Old Berrynarbor

Artwork: Angela Bartlett

The Village Berrynarbor

This photographic postcard was published by Francis Frith and numbered BYR.42 was posted from BERRYNARBOR on Wednesday 9th September 1964. It was addressed to a Mr. & Mrs. E. Oliver living in Guernsey, Channel Islands. The picture shows Bessemer Thatch with a tiled roof, as the original thatched roof burnt down on the 5th May,1937. My original article about the fire was given in Newsletter No. 66, way back in June 2000.

The following morning, an article appeared in the Western Morning Newspaper:

"Two Brigades Fight Fire -  Berrynarbor Hill House Destroyed - Outbreak starts in thatch".

Known to thousands of visitors the picturesque Bessemer Thatch House was destroyed by fire last evening. The damage is estimated at nearly £1,000.. The lower portion of the house, with its modern interior, is owned by Canon Jolly of the Deanery, Southampton. Every summer he visits the place and has done so for a great number of years, At the time he was not in residence, but the news of its destruction was conveyed to his wife, who told the Canon, who, it is understood, had left hospital only yesterday after an operation. The higher portion of the Thatch is owned and occupied by Miss L. C. Veale, head mistress of the Berrynarbor Council School. She was home at the time."

Summarised, the article tells us that a spark from a nearby chimney caught the thatched roof on fire shortly after five o'clock. The first to notice it was Mrs. D.Toms who lived almost opposite at Dormer Cottage. She at once sent for the Ilfracombe Fire Brigade.

Bessemer Thatch was originally three separate cottages, Nos. 47, 48 and 49 the village, with Little Gables, No. 50, on the corner.

Following the fire, Canon Jolly became the sole owner and arranged for the rebuilding of Bessemer Thatch, alas without thatch! He remained as the sole owner/occupier right up until his death in 1972.

Dormer Cottage is also shown in this postcard with young children playing in front.

The writing on the back of the card ends: Wouldn't like to farm in Devon. Children well a bit hectic as you can imagine. Love P & J.

This second upright card shows a young lad striking a broken tin as a drum and states: "A Right Merry Christmas to You". This very early postcard, published by Raphael Tuck and Sons, was posted on 25th December 1904 when only the address was allowed to be written on the back!

Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage, November 2021


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


In Berrynarbor, 63 Silver Street

This view of 63 Silver Street, better known as Brookside Cottage, was taken by John William Garratt c1904.

At that time, the cottage was thatched and the young girl seen would have been either Polly or Lucy Draper, daughters of Ben and Polly Draper, who also had a son Ephraim.

When the Watermouth Castle Estate went up for sale in 1920, No. 63 Silver Street was described as:

"Lot 58 - A Good Thatched Cottage with Piggery, Workshop, Garden & Premises situate in the village and being in the occupation of Mr. B. Draper as a Quarterly Tennant."

The property sold for £100 and was purchase by Ben Draper.

At a much later date, the thatched roof was replaced with corrugate iron sheets.Fortunately, the very old and rusted roof was replaced by a new slated roof in the 1980's for Mrs. Whitehouse, who then owned the property.

Vera and Fred Whitehouse moved into Brookside in 1948, having come from Hagley, Birmingham, shortly after their marriage. Fred, who was 22 years Vera's senior. Stalwarts of the church, Fred, who was a member of the Church Choir, died in 1970.Vera moved first into the Susan Day Home in Ilfracombe in 1989 and then Edenmore.She died on the 2nd January 1992.

The present owners, Mike and Jo Lane have done much to improve the property which now has a garage and parking for two vehicles.

Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage, September 2021

e-mail: tomandinge40@gmail.com




Artwork: Angela Bartlett


In Berrynarbor [71 Higher Sterrage Valley]

This view was taken by William Garratt, the Bristol Photographer about 1904. It shows two of the Street family sisters, Tilley and Dorcas, daughters of Ephraim and Susan Street, outside their home in the Valley.

Ephraim, an agricultural labourer, horseman and gardener, was born in Marwood c1844, Susan in Berrynarbor c1854. They had nine children and where they all slept is a real wonder! They were: Mary [1873], Richard [1875], William [1878], Ellen [1880], Elizabeth [1884], Caroline

aka Kitty [1886], Edward John [1889], Matilda aka Tilly [1894] and Dorcas Evelyn [1898]. Ephraim died in1918 and Susan in 1923.

On the right is Barn Cottage and in a similar postcard shown in the 1990 April issue, the tap house opposite No. 71 is shown and is still there today. It supplied water to all the nearby cottages and was lovingly restored by Vi Kingdom in the 1990's, including a new roof.

No. 71, now known as Derrivale, is home to Shirley and Graham, Harley the dog and Penny and Lola the cats; whilst Barn Cottage and its extension are home to Sal, Chris, Dan and Oli and a menagerie of animals!

Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage, July 2021

e-mail: tomandinge40@gmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Dower House 87


This month I have chosen yet another photographic postcard from my William Garratt collection of old postcards. This view is number 87, Watermouth House, which was built as a Dower House by the owners of the Watermouth Estate. It has been taken from the new road which was built following the large collapse of the main road from Ilfracombe to Combe Martin in 1919. The collapse occurred directly above Golden Cove, Berrynarbor.

The Dower House is the one to the left of the picture. It is reached by the entrance and steep incline opposite The Sawmill, together with Watermouth House Cottage, part of the right-hand building in the picture and Watermouth Cottage and Ding Dong, both nearer the road, hidden in the picture by the trees.

The name 'Dower' means that it was the widow's share of her husband's estate and the Dower House was left to Lady Bassett by her late husband.

The cleared patch to the left of Watermouth House and slightly uphill is the Kitchen Garden, and the track running in front of it was the main access to the House until after the Second War, joining the track running from Watermouth Castle to Oxen Park lane which crosses over Hagginton Hill at the bridge below Hagginton Farm. 

The Virginia creeper covering much of the building has mostly been removed along with the spiders living in it, but the fig tree just visible to the right of the house is still there.

Following the sale of the Watermouth Estate and over the years the properties have mostly been the family homes of members of the Annear family.

The post card has a Berrynarbor postmark dated 27th August 1929, 6.50 p.m. and has been sent to Swimbridge.

The one penny red stamp with the head of George V, is also inscribed with the words Postal Union Congress London 1929.


The Ninth Postal Union Congress was opened in London on 10th May 1929 by HRH The Prince of Wales. As the formal meeting of the Universal Postal Union held every four years, the congress was attended by representatives of most of the world's major postal authorities. The two previous congresses in Madrid and Stockholm had been marked by special stamps, so by the latter half of 1927 discussions had begun within the GPO on the necessity of issuing stamps for the London Congress. Previously the GPO had only issued one commemorative set, to mark the British Empire Exhibition in 1924.

It was known that King George V had very definite views on the matter: he is reported to have told Sir Kenneth Clark, then Director of the National Gallery, shortly before his death: 'I want you to make me a promise. Never allow them to make all those funny issues of stamps like some ridiculous place like San Marino. We invented the postage stamp - all it had on was the sovereign's head and Postage and its value. That's all we want.'

My thanks to Richard Annear and Judie for their help with this article.

Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, May 2021 e-mail: tomandinge40@gmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Easter Wishes

For Easter I have chosen two early postcards from my collection.

The first, A Happy Easter, shows a young lad clutching a bunny rabbit with his knapsack and two Easter eggs on the ground. This card was printed in Germany, exclusively for Post Card & Variety Stores Ltd. London N.7 series 825 c1910.


The second card, also A Happy Easter, is c1908, printed in America and has not been posted. The card shows a large cockerel and six young chicks against a background of hills and poppies.

Where the stamp would be placed is the following printed message: Place Postage Stamp Here - - Domestic One Cent - - Foreign Two Cents.


Once again, I should like to wish all readers a Very Happy Easter 2021 and thank Judie for the production of our Newsletter since the first publication in August 1989!

Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, March 2021

e-mail: tomandinge40@gmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


In Berrynarbor - North Lee Farm

For this issue I have chosen a very early, c1903-4, upright postcard of North Lee Farm House. Outside the front door is Richard Huxtable with his wife Susan. Susan has or is just about to milk their cow or cows, and is holding her milking stool with a milking bucket on the ground beside her.

North Lee Farm is situated at the foot of Hagginton Hill and like the majority of cottages and farms, was held by the Watermouth Castle Estate.

North Lee Farm was sold at the first sale of the Watermouth Estate held on Tuesday, August 17th, 1920, at Bridge Hall, Barnstaple, with completion date being 25th March 1921. The following particulars were given:

"Lot 22. [coloured blue on Plan] North Lee.

A Very Excellent Small Holding.


A Slated Dwelling House, convenient Outbuildings, Meadow, Pasture and Arable Lands,
containing together about 36a. 1r. 16p. in the occupation
of Messrs. R. Huxtable and I.J. Bowden as Yearly Lady Day Tenants, and in hand.
The apportioned Tithe on this Lot is £6.5s.6d.
The Timber to be taken in the sum of £3.0s.0d.
There are two Water-taps on this Lot."

Mr. Huxtable purchased Lot 22 North Lee at the Sale for £1,100.0s.0d. and their line of ownership continued right up until the last listing I have, being Kelly's 1939 Directory.

Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Huxtable took over the Farm in c1939 until Stanley became ill in 1948. His wife then had to sell some of the fields and the livestock. They kept the field known at Pitt Meadow. Pitt Meadow was later sold to the Council for sewerage purposes.

Mrs. Huxtable sold North Lee to Miss Edna Barber in 1973.

My thanks to Rosslyn Hammett [nee Huxtable] who gave me some of the information way back in April 1997!


Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage,

January 2021

e-mail: tomandinge40@gmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Christmas 2020 & New Year 2021


The card, A Christmas Greeting, was published by Stewart & Woolf of London E.C., and posted on the 24th December 1909. At that time there were up to five collections and deliveries a day!

This particular card has the holly spring embossed and has a small, thimble postmark from Overton, Hants.

The card was sent to a Miss M. Wake, also in Overton, and reads: Dear Auntie Just a p.c. to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope you will get heaps of presents. Much love from Ena.

The second card, A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year, shows four robins sitting on a sprig of holly. The postcard dates from c1902-1903 and has an unsplit back stating 'This side for the address'.


I should like to wish everyone a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year 2021.

Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, November 2020

e-mail: tomandinge40@gmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett



For this issue I have chosen a very early Garratt, black and white printed postcard of 'Our Village Shop', the General Stores, c1903-4, or No. 44/45 Dormer Cottage and Dormer House.

This upright picture shows a youthful looking Mr. Klee, the owner, in his long apron and cap watching the two children. Note the adverts on the windows for Fry's Chocolate and Fry's Pure Cocoa and the suspended one for Homelight, which was lamp oil.

The windows are packed with groceries and Mr. Klee is holding a scoop and a bag he must have just filled!

One of the two postcards I have of this view, has been posted to Miss G. Short of Holloway Bakery, Bath. It is very interesting in that it has actually been written and then sent by Mr. Klee and states: "Berrynarbor Hope to give you a visit one day next week. Little girl Reg sister when she was staying with us. F. Klee".

Frederick Thomas Klee is first listed as Shopkeeper in the 1906 Kelly's Directory, and also in the directories of 1914 and 1919. In late 1919 and 1923, Charles S. Ewens is listed as Shopkeeper, followed from 1924 through to 1939, by Albert James Baker.

The cottage was originally sold in the Watermouth Estate sale of 17th August 1920 by John Smale, F.A., at Bridge Hall, Barnstaple as Lot 47: A Tiled and Gabled Cottage No. 45 and adjoining Slated 4-roomed Cottage and Tiled Shop No. 44 and including A Large Garden in Castle Street." This entire lot sold for £320.

Many long-term residents of the village will remember Dave and Vi Goodman who lived in Dormer House. Dave was born in Greenwich in 1917 and came to Berrynarbor during the war with the PLUTO Project, when he met and married Vi, nee Toms, who was born in Berrynarbor. Their only son, Terry, was born in 1949 and attended our school. When Dave died in April 1987, Vi moved in to the adjoining Dormer Cottage where she lived until her death in 2002.

Dormer House has been home to quite a few families and, of course, Miss Muffet's Tea Rooms.

Tom Bartlett Tower Cottage. September 2020

e-mail: tomandinge40@gmail.com

Please Note: I have many original but duplicate postcards which I am willing to sell. Please contact me if you are interested.


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Sterrage Valley

This month I have chosen two cards of the Sterrage Valley. The first a Frances Frith No. 63954 first published 1911; the second published by E.J.B. and given the number 504.02, which has been printed in Saxony, Germany, c1903.


Both sepia cards, virtually the same view, show just how steep and twisting the road is. These days the trees have grown so high on both sides that the road ahead is hidden from view.

In the case of the Frith card, there is a person in the foreground, but as with Frith cards, this could have been added to enhance the view! The card has an Ilfracombe 4th July 1918 postmark with a red one penny stamp, and has been sent to Nurse N. Butler, Nursing Home, Manor Park, Lee, London S.E.13. The message reads: "We are going to drive round this track one day, it is very dangerous part good for the nerves. Love from S. Spence."

All our village roads would have been just scraped stone, so very dusty in the summer and very slippery in the winter or when it rained! Tarmacadam did not appear on our roads or lanes until after the First World War.

Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, July 2020

e-mail: tomandinge40@gmail.com



Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Thistledew, Birdswell Laane

For this issue I have chosen two views, taken about 1950, of Thistledew, Birdswell Lane.

The first view shows the entrance off the lane, and the second shows the house from the south, with Mrs. Dorothy Hubbad in the foreground with her arms full of flowers she has just picked.



My thanks to the present owners, David and Madeline Hubbard [who in fact are no relation to the previous Hubbard's], for the following information.

In 1925, William and Roseline Bray sold the plot of land to a Miss Doris Rowe, who only used the land as a market garden. The house was built some time later.

In June 1957, the then owner, Mrs. Robins, sold Thistledew to Mr. F.J. and Mrs. Dorothy Hubbard, and his mother Mrs. Violet Hubbard. Dorothy Hubbard LRAM [Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music], was an accomplished pianist who taught music and the piano to many of the local children.

In July 1985, Mr. C. Denton Powell and Mrs. M.A. Bannister bought Thistledew, marrying in 1990. They sold the home for £100,000 in 1994 to Mr. R.E. and Mrs. E.C. Lloyd, who, just two years later, in 1996, sold the property and land to Mr. and Mrs. William and Sylvia Baker. On Valentine's Day in February 2002, Thistledew became home to its current owners.


This view, taken at the same time, is from the back and the sea can still be seen from the property today.

Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, May 2020

e mail: tomandinge40@gmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Easter Wishes

Again, for Easter I have chosen 3 early postcards from my collection.

The first giving Easter Greetings was printed in Germany, series 825. Whilst I do not have details of the publisher, I should guess that the card dates back to c1906. It shows two young girls leaning on a large pink Easter egg, with a lamb breaking out. In the background are spring flowers and pussy willow.


The second card is dated 1911 and has not been posted. The card shows three rabbits with the eldest reading a book, and wishing A Happy Easter. The card, published by Wildt & Kray of London E.C., under their series 1183, is printed in Bavaria.


A Happy Eastertide, the third card, again published by Wildt & Kray of London, has an Oxford, March 20th 1907 postmark. Showing a young lad with hat in hand and pushing an egg carriage containing young chicks on board. The message on the back reads:

"Dear Eileen

With my best love. Will send a piece of music later.

Thanks for your pc."


I should again like to wish all readers a Very Happy Easter 2020 and thank Judie for the production of our Newsletter since the first publication in August 1989!

Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, March 2020

e-mail: tomandinge40@gmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Berrynarbor School and Silver Street

This very early postcard, c1904-08, shows Berrynarbor National School, which opened in 1847, the church steps, Bessemer Thatch, with its then thatched roof, as well as a very dilapidated three storey building on the right.


The first noticeable item is the bell above the school in its own tower. I have never been able to find out when the bell disappeared or where it ended up!   Also note the small railings and hedge in front of the school where the lady and young girl are standing.

Just beyond the school building is the entrance to the local Smithy. 

Around this period of time the dilapidated building on the right was known as No.62, Silver Street and was where Mrs. C. Huxtable had lived. Subsequently much of this building was demolished.

Also note that at this time the road itself was just scraped stone, no tarmacadam in those days.

The other item to note is the very large tree in the centre of the picture.


Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, February 2020

e-mail: tomandinge40@gmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


For Christmas I have chosen a local view of Ilfracombe overprinted with 'Xmas Greetings' and an Art Nouveau embossed card.

The first card, Ilfracombe 'Evening', shows a view from Lantern Hill, of Capstone Hill and Ilfracombe and is numbered 21107 in the Picture Post Card series.


The second card has a Brighton postmark of December 22nd 1903 and was published by Raphael Tuck & Sons in their Christmas Series 1739, chromographed in Berlin.


The two New Year postcards are both upright views. The first shows a pretty young lady with a lucky white rabbit. It, too, was published by Raphael Tuck & Sons but in their Continental Series 2572 with an Ilfracombe postmark 1st January 1905.


The second card, 'Anne 1755' shows a young lady in a full ball gown, holding a fan, having apparently been carried in a two-man sedan chair. Note the spelling of 'Happie Newe Yeare' Yet again, this has been published by Raphael Tuck in their Christmas Series 1901..


I should like to wish everyone a Happy and Prosperous New Year 2020.

Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, November 2019

e-mail: tomandinge40@gmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Hagginton Hill4

This month I have chosen two different postcards showing the Toms Family outside 24-25 Hagginton Hill, taken by William Garratt and published c1908. The first is numbered 36 and first appeared in our Christmas 1989 Newsletter No. 3.


It immediately shows just how well William Garratt was able to persuade children and villagers to pose for his lens.In this superb shot are Florrie Ley and Ada Toms making the arch, with Marjorie Jones and Cecil Toms underneath.In the line and from left to right are Albert Latham, Doris Richards, Fanny Toms, Freda Ley,

Lorna Richards, Edie Toms and Polly Latham.Watching from the steps are Mrs. T. Toms and young Leonard, and Mrs. Ley, young Johnnio and Emily. Note how Hagginton Hill was still just scraped and compacted stone.


The second view is numbered 41 and must have been taken by Garratt, probably on the same day.This picture shows Ada Toms standing in the road whilst sitting on the lowest step are Edie Toms and a boy being either a young Toms or Ley. Sitting on the wall are Emily Ley, Johnnio and Mrs. Ley, Leonard Toms, Mrs. T. Toms and finally Cecil Toms.To the left of young Edie is the gap where they would have obtained their water from a tap for cooking and drinking!

Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, e-mail: tomandinge40@gmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Print and postcard, Smallmouth Cove

As in the June Newsletter, I have again chosen a print, this time of Smallmouth Cave at Watermouth. It was published about 1830 and has been drawn and engraved by William Willis. William Willis appears to have made many engravings of Ilfracombe and Devon and Cornwall generally.



The second is a postcard depicting the same view published by E.A. Sweetman & Son Ltd. in 1929.

This particular postcard has been purchased and sent in June 1955 to someone in Thornton Heath, Surrey. The writer states "We are catching the 10.30 a.m. from Ilfracombe, arrive ruffley at Waterloo about 4.30 p.m. Arrive home around about 5 o'clock. We are having a wonderful time. Have been to Clovelly, Bude, Westward Ho and Bideford. Love Marilyn."

Both views show in the distance the view of Little Hangman at Combe Martin and I personally believe the photographer for the Sweetman card has taken his view having seen the much earlier print.

Although no connection between the print for my article in the June Newsletter and a link to Sarah and James Gear has been able to be established, I received the following interesting e-mail from Yolande Ghosh, a long-term mail reader of the Newsletter living in Wales.

Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, July 2019

e-mail: tomandinge40@gmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Berrynarbor near Ilfracombe


For June and July, I have chosen an early print of Berrynarbor which I hope you will enjoy. A genuine steel engraving by J. Harwood and J. Thomas. it is dated c1829-32, Prints from this engraving would also have been coloured by hand, as shown on the cover of this Newsletter.

Definitively, it is an artistic impression of our village which shows the church of St. Peter, with the original Manor House to the left as well as various cottages including Tower Cottage. There are boats sailing on Watermouth Harbour and a couple of cottages on the hill to the far left. Are these going up Hagginton Hill or maybe the cottages opposite the Sawmill Inn? Smoke is coming from the cottage chimneys. At this time, virtually all the cottages and farms were owned by Squire Bassett of Watermouth Castle.

It is interesting to note that the artist does not show the roof of the church, which is, in fact, level with the third section from the top of the tower.


Looking up the print on the internet - and it is available to purchase from various sites - there is a link to James and Sarah [Sally] Gear. But why? Are they and their family perhaps portrayed? Both were born in Berrynarbor: James 1796/8-1882, Sarah 1799-1876.

Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, May 2019

e-mail: tomandinge40@gmail.com



Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Easter Wishes

For this issue I have chosen a selection of early Easter cards which I hope you will enjoy.


Easter Greetings shows two March Hares with their Easter eggs. Published by Wildt & Kray of London, in their series 1183, was sent on the 12th 1911.


A Bright happy and Joyous Easter was published by E.A. Schwerdfeger & Co. of London and printed in Germany.

It shows two chicks carrying a pink egg filled with flowers in the form of a sedan chair with the message, "This car is a patent there is no doubt, You don't see many like this about." Interestingly, the reverse address side is printed the opposite way up.

Easter Greetings, printed in Germany, shows a young lad carrying his sister. Her shoulder basket contains four chicks, but one has popped out!

A Happy Easter, printed in Germany c1904 and numbered 298 depicts a hare with a sack of Easter eggs, contained within an egg shape surrounded by pussy willow.



The final card, May Your Easter Be Bright with the words 'May your Easter brighter be Because I've not forgotten thee', has a 1918 postmark with a message 'Buy National War Bonds Now'. The lady chick wears a pretty blue bonnet, whilst he wears a bowler hat and is smoking a pipe!

Finally, I should like to wish all readers A Very Happy Easter 2019 and thank Judie for the very good quality Newsletter she produces these days.

Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, March 2019

e-mail: tomandinge40@gmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Cockhill, Berrynarbor.96.


This rare view of [Middle] Cockhill is yet another view taken by William Garratt of Bristol, around 1920, despite the card having a 1928 postmark. Until recently and for many years, Cockhill was the home of the late Laurie and Peggy Harvey of King's Carpets, Barnstaple.

This Small Holding was sold as Lot 19 in the Watermouth Estate Auction held on 17th August 1920 at Bridge Hall, Barnstaple, as:

"Middle Cockhill, a very Desirable SMALL HOLDING, Comprising: A good Slated Dwelling House, convenient Outbuildings, and about 13a. 2r. l;18p. Of Meadow, Pasture, Arable and Garden Lands, in the Occupation of

Mr. J. Huxtable as a Yearly Lady-day Tenant. The Apportioned Title on this Lot is £3 9s 0d."

The Lot realised £750 on the day, being purchased by the existing Lady-day Tenant Mr. J. Huxtable.

Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, January 2019

e-mail: tomandinge40@gmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


For Christmas and New Year, I have chosen two local views with over-printed greetings.

The first shows Watermouth Beach [Smallmouth Cove] with Holdstone and Hangman Hills in the background. The rowing boats shown here were used to ferry visitors over to Broadsands Beach, eliminating a long trek and over 200 steep steps down to and more importantly, up from the Cove. They would also take visitors to Combe Martin and around the Bay. This particular card was published c1910 by The Knight Collection, printed in Belgium.


The second, Wishing you a Bright and Happy New Year, has been taken from Watermouth and shows Sandy Bay and Hangman's Hill. A two-funnel steamer can just be seen steaming out of Combe Martin Bay. The card was published by The Pictorial Stationery Company Limited of London, and printed in Saxony [Germany] around 1904. This particular card has been sent on December 31st 1905 and has a Barnstaple postmark. It would have been delivered first post on New Year's Day 1906.


These are two further Christmas postcards from my collection, dating from about 1901-1902. Both are postmarked Ilfracombe 04 and addressed to Miss Lucy Creek at the Montebello Hotel, Ilfracombe.



I should like to wish everyone a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year 2019.

Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, November 2018



Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Whitecote, Pitt Hill


This view of Whitecote, 33 Pitt Hill, has been taken by William Garratt, probably as early as 1902-3. As far as I am aware, it has not been published as a postcard. The card has a plain back and endorses my belief that the Bristol photographer may have stayed at this address on his many visits to Berrynarbor.

I now have four views of this cottage taken by him and this is, without any doubt, the earliest as there is no porch over the front door. Note the Victorian costume of both the children and the adults, as well as the broom that possibly the mother is holding and the jug, presumably of milk, on the step beside what appears to be a young boy.

As mentioned in previous issues, Whitecote was described in the 1920 Watermouth Estate Sale as:

"Lot 62

All that Slated Cottage, Stable, Trap House, Piggery, Potato House, Large Garden and Premises situate and being No. 33 Pitt Hill, in the occupation of Mr. Nicholls as a Quarterly Tenant.

Note: the garden of this Lot is a very fine building site. The Apportioned tithe on this Lot is 1s.9d. This Lot gets its Water from a Tap in the road."

At the Sale on 17th August, 1920, at Bridge Hall, Barnstaple, the cottage was sold for the relatively high price of £260 with completion on 25th March 1921.

It remains to this day a very desirable property and both Tim and Jill Massey loving living there.

Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, September 2018

e-mail: tomandinge40@gmail.com


Berrynarbor Newsletter No. 64

February 2000

Garratt No. 21 'In Berrynarbor'

Garratt No. 112

Garratt No. 148


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Attendance Officer on Pitt Hill


This view of the School Attendance Officer, Mr. Hooper, for Ilfracombe, Combe Martin and Berrynarbor, shows him walking up Pitt Hill. This photographic picture was taken, yet again, by William Garratt around 1903-4 and is numbered 11. Note the roof of Rose Cottage on lower right, whilst on lower left the cottages 30 and 31 Pitt Hill can just be seen. Here we also have a great picture of the houses on Hagginton Hill, which was formerly known as Heanton Hill.

The message on the reverse side of the card is very interesting:

". . . and peered into the window of the only other shop the place contains, where you see biscuits and ribbon and pencils and sweets all on the same counter. We wanted some sweets but the flies were so numerous. On the way home, we went by the inland road, past all these white cottages."

