful with flowers whilst she was in hospital.


Before Vi came to live in Berrynarbor, she had always lived in London or its suburbs, but she grew to love it here and entered into village life with great enthusiasm. She had no interest in going away and said the only time she had packed a suitcase all the time she was here, was to go into hospital.

She loved all animals and made sure all the birds and wildlife that found their way into her garden opposite the cottage were always well fed! Her dogs, Katy and more recently Mattie, were her great companions and she wouldn't leave them even to go for a day out.

Vi's life centered on her cottage: she was always buying things to decorate the rooms - she had many plates hanging on the walls and sewed a lot of tapestry pictures to display as well. She loved her garden and every spring bought many plants to grow. Anyone who saw the colourful display she had in front of the cottage each summer will understand her passion for plants. If she saw anyone admiring the display, whether visitors or locals, she would go out for a chat.

I couldn't end this without mentioning the W.l. She really enjoyed her work as President and spent a lot of time thinking up ideas for competitions and other activities. She always said to members at the Christmas meeting, "You are my family", and that was how she regarded us all.

It was very sad to watch someone who had such enthusiasm for everything spend the last months of their life going slowly downhill until her death on the 10th August.


In a happier time, Vi and the W.I. were involved, with other groups, in knitting teddy bears for children in war-torn countries in Europe and Africa and I wrote this and gave it to Vi - I think she found it amusing!

Peter H.

Berry Very Free Verse for Vi

A WI Wise woman lives among the trees,
Her chair secure as any kingdom's throne.
She always answers every call, and many
Though they are she always sees
Her duty to the forest creatures all
Of whom she knows by name,
And, even when they're naughty
Never blames but simply leads them
Gaily in their merry forest games.
From other Combes when bright young bears in fresh
Designer clothes arrive to party, her lane
Becomes a Rainbow Road, the starting
Point of voyages to earn the love of children who,
They find, have never seen a bear before
And consequently, she makes sure that
No-one accidentally leaves
A little bear behind.


Sidney Ernest Russell [just Sid to all who knew him] was born on the 1st July 1907, at Freshwater on the Isle of Wight. One of eight children, his mother died when he was about nine years old and his father, being unable to care for such a large family, put them in children's homes - the boys in Dr. Barnardo's, the girls in another home. Sid stayed there until he was fourteen, when a farmer from Marwood wanted a lad to help on the farm and so sent for one from the home, and that's how Sid came to Devon. He loved the work and after about four years met Flo, who also lived in Marwood. They married in 1929 and had two daughters, Joyce and Hazel, and two sons whom they lost in babyhood. Sid then moved to West Stowford, where he stayed until the farm was sold, moving to Two Potts Cottages. After a short while, Sid went to work for Albert Richards and his family at East Hagginton Farm, Berrynarbor, where he stayed until Albert's two boys, Ken and Alan, grew up. He finished his working life at Shapland and Petter's.

Sid with Kenny and 'Lion' carting hay
outside the cottages at Goosewell

Sid and Flo celebrating their Golden Wedding in 1978
- Reproduced courtesy of the North Devon Journal

The year after Sid and Flo's Diamond Wedding anniversary, they moved from No. 3 Birdswell, where they had lived for over 40 years, to a bungalow in Ilfracombe. After a few years, owing to old age and deteriorating health, they moved into residential care, where sadly they both passed away. Flo in June 2001 at the age of 93, and Sid in July 2003 at the age of 96.

They may have gone but they are certainly not forgotten.



We are sorry to record that John Brain passed away on the 8th August. John and his family came to Watermouth in the 1950's and later moved to Mill Park. In recent years he has lived in Plymouth with his partner Rachel, but loved spending time at his home in Berrynarbor. His ashes will be interred at a simple ceremony at St. Peter's Church at 12.15 p.m. on Sunday, 5th October and any friends will be very welcome. He will be greatly missed by Rachel, Mark and Liz and his grandchildren Gemma, Jak and Ryan.




It was with great sadness that we learnt of the death of Preb. Andrew Jones on the 22nd May. Our love and sympathy go to Heather, Mark and Hilary.

St. Peter Ad Vincula church was full for the Funeral Service on the 29th May, and again for the Memorial Service on the 15th June.

We shall all miss Andrew for his enthusiasm, sensitivity and kindness and we know that he loved coming regularly to Berrynarbor during his 'retirement' - in fact the last Holy Communion Service he took was at St. Peter's when I had the privilege of acting as Server. Heather, too, has many happy memories of Berrynarbor and we always appreciate her help when deputising as our organist.

In a long and faithful Ministry in many parishes, Andrew was always inspiring and encouraging. He would want us to remember him for these qualities.

"May the souls of the faithful rest in peace, and rise in glory."

Margaret Andrews


Winifred Lucy Barten
'Lucy' - 1911-2003

A grand old lady has slipped away to be reunited with her dear husband, Richard. They had been together for nearly 70 years and she never got used to being without him when he died four years ago.

She looked tiny and frail, but her heart was strong. She was an active, athletic, beautiful woman - an Essex girl, as the Rector pointed out! Although I cannot remember seeing her in white stilettos, I do remember her vividly in white tennis and badminton clothes, in shorts and T-shirts running for her County - winning many cups and trophies - in long, floating ballgowns she had made herself [she loved to party!] and in Lydford's big farmhouse kitchen cooking wonderful meals for her family and farm workers, who all gathered around the long table at harvest, sheep shearing and all highlights of the farming year. She was an accomplished pianist and needlewoman - many people around the village will have won or been given samples of her embroidery and patchwork.

Yes, as my brother said, 'She was young once' and had many a tale to tell. She didn't take kindly to getting old and became very impatient with me when I couldn't keep up with her walking around Bicclescombe Park last year. I was so lucky to have had my mother for 63 years and I keep going to tell her or ask her something - I have run out of the marmalade she used to make and my mending is piling up - she always did that for me oh, endless things she quietly did which I now miss.

Thank you, Rector, for such a simple and moving Service, 'Lucy in the sky like Diamonds' was a lovely touch, and the story of the chrysalis turning into a butterfly really helped the children to understand that although we were sad to say 'good-bye', we were also happy she was back with Dad again. We sent her on her journey to the resounding music of 'Chariots of Fire', a most fitting tribute to my athletic Mum.

John, David and I thank you all for the cards, flowers and donations to Berrynarbor Church.

Sally Barten

Angela Richards
'A Friend Called Angela'

I guess it must be over forty years ago that I first met Angela. My parents had moved to Berrynarbor and anxious to get to know a few more people, I joined the Berrynarbor Village Players. Angela came along and introduced herself as 'a farmer's wife' and I remember thinking what a lucky fellow the farmer was to have such a pretty, young wife.

Shortly after that I went to work in America, but only a few years later our paths were to cross again. Now married and settled in llfracombe myself, both Angela and I became members of the newly formed llfracombe Ladies Circle. For the next fourteen years we saw one another on a regular basis, not only at LC meetings, but at all the coffee mornings, good as new sales and other charitable and social events in which Circle was involved.

In 1981 I left to live and work in West Africa and so began a 20-year period of correspondence between us - we shared highs and low, births, deaths, marriages and divorce, local gossip, all on paper. There was enough sent back and forth over the years to produce the most interesting of 'soaps'! Angela had a distinctive hand, and I doubt she ever realised my delight on opening my PO Box and discovering a letter from Berrynarbor. Occasionally I would make sojourns to the UK and always tried to see Angela, if only for a half hour chat over coffee. We had that camaraderie of true friends, the ability to pick up where we had left off last time, albeit there could have been a two or three year gap between our meetings.

