Village Shop

All the latest information from the Village Shop...

Artwork: Paul Swailes


Christmas is Coming

With this summer's stunning temperatures and long sunny days still warm in the memory, it seems strange to turn one's attention to the end of the year and the Christmas festivities. But now we are already into October and our Shop is gearing up for the celebrations.

We have a fabulous [and we think unrivalled] selection of Christmas cards, many with a local theme. You won't get better anywhere else [promise]. Also make sure you fill in your food and drink order forms so that you can avoid those awful last minute supermarket stampedes and relax knowing that all is in hand at your fabulous Village Community Shop. Order forms are available in the shop now.

We will again be running our very popular December raffle with two wonderful prizes. The first prize is a fabulous Christmas hamper packed full of goodies and the second is a drinks combo - something to wash down those festive treats!


Will you step up and help out as a volunteer for half a day a week
or every fortnight and keep our Shop open? We are urgently
looking for new recruits to join our small team of volunteers
to serve our community.

Warning: without extra help it is quite likely that the Shop
will have to reduce its opening hours or close on certain
half days. And we don't want that to happen!

The Shop's future is up to you!

Why not come and join the volunteers? Just pop into the shop and have a word with Karen, Susan or Jackie.

It's really sad to know that this is the last edition of the Berrynarbor Newsletter. It will be missed, as will Judie's unique way of 'encouraging' contributors to send her items for inclusion! We should like to add our heartfelt thanks to her for her hard work and dedication over the years.

But as we lose the Newsletter, we need to sound a warning to everyone about the viability of our village's Community Shop. Throughout the pandemic, the shop has remained open and the staff have worked tirelessly to serve our community. But now it's your turn, we've been there for you and now we need you! So, will you be there for us?

We know these are tough times for everyone and with the rise in the cost of food and energy prices, there is tremendous pressure on household budgets. The Shop too, like so many other community shops and amenities, has seen costs rise quickly. And while we're rolling our sleeves up and working hard to try to mitigate these increases, constantly reviewing where we are price-wise to ensure we remain competitive, we can't do it without you.

Of course, we can't compete with the major supermarkets' loss leaders or their buying power. We have never been able to. So, what can we give you that they can't?

But did you know?

And finally, is IT you?

With this being the final edition of the newsletter, the Shop will be looking to spread its latest news and offerings via social media and email. But we don't have the skills to do it ourselves. Could you help? Could you build us an attractive home page, manage updates and use all the channels available to help us keep in touch with our villagers, customers and visitors? If so, please get in touch with Paul Weston via the Shop at



Our Community Shop is delighted to announce that it has a new bread supplier - the wonderful East and West Bakery who are based in Butcher's Row in Barnstaple. They have been supplying the North Devon community for over 20 years and we are sure you will be delighted with the quality of the bread and the amount of choice on offer. They cater for all tastes and preferences. They will be delivering to the shop on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. A full list of the loaves and other baked items on offer is available in the shop and orders can be taken. Just make sure your order is in a day in advance of when you need it to guarantee its availability. If you can't visit, orders can be phoned through to our shop on 883215.

The American chef and cookbook author James Beard once said that 'good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods and good bread with fresh butter the greatest of feasts'. He's quite right, of course, but why stop there? Instead of a feast, we can offer you a banquet! We have the perfect accompaniments for that bread [and butter] with a fabulous range and choice of local cheeses and sliced meats for that summer picnic. You'll find them in the delicatessen section of our cabinets. We are often complimented on the quality and variety of the dozens of cheeses we offer - what's your favourite?

And talking of summer - hasn't it been a bit warm lately? Check out our cold drinks' cabinets. Whether your tipple is one of our very popular wines, beers and ciders or you'd rather go the non-alcoholic route, we have your cooling drink of choice. It's also the perfect time for ice cream. Whether it's an individual treat you want, or one of our popular family-sized tubs of Farmer Tom's locally made ice cream, you'll find them in the freezer cabinet.

Visitors Ahoy!

Yes, it's that time of year again! Schools have broken up and we are expecting the village campsites and local B&B's to be humming with visitors for the next four or five weeks. We shall make them very welcome. With the number of covid cases continuing to rise across the country, we shall still be asking all customers to use the anti-bacterial hand dispenser, wear masks and keep their social distancing. But while we can politely ask, we cannot insist. So, if you see unmasked visitors in our shop, just be careful. We want everyone to stay safe and well.

Help - Your Shop Needs You

There has been a lot of covid around the village and this has thinned out our small army of shop volunteers. Please, if you can spare us a morning or an afternoon then please let the shop know.

We're a friendly bunch and you don't need to have experience of working in a shop. It's not complicated and training and assistance will be given.

Note: For a really traditional cream tea, East & West's cut rounds are just the job! You will, however, need to order them at least a day in advance.


Artwork: Paul Swailes


More Open!

It's been a torrid couple of years as the pandemic has blown its icy blast across the country including its visits to our village where many locals were not able to escape its clutches. Thank goodness for the vaccination programme which meant that the majority of us suffered only mild flu-like symptoms. Fortunately, the actions taken to protect our staff have been effective and the Shop has remained open throughput.

When the Government first announced the relaxation of restrictions we feared the worst as visitors started to arrive for Easter and half-term breaks. Initially, cases in the UK and our region soared with 1 in 17 becoming infected. However, the very latest figures [mid-May] show that this has now decreased significantly to 1 in 33. So, we are pleased to announce that the Shop will be returning to its normal, pre-pandemic opening hours effective from Wednesday, 1st June. By normal we mean from 08.30 - 13.00 and 1400 - 17.30 Monday to Saturday. The Post Office will be open until 16.30 on each of these days. We shall continue to be vigilant and politely ask that people wear masks when in the shop and respect social distancing rules.

New In

Great news - we have added some exciting new grocery items. The first of these is from the very popular range of Jon Thorner's pies and pastries. Newly available is their smoked bacon and leek quiche. Delicious hot or cold they have a lovely in-depth flavour of British smoked bacon, leeks, cheddar cheese, free range eggs and their famous short crust pastry. If you would like us to order any Jon Thorner produce for you, please let us know by the end of the week for a Wednesday delivery.