The shop mentioned is undoubtedly Dormer Cottage Shop as run by Mr. Klee who was of German extraction.

It should be noted that the Attendance Officer would look into the reasons why any children were not attending school and would inform the parents that their children must attend school regularly unless the doctor had said they should stay at home because of illness or fever.

Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, July 2018

e-mail: tomandinge40@gmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett



This view of the Post Office and Village was published by F. Frith & Co. Ltd. of Reigate, Surrey, around 1961 and has the number BYR59.

This photographic card shows just how many large trees were then growing near the church and beyond, and appears to have been taken during the summer, June/August.

I wish that I could identify the car outside the shop, and note the public telephone box which can only just be seen.


This particular card has been sent to Miss N & J Herbert of "Mayflower Cottage", Gold Hill, Chalfont St. Peter, Buckinghamshire on the 11th July 1963.

The message reads: We have just had coffee here which is a mile from the hotel up a country lane; we passed the farm from which we ordered your cream. Hope it has arrived. Sorry it was too small, we will send or bring a larger one next time. The sun is shining this morning but it looks unsettled. The village, buried in a valley, was completely cut off by the snow but seems to have survived. Love from Daddy."

Betty Davis was the Post Mistress from 1958 to 1961, and Keith and Margaret Walls Joint Post Master and Mistress from 1961 to 1977.

Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, May 2018

e-mail: tomandinge40@gmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett



Easter comes upon us once again, and I have chosen four early Easter postcards from my collection.

The first, a fantasy postcard from c1904, was printed in Germany. It shows no fewer than twenty-two babes in a giant Easter egg, which has been opened by a large Easter Hare. Other hares can be seen looking at a nest of coloured Easter eggs and holding up a sign. The postcard is numbered 336 and was sold throughout Europe.

The second postcard shows a lucky Hare peeping out from a large Easter egg as well as pussy willow and a further two eggs. It has the caption:

Happiness with you abide,

All this joyful Eastertide,

And when its glad hours depart,

Leave the peace within your heart.

This card, published by Wildt & Kray of London, E.C., is numbered 2654 and was posted in Bodmin on March 22nd 1913.

The third postcard, printed in Germany exclusively for Postcard and Variety Stores Ltd. of London, N. 7., shows a young lad with a baby lamb and a young girl holding a baby rabbit. They are sitting on a tuft of grass with a further baby rabbit sitting between a red and a blue Easter egg.

The final postcard shows a young bonnet-clad girl holding a bunch of pussy willow with a larger than life chick holding an umbrella. As well as the greeting A Joyous Easter, it says:

Mr. Chicken up to fun Shaded from the Easter sun.

This card was published by E.A. Schwerdtfeger & Co. of London, E.C. and was again posted from Bodmin, this time on the 10th April 1914.

Once again my thanks to our Editor, Judie, and Printer, David, for the great reproduction of last year's Easter cards.

Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, March 2018

e-mail: tomandinge40@gmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Middle Lee Farm

For this Newsletter I have chosen an upright postcard showing the wife of farmer Phillip Pethrick at the gate of Middle Lee Farm around 1903.She is dressed in typical village clothing of the time, boots, long skirt with white apron, blouse and a straw boater.One can only presume that she is going to take water to the animals or chickens with the large and heavy watering can she is holding.

It appears that the photograph, by W. Garratt of Bristol, was taken in the summer, as both bedroom windows are wide open.

In September 1906, the occupancy of Middle Lee Farm [119 The Village] was taken over by Francis [Frank] Toms.This tenancy continued until the large Watermouth estate Sale took place on Tuesday,

17th August, 1920, at the Bridge Hall, Barnstaple, when Frank Toms purchased Middle Lee Farm, Lot 21, for £1,350, with completion set for Lady Day on the 25th March 1921.

Upon Frank's death in 1923, his son, Daniel, took over the farm and Tea House.

Dan and his wife Lizzie had two children, Reginald and Violet.Reginald went to live in Weybridge, Surrey, until his death in 1997.Vi remained in the village and married Dave Goodman and they lived in Dormer Cottage. Dave died in 1987 and shortly after Vi moved in to the Cottage, 44 the Village, until her death in 2002.

Dan's nephew, Ron Toms, was brought up by his mother Hilda and his grandparents, Frank and ellen Toms, at Middle Lee.He married his wife, Gladys, in 1943, and they lived in Birdswell Lane with their two children, Raymond and Sheila.

Sadly, whilst writing this article, I learnt that Ron had died aged 101 at Lee Lodge, where he had been well looked after for nearly ten years.

In 1939, Middle Lee Farm was purchased by Raymond George Smith and more recently it has been owned by Alex and Pam Parke, Jenny and Robin Downer, and currently by Phil and Chris Brown.


Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage,

January 2018







Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Christmas 2017 and New Year 2018

Not really old Berrynarbor, but like last year I have chosen two Christmas and two New Year greeting postcards from my collection.

The first is a very early postcard published by Raphael Tuck & Sons, chromographed in Germany and numbered 3534. The card has an un-split back and a squared thimble ILLFRACOMBE 5.15 PM DE 24 [19]04postmark. It was sent to Miss W. Creek, Hotel Montebello, Ilfracombe. The fact that it shows a Father Christmas in blue shows how early the card was published.*


*Father Christmas was originally clothed in either green or blue, but in the 1930's, a certain American soft drinks company decided he should be dressed in red as part of a marketing campaign. And that has stuck!

The second, over-printed Christmas Greetings, shows the view looking down Fore Street, Ilfracombe, and is from the original painting by the famous artist H.B. Wimbush, and numbered 7461. The postmark over a green halfpenny stamp is SAFRON-WALDEN 10PM DE 24 [19]06.

On the address side is states:Fore Street, Ilfracombe, once a seaport of some importance, is now a rapidly increasing watering place, whose popularity is as well-established as the reputation of its mild winters. Fore Street used to be its main street, but there are many new squares and terraces now.


The first New Year postcard has not been posted but is again a fairly early greetings card.

As well as the verse by William Luff, it shows a goldcrest, which is the smallest of all European birds. It weighs just 5 to 6 grams and 8 to 11 eggs are incubated by the hen for 14 days.


The fourth and final card - A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year - shows a pretty young lady with a feint message:


I was going to send you a letter

To you whose mem'ry is dear

But instead I will wish you by postcard

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Again, the card has been printed in Germany and has a 1912 postmark over a green halfpenny stamp of George V.


Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, November 2017

[new] e-mail: tomandinge40@gmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Berrynarbor Mill


This month I have chosen a postcard of Berrynarbor Mill [Berry Mills, now Mill Park] taken by the Bristol photographer William Garratt around 1903. The photographic postcard shows Miss Jewell sitting with her dog beside the overshot mill wheel. Her father, John Jewell, was the miller there between 1883 and 1906.

Wheat grown in the fields around Berrynarbor would be gathered in, threshed and brought to the mill where it would be ground into flour. The flour would then be taken home for making bread. Each cottage would have a small bread oven beside their open fireplace. Any wheat grains that fell where the wheat was stored was raked up as 'rakings' and taken to the mill to be ground for pig meal.

Note that there is no water coming from the overshot mill wheel as the miller would only open a sluice to allow water to feed into the top of the wheel when grinding corn.

Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Smith took over the Mill around 1905 and Lewis Smith was born there on the 9th October 1916. Lewis, whom many of us knew, and who died in 1989, had a brother Park and sister Evelyn and the family all moved to the larger West Hagginton Farm in October 1919.

George Burgess then took over as miller from 1919 until the mills and dairy farm were sold. The sale was on Thursday, 5th June, 1924 at the auction of portions of the Watermouth Estate, held at the Manor Hall, Berrynarbor, by John Smale, F.A.I.

The Mill was listed as:

Lot 6:Berry Mills a very desirable Grist Mill and Dairy Farm.

Comprising Slated Dwelling House containing:Sitting Room,

Kitchen, Back Kitchen, Dairy and Four Bedrooms, with

Garden, Mill and Water Wheel, Tiled Six-stall Shippen,

Dutch Barn, Tiled Piggery, Tiled Shippen, Slated Two-stall

Stabled, Tiled Calf House, and about 16a, 2r.29p of Rich

Watered Meadow, Pasture and Woodlands, as now in the

occupation of Mr. C.H. Burgess at a Yearly Michaelmas Tenant.

James Chugg was the purchaser remaining there until at least 1939.

Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, August 2017

Please note new e-mail:tomandinge40@gmail.com

A tribute to Lewis Smith and a different postcard picture of the Mill appeared in the first issue of the Newsletter in August 1989.


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Berrynarbor Church & The Globe Inn

I have recently, thanks to Pat Babbington of Essex, been able to purchase the large collection of Berrynarbor postcards of her late husband, Terry. For this issue, I have chosen two of those cards, published by Hawke of Helston.

The first is numbered 18063 and is of St. Peter's Church and the Lych Gate around 1927.


The picture shows two young lads sitting on the church steps. What is also most noticeable on the left is the very large tree growing in the churchyard.

Whilst a bench can be seen just under the church wall, there is no sign of any bus shelter or of the War Memorial.

Part of what was the 'Village Pound' can just be seen on the extreme left, now, of course, the garage for Dormer Cottage. The church clock is showing twenty to one, or possibly five past eight!


What do you think? Note the position of the shadows.

The second postcard is numbered 18015 and shows the front entrance of The Globe Inn. Particularly take note of the signs showing over the wall on the left advertising:


Luncheons & Teas
Good Accommodation
The Cosy Tea Corner

Just over the door and on the left 'Private Bar' can just be seen.

Albert Herbert Hawke was a well-known and highly acclaimed photographer and postcard publisher from Helston, Cornwall. He carried out his business from a studio and shop in Meneage Street, Helston and travelled all over Cornwall, North Devon and Exmoor taking photographs of villages and seaside resorts. He was not known to take photographs of large towns or cities, or even inland villages other than a few on Exmoor, like Brendon, Oare and Rockford. He was well-known as the photographer of the Helston Flurry [Flora] Dance and Padstow Hobby Hoss Day, also of elections, wrecks, fires and hotels and country houses. Known, as some of his earliest pictures are those of the visit by the Lord Mayor Treloar of London to the Flora Day and St. Keverne in 1907, and the new Helston fire engine in 1910.

I now have at least 23 different postmarked postcards of Berrynarbor and Watermouth dating from 1927.

Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, July 2017

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Sports at Woolacombe

Although not Berrynarbor, I thought these views depicting tennis and rounders at the start of the last century, were appropriate with the summer sports season underway and Wimbledon in early July.

The first postcard was published by the Knight Collection c1906-8 and shows tennis being played. Today, the Barton Pharmacy stands on the rounded corner site. The spectators, mainly ladies in long dresses and hats, are peering over the wooden fence surround.

The second postcard, printed in Saxony [Germany] c1903 by Stengel & Co. clearly shows the position of the tennis courts and The Parade. The postcard has been published by F. Beer of the Post Office and Library at Woolcombe, and has aJuly 15 1909 Woolacombe postmark.

The third postcard shows "Rounders" being played on the beach and has a January 4 1909 Woolacombe postmark. Note the large house on the left with columns, for a short time called White Breakers before reverting to its original name of Parade House. The house was built for Lady Chichester and her daughter Rosalie, who became the sole heir of Arlington Court in 1881 on the death of her father Sir Bruce Chichester.

Rosalie requested to be taken to Parade House where she died in 1949.

Note in the postcard that there are four ladies dressed in white, long dresses who are obviously also playing! Three white bell tents can be seen on the right.




The postcard below shows the 'View from the Golf Links Woolacombe'. This was the sixth of six views of Woolacombe published by William Garratt of Bristol. The Woolacombe Bay Hotel is shown in all its glory!


Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, May 2017 e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Happy Easter 2017

For this month I have chosen three early Easter postcards from my Collection.

The first is the third in a set, two of which were shown in the previous Newsletter No. 160 in February 2016. The set is published by Wildt & Kray of London E.C. No. 2611 and printed in Saxony c1904.

Wildt and Kray are renowned for the early production of fine, coloured postcards.




The second postcard is again printed in Germany, exclusively for Postcard and Variety Stores Ltd. of London, N. 7, and is just one of five such Easter cards in my Collection.


The third card shows a rather typical Lucy Atwell little girl in an Easter bonnet, sucking her finger and sitting on a hat box. This card has been published by PPC under their Philco series and is numbered 3841.


I believe this was published during the First World War or shortly after, as it states 'British Throughout', Comic Series.

My thanks to our Editor, Judie, and Printer, Dave, for the great reproduction of last year's cards, and hopefully for this year as well!

Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, March 2017

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Watermouth Castle


This view of Watermouth Castle was taken and published by the Bristol photographer, William Garratt. It would have been taken c1909 and shows the castle and battlements completely covered in ivy. The main road between Ilfracombe and Combe Martin can be seen in the middle of the picture and is bordered by walls and hedges. Whilst in the foreground cows can be seen munching away at the grass.

Note just how wooded the entire background to the Castle and how undeveloped this part of Watermouth Cove was at this time.

Berrynarbor, Watermouth and much of the surrounding area comprising of almost 50 farms had been purchased in 1712 by Joseph Davie Bassett. It was not until 1825 that the building of the present Castle was commenced for Joseph Davie Bassett and completed many years later.

Joseph married Harriet Sarah Crowforth at Dulverton in 1828. They returned to Watermouth and set up home with a staff of approximately 40 domestics, 7 gardeners, 2 grooms and many workers and craftsmen employed on the estate. The estate included quarries, saw and flour mills, etc.

Mrs. Penn-Curzon was the last of the Bassett family to live at Watermouth. During the First World War the castle was used as a convalescent home for army officers.

Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, January 2017

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Christmas 2016 and New Year 2017


For this issue I have chosen two Christmas and two New Year Greeting Post Cards. The first postcard was published by Raphael Tuck & Sons, chromographed in Saxony [Germany]. It shows four young girls as artwork by Frances Brundage [1854-1937] an American illustrator best known for her depictions of attractive and endearing children on postcards.

This postcard has an un-split back allowing only the address to be written on the back and has been sent to 'Miss W Creek Montebello Local'. The card has a green, King Edward VII half penny stamp with a squared thimble Ilfracombe December 1904 postmark.


The second upright view is also published by Raphael Tuck & Sons and has been photographed in Austria. It shows a charming young lady holding a well-groomed poodle.

The first New Year postcard shows a beautifully dressed young Victorian lady with a fan in front of an ornate pedestal mirror. This embossed postcard has been printed in Berlin and has a split back allowing a message as well as an address and has been published around 1905.


The second needs no explanation! Published by Miller & Laing of Glasgow under their National Series, this card has a split back with a December 21st 1905 postmark. It is interesting to note that 'This Space For Inland Colonial and certain Foreign Correspondence, is printed on the left-hand side of the card. It has been sent to 'Miss A Passmore Railway Terrace East-the-Water Bideford'.


The picture of St. Peter's lych-gate which appeared on Page 5 of the October 2016 issue of the Newsletter, was in fact taken by William Garratt and numbered 49, and as such was taken c1905. I have one such card postmarked 1907 ref:136.6.

Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, November 2016

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Berrynarbor Church and Village

For this month I have chosen an upright view of St. Peter's Church and part of the village.

This view was taken by Thirken Photographer Berrynarbor around 1920. What I find very interesting is the fact that a door can be seen to the left of the Penn-Curzron Room as well as a door shown on the right. I wonder if the door on the right gave entrance only to the stair to the first floor room which we know as the Men's Institute Room [Snooker].

The roof of Tower Cottage can be seen, complete with its tall chimney, just below the church tower.

A small group of people, including children, can just be seen standing at the bottom of the church steps, outside the bus shelter.

In the centre the roof of what was Claude Richards cottage and dairy [now Dunchideock] can just be seen, together with the three cottages just to the right. In the foreground is the roof of Briar Cottage, at one time our post office.

Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, September 2016

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com



Artwork: Angela Bartlett


This month I have chosen photographs and a postcard of the Old Sawmill Inn. I feel sure we should all like to welcome Scott and Jenny Evans who, with their sons Aaron and Dani, have recently reopened a totally refurbished Sawmill Inn. The first two photographs show it as Sawmill Cafe, which was open for afternoon cream teas, etc.

Sadly, I do not know the date but would imagine it to have been taken in the 1940's or early 1950's, and note the rickety bridge over the stream.



The coloured four-view picture postcard has been taken in the late1960's/'70's and shows it when Mr. and Mrs. W.U. Long were the proprietors of the 'Licensed Restaurant'. The telephone number for it was Combe Martin 2259 and it was only much later that all Combe Martin telephone numbers were given the 88 prefix.


Finally, the upright photographic postcard shows a young man 'holding up' the signpost opposite the Sawmill on the A399 main road: to Ilfracombe 3.5 miles and Combe Martin 1.5. whilst Lynton is 14 miles. The road to Berrynarbor reads 0.75 mile.

Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, July 2016 e-mail:tombartlett40@hotmail.com

Coincidently, the photo below recently came to me from Lorna who tells me that it is taken in front of the Sawmill Cafe in the early 1950's and shows the Chalmers twins, Malcolm and Theodore, together with Chris Huxtable, doing his National Service at that time, and second right John Valance. The aproned worker can only be named Bill! The Sawmill Tea Rooms have been rebuilt as the current cottage. Ed.



Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Berrynarbor Mill


This month I have chosen two postcards published by William Garratt of Bristol around 1903-1904 showing Berrynarbor Mill. It is fitting to say that these are two of the first photographic picture cards that Garratt took of Berrynarbor.The young lady in the picture is Mrs. Jewell with her daughter, together with their dog which has a resemblance to the one advertising His Master's Voice.

The upright card has a Berrynarbor October 19th thimble postmark and was sent to Miss Hicks living in St. Judes, Plymouth, from her mother Em Hicks living in Berrynarbor.

Mill Park House was originally the Mill and Mill Park Cottage the farm house built in 1671*.The deed tithe records of 1841 indicate that a miller and maltster live in the farmhouse. In William White's 1850 History, Gazetteer and Directory, we are informed that Jane Dyer is the corn miller. We are also informed that there were 899 inhabitants in Berrynarbor, which had a total of 4,958 acres. Harrod's Directory of 1878 indicates that John Jewell was baker and miller. Kelly's Directories of 1883, 1889,

1890, 1895, 1897 and 1902 all indicated that John Jewell was Miller [water], Berry Mills.

Then Kellys of 1939 shows James Chugg as farmer, Mill Park Farm, indicating the mill was no long used as such.The mill's cast iron overshot wheel was 20 foot in diameter and a very wide 5 foot in width.

It is interesting to note that during Work War II, the Pipe Line Under the Ocean, PLUTO, operation used the water power of the mill*.

Both the farmhouse and the mill were converted to residential accommodation in 1946*.


*Watermills in North Devon 1994John Gale and Others

Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage, May 2016

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Berrynarbour, Near Combe Martin



This particular view was first published by Lilywhite Limited in 1937, The card has a red one penny [1d] Edward VIII stamp and is postmarked Kentisbury Ford Barnstaple Devon



I have the same view published in sepia by Raphael Tuck & Sons Ltd. around two years later in 1939.

The view shows 62 Silver Street, which had been opened as a Post Office in 1921. In about 1926 Mrs. A.J. Huggins took over as Shopkeeper, Draper and Post-Mistress. She had three daughters who all helped at various times and undertook delivering telegrams around the village.

There is no sign of our public telephone kiosk and I wonder when that was installed? Opposite we see our village school still with no footpath outside. Note the large trees growing either side of the church steps and behind the bus shelter.

In the early 1940's Bertram and Mabel Rudd ran the shop, having moved from running a business in Ilfracombe. Keith Walls has spoken of

a Captain Snoddy and then a Mr. Scrivener taking over the Post Office after them.

Following on for around four years were Mr. and Mrs. Roland Squires before handing over to Betty Davis [c1958-1961]. From 1961 until 1977, Keith and Margaret Walls ran the shop and Post Office before handing over the reins to Keith and Maureen Cooper. Maureen was the Post Mistress until 1982 when Dennis and Sylvia Barton took over until moving to Tonbridge in 1986.

Colin and Nicky Purdue then took over for a couple of years before selling to Maureen and Graham Jones in 1988. Six years later Nora and Alan Rowlands took over.

Alan and Nora continued running the Post Office and shop until October 2004 when it was taken over by the village Co-operative, who ran it from the premises in Silver Street until March 2008 when the current Community Shop and Post Office, in the car park, was opened.

Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, February 2016

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett



With Easter falling in March this year, for my Old Berrynarbor View No. 159 I have in face chosen 2 of a Series of 3 Easter Cards. Published by Wildt & Kray, London E.C. they have been given the number 2611 and were printed in Saxony from about 1912 or earlier.

Wildt & Kray were a German company with offices in London, and began producing colour postcards as early as 1903.

These two cards show how advanced the company was at producing coloured cards and they would have been sold in their thousands at that time. Being hand tinted, the same fine dresses can appear in different colours as well as the dish of Easter eggs and most noticeable, the large one changing from green to light red.


Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, February 2016

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett




Another new postcard that I was able to obtain within the last few days, this time of The Lodge, Berrynarbor. I believe this has been taken between the late 1940's and the late 1950's judging by the appearance of the three cars shown parked here.

The Lodge was originally built for the Reverend Churchill as a Gentleman's Residence in 1904, for his relatives, possibly his brother. During the Second World War families were accommodated for periods of time to recuperate. However, in December 1944 Percival Arthur Norman, a motor and garage proprietor of Combe Martin purchased it and at some time later opened it as a guest house.

It is my belief the picture was taken during Mr. and Mrs. Norman's ownership and where they remained until 1960.

I just wonder if anyone can identify the three visitor's cars shown?

Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, November 2015 e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Delbridge's Furnished Apartment - Hills Farm

I was very fortunate to obtain this postcard within the last few days. It has a 1911 Berrynarbor August 9th postmark over a green half pence stamp.

Between Moules Farm and Hills Farm four children, two boys and two girls, can be seen on the unmade road surface. They are probably on their way home from Berrynarbor School. The message on the reverse of the card says:

"This is the spot where we have landed and this the house
we are residing. The surrounding scenery is simply
. I don't know if you will like Ilfracombe we were there
, but I much prefer Berrynarbor. If the weather is
too bad look out for some cream. I have just had a bath,
am sitting on a rock surrounded by hills, hope the weather
continue fine. Love Nora"


The postcard is addressed to Mrs. Pearce, 66 Barclay Road, Leytonstone, Essex. I was especially pleased to be able to get this card as it is yet another, but not numbered, photographic postcard by William Garratt.

In the Watermouth Estate Sale held at Bridge Hall, Barnstaple, on the 17th August 1920, it sold as Lot 24 by the auctioneer, John Smale, F.A.I. , as follows:

Lot 24. Hill Cottage Tenement.

A Highly Desirable SMALL HOLDING comprising
A Slated Dwelling House, Outbuildings, and about 7a.3r.37p.*
Of Pasture and Arable Lands, in the occupation of Mr. W. Draper as a Yearly Lady-day Tenancy and Mr. W.H. Howard as a Michaelmas Tenant.
There are some good Building Sites and a good Spring of Water on this Lot.
The Apportioned Title on this Lot is 16s.6d.

The auction price commenced at £300 and sold for £760 with the completion date set for 25th March 1921.

* 7 acres, 3 rods, 37 perches

Tom Bartlett,

Tower Cottage, September 2015 e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com



Artwork: Angela Bartlett




I was fortunate to obtain this postcard within the last couple of years from an Exeter Postcard Fair. It shows the Welcome Home Social held in the Manor Hall in 1946, following the end of World War II in 1945.

I am indebted to both Bett Brooks and Maurice Draper who have been able to name the majority of the people shown. [See next pages]

If there is anyone who can help fill the gaps, please contact either Judie or myself. Thank you.

Note the large banner LONG LIVE THE KING which, of course, was for King George VI, also all the bunting and the words Welcome Home on the stage behind the sailor.


Back Row: ?, Bill Smith [Middle Lee Farm, son of 'Parky' Smith], Les Bowen [Sterridge Valley, opp. Pump House], Gary Huxtable [top Barton Lane], ?, ? [sailor] ?, Les Thomas, Butcher [Shop next to School], ?, Jack Brooks Father of Jim Brooks, ?

Middle Row: Kenny Huxtable [top Barton Lane, NE side], Reg Leigh [Lee View], Christopher Huxtable [Middle Cockhill], George Dymond, Winnie Draper, Joan Horren [Sterridge Valley], Sheila Draper, sister of Winnie, later Sheila Runyard, ?, Frank Challacombe [Hagginton Hill], ? Hedges, evacuee from Bristol

Front Row: ?, Rev. Horace Mylchreest, Rector 1942-1951], Mrs. Mylchreest, Mr. Lynsey, Church Verger [Barton Lane]. ?, Sid Perrin [Combe Martin]. William [Bill] Thomas, William [Bill]Bowden [South Lee Farm], Lewis [Whippet] Smith

Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage, July 2015

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com

From Edition 158

Tom's postcard of the Welcome Home Social 1946 in the August issue has stirred memories and brought up new names as well as correcting others.

It is thought that the men in the two back rows were in the forces [were the ladies, too?], and the front row councillors and members of the church.

Given, but not there, are Bill Smith and Les Bowen. Those shown as Gary and Christopher Huxtable are most likely Huxtables, but not Gary or Christopher. It is thought that Sheila Draper is in fact her sister Winnie, and Sheila is not pictured. Joan Horren is Joan Orrin.

The lady on the right of the Rev. Mylchreest [far left of the picture] is Mrs. Mylchreest and the lady on his left is Kathleen Richards. Other thoughts are that the man in the centre of the front row is Charlie Ewings and on his left Fred Rice [not Sid Perrin] and that it is Capt. Adams not Lewis Smith on the far right of the picture.

To the right of the sailor is Bill Richards. Between Winnie Draper and Frank Challacombe is possibly Stanley Jones and the man shown as Hedges is George Hobbs.

Can anyone else confirm names or tell us more?


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Berrynarbor showing Hagginton Hill


This coloured tinted postcard was one of a series of postcards of Berrynarbor published by Harvey Barton around 1955, in both this form and in a sepia form.