The last time I saw her was in November 2002. I had recently taken up residence in France and was making a flying visit to Taunton for a family birthday. However, knowing that Angela was poorly, I managed to fit in a day trip to 'combe, and Angela and Judie joined me for lunch at the Landmark. I was not prepared for the deterioration in her health and as I gave her a welcome hug, I was aware of what a frail being she had become. But it wasn't long before we were settled and she was telling me all the latest news and obviously relishing in the newest family member, her granddaughter Elyse. Angela's appetite was poor, all she wanted for lunch was a bowl of soup, but I teased her to pinch some of the large mound of chips I had been served and she duly obliged, giving me that wonderful, wholesome gap-toothed grin of hers. The smile lit up her face and I was immediately reminded of that pretty farmer's wife I had first met forty years before.

The life I witnessed in Africa, or more importantly the hundreds of unnecessary deaths I was aware of, have, I'm afraid, dampened whatever religious beliefs I may have clung to. So how does one gain comfort from the loss of a dear friend? It's hard, but I have come to realise that of all the billions of people that populate this planet, a very small percentage were close enough to be her friends, and I was lucky enough to be one of those few. Her memory and her smile live on in our hearts.

Susan Paul

Moules Farm

Following Angela's death, Sally, Dave, the family and I have found much comfort in the many cards and messages of sympathy we have received. The support of so many people at the Celebration at St. Peter's Church and afterwards at the Crematorium was much appreciated, and a sum of £500 has been sent in Angela's memory to the British Heart Foundation.

Thank you for your care and thought, and with my very best wishes,




There is no timetable for grief. Grief's time is beyond Time, and Time is not important. Time is a Circle, time goes round and round like a wheel, and that is why one hears echoes of the past continuously - it's because the past is present.

You just look across the circle and there are echoes of the past, and the vision of the Future, and they are all present, all now, all forever.

When the music plays you'll see him there, and you'll think 'yes, it's sad I shall never hear him sing again', and you'll grieve. And you'll think 'it's sad, but there was happiness before the sadness', and you'Il be grateful for the memory, and the memory will echo on in Time.

We will talk of him, so that will be part of the memory too, and so it will go on echoing again and again in the Circle of Time, and that Time is beyond Time, Time out of mind.

From 'A Wheel of Fortune'


It was with sadness we learnt that Frank has passed away suddenly but peacefully on the 18th March, at his home - Dormer Cottage.

Before coming to Berrynarbor, Frank had been a policeman in London, serving through the Blitz. Our oldest, and immaculately dressed villager, he was always thoughtful but with a sense of fun. His presence in the village will be missed and we share with Linda and his family their sadness at this time.

Goodbye to My Dad

It hardly seems any time since I wrote about Vi and now I have to say goodbye to my dad, Frank, as well. It seemed very final when I saw the 'Sale Agreed' sign on Dormer Cottage, another chapter in village history was closed.

I don't think I need to say that Frank loved the village. My sister suggested that maybe his ashes should be taken to Middlesex where my mum died, but it was agreed that his heart was in Berrynarbor. It's where we shall remember him, sitting in the sun with Vi or more recently hand in hand with great grandson Jack, making their way down to The Globe.

I should like to say thank you, again, for the support he received from Bob and Jeane, Peter West, Hedi, Bet and Jim, Mary and lots of others, who looked in on him. A thank you, too, to the Primary School for the flowers sent to his funeral - a reminder to me of the many years he was the school's Father Christmas. Also thank you to Keith, our Rector, for making the funeral service so personal and to Edith and Mark at The Globe for making the gathering afterwards a lovely final tribute.

Also, thank you Judie for reminding me that a few words in the Berrynarbor Newsletter is a good way to finish!

Linda Denzey


It is with sadness we report that after spending the last four years being cared for at the Susan Day Home in llfracombe, Iris passed away peacefully on the 23rd March, just weeks short of her 92nd birthday. Our thoughts are with her family.

Iris was born and educated in London. After leaving school, she was employed in a pharmaceutical laboratory, but before her marriage, she spent holidays in Ilfracombe with her grandparents, and main activities were swimming and tennis.

Geoff was born in Birmingham but the family moved to Australia where he was educated. He returned to London to take up a post as a pharmaceutical chemist and this was where he met Iris.

After their marriage, Iris and Geoff took up ballroom dancing, under instructions from Victor Sylvester, a pastime at which they both excelled. Following the War, they spent a number of years in New Zealand but returned to England when Geoff was employed by Max Factor.

Several moves later, they retired to Berrynarbor - two very private people who enjoyed walking, cycling and their garden at Dene Cottage.


They say you can take a Cornishman out of Cornwall, but you can never take Cornwall out of a Cornishman.

George was born in Cornwall in 1922, the youngest of the family, having two elder sisters. His father died when he was sixteen and the family went to live in Hertford.

The Second World War found him trained as a Bomb Disposal Officer in London during the Blitz, a task that required nerve, skill and a large degree of luck. George took part in the liberation of the Channel Islands and this found him, at the grand age of twenty-three, in charge of 200 German prisoners, disarming the mines they themselves had laid. These early experiences marked and defined George's character - a man of great integrity, sense of responsibility and moral fortitude.

After a period as a civilian, and unable to settle, he joined the Royal Air Force - as much to follow his great love of amateur radio and electronics. It was when he was stationed at the Radar base at Sandwich that he met Yvonne, who was also stationed there.

They married in 1957 and within seven years, two sons and two daughters completed their family. There were postings to Germany, Cyprus and Bahrain and George's leadership qualities were recognised as he rose to be a Squadron Leader.

On leaving the RAF, the family moved to llfracombe where George was able to show his love of animals something not able to be indulged in the armed forces. A Labrador puppy was quickly followed by a kitten, geese, ducks, chickens and goats. Bees were also studied and kept and the family were self-sufficient for nine years with milk, eggs and honey. Great fun but hard work!

Work in the printing department at Ilfracombe College kept him busy and he enjoyed his eight years there. His love of singing in the musical society and many school skiing trips were other joys. Retirement to Berrynarbor, walking with friends, his amateur radio and computer, travelling and the grandchildren all gave him great pleasure.

With the new Millennium, his family and friends watched with dismay this highly intelligent man slip into the shadows of Alzheimer's. It is, therefore, important to remember a Cornishman who did so much in a long life, and always retained the dignity of all his numerous experiences.

George passed away peacefully on the 30th March and a very special Service of Celebration was held at St. Peter's on the 7th April.

Yvonne, Steve, Sue, Peter and Ali, our thoughts are with you and the grandchildren at this time of loss.


It was with deep sorrow we learnt that Angela, who had not been well for some time, had died peacefully at home at Moules Farm, with her family, in the afternoon of the 17th May.

Our thoughts are with Norman, Sally and David and the family, and we share with them in their grief.

A loving and loved wife, mother, grandmother and daughter-in-law, and a true friend to many, Angela's death will leave an empty place in many lives.


With so much recent sadness in the village, it was hard to believe that there had been two deaths in one day.

After some ten weeks in the Tyrrell Hospital, Lucy passed away during the evening of the 17th May. She was 92 and had, before her stay at the Tyrrell, been looked after with care and kindness by the staff at the Susan Day Home.

Lucy, a loved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother will be sadly missed by John, David, Sally and their families, and our thoughts and sympathy go out to them all in their sorrow.


Thank you one and all for sharing in the Celebration of Michael's Life. We hope it was a happy event. Special thanks to Stuart Neale for arranging such a memorable occasion and the choir was super. Thanks for all the kind donations - I was able to send a cheque for £200 to Cancer Research UK.

We must all work to find a cure for this dreaded disease.

With love,

Joy, Kristian and Benedicta




It is with sadness and joy that I write this short message to inform you of my "best friend's" death. Michael passed away on Sunday, 2nd March 2003. He was surrounded by myself and his two children. He left this world quietly and gently, much like the man he was. He is now at peace and home with the Lord. He faced his illness so bravely, but someone else wanted him 'home'. Michael was positive the entire journey. He is at peace.

"Dream as if you'lI live forever.
Live as if you'lI die tomorrow. "

James Dean

In sadness, but also in hope and joy.


Joy also writes:

    My 'best friend' is gone, but I am going to keep the memories we shared in my pocket. Time will heal the raw pain I now feel. I have been blessed with so many wonderful, caring friends.