By popular demand we are also now stocking Shipton Mills' Three Malts & Sunflower Organic Flour. This makes the most delicious, nutritious speckled brown bread and works well in breadmakers. We also now have Fairtrade light muscovado sugar. This is a soft, pure cane sugar with a high molasses content ideal for fudge, muffins and sponge cakes. And last but not least we are stocking Vignola arborio rice - it's a great classic for the Italian cuisine being ideal for risottos, timbales and other Italian dishes.

Your Shop Needs You Now

We have all read in the papers or heard on the news that food prices are under pressure. Indeed they are, and Karen and her team have been working really hard to keep any price rises to an absolute minimum. Our regulars know that they have been very successful in this difficult challenge.

There has been quite a lot of house selling and buying activity in Berrynarbor since the turn of the year. It's always interesting to note that the agents' description of Berrynarbor talks about the village having a community shop because they know this is a key selling point and adds to the value of our houses. So please come to see us. If everyone in the village would spend just £5 a week in our wonderful shop, it's future would be guaranteed as would the value of your house.

The shop will always deliver a welcome pack to village newcomers to tell them more about the village and encourage them to pay our shop a visit. But if you have new neighbours, or see them in the village, please tell them about us!


Artwork: Paul Swailes


Hope Springs Eternal

Hurrah! Lighter mornings and evenings are most welcome as we move into April - the days are getting longer, the weather is getting better and the dream of long, warm sunny days to come is once more forming in our ever-optimistic minds.

There's more going on in our gardens now as buds swell and trees burst into leaf and seed sowing has begun in earnest. In addition to its very popular compost offer, our Shop is also able to provide a range of young plants grown by our kind villagers. These are great value, excellent quality and only a fraction of the price you would pay at a garden centre.

Unfortunately, we shall not be holding the village Plant Sale this year. The dates planned for the event would clash with the village's celebrations for the Queen's Jubilee and we know our place! All being well, we shall be holding a bumper event in 2023.

What's here in April

April will be a very busy month with both Easter and St George's Day. We have eggs of all sizes and flavours - creme ones, caramel ones, mini ones and proper sized delicious Easter ones - plus we have an excellent range of Easter cards.

Easter and Lent is the time for simnel cake - these were traditionally given by live-in apprentices and domestic servants on their return home for Mothering Sunday, but were later called Easter cakes. The cake is a light fruitcake made from white flour, sugar, butter, eggs, fragrant spices, dried fruit, zest and candied peel. We have the ingredients and the recipe is below.

We shall be celebrating St George's Day [April 23rd] in style. There will be a tasting session for many of our local produce in the morning and these will be on special offer throughout the day. These special deals will be for one day only and will include Exmoor beers, Sandford ciders, Quince honey and Waterhouse Fayre jams.

At your service

We often receive requests to add items that we haven't previously stocked and wherever possible we respond positively. So, at your request, the shop now stocks Trex [at just £1], hollandaise sauce and ice cream cones [and we have a wonderful range of ice cream flavours with which to fill them - check out the freezer cabinet].

Masks please

There have been many new cases of this awful covid in the village. That's why we'll continue asking customers to wear a mask if they are able to and we'll be continuing to restrict the number of people in the shop. Please help us to keep everyone safe and the Shop open By working with us on this.

Volunteers needed

Are you new in the village and want to get to know other villagers and contribute to our wonderful community spirit? Why not come along and join our happy band of volunteers. Just half a day a week or a fortnight is all we ask and you can always come along for a few hours to start with to see how you get on. We don't normally bite and we are sure you would enjoy it. Just pop in and ask.

Easter simnel cake recipe
[Mary Berry]


For the topping


  1. Preheat the oven to 160C/140C Fan/Gas 3. Grease a 20cm/8in round, deep-sided, loose-bottomed tin with butter and line the base with baking paper.
  2. Put the cake ingredients into a large bowl and beat together until well incorporated. Spoon half the mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface.
  3. Roll one-third of the marzipan to the same size as the base of the tin and place on top of the cake mixture.
  4. Spoon the remaining cake mixture on top of the marzipan and level the surface. Bake for 1 3/4 -2 hours or until golden-brown on top and firm in the middle. If the cake is beginning to brown but not cooked through cover it with tin foil. Leave the cake to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the tin.
  5. Heat the apricot jam in a pan, then brush the top of the cooled cake with a little warm jam. Roll out half of the remaining marzipan to fit the top of the cake. Place the marzipan on the cake and use your thumb to crimp around the edges .
  6. Make 11 balls from the remaining marzipan and place these around the edge of the cake fixing them to the marzipan with a little beaten egg.
  7. Brush the marzipan with the egg and glaze under a hot grill for about 5 minutes (turning the cake round to ensure even browning). You can do this using a cook's blowtorch if you prefer.



    Thank you!

    Can we start by saying a huge thank you to those customers who have been extremely patient and mostly good humoured about having to queue to use the shop, especially in the run up to Christmas and into the New Year. Due to other local Post Offices in the area being closed for various reasons, everyone [or so it seemed] descended upon us for their postage requirements. It was so busy! And with the restrictions on the number of people in the shop at any one time, this inevitably led to far more queueing than we should have liked.

    The irony is that these Post Office takings do not benefit our shop. Only items bought in the shop itself contribute to its turnover and viability and while we believe having the Post Office provides a vital service for our villagers, it can be frustrating when people only use it without also buying shop items to help support us.

    Winter Olympics

    The XXIV Winter Olympics will be taking place between 4th and 20th February, and as its host city is some 8 hours ahead of us here in the UK, you will need to stock up on refreshments that will keep you going through the small hours as you cheer on GB's 60-strong contingent. Come and have a look - we have an attractive range of snacks and comfort foods at very competitive prices.

    Valentine's Day

    Yes, it's here again! Doesn't time fly? We have a wide range of cards to suit all tastes as well as wines and spirits to celebrate the occasion. And don't forget that box of chocolates for the special one[s] in your life.