This particular postcard shows clearly our village and Hagginton Hill. The cows in the foreground are grazing in the field belonging to Ivor Richards of Moules Farm.

Part of our School can be seen centre foreground, as well as Bessemer Thatch, our Church of St. Peter, the Manor Hall,


Congregational Chapel, Globe Inn and most of the cottages of the centre of the village and all those on Hagginton Hill.


Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage, May 2015

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


The Village, Berrynarbor & Cottage at Berrynarbor

For this issue and appearing on the front and back covers, I have chosen two watercolour paintings of our village by the artist

H. Hughes Richardson painted by him in 1922 for the art postcard publishers J. Salmon of Sevenoaks, Kent.

'Cotttage and Roses' 'Cottage, Henton Hill, Berrynarbor'

These were two of four of his watercolour paintings of the village and as well as being sold as individual postcards, all four could be purchased in a special display pack set entitled ' Picturesque Berrynarbor' for the sum of just 6d! This was described in my Old Berrynarbor No. 9 in February 1991. The other two paintings appeared as the covers for the June 2003 Newsletter.

The postcard for the front cover shows Silver Street before the arrival of tarmacadam and when our streets used to be regularly scraped clean. On the left is Berrynarbor National School opened in 1848 and where at that time 150 children were crammed in! Of particular note is the slate topped bell housing complete with a bronze bell. Sadly, both are now lost to the school and village and no one appears to know to where the bell vanished. The small fuchsia hedge and low railings against the road facing the school have long since disappeared. Just beyond the school is the blacksmith's shop then occupied by Sam Harding and beyond is No. 50, Little Gables, St. Peter's church steps can just be seen as well as the shelter.

To the right of the picture is the single storey building which became our Post Office on the 25th March 1921. Tom Hicks, the village Postmaster and his wife Sarah acquired the building of 62 Silver Street for £155.0s.0d. when they found they could not afford the original post office at 36 Pitt Hill when it sold for £350.0s.0d. at the auction of part of the Watermouth Estate held in Barnstaple on the 17th August 1920, with completion date of 25th March 1921.

Although I am almost certain I think the second picture, on the rear cover, is of the garden and front entrance of South Lee. I have a late postcard [about 1930's by William Garett entitled 'South Lee 8' which is similar.

All four paintings show how accomplished a watercolour artist H. Hughes Richardson was.

Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, March 2015

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Berrynarbor Village and Post Office - View No. 153


This month I have chosen a Francis Frith postcard, No: 63947 first published 1911 which shows the top end of Pitt Hill before the road was tarmacked in around 1919. The view shows a young Albert Jones and his sister Edith outside Forge Cottage, No. 38, then No. 37 and below that what was then the detached No. 36, with the steps from the road leading up to the Shop and Post Office. In 1911 this was owned and run by the postmaster, Mr. Thomas Hicks.

On the right of the picture is No. 39, Fuchsia Cottage with its three steps and hand rails leading up to the front door. It is interesting to note that in the Watermouth Estate Auction Sale, conducted by John Smale, held on August 17th 1920 at the Bridge Hall in Barnstaple, Fuchsia Cottage (Lot 46) was sold for £325. The Post Office (Lot 48) was sold for £350. No. 37 (Lot 49) was sold for £155.

The completion date for the sale was 25th March1921.

It is interesting to note that in the sale details of 1920 Special Condition No. 8 states:

"The water supply for the Village of Berrynarbor is obtained from a spring which rises in Hagginton Hill in a plot Part Ordnance Number 844 belonging to the Vendors north of Lot 73, and is carried from such spring by pipes into a reservoir on the west side of Ordnance Number 831 also the property of the Vendors, and from thence it is carried by pipes under the Public Road and portions of some of the Lots included in the particulars to various taps in Berrynarbor Village."

I should like to congratulate Maurice Draper and make everyone aware that he has just published a book 'The Life and Times of Maurice Draper a Berrynarbor Man'. This can be obtained from the Berrynarbor Shop. Albert and Edith Jones were related to Maurice.

Finally I should like to dedicate this article to Vic Cornish, of No. 37, who died on Christmas Day after a long illness and who played such an active part in our village over a long period of time.

Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, January 2015.

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Watermouth Castle - View No. 152


This multi view of Watermouth Castle was published by Frances Frith & Company Limited c1960. The five views show the castle, the bay, tropical gardens, dining room and finally the castle, ground and Hangman Hills.

Around this time Friths published a small booklet as A Guide for Visitors from which I now quote:

"The beautiful scenery of the rugged coastline between Ilfracombe and Combe Martin attracts many thousands of tourists every year. Along this stretch of the road there are many vantage points of extensive views. From Rillage Point there is the magnificent coastline that extends past Ilfracombe to Bull Point and on clear days to Lundy Island, and at the other end of the road there opens up the grandeur of the Hangman Hills which stand sentinel over the little harbour at Combe Martin. Between these extremes lies the pretty, almost completely land-locked natural harbour known as Watermouth. It is this feature of the coast which has given its name to the Castle built on the woody slopes on the opposite side of the road.

"It is difficult to establish exactly when the Bassets first came to reside at Watermouth but throughout the years they appeared to be Royalists and loyal servants of the community. In earlier years the Bassets were seated at Heanton Court, between Barnstaple and Braunton, and Colonel Arthur Basset, born there in 1597, was one of the leading Royalists of Devon and was Governor of St. Michael's Mount.

The last of the representatives of the Basset family to live at Watermouth Castle were Major Charles Penn-Curzon and his wife Edith, who as a daughter of the Bassets and inherited the estate.

"After the death of Major and Mrs. Penn-Curzon, the property was inherited by their son, Charles Ernest, who sold it. Their daughter, Lorna, the late Countess Howe, also left the district.


Considerable interest is taken in the Castle by tourists and every year thousands wander around its grounds and make a tour of inspection of the parts which have been allowed to remain as a 'show-piece'.


The great hall which was at one time used as a magistrate's court by Squire Basset, who was Justice of the Peace, is lined with decorative and exquisitely carved linen-fold panelling and the fine screen which carries the minstrel gallery leading to other floors of the Castle is well worth inspection.

The hall fireplace of a pinkish tined 'Devon Marble' is the original one and a fine piece of local workmanship. The finely wrought fire basket, with its shield of the Basset crest, has a spacious capacity for burning logs, which must have been very much needed as it was the only means of heating the hall. Five shields, with linking ribbons decorate the mantelpiece, but whether these have any special significance is hard to say. One of the doorways on the seaward side of the building leads into what was once a magnificently oak-panelled library, but all that remains of its former beauty is the oval wreath of oak leaves on the ceiling. It must have been an enormous task to carve upwards of five hundred leaves with such painstaking accuracy.

Everywhere, there is the evidence of skilful workmanship in wood and plaster. The thick walls and unusually deep spaces between floor levels all indicate carefully planned construction, possible to insulate the rooms from the severity of the weather and to reduce noise.

The drawing room stands next to the library and sets us a mystery in that a false window appears outside the Castle, whilst inside we see only a fireplace.

The dining room opposite has recently been redecorated as the lovely oak panelling which surrounded it had at some time been painted over and only the doors could be restored to their original beauty.

Down Below!

The Castle stands on sturdy foundations and the walls which intersect the ground level and the area cut out of the hillside form a labyrinth of cellars. There is little doubt that these were at one time connected with the smuggling which took place at one time. Only sixteen acres of the once huge estate now remain as property belonging to the Castle. A little brook runs through the grounds and keeps the lake supplied with water.

In the woods there is a pets' cemetery and further away in the woods are marked the graves of favourite hunters and race-horses.

These woods form a beautiful 'back-cloth' to the Castle scene and in this lovely setting it is hoped to recapture and retain something of the peace and grandeur of the 'old world' whilst providing holidays for pleasures for present and future generations. Long may Watermouth Castle remain an interesting example of 'the stately homes England'"

We can be thankful that after neglect during the early 1970's, Richard and the entire Haines family purchased the Castle and groundsfor the sum of £50,000 in 1977. Since then the Castle and ground have been lovingly restored creating a seasonal 'Million Pound Plus Extravaganza'. Finally, our thanks to Richard, Christine, Jonathan, Tony, Rachel and the entire Haines family for the incredible enjoyment they have given to so many, both children and adults, locals and visitors, over so many years.

Tom Bartlett,

Tower Cottage, November 2014

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


The Village & Hagginton Hill

This picture is from a miniature post card c1902-3 and measures as shown here, just 108 x 80 mm against the then normal 139 x 88 mm.

As post card views of the village go it is unusual having been taken from the area now known as the playing field or dog walking area. To the far left is North Lee Farm and to its right is the Linhey which had slate/stone steps leading up to the hayloft. On the bottom right are 30 and 31 Ellis Cottages, Pitt Hill. Note how few homes were actually showing on the section of Hagginton Hill at this time.

The second card, published by the Pictorial Stationery Co. Ltd. London under their Peacock Brand, has an Ilfracombe September 22nd 1904 postmark and the following unusual message:

'Please tell Aunt Lou I am sending her a little parcel by post today, as I believe she prefers collecting such rubbish to post cards. Chas. L.'

Remember that at this time virtually everyone was collecting post cards and putting them in albums - no radio or television at that time!

The most noticeable aspect of this card is just how much ground on either side of Hagginton Hill was being utilised for growing crops, fruit, etc.

As well as the trees in the foreground and by Berrynarbor Church, note the then thatched Bessemer Thatch and Jacobswell. Jacobswell was later to be turned in to a terraced row of cottages now known as Ferndale, Jacobs Well and The Olives.

In the centre of the card can be seen the roof of the then Congregational Chapel with its Memorial Stone dated 6th June 1881, together with a small part of the adjacent Sunday School building.

Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, September 2014

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


WWI: Departure of Territorials


These two photographic postcards of the Departure of the Territorials from Ilfracombe were taken by Phillipse & Lees, the Ilfracombe Photographers, on the 8th August 1914.

They show how virtually the entire population turned out to give the Ilfracombe Territorials, No1 H.B. Devonshire Royal Garrison Artilllery [RGA] a rousing send off.

They stopped in the High Street so that the Reverend Johnson of the Parish Church could give his blessing to the five Officers and all the Territorials from the raised embankment opposite Pedlar's.

The proceedings had been opened with an address given by General Williams R.E. of the Indian Army to the soldiers who had received mobilisation only three days before!

The mounted Ilfracombe Town Crier, Robert Martin, was in attendance, He lead the procession from the High Street up to Ilfracombe Railway Station, where the Territorials gave assistance in loading their 36 horses into five livestock trucks provided by Southern Railway. The Battery consisted of 5 officers and 125 men, plus 4 guns

and wagons. They left Ilfracombe Station at 6.00 p.m. bound for Plymouth and then war. A further 29 horses from Lynton joined them at Barnstaple.

The second picture shows how heavy rain started just as they started to march off to the station behind the military band.


Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, July 2014

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


WWI: Soldiers at Watermouth Cottage Hospital

These two photographic postcards were taken by Phillipse & Lees, the Ilfracombe photographers, during November 1914 and taken outside Watermouth Cottage. Watermouth Cottage is situated opposite the Sawmill Inn up the private road, which eventually links up with Watermouth Castle.

On the 24th October 1914, a total of 50 wounded World War 1 Belgian soldiers arrived in Ilfracombe. The 10 worst cases were taken to the Tyrell Hospital, 23 wounded were taken to Westwell, Torrs Park, and 5 were taken to the Cliff Hydro. The remaining 12 were, at the invitation of Lady Penn-Curzon [nee Bassett], brought to Watermouth Cottage Hospital.

In the first view, No.6, all twelve Belgians are posing just by the steps leading down to the small road which continues under the bridge to Watermouth Castle. Lady Penn-Curzon can be seen standing in the centre directly behind one of the Red Cross nurses. To the left of the nurse a wounded Belgian can be seen holding Lady Penn-Curzon's beloved spaniel dog on his knee.

The second view, taken on the same day at the same place - and numbered 1 - shows just the 12 Belgians.

The majority of them remained for the duration of the war and in Ilfracombe many of them were joined by their wives and children. A special class was even set up in Ilfracombe for the children.

Sadly, Camille Kerckvoorde, one of the worst cases at the Tyrell Hospital died towards the end of July 1915, and his well-attended funeral was held on the 29th July 1915.

I understand that flowers were sent over annually from Belgium to be placed on his grave at the Parish Church right up to the early 1990's.

Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage, May 2014

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Old Farm, Sterridge Valley


This photographic postcard of Lower Rowes Farm was published by Twiss Bros. of The Arcade, Ilfracombe, around 1907 or earlier. It was printed in Saxony by Stengel & Co. and on the address side states: 'Inland half pence Stamp Foreign 1d.'

In Kelly's Director of l883, John Delbridge was the farmer and he remains so in all the Kelly's directories up to 1897. In 1902 John Bowden is shown as the farmer for both Rowes Farms [Higher and Lower] and remains such in the 1910 Kelly's Directory. After the Great War [World War I] the Directory shows William Lerwill as the farmer.

Lower Rows Farm, 115 Sterrage Valley, was sold as Lot 17 in the Watermouth Estate Auction Sale held on 17th August 1920. The listing read: ' Lower Rows Farm, a Good Dairy Farm comprising: A good Slated Dwelling House, Slated Outbuildings and about 48a [Acres] or [Roods] 21 [Perches] of Meadow, Pasture and Arable Lands, in the occupation of Mr. W. Lerwill as a Yearly Lady-day Tennant. The Apportioned Tithe on this Lot is £7.4s.0d.'

The farm sold for £1,000 presumably to Mr. Lerwill who continued farming there up to and possibly beyond 1939.

The small roof with two chimneys showing on the top of the roof on the left is that of No. 74 High Sterrage Valley or Pink Heather as it is today. The white house showing in the distance is No. 72 Higher Sterrage Valley now known as Cherry Tree Cottage.

Twiss Brothers of Ilfracombe published the same postcard in colour tint and William Garratt published a similar photographic card numbered 58 c1907, which was the subject of my article No. 88 in April 2004.


Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage, March 2014

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com.


This photograph shows the farm from the west side, but can anyone put a date to it.

Over the years, Lower Rowes has changed and those who have walked up the Sterridge Valley recently will be aware that it is currently undergoing a change once again!

In his article, Tom mentions that in 1902 it was farmed by John Bowden. He was followed by Joseph Bowden, his son, and then his grandson, Samuel Bowden. All grandfathers with varying 'greats' to Michael Bowden. Samuel went on to farm Ruggaton.

Willliam Lerwill, who was born in 1890 and his wife, Mary [nee Tucker] born in 1885, had been tenants at the farm and purchased it at the time of the Watermouth Estate Sale in 1920, continuing farming, mainly livestock - cattle and sheep - there for many years.

Sadly, they lost their only child at birth. Mary herself died in 1956 and for the next 20 years, Farmer Will, or Scat as he was known locally, lived a lonely existence at the farm, never again going upstairs to sleep, spending the night in his armchair.



In his article in June 2004, Michael [Bowden] wrote:

" Most people who remember Farmer Will have an image of an old man, short in stature with twinkling blue eyes, sat on a 'tetty' sack astride his pony, plodding up to the village and home again, with 'dug' in tow.

"He would tether the pony and make his way to the Globe for his Guinness. He would collect his pony and walk it down to the footpath from which he could launch himself on to the pony's back with the instruction 'Homewards'. By the time he reached Two Rocks, his eyes were closed and his chin on his chest - to all appearances, fast asleep!

"Most evenings would find him sat on the corner bench in The Globe, discussing, and sometimes arguing, with his friends about the pros and cons of the farming world, all in a broad Devon dialect which sadly is rarely heard any more and would certainly not be understood by most of the patrons of The Globe today!"


One of the village's real characters, full of fun, Will Lerwill died in the summer of 1976 and is buried in Combe Martin. Still remembered with affection.

The cover showing Lower Rowes Farm was painted and given to Farmer Lerwill by Lilian Thirkell probably about the time of the end of World War II.

The Thirkell family lived here in the village and Lilian's son, Don, is a mail reader of our Newsletter. He says; "My mother did a lot of painting of the locality and satisfied the tourist trade at the end of the War. She invented the painting of limpet shells with views of Combe Martin and

dad would write in them and glue them together and sell them to Alexander Begrie, the Jeweller of King Street, Combe Martin. The method was copied after a while by Alice Orrin, who died in 1956 and is buried at St.Peter's."

My thanks to Gary and John Pearce for their help with this article.



Artwork: Angela Bartlett



This four miniature view card was published by The Pictorial Stationery Co. Ltd. of London under their Peacock Brand Autochrom Postcards c1904.

The first view is of Ilfracombe, Torrs Walk and the Cafe that was then on top, and note the chocolate bar dispensing machine in the centre.

The second view is of Ilfracombe Holy Trinity Parish Church and a gentleman on horseback coming down church Hill.

The third is Donkeys at Watermouth. These are the donkeys kept by Betsy Leworthy* near the centre of the village and walked daily into Ilfracombe to pick up visitors and take them for rides to Lee or Watermouth. Betsy can be seen standing between the two donkeys on the far right. She was hard working all her life and as well as managing the donkeys, was the village coal merchant at the turn of the century. Coal would be brought by sailing brig into Watermouth Cove at high tide and directly the tide ran out, horse and carts from the village would run up and down loading the coal and then unloading at Betsy's Coal Store, opposite The Globe, for redistribution. Betsy was born c1840 and married John Leworthy, the village blacksmith about 1851. They had many children but sadly, in those days, the mortality rate was high and five of their children died between the age of 11 months and 5 years. Her tomb stone records: Beloved children of John and Betsy Leworthy safe in the arms of Jesus. Betsy died on the 31st March 1912 aged 72, a great loss and sadly missed by the entire village. Her husband died three years later in January 1915 aged 74 years.

The fourth view is of the Thatched Cottage at Chambercombe, Ilfracombe. This started as a private residence but later became a popular public house, known as Chambercombe Cottage, the Hermitage and now the Thatched Inn.

*Grandmother of Annie Leworthy, 1897, who died aged 92 on 22.09.1989, and remembered by many villagers.


Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage, January 2014

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Ye Olde Globe, Berrynarbor

This real photographic view postcard of Ye Olde Globe has been printed on Agfa photographic paper and might even have been a 'one off' picture taken perhaps by the owner of the car shown here with a young lady posing in front of it. The postcard has an August 3rd 1960 Berrynarbor Ilfracombe postmark, over a red Queen Elizabeth II 21/2d stamp.

The message reads: 'My dear Daddy. I'm just going to sample a pint in "Ye Olde" pub. God Bless, Raymond xxxxx' There is a postscript which says: 'Berrynarbor 5m up channel from Ilfracombe'.

Note that The Globe was at that time either owned by or sold Arnold & Hancock's beers and spirits. Directly under the wording on the white wall can be seen a glass globe light, the reflection of which shows that the time the photograph was taken was around mid-day. The original sign above the porch can be seen clearly and was certainly there when Charlie Blackmore was the landlord, taking over from Charlie Cornish around 1930.

Thanks to Don, Edith and now their daughter Karen, The Globe remains the centre of much activity for many of our residents. In fact a recent quiz night, organised by Karen for Manor Hall funds, was extremely well attended giving a great deal of enjoyment to all those who attended and participated.

Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage, November 2013

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


VIEW NO. 145

Berrynarbor, N. Devon no. 137

This portrait view photographic postcard was published by Phillipse & Lees of Ilfracombe around 1908. This particularly clear view must have been taken from somewhere along Castle Hill.

Clearly seen in the foreground is the tiled roof of Hill Crest, No. 55, and part of the thatched roof of Jacobswell. Then we have an unusually clear picture of St. Peter's Church and tower, hiding most of the Manor Hall. To the right of the tower, the roofs of Manor Cottage and Court Cottage No. 53 are just visible. To the left of the tower can be seen a small part of Tower Cottage, No. 51, and also part of the roof of The Old Court.

Hagginton Hill and its old cottages rise above the then cultivated fields running down to and bordering the unseen road towards the Old Sawmill. These cottages start from part way up the hill and from left to right and running down the hill is the boundary wall of what was Grattons, now named Brackenberry House, which is not shown.

The cottages are Besshill, No. 14, then Nos. 15, 16,17 and 18. Then comes No. 19, Sunrise Cottage, Summerhill is higher up the garden and cannot be seen in this picture. Ivy Cottage, 21, and Holly Cottage, 22, are joined together and comprise the lowest, long cottage shown in this picture.

It is interesting to note that in the Watermouth Estate Auction Sale conducted by John Smale, F.A.E., on Tuesday, 17th August 1920 at the Bridge Hall, Barnstaple with completion date set for 25th March 1921, the following prices were achieved:

No 17 Lot No 73 in occupation of Mr. E. Challacombe £220.00

No 18 Lot No 72 in occupation of Mr. C. Latham £250

No 19 Lot No 71 in occupation of A. Greatrex Esq. £260.00

No 22 Lot No 70 in occupation of Mr. E. Richards £270.00

It is also interesting to note how in those days virtually every piece of spare ground was being cultivated.

Following my last article in the August issue, I should like to thank Derek Sanders who suggested the cottage could be Laston House in Ilfracombe, just above the Thatched Inn. Sadly, on the two visits I made, whilst it looked similar and had great views over the Bristol Channel towards Wales, it was not the case. Laston House has windows and the front door in similar positions, but the windows are all made up of small panes unlike those in my postcard.

Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, September 2013

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


VIEW NO. 144


This photographic postcard was sent from Berrynarbor on the 17th July 1928. It is addressed to a young lady in Garforth near Leeds and the message reads:

"Hope you are enjoying the same good weather we are having. We are right in the country on the cliffs almost and have wonderful views."

Naturally, when I purchased the postcard through e-bay, I was hoping that it was somewhere in Berrynarbor. However, I am now of the opinion that it could be anywhere along the coast from Berrynarbor, Combe Martin and even on towards Lynton and Lynmouth. Indeed, it has even been suggested that it could be somewhere like Martinhoe.

For this reason I am appealing to you all to take a good look at this house, or even rectory, to see if you can throw any light upon its whereabouts.

The only clues are that it has old type sash windows, a low profile slated roof and what appears to be a large and well looked after garden.

Because it has been posted in Berrynarbor, it is my belief that it is probably within a few miles of here, that is anywhere between Hele Bay and Combe Martin.

I am really hoping that someone will be able to come up with an answer or positive suggestion.

Tom Bartlett,

Tower Cottage, July 2013

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett



This photographic postcard was taken and published by the Ilfracombe photographer G.K. Bolam around 1911. Bera Farm as it was then known lies between Hele Bay and Berrynarbor, just off what is known locally as the Old Road to Berrynarbor.

Beara, along with West Hagginton and Little Town, probably belonged to the Saxon Manor of West Hagginton. In 1408, Beara was probably occupied by Michael atte Beare. The origin of the place name is Old English bearu meaning a grove, very common in Devon with over 100 examples found in early documents. Many smaller settlements have a descriptive name with Saxon origin, such as Hele, Bowden, Trayne, Hole and Slew. In the Tithe Map of 1839, the owner was John Huxtable, held by John Read, part in hand to John Gammon.

My sincere thanks to the present owners Andrew and Katie Bailey who showed me all over their very old and interesting farmhouse and outbuildings forming Beara. They bought Beara in 2008 and with their six children have been working hard to preserve the seven upstairs rooms and nine rooms with large linking corridors at ground level. Andrew informed me that a group of historians from English Heritage spent nearly three days documenting Beara a few years ago and he proudly showed me the two preserved and remarkable coats of arms above fireplaces on both floors.

Early in the 16th Century, John Harper and his two sons - Nicholas and Edward, were living in Berrynarbor. Nicholas, Rector of Combe Martin [1553-1568] never married. Edward married Agnes, daughter of James Oliver of Barnstaple, and they had three sons and a daughter - Nicholas, Humphrey, John and Anne. Nicholas married Anne Strabridge of Brishford in Somerset and was granted this coat of arms:

A similar coat of arms but without the crest can be seen at Chambercombe Manor.

In his Survey of Devon written in the reign of James I [1603-1625], Thomas Westcote quotes the following epitaph on one Nicholas Harper who lies buried in Berrynarbor Church:

Harper the musique if thy life,
So sweet, so free from jar or strife,
To cromne thy skill hath raysed thee highr
And place thee in angel's quier,
For though that death hath throwen thee down,
In Heaven thou hast thy harpe and crowne.

Facing east, Beara Farm is a magnificent example of a 16th century, or earlier, farm/manor house. Built of local stone, the property stands at one end of a courtyard of cobbled stone surrounded by its own farm buildings. Behind is a stream-fed pond providing the now tested water supply. Bera, like Hele, Hagginton and Ilfracombe are mentioned in the Domesday Book as formerly held by ULF, were held by Robert for Baldwin de Brioncis, who came to England with William I.

Andrew kindly allowed me to take photographs and this one is the second coat of arms, that of Edward, second son of Nicholas and Anne Harper. Edward was baptised in 1591.

Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage, May 2013 e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Berrynarbor Looking Seawards

This photographic postcard was originally published by Francis Frith & Co. Ltd. of Reigate in 1934. This particular card was produced during the Second World War and on the reverse side is printed: T.N.T - Today, Not Tomorrow - The Minister of Production. The card has been sent to Dulwich, London S.E. and has a 14th July 1944 postmark. The card makes interesting reading:


You'd like it here. We have another low window and wobbly floor. Lots to eat and have to walk miles to get anywhere. There are no ancient ruins to "gooh" over! It has rained most of the time so far but we lay on the beach yesterday and found I had some tar on my arm with pebbles adhering. What a mess. The sun burn so far accounts to sore faces. Be seeing you too soon!


So we can assume it was a normal summer! Now to the card.

On the right we have Orchard House alongside which we have the long roof of the Temperance Hall. This hall was used for all the village activities and dances up to the time the present Manor Hall was completed in 1914. Then we have Rectory Cottage and continuing up to the village Beech Lea, built in 1902 for the Reverend E.G. Hibbert and his family. Top right we can see part of Moules Farm and behind St. Peter's Church the new buildings on Barton Lane - Berrivale, Chatsworth and Berri View, all completed in 1933.

To the left of the picture are the Lees: South Lee, Middle Lee and North Lee. To the right of North Lee we have Ellis Cottages [30 & 31 Pitt Hill] as well as Ducky Pool [Rose Cottage, 32 Pitt Hill].

Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage, March 2013

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Capel Cottage, Berrynarbor

This photographic postcard was published by Batten, the Ilfracombe Photographer, and is postmarked June 21st 1907. It shows local children returning from the school making their way up Castle Hill passing Capel Cottage and Moules Farm. The children are wearing hob nailed boots and three-quarter length trousers.

All the roads in the village were at that time scraped and made from broken stones rolled by steamrollers. This would mean that when there were periods of rain the roads could be very dirty and muddy, whilst in a dry summer they would be very dusty. Tarmacadam was not introduced in Berrynarbor until around 1919 which of course made for much cleaner roads in both summer and winter.

Batten has taken the photograph during the late spring or summer as can be seen by the open windows of Capel Cottage. The postcard, sent to a Miss Harding of Tintagel, Oatlands Park, Weybridge, Surrey, is signed 'With love from B'. It reads: . . . . 'We went for our Choir Treat yesterday to Woolacombe had a very wet day and got wet through. But we did have a jolly time. Ettie and I had ponies and rode to Morthoe but when we got off the water was running off us. I am very stiff to-day.'

The postcard has a very small [thimble] postmark 'Berrynarbor PJU 21 07' and a normal sized 'Ilfracombe 6.45pm JU 21 07'.

Batten also took an upright view of Capel Cottage where again all the windows are open, and this photographic postcard has been written on June 10th 1907, sent to a Mr. Downing it says: 'Many thanks for yesterday's letter. Weather still miserable. Kind regards, A.B'

Does the weather never change?!

Tom Bartlett Tower Cottage, January 2013 e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


This photographic postcard was published around 1927 or earlier by, I believe, Meakings of Combe Martin. The postcard is numbered 12461 and has an Ilfracombe 6th August 1927 postmark over a red 1d King George V stamp.

The card shows our village and St. Peter's Church taken from the road towards the Sterridge Valley and Berry Down. Our National School, complete with bell housing, can be seen on the right and Bessemer Thatch and Little Gables are thatched. To the left of Bessemer can be seen part of the roof of Miss Muffet's, Dormer Cottage, whilst the white cottage behind is 51 The Village, Tower Cottage. Further to the left, the Manor Hall and roof of the Elizabethan Manor House, now the Men's Institute snooker room and Penn Curzon Room can be seen. It is noticeable that the only visible building on Barton Lane is Sea View, just to the right of the church tower. Above the School and to the left is No. 54, Dunchideock, where Claude Richards had his Dairy. To the right are two of the three cottages, which were formed from the original Jacobswell Cottage, the first being Olives, the next Jacob's Well and the third Ferndale.

On the extreme left of the picture we can just see part of The Globe and the cottages next to Bessemer Thatch and the Manor Stores - Flowerdew Cottage.

Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com



Artwork: Angela Bartlett



This photographic postcard was published by the local photographer Grattan Phillipse at the Royal Kingsley Studios in Ilfracombe around 1927-28. It shows the marriage of Polly Huxtable to Archie Brittan of Bratton Fleming at our Parish Church of St. Peter.

However, the significance of this picture is the fact that it shows our latest Berrynarbor centenarian, Ivy Richards [nee Watkins]. Ivy, who celebrated her 100th birthday in August, is seen here to the right of the bride as a bridesmaid then aged around 15 years, with her younger sister, Phyllis, the bridesmaid on her right. On the left of the groom is Dora Delve who many locals will remember helped run Bessemer Thatch together with her mother, Annie Gray, her son Ron and daughter-in-law Marian.

The young lad on the left in a cap and holding one of the many streamers is Bill Huxtable, but not the Bill we know here today.

I am sure everyone will join me in wishing Ivy many more years living in her bungalow, Southerly, next door to Moules Farm which she and her husband Ivor farmed for many years.


The second photographic postcard was taken around 1939 by the Bristol photographer William Garratt. This shows Ivor with his two sheep dogs and three cows outside Moules Farm. Note the shippen on the left and the Virginia creeper growing on the farmhouse and the two 'phone lines.

On the reverse side of the postcard is written:

'This is a photo of the farm we are staying at - although the weather is not as warm as it might be, we are having a good time. The food is delicious and every day, chicken, in fact everything we can't get at home. I hope Nick isn't giving any trouble. Yours D & G'.

The card was sent in 1942 to a Mrs. Welsford living in Poole in Dorset.

Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Watermouth, Berrynarbor

On this occasion I have taken two postcards produced and published by Stengel & Co. of London, printed in their works in Dresden, Germany, about 1901. Stengel & Co. was established in Dresden in the mid 1880's and was one of Germany's biggest [export] postcard printing houses. They were famous throughout the world for their very popular 'autochrome' process. This gave a half tone image, with colours where applicable, superimposed by litho.

The first card, 'Watermouth Bay Ilfracombe' is numbered 16403 and shows the bay and also the relatively new road from Ilfracombe to Combe Martin, passing Watermouth Bay and the Castle. Before this road was opened up, traffic would take the old road from Hele Bay to Berrynarbor entering the village down Hagginton Hill. Note the dovecote on the headland, Burrow Nose, on the right. Whilst there are no boats showing, the roof of Watermouth Castle boathouse, now the Harbour Master's office can be seen in the foreground.


The second card, 'Small Mouth Cave Ilfracombe' is numbered 16402 and shows the entrance to the cave, which is anything but small! This has been taken at low tide with all the seaweed showing clearly on the rocks where the gentleman is standing.

Note also the view of Great Hangman and beyond.


On the reverse side of both cards is printed 'The address only to be written on this side, together with a space of affixing a stamp, the cost of which for Inland was1/2d and Foreign 1d.


In real terms, this meant that any message up until 1902 had to be written on the very small space left under the picture and only the address was allowed on the stamp side of the postcard. From 1902, the same cards could be sent with a line down the centre of the stamp side, with the address written on the right and any message on the left hand side.

Tom Bartlett,
Tower Cottage, July 2012

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Diamond Jubilee

In this the Queen's Diamond Jubilee issue I have chosen three postcards depicting Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.


For Berrynarbor I have chosen Garratt's photographic postcard entitled 'Berrynarbor Road Watermouth' taken by him around 1907. It shows a dingle-type carriage beside the Diamond Jubilee fountain. The inscription on it read: 'June 22nd 1897 - This fountain was erected by Mrs. Bassett- of Watermouth in Commemoration of the 60th Year of the Reign of Queen Victoria. She wrought her people lasting good. Jan. 22nd 1901.

The front of the fountain was renewed in 2002 but I am pleased to see that the chain and fixing point remain on the right-hand side, although the original drinking cup no longer exists. The fountain was fed by water from the stream/mill leat upstream and was free-flowing through a nozzle at the font. The water flowed into the trough for horses and overflowing water drained off through the back and into the stream and thus the water was continually changed and fresh.

The renewed inscription remains the same with the additional wording: 'This monument was refurbished in 2002 by Berrynarbor Parish Council to Commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II'. What a shame, however, that running water, whether from the stream or mains, has not been reconnected either then or in this Diamond Jubilee year of our present Queen.

It appears that many villages and towns in Devon erected drinking fountains/pumps in honour of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. One of the most memorable must be that in Bradworthy Square and for which Weighell of Launceston published the postcard around 1904. The wording in the diamond shaped inscription reads: '1837 Erected by Public Subscription to Commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Victoria by Permission of the Lord of the Manor 1897'.

The third postcard published by Francis Frith shows Queen Victoria's impressive Diamond Jubilee statue on Castle Hill, Windsor, just near the entrance to the Castle.

Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, May 2012
e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Sandaway Caravan Park, Berrynarbor



This postcard of the Sandaway Caravan Park, Berrynarbor, was posted on the 16th August 1965 by Gwen and Ernest to friends or neighbours in Kidlington, Oxford.They say that they lost their way twice on the way down and that the weather is good and they have had to buy sun hats to protect them from the sun.[Summers past!]

At that time the Park was owned and run by the Carey family and many of the caravans were privately owned and let for one or two week periods during the summer season.

The Carey family had owned it and the Market Gardens from the early 1950s.Mrs. Careys nephews, Ernest and Bill, ran the market gardening side of the business whilst she and her niece Marjorie ran the camp site for tents and caravans.

In the mid-1960s it was sold to the Howard family and by the 1980s was being run by Alfred Taylor who later lived in the Channel Islands and had a manager running the now much improved Caravan Park.

In the early 1990s, the large business of John Fowler Holiday Parks purchased the site and are still running it today with its many facilities including a swimming pool, shop and club house.

I should very much welcome any more information about the site.



Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage, March 2012
e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


British Legion - Berrynarbor Manor Hall, c1940

I am following on from my last article with the real postcard view of the Berrynarbor Contingent of the British Legion c1940. I believe they had regular meetings in the Manor Hall and would attend Sunday morning Church Parades on a regular monthly basis.


Fortunately, we are able to name all the members on this postcard.

From left to right:

Back Row: Percy Thorne, Jack Green, Jack Ford, Mr. Street, Bill Dinnecombe, Dick Street, Frank Brookman

Third Row: Bill Street, Ben Draper, Bill Draper, Reg Huxtable, Jim Ley, Jack Copp, Harold Richards, George Gubb, Ben Draper Snr.

Second Row [seated]: Stan Toms, Mr. Lensy, Mr.Duchear, Captain James, ??, Freddy Rice, Mr. Lord, Daniel Toms

Front Row: Jack Edwards, Roy Smith, Jack Snell, Jack Josling

Note how the majority of them are wearing a British Legion Members' lapel badge and many of them are proudly displaying the medals awarded during the First World War. There is a man wearing a cap peering out of the Hall window on the left.

Sadly, as far as I am aware, none of the above are still alive. However, if there is anyone who can either add information or correct any of the names I have given, I should be very pleased to hear from you.

Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottaqe, January 2012

NB Regarding the previous article, View 134 of the Berrynarbor Home Guard, the following corrections can be made:

Back Row - Jack Jewell is Jack Snell, it is Bill Osborne and Bob Lanston is Bob Lancey

Third Row - Commander Bill Peachey, Sgt. Newman may have been Major Newman.

My thanks to Ray Thorne who had the same picture in the North Devon Journal, page 68, of Thursday, 12th January 2012.


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Berrynarbor Home Guard

During the last war, 1939-1945, Berrynarbor had a very strong Home Guard Contingent and this postcard picture was taken some time between 1940 and 1945. As can be seen, there are 38 members present for this picture taken outside the Manor Hall and fortunately I took their names down many years ago. I do, however, accept that it is possible there could be mistakes and should welcome any known corrections.


From left to right we have:

Back Row:

Reg Huxtable, Fred Ley, Ron Toms, Fred Spear, Fred Huxtable, Gordon Newton, Alf Leworthy, Alf Brooks, Jack Jewell, ? Osborne, Bert Kiff and Bob Lanston

Second Row:

Reg Ley, John Howells, Lewis Smith, Albert Richards, Ivor Richards, Eddie Priest, Leonard Dummett, John Vallance, Gerald Beauclerk, Dick Floyd and Percy Altree

Third Row:

Brian Richards, Stan Harding, Parky Smith, Sid Dummett, Sgt. Newman, Commander Peacher, Claude Richards [Senior], Bob Richards, Percy Thorne and Gordon Bowen

Front Row:

Claude Richards, Steve Brookman, Jim Floyde, Ken Huxtable and Lionel Dummett

I covered this subject back in October 1996 [Newsletter No. 44] when I showed a picture of the Contingent circa 1940 when they only numbered 29 members.

Sadly, as I write this article on the 11th November, and having visited Ron Toms at South Lee Lodge, I am able to report that of all 39 members shown, only Ron, Reg Ley and John Howells remain with us at this time.

Ron was able to tell me that the picture was taken around 1944. He said that once a week, having finished his farm work, he would meet up at around 7 o'clock with five other Berrynarbor Home Guard members to be taken to what was the Kingston Hall, Combe Martin, owned by

Percy Norman. As well as being in their uniform, they would have loaded rifles and take sandwiches with them for an almost 12 hour overnight stint 'guarding' Combe Martin. In pairs they would take turns marching up through Combe Martin to beyond the London Inn before returning to the Kingston Hall. In between such stints they would grab a few hours' sleep. Around 6.30 a.m., all six members would walk back down to somewhere near the Royal Marine at Seaside before being driven back to Berrynarbor.

During their time in Combe Martin they would often hear enemy 'planes going over to Swansea where they would drop their bombs before returning to France where the Germans had their airfields.

Ron says that the most memorable occasion was when there was a large gorse fire between Holdstone Down and Great Hangman when the entire contingent had to walk all the way up to the source of the fire and attempt to put it out with the fire beaters they had carried up with them. Having worked all night long, they would again have to walk back to Seaside before being driven back to Berrynarbor. Sometimes they would be driven up to Berry Down and dropped off when they were expected to walk down in the direction of Sandy Cover going across the fields rather than using the roads! Once a month, there would be a Sunday Parade around the village in full kit and carrying their rifles on their shoulders.

My thanks to Ron and if there is anyone who can give me further information, I should be very grateful to hear from you.

Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, November 2011

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Glen Lee, Berrynarbor.7.

Again this month I have chosen yet another postcard photographed and published by William Garratt, the Bristol photographer. This photographic postcard was No. 7 of 20 produced with new numbers around 1937.


From the outset I should mention that this house with its original name of Glen Lee was built in the early 1930's and has subsequently been named Elizabeth House and today is known as Lee Side. Indeed, our last newsletter mentions in the memorial to Alice Dummett that when she was married in 1948, she and Len moved into Elizabeth House and ran it as a guest house until Len's retirement in 1969.

Elizabeth House was then purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Merchants who with their daughter continued to run it as a guest house. Their daughter was a keen gardener and grew many plants, mainly fuchsias, which were despatched by post to customers all over the United Kingdom. Around 1975 they stopped taking in guests and finally sold the property to the Davies family.

Vi and Alec Davies, together with their son Brian and his wife Ann, reopened and ran it as a guest house for several years before altering it into two self-catering holiday apartments and renaming it Lee Side. Brian built a tennis court at the back on which locals were allowed to play and Vi remembers that the most popular time was when Wimbledon was on!

Today Lee Side has reverted to a family home.

Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, September 2011

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Sea View, Barton Lane



William Garratt, the Bristol photographer, published this photographic postcard around 1925. Sea View was originally called 'Hills Cottage Tenement' and was listed in the Watermouth Estates Sale of August 1920 as Lot 24. It was sold for £900 with completion on Lady Day, 25th March 1921.

The description stated:

Hills Cottage Tenement in Barton Lane. A Highly Desirable SMALL HOLDING, comprising: A Slated Dwelling House, Outbuildings and about '7a 3r 37p of Pasture and Arable Lands, in the occupation of Mr. W Draper as a Yearly Lady-day Tenancy, and Mr. W. H. Howard as a Michaelmas Tenant.

There are some good Building Sites and a good Spring of Water on this Lot. The Apportioned Tithe on this Lot is 16s.6d.

At that time there were no other cottages or houses on Barton Lane except for Home Barton Farm, and so it is little wonder that this cottage was renamed 'Sea View'.

Older residents of Berrynarbor will no doubt remember 'Granny Gray', or Alma Annie nee Huxtable, at Bessemer Thatch. She was born in this cottage in 1888 which at that time belonged to her grandparents, Her parents, John and Alma Huxtable, moved to Middle Cockhill in 1890, when she was just two years old, and had a small market garden. In the same sale of 1920, her parents purchased Middle Cockhill for £750 as Lot No. 18. William Huxtable was a thatcher and made and repaired thatched roofs as well as 'cobs' for bees and worked with reeds in covering corn 'mows' [small stacks of corn]. He was the village expert on bees and if ever a hive split up, he would be called upon to collect and move the swarm from a hedge or wall into one of his cobs, and would then either sell them or keep them.

Sadly, Granny Gray's father John was a cripple, but he managed the small holding and like his father became the village expert on bees and carried out thatching in spite of his disability, living right into his '80's.

My thanks to Gary Songhurst who replied to my request in my previous article on Watermouth Harbour. He informs me that the sailing boat in the top picture was the 'Hydra', one of the last Bristol Channel Pilot Cutters owned by Tom Bidgood.

The boat in the second picture was 'The Curlew', built and made of mahogany for Alan Wickendon who at the time owned Watermouth Castle and Harbour. Gary recalls that the wall on which the boy is standing was the old breakwater, and shortly after Gary's father designed and he helped to extend the breakwater for the Wickendon's. They used old railway sleepers from the Ilfracombe line, some of which were made from mahogany! The smaller boats behind The Curlew were owned by the Darch family from Combe Martin and 'Pride of Devon' by Claude Parkin.



Tom Bartlett,

Tower Cottage, July 2011

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Watermouth Harbour



These two relatively modern, c1969-70, coloured postcards were published by Harvey Barton of Bristol and show how Watermouth harbour looked around this period of time.

In the first, numbered B33C - incidentally incorrectly entitled Watermouth Cove - we see mainly small dinghies moored. The many tracks of cars and trailers from where further small dinghies have been launched for the day or a few hours can also be seen. The Martello Tower/Dovecote stands out proudly near the centre of the picture and in the field on the extreme right freshly mown hay is drying off. Note the larger sailing boat moored up as this also appears in the second postcard.

The second, B33D, has been taken from the south is an unusual but attractive view looking towards the cove and beyond. The wall on the left has been extended and inside this barrier the moorings are very safe, even in winter.

I imagine that several people involved with Watermouth Harbour over the last half century would not only be able to name the sailing boat on the right, but would know to whom it belonged.

It is interesting to note the remark on the first postcard which says: 'We camped here', obviously referring to the well maintained Lydford Camp site belonging to John and Jenny Barten, the views from which must be some of the most spectacular in all Devon.

If anyone can give me further information about the sailing boat, I should be very grateful to hear from you.

Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage, May 2011

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com.


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Opening of New Road, March 1920

In the Newsletter of June 1991, I described the Landslip which occurred on the coast road between Combe Martin and Ilfracombe in January 1919. As an introduction to this issue's article, the postcards from that article and part of the article are reproduced here.

'The landslip occurred about 10.00 p.m. on the 10th January 1919, and these pictures were taken by Phillips & Lees of Ilfracombe the following morning. They show clearly the severed road and gas main just above Golden Cove on the Old Coast Road betweenWatermouth Castle's Sawmills and Sandy Cove.'



William Garratt took these two photographic postcards from the new road in the 1920's. Numbered 97 and 102 they are the only postcards I have from the new road.


The formal opening of the new road, which shortens the distance between Ilfracombe and Combe Martin by about a quarter of a mile, took place on Wednesday of last week, Mrs. Penn-Curzon, wife of Major Penn-Curzon of Watermouth Castle, performing the ceremony. It will be recalled that a serious landslide occurred in the early part of 1918 on the cliff face near Watermouth over which the Ilfracombe - Combe Martin main road ran at a height of about 250 ft above the level of the sea. The portion of the main road affected was at once closed, and traffic diverted through Berrynarbor Village. At first it was thought possible to avoid the landslip by a short deviation out farther into the cliff face, but very quickly the landslip extended in either direction, until about 200 yards of roadway have now either subsided or fallen into the sea. The whole scheme of providing a new road had, therefore, to be considered, and the construction of one on the land side of Napps Hill, some distance from the cliff face, was decided upon. The road which is 1,000 yards in length has been made available for traffic at the earliest possible moment owing to the narrowness of the only alternative route through Berrynarbor Village, and it is expected to be finished by Easter.

It has taken about twelve months to construct, and the work has been admirably carried out under the direction of Mr. R.M.Stone, County Surveyor for the Northern Division, and the personal supervision of Mr. A.J. Meakins, a member of the County Surveyor's Staff. Direct labour has been employed, and the stone used has been obtained from an adjacent quarry. The cost of the work, when completed, will be just over £5,000. The gathering at the opening ceremony included Mr. W.P. Hiern, J.P., C.A., representing the Devon County Council, Mr. R.M. Stone, Messrs. J. Woodward, J. Kelly, F.W. Birmingham, H. Vemall and Miss Hammond [members of the Ilfracombe Urban District Council], with their Surveyor, Mr. O.M. Prouse, Messrs. A.W. Gaydon, C.C., and Yeo [Surveyor], Lynton Urban Council, Mr. H. lsaac, Combe Martin's representative on Bamstaple Rural District Council, Messrs. A.J . Meakins, E.J. Rowe, S. Webber and A. Ford, members of the County Surveyor's Staff, and others.

Mrs. Penn-Curzon gracefully served a beflagged ribbon extending across the Combe Martin end of the road, remarking "I have great pleasure in declaring this road open."

Mr. Hiern said it was generally conceded that the new road was a local improvement. Its construction had been a very considerable expense, which in olden days would have fallen on the Parish of Berrynarbor, but in these more enlightened days the expense was borne by the County - a back more capable of bearing such a burden than any one parish in the locality. Referring to the fact that in these times it was more difficult to get a contract for work to be done, and if such could be obtained, they were subject to all kinds of alterations which might occur. He complimented the Surveyor [Mr. Stone] on the excellent arrangements by which the work had been done. He remarked that they were very much indebted to the owners of the Watermouth Estate for the way in which they had met the Devon County Council in the provision of land for the diversion. He expressed his personal thanks to Mrs. Penn-Curzon for her services in opening the road which he thought would be a permanent local improvement. [Applause]."

How history can repeat itself! Early in 1991, the A399 showed stress marks, due to the weakness of the cliff, to appear on the road just below the entrance to Greenleas, Berrynarbor. For safety reasons, the DCC installed traffic lights and traffic was only allowed to use the landward side of the road. On the 10th April 1991, the Planning and Transportation Committee of Devon County Council reviewed as an emergency item, to divert the road from Windy Ridge via the rear of Little Firs, On a Hill Garage and then behind the succeeding properties before rejoining the main road to Ilfracombe. It was estimated this would cost in the region of £650,000. Assurance was given that the work would be completed in the shortest possible time, although a start could not be made before September with completion hopefully by the end of March 1992.

My grateful thanks to Daphne Challacombe of Combe Martin for her help with this article.

Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage

e-mail: tombartlett@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett




This photographic postcard was taken and published by A.H. Hawke of Helston around 1928. Albert Herbert Hawke was a well-known and highly acclaimed photographer and postcard publisher. He carried out his business from a studio and shop in Meneage Street, Helston, and travelled all over the West Country taking photographs of villages and seaside resorts. This particular card shows in the foreground, Manor Cottage, present home of Mike and Joan Harte. Just behind it is The Olde Cottage, now known as Court Cottage, home to Clive and Sue Watson-Harrison. The top left of the picture shows cottages and Grattons House on Hagginton Hill and the fields and house in the centre is Mill Park.

Manor Cottage, 53 The Village, was included in Lot 45 of the Watermouth Estates Sale of 17th August 1920, with completion set as 25th March 1921:

'also a conveniently arranged Five-roomed Tiled Cottage, with potato house and wash house, No. 53, situate adjoining the grounds of Court Cottage [The Old Court] as now in the occupation of Mr. T. Latham as a quarterly Tenant. The apportioned Tithe on this lot is 4s. The Timber to be taken in the sum of £5.0s.6d. There is a water-tap, W.C. and Bath on this Lot and also a Tap in the Tiled Cottage. The right to maintain the Stop-tap, and pipe through the Garden is reserved.'

In the same Sale, details of Court Cottage [The Old Court] stated:

'Lot 45 A charmingly situated Slated Detached Private Residence known as Court Cottage, situate in the Village of Berrynarbor, in the occupation of Mrs. Harris, whose Tenancy expires at Michaelmas next, comprising:

A Porch Entrance, Entrance Hall, Morning Room, Drawing Room, Dining Room, Back Lobby, Kitchen, Larder, Pantry, W.C., Five Bedrooms, Two Dressing Rooms, Two Boxrooms, Upstairs W.C. &c. Lawn, Flower and Vegetable Gardens, Tool Shed, Poultry House, Stable, Coach House or Garage, Coal House &c. Front, Side and Back Entrances, Two Staircases, Verandah. The whole containing 2 roods.'

[A rood is a measure of land, 40 sq. poles or a quarter of an acre. This term varies locally, especially as a loose term for a small piece of land.]

Lot 45, Court Cottage [The Old Court - not shown on the postcard] and Manor Cottage sold for £850.

Berry Mills [Mill Park] was sold in the second Watermouth Estate Sale of 5th June 1924, as Lot 6:

'A very desirable Grist Mill and Dairy Farm, comprising Slated Dwelling-House containing: Sitting Room, Kitchen, Back Kitchen, Dairy and Four Bedrooms, with Garden, Mill and Water Wheel, Tiled Six-stall Shippen, Dutch Barn, Tiled Piggery, Tiled Shippen, Slated Two-stall Stable, Tiled Calf House and about 16a.2r.29p. of Rich Watered Meadow, Pasture and Woodlands, as now in the occupation of Mr. C.H. Burgess, as a Yearly Michaelmas Tenant.'

Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com



Manor Cottage, with Court Cottage

Illustrated by: Nigel Mason 1996


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


The Great Storm, Friday, December 16th, 1910

Apropos some of our recent weather, for this issue I am covering the Great Storm Disaster that struck all along the North Devon coast 100 years ago. The Ilfracombe Chronicle reported: Great Storm in the West - Disasters at Ilfracombe - Great Havoc - Hotel Baths Wrecked - The Pier in Ruins - Capstone Parade much damaged - Promenade Shops Smashed.

'On Friday last, the town was visited by probably the greatest disaster ever known by a high tide, backed by a furious gale from the west, with a veering to the north of west. During the morning, the wind was blowing with great force, but early in the afternoon the strength of the gale grew, until by five o'clock, it was almost a hurricane.

'The evening tide was full at 5.24 p.m. and by this time, the waves were rolling in with terrific force, and flying to a tremendous height. About 6 p.m., there occurred what appeared to have been a great tidal wave, which resulted in wreck and ruin to some of the most solid masonry.

'The lamp posts on the Parade were about the first to go and they were snapped off like fragile reeds. Heavy seats and big blocks of masonry were carried upon the crest of the wave which swept over Ropery Meadow at a height estimated at 15 to even 30 feet high, leaving ruin and wreckage in its path. The houses on the Quay were flooded with the Quay itself being under water.'