All the village were saddened to hear of Michael's passing and our thoughts and prayers are with Joy, his son and daughter, Christian and Benna, and his grandchildren.

There will be a 'Celebration of Life' Service at St. Peter's on Saturday, 26th April at 2.00 p.m.


Ethel Mary Primrose, known to everyone as Mary, sadly passed away peacefully at Wilderbrook Nursing Home on the 11th March, at the age of 91 .

Mary came from a large family, having four sisters and a brother the youngest of the family - Jim, the late husband of Pat Reynolds of Toad Hall. During the War she joined the Wrens and was stationed in Scotland, where she met her husband and lived until his death. Mary then moved to Berrynarbor, living some twenty years at Deane on Barton Hill before she moved, three years ago, to 'Caring Hands' in Combe Martin.

Mary was a great golfer and a keen bridge player and she will be sorely missed by her two remaining sisters and her many nieces and nephews, and our thoughts are with all her family at this time of sadness.

DOREEN SPEAR [nee Dummett]

The village was saddened to learn of the death of one of its well-loved and respected former residents. Doreen, who had not been well for a couple of years, died peacefully at the North Devon District Hospital on the 12th March.

Like Mary, she too came from a large family - 7 brothers and 2 sisters all born in Berrynarbor. For very many years she lived at Croft Lee, originally with her mother and the family, and later with her husband, Fred Spear, and her mother. Doreen and Fred were married at St. Peter's in April 1940. Although they had no family of their own, when Doreen's sister Vera died, leaving a family of young children, Doreen helped her brother-in-law, Gordon Newton, to bring up her six nieces and nephews.

A keen gardener, Doreen took a real interest in the village and its activities - enjoying keeping up to date with events through the Newsletter, even when she moved to her flat in Ilfracombe, some six years ago. When she became unable to look after herself, Doreen moved to the Susan Day Residential Home, where she was looked after with care and affection.

Doreen, a gentle lady who always had a ready smile, will be much missed and our thoughts are with her family in their sad loss.



Ray Toms

It was with shock, disbelief and sadness that we learnt of the death of Ray on the 13th October.

Ray was a real 'Berrynarborite', a hard worker and a kind and generous son, brother, uncle, friend and neighbour, and a supporter of all 'things' village.

He will be sorely missed by many and our thoughts go out to Ron, Sheila and all the family. St. Peter's Church literally overflowing for his funeral, was evidence of the respect and affection in which everyone held him.

Raymond, or Ray as most people knew him, was a true 'Berry Boy'. Born at 16 Hagginton Hill on the 24th May 1946, he then moved as a toddler to 4 Birdswell Cottages, where he lived for most of his life with his parents, until Gladys passed away in November 2001, then with Ron until his untimely and sudden death on the 13th October.

Ray will be remembered for his love of sport, especially snooker for which he had a real talent, winning many trophies over the years. Also in his job as a carpenter and decorator - there are many homes in Berrynarbor and around where he will have used his skills.

Ray [far left] with the Triumphant Snooker Team - 1974-1975

Ray with a cousin on holiday
in Ireland September 2002

Ron, Sheila and Tony would like to thank all the people who sent messages of sympathy and attended the funeral - such a comfort to us all at this sad time. A special thanks to John Clark for his help and company to Ron over the past few weeks. A very special neighbour and friend.

Margaret Cook

It is with much sadness I report that Debbie's mother, Margaret, passed away peacefully on the 6th November, after a short illness, at the age of 71.

For three years, from 1989 to 1992, Debbie and her parents lived at Ellis Cottage, Pitt Hill, and it was during that time that Debbie, encouraged by her mother, became involved with the Newsletter. Margaret's support, especially at this year's 'Country Collection' was much appreciated.

We send our sympathy at this sad time to Debbie, her father and her brother Steven and his family.

My sincere thanks to Debbie, who even under such sad circumstances, has still given us another beautiful Christmas Cover. Our thoughts are with you.


A Day at the Cricket with Ray Toms

Ray took a keen interest in many different sports - football, golf, cricket, snooker, motor racing - but his love and enjoyment of cricket was particularly special. He was a most enthusiastic follower of Somerset, and a day out at the County Ground, Taunton, was a regular and popular event during the summer months. These trips acquired something of a typical routine.

There were usually four of us - Ray, Bill Jones, Brian Mountain and myself - and having picked up Ray by the bus shelter, we would head off over Exmoor with plenty of early morning chat about recent sports events and news.

We always arrived at Taunton in good time to park the car and choose our seats in the Botham Stand before crossing the river to nearby Safeway's for an 'all-day breakfast' and [in Rays case] the weekly provisions shopping. The day would not have been the same without a good supply of sandwiches, pork pies and a freshly roasted chicken or two!

Back to our seats for the start of play and all the action, tension, excitement and emotional highs and lows of a close knockout cup match. There would be some quiet spells, but when the Somerset players did well, we would cheer and clap with everyone else. Ray would sit glued to the cricket, chicken leg in one hand, binoculars in the other, but with radio earphones plugged in to keep us all fully up-to-date with the latest football scores or Grand Prix positions during the afternoon.

If a match built to a nail-biting, exciting finish - as many did - the crowd became noisier with singing and chanting, and spectators became more concentrated and intense on the play. And then, if Somerset won in the last over, Ray would beam and say, "We've done it! What a great game!" and there would be cheers and backslaps all round.

So pack our bags ... back to the car ... return journey over beautiful Exmoor in the setting sun ... more chat about the day's play ... news on the radio ... a bit of gossip about Berrynarbor village life ... back home after a lovely day out with good friends.

Ray loved every moment of days like these - and similar trips to other grounds and Lords' finals - and it is so very sad to say that cricket days in future will never be the same without Ray's cheerful good-nature and companionship.

Malcolm Sayer

Bill Gammon

Bill moved to Berrynarbor in the early 1950's from Muddiford, where he was born.

He first had a smallholding at Cockhill and then moved to Brookvale, where he lived until his marriage to Janet in 1983, when he moved across the road to Holmleigh.

After his retirement, Bill became very involved with Gordon Setters, both on the rescue side and showing - his great success being a Fourth place at Crufts with Bracken, who although an old lady now, still enjoys a good quality of life with Breeze, the young two year-old.

Four Generations

Bill with his son David, grandson Gareth and great-granddaughters Billie-Jo and baby Bethany - summer 2001

In Memory of Bob Richards

My father, Robert Ben 'Bob' Richards passed away peacefully on the evening of Saturday, 27th July 2002 - aged 79.

He was born, raised, worked and spent all of his life in Berrynarbor. One in a family of seven brothers and sisters, he was born at Home Barton, the family farm. When my grandfather Fred Richards - retired, my father and mother - Bob and Betty moved into and worked Home Barton. I had the pleasure and privilege of working daily with dad at the farm from my earliest memories, spanning over thirty years. I say a pleasure because it was a wonderful life, always fun working with dad and most notably Ron Toms [who was with us from before I was born] and Bernie Newton, who became really like a second brother to me. They were hard working but memorable days.

Dad always had great pleasure whenever we all sat down to a meal, knowing that everything at the table was home produced, from the meat to the cream - something he was proud of 'til his last days.

I don't think he had an enemy. He was friendly to and talked to everyone and was always enthusiastic in whatever he did - be it farming, sport, local council or time with his family. Yes, always enthusiastic, sometimes critical and if so, it always came straight from the shoulder. He would say his piece, make his point and sometimes in doing so would upset a few people, but that was his way. He never held grudges and once his view was expressed, he was still everyone's friend.

Dad was always a great support for anything my brother Clive and I took part in. A great family man, he loved having kids around him and they all adored him. He loved his life, his family, his friends and his village, and all those who knew him will probably agree that he certainly lived life to the full, despite his health problems.

I do and shall always miss him, but more than anything, I am very, very thankful that Bob was my dad. I couldn't have asked for a better one.





Christina Georgina Rossetti 1830-1894

Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you planned:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than you should remember and be sad.