    Pancakes or Welsh cakes?

    Now here's a dilemma! Shrove Tuesday happens to fall on St David's Day this year [1st March], which means that there may have to be a choice between pancakes and Welsh cakes. But don't despair, whichever you choose we have all the ingredients needed.

    Pancakes were traditionally eaten on the day before the start of Lent [Ash Wednesday] as a way of using up dairy products before the fasting began. The pancake has been around a long time and was first mentioned in ancient Greece in about 600BC. But it was not until 1445 that Olney, Buckinghamshire, began the tradition of its annual pancake race. Traditionally, their winner gets a kiss from the church bell ringer. Presumably that was until covid came along.

    Welsh cakes, also known as bakestones or pics, are a tasty treat anytime but would be especially appropriate on their patron saint's day. Not that St David would be eating Welsh cakes. It is said that he was a teetotal and a vegetarian who lived off water and leeks. Bet he was good fun to be next to!

    Traditional Welsh cakes are made using self-raising flour, caster sugar, butter or margarine, sultanas and eggs.


    • 8oz self-raising flour
    • 4 oz margarine or butter
    • 1 or 2 free-range eggs, depending on mixture
    • 2 oz caster sugar
    • 1 or 2 handfuls of sultanas


    • Sieve the flour into a bowl, then rub in finely the butter or margarine.
    • Add sugar and sultanas and mix.
    • Add 1 egg and mix. The consistency needs to be bound together, if too dry, add another egg.
    • Roll out on a floured board to about 1/4" thick.
    • Cut using a 2" [approx.] cutter. Cook on a greased pan or bake stone, on a medium heat for about 4 to 5 minutes each side.
    • The exact cooking length will depend on what you are cooking on, but keep a close eye - too short a period won't be cooked in the middle, and cooked for too long and they will be dry. When touched during cooking, they should feel springy, but not wet to the touch. No mixture should come out of the middle.
    • Once cooked, dust with caster sugar and enjoy!



    There is a lot going on in the shop in the run up to Christmas. We are expecting to be busy, so make sure you have submitted your Christmas food and drink orders by Tuesday 21st December at the very latest. Order forms are available in the shop now.

    We are again running our very popular December raffle with two wonderful prizes. The first prize is a fabulous Christmas hamper packed full of goodies and the second is a drinks combo - something to wash down those festive treats! The raffle will be drawn on Thursday, 23rd December.


    Our Jon Thorner pies are very popular, mostly because they are delicious! The shop has to order them in advance on a Monday for a following Friday delivery. So if you don't want to be disappointed, please let us have your orders as early as possible.

    Shop and Post Office Opening Hours

    Christmas Day and Boxing Day both fall over the weekend, there will be two bank holidays the following Monday and Tuesday. The shop and Post Office opening times will therefore be follows:

    • Friday 24th December - 08.30-12.30
    • Saturday 25th December - Closed Christmas Day
    • Sunday 26th December - Closed Boxing Day
    • Monday 27th December - Closed Bank Holiday
    • Tuesday 28th December - Closed Bank Holiday
    • Wednesday 29th December - 08.30-13.00 14:00-16.30
    • Thursday 30th December - 08.30-13.00 14:00-16.30
    • Friday 31st December - 08.30-1300 14:00-16.30
    • Saturday 1st January - Closed New Year's Day
    • Sunday 2nd January - 09.00-12.00

    Posting date deadlines

    • UK Inland
      • Saturday 18th December - 2nd class and 2nd class signed for
      • Tuesday 21st December - 1st class and 1st class signed for
    • HM Forces Mail - British Forces Post Office (BFPO)
      • Monday 29th November - Operational HM Forces
      • Monday 6th December - Static HM Forces
    • International Standard and International Tracking and Signature Services
      • Dates vary, see chart at Post Office. Advice: post as early as possible.

    Our Karen, Award Finalist

    The Shop Committee unhesitatingly put forward our Manager and Post Mistress, Karen Loftus, for the prestigious Rural Community Contribution Award organised by the Plunkett Foundation charity. And it came as no surprise to us that the judges made Karen one of just three national finalists.

    Her contributions over what has been a particularly challenging time for the shop, its staff and its customers, has been outstanding.

    Our submission to the judges included heart-felt citations from a number of our customers and we thank them for taking the time to express just how important the shop, and in particular Karen's efforts, have been to them. And Karen gave the shop a wonderful plug when she was interviewed about being a finalist live on BBC Radio Devon's morning programme. She's now a celebrity!

    At the time of this Newsletter going to press, we don't know the result. But whatever it is, Karen is our winner and we thank her sincerely for all she has done throughout a difficult year.

    Let's also not forget that Susan and Jackie do a fantastic job supporting Karen and work their socks off for our customers. Thank you to all our volunteers [we could do with more!] for giving your time to the village. We have a great team here; we thank them very much and are proud of all they do.

    Paul Weston - Chairman
    Berrynarbor Community Enterprise


    Artwork: Paul Swailes


    And Breathe!

    Wow, didn't we see a lot of visitors to our village over the summer holidays! That gave a much-needed boost to local businesses and our shop was no exception. And while we're delighted to say that with only one or two minor breaches, the vast majority of our visitors respected our social distancing and mask wearing codes. However, the after-effects of so many people coming to Devon did lead to a steep spike in Covid cases and the Government placed us in an 'enhanced response area'.

    The shop's current opening times are constantly reviewed with the aim of getting back to normal hours just as soon as we can. At the time of this newsletter's deadline, many restrictions still remain in place because of the coronavirus. We shall continue to make the safety and well-being of staff and customers our top priority and so for the time being our opening hours will remain as they are.

    Special Offers

    We cannot believe that we're already into October. Where has the year gone? So we'll whisper it quietly. You'll probably be turning your thoughts to that significant festive period that is fast approaching over the horizon. We're here to help.