Considerable damage was also caused in Clovelly, Vellator, Lee, Combe Martin and Lynmouth. I, myself, have a large proportion of the 'Great Gale' post cards of Ilfracombe, [pictures 2-5], as well as some of the places mentioned above.

In the case of Clovelly, the postcard shows the damage to the front of the Red Lion Hotel with large rocks washed up and fishermen clearing up [picture 6]. Further along the coast at Bucks Mill, I have a card showing eight men working to clear the immense damage caused to a large building on the then quay. There is also, damage to the round, lime kiln, whilst the larger square one appears untouched. Both pictures were taken by Reilly, the photographer from Clovelly.

One card shows the 'Dona-Luisa' of Bideford stranded at Instow [picture 1], whilst another taken at Braunton Marsh shows drowned sheep with lots of onlookers and a dog.

I then have three pictures taken at Lee showing vast damage to the sea wall and surrounding area by Phillips and Lees of Ilfracombe. Moving on from Ilfracombe, a card of Combe Martin shows immense damage to the Parade and finally, I have cards of damage caused at Lynmouth.

Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage



Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Berrynarbor School 1955-6


This picture of Berrynarbor School in 1955-6 shows Head Mistress, Mrs. Vera Cowperthwaite, together with her class. I am again indebted to Sonia Duckett for the picture and her and Elaine Fanner [nee Crighton] for giving me the names of the 30 children shown.

Back Row: Mrs. Cowperthwaite, Sidney Dennis, Raymond Thorne, Neil Dalgren, Ray Toms, Paul Smith, Colin Weeks, Brian Dennis

Middle Row: Colin Bryson, John Sledmar, Andrew Cruickshank, Adrian Jelfs, Larry White, Roger Blackwell, Michael Warburton, John Sidebottom, Michael Mitcham, John Harris, Stuart Thomas

Front Row: Hilary Smythe, Elaine Crighton, Vera Coates, Sonia Stoddart [Duckett], Edna Coates, Bridget Emmerson, Janet Lomer, Rosemary Huxtable, Eileen Stanbury, Cheryl Layton, Diana Crick, Linda Thorne

At this time there were only two classes at the school. Miss Muriel Richards taught the Infants Class [5-7 year olds] with around 15 pupils and Mrs. Cowperthwaite the older Class 2 [7-11 year olds].

The Infants' classroom had an old-type coke heater with high metal surround and wet clothing was put on railings to dry beside it. School dinners were cooked in the school by Miss Brooks, who lived in Ilfracombe. Elaine and Sonia both remember these dinners as being hot, good, wholesome food - roast dinners, stews - with good fresh vegetables and, of course, puddings of the steamed variety, and if you were lucky, an extra spoonful of mock cream! Dinners, enjoyed by all the pupils, cost

1 shilling a day, 5 new pence. Sports were held in a field owned by Bob Richards, Cheryl Layton's uncle. Sonia and Elaine also remember one exciting outing to Cheddar Gorge and Bristol Zoo where they were delighted to see Rosie, the famous elephant who gave thousands of rides to children during the 1950's.

When the Queen was crowned on 2nd June 1952, the children were given the day off school. At that time not many villagers had television, so the Manor Hall was filled with chairs for anyone to watch on a television screen. Despite grim weather, the hall was packed and games for the children were played in the field at Moules Farm.

The school had five outside toilets - three for the girls and two for the boys - and in winter the children dashed in and out! Fresh milk was provided daily for all pupils in 1/3rd pint bottles, delivered in crates from a local farm. Elaine remembers that every Friday was spelling tests and occasionally they would go to Brimlands in Ilfracombe for sports. Country dancing took place in the playground - weather permitting - with a wind-up portable gramophone and needles that needed changing frequently. Always on Ash Wednesday the children carried a twig of ash to school and nature walks, often going down the Sterridge Valley, were one of the favourite activities. In the autumn hips and haws were collected and put in old jam jars. Everyone looked forward to the conker season, with some children being known to soak their conkers in vinegar to produce a winner!

The second picture shows the Infants Class back around 1920 with their teacher Miss Lily Richards, who later married Fred Huxtable. Previously shown in View No. 69, the pupils are:

Back Row: Verna Richards, Reg Leigh, Rachel Irwin, Vera Richards , Phyllis Watkins, Mary Lavinia Pinching

Middle Row: Frances Huxtable, George Gear, Leslie Sydnam, Ron Toms, Brenda Richards, George Irwin

Front Row: Frederick Draper, Albert Adams, Eddie Courtney,

Doris Cornish, Honour Irwin


Further to my article in the August issue, Ron and Gladys Dyer have kindly given me the name of their Best Man, Desmond Lee, and Bridesmaid, Valerie Williams. Valerie later married Gladys' brother Wilfred.

Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage - September 2010

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Berrynarbor Sewing Group


This very early and fantastic photograph of the Berrynarbor Sewing Group was taken c1890-95, and in the front row, the pretty young lady, third from left, is Blanche Bowden.

Sadly Blanche, who had married William H. Bowden in 1899, died on the 25th March 1900. She was only 21 years old and died just one week after giving birth to her daughter, Blanche Pretoria, on the 17th March.

Blanche Pretoria, who married Sidney Dummett, was born and lived all her 94 years at South Lee until her death on the 15th November 1994. Blanche and her mother are both buried in St. Peter's churchyard, just a short distance from the top north gate opening on to Barton Lane.

William Bowden remarried and his second wife, Florence, died on 11th November 1930 aged 55 years.

The second picture shows Blanche Dummett with young Sonia Duckett [nee Stoddart] and their dog, Bounce, at South Lee Farm.


I am indebted to Sonia, who in 1948-9, having first been scrubbed, was brought by train from a Church of England home in Wales to Ilfracombe Station by Miss Hurst, the matron of the home. From there, they took a taxi to South Lee, Berrynarbor, where Sonia, then about 3 or 4 years old, was fostered by Blanche Dummett. Miss Hurst returned two days later to check that all was well. Sonia tells me that she had the most wonderful childhood here in the village with memories of choir outings to Woolacombe beach then tea in the Red Barn, carol singing around the village. She also remembers Mrs. Cowperthwaite and Miss Richards as her teachers at the Primary School, and Harry Graves mending shoes and pulling out milk teeth with strong boot thread!


The third picture is of the wedding of Ron Dyer and Gladys, daughter of Violet Toms, 1956, grouped on the cobbled steps by the lych gate at St. Peter's. From left to right: Sonia, bridesmaid and best man unknown, Ron, Gladys, Ruby Draper and a young Sheila Toms [daughter of Ron and Gladys]. Behind Sheila is William Bowden with his third wife holding her hat whilst talking to Mrs. Toms, the bride's grandmother.

I wonder if anyone knows the family name of Blanche Bowden, also the missing names on the Wedding photograph. Please let me know if you do.

Tom Bartlett, : 

Tower Cottage, July 2010

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


In Berrynarbor. 100

Linking up with Lorna's article about Berrynarbor Mills, for this issue I have chosen another photograph taken and published in the early 1920's by John William Garratt.


The view shows what we now know as Mill Park Camping Site with the east side of Berry Mills House seen in the centre. Of course, at this time it was being used for farming but already some camping was taking place in the field beyond the open barn. The card I have was sent to a

Mr. and Mrs. A.S. Ford in Street, Somerset, in the early '20's and reads:

'Ain't it grand to be bluming well washing! It's far better camping though! At the moment we are sprawled out just behind the hedge under the hedge [under the cross on the other side]. We are very lucky with our pitch, just near the village store, water and all at hand. It was baking hot yesterday. We visited Combe Martin in the morning, stayed home in the afternoon, I visited Ilfracombe at night. Just thinking about cooking dinner now. Love Bella.'

The list of Millers for Berry Mills from 1850 [White's Directory] up to 1939 [Kelly's Directory] are:

1850 - Jane Dyer 1856 - Thomas Pile 1866 - John Hancock, Jnr. 1878-1906 - John Jewell 1906-1923 - Ernest Smith [Lewis Smith's father] 1923-1926 - George Burgess 1926-1939 - James Chugg

The mill had an overshot water wheel constructed of cast iron with wooden buckets and wheel diameter of 20' and width of 5'. It was fed with water running in a leat taken from the stream beyond North Lee Farm and running alongside the road until it reached Berry Mills.

In the Watermouth Estate Sale of 1924, Lot 6 describes: 'Berry Mills, a very desirable Grist Mill and Dairy Farm comprising slated Dwelling House containing: Sitting room, Kitchen, Back Kitchen, Dairy and four Bedrooms, with Garden, Mill and water Wheel, Tiled six-stall Shippen, Dutch Barn, Tiled Piggery, Tiled Shippen, Slated two-stall Stable, Tiled Calf House and about 16 acres 2r 29p of Rich Watered Meadow, Pasture and Woodlands, as now in the occupation of Mr. C.H. Burgess as a Yearly Michaelmas Tenant.' James Chugg was the purchaser.

At the foot of Hagginton Hill, both North Lee Farm and the Linhey and out-buildings opposite can be clearly seen as well as Middle Lee Farm in the distance. At the top of the picture, Black's Farm and outbuildings can be seen. The building showing at the top of Hagginton Hill [top right] is probably 'Grattons'.

Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage, May 2010

e-mail: tombartlett44@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


The contribution for this issue is unprecedented. Postcards from previous articles have been used, but as they date back to issues in 1989/90, there will be many people to whom they are new!

This winter has played havoc with many of our local roads, but of course they were not always tarmaced and smooth. In the early 1900's, they were just made of compacted stones as these pictures show.

The first is a Garratt postcard c1904 showing Pitt Hill with Fuchsia Cottage on the right and the steps leading up to the old Post Office on the left. The first building on the left is where the Bassetts of Watermouth stabled their coach and horses whilst attending Sunday Service at St. Peter's Church.


The knife-sharpening barrow, outside The Globe, belonged to Jim Glass who would go round from village to village, spending one or two days sharpening knives, scythes, scissors, etc. At night he would doss down with Sam Harding's horses at the blacksmith's, next to the school. There he would be warm!

The second picture is another Garratt postcard of the same date and shows members of the Street family on the unmade lane at Wood Park, with the cottages Riversdale, Brookvale and Woodvale.


As and when these roads needed maintenance, large stones and rocks would be brought in, probably from the quarry at Harper's Mill in the Sterridge Valley. They would be broken into smaller, suitably sized stones by men employed as 'stone crackers'. A steam driven traction engine would then be used to roll the stones into the road, leaving a relatively hard but dusty surface.

Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage, March 2010

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


St. Peter's Church and the Manor Hall


This photographic postcard published around 1920-1921 by the Photochrom Company Limited of Tunbridge Wells, shows St. Peter's church, the Manor Hall, Tower Cottage and part of the thatched roof of Bessemer Thatch.

At first glance, the picture is dominated by a huge tree apparently growing in the churchyard and seemingly almost ninety foot in height! The yew tree near the entrance path is still there today and with its bright red berries has provided food for many wild birds over the years. The 'Elizabethan' Manor House, now the Penn Curzon Room and Mens' Institute [snooker] Room shows a door on the left of the east facing wall and on the right an ivy clad wall where the present entrance door is. Part of the Manor Hall, built 1913-14 can also be seen. Over its porch was a large gas lamp, very similar to the one over the Lych Gate at that time.

These gas lamps were shown in Views No. 27 and 29 in the Newsletters of February and June 1994.

Beyond the church, there is also a complete absence of houses on the eastern side of Barton Lane.

Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, January 2010

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Caravans at Watermouth


This month I have chosen 'Caravans at Watermouth' The first of these two real photographic postcards shows these caravans taken

c1955-60. In addition to the long line of static 'vans, a number of private ones can be seen - one in the foreground and two or three further down the field. I imagine the picture was taken in September, as the open field shows grass cut and formed into small stooks. When dried, this would be collected up as hay and stored for food and bedding for cattle over the winter months. Note the almost forest of trees beyond and above what was termed 'Big Meadow'.

The second postcard has been taken at about the same time from Napps Campsite and it gives a clear view of the whole of Watermouth, looking west-wards. Part of the roof of Watermouth Castle can be seen on the left, the long line of static caravans can be seen forming a semi-circle ending towards the harbour and the long building by the Cove and Caves can be seen in the centre.


Following my request for information on the 'Berrynarbor in the Snow' picture in article No. 121, I should like to thank Jenny Taylor [now living in France], Songbird and Peter Newell for responding.

Jenny says: "The moon gate is in the garden of 9 Goosewell and was built by Edith Rumley's husband, Les. Edith was a keen photographer. They lived there from the '50's until the early '80's. They were there when I moved there in 1981, but Pete Newell can probably give you better dates. Edith was a member of the Women's Institute, with her sister Florrie Rendell, also with her husband Les, who lived at 7 Goosewell. As far as I know, the gate still exists but I am not sure about the bird/snow bath."

"Les and Edith Rumley lived at Goosewell [where Pete Newell lives]. As I recall, Les was in the army and took a course in building when he came out. When we moved here he was working for Watermouth Caves on the maintenance and father and myself worked with him there for many years. The arch is either one he built in his garden, or the one at the Caves he built. As I recall, his son Brian used to run a speed boat over to Broadsands for the caves. This was when a concrete and steel fence was put at the bottom of Broadsands steps . . . the locals duly removed it. Hope this helps - it was a long time ago so some of the facts I have given may not be exactly to the letter!" Songbird

"With reference to the WI postcard taken by Edith Rumley, I can tell you exactly where it was taken from! We moved into Meadowsweet, 9 Goosewell, in 1980, previously occupied by Edith and Les Rumley. We moved in partly due to that view from the garden, although when we moved in the hedgerow was somewhat taller [and it was not quite so snowy!] The garden has changed a large amount, with the collapse of the circulate structure which was built of roof tiles. Fortunately, we realised its lack of security before it fell on one of our family!" Pete N.

So we now have no doubt at all as to where the picture was taken or who Mrs. Rumley was.

Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage, November 2009

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com

Marlene has told me:

"Mr. and Mrs. Rumley lived at Goosewell, just a door away from her sister and her husband. Mrs. Rumley was a trained dressmaker and her work was of a very high standard. In fact, Mrs. Rumley made my wedding dress and bridesmaids' dresses in 1961. When my daughter Tracey was born in 1963, she took the skirt and made the christening gown and it has been used for the christenings of all my children and grandchildren to date.

"The donkeys and horses that were said to be buried in the field, were ones that were worked at the lime kilns out on the old coast road."



Artwork: Angela Bartlett



For this issue I have chosen a postcard entitled 'Berrynarbor in Snow'. This relatively modern postcard has been published by the Devon Federation of Women's Institutes as a 12-month tear-off postcard calendar, some time prior to 1988.

We are informed that the photograph has been taken by a Mrs. E Rumley of Berrynarbor W.I. To date I have been unable to find out where the photograph was taken or any information about Mrs. Rumley.

I imagine it may have been taken from somewhere up Barton Lane or Goosewell, as the view appears to be looking towards the sea. The picture is quite striking as the garden has not only a stone or concrete bird bath [snow bath!], but also a stone or concrete 'moon gate', similar to the ones seen in Bermuda.

Can anyone please throw some light on the location of this postcard or on Mrs. Rumley? The card was sent from Honiton on the 7th March 1988 to Luton in Bedfordshire.

Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, September 2009

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Watermouth Harbour and the Martello [Shaped] Tower

The two views of Watermouth Harbour and Headland, nos. 84 and 157, were both taken by William Garrett.

The first around 1919 or earlier shows the almost enclosed harbour at high tide with two sea-going ketches and what appears to be a sailing dinghy. Gerald Walters of Combe Martin informs me that the ketches were the 'Olive and Mary' and 'Lady of the Isles'. Note that at the time there is no development of the harbour and headland at all.

The second and later picture shows two sailing ketches, but the one on the left is already being dismantled and broken up. A large tent or marquee can be seen and this was probably for one of the Boys' Brigade Camps, which were often held at Watermouth [see View No. 97, October 2005].

Note the Martello shaped tower which appears in both pictures. This must surely be the oldest surviving building or structure at Watermouth. Indeed, the Reverend John Swete, [1752-1821], producer of 'The Illustrated Journals: Travel in Georgian Devon' between 1789 and 1800, refers to the structure as follows:

"The restrospective view of Watermouth as I ascended the northern side of a steep hill was extremely pleasing - the Cove, and the rocky headland were beheld in high perfection, and the little Edifice about midway on the latter [now seen sideaway], exhibited its Portico more conspicuously than it had done when viewed from the House. I had conceived this Building which wore the semblance of a Grecian temple, to have been erected for the purpose of recreation, imagining that it had a room which commanded the whole extent of Sea, and all the Beauties which were comprised within the little circle of Watermouth; in this however I was wholly mistaken, for I learnt from the Servant, that it was a Dove house and had been erected as an object merely from the House."

This picture, again showing the tower, is an artistic view entitled 'Watermouth seat of [blank] Davie Esq.' is dated 1796, well before the construction of today's Watermouth Castle, which was commenced in 1820 and completed in 1840.

My father, Thomas L. Bartlett, B.A., M.B.O.U. [Member of the British Ornithological Union] was both a historian and ornithologist and until his death in 1973 was the Chairman of the Selborne Society and Editor of the Selborne Magazine. The Selborne Society, founded in 1885, existed at that time : to perpetuate the memory of Gilbert White; to protect places of interest and natural beauty; to conserve Britain's heritage of wild birds, animals and plants; to encourage the study of Natural History and to campaign for small Educational Sanctuaries near built-up areas.

In the Summer 1968 issue of the Selborne Magazine, my father wrote:

"Since 1905, when from the top of the old Lorna Doone coach I saw a great Red Deer silhouetted against a sunset sky, I have traversed the whole North Devon coast. To that coast after Arctic wanderings, one of my sons has now returned to live whilst another, who has studied wild life and taught school children in the Falklands, regularly brings his young family to explore the caves at Watermouth and play on the sandy beaches south of Ilfracombe. Soon these youngsters will be wanting to range northwards towards Lynton to see where their parents pitched their tents under Buzzards' nests and found at least one Dipper's nest each year along the Lyn. I know from my own observations and from 'Ilfracombe Flora and Fauna' published in 1946 that during the last two decades Buzzards, Dippers and other interesting land birds along this coast have been too rapidly decreasing. I am also wondering what birds, what paths and what nature study facilities for school children will be available along that coast in the seventies and eighties.

"Accordingly after studying the 'Outline Development Plan for the Coastal Strip, Ilfracombe to Combe Martin' displayed at the County Hall, Exeter, I have suggested that the County Planning and Education authorities should consider registering the Tower illustrated on the cover of this magazine and a few acres round it not only as a site of outstanding natural beauty but as one of Special Scientific Interest which could be adapted as a field centre, observatory and museum, to give school children and others a greater interest in Devon's natural history and a deeper concern about its conservation. T.L.B."

Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage, August 2009

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com.


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


This month I have chosen a William Garratt real photograph postcard, No. 89, showing a large part of the central village and Hagginton Hill.


This picture was taken by Garratt some time between 1915 and 1925, from the steep field belonging to the Richards' Family of Moules Farm. The impressive tower of St. Peter's stands proudly out on the right, beyond which can be seen the roof of Tower Cottage [51 The Village], the Penn-Curzon Room and the Berrynarbor Men's Institute Room. Also pictured are The Old Court and the Congregational Chapel.

In the foreground - from the right - Hill Crest [No. 55] can be seen and the row of cottages, followed by Dunchideock [No. 54]. A thatched Bessemer Thatch is followed by all the cottages on both sides of Pitt Hill, including The Lodge. On the left is North Lee Farm, at the foot of Hagginton Hill, which stretches with its cottages right up to Grattons at the top right of the picture. Note the large gaps between the properties on the hill, which have now largely been filled in with further cottages and houses.

May I once more appeal for information or pictures of Berrydown Chapel, particularly if you ever attended a service or function there? My thanks to Caroline Verney in the last Newsletter for getting in touch with me was very sad as she had recently died. If you have any information, please do contact me on [01271] 883408.

Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, June 2009

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


This month I have chosen three photographic postcards from my collection in the hope that some of our senior Berrynarbor villagers may be able to identify one or two of the people shown!

The first, and oldest picture, shows a gathering of adults and children in the Berrynarbor Chapel taken, I believe, between 1925 and 1935. It appears to be quite an important event as apart from, presumably, the local minister on the stage, a further two ministers can be seen on the left. Note the potted palms and aspidistra on the tables and the bouquet of flowers, which I presume has just been presented by the young girl on the left of the minister's wife. I wonder if the cross on the wrapping signifies the British Red Cross and there is a nurse [matron] standing on the right?


The second has been taken in the Manor Hall and is the 'Welcome Home' Social held in 1946. Note the Victory 'V' sign above the stage and 'Long Live the King'. The Union flags, with the picture of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, are in the centre.


The third and last picture is of a Children's Christmas Party, again in the Manor Hall, and taken around 1946-1950 by the Ilfracombe Photographers, Lee & Sons of 24 High Street. Depending on the date taken, it may include some of the many evacuees living in Berrynarbor at the time.


Can you put names to anyone in any of the pictures? If you can, I should love to hear from you, by telephone, letter or e-mail.

Finally, can I again appeal for information or pictures of Berrydown Chapel, particularly if you ever attended a service or function there? In the meantime, my thanks to John Clark, Sheila Brain and Caroline Verney for getting in touch. If you can help, please do contact me [883408].


Copyright Photographs Tom Bartlett Collection

Tower Cottage, EX34 9SE e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


This month I have chosen a postcard I was very fortunate to pick up at an Exeter Postcard Fair way back in 1995, from one of the best known dealers in the West Country, Anne Scott of Exmouth, who can often be heard on Radio Devon. This real photographic postcard was taken and sent around 1904 and shows Mr. Ephraim Street, an agricultural labourer, outside his cottage, 71, Higher Sterridge Valley with his horse and jingle [trap].

The postcard was sent by Kitty - his daughter - to Miss F. Clarke at Wildersmouth Villa, Ilfracombe. It is interesting as it had been sent without a stamp and had incurred a 1d postage due charge, which Miss Clarke would have had to pay!

Ephraim, who was born in Marwood in about 1844, and his wife Susan, who was born in Berrynarbor about 1854, had a large family: Mary Jane, Richard, William, Ellen, Elizabeth [Tilly], Caroline [Kitty], John, Edward, Matilda and Dorcas.

The second postcard shows Tilly and Dorcas feeding the ducks and chickens outside No. 71. This appeared as View No. 4 in the April issue of the Newsletter in 1990.

It shows on the right the tap house which supplied fresh water to all the nearby cottages. It was lovingly restored in the 1980's by the late Vi Kingdon who by her marriage was related to the Street family. Barn Cottage, home of Kath and Trevor, can be seen in the background in both views.

Does anyone have any information on or pictures of Berrydown Chapel? I should really like to produce an article on this Chapel at some future date. If you can help, please DO contact me on [01271] 883408.

Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, January 2009
e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett



This month I have chosen a postcard taken and published by F. Frith & Co., Ltd. of Reigate towards the end of 1939. The postcard is numbered 89036 and shows Pitt Hill with the Manor Stores, now in 2008 known as Flowerdew Cottage, on the left. Following further down is the original single storey cottage opposite the entrance to the Globe, completely transformed by Charlie Layton in the late 1950's and now known as Blue Mist. Then there is the series of cottages with the roof of Langleigh [Boarding] House just showing.

On the right is the window of Dormer Cottage [Miss Muffets], the gardens of Whitley Cottage and Corfe Cottage before the 'TEAS' sign for The Globe Public House. Finally on the right, is the roof and chimneys of Fuchsia Cottage.

Note the girl sitting outside the Manor Stores and the Cadbury's Chocolate Bar dispenser, as well as the interestingly shaped windows, with the top glass panels almost chapel-like. Also of note is the large telephone pole outside The Globe with over 20 isolated cables. The postcard itself was sent in the 1940's from Ilfracombe to a lady in Torquay and posted with a King George VI green 11/2d and an orange 1/2d stamp.

Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage November 2008

E-Mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Lower Town, Berrynarbor

For this issue, and because of holidays, I have chosen four different postcards showing 'Lower Town' or 'Silver Street', Berrynarbor.

The first card, a photograph taken by W. Garratt about 1925 shows the Post Office and Shop No. 62, Brookside No. 63, No. 61 Betty Brooks, and the two cottages, Nos. 60 and 45 [the nearest became a butcher's shop] and part of Berrynarbor School.

The second card is photographed and printed by E.A. Sweetman of Tunbridge Wells c1926 and was sent to some in Swimbridge in 1931l. This card shows part of the garden of Brookside, the Post Office and Shop, as well as St. Peter's Church and Claude's Dairy, with opposite the corner of Gable Cottage, the roof of the School and the wall of No. 61, Betty Brooks's house.

This photographic card was published by Raphael Tuck & Sons Ltd. and again shows Brookside, the Post Office and Shop and St. Peter's Church. It was taken around 1939 and the card is actually postmarked 'Ilfracombe 1939' and was sent to someone in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.

Lastly, another Sweetman postcard, in colour, of around 1950 showing the same buildings as before, but with two cars, possibly of 1939 vintage, and several villagers or visitors.

I felt these views of our previous shop and post office were apt for this issue. The new Shop was opened by District Councillor Yvette Gubb on Friday, 30th August, on an actual sunny day!

Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, September 2008

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett



F. Frith & Co. Ltd. of Reigate produced this Multi-View postcard. This particular postcard has a postmark of 5th August 1960 and was sent to an address in Aberdeen, Scotland. The message on the reverse side reads: "Dear Both, This is where we are, a couple of miles from Ilfracombe. Weather improving steadily". A message that could well be written this year!

I particularly like this card as it gives five dated views of the Berrynarbor Trailer Park and shows how much it has changed. For those fortunate enough to attend and visit the Open Gardens in the Sterridge Valley in June, they were able to see that the Trailer Park has now become a thriving and almost separate community within our village. Indeed, one can only have admiration for the way the properties and gardens are maintained and not a caravan in site! I actually have a total of twelve separate postcards of the Trailer Park, all published by Friths from around the same period of time, 1957.