Having just printed Bob's warm and caring tribute to his sister, Brenda in the August issue, it was with sadness and disbelief that we learnt that he himself had passed away peacefully on the 27th July at the age of 79, and when his family were planning a surprise 80th birthday for him.

A devoted husband, father and grandfather, Bob overcame health problems to enjoy life to the full to the end. He will be sadly missed and never forgotten, not only by his family but also by the village, and our thoughts are with Betty and all the family in their sorrow.

Betty and the family would like to take this opportunity to thank relatives and friends for the many letters of sympathy and kindness extended to them at this time of sadness.


After two very happy and carefree years at Pinehurst, Una passed away peacefully on the 1st August, in her 100th year.

Una was born near Huddersfield in Yorkshire and in her early teens met Stanley Warburton, her childhood sweetheart, through their church in Altrincham, Cheshire. Due to family commitments, their lives went separate ways and Stanley married Sybil, a friend of them both.

Stanley retired to Berrynarbor in the early 1960's and took an active part in the life of the village. After Sybil's death, he and Una happily met up again and they were married in 1981. Sadly, Stanley died in June 1995.

Una, too, took an active part in village life and will be remembered by many with affection - how often she could be seen walking round the village, visiting her cats at Middle Lee!

Our thoughts are with her family, particularly Brian and Brenda.


Jean, who with her late husband Bill came to llfracombe some 40 years ago, had been a reader of the Newsletter for many years, so it was with sadness that many of us in the village learnt of her sudden, but peaceful death on the 16th August.

Jean was a most unassuming person who was always willing to help others and give of herself; who if you met in the street, made your day better, brighter for having bumped into her.

Testament to this was the number of people who attended the service at llfracombe Parish Church - many from our village - to celebrate her life, for Jean, as a dinner lady, had seen numerous pupils pass through llfracombe Junior School; for very many years she was a 'back room' mum giving support to Betty Blackmore, particularly with the shows; she had been an active member of the College PTA, was a member of the llfracombe in Bloom Committee and a staunch friend and member of the Parish Church. Latterly, Jean assisted in the charity shops and was a pillar of strength at Susan Day Residential Home, acting as Vice Chairman of the Management Committee, running their fund-raising events and visiting and shopping for the residents. A lovely lady who will be remembered with affection and sorely missed by many people.

Happily Jean met her youngest grandchild, Toby, born only a couple of months ago, and our thoughts are with her son Peter, daughter Katrina and both their families.


It was with sadness that the village learned that after a short illness, Bill had died peacefully on the 6th September. To the end he remained cheerful, more concerned for Janet, his family and his adored 4-legged family, than for himself. A beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, he will be sadly missed by his family, friends and neighbours, and our thoughts are with Janet and all the family.

Janet, Dave and family would like to thank all who attended Bill's funeral. Thanks also for the cards, donations and support given. Please accept this as a personal thank you.



The last couple of months have been an unhappy time for the village and it is with much sadness that we report the deaths of Helen Armstead, Brenda Layton, Albert Richards, Elizabeth Neale and Betty Davis. Our thoughts are with all their families.


Helen, late of Court Cottage, who had spent the last few years at Heanton, died peacefully on the 18th May. With so much sadness in the family - the death of her grandson William in April and her son Richard in July, last year - it was perhaps a blessing that her memory had dimmed. Our thoughts are with her family - her daughter-in-law, her grandchildren John and Emma, and great-grandchildren Ben and Thomas in their further sad loss.


The village was shocked and saddened to learn of Brenda's sudden death on the 25th May, at the age of 85. A loving mother, grandmother, sister and aunt, she will be sadly missed by all her family and our thoughts are with them at this time of sorrow.


Albert Thomas Richards died on the 1st June, aged 92. Husband of the late Louisa Annie, dear Dad of Ken, Linda and Alan, and much loved Grampy and Great-Grampy, he will be sadly missed. Born at Goosewell, he moved to East Hagginton - the family farm - where he farmed until his retirement.

Being a very private man, he lived his life for his family and farm. His death, following a few months' illness, will leave a very large gap in his family's lives and we should like to send our thanks to family friends and neighbours who attended the funeral. A donation, in his memory, has been sent to the Children's Hospice South West.


Stuart and Ginny, together with Stuart's sister Sylvia, would like to thank all their friends in Berrynarbor for their kindness and support following the passing of Grandma Neale on the 12th June. For many months Grandma's health had been failing, and at the grand old age of 93 she passed peacefully away. We should also like to pay tribute to all the carers from The Marwood Care Home for their unfailing devotion and continual support over the last few years.

Echoing our Rector's compassionate address at the cremation service, Grandma possessed a quite amazing quick brain in the mental arithmetic department - often to the embarrassment of the proverbial till operator in the shops or supermarket! She could calculate the grand total of a dozen or so items before the till operator had pressed any buttons! Woe betide anyone who came up with the wrong total.

Without doubt, one of her most thrilling moments must have been her 80th birthday, when she became Berrynarbor's only Supersonic Grandma by flying in Concorde on a 'Flight of Fantasy'. For the uninitiated, 'Flight of Fantasy' in her particular case meant a 1 and 1/2-hour flight to Portugal and back at 1,380 mph, all at a height of 60,000 feet, where the curvature of the earth can be clearly seen.

Finally, her love for all animals was ever present and she could not abide cruelty of any sort! An account is held open at William Pearce [Funeral Directors], llfracombe, for donations to the RSPCA.

Our family wishes to express its sincere thanks to Edith and Karen of The Globe Inn for providing such a nice tea following the funeral.

Stuart and Ginny

We are thinking of you, Stuart and Ginny and all the family, and our thoughts have also been with Mary and Gordon and all the family following the death of Mary's mother, Vera Wilmot, of Combe Martin, who passed away peacefully at the age of 94 on the 2nd June.


How sad we all were to learn that Betty, after a long illness, which she bore so patiently and always with a smile, had passed away peacefully on the 16th June. Loved and missed by Graham and Gail, her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Betty will also be missed by her many friends in the village and through the church.

Graham and Gail would like to express their thanks to the hospital staff for their care and help and all friends and neighbours for their cards, messages of sympathy and support and everyone who joined them at St. Peter's to celebrate Betty's life.

"The peace is yours
The memory ours."




It was with shock and sadness that the village learnt that Grace had died peacefully in her sleep on the 21st April, whilst staying with her daughter in Wales.

Our thoughts are with Gerald [Nipper] and his family, and with Grace's children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren at this time of sorrow.

My Grace

If it had not been for the heavy rain and my going into The Globe instead of going back to Combe Martin, I should never have met Grace - never have met the lady I had noticed in the village.

From that night on our relationship blossomed into a partnership that lasted for twenty happy years. 13 years were spent at Beech Hill in Berrynarbor, and 5 at Combe Martin, where it sadly ended. Together, Grace and I built a gosling breeding business which supplies the South West area, and made preserves from our own produce, at which Grace was an ace! Her strawberry jam was well renowned far and wide.

When at Beech Hill, visitors used to queue for strawberries, jam and eggs and ask Grace to be allowed to take photographs of her wonderful garden, which reflected her personality - colourful and beautiful.

Not a lot of people may realise that Grace was the lady responsible for the high standard of cleanliness in the 'conveniences' of Berrynarbor. She was always so pleased when people left notes commenting on this.

Grace could often be found sitting on Holdstone Down with Bobby, her little dog, watching for skylarks, and she would comment on their decline with unease. She loved butterflies and dragonflies and all things free, and the memory of Grace will never leave me.


Nipper would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their kindness - for the many cards and messages of sympathy and all those who attended the service.

Our thoughts are also with Inge, Tom and their family in their sadness following the death, in Germany, of Inge's mother.




In the last issue we reported the death, just before Christmas, of Kathleen Joslin, the last of the three Joslin sisters whose grandparents lived in the Sterridge Valley. It was, therefore, with much sadness that we learnt that Tom Tucker, husband of Audrey, had died peacefully on the 2nd March at the age of 87.