    Our October offers are all about fruitcakes [no, not the human kind!]. Now a recipe from around 2000 years ago, as older readers may remember, had pomegranate seeds, pine nuts and raisins mixed into a cake of barley mash. Later, in the Middle Ages fruitcakes with honey, preserved fruit and spices became popular and were even used to sustain crusaders! I'm afraid we're just out of barley mash so instead we have all the ingredients for a more modern version at discounted prices. Check out our bargain prices on flour, caster, demerara light and brown sugars and dried fruits especially reduced for you to prepare your favourite cake treats.

    As we move into November, you will be able to stock up your cocktail cabinet, or marinade your delicious cake in, with our drinks offers. If you prefer something a little more sobering, we'll also have Kenco coffee and Exmoor based Miles tea, coffee and hot chocolate at reduced prices too.


    November will also see the launch of our 2021 seasonal Hampers' Raffle draw. This annual raffle is extremely popular and there are two fabulous hampers to be won - a grocery based one with essentials and treats to go with the festive fayre, and a drinks' hamper to help wash down that Christmas meal or just whenever to spoil yourself. Don't miss out so make sure you get your tickets!

    Christmas Food Orders

    Rumours and speculation currently abound as to whether some food supplies will be difficult to get hold of over the Christmas period. We shall be working hard to ensure our lines of supply are sound and we should be able to provide you with whatever you need. Make sure you fill out our Christmas food, grocery and meat order forms [available from November] to ensure that you get what you want - without leaving the village! We'll go the extra mile so you don't have to.


    Artwork: Paul Swailes


    As We Were

    Our absolute priority at your Community Shop remains the safety and wellbeing of all of our customers and staff and so, despite the easing of restrictions towards the end of last month, we shall still be politely asking people to wear masks and socially distance when in the shop and continue to restrict the number of people inside at any one time. However, with the expected arrival of a large number of visitors during the holiday season, we know that some may not want to wear masks and we will not be able to insist upon it. Our opening times will therefore remain as they are now [close at 16.30] as it will be even more important to allow time for a deep clean of the shop at the end of the day.

    Meat or Non-meat?

    There is a growing trend for people to try out plant-based recipes and our shop has lots of new delicious offerings to cater for these tastes. According to a survey at the end of 2020, 22% of the UK now enjoy a meat free diet. 11% of these are vegetarian, 4% vegan and 7% pescatarian. Just a note: vegetarians choose not to eat meat but veganism is stricter and also foregoes dairy, eggs, honey and other items that derive from animal products such as leather and silk. Pescatarians eat fish but not meat.

    So what's on our shelves? We have Cook & Co Banana Blossom and also their Jackfruit. Banana Blossom hails from south-east Asia and its chunky, flaky texture can be used as a substitute for fish or chicken. Jackfruit, the largest tree fruit in the world, is native to south India and has a lovely, subtle sweet and fruity flavour, often used as a meat substitute in Asian cooking due to its texture, which is similar to shredded meat. There are some great recipes for these online such as vegan fish pie, paella and crab cakes. Why not give them a go?

    In the freezer we also have quorn roast, lasagne, Linda McCartney sausages, burgers, country pie. cheese & leek plait, falafels, lazy vegan Thai green curry, cheese & broccoli escalopes and veggie finger.

    Of course, for those who prefer their meat, we have delicious Jon Thorner pies, a range of Besshill meats, a wide choice of frozen meals and deserts, and a fabulous selection in our very popular deli and dairy chiller cabinet. The choice is yours!

    If there is anything you would like us to stock, please let us know, we'll try to get it for you. We always go the extra mile so you don't have to!

    Special Offers are Coming

    Look out for our special offers arriving in September. Check out our shelves and look for the 'smiley faces' that will show where the offers are. Also, you may like to make sure you are on our mailing list so we can keep you up to date with all our latest offerings. Just leave your mailing address at the shop.



    Opening Up - As the country gingerly pulls back the curtains and starts to venture out again, as the pandemic lockdown rules relax a little, so our Village Shop is extending its current opening hours. From the first week in June the shop will be open from 08.30 to 13.00 and 14.00 to 16.30. We know that is an earlier closing time than normal, but as long as this pandemic exists, we'll need to carry out a deep and thorough clean at the end of each day to ensure the continuing safety of our customers and staff. This will be especially important as we anticipate that with the coming of glorious summer weather [please!] we'll have many, many visitors to our beautiful village. Customers will still be required to wear masks and the number of people in the shop at any one time will still be restricted.

    New Look, New Items - In case you're paying a first visit in a while you will notice that we have changed the layout of the shop which we believe will make things easier to find. We are stocking some new items such as fob batteries for all your remote devices - just £1 - and in anticipation of the wonderful sunny weather coming our way, we now stock thirst quenching Ben Shaw's soft drinks [dandelion & burdock, cloudy lemonade and bitter shandy all at just 59p] as well as Boost sport orange and sport cherry. New in, we have Green's delicious zesty lemon pie filling and by popular request we now stock Gales' lemon curd [pass that toast!].

    You Can Bank on Us - It surprised us to learn that some people are going to Tesco's just to use their cash machine. The good news is you can do all that and much more at your own village Post Office. Here you can get cash out, pay cash in, check your balance and pay in cheques using a paying in slip and a bank envelope, which we hold for most UK banks. You can also pay your bills, top up your telephone cards, electric keys and gas meter cards.

    You can play the health lottery. This is not a national lottery but 12 society lotteries each one representing several local authority areas. Each will raise money for health-related good causes within their respective areas. Each local society takes turns in participating in the draw so every area in England, Scotland and Wales gets an appropriate share on the money raised. £1 a ticket for the chance to win £100k.

    Good Luck Annie - We have said goodbye and thank you to Annie Smith on her retirement after being a stalwart of the shop for the past few years. We'll miss her but wish her every happiness in her retirement. We are pleased to welcome Jackie Chaplin who joins our staff. She is a friendly and enthusiastic staff member, passionate about our shop. Please say hello to Jackie next time you are in.



    Spring is in the Air

    Here we are, at last, in April with the promise of warmer weather and the prospect of blossom appearing on the trees and in our gardens. But sadly, due to ongoing restrictions, we have had no option but to cancel next month's Great Berrynarbor Plant Sale.