Mrs. Smith and her son, Paul, purchased the land some time prior to 1952 and developed the site from around that time, Coronation Year. They steadily built it up and sold it to Ian and Simon Kemp on the 1st May 1980 as a site with a mixture of caravans and static caravans, and a Licence for up to 15 tents.

The Kemp's worked hard and built the site up further and around 1983 Simon bought a Fire Engine which attracted a great deal of attention being kept on the site. By the time they sold the business to Paul and Teresa Crockett, they had obtained permission for about 40 Residential Homes. Sadly, on selling the site, Simon had to dispose of his Fire Engine which went all the way "across the water" to Swansea in Wales.

Paul and Teresa took over from Ian and Simon back in October 1998 - how time flies! At that time there were just six Residential Homes. This has now increased to thirty-three and five Holiday Lodges, all with full services provision, other than gas, which has never reached the Valley. Paul and Teresa are particularly proud that The Park now participates in the David Bellamy Conservation Award Scheme.


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Briary Cave - Views at Ilfracombe III

This time I have chosen an upright multi-view postcard published by The Pictorial Stationery Co. Ltd. of London around 1904 under their "Peacock Brand" Trade Mark, All four views are in colour with the card having been printed in Saxony (Germany). In the bottom right corner we have Briary Cave, Watermouth. We should remember that in the early part of the Twentieth Century, Ilfracombe was one of the premier resorts in the U.K. and visitors would travel out to Watermouth and Berrynarbor in a two or four-horse drawn coach as shown in the second picture I have used.

At Watermouth the visitors would visit the caves, entrance 2d per person to view both Smallmouth and Briary Cave, and often take the small ferry across to Broad Sands beach.

Such a horse drawn coach would leave each day from outside the Runnacleave Hotel, Ilfracombe at 2.30 p.m. and the trip would cost 2/6d per person, which was quite a lot of money in those days. The billboard on the coach reads "Sterrage Valley by the New Barnstaple Road Through the Woods returning via Berrynarbor & Watermouth Castle At 2.30pm Return Fare 2/6".

This particular photographic postcard was by Philipse and Lees of Ilfracombe, taken on July 13th 1908 and upon the coach's return to Ilfracombe, these postcards would be offered to the passengers at 1d each. This was in the hope they would wish to purchase several postcards each and send them off to all their family, friends and work colleagues. In those days, each card could be sent off by post at just one 1/2 pence, arriving first thing the next day anywhere in the U.K., not like the postal service offered to-day!

Returning to the 'Views' card, the other three pictures show the "Capstone Steps" down to Cheyne Beach, and "The Admiral Rodney, Old Ilfracombe", which was situated off Broad Street at the foot of Fore Street and is where the Amusement Arcade and the New Lifeboat House are now situated.

The original sign for the Admiral Rodney, which was closed down in 1913 when the magistrates failed to renew the Licence, can still be seen in Ilfracombe Museum.

The final picture shows "Hele Mill, near Ilfracombe" which until recently operated and produced organic corn meal for sale. The postcard itself was posted from Ilfracombe at 4.30 p.m. on April 10th 1905, it has a "Thimble" postmark and was sent to a Miss Chawter at The Rectory Parracombe Barnstaple.

Tom Bartlett,T

Tower Cottage, May 2008
e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett



'Arrived about 3 o'clock, lovely voyage.

This is our cottage, there are about 10 rooms in it, all lovely and clean and comfy.'

A.H. Hawke of Helston, Cornwall, took this fine photographic view of the centre of our village around 1929-30. It shows a completely thatched Bessemer Thatch, Dormer Cottage [Miss Muffet's], the church steps and Pitt Hill with Fuchsia Cottage. Those of you who have been reading my articles for some time will remember that in View 65 I wrote all about the fire at Bessemer Thatch on the 5th May 1937, when all the thatched roof and much of the house was destroyed. At that time it was owned by Canon Jolly and the damage was estimated at nearly £1,000. It was said that the fire had been caused by a spark from a nearby chimney. Canon Jolly remained the owner right up until his death in 1972.

Alfred Herbert Hawke was a well-known and highly acclaimed photographer and postcard publisher. He carried out his business from a studio and shop in Meneage Street, Helston, and travelled all over Cornwall, North Devon and Exmoor, taking photographs of villages and seaside resorts. I have, probably, hundreds of his cards and the postmarks vary from 1920 [Clovelly] up to the late 1930's. He was not known to take photographs of large towns or cities, or even inland villages other than a few on Exmoor, like Brendon, Oare and Rockford. He was well known as the photographer for the Helson Flurry [Flora] Dance and Padstow Hobby Hoss Day; also of elections, wrecks, fires, hotels and country houses! Known as some of his earliest pictures, are those of the visit by the Lord Mayor Treloar of London to the Flora Day and St. Keverne in 1907, and of the new Helston fire engine in 1910. I have twenty different postcards of Berrynarbor and Watermouth with postmarks ranging from 1928. I also have a further 27 of Combe Martin, with postmarks dating from 1928 onwards.

Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage, March 2008

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


St. Peter's Church, Berrynarbor

The postcard I have chosen this month is a sketch of St. Peter's Church by the artist Harley Miller. Harley Miller had his pen and ink sketches reproduced as postcards by Harvey Barton, the postcard publishers of Bristol. I believe he came to the village around 19971-3, and as a result, this card, and one of Ye Olde Globe and looking down Pitt Hill, were published. Through the internet and Google, I have managed to contact Harley Miller, who now lives up in the Scottish Highlands. He was born in Surrey in 1934 and moved, around 1961, down to Sidmouth, Devon, where he worked as an architect and artist. As the latter, he had commissions with the South West National Trust and produced many pictures for them. In 1971, in partnership with the Maritime Trust, Harley published a Maritime Calendar featuring twelve fine line drawings of their collection of historic ships and boats and through this work was introduced to the Bristol publishers Harvey Barton, who were so impressed with his work that they retained him for a period of approximately three years, 1971-1974, to give them the first opportunity to print any of his pictures as postcards. In 1974, Harley moved away from Sidmouth to Horning in Norfolk and three years later moved to the Scottish Highlands.

He told me how he would visit certain villages and towns and as well as producing a rough sketch, would also take a photograph, with an old black and white camera, and the produce the true sketch in his studio.

I, myself, have eight of his postcards, six printed by Harvey Barton of Bristol and two of The Bowd Inn, near Sidmouth, by Sydney Lee [Exeter] Limited. The other four cards in my collection show Exford [Crown Hotel, etc.], the Chichester Arms, Bishops Tawton, St. John the Baptist Church, Bishops Tawton and lastly the card below showing an old boat with 'YH89' on its bow.

From this particular card I worked out the 'YH' as being Yarmouth and fortunately someone has written on the message side: "Lydia Eva, Steam Herring Drifter, built Kings Lyn 1930, now at Great Yarmouth". Harley informed me that this postcard was reproduced from the 1972 Maritime Calendar. Anyone who has the opportunity to go on the internet can go on to Harley Miller's website www.harleymiller.com.

You will immediately realise what an accomplished artist he is and how from his base in Moray, he is encouraging fellow artists to fulfil their dreams through his personal mentoring and articles. He will also, on the 27th January, present a talk entitled 'A Proper Living from Your Art' at the Moray Arts Centre, Findhorn Bay.

Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage, January 2008

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


General View. Berrynarbor

This photographic postcard of Berrynarbor was published by Francis Frith & Co. Ltd. Of Reigate, England. I find it particularly appropriate at this time when work has started on the building of our Community Shop in the car park on Castle Hill.

Whilst I believe the photograph was taken around 1960, the actual card was sent from Berrynarbor to Holt in Norfolk and has an Ilfracombe postmark of 21st August 1969. This picture shows Capel Cottage with a field opposite, which is where the car park is now. To the right we can see Moules Farm, which has been in the ownership of several generations of the Richards family. It must have been a particularly clear day, as part of the Welsh coast can be seen. There also appears to be a large number of mature trees, including those behind and to the side of Capel Cottage.

The writing on the reverse I found quite interesting: "Left Harrow at 9am and a good journey to Devon by 5pm, lovely countryside, we are right down in the Sterridge Valley. Caravan very nice, everything supplied, stands in orchard with stream at the bottom. Car did very well, but a knock started near back wheel, going in garage tomorrow. Have just climbed 200 steps from beach. Love M.B.J.S. & C."

We can see that it had taken 8 hours to cover the 200 odd miles from North West London and the beach they had visited had been Broadsands. Is there anyone who can give me a date as to when the picture had been taken?


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Silver Street, Berrynarbor, View 109

Helen C. Armstead drew this sketch of Silver Street, Berrynarbor, just one of four sketches she drew which were reproduced as plain back postcards in 1982, and sold from the Manor Stores for several years. Helen was married before the Second World War and lived in Sussex. Sadly, her husband died at Dunkirk. She was left alone to bring up her young son, Richard, and they moved to Court Cottage, Berrynarbor. She continued to live there until the late '90's when with failing health she moved to a residential home in Lynton and then to Heanton, where she died on the 18th May 2002. Very sadly she outlived both her son Richard and grandson, William.

Always active, Helen was a regular member of the Berrynarbor Badminton Club. She very much enjoyed painting and sketching, most of which was carried out around the village. She was a person with a very strong character who really loved her garden and her dogs, and also had very happy memories of holidays on the Isles of Scilly.

The sketch of Silver Street shows Little Gables, the National School, the Butcher's Shop - Cutts End - the cottage beside it, No. 60 and beyond No. 61, the home of Betty Brookes. On the left is what was Claude Richards' Dairy, now forming part of Dunchideock Cottage.

Helen's three other sketches reproduced as postcards were St. Peter's Church, Berrynarbor, which was drawn from the west and showed Tower Cottage; The Village, Berrynarbor showing the Square, Bessemer Thatch and Dormer Cottage, now known as Miss Muffets Tea Rooms and finally, a sketch of Watermouth Castle from the Cove.

My photograph shows Helen outside her beloved Court Cottage, together with her golden Labrador Bonnie.

Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage, September 2007

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


'Berrynarbour' - View 108

This picture of the village taken by Francis Frith around 1892 must be one of the earliest photographs of Berrynarbor and below I point out why I also think it is one of the most interesting.

In the centre, note how No. 63 Silver Street, Brookside, is thatched, as is Jacobswell on the right and Bessemer Thatch on the left. Jacobswell, just to the west of Hillcrest [No. 55], was at a much later date turned into the small row of cottages now known as Ferndale, Jacobs Well and The Olives - all slated. On the corner is No. 54, now known as Dunchideock which was where Claude Richards lived and had his dairy.

The National School building can be seen clearly, complete with its bell hanging from the small archway constructed on the roof. Bessemer Thatch at that time consisted of three separate cottages - Nos. 47, 48 and 49 - with Grey Gables on the corner [No. 50]. Nearly all the cottages had their own piggeries and hen houses, plainly visible at the back of Bessemer Thatch.

Most of the available land was cultivated, shown in front and behind the cottages on Hagginton Hill. The photograph must have been taken during the winter months as the very large trees are all without leaves. The height of the trees around the Church of St. Peter must be at least 50' or 60' knowing the height of the tower. Below the church tower, No. 51 - Tower Cottage - can be seen with chimneys at either end of the roof. The Manor House, now the Penn Curzon Room and Men's Institute can be seen but, of course, no Manor Hall since it was not built until 1913-14. The Old Court and Chapel are clearly visible, as is the Globe Public House, complete with its lime washed retaining wall on to Pitt Hill.

Hagginton Hill at this time shows a great space between the lower and higher group of cottages, with Grattons standing on its own at the top.

Finally, I have been asked to enquire for information about a wrought iron sign of BERRYNARBOR which is supposed to have been made by Sam Harding, Blacksmith. I am led to believe that the sign was seen, even after the Second World War, and I would appreciate any information. Thanks.

Tom Bartlett - Tower Cottage, July 2007

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


James Norman "Reuben Dale" - View 107

James Norman, born in Combe Martin in 1844, became famous through the publication of The Mighty Atom by Marie Corelli, whose books in the late 1800's sold by the million.

Whist writing The Mighty Atom, Marie Corelli resided at 'Waverly' near the Seaside and is said to have also resided at The Pack of Cards and even had a room there named after her.

Her home residence was Mason Croft, Stratford-on-Avon, where she died in 1924. Quite eccentric, she had brought from Venice an exotic gondola, complete with gondoliers, and was often to be seen being rowed along the River Avon near her home.

Returning to James Norman, he was born in a small thatched cottage in Combe Martin's long High Street and was Sexton for the Parish Church for a period of 12 years. Some years after his death in 1898, at the still relatively early age of 54 years, the Ilfracombe Publishers Twiss Brothers even produced a postcard of his gravestone.

To illustrate this article, I have given Judie some six postcards in the hope that she will find room for them all.

James Norman on the path to Combe Martin Church

Marie Corelli's autograph on the frontispiece of her book 'The Mighty Atom'


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Combe Martin from Barnstaple Road, View 106

This is a very interesting "Peacock" Series post card produced by the Pictorial Stationery Co. Ltd. of London and printed in Saxony [Germany] around 1904-08. In the foreground, the limestone workings known as 'Berry Quarry" can clearly be seen. This quarry was worked from around 1840 until 1916 and the limestone was mined and then transported on tramways. The tramway lines are just visible on the card - those on the left running to the 'spoil' or waste heaps, and one to the right ending at the lime kiln, visible to the left of the cottage or farmhouse on the right. Coal [culm] would be shipped from South Wales to Combe Martin harbour, where it would be unloaded onto horse and carts and taken to the many limekilns in the village. In the limekilns, layers of local-mined limestone would be covered with layers of the Welsh 'culm' and then set alight and roasted to slake the lime which was then collected by the local farmers to 'sweeten' their acid soils and increase yields significantly. This card also clearly demonstrates just how long the High Street is, with houses on either side of it.

Tom Barlett
Tower Cottage, March 2007-03-25

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Mill Park Lake, View 105

This very early picture of the lake at Mill Park was taken by A.J. Vince around 1900 and numbered V531. There are few pictures taken of this lake/pond and this photographic post card is extremely rare, this being the only such picture that I know of.

A.J. Vince has taken this picture from the north end looking toward the village and with no buildings in sight gives us a truly atmospheric and rural picture. These days, the lake looks just as rural and wonderful and gives a great deal of pleasure and delight to anglers from all over the country, as well as occasionally providing a really fresh meal for the odd heron or two! Indeed, over the last few years, keen and patient anglers have caught carp, bream, perch, roach, tench and golden orfe. Mary Malin informed me that the record for a carp caught there is 20lbs.

The Lake at Mill Park Today

This picture comes from a photograph album of Miss Iris Hibbert entitled Watermouth 1910-1913' and shows a Mr. Setchell, complete with dog, being rowed in the lake or in Watermouth Harbour by Sister.

The second photograph shows Major Williams, flanked by 'Sister' in the long jacket and Iris Hibbert. Both photographs, I believe, have been taken in 1915-16 when Watermouth Castle was requisitioned as a convalescent hospital for army officers and where Iris served as just one of several nurses with Captain James in charge.

Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage,

January 2007

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com

I should like to thank Pam for her informative article on Walter William Bassett [1863-1907] in the December issue. Looking through my postcards of Austria, I came across this photographic postcard [bearing the No. 27.656] showing the Vienna 'Riesenrad' in its original form, complete with all 30 gondolas.

We know from the information in Pam's article that this postcard must have been taken prior to 1944 and I should like to think it was taken in1927 from the number given.



Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Watermouth Beach

The first view, The Beach Smallmouth, was probably originally photographed by W.S.Woods the Bamstaple photographer and produced by The Pictorial Stationery Co. Ltd., London back in 1906-7 as a black printed postcard No.6350. This version is published as a photographic postcard and has a date on the back of July-August 1920. The number of rowing boats shown gives some indication of just how popular the caves and beach were at the turn of the last century. Visitors would pay a toll of 1d or 2d to enter the caves and beach and would be brought out to Watermouth by coach and horses, later by charabancs. The boatmen and their boats would take visitors over to Broadsands Beach and for trips to Combe Martin and around the Bay.

In the background is the formidable but breathtaking sight of Little and Great Hangman. Note the lady on the left with her long dress down to her ankles and a foiled umbrella to shade herself from the sun and wearing a large brimmed hat with artificial flowers on top, as any lady would in those times!

The second view is identical but taken over half a century later around 1958, numbered 2166 and published by Dearden & Wade of Bournemouth. It is likely that this picture was taken in July or August and shows a very busy Watermouth Beach [Smallmouth Cove] with children clambering over the rocks in every direction. Note the old fashioned knitted woollen swimming costumes being worn and the lack of almost any beach chairs or windbreaks.

The other two postcards, both published by J. Valentine & Sons and originally with the Valentine's number of 18703, date back to c1905. You will immediately notice in the second of these two cards that three sailing boats have been added as well as a small rowing boat/dinghy. The latter card has been given a different number by Valentine's and was sent in June 1938. So don't always believe what you see on a postcard! Frith's also often updated their postcards by removing horses and carriages and inserting cars and differently dressed people.

The small beach at the high tide end of Smallmouth Cove became enclosed shortly before or just after the Second World War by the building of a wall across the beach. This was to give not only a protected and safe beach but ensured that a pool was present at all times with a change of seawater at every high tide.

Wishing you all a great festive Christmas and a healthy New Year 2007.

Tom Bartlett, November 2006

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


The Lees, Berrynarbor

The first view of The Lees was published by E.A. Sweetman & Sons Ltd. of Tunbridge Wells. The photographic postcard, postmarked the

30th May 1953, was sent by *Harry Whapple to a Miss W. Whapple, living in Coventry. On the left are the outbuildings and barn for South Lee Farm. In the centre is Glen Lee and on the right Middle Lee Farm. It is interesting to note that the very steep field behind Middle Lee is ploughed and probably being used to grow vegetables and potatoes following on from the Second World War.


The second view was published in both sepia and colour versions by Harvey Barton around 1955 and in the case of the coloured version, white clouds have been inserted into the view to enhance it. The first thing that anyone who knows Berrynarbor will notice is that there has been very little change in the buildings and scenery shown, and for that we should all be very thankful.

Both Sweetman and Harvey Barton published postcards depicting villages and towns all over England. The earliest Sweetman postcards I have date back to the mid-1920's, whilst Harvey Barton postcards date back to 1907.

Sadly, I had no response to the questions posed by me in the August Newsletter but if this is an oversight, please do contact me or the Editor.

I finish with the following piece of gossip from over 100 years ago which I found in the Ilfracombe Chronicle:

"The Ilfracombe Chronicle and North Devon News, Saturday, July 11, 1896 GOSSIP OF THE TOWN I should think the people of Berrynarbor have reason to be pleased with the work of the Parish Council. The effects of their labours for the first twelve months have been seen in the establishment of a daily delivery of letters in the village, where there was formerly a delivery three days a week; the carriage of letters to outlying farms every other day, an entirely new departure; and the opening of a money order and savings bank in connection with the local post office. Last, but not least, the proper apportionment of some charity funds has been sanctioned by the Commisioners. According to my information, the

income derivable from a certain charity should have been divided between the Church and the poor, but for the last 60 years the latter's portion has found its way into coffers of the former. When the Parish Council came on the scene, Mr. Besley, who was one of its members, continually pegged away at the charity question, with the object of securing the proper payment of the amount. The case has been brought before the Charity Commissioners, who, I hear, have upheld the view of the Council. The amount is not a large one; but nevertheless the result is satisfactory. Taking all these things together, the Berrynarbor Parish Council has justified its existence. The parish rate has not exceeded a halfpenny in the £."

Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage, September 2006

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com

*Editor's Note: [and with thanks to Jan Gammon for her confirmation}

When we moved here in 1970, we had the pleasure of meeting Harry Whapple, or 'Whappy' as he was known. He lived in Coventry with his sister but was a regular visitor, spending all his summers here in Berrynarbor, first with 'Parky Smith' at Middle Lee Farm and latterly with the Altree family at Homeleigh. His last visit here before his death was in the summer of 1973.


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


For this issue I have chosen a 'part mystery' photographic postcard in the hope that one of our more senior residents might be able to identify where the picture was taken and some of the people shown. The postcard itself dates from somewhere between 1903 and 1906.

1. The postcard was written by Miss Mary Jane Huxtable, who appears on the extreme right of the picture, dressed as a bridesmaid.

2. Her sister, Miss ? Huxtable, is the bride.

3. The marriage took place, presumably at Berrynarbor Church, on the 16th March, and between the years 1903-6 inclusive

4. The sender's address on the card is: Hillside Cottage, Barton Lane, Berry Narbor.

5. The writer, Mary Jane Huxtable, married Arthur John Snell of Capel Cottage on Saturday, 7th February 1907 in St. Peter's Church

6. Arthur John Snell was the eldest of four children brought up by their widowed mother from around 1903-1904.

7. Arthur's brother and sisters were Nelly, Walter and Mabel Snell.

8. Mrs. Snell used to take in the washing for the Rev. Reginald and Mrs. Churchill.

Finally, the undated message on the reverse side of the card reads:

"Dear Hilda

I am sending you another PC. for your collection hope you will like it. I suppose you wont be able to find anyone you know there. It was taken the day my sister was married the 16th of last March. Well dear how are you all rubbing along. I wish you would drop me a P.Card occasionally. My album is getting on fine, have you got one yet. I will send you some views of Ilfracombe when you have, if you will let me know. How is that saucy little Jess getting on, big now. It is Sunday night now and I have just come from Mrs. Snell's where I most times spend my Sunday evenings. Mrs. Snell has had a very bad cold for a week but getting a bit better now. The weather is dreadful here and the mud is something like it was in the lane at Wiveliscombe. With love to you all M.J.H."

It would be lovely if anyone can help with further information relating to this beautiful picture.

Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage, July 2006

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Illustration by: Peter Rothwell


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


If the Berrynarbor Congregational Chapel were still open for services, 6th June 2006 would see it celebrating its 125th Anniversary. Sadly, it closed back in the 1990's, but it still remains possible to read the original Memorial Stone in the porch of the building, which states:

The first picture, by Garratt, shows the village and Chapel in about 1904, whilst the second photograph was taken by me around 1990. The original chapel was built about 1841, but some years later it was found to be unsafe and the present building was then built in 1881 with funds provided by Ilfracombe Congregational Church.

This leads me to an article that appeared on page 5 of the Ilfracombe Chronicle, one hundred years ago, dated 9th June 1906.



On Friday last, in the course of a Mission Tour, the Rev. C. Silvester Horne, M.A. of London, and J.D. Jones, M.A., of Bournemouth, visited this Church. A large congregation assembled, including a number of friends from Ilfracombe. After prayer by Dr. Stevens, Mr. Tribe, of Bristol, who presided, said he had spent a delightful week with his friends visiting the churches in North Devon, they were interested to find such nice village churches, and large congregations to welcome them throughout their tour. The speeches touched on many important matters in Free Church Life; the eloquent and earnest words of both speaks made a deep impression and was a season of great inspiration. At the close of the meeting the Pastor returned thanks on behalf of the church.

On Sunday last the anniversary of the church was held, Mr. J.P. Verney, J.P., preached two excellent sermons, the services were much enjoyed. On Whit Monday, tea was provided, successfully arranged by Messrs. W. Ley, J. Bowden, Jos. Bowden. The following ladies presided at the tables: Mesdames Huxtable, Bowden, jun., Slee, Harding, Jones and Richards. A public meeting followed, presided over by Mr. Foyster, of Ilfracombe, practical and earnest addresses were delivered by the Rev. T. Dixon, Dr. Stevens, and Rev. F.G. Walker.

The pastor at the close apologised for Mr. H.J. Bobbett who was unable to be present, and thanked all the friends who had so kindly assisted them on Sunday, and at the meeting. Miss Barnett presided at the organ.

For further information on the Chapel, please refer to my article, View No. 26 in the December 1993 issue of Newsletter No. 27, pages 21-23.

Also in the Ilfracombe Chronicle, there is a record of the Wreck of H.M.S. Montagu which, in thick fog on the 30th May 1906, had struck the Shutter Rock on Lundy Island. H.M.S. Montagu was a battleship, built at Devonport in 1903 at the then colossal cost of £1 1/4 million, weighing 14,000 tons and with a crew of 750!

Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage, May 2006

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


The Harbour, Watermouth

This month I have chosen two early views of Watermouth Harbour. The first published by W.H. Smith & Sons under their Kingsway Real Photo Series would have been taken around 1908-1910 and been sold in their shop in Ilfracombe High Street, nearly opposite where Turton's the Butcher is today. This card is postmarked 1910 and sent to Master C. Millman of St. James' Place, Ilfracombe and the message reads: "Dear Claude, How is your tongue to-day? Hope you have not eaten it all yet, are you tired of it. Love Minnie." The sailing brig or ketch shown could have belonged to Squire Basset and note how the anchor chains are tied to the large marker posts and that it is tied down in all directions.

The second view, postmarked August 1931, was published by Pelham under their Real Photo Series and is numbered 8291. There is quite some activity taking place and particularly note the 'BE20' painted on the large dinghy/fishing boat, indicating that it was registered at Barnstaple, viz first and last letters. Today, the fishing vessels are registered at Bideford and have 'BD' markings.

Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage, March 2006

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com

Congratulations Tom on reaching your 100! Although this is 'Old Berrynarbor No. 100', Tom has in fact contributed to every single issue of our Newsletter and I am sure I speak for everyone when I say a very big thank you.



Artwork: Angela Bartlett


For this Centenary Newsletter I have looked up papers from the Ilfracombe Chronicle 100 years ago, from which to reprint articles of interest to us all in Berrynarbor, and I hope you enjoy reading them.

Saturday, 3rd February 1906, Page 6


"Some young men of the village were returning from taking part in the demonstration at Ilfracombe in honour of Mr. Soares' victory, and in descending Hele Hill the horse became very restive and bolted. Three of the occupants jumped out, but Fred Richards, son of Mr. B. Richards, who was in charge of the horse, was thrown out with much violence to the ground. He was cut about the head and face, and is suffering from concussion of the brain."

E.J. Soares, Esq., M.P.


Ernest Soares was the Liberal MP for North West Devon. The victory referred to was his Election win of 1906. He was returned as MP in the Election of 1910.