Tom was an llfracombe man, born and bred. For many years he was Manager of the Home and Colonial in the High Street. When the shop closed, he felt unable to work in the new 'self service' shops and for nearly two years, ran the Stores at RAF Chivenor. But llfracombe called and he returned to work, for 15 years until he retired, at Pedlar's in the High Street.

One of three brothers, Tom would drive his 'girls' - the three sisters and for many years their mother, too - over to Berrynarbor, their favourite place to visit. He will be remembered by many with affection.


'Sorrow makes spaces in the heart for joy'

Josef Belka, 24th June 1924 - 15th January 2002

Josef was born in Czechoslovakia and grew up in Pisek. He came to Britain just after the War, in 1947, and worked for three years on farms, mainly in Devon - Combe Martin, Holsworthy and Ivybridge. In 1951, when he was working as a chef in a Lyme Regis hotel, Hedi arrived from Austria on a summer Student Exchange, staying in the same hotel. They soon got to know each other and in December that year, were married at Marylebone Register Office in London.

Living at first in various addresses in central London, they both commenced working for the Kensington Gold and Silversmith's, Langland. They moved to Milton Keynes and lived there for sixteen years before moving to Northolt, Middlesex, after Landland's had relocated there.

In 1975 they discovered Berrynarbor and kept a caravan at Stowford Meadows. Liking the village so much, they bought Blue Mist in 1981, when our School's Headmaster, Richard Sullivan, moved to Holsworthy. They moved in at Christmas that year and were regular week-end visitors until Josef retired in 1986, when they moved down permanently. Many can recall late parties held at Blue Mist when Stilton and Vintage Port were always available!

Josef soon became very much involved with the Best Kept Village and Berry in Bloom projects, The Globe and the Men's Institute. In 1987, when Dave Goodman died, he took over the piece of land at the rear of the Chapel and was soon winning prizes galore for his onions, raspberries and other fruit and vegetables.

He soon became a village 'character' and always found time to talk to and welcome visitors. So much so, that when they returned, if he wasn't around, they would soon be asking 'Where is Josef?' He would often be seen around the village, walking his two dogs, Brandy and Ringo. Josef also raised money for the Scanner Appeal and other charities and on one occasion had half his beard shaved off! He will always be remembered for his cap and cheery smile.

Just before Christmas, he and Hedi celebrated their Golden Wedding at The Globe, with all their family and friends, and a wonderful evening was had by all. Josef will be sadly missed by everyone and our Rector, Keith Wyer, gave a moving address at his funeral service.

Tom Bartlett

The Berry in Bloom Committee felt that, in recognition of Josef's enthusiasm and support, a bench should be placed in his memory in the Recreation Field. The Parish Council has given its blessing [and some financial support] but if YOU would like to contribute personally, please pop something in the collection jar at the Post Office.

Jill Songhurst

It was with sadness that I heard of the death of Jill Songhurst. During my time at the Tyrrell Hospital, as Staff Nurse, Sister and ultimately Matron, Jill was a wonderful support. Whatever we wanted, I only had to 'phone with a request - anything from equipment to televisions. She would then hold one of her famous 'Waffle' sessions to provide it! I know she raised money in many other ways for us as well.

Jill always arranged and paid for all the Christmas decorations. About ten days before Christmas, she would come to the Tyrrell, walk around deciding what theme she would use, then return two or three days later loaded with decorations of all shapes and sizes. Off would come her shoes and she would start work. Jill never worked with her shoes on! There were little Christmas presents for all the staff, doctors and consultants.

She worked so hard to support her 'Beloved Tyrrell' as she called it and will be long remembered with affection for her devotion and support.

Jeanne Rumson-Waltho - SRN, SCM, Combe Martin

Gladys Toms

Gladys was my mum's cousin and I remember coming to Berrynarbor with my Mum and Dad, many years ago, and have continued to visit whenever possible.

In 1967, three friends [one of whom is now my husband] and I spent a holiday at Aunty Glad's. During this holiday, Barry proposed to me whilst walking down the lane in Berrynarbor - he thought that if I could cook like Aunty Glad, he'd be well looked after!

Over the years we have brought our children down with us and were always made at home.

The last time we saw Aunty Glad was in August 2001, in hospital in llfracombe, and she was still the same cheerful lady we had always known, albeit not able to get around as she would have liked. We did not expect to return so soon after to say 'goodbye'.

It was a glowing tribute to see so many people in the Church on such a sad day.

We shall still visit 'Berry whenever possible and know that we shall continue to receive the same welcome from Uncle Ron and Ray, and Sheila and Tony when they are 'home'.

Jill and Barry Bentley - Coventry

Vi Goodman
and thinking of Frank

After a long spell in hospital, Vi returned home for the last time just before Christmas. She found she could no longer do the things she enjoyed and it was a sad time for everyone who loved her.

It wouldn't have been possible though without the tremendous care and support from Frank, of course, and John and Jacqui Weaver for whom nothing was too much trouble and following the sad loss of Vi, they continued to care for Frank as well. He will miss them so much now they have left for Australia.

Thanks also to Bob and Jeanie, Ray Toms, Mary Tucker and Peter West for popping in, fetching, carrying, shopping and generally keeping an eye on Frank as he continues to live at Dormer Cottage, which is what Vi wished.



It has not been the happiest of times recently and it is with much sadness that we report the following deaths.

"Those we cherish never truly leave us they live on in the
kindness they showed and the love they brought into our lives."

GLADYS TOMS 1917-2001

Gladys passed away peacefully on the 23rd November. She was a well loved, busy and active member of our village. Always cheerful, with a ready smile and an infectious giggle, Gladys is and will continue to be sadly missed by so many, affirmed by St. Peter's, bursting at the seams, at her funeral on the 29th November. Our sympathy and thoughts remain with Ron, her husband of 58 very happy years, her son Ray and her daughter Sheila, her husband Tony and their sons Craig and Darren.

Gladys and Ron
in their courting days

Celebrating their Golden Wedding
in October 1993

Gladys was born in Great Linford in Buckinghamshire but moved to Sudbury in Middlesex when she was four. After leaving school, she worked at the Energen Biscuit factory in Willesden.

Holidaying in Berrynarbor with her lifelong friend, Pauline Wright [nee Draper and sister of Laurel], she met Ron, their courtship surviving inspite of the 'holiday romance' and the distance involved. They married in Wembley Baptist Church, with Bob Richards as Best Man, in 1943, moving here to live, first on Hagginton Hill and then at Birdswell Cottages. Gladys was a loving and much-loved mother to her two children, Ray and Sheila, and Nan to her grandsons Craig and Darren.

Always enjoying the activities of the village, Gladys was a member of the WI and for 30 years she and Ron were caretakers of the village United Reformed Church.

Ron, Ray, Sheila and all the family would like to thank everyone for their sympathy, support and caring, for the many messages and everyone at St. Peter's who came to bid Gladys farewell from the village where she had been so happy.


It is with sadness that we report the death of Kathleen, just before Christmas, on the 16th December. The sister of twins Mildred and Audrey [Tucker] and sister-in-law of Tom Tucker, Kathleen and her family loved the village and were great supporters of our Newsletter. Their grandparents, Thomas and Bessie Toms, lived at Brookvale in the Valley. Mildred died in 1996 and Audrey in 2000, and our thoughts are with Tom at this sad time.


A much loved mother, mother-in-law, grandmother and great-grandmother and friend to so many in the village, Vi passed away at the Tyrrell Hospital on the 7th January. Our thoughts have been with her during her illness and are with her daughter Gladys, and sons Wilfred and Terry and their families at their time of loss.

Vi in her little front garden that she loved so much. Passers by would always compliment her on her flowers.

Ida Violet Evelyn Toms was born in the Sterridge Valley in May 1919, daughter of Lizzie and Daniel and sister of Reg. In the late 1920's, the Toms family moved to Middle Lee Farm and later to Dormer Cottage [now Miss Muffets] in the early 1930's, due to her father's ill health. Middle Lee and Dormer Cottage were both successfully run as tea rooms, with a reputation far and wide for their Devon cream teas!