    However, if you have spare plants you were going to donate to the event, you can bring them along to the shop instead. They will be most welcome! And, on the subject of gardening, the shop has Durston's excellent compost available at last year's prices.

    We are also now stocking Beebombs. These are native wild seedballs which will bring a touch of the spring meadow to your garden and help to bring back the bees and the butterflies. No real gardening skills are required and they can be scattered at any time of year. These Beebombs are handmade in Dorset and will make a great gift for all nature lovers.

    Special Offers

    There are lots of special Spring Offers now on our shelves. Check out our bargains on Lyons Gold Roast [just £1] and Miles Ground coffee and loose tea. Of course, you'll need something to go with them so we have Burts crisps both 40g and 150g at knock down prices! Hurry while stocks last.

    New in we have a range of Free products including white bread mix, pasta base mix, stem ginger, double chocolate, chocolate chip and lemon zest cookies. All these products are free from gluten, milk, peanut, egg and soy but full of great, natural taste.

    When May arrives, we shall hopefully see wonderful barbecue weather [fingers crossed!] and to help wash that down we'll have special offers on ciders, local beers and soft drinks. Don't miss out.

    Volunteers Needed

    Our Village Shop relies on its network of wonderful volunteers; without them we couldn't survive. So, what motivates someone to come forward and give just a few hours a week behind the counter? We asked Jenny Cookson and here's what she told us:

    "I have been a volunteer from the first day our community shop opened in 2004. I really enjoy taking part, not only for the sense of giving to my community and keeping my brain working, but also the fun and social aspect of meeting most of our villagers on a regular basis - the chats and information titbits are priceless. Our Shop and Post Office really are one of the cornerstones of village life and has been through the decades."

    If you would like to join Jenny to become one of our volunteers, just have a chat with Karen, Annie or Susan. No experience necessary and you will be made most welcome.


    Artwork: Paul Swailes


    Our Sheila

    It was with great sadness we learned that 'Our Sheila' [Sheila Chatterton] had lost her brave battle towards the end of last year. Sheila was the most effervescent character who lit up the shop with her amazing positivity and friendliness. We miss her so much.

    The New Year started with another lockdown and a plea from the Government for people to stay close to home. So do shop local! Staff at our village shop are working tirelessly under very challenging conditions to keep the doors open and the shelves well stocked. But just as the shop is always there for you, we need you to be there for the shop.

    We're already into February and with it comes a couple of special calendar days. First up is Valentine's Day and however precious your loved one is to you, we have a wide range of cards starting from the bargain price of just £1 [it's the thought that counts], so you'll probably have enough left for those chocolates or bottle of wine!

    Note: Valentine is one of the busiest of Saints with additional responsibility for beekeeping, plague and travel. When he's finished with helping our star-crossed lovers. perhaps he could turn his attention to the pandemic so we can reduce its spread and we can all get out and about again!

    Hot on the heels of Valentine's Day is Shrove Tuesday, 16th February. This comes from the word 'Shrive' and was traditionally the start of Lent and the day you confessed your sins as you started fasting. But before you do that, we have all the ingredients you need for your pancakes. Let us know if you need any lemons. We don't charge for confessions.

    We have a number of special offers lined up for March including McVities' biscuits at just a £1 a packet [down from £1.65] and Bisto Gravy granules at £1.39. Lots more too!


    If you are unable to visit us and/or are self-isolating, just give us a call on [01271] 883215 with your grocery order, minimum £5, and we'll be happy to deliver. Alternatively, let us know what you want and if you're able to visit to collect, we'll let you know when your order is ready.

    Plant Sale

    Yes, plant sale. Who knows when the current restrictions will end but we have to plan ahead with optimism and so we have ear-marked Sunday, May 30th for our 2021 Great Village Plant Sale. This will hopefully take place in the Manor Hall and now is the time to get those seedlings started. The shop is always grateful to our wonderful villagers for their generosity in supporting this event with donated plants.

    We shall again be stocking bags of compost at very competitive prices, so let us know what you need and we'll be happy to help.


    Artwork: Paul Swailes


    Our June

    All of us here at the village shop were deeply saddened to hear that June Maragone had passed away. Known to us affectionately as Aunty June, she was one of our longest serving volunteers and her cheery and cheeky nature always brightened our days and those of our customers too; she made everyone feel welcome!

    We miss you June, God bless.

    We're here to help!

    As we near the end of an extraordinary year, a difficult year for so many people and for so many reasons, Christmas shopping will now be high on our list of priorities. It is likely to be more chaotic than ever in our high streets as people rush out of lockdown and into the shops to make up for the lost weeks.

    So here's our suggestion for a stress-free way of making Christmas merry and bright for all our villagers and those you are buying for. We're here to help. Come to us, tell us what you want, we will put it together for you and, if it needs to go further afield, we'll even post it for you.

    If you can't find what you want on our shelves, just ask and whatever you want we will try to get it for you.

    But we have a wonderful range of local produce that can be put into amazing gift packs - this includes Quince honey; Waterhouse's delicious jams, marmalade and chutneys; Miles tea, coffee and chocolate drinks; Roly's fudge; Discover chocolate; a wide range of Bakehouse biscuits; plus local speciality cheese to suit all tastes.

    And that will all need washing down with something appropriate. We have a wide range of red, white, blush and sparkling wines at very competitive prices. As well as locally crafted speciality beers and ciders, we also have locally produced rum and gin.

    For that gift with a difference we have a great selection of handicrafts all locally made - from glassware, hardware, flowerpot people, crocheted animals and many more.

    Christmas Orders

    We can also help you to avoid those dreaded last-minute Christmas crowds fighting over the turkey, tatties and sprouts and help to make this a stress-free experience for you. Order forms are available in the shop now for all your Christmas meat and vegetable needs. Complete the form and then sit back and relax, knowing that your order can be collected on either the 23rd or 24th December [morning only] as your village shop once again goes the extra mile so you don't have to.