Saturday, 3rd February, Page 7

"Chips of News"

"Albert Jackson, deck-hand of the steamer Devonia, fell overboard on Thursday near Bull Point, and was drowned."

The Devonia in the Outer Harbour, Combe Martin


"Smallmouth Caves - Two beautiful caverns, entered from a retired cave beyond Watermouth." Watermouth Castle and Caves - Watermouth Bay, almost entirely land-locked is between two and three miles on the road to

Combe Martin. The caves may be approached by boat, which is the best way when the tide is high, or by the gates just beyond Watermouth Castle. The castle is picturesquely situated on a hill overlooking the road and harbour."

Saturday, 24th February, Page 6


"A Class for work and social intercourse has been formed for the women and girls of the parish. The first meeting was very successful, about 30 being present. The first hour is devoted to sewing, etc. and the second to recreation. The Ladies organising the meetings are Mrs. and Miss Churchill [Rectory], the Misses Hutchinson [The Lodge], Mrs. Hibbert [Lilieshoe] and Mrs. Harris [The Cottage]."

Note: Whilst I believe these meetings were held in the Vicarage to start with, they soon had permission from Lady Penn-Curzon to hold their meetings in the village Parish Room, which was then thatched and is now used by the School for the Infants' Class. "The Cottage" is now known as The Old Court and "Lilieshoe" was probably Beech Lee.

Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, January 2006

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett



View No. 98

For this Christmas Newsletter, I have chosen two cards with festive cheer in mind. The first conveying Christmas Greetings depicts Briary Cave at Watermouth. Published by Twiss Bros., Ilfracombe, in 1904, it is postmarked 'Ilfracombe, December 24th 1907 6.45 p.m.'

The post was so good and prompt in those days that it would still have been delivered to Putney Heath in London on Christmas Day! It should be remembered that in the early 1900's, visitors often made special visits to the several large caves at Watermouth, paying one or two pence [1d or 2d] for the privilege.

The second card shows Sandy Bay and the Hangman Hills and wishes the receiver 'a Bright and Happy New Year'. The card was published by The Pictorial Stationery Co. Ltd., London, and printed in Saxony around 1904. It was sent by 'Arthur' from Barnstaple at 7.15 p.m., December 31st 1905 to a Wm. Vickery living at Coombeshead, Arlington, and would have been delivered first post on New Year's Day 1906.

For my part I should like to wish everyone the Seasons Greetings and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.

Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, November 2005

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com

P.S. Bird watching has been a real pleasure and we have had regular visits to our garden of nuthatches and a blackckap has been feeding on the seeds of the palm trees.


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


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

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

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

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

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

The 'Grand Field Day' on Whit Monday followed the following programme:
5.30 a.m. Reveille
6.30 a.m. First Parade
8.00 a.m. Lads' Breakfast 8.15 a.m. Officers' Breakfast
10.30 a.m. Commanding Officer's Parade
12.30 p.m. Lads' Dinner 12.45 p.m. Officers' Dinner
2.00 p.m. Kit Inspection 2.30 p.m. Inspection & Drill Competition
4.00 p.m. Lads' Tea
5.00 p.m. Shooting Competitions
6.30 p.m. Officers' Supper
8.00 p.m. Social in marquee
10.00 p.m. Last Post 10.15 p.m. Lights Out

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

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

Tom Bartlett - Tower Cottage

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Berrynarbor Village - View No. 96

This time I have taken two of William Garratt's photographic postcards of almost the same view of our village. The earlier picture, No. 14, was taken around 1904, whilst the later picture, No. 91, was taken around the mid-1920's.

I shall point out the changes I have noted, working down the picture from left to right. Please note the small chimney at the southeast end of the church, which appears in both pictures. The chimney was necessary as the area within the church with semi-enclosed pews for the Watermouth Castle Bassett family, was heated by a small stove, and their entrance to the church can be seen under the right chancel window in the later picture.

1. In the first picture there is no Manor Hall - the Manor Hall was completed in 1914.

2. Bessemer Thatch is thatched in both pictures - the first shows pig sties/chicken houses whereas the second shows only garden.

3. In the first picture 'Ladywell' is thatched, but later it has been rebuilt to from 3 slated cottages.

4. The school bell is still hanging in both pictures.

5. The Post Office takes up the full area in the earlier picture, but in the second picture there is only the house and the post office out building.

Apart from the trees, I should welcome hearing of any other changes that you can see.

The original Post Office was, until the 1920's Watermouth Estate Sale, in Pitt Hill and so the building we now know as the Post Office became such after Lady Day in 1921. A full account of these changes was reviewed in Newsletters Nos. 41, 42 and 56.

My thanks to Ron Toms, Bill Huxtable and Ivy Richards for responding to my request about the square, dark structure in the field above High Trees. All were able to tell me that the mystery structure was a 'shippen' [cow house/cattle shed]. Ivy told me that after she first married Ivor on the 7th May 1932, she would go and watch him milking their two cows there. I should also like to thank Stanley Barnes for his kind words in a letter to Judie and through this newsletter ask if he has any old photographs or memories that could be used in a future issue?

Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage, July 2005

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Berrynarbor and Church - View No. 95

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

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

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

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

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

Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage, May 2005

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Berrynarbor - View No. 94

This photographic postcard of Berrynarbor was taken from what is now the garden of The Haven, home to John and Marion Hood. As with View No. 93 [February Newsletter], this was taken by A.H. Hawke of Helston around 1928, and gives a good view of the village from the West.

On the left we have Rose Cottage, then known as No. 32 Duckpool, whilst in the foreground we have the two small cottages then known as Ellis Cottages, 30 and 31.

From the extreme top left we have Court Cottage, then known as 53 The Village; part of Manor Cottage just behind the large and impressive Old Court, where Alfred Duchesne lived. Beyond Old Court can be seen the Manor Hall building comprising the Manor Hall and Men's Institute above the Penn-Curzon Room.

Standing out proudly we have St. Peter's Church with its beautiful tower with clock face, and to the right the Chapel and School House. The former and smaller chapel building built around 1841 became unsafe and so in 1881, Ilfracombe Congregational Church provided the financial backing for the building of a new Chapel and School Room. The Foundation Stone was laid by Thomas Jones of Ilfracombe on 6th June 1881 and can still be seen on the outside of what is now Church House.

Further to the right are the backs of some of the central cottages and The Lodge with a part of Lee View just visible on the extreme right.

It is interesting to note that in the first Watermouth Estate Sale of 17th August 1920, what is now Old Court and Court Cottage were sold as Lot 45:

Lot 45.

A charmingly situated Slated Detached Private Residence, known as


Situate in the village of Berrynarbor, in the occupation of
Mrs. Harris, whose tenancy expires at Michaelmas next, comprising:
A Porch Entrance, Entrance Hall, Morning Room, Drawing Room,
Dining Room, Back Lobby, Kitchen, Back Kitchen, Larder, Pantry,
W.C., Five Bedrooms, Two Dressing Rooms, Two Boxrooms,
Upstairs W.C., etc/
Lawn and Vegetable Gardens, Tool Shed, Poultry House, Stable,
Coach House or Garage, Coal House, etc.
Front, Side and Back Entrances, Two Staircases, Verandah,
the whole containing 2 Rood;
Also a conveniently-arranged Five-roomed Tiled Cottage,
With Potato House and Wash House, No. 53, situate adjoining the grounds of Court Cottage, as now in the occupation of Mr. T. Latham as a Quarterly Tenant.
The Apportioned Tithe on this Lot is 4s. (shillings) The Timber to be taken in the sum of £5.0s.0d. There is a Water-tap, W.C. and Bath on this Lot also a Tap in the Tiled Cottage.
The right to maintain the Stop-tap, and pipe through the Garden is reserved.

This entire lot fetched the sum of £850.

Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, March 2005

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Raeburn Cottage, Berrynarbor - View No. 93

Raeburn Cottage, mor commonly known as Capel Cottage must be one of the most popular cottages in the village for photographing, with its thatched roof and stone steps leading up to the central and sheltered front door. Tucked into the steeply ascending landscape, it evokes all the emotions of how people feel an 'old village cottage' should look.

This picture was taken by A.H. Hawke, the much-acclaimed photographer from Helston in Cornwall. The card is numbered 18045 and was sent from our Post Office at 4.30 p.m. on 15th August 1928. The card was sent by a visitor named Connie to her friend, Miss Mildred Ralph, living at Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex.

Staying at Sea View [Barton Lane] Connie says:

Capel Cottage is home to Mark and Hilary Adams and in the Watermouth Estate Sale of August 1920, it was described as:

Lot 61
[coloured yellow on Plan]

An Old-fashioned Artistic Thatched Cottage,
Garden and Premises,
situate in Moules Hill,
A Right-of-Way for all purposes over the south end of Ordnance No. 880 [part Lot 13] is included with this Lot.
There is a Well and Pump on this Lot.

Thre records show that Lot 61 went for - £75.

In the photograph we can also see No. 55, now known as Hill Crest, which was home to the village Blacksmith, Sam Harding, back in 1904. [See Newsletter February 2004, View No. 87]

Tom Bartlett Tower Cottage,
January 2005
e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Sterrage Valley, Nr. Ilfracombe - View No. 92

This view of the Sterrage Valley was taken around 1911 and shows how at that time the very steep and narrow Smythen Hill is almost clear of trees. The sharp and steep escarpments to the right of the first bend of the road are almost certainly from where stone was quarried and blasted. Harpers Mill is just in sight at the bottom of the zigzag bends and following the road beside the forest on the left, can be seen two outbuildings. Orchard Park can be seen in the centre, on the minor road leading to both Bowden and Ruggaton Farms, whilst cottages on Hagginton Hill can just be seen on the old road leading to Hele and, of course, the alternative road via 'Iron Letters Cross' to Barnstaple and Woolacombe.


The second picture taken by William Garratt, and postmarked 1907, shows the roof of one of the outbuildings and has been taken looking south up the Sterrage Valley. Note how the road was just scraped stone.


The final picture, taken by Frith also in 1911, shows clearly the entire zigzag bends but neither Harpers Mill nor Orchard Park, but the roof of the outbuilding can just be seen on the final bend in the centre of the picture. It should be noted that many cottages and outbuildings were built from the stone obtained from the quarries near Harpers Mill, as well as 'dressed stone' used for the roads and lanes.

Tom Bartlett - Tower Cottage

e-mail: tombartlettbooks@berrynarbor.fsnet.co.uk


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Berrynarbor N. Devon - View No. 91

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

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

Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage - September 2004

e-mail: tombartlettbooks@berrynarbor.fsnet.co.uk


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Berrynarbor - View No. 90

This view of our village was taken by William Garratt around 1906-8 and shows the backs of the cottages on Pitt Hill, as well as the roof of Fuchsia Cottage and part of The Lodge. It also shows Hagginton Hill, from North Lee Farm with its linhey and all the cottages stretching up to Grattons at the top.

The terrace of cottages shown in the foreground are, from right to left: Swan Cottage - then No. 38, Forge Cottage - then No. 37, and finally the two former cottages, one of which served as the local post office until 1921 when it was transferred to the present premises. These two cottages were, in the late '30's, completely changed to form Langleigh House and Lee View House.

At the time this photographic postcard was taken, The Lodge had only been built a few years before, in 1904. It is interesting to note how on Hagginton Hill there were at that time some large gaps between properties, which over the ensuing years were filled in by the building of further cottages.

Around the time this photograph was taken, Harry Camp lived in No. 38, which is now Forge Cottage and Swan Cottage was his forge and blacksmith's shop. Harry Camp wes Vera Greenaway's grandfather and had, believe, previously lived in Chanacombe. The outbuildings shown would have probably housed chickens and a pig or two.

Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Rowes Farm 97 - View No. 89

Following on from View 88 in the last Newsletter, this photographic postcard was again taken by Garratt and shows Rowes Farm and outbuilding [barn] in Sterrage Val!eye The card is postmarked 8th July 1930, but the picture would have been taken by Garratt many years earlier.

Now the home of Keith and Margaret Walls, the outbuilding [barn] has been tastefully converted to a holiday cottage. In the lower left side of the front garden, a group of people can be seen sitting and standing, probably enjoying the "Real Cream Teas" being offered by Mrs. Bowden, as indicated on the advertising board in the garden.

The farm was sold as Lot 18 in the Watermouth Estate Auction Sale held on 17th August 1920 at Bridge Hail, Barnstaple, and was listed as:

Higher Rows Farm

Comprising A good Tiled Dwelling House,
Slated Outbuildings,
and about 12a. 2r.11 p. of Meadow,
Pasture and Arable Lands,
in the occupation of Mr. F. Lancey as a Yearly Lady-day Tenant.

The Apportioned Tithe on this Lot is £l.19s.3d.

A Right-of-Way at all times for carting and removing Timber
and other Wood from Ruggaton Wood through Ordnance No. 975 is reserved for Lot 11.

The Lot realised £1,450 that day and I believe was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Bowden who lived there until moving to Sloley Farm in the early 1930's.

Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage,
May 2004
e-mail: tombartlettbooks@berrynarbor.fsnet.co.uk


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Sterrage Valley Berrynarbor. 58 - View No. 88

This photographic view postcard was taken by Garratt cl 907 and shows Lower Rows Farm and outbuildings in the foreground, with from left to right, 74, 73 and 72 Higher Sterrage Valley, better known as Pink Heather, Hillside Cottage and Cherry Tree Cottage.

Above anything else, it shows what an accomplished photographer William Garratt was and even more remarkable that he visited our village so often from his home at 9, Station Road, Bristol, where he published over 1800 photographs of Bristol taken by him. He was born in Leeds in 1865, married in 1893 and moved to Bristol in 1899, where he died in October 1946 at the age of 81.

Lower Rows Farm was sold as Lot 17 in the Watermouth Estate Auction Sale held on 17th August 1920 at the Bridge Hall, Barnstaple:

Lower Rows Farm, a Good Dairy Farm, Comprising: A good Slated Dwelling House, Slated Outbuildings, and about 48a Or. 21p of Meadow, Pasture and Arable Lands, in the occupation of Mr. W. Lerwill as a Yearly Lady-day Tenant. The Apportioned Tithe on this Lotis £7.4s.0d. The farm sold for £l,000.

Pink Heather was sold as Lot 80 in the same sale:

A Very Excellent Tiled Cottage Residence, Garden and Premises, No. 74, Higher Sterridge Valley, in the occupation of Mrs Trump, as a Quarterly Tenant. The right to take Water from the Well in Ordnance No. 953 [Part Lot 12], by means of a pipe, as at present enjoyed, is included with this Lot. This sold for £300.

Cherry Tree Cottage was sold as Lot 80 in the same sale:

A superior Slated Cottage Residence, Containing: Sitting Room, Dining Room, Kitchen, Scullery, Larder, Coal House, Wash House, and Three bedrooms, with Large and Tastefully Laid-out Gardens, No. 72 Higher Sterridge Valley, in the occupation of Mr. A W Lugg, as Quarterly Tenant. The Apportioned Tithe on this Lot I s3s. 0d. There isa Well on this Lot. Cherry Tree Cottage sold for £450.

Hillside Cottage, Lot 81 , was also sold in the same sale:

A Slated Cottage, Gardens and Outbuildings, No. 73, Higher Sterridge Valley, in the occupation of Mr. W.Irwin, as a Yearly Lady-day Tenant. There is a Well on this Lot.

Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage,
March 2004
e-mail: tombartlettbooks@berrynarbor.fsnet.co.uk


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


In Berrynarbor 35 - View No. 87

This fine photographic postcard would have been taken by William Garratt around 1904 and shows the Berrynarbor Blacksmith, Samuel W. Harding, leading a horse probably to his blacksmith shop next to the school building in Silver Street.


He is seen here walking down from his home just up the road to Castle Hill where he lived with his wife, Ellen and their five children. They had four daughters, Anna, Evline, Ellen and Bessie, and one son, William, the youngest member of the family.

They lived in the cottage that sticks out into the road, numbered 55 and now called 'Hill Crest'. The cottage Sam is just walking by is No. 54, now known as Dunchideock House, where Claude Richards lived and bottled up milk in the outhouse just visible on the right.

The blacksmith's shop and forge was where the garage of 'Little Gables' is now, just beside our village school. Sam always had a fire burning with dusty cheap coal and a very large pair of bellows, between 5 and 6 feet long, to enable him to produce the high temperatures needed as a working Blacksmith.

He would both repair and make all the farming implements for the farmers around. They would bring their horses to him for re-shoeing at one shilling (12d - equivalent to 5 pence) per shoe and would also make 'iron hoops' for the boys of the village, at sixpence [6d] each. In the yard between Dunchideock House and the outhouse was a very large flat circle of iron where Tom Latham, the carpenter, would have his large wooden cart wheels at the ready for Sam to bring up the white hot iron hoop 'tyres' to put on. When these cooled, they would shrink tightly onto the wheels.

Sam's father, Thomas Harding, who married his wife Kezia from Marwood , around 1840, was the blacksmith before him.

Note how Dunchideock House was then thatched, in common with several other properties in the village. Sadly, but thankfully, Capel Cottage remains the only thatched cottage left. In my view it is high time that the Government /County Councils should give at least a 50% Heritage Grant towards the re-thatching of such properties.

In the 1920 Watermouth Estate sale, No. 54 [Dunchideock House] was Lot No. 59, in the occupation of Mrs. M. Toms as Quarterly Tenant, and listed as 'A Thatched Cottage, Piggery, Slated Cart Shed, Slated Coal Stores and Large Garden with a Tithe of Is. 1 d. This Lot gets its Water from a Tap in the road.' It sold for £120.

No. 55 [Hill Crest] was Lot No 60, in the occupation of Mr. G.H. Camp as Quarterly Tenant, listed as 'A Very, Superior Tiled Cottage, with Galvanised Shed, Potato House, Piggery and Garden. There is a Well and Pump on this Lot.' It sold for £75.

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage,
January 2004

Illustration by: Paul Swailes


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Coast Guard Houses - View No. 86

The photographic postcard of the Coast Guard Houses would have been taken shortly after they were built on the road between llfracombe and Berrynarbor around 1930. Now, in the year 2003, only the house marked 'x' [the one on the far left] remains the property of the Coast Guard Service the others being sold off in the early 1980's.

This card was sent by Mr. Sinden, who was the Coast Guard Officer living in the house marked 'x' back in 1934. Mr. Sinden had moved into the house with his wife and family when the houses had been completed and this card, postmarked 1934 with the Berrynarbor postmark, was sent to his mother living in St. Leonards-on-Sea, Sussex.

It is interesting to note that their daughter, Ansley Sinden, became a childhood sweetheart of Lewis Smith [1915-1989] and that at the age of 21 years, Lewis went all the way to Glasgow to visit her. Lewis was, of course, Church Warden of St. Peter's from around 1965 up to his death in June 1989. [See the Obituary for Lewis Smith in Newsletter No. 1 August 1989.]

From the Bristol Channel these houses stand out soon after travelling north east from Ball Point or when travelling westwards from Foreland Point Lighthouse at Lynmouth and, of course, the volunteer coast guards still have a lookout point there, together with all the modern communication facilities needed these days. To the left of the picture is what can be the start, mid-way or end of a strenuous but breathtaking walk to or from Watermouth Harbour, following the coast path around Widemouth Point, Farm and House. But be sure to take your camera and good footwear.

Can I finally appeal for pictures and information to keep these articles going? Please!

Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage - November 2003 e-mail: tombartlettbooks@berrynarbor.fsnet.co.uk


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


PLUTO The Harbour Watermouth View No. 85

PLUTO: Pipe Line Under The Ocean

The first indication that anyone in North Devon had that something was going on' was in the autumn of 1942 when a tank landing craft, fitted with what looked like a large cable drum on her vehicle deck, turned up in Ilfracombe harbour. She was soon joined by a second vessel of the same type and these two laid the pipeline between Swansea and Watermouth harbour. It was some weeks later that a large number of grey painted petrol tankers with 'Pool' on their sides, were seen passing through llfracombe on a regular basis.

During the war there were no branded petrol supplies and all petrol was 'pooled' and distributed under that name. The pipeline from Swansea had been brought up on Watermouth and the line taken along the path of the stream to Sawmills and across to Mill Park, and outlets positioned near where the Berry Mill House stands beside the road. Hardstandings were constructed for loading points and many large storage tanks were installed, half buried, right up through the valley there.

Petrol tankers would load up and then take fuel to Chivenor Airfield, Winkleigh and other military installations throughout the South West and to other petrol depots in North Devon. Chivenor was a very active operational Coastal Command station at the time. A number of large 'NO SMOKING' signs were erected by the roadside from Watermouth up to almost the entrance to the village- Road blocks were set up and vehicles and buses stopped and the occupants reminded of the 'No Smoking' regulation as well as being questioned on their business and reason for their travel. These road blocks were manned by special military police wearing distinctive blue caps, they were a special wing of the Military Police and were called Vunerable Points Police. They wore a diamond shaped flash on their arms with the initials 'VP' and were established in 1941 and disbanded at the end of the war. In addition, protection against possible fires was provided by a number of fire appliances and firemen based at what is now the Old Sawmill Inn. These men were mainly from the Bristol area and belonged to the A.F.S., the wartime Auxiliary Fire Service.

The first picture shows a line of the grey 'POOL' tankers loading up with petrol from the various loading bays on the road to Sawmills from the village, with Hagginton Hill rising up behind them. The second picture shows the pipeline coming ashore in Watermouth harbour.

For the pictures I am grateful to Moira Allsford, Commodore of the Watermouth Yacht Club and to the Maritime Museum of Appledore. For much of the information I have to thank an old friend from Dover, Peter Southcombe, who as a child lived in Ilfracombe, and David Huxtable, who as a boy of 12-13, remembers the road blocks and has carried out research on the subject of the Blue Caps. David is married to Sheila Bowden and they now live in Chichester. I should very much welcome any further memories of those days during the war and which we can write about in the next Newsletter.

For further information see the articles in April 1998 by Tony Beauclerk and Don Taylor, and more recently in April 2000, the article by Jimmy Brooks.

Tom Bartlett,
Tower Cottage,
September 2003 e-mail: tombartlettbooks@berrynarbor.fsnet.co.uk

P.S. My thanks for the contributions that came forward regarding the colour postcards of paintings by H. Hughes Richardson. Yes, Linda, I can confirm that the rear cover picture is of Devon Cottage on Hagginton Hill.

[And I can definitely confirm that Nigel's picture on the cover is Whitecote, Pitt Hill! Ed.]


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


The Harbour Watermouth - View No. 84

The first and older postcard view of Watermouth was published by the Pictorial Stationery Company Limited of London in 1904 and printed in Hamburg, Germany, under their 'Peacock Brand' label. It shows a very calm high tide with two or three small dinghy-type boats as well as a sailor and a number of children looking out to sea. The Martello-shaped tower can be seen on the right of the picture. The wooden slat type screen is probably the remains of 'Squire' Arthur Davie Bassett's attempt at oyster breeding in the harbour. Indeed, we are informed by the North Devon Journal on the 12th May 1870:

"The year or two since Mr. Arthur Davie Bassett, of Watermouth Castle, resolved to try the experiment of breeding oysters in North Devon. With is view he constructed a large reservoir on the sea beach as an oyster bed, communicating with the sea by means of a canal, and in such manner that the water might be kept in or let out at low tide by us of traps. A number of the small, ovate, deep shell variety of oyster, generally known as "natives" were then procured and placed in the artificial bed. Mr. Bassett found considerable difficulty at first in keeping the bed in good order, and many persons were somewhat incredulous as to the success of the experiment; but, after a great deal of perseverance, the attempt to make a spawning bed has been attended with the most interesting results.

"A quantity of broken pots and similar articles were placed in the reservoir, and on these the "natives" have deposited their spat, which has gradually arrived at maturity. Breeding is now going on to a remarkable extent. Mr. Bassett has kindly forwarded to us some specimens in their various stages of their development, from the minute "spat" to the full grown oyster of four or five years old, anyone feeling an interest on the subject, may inspect them at the Office of the Journal."

The second picture is a real photographic picture taken around 1936 by the Bristol photographer W. Garratt and is numbered 166. Looking above the collection of small boats, the retaining wall for the main road to llfracombe can be plainly seem, the road itself had been constructed in the late 1800's. Taken midway between high and low tide, the picture plainly shows the small jetty-like breakwater with water lapping it on both sides. During the Second World War the harbour became a hive of activity with PLUTO, leading up to D-Day, but more of this in the October issue.

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage, July 2003
e-mail: tombartlettbooks@berrynarbor.fsnet.co.uk.

My thanks to our Editor, Judie, who took up my challenge and out all about H.Hughes Richardson and put me in touch with his grandson, John.


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Cottage Roses and Cottage, Henton Hill

The picture on the front cover, painted by the watercolour artist, H. Hughes Richardson in 1922 for the art postcard publishers J. Salmon of Sevenoaks, is entitled 'Cottage, Henton Hill, Berrynarbor, Nr. Ilfracombe.2552'. It shows the house, well up Hagginton Hill, where Elizabeth Richards lived and her white cat is shown on the fourth step up.

The back cover is entitled 'Cottage and Roses, Berrynarbor, Nr. llfracombe.2551 and H. Hughes Richardson has painted this cottage probably making use of Garratts postcard views No. 37 and 38, which I have in my collection. The former shows two girls and the latter an old man with white bushy beard and workman's clothes. The postcard, I believe, depicts another cottage near the bottom of Hagginton Hill with a lean-to at its southern end. At one stage, however, I genuinely thought it was of Whitecote, 33 Pitt Hill!

H. Hughes Richardson produced four watercolour views of Berrynarbor numbered 2551-2554, which were sold in the 1920's in special display packs, costing 6d for the full set. [See Newsletter No. 10, February 19911. He does not appear to have had any further watercolours published by J. Salmon and I wonder if anyone can give me any information on this artist?

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage,
May 2003


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Bowden's South Lee Farm, Berrynarbor 2

This photographic postcard of South Lee Farm was published by E. Osbome & Company of llfracombe around 1912-13. The message on the back roads: 'Dear Gus, Had tea in this out of the way spot just now. Hope you are in the pink Best wishes RWI.'. It was sent to Cardiff in 1913 and one can imagine that the writer had come across from Cardiff on one of the paddle steamers to llfracombe and was staying in one of the many popular hotels or guest houses there.