On her mother's death in 1989, Vi gave up Dormer Cottage and moved into her cottage, No. 44 The Village.

Vi and Dave, off to the
Palace Garden Party - July 1980

Vi met her husband, David, during the War when he was serving with the Royal Engineers stationed at Watermouth working on PLUTO [pipe line under the ocean] - the oil transportation scheme. Dave was demobbed after 25 years' service in 1957 when he became very involved in local work, particularly on the Council. until his death in 1986. There are many people who still have fond memories of Dave teaching them to swim in the seawater pool at Ilfracombe.

Vi's brother Reg worked in the aircraft trade and travelled extensively, even living abroad, but Violet loved Berrynarbor and never wanted to go away from home - other than staying with her family. She only went away a few times, one of them being the highlight of her life, when she and Dave were invited to Buckingham Palace:

    "The Lord Chamberlain is commanded by Her Majesty to invite the Chairman of Berrynarbor District Council and Mrs. Goodman to a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace on Thursday, 10th July.

Violet leaves two sons and a daughter, seven grandchildren and five greatgrandchildren, but there are still members of the Toms family living in Berrynarbor - Ron and Raymond.


Gladys, Wilfred and Terry and their families would like to thank the people of Berrynarbor for their kind messages of sympathy and support and the very many people who attended Vi's funeral, inspite of the unpleasant weather.

And now we have learnt, just before going to print, that we have lost both Josef and Jill Songhurst.


Josef's passing leaves a big gap in the village. To many, both villagers and visitors, Josef was The Village!! His activities, including his garden and the produce from his allotment, his involvement in the Britain in Bloom Committee, the Craft and Horticultural Show and the Men's Institute, added to the welcome and friendship he gave everyone. Our deepest sympathy goes out to Hedi, their daughter and three sons and their three grandchildren. We are thinking of you all.


Sadly, Jill passed away on the 17th January at Wilderbrook Nursing Home, where she had been since 1989, just short of her 90th birthday. Jill, who with her husband Jack and son Graham - both who sadly pre-deceased her, ran the Tea Rooms at Pink Heather. Jill, a diminutive figure, was always cheerful, and was a fund-raiser 'extraordinaire' , particularly for the Tyrrell Hospital in Ilfracombe. Her Tuesday charity Waffle Evenings drew locals and visitors alike, and there will be many people, living far and wide, who have happy memories of her hospitality on summer evenings!

Our sympathy is also with June O' Regan and Joyce Mabin, who have both recently lost their fathers. Our thoughts are with you both and your families.



I would be true, for there are those who trust me
I would be pure, for there are those who care
I would be strong, for there is much to suffer
I would be brave, for there is much to dare.
I would be friend to all, the foes, the friendless
I would be giving and forget the gift
I would be humble, for I know my weakness.
I would look up, and laugh, and love and lift.


The village was saddened to learn that after a long set of illnesses, all of which she fought without once failing to be her bright, amusing self, with a ready laugh and happy smile, Robbie passed away peacefully on the 14th August at the age of 93. She will be sorely missed.

Robbie, to all her friends in the village, had lived in Berrynarbor since 1948. First she and her husband lived at Newberry Wood, on the main road, and then at Sloley Cottage. She was a keen gardener and made a lovely garden at the cottage.

Following the death of her husband, Robbie helped at the Susan Day Home for 11 years and was a much appreciated member of staff.

She was a close friend of mine for many years and I miss her very much. I am sure that she will be missed in the village that she loved so much and I should like to thank all the kind friends who sent such beautiful cards and attended the service for Robbie at St. Peter's.

Betty Dudley-Ward


It is with sadness that we have to report the death, shortly after the tragic death of his son, of Richard Armstead, son of Helen, late of Court Cottage.

Our thoughts are with Helen and Richard's wife.



Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there; I did not die.


Sid, we send you our love our sympathy and thoughts are with you and all the family following Flo's death, on the 8th June 2001, after 72 years of married life together. A beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother, she will be sorely missed.

The oldest of nine children, Flo had good training in bringing up a large family, but this only enhanced her great love of children, who gravitated to her naturally. Flo also loved gardens - she was particularly fond of roses - and birds, who benefited from her excellent cooking skills, she baked cakes solely for them!

Well-known for her generosity, Flo was always willing to share what she had, however little, and was often caught slipping a coin to the grandchildren when their parents weren't looking!

Following an accident in her adolescence, when she had her leg crushed. Flo suffered in latter years with painful arthritis, but she always remained cheerful and her religious beliefs helped her through the hard times.

The Chapel at the Crematorium was packed, not only with members of' her large family and staff from Pinehurst, where she and Sid have lived for the last years, but with friends and neighbours from Berrynarbor - we all remember Flo and Sid with great affection.


Everyone, those who did not know her as well as those who did, were stunned and shocked to learn of Liz's tragic death on the 21st of June.

A lover of the arts, especially the theatre, Liz will be particularly remembered for her involvement in setting up the National Youth Arts Festival and the Victorian Celebrations.

Her husband, Jon Bell, Deputy Principal and Head of the Community Department at Ilfracombe College, has been responsible, amongst so many other things, for the introduction of community magazines and newsletters - our own included. Their daughter, Poppy, whose artistic work has appeared in our newsletter, was until last September, a pupil at our Primary School.

Liz's smile and cheerful presence will be sorely missed in our community and our thoughts are with Jon, Poppy and her parents at this time of sadness.




Longer-term residents of the Village, and the Sterridge Valley in particular, will be sad to learn that Joy, formerly of Woodlands House, passed away, following a short illness, on the 1st February at the Bristol Royal Infirmary at the age of 74.

She is sorely missed by her family - Kathryn of Combe Martin, Marilyn of Holmforth in Yorkshire and Ian of Zaventem in Belgium, and her ten grandchildren.

Our thoughts go out to you all at this very sad time.

Many of Betty Blackmore's dancers of yesteryear will have fond memories of 'Aunty Hetty Frost' who played for them, and musicians in the area will have equally fond memories of her husband, Bill, a talented musician and teacher. Bill and Hetty lived up behind the London Inn [within our Parish] until Hetty's death some years ago. Bill moved to Barnstaple where he sadly died, after a short illness, on the 9th February 2001, and our thoughts are with their family.



Lovely Berrynarbor

First published in Newsletter No. 2 - October 1989

We have searched so near and far,
And at last have found our Shangri-La'.
Such peace and quiet is hard to find,
The Lord above has been so kind.
Our garden's flat and oh! so green,
Bordered by a little stream.
The hills rise up, from the green lush ground,
Birds and bees are the only sound.
The little village is a real delight -
Miss Muffet's tea rooms on the right.
Down the lane, the Olde Globe Inn,
Tasty food or a glass of gin.
The old church tower with clock set high,
Chimes the hour as you pass by.
The only thing it seems to say,
Is "Do not worry, there's another day."
All along the leafy lanes, wild flowers nod and smile,
Then they wave us on again to walk another mile.
We wish the years would roll away, and make us young once more,
We should love to spend a lifetime here, before the closing of the door.
It is too late to spread our roots like the old oak tree,
But we know within our hearts, the best is yet to be.

Rosaline Camfield - Greenacre

Philip Camfield

Sadly, Rosaline did not enjoy her Shangri La' for very long, and it is with sorrow that we have learned that she and her husband are now reunited beyond the closing door. Philip sadly passed away on the 15th January and our thoughts are with the members of their family.

Our thoughts have also been with Jill and Bill Jones and their family following the sad loss of Jill's mother, Bessie Boulton, at Edenmore on the 20th November just before her 98th birthday. Bessie, a much loved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, moved here from Cheshire with Jill and Bill.