    Yuletide Raffle

    Don't miss the chance to win our two fabulous hampers in our ever popular and traditional Christmas raffle. The first is packed with a range of luxury treats [chocolates, jams, chutney, Jon Thorner meat pie and much more] and the second is a drinks hamper with red, white and blush wines plus locally crafted beer and a local cider. Tickets are just £1 and the lucky winners will be announced on the 23rd December. Hurry!



    I spy pies We have some super special offers coming up as we move into autumn [where did that summer go?] including the very popular Jon Thorner pies now only £5.50. These sumptuous pies come in a variety of delicious Beef and Chicken flavours so hurry while stocks last.

    Look out for our drinks offer in November which will give you a perfect excuse to stock up for the festive season which is now racing towards us! November will also see the launch of our ever- popular end of year raffle with fantastic hampers to be won - watch for the in-store posters!

    Our wonderful staff work tirelessly to bring the best value grocery items to our village shop and they have put together a Manager's Pick shopping basket of essential goodies that are cheaper here than in well known, large supermarkets in the area. And, of course, we have a lot more locally produced fresh produce so that we keep our carbon footprint as small as possible - still going the extra mile so you don't have to.

    Will they no come back again? Since the lockdown started, the shop has been pleased to add to its customers a number of villagers and other locals who, sadly, have only paid us rare visits in the past. We have warmly welcomed everybody and we hope that the fact that the shop has been there for everyone throughout these difficult times will mean that everyone will be there for us during the winter months.

    Karen and her team work extremely hard to make the shop and its content as competitive as they can and we hope they have convinced the many new faces that relied on us then, that they can rely on us now and in the future. If everyone in our wonderful village was to spend just £5 a week in our shop, this valuable resource would go from strength to strength.

    The shop's current opening times are constantly reviewed with the aim of getting back to normal hours [remember them?] just as soon as we can. At this newsletter's deadline, many restrictions still remain in place because of the coronavirus. We shall continue to make the safety and well-being of staff our top priority and until we can safely arrange for our volunteers to return to work we shall continue to operate within restricted hours. Any change to these opening hours will be advertised at the shop, on social media and by e-mail to our customer list.

    You can telephone through orders during the morning [01271 883215] and we'll call you back to let you know when you can collect in the afternoon. For those who are having to self-isolate, we can arrange for your order to be delivered. Stay safe everyone!




    At your service

    It is hard to believe that it is nearly August and the lockdown started five months ago! Throughout, our village shop has been at the service of its community and we've been really touched by the wonderful messages of support and thanks we have received.

    Karen, Annie and Susan have worked so hard in very difficult circumstances to ensure that all our customers' needs are met.It's not been easy for them and now that restrictions have started to be eased, and the local campsites and holiday homes have begun to fill, it's not likely to get any easier either. But we have begun to cautiously welcome back a number of our volunteers who are now helping out during our very busy times and we are really grateful to them for their support.

    As you would expect, we continually review how the shop operates;firstly, to ensure the health and well-being of Karen and all of her team and secondly to maximise the service we can give to our customers in a safe and effective manner. With the new influx of visitors, we have looked closely at how we are currently operating.

    We have concluded that the current mode of operation is working well and suits the needs of those we know rely on us - and they will always be our priority. So, the Shop and Post Office will be open in the mornings 8.30 a.m. to 1.00 p.m., Monday to Saturday, and open on Sunday mornings, 9.00 a.m. to 12.00 noon. You can phone orders through on 01271 883215, Monday to Saturday, and if you are self-isolating then one of our team of volunteers will arrange to deliver your order to you. If not, you will receive a call to say when you can come and collect it.

    We thank all our customers for their support and understanding during these difficult times. If we have to make any changes to the above arrangements, we'll let you know by email, Facebook and shop and village postings.

    Our new ales are local [and brisk]

    'He's as brisk as bottled ale' is a wonderful old saying and we fully expect sales to be brisk for our new locally brewed bottled ales made by the Combe Brewing Company, just up the road at Mullacott. We have Harbour Amber bitter which has an earthy taste with a lovely blend of honey and spices;Beach Blonde Golden light ale which delivers a light citrus-filled beer with hints of biscuit and apricot fruit;and Dark and Stormy Premium Dark Ale which delivers a smooth but full-bodied, caramel-rich beer with rich fruit and bitter notes. Lovely!


    Artwork: Paul Swailes


    There's a very old saying - keep your shop and your shop will keep you. This has never been truer than it is today. The shop has proved to be a lifeline to the vulnerable of the village, to those who are self-isolating and to regular and new customers alike.

    Because of the lockdown restrictions and the need for self-distancing, the shop has had to find new ways of operating. Of course, the health and well-being of our wonderful staff comes first; for without them there is no shop. It is hard to describe how grateful the committee and the village are to Karen, Annie and Susan for their hard work, dedication and enterprise as they provide this critical service to our community during what continues to be a stressful and worrying time.

    Never before has our village shop had to make so many changes to how it does things. But we are delighted to say that our customers have come with us on the journey and accepted what we have had to do with understanding and so much goodwill.

    After the initial shock of the lockdown and the consequences of the madness of panic buying at supermarkets, which our shop quickly and effectively resisted, a new routine has been established and our shelves remain very well stocked. Our focus has always been on our customers and those who we know rely on us. New customers have been warmly welcomed and no-one has been turned away.

    Just to remind everyone, the Shop and Post Office are open in the mornings Monday to Saturday but closed on Sundays. You can phone through orders on 01271 883215. These will be made up as soon as possible in the afternoon. If you are self-isolating then one of our team of volunteers will arrange to deliver your order to you. If not, you will receive a call to say when you can collect it. To date, the shop has made up over 300 customer orders!

    We sincerely hope that once normality [whatever that may be!] is resumed and rules relaxed, that all those who have used the shop during these difficult times, will remember us and continue to visit as members of our faithful band of customers. We will always go the extra mile so you don't have to.

    And that's not all - new, new, new!

    We don't rest on our laurels! We have introduced two new local ranges into our freezer cabinets. Exmoor Kitchen Heat and Eat ready meals are high quality, home-cooked meals using fresh Devon and Exmoor produce. We are also now stocking the very popular and delicious Jon Thorner's pies - also made in the West Country. Try them - you won't be disappointed!