Another similar card sent on 2nd August 1913 to Thornton Hill, Exeter, reads: 'We are having lovely weather so far & a nice time. We went fora trip this afternoon & had tea at this place in the garden. Couldn't you come down for a day just to see this place. Next Wed. would be a good day, come by the early train, the one about 8.40 I think, you can look it up. Love from both Louie'.

Like the Toms at Middle Lee Farm, Devon cream teas were provided for visitors arriving, initially by horse-drawn carriages and later by charabancs running out from llfracombe. In this picture we can see three of the Bowden's children, two girls and a small boy, as well as two lady visitors. Note how five of the six simply laid tables have flowers on and all are covered with linen table cloths. Note, too, that the grass, far from being cut, is almost up to the height of the bench seats provided. The large field seen behind the roof of South Lee belonged to Middle Lee Farm and how straight those plough furrows are! Undoubtedly ploughed by a team of horses and single plough.

In the Watermouth Estate Sale held at Bridge Hall, Barnstaple on Tuesday, 17th August, commencing at 11.00 a.m., offered for sale by John Smale, F.A.I., South Lee went up in £50/£25 increments to reach its selling price of £400. Listed as Lot 23:

'South Lee'

Comprising: A Superior Slated Private Dwelling House, Outbuildings, and about 3a. 3r. 27p

Of Garden, Meadow and Arable Lands, as now in the occupation of Mr.W.Bowden


Ordnance No.DescriptionAcreage
905House, Buildings, Garden, Orchard and Plot1119

The Apportioned Tithe on this Lot is £1.2s.9d.

The Lot is subject to a Lease dated 16th June, 1875, whereby the Premises were demised for a term of 99 years, determinable on the death of Richard Forest Lewis, now aged 72 years, subject to the payment of the Yearly Rent of 2s.6d. and to the Covenants and Conditions therein contained.

William Bowden was recorded as the tenant farmer from 1906 [Kellys], then as the owner farmer after 1 921 up to and including 1939 [Kellys].

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage,
March 2003
e-mail: tornbartiett40@hotrnail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Sterrage Valley. 1. near Ilfracombe

This is another photographic postcard taken by A.J. Vince of Ilfracombe in 1908, or possibly earlier; numbered \/45 it is the second of his two views of the Sterrage Valley [see Newsletter No. 81, December 2002].

It is my belief that this view has been taken from just above Middle Lee Farm, looking south down the Sterrage Valley with parts of South Lee Farm just showing on the left between the trees and bushes. The field in the Valley was known as Broad Meadow and now has several properties on it, All were built after 1950 when by Compulsory purchase order, Broad Meadow was bought from Mrs. Ley for n 20, and the four council houses built at the southern end.

Half way up on the left, part of the old Temperance Hall can just be seen. In the late 18001s and very early part of the last century, the Temperance Hall was used for village dances, concerts, Bible classes and meetings. [See Newsletter No. 40, February 1996.] These days only parts of some walls and foundations of the Hall remain, situated behind and to the north of Orchard House.

Orchard House was built by Tom Ley in 1926 [see Newsletter No. 29, April 1994].

Tom Bartlett - Tower Cottage,
January 2002
e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com or:


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Sterrage Valley, 2. Near llfracombe

This beautiful photographic postcard taken by A.J. Vince of llfracombe circa 1908, or even earlier and numbered V48, is one of two views of the Sterrage Valley. It shows the orchard opposite Pink Heather and Higher Rows Farm, whilst Lower Rowes Farm can just be seen where the road dips round to the south. Behind the large apple tree in the centre, you are just able to see Woodlands Cottage, where Olive Kent lived for the past fifty years. Further still to the left is what appears to be a very modern Woodlands House - a large detached house standing in its own grounds and approached by the small lane off the road beside Cedars. Today the house is only just visible when coming down the Valley from the main road. On the 1921 map, Lower Rowes was known a 'Low Rows', and Woodlands Cottage as 'Lower Cockhill'.

The following folklore appears in a Victorian booklet, 'Signs and Superstitions', selling at 1d!

December: "December was the 10th month of the early Roman year and got its name from Decem, the Latin for ten. Among the Saxons it was originally Winter Monat, but after their conversion to Christianity, it was Heligh Monat or holy month, in honour of the birth of Christ. 'December frost and January flood Never boded the husbandman good'. 'December cold, with snow, good for rye'. Frost on the shortest day [22nd] indicates a severe winter.

Christmas Eve: the Latin Church called Christmas the Feast of Lights, because Christ, the true light, had come into the world, hence the Christmas candle and the yule log. In the western parts of Devonshire, a superstition prevails that at 12 0'clock on Christmas Eve, the oxen in stalls are found on their knees, as an attitude of devotion. Mince pies were intended to represent the offerings of the wise men, as many of the ingredients come from the East, the connection is plain. Holy Innocents' Day, December 28th, was formerly reckoned as the most unlucky day throughout the year, and few had the temerity to begin any work or start any new undertaking then. The superstitious recalled the fact when the first Tay Bridge was blown down on the 28th December 1879.

January: January is so called either from the Latin Janua - a door - probably because the name suggests the opening of the year, or from the two-faced god, Janus, who looks backwards and forwards. An ancient superstition maintains that the weather of the first twelve days of the year is symbolic of the kind of weather which will Characterise the months of the year, which, in pre-Christian times, dated from April, but which later, under the influence of the Christian Church, counted from Christmas, and this belief is encountered in the whole of European lore."

Tom Bartlett,
Tower Cottage
November 2002


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Berrynarbor Village 15

With the fate of our village Post Office in all our minds, I thought it apt to share this view of Berrynarbor taken by William Garratt, the Bristol Photographer, around 1904.

In 1904, the building we know now as the Post Office was just plain and dilapidated No. 62 Silver Street, the home of Mrs. C. Huxtable. If you look carefully, you will see that near the centre of the building there are outside wooden steps with a handrail leading up to the first floor level. Much of the left-hand side of the building was over the years demolished, removed and in some cases replaced.

This fine photographic postcard depicts an ivy-clad St. Peter's church tower, with the roof and chimneys of 51 The Village [Tower Cottage] just to the left, as well as the Manor House, with a small part of Manor Cottage showing. This was where Betsy Leworthy lived. The Manor Hall itself was not built until later in 1913-14.

In the village centre, the splayed cobbled steps give an impressive entrance to the lych gate and church. The building on the corner, No. 53 [Dunchideock], of which the small building directly on the corner was known as the 'paintist'. This was where the large wooden coach wheels made by Tom Ley, the carpenter and wheelwright, would have had white hot iron 'tyres' shrunk on to them. The work was carried out on a large circle or iron set into the yard floor. To the right of No. 54 can be seen the corner of a large, thatched 'Jacobswell', where Lewis Smith's mother, Edith Huxtable, was born in 1881. Jacobswell was later turned into the small row of cottages as we know them today.

In the bottom right-hand corner, the then thatched roof of 63 Silver Street [Brookside] can just be seen. Brookside was home to Ben Draper and his wife Polly, who had been previously married to a Mr. Courtney, and her three children - Polly, Lucy and Ephraim. At the bottom left, we catch sight of the roof and dormer windows of 61 Silver Street, where Jim and Betty Brooks live. Beyond No. 61 can be seen the large doors to the village Smithy, where Sam Harding kept the forge fire alight most of the time, and carried out all kinds of iron work and horse shoeing. It is quite surprising sometimes how much information can be gleaned from just one picture.

I should like to appeal once again for any further pictures or information from those people who read these articles with interest.

My thanks to Rosslyn Hammett, who gave me such help with the article on North Lee Farm - Newsletter No. 78, and supplied me with further copy pictures. I must also thank Moira Allsford, Commodore of Watermouth Yacht Club for information and pictures relating to the Harbour and PLUTO.

Tom Bartlett Tower Cottage
September 2002
e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Castle Hill, Berrynarbor

Yet another fine photographic postcard from around 1925 taken by William Garratt, the Bristol based photographer. This latest acquisition to my collection is numbered 104 and fills another gap in my collection of Garratt's Berrynarbor Post Cards. My thanks to Jenny Stuckey from South Devon and our Editor, Judie, for putting me in touch. Incidentally, Card No. 103 depicts Hagginton Hill [and Ellis Cottages], whilst No. 106 is of Hills Terrace, which leads me to now presume that No. 105 will be of Moules, Sloleys or Hammonds Farm, or close by.

This picture not only shows Castle Hill Cottages and Farm, but also a Virginia-creeper clad Moules Farm and outbuildings, St. Peter's Church tower and the chimney of Capel Cottage. Note on the extreme right, the ornate cast iron gate leading to a side entrance. Moules Farm was sold at the 1920 Watermouth Estate Sale for £2,000 and as Lot 13 was listed as 'A very superior Dairy & Sheep Farm, comprising A Dwelling House, Outbuildings, Cottage and about 98a Ir 16p [acres, rods and perches] of Meadow, Pasture & Arable Lands, in the occupation of Messrs. J. Richards, V.Richards, L. Bowden and Nicholls as Yearly Lady-day Tenants.'

Capel Cottage also sold in the 1920 Sales as Lot 61 and listed as 'An Old-fashioned Artistic Thatched - Cottage, Gardens and Premises, situate in Moules Hill No. 56, with Vacant Possession. There is a Well & Pump on this Lot.' It fetched £75 and shows just how valuable Moules Farm was considered to be.

From notes I made in the late 1970's, Alma Gray nee Huxtable, affectionately known as 'Granny Gray', informed me that of the Castle Hill Cottages, Jack Dummett lived in the lowest one; Florrie Edwards [Alfie Leworthy's sister] lived in the middle one; and Mr. Delbridge [Lucy Delbridge's son] lived in the top one with his daughter, Tilly, who attended school in the 1890's with Granny Gray. Tilly is buried in the top part of the churchyard. Ivy White and Gerald Bray's mother and father, Rosie and Fred Bray, who had been gassed in the 1914-18 War, lived in the larger cottage, Castle Hill Farm. They also had a daughter Audrey who died as a schoolchild at the age of 6 in 1927, and Lewis Smith could remember all the children giving a couple of pennies each for flowers for her funeral. Fred Bray never really recovered from the gassing and died at the age of 41 in 1936.

Tom Bartlett - Tower Cottage
July 2002
e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


North Lee

Another fine photographic postcard taken by William Garratt, the Bristol-based photographer, around 1930, or even earlier.

The picture shows Mrs. Huxtable with her dog and a young lad, possibly related, outside North Lee Farmhouse, which she and her husband had purchased at the first Watermouth Estate Sale on 17th August 1920, for £1,100.0s.0d.

North Lee Farm is situated at the foot of Hagginton Hill and is home to Edna Barber, who has lived there since the early '70's.

Opposite the farm can be seen the outbuildings and old linhay with slate and stone steps leading up to a loft used for storing hay and straw.

The outbuildings and linhay were removed in the late 1970's to make way for the building of two houses, Lynwood and Berry Home. Beyond North Lee Farm can be seen several other cottages up Hagginton Hill.

The Huxtables were still listed as living in North Lee Farm in the 1939 Kelly's Directory, but I am still unaware of when they moved o ut, and wonder if there is anyone who might be able to inform me when they left and who lived there until the early 1970's when Edna moved in.

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage - May 2002
e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Pitt Hill

I believe this picture to have been taken around 1910, but not published until around 1921. shows a horse drawn 'jingle' or 'butt' outside the two-stall stable and coach house opposite The Globe Inn, which was knocked down and rebuilt in the late 1950's/early 1960's by Charles Leyton as a bungalow, with cellar, now known as 'Blue Mist'. The stable and coach house formed part of Lot 51 in the Watermouth Estate Sale on August 17th 1920, with completion on Lady Day 1921.

Lot 51

All that Slated Dwelling House,
Shops, Garden, Premises, Tiled 2-stall Stable, Coach House and Loft
situate in the Village, No. 43, in the occupation of Mr. C.F. Ewens
[Grocer, &c], as a Quarterly Tenant.

The Tithe apportioned on this Lot is 3s.3d.

This Lot gets its Water from a Tap in the road and a Branch-pipe supplies the W. C.

The right to maintain the existing Water-pipes in Lots 50 and 51,
and leading to the road known as John Braggs Hill [Rectory Hill]
and the right to enter for the purpose of
repairing, cleansing and renewing the same is reserved.

The price achieved for Lot 51 was £650, by comparison the Globe and adjoining two cottages, Nos. 41 and 42, fetched £1,100 and No. 39 [Fuchsia Cottage] fetched £325.

The Stable and Coach House had originally been used by the Bassett's from Watermouth Castle to park their coach under cover whilst attending the morning service at St. Peter's. In the late 1800's, or early 1900's, the large cellar of the Coach House had been used for storing coal for Mrs. Leaworthy, the local coal merchant. The coal would be brought over from Wales and the vessel would anchor up at high tide in the harbour. Directly the tide receded, anyone from the village with a horse or donkey cart would go down, load up and bring the coal up to this village store or deliver it direct as a full cart load to villagers. It would be unloaded in the road with the villager having to carry it all inside or to a store at the back of his/her cottage. Mrs. Leaworthy had a whole team of donkeys that she would take into llfracombe in the season, for visitors to ride on to Lee or to Watermouth. Having returned them all to llfracombe, she faced the further long journey back to Berrynarbor with her team!

The old Post Office can just be seen behind the young lad, together with its steps up to the front entrance. Note the telephone wire isolators on the chimney. The steps and front of No. 39 [Fuchsia Cottage] can be seen on the right.

If anyone can name the young lad and put a correct date for the picture, I should love to hear from you, or let Judie know. Thanks.

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage - February 2002
e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


The Globe Inn - Berrynarbor

This first card shows the exterior of "Ye Olde Globe Inn" around 1930, when Charlie Blackmore took over from Charlie Cornish, who had been the landlord since 1921. Charlie Blackmore was a popular landlord who produced a series of postcards of the Globe Inn, including one of his beloved Parrot "George" who often supped beer on the bar [as shown in the August 1991 Newsletter No. 13].

The second picture is one of those he produced and shows the Kitchen Bar which, apart from the furniture, remains virtually unchanged.

The final picture produced by E.A. Sweetman & Son, Ltd. of Tunbridge Wells was taken around 1950. The exterior is virtually unchanged with the exception of the telephone line coming in on the left and overhead electricity wires coming to the right hand side. The Bar sign beside the door gives the opening and closing times for weekdays and Sunday.

Since 1973 there have been several Landlords at the Globe but for me Phil and Lynne Bridle have been the most popular. Two very hard workers, going to bed late but having to rise quite early due to restocking deliveries and preparing for the day ahead. A previous landlord had made his views well known and certainly did not put himself out for the locals, and skittles and darts teams did not exist at all. Fortunately, that all changed with Phil and Lynne and the Globe featured once more in all the darts and skittles leagues of North Devon. Some years back, Phil and a few others started the tradition which has continued to the present time, of producing a first class super float entry for the North Devon Carnivals. Over the years it became just that, taking months of hard work to complete, and winning virtually every accolade at all the Carnivals, more often than not coming away with the Best Overall trophy.

We must not forget their welcome and friendly attitude towards children, and their parents, providing a special area complete with games, adventure play area and an outside play area. We can also remember Thursdays during the summer season when cars would roll up and there would be a queue waiting for the Globe to open. This was for a special children's night when Phil on the organ and Gary would get all the children, and some of the parents, singing and reciting, "We love Berry, Berry, Berry, Berry" etc.

Lynne has always provided a very comprehensive menu, loved by visitors and locals alike, especially her Sunday Roasts, the only complaint we received from visitors staying with us was that their portions were enormous and they were embarrassed to leave such tasty food on their plates!

There have been Quiz Nights, especially the Quiz held on Boxing Day, and the popular Friendship Lunches, held for the elderly residents. Phil regularly played the organ at the evening services at the Chapel until its closure and has, on occasions, stepped in as organist at St. Peter's Church. How many people, wonder, realise that our Rector, Keith Wyer, has taken Communion [and hopefully will continue to] in the Globe for those parishioners who can no longer manage the climb up the church steps!

I finish by thanking Phil, Lynne, their two daughters Kate and Sarah and Of course all their helpers, many of whom have been youngsters, including our own, from the village.

We shall miss you both but look forward to the Globe continuing to the Standard and in the traditions you have set. I am sure that everyone in the village and many people living in North Devon join me in thanking you for all you have done for us over the last two decades.

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage - January 2002
e-mail: tombartlettbooks@berrynarbor.fsnet.co.uk


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Christmas Past In Berrynarbor

This picture shows from left to right, No. 54 The Village, now known as Dunchideock House, together with the small, barn-like building which, when we first moved into the village. as used as a dairy and was where the fresh milk was bottled and distributed by Claude Richards. Then we see the row of thatched houses which are now known as Little Gables [No. 50] on the corner and Bessemer Thatch [Nos. 48 & 49]. The postcard has been sent from Brentford at 5.45 a.m. on 23rd December 1908, and would have reached its destination either the same day, or at the latest on the 24th. In those days there was even a delivery on Christmas Day!

The message on the reverse reads: 'Wishing you & all a Merry Christmas & prosperous New Year. From J.A. Bowden & Sid 1908'. The picture has, to my mind, been produced for Christmas by the unknown to me - photographer, and with its borders has an Art-Nouveau touch.

The second and third pictures are from a collection of photographs I acquired many years ago which had been put together by Miss Iris Hebbert, who lived at Beech Leigh during the early part of the last century.

The first of these shows Captain James and friends, including Iris Hebbert [standing on the far right], dressed in fancy dress for celebrations at Watermouth Castle for Christmas 1916. In the centre can be seen the austere Mrs. Curzon.

The second shows a party from Watermouth Castle on Broadstrands Beach', presumably having been rowed across from the Harbour and not having climbed down the 235+ steps down to the beach! Iris can be seen again on the far right, and it would appear that they have devoured their picnic, as the basket looks pretty empty! The picture includes a Major Williams and possibly Captain James.

Wishing everyone a peaceful Christmas and healthy New Year.

Tom Bartlett: Tower Cottage
November 2001-11-21
e-mail: tombartlettbooks@berrynarbor.fsnet.co.uk


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Tom's Tea House, Steerage Valley

This view of Tom's Tea House [Middle Lee Farm] was taken by the Cornish Photographer, A.H. Hawke of Helston back in the mid to late '20's and is one of approximately 20 views taken around the village and Watermouth at that time. We can see in the picture, Mr. Dan Toms, who with his wife Elizabeth, Lizzie, had moved in from their cottage, 68 Lower Sterrage around 1923, upon the death of his father, Francis.

Dan and Lizzie had two children, Reginald and Violet. Reginald lived in Weybridge, Surrey, up to his death in 1999, whilst Vi has remained in Berrynarbor and lives in Dormer Cottage. Vi was only four years old when the moved in to Tom's Tea House, but can vividly remember the Royal Red Coaches arriving from Ilfracombe and parking in the field opposite, whilst the occupants had a full Devonshire Cream Tea. Vi can also recall, as a young girl, serving cream teas to the many visitors and, of course, meals to those staying with them for their holidays.

The Toms had several Devonshire Red cows, milked very early by Dan and Lizzie and the milk taken in a churn around to several customers in the village, often accompanied by the young Vi. The milk would be ladled out in pint or quart measures into customers' jugs or containers, and Vi can remember one customer who if you arrived a minute after 8 0'clock, would not have any at all! The two lads shown in the postcard with Dan, are son Reginald and Ian's nephew, Ron, who was brought up by Dan and Lizzie and now lives in Birdswell Lane. The Toms continued serving cream teas and taking in guests right up until the mid-thirties when through ill-health, Dan was forced to give up farming and the family moved into Dormer House - now Dormer Cottage and Miss Muffet's.

Francis [Frank] Toms had been in occupation of Middle Lee Farm [119 The Village] from ground 1906, when he took over the farm from Philip Petherick. Middle Lee Farm was sold as Lot 21, 'A Desirable SMALL HOLDING and Noted TEA HOUSE, comprising: A good slated Dwelling House suitable for Private Residence, good Outbuildings, Lawn, Gardens, Meadow; Orchard and Arable Lands, containing together about 44a.2r.1p. In the occupation of Mr. F. Toms and R. Huxtable, as Yearly Lady-day Tenants. The Watermouth Estate sale took place on Tuesday, 17th August, 1920, at the Bridge Hall, Barnstaple with the completion date set for Lady-day, 25th March, 1921.

Middle Lee was sold for £1,350.

Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage
September 2001
e-mail: tombartlettbooks@berrynarbor.fsnet.co.uk


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Pink Heather and Gardens, Berrynarbor

This photographic postcard of 'Pink Heather and Gardens' and showing the right of' the house, two chalets, would have been taken by a photographer commissioned by Frith's of Reigate in the very early 1960's.

Whilst my parents had moved to Tower Cottage in 1965, Inge and I had moved to Ilfracombe in 1964. I believe it was in either 1965 or 1966 that my parents introduced us to the wonderful cream teas at Pink Heather in the Sterridge Valley. They were legendary, with people from all over this part of North Devon making a visit during the week-end afternoons. Both Jack and Jill Songhurst would be preparing and serving, ably assisted at that time by their son Graham.

The Songhursts purchased Pink Heather shortly after the last World War, possibly from the Floyds. Jack Songhurst was a carpenter and professional French Polisher and I always remember the wonderful and well-polished tables, chairs, antique furniture and particularly fine examples of three-legged chairs. Jill was a staunch supporter of our local Tyrrell Hospital and raised many hundred of pounds for the Hospital League of Friends by holding her famous Thursday waffle afternoons and evenings.

Again in the early 1960's, Mr. Noble, an architect who lived at Donnybrook, applied for and got permission to up-grade Pink Heather and an extension the dining room was added. At the same time, the Songhursts applied for a licence to sell liquor.

From the rear of the house there was a covered passageway leading to a Pre-fabricated building which contained 6 small letting bedrooms, including two honeymoon suites - all with little privacy!

The Sterridge Valley form above Higher Rows Farm and Jan's Barn, and with Pink Heather in the centre.
The covered passgae from the house to the bedrooms is just visible.

Following the death of her husband and later her son, Jill ran the business for a short while before becoming a resident in a home in Ilfracombe, where she still lives today.

In 1990, pink Heather was put on the market, declaring itself to be a Property with 9 bedrooms [!] and purchased by the Walls. A tremendous amount of work was undertaken - the extension on the front was demolished as it was in a very bad state of repair, and the cottage returned to its 2 up 2 down original state. The outbuildings were also demolished, including the two chalets which came to light when the bramble patch was attacked! They have been replaced by today's two 'letting' cottages.

Matthew and Karen brough up their children there whilst work was progressing and after they moved into the village, Pink Heather became home to Bernard and June O'Regan. Bernard and June opened up their garden for the recent Berrynarbor Village Garden Trail, which was so successful. They were able to show how their many terraces contain fish ponds, flowers, shrubs and trees, plus an area for vegetables - organic of course whilst across the road they have their car park and natural bog garden and stream.

My thanks to Keith Walls for his help and finally, I wonder if anyone has any photographs taken of Jack, Jill and Graham inside or outside their cottage or on the terraces. Please do get in touch if you do.

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage, July 2001
e-mail: tombartlettbooks@berrynarbor.fnet.co.uk


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Lewis Smith was born on the 9th October, 1916 at Berry Mills [now known as Mill Park Camping Site - see picture], where his parents, Ernest and Edith Smith moved in 1904 when they were married. His father came from Braunton, but his mother was a Berrynarbor lass, and from the day they moved in, they used the large water mill to grind corn for local farmers and also sold corn and meal. The mill wheel was fed with water brought via a mill leat taken off the stream some distance beyond North Lee Farm, where his grandfather lived.

Lewis had an older brother, Park and a sister, Evelyn, and in October 1919 they all moved to the larger West Hagginton Farm. Lewis began to attend the village school when he was only six, but the long walk was too great for his then frail frame, so he left, restarting two years later.

At the age of twelve, he left the village school and spent the next four years at Braunton's Chaloner's School, boarding there from Sunday evening until Friday, when after school he would travel to West Hagginton Farm for the weekend at home. Leaving Chaloner's school in 1932, he worked with his father and brother at West Hagginton Farm until they sold up and moved back into the village in 1938.

On his 21st birthday, Lewis went up to Glasgow to visit Miss Ansley Sinden, his first sweetheart whom he had met several years earlier when she moved with her family to the new coastguard houses between Ilfracombe and Berrynarbor. He helped his father and the Combe Martin builder, Squires, knock down the old cottage they had bought and then to build their new house. He must have shown good promise as a builder, as he remained working for Squires of Combe Martin for the next twenty plus years, including the war years.

He met his wife, Vida, shortly after moving back into the village, when she was living in Berry Mills with her mother and step-father and their wedding took place at the Christian Brethren Assembly Hall, the High Street, Ilfracombe. Sadly, the marriage was not blessed with children. They lived together in Lee View right up until Vida's death in 1982. A few years later, finding Lee View too large, he sold up and after a brief stay at The Lodge, moved into Forge Cottage, just three doors up the road.

Lewis had taken an ever-increasing interest in St. Peter's Church and joined Len Bowden as a Church Warden around 1965, a position he retained until his death on Friday, 2nd June, 1989. He had been an active participant in the recent changes of the South Transept and its conversion into a Lady Chapel.

A note of particular sadness for him was that sometime after becoming a widower, he had found out that Ansley's husband had recently died and he wrote to her at Christmas inviting her down to visit him. Such is fate that just after Christmas he received a note from Ansley's sister-in-law to say that Ansley had had a stroke just before Christmas which had resulted in her death.

At mid-day on the bright and sunny Saturday, 10th June, the Church was almost filled to overflowing in honour of and respect for Lewis Smith.

Berrynarbor School c. 1924

1. Jack Hockridge
2. Gladys Seldon
3. Alfie Nicholls
4. Annie Coates
5. Lilly Huxtable
6. Phyllis Burgess
7. Les Irwin
8. Ivy Dinnecombe

9. Vera Dummett
10. Honor Irwin
11. Frank Huxtable
12. George Irwin
13. Lewis Smith
14. Edie Adams
15. Mrs. Earl

Note: For any inaccuracies in this Obituary, I offer my sincere apologies and would welcome any further information.

Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage. July 1989