Edward Jesson - A Postscript

On Saturday, 6th January, the Ilfracombe Life Boat took Edward's son, Adrian, his brother, Free, two friends from the Yacht Club and myself to scatter his ashes at sea, about one mile due north of Watermouth. Two other members of the family watched from the view point above Hele. The weather conditions were, for the time of year, amazingly good - clear visibility, a light breeze and a touch of sunshine casting soft shadows on the water.

The proceedings took about an hour, an hour we shall always cherish and remember. The Lifeboat moved fast and the crew were great, and I am so glad we said our final goodbyes this way.





We were sorry to learn that Bernard, after a long illness, had died peacefully on the 13th September and our thoughts are with Betty and their son, Bernie, and all the family at this sad time.

In 1945, Betty and Bernard converted two properties in Belmont Road, Ilfracombe, into The Belmont [now Belmont Grange], a hotel they ran for 28 years. They then spent 14 years living in Lee before moving to Goosewell in May 1986. For five years, Bernard returned to Lee to manage the Lee Bay Hotel.

Bernard and Betty's long and happy association with Arlington Court and the National Trust began in 1975, when for 3 years, before it was rebuilt, they ran the shop. Following this, they were Stewards in the House for a further twenty years.

Bernard very much enjoyed their garden and was, according to others but not himself, a most proficient artist, painting in both oils and watercolours.

Betty would like, through the Newsletter, to thank everyone for their support and kindness which was much appreciated by all the family. She will be leaving Berrynarbor during November and after a brief stay in Combe Martin plans to move, after Christmas, to Fylingdales in North Yorkshire to be nearer Bernie and his family.

We shall be thinking of you Betty and wish you well with the move.




It was a shock to everyone to learn that Ray had died suddenly whilst working in his garden on the evening of 18th July, and our thoughts have been, and continue to be, with Margaret and little Toby at this very sad time.

Ray and Margaret retired from Maidenhead to Berrynarbor some eleven years ago. It wasn't long before Ray, in his quiet and unassuming way, became involved with our community. He was a Parish Councillor and our Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator. As a committed member of the Crime Prevention Panel, he would help the campaign against car and contents theft by visiting car parks, particularly in the summer months. Many of our older residents benefited from his help with their paperwork and finances and a particular pleasure for him was assisting Len Coleman with his collections for the Lifeboat.

When not attending to the needs of his garden, from which he derived much pleasure, Ray was interested in motor vehicles and their restoration, especially motor bikes and mopeds, and carving models in wood.

Ray was a gentleman who would do anything for anyone - nothing was too much trouble - and he will be very much missed by his many friends and neighbours.

Thank you all for the many cards and letters of sympathy, and for your help and support following Ray's death. Also, to everyone who attended his funeral - he would have been surprised but delighted at how many of you went to bid him farewell. The wonderful sum of £518 has been donated to the Lifeboat in his memory. My especial thanks to Keith Wyer, Mr. Williams and Inspector Harris and members of Ilfracombe Police Force.



Talking of Berrynarbor's centenarians in the August issue, mention should have been made of May, a former resident of the village, who celebrated her 100th Birthday in January 1999, and this was marked by an article in the April issue. Sadly, we now report that eighteen months later she has died at the grand age of 101 and a half, and our thoughts are with her family at this time of sadness.


Those who remember the Post Office in the days of Dennis and Sylvia Barton will be sad to learn that Dennis died on the 31st August, and our thoughts are with his daughter and son, Sarah and Simon.



If I should die and leave you here awhile,
Be not like others sore, who keep
Long vigils by the silent dust, and weep.
For my sake turn again to life and smile,
Nerving thy heart and trembling hand to do,
Something to comfort other hearts than thine.
Complete those dear unfinished tasks of mine,
And I, perchance may therein comfort you.


It was with much sadness that the village learned that Lilian, who was 87, had died peacefully at Monks Path during the week-end of 2nd July, and our thoughts are with her niece and family in Yorkshire.

Lilian, the youngest of a family of five, and her husband, Clifford, who died in January 1998, moved here from Derby, where Clifford, an optician, and she had run two practices. When they first came to North Devon, Lilian worked for a while, including a spell as Receptionist at The Sandy Cove Hotel. She had recently become a member of the W.I. and following Clifford's death, had been able to join in more of the village activities. A diminutive figure walking down Barton Lane to the Post Office - she will be sadly missed.

Following the recent death of Mrs. Lilian Knowles, her family in Yorkshire would like to thank her friends for all the help and support they have given her over the last difficult years. Many thanks.

Joan Blatherwick


I was very sorry to have a phone call from Kathleen Joslin telling me that her sister, Audrey, had passed away on the 24th June, and we send our condolences to her and Audrey's husband, Tom. Audrey and Tom celebrated their Diamond Wedding in October 1996.

Kathleen, Audrey and her twin sister Mildred, who sadly died in October 1996, spent a lot of time when they were young visiting their grandparents, Thomas and Bessie Toms, who lived at Brookdale in the Sterridge Valley, and they have continued to visit the village whenever they can. We are thinking of you both at this very sad time.


We are sorry to report the recent death of Vi Davies's mother, Violet Devereux. Our thoughts are with Vi and her family at this time of sadness.

I should like to thank everyone for their cards and kind messages on the death of my mother, Violet, who was 97. She came from Worcestershire to live with us in 1984, after an illness, and although very few of you actually knew her, many of you knew of her and would enquire about her health, which was much appreciated.

Vi Davies




Louisa Annie Richards died on the 21st April 2000 aged 89 years. She was born Louisa Irwin at Great Shelfin Farm near Ilfracombe and was one of nine children, two of whom are still alive.

She met and married Albert Richards in 1936, first living at 26 Hagginton Hill and then moving to the family farm, East Hagginton, in 1942.

She and Albert had three children, Ken, Linda and Alan. Through her children, who are all married and living locally, she had seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

She was a much loved Wife, Mum and Nan and is sadly missed by us all.

Our thoughts are with Albert and all her family at this time of sadness.

MISS IVY SMITH 1903-2000

In the 1920's, my mother looked after a black Pomeranian called Buzz whilst the owner was ill. I was about 3 at the time and being an only child was very happy to have a live-in playmate. He was a lovely little fellow, more like a teddy bear, so when he returned to his own home I was heartbroken. We had other dogs over the years, but never a Pomeranian ... not until December 1994.

I had just lost my dear Katie, after 17 years of faithful companionship, when I was asked if I would foster a Pomeranian called Mattie. His owner, Ivy Smith was unable to keep him after leaving hospital as she was going to an Abbeyfield Home. I made sure that we kept in touch - letters from Mattie [which I was told were shown to everyone!], photos, and cards for birthdays and Christmas.

During the summer we managed on several occasions to have tea and I was surprised to learn at one that Ivy, in her younger days, had lived with her parents just round the corner from where I was born in North London. As they had a shop, in all probability my parents would have known them . . . what a small world!

At one time Ivy lived in the Sterridge Valley and knew many of the older residents of Berrynarbor. She had also lived in Combe Martin. Later, she was moved to a new home in Lynton and Mattie and I planned a surprise for her birthday - we were going to take her flowers instead of having them sent, but I then received the sad news that she had died suddenly. She was in her 97th year, a 'game' lady, rather like my own mother who also died in her 97th year.

What a pity that they never met - how they could have reminisced about those early days in North London! Ivy, you will be sadly missed, especially by Mattie and me.

The Pomeranian

The beginning of the Pomeranian as a specific breed of dog is cloaked in antiquity and many names have been given to him in the past. He closely resembles his larger cousins, the Samoyed, the Spitz and the Norwegian Elkhound.

Pomeranian history goes back beyond the days of Christ, and the breed has been depicted in stone and bronze sculptures on urns and slabs found in Egyptian tombs. Skeletons have been found of small dogs whose structure resembled Pomeranians whilst excavations were being made of ancient tombs throughout Egypt.

The name dates back to when the dog came to light in Pomerania, Germany, where it was not only a pet but a working dog. The breed came to England in 1800 and later they were exhibited by Queen Victoria. In the 1890's, miniatures of the breed became popular and where the normal weight was about 10 lbs, these flyweights weighed as little as 3 lbs. They were the exception though and many of the larger specimens of the breed resulted from the breeding of these smaller dogs. They are docile, yet vivacious and alert, make good watchdogs and are wonderful companions, as I have found out for myself, first as a child and now as an adult.