    Spring is Here (?)

    Although it has seemed like it at times, we're backing author Hal Borland's view that 'no winter lasts forever' and 'April is a promise that May is bound to keep'. And if that's true, our thoughts can turn at last to the outdoors and our gardens. As seed sowing and perennial cuttings gather pace, the Village Shop can help with top quality compost at a very competitive price with savings when you buy multiple bags. If you struggle with lifting or transportation, just let us know and assistance will be given.

    Plant sale

    We're looking forward to the Great Berrynarbor Plant Sale which is being held on Sunday 17th May in the Manor Hall. Please try to donate some plants to the sale - herbs, perennials and house plants are always in demand. Donated plants can be delivered to the Manor Hall from 10.00 a.m. on the day or to the Shop beforehand. Doors to the Sale will open at 2.00 p.m. In addition to hundreds of plants on offer, there will be a Berry in Bloom cake stall, refreshments including bacon butties and a fabulous raffle with a myriad of wonderful prizes.

    St George's Day

    St George has been the patron saint of England for nearly 700 years [it was the very English St Edmund before that] and on his feast day - Thursday, 23rd April - the Shop will be celebrating everything English by having a number of very special offers that you just won't want to miss! Lots of bargains to be grabbed [one day only] but no dragons will be harmed.


    And finally, the coronavirus. As the Newsletter goes to press, we are still in the containment phase and the Shop is closely following Government and industry advice to protect staff and customers alike.

    If you are a customer and are self-isolating, then the Shop can help with your essential supplies. If you ring the Shop with your requirements [01271 883215], we have a number of volunteers on standby who will arrange for your order to be delivered to your door. We shall do whatever we can to help, however we shall not be able to deliver single items and can only deliver items that are stocked in the shop. If you do not already have an account with us, we will open a temporary one for you which you can settle once your self-isolation is completed. For all telephone orders, we'll ask you to send a confirmation email to us at

    We go the extra mile so you don't have to!



    Busy time of year

    At last the mornings are beginning to lengthen as the long, wet winter wearily nods towards the first signs of spring. Over the next few weeks there's a lot going on calendar wise and the village shop is there to help with all your needs.

    Valentine's Day is the first to arrive on the 14th February and we have an extensive range of chocolate, cards, pink fizz, local ciders, craft beers and spirits for you to show the special one in your life how much you care. And, of course, you should get your wife/husband/partner something too! Are they a red wine enthusiast or perhaps they prefer a crisp white? Whichever it is, you will find our special wine offers throughout February a real temptation at bargain prices. Look out for the posters and keep an eye on the shop's Facebook page for these super deals.

    Don't be a lemon and forget Pancake Day on the 25th February or Shrove Tuesday as it's officially called - the day we are supposed to use all the good things in the larder so that it's easier to give them up for Lent. If you'd rather not give them up, of course, our shop will always have a plentiful supply!

    Mother's Day falls on the 22nd March this year and we're sure that among our Berrybay handicraft section you'll find the perfect gift. These are made locally and are a testament to the amazingly talented people we have within our wonderful village.

    We also still have gift sets comprising the very popular Berrynarbor village logo mugs - the perfect partner for Devon fudge, or chocolates or tea bags, or . . .

    Raffle winner

    The winner of the shop's fabulous Christmas hamper was Ms Wade from Birdswell. Congratulations go to her and to shop stalwart, Fenella Boxall, who won the second prize - a collection of local ciders.

    Plant Sale

    There's no time like the present for taking cuttings or re-potting those rooted plants so that they are in tip-top condition for this year's Great Berrynarbor Plant Sale which will be held on Sunday, 17th May in the Manor Hall. A date for your diary! Donated plants can be delivered from 11.00 a.m. on the day or to the shop beforehand. Doors to the Sale itself will open at 2.00 p.m.

    If you would be willing to help out on the day, please let the Shop Manager know.


    Artwork: Paul Swailes


    There's so much happening at the shop this month. We have super special offers, our popular Christmas hampers' raffle, order sheets for your Christmas groceries and trees plus local produce in gift packs.

    Don't miss out on our special offers you'll find in the bargain basket - you won't get them cheaper at local supermarkets - just like our sugar special that was on offer in November. Among our December promotions will be something for those relaxing moments when your only difficult decision is whether to have a brew of Yorkshire Tea or a delicious cup of Kenco coffee. Decisions, decisions!

    Have you got your festive raffle tickets yet? To have a chance of winning one of our wonderful hampers you'll need to buy your tickets before Monday, 23rd December when the draw will take place and the lucky winners announced.

    Shopping for Christmas food can be a really stressful experience. We can help. Just complete an order form for meat, vegetables and dairy and we'll go the extra mile so you don't have to. Orders can be taken up to midday on Saturday 21st December and collected on the 23rd and the morning of the 24th. Don't miss out! Still stuck for that present? We have put together a selection of local produce into gift packs for you to give for the special day. We can even post them for you.

    And finally, here are the shop and Post Office opening times over the holiday:

    • Tuesday 24th December - 08.30 to 13.00
    • Wednesday 25th & Thursday 26th - Closed
    • Friday 27th & Saturday 28th - Open as normal
    • Sunday 29th - 09.00 to 12.00 noon
    • Monday 30th - Open as normal
    • Tuesday 31st - 08.30 to 13.00
    • Wednesday 1st - January Closed

    Karen, Annie, Jo and all the team at our Community Shop would like to wish our customers and their families a very Happy Christmas and a healthy and peaceful New Year. Come and see us soon!


    Artwork: Paul Swailes


    There's so much happening at the shop this month. We have super special offers, our popular Christmas hampers' raffle, order sheets for your Christmas groceries and trees plus local produce in gift packs.

    Don't miss out on our special offers you'll find in the bargain basket - you won't get them cheaper at local supermarkets - just like our sugar special that was on offer in November. Among our December promotions will be something for those relaxing moments when your only difficult decision is whether to have a brew of Yorkshire Tea or a delicious cup of Kenco coffee. Decisions, decisions!