Vi K.

Illustration by: Debbie Rigler Cook




The village was saddened to hear that Margaret - a very courageous lady who had fought against ill health so bravely for so long - had passed away on the 7th Februaty 2000. To her son Bill and his wife Bridget and their two children, Rebecca and Henry, we extend our sincere sympathy in their loss.

Remembering my Friend

I first met Mrs. Tyrrell and her husband in 1983. It was a lovely sunny day and Mr. T. made the coffee and the three of us, or should I say four as Julie, their beloved cocker spaniel was looking on, sat chatting over what help I could give. Mr. T. apologised profusely at the additional decor, which looked a bit like lace all round the room! At that time, Mrs. T. was recovering from her first stroke. I remember thinking what a wonderful, determined lady! She demonstrated to me how she was able to walk with the aid of her stick and exercising with a ball in the palm of her hand to regain its mobility.

After our introduction, every day was just as wonderful. Mrs. T. made slow but sure progress in her recovery and Mr. T. continued with his tender loving care of his beloved Margaret. We, Laura and I, enjoyed many memorable days at Lower Rowes Farm. While I cared for Mrs. T, Laura would help Mr. T. in the garden. On one occasion the help got a little too enthusiastic when Laura disappeared in to the distance on a runaway sit-on mower, with Mr. T. in hot pursuit discovering how fast he could run!

As the years went by, Mrs. T., with her amazing determination, lived a fulfilled life with her darling Bill. They took a holiday in the Windward Islands, about which they talked for many months after. Sadly, Mr. T. died in 1988 and now, on her own, Mrs. T. decided to move - first to Woodmead and then Fallbrook in Barton Lane. Unfortunately, in 1993 she suffered another stroke from which she never fully recovered, but she continued to demonstrate her remarkable fighting spirit to the end.

I shall treasure these memories of my very dear friend who will always hold a place in my heart.



"He has achieved success who has given well,
laughed often and loved much.
Who has gained the respect of intelligent men
and the love of little children,
who has filled his niche and left the world
better than he found it."

Those of us who remember Dora, of Selway, Yeoford, were sad to learn that she had passed away peacefully after a short stay in hospital resulting from a fall. A Memorial Service held at St. Peter's was followed by interment of her ashes in the family grave, alongside her younger brother, Ron, who died at the age of 25 in 1941 "Posted to a Higher Squadron ", her father Harry who died in 1962 and her mother Alma Anna [known to so many of us here as 'Granny Gray'] who died in September 1986 aged 97 years. A much loved mother and grandmother, Dora will be so missed by her family, Ron, Marian, Rachel, Becky and Adrian, who we are thinking about at this time of sadness.

Having suffered from the ordeals of the First World War, Harry Gray and his wife Alma, moved to Ilfracombe in 1924 when Dora was 10, and after a short time took over the Darnley Hotel which the family continued to run for 45 years. Dora attended Ilfracombe Grammar School and when she left worked for a while in banking in London, although her great love was always cooking, at which she was extremely good, as many have borne witness!


Dora with her father, mother and brother Ron

As a young child and later, Dora spent time here in the village, with her grandparents and her cousin, Ivy [Richards], attending the Chapel twice on a Sunday where she played the organ - and walking down with the family from Cockhill in 'crocodile' fashion, lit, on darker evenings, by a lantern at the front and one at the back of the line!

After leaving Darnley, Dora and Granny Gray joined Ron and Marian and their family at Holmesdale in Woolacombe and then in 1974 they all moved to Bessemer Thatch, where they stayed for 16 years, moving to Georgeham and then Yeoford in 1990.

"A lovely lady remembered with affection "




Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you planned:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.

Christina Georgina Rossetti

It is with sadness we report the death of Julie Richards' mother, Mary Cook, on the 25th November at the age of 82. Our thoughts are with Julie, her sister and all the family.


Berrynarbor has been saddened by the death of Edward Jesson just before Christmas.

A former RAF radar specialist, he retired to Brambly Hedge with his wife, Chris, six years ago from Suffolk, where they had spent several years restoring an old schoolteacher's cottage near Bury St. Edmunds. The move to North Devon meant the couple could fulfil some long-held sailing ambitions, including Edward's largely single-handed voyage round Britain in the summer of 1998.

A much-loved family man, Edward will be missed by his many friends and relatives, especially by his five grand-daughters.

After Edward

I just want to say a sincere 'thank you' to everyone for your support and comfort over the past few weeks. I shall never forget how much you helped to cushion the blow of losing him. Very best wishes,

Chris J.

Our thoughts continue to be with Chris and all the family at this sad time.


Although he did not live here in the village, many people will be sorry to Iearn that Herbert, husband of Beryl, of Maddox Down Farm, Combe Martin, lost his battle and died just before Christmas, on the 17th December.

Herbert's father, also Herbert but known as Bert, lived for many years at Bowden Farm. After his death, his grandson, Michael, took over and he and his family live there today.

We send our best wishes to Beryl; to Michael, Julie and grandchildren Robert and Katrina; to Alan and Anthea, at Berry Down, and their daughter Hayley and to Herbert's other son and two daughters. We are thinking of you all at this time of sadness.

JENNY FERMOR [nee Hinchliffe]

Ann and Peter Hinchliffe wish to thank all the kind friends whose words of comfort have supported them following the death of their daughter Jenny. Jenny, the much loved wife of Noel, died of cancer at the age of 35, leaving two young children.

Before her marriage and living in Sevenoaks with Noel and her children Heather and Alex, Jenny was brought up in Devon and worked at Bicclescombe Park Zoo.

Ann and Peter, we continue to feel for you and Jenny's family through the sad weeks ahead.




Rosaleen was the last surviving daughter of Mrs. Doreen Miller, who for many years lived at 'Sunrise', Hagginton Hill. Rosaleen stayed at home in Berrynarbor until well into her thirties before moving to Worthing in Sussex, where she lived and worked for many years. She moved back to North Devon about twenty years ago, spending the remainder of her life at Bideford, which she considered her home.

Rosaleen, who was 67, was diagnosed with carcinoma of the pancreas in June and sadly passed away in her own home on the 21st September 1999.

Being a lover of wild birds and the country, it was her wish that her ashes be scattered in a North Devon wood. Sadly, my brother Roderick and I are now the eldest in the family.

Litzi Penfold [nee Zapletal]

Our thoughts are with Litzi and Roderick and their families at this very sad time.




It is with regret we report that Bill lost his struggle and died peacefully, after a long illness, on the 9th September. As a past Treasurer of the Men's Institute and Co-ordinator for the Neighbour Hood Watch Scheme, his help and support were much appreciated. Our thoughts at this sad time are with Joan, Sue and Simon, and his daughter, Pat, in Australia.

Bill was born in Walthamstow, East London, in 1922. He joined the Signals Branch of the Army at the beginning of the War and spent much of his time in Corsica, North Africa and Italy. After the War, he joined the newly formed communications branch of the Foreign Office, and following his marriage to Joan in 1948, had postings to Trieste, Amman, Warsaw, Bangkok, Bonn, Mbabane [Swaziland], Saigon, Delhi and finally Singapore.

Pat, who has four children, emigrated to Australia in 1974 and he and Joan visited them all a couple of years ago.

He and Joan first visited North Devon in 1970 after a cousin had moved to Combe Martin, and when Bill retired in 1980, they too moved to the South West. Bill enjoyed his golf, listening to classical music, his garden and the wild life, especially the birds and the ducks, and had recently taken up watercolour painting.

Bill's cheerful presence has and will be missed by us all.

We should like to thank everyone for their cards and kind messages. The support we received was a great comfort to us at this sad time. Thank you to those who attended the funeral and for the flowers, which were beautiful.

Joan, Sue and Simon