    Have you got your festive raffle tickets yet? To have a chance of winning one of our wonderful hampers you'll need to buy your tickets before Monday, 23rd December when the draw will take place and the lucky winners announced.

    Shopping for Christmas food can be a really stressful experience. We can help. Just complete an order form for meat, vegetables and dairy and we'll go the extra mile so you don't have to. Orders can be taken up to midday on Saturday 21st December and collected on the 23rd and the morning of the 24th. Don't miss out! Still stuck for that present? We have put together a selection of local produce into gift packs for you to give for the special day. We can even post them for you.

    And finally, here are the shop and Post Office opening times over the holiday:

    • Tuesday 24th December - 08.30 to 13.00
    • Wednesday 25th & Thursday 26th - Closed
    • Friday 27th & Saturday 28th - Open as normal
    • Sunday 29th - 09.00 to 12.00 noon
    • Monday 30th - Open as normal
    • Tuesday 31st - 08.30 to 13.00
    • Wednesday 1st - January Closed

    Karen, Annie, Jo and all the team at our Community Shop would like to wish our customers and their families a very Happy Christmas and a healthy and peaceful New Year. Come and see us soon!


    Artwork: Paul Swailes


    Changing of the Guard

    After ten years - actually ten years and one day precisely - working tirelessly at our Community Shop, Manager Debbie Thomas has decided to step down. The good news is that our Postmistress, Karen Loftus, has taken over the reins and is now managing the day to day running of the shop.

    "Debbie is a hard act to follow," says Shop Committee Chairman, Paul Weston. "She has been instrumental in turning around the fortunes of the shop and making it the success it is today, and we are truly grateful for all her hard work. She is going to be missed by so many people."

    New Manager, Karen, will be supported by Annie Smith as Shop Supervisor and new recruit, Joanne Bradshaw.


    All customers should be aware that the shop has installed CCTV cameras. Their installation is not in response to any incident but rather as an extra deterrent, should it ever be needed, and to reassure the safety of our staff.

    It's coming . . .

    We don't want to be the first to mention it, but the nights are fast drawing in and it won't be long before thoughts turn to later in the year when that mysterious chap in his famous red suit dominates. So, look out in the next few weeks for the shop's special raffle for your chance to win one of our fabulous seasonal hampers.

    We'll also be publishing the last postal dates for UK and overseas parcels and cards and issuing the holiday meat and vegetable order forms. Doesn't it come around quickly!

    Karen and Paul present Debbie
    with a bouquet of flowers to mark her departure.


    Artwork: Paul Swailes


    Volunteers urgently needed!

    Due to a number of recent retirements, our Community Shop is looking for new or returning volunteers. If you could spare just half a day a fortnight to help out, please call in and speak to either Debbie or Karen. You would be made most welcome.

    So what's it like being a volunteer? Long term volunteer

    Sheila Chatterton says: "In all the years I've volunteered in our shop, I can honestly say it's been fun. It's a chance to meet people who live in the village and to get to know them a bit better. The staff are very easy going with lots of patience! It does give you a nice feeling of contributing towards our lovely village and when visitors say what a wonderful shop and how lucky we are to have it, I am in total agreement with them."

    So if you can help our award-winning team please call in and ask. The duties should not prove too arduous - we just need to make sure customers are served with a smile, shelves are kept properly stocked and the premises kept clean and tidy.

    Mugs away!

    The shop has recently taken delivery of souvenir mugs and reusable drinking bottles adorned with the Berrynarbor Village Crest. These are proving to be ideal gifts and they can either be bought individually or as part of a gift set paired with locally sourced treats.

    The crest mirrors the design of the metal village signs that adorn the various entry points to our village and make a powerful statement about Berrynarbor's individuality. No village home should be without its mug!

    Opening times

    By the time this August Newsletter comes out, we shall, hopefully, be in the middle of another spell of glorious weather with the village teeming with visitors. This is just a reminder that during the peak summer holiday period, the Shop will remain open throughout the lunch hour. The Post Office will have its normal opening hours.


    Artwork: Paul Swailes


    Village Crest on Shop Souvenirs

    Berrynarbor's village crest, which appears on the ironwork signs as you enter the village, is to be used by the Village Shop on a number of souvenir items. To start with the crest will appear on mugs and re-usable water bottles, with a view to extending its use onto other items in the future.

    "Visitors to our village are always looking for something to take home," says Shop Manager Debbie Thomas, "Either to remind themselves of their stay here, or to take something for their friends and family. So, we are very excited to be able to use the crest to promote the village through the shop."

    Over the Christmas and Easter holidays the gift packs of local produce have also proved extremely popular and these have now been extended to include new items. As an extra service to locals and visitors alike, the shop will even pack and post these gifts for you.

    Plant Sale

    Many thanks to all those who attended the village Plant Sale and a special thanks to our small army of helpers on the day. The shop is stocking excellent quality compost at a really competitive price so that you can pot-on those wonderful plants you bought at the sale!

    Easter Raffle Draw

    The lucky winner of the Easter hamper was Chris Pocock (pictured). Second ticket out of the hat belonged to Fenella Boxall who won the Easter Bunny and Chocolate eggs.


    Sunday Opening Hours

    Following a review of its footfall, the shop is making a small adjustment to its Sunday opening hours. It will now be open from 9.00 a.m. until 12 noon. These hours will be reviewed and extended during the peak season.


    Artwork: Paul Swailes


    Easter Draw Prizes for all the Family

    Tickets are now on sale at the Village Shop for our Easter raffle. They are just £1 each and if you haven't got yours yet, you'll need to hurry as the draw will be taking place on Thursday 18th April - the day before

    Villagers and visitors alike tell us how much they love the local produce that our shop provides and so we have selected the prizes from this range to show just why we value our local suppliers so much.

    There are numerous prizes aimed at all members of the family ranging from a crocheted bunny and Easter egg for the children, to crafted beers and crisps, cheese and wine, and a collection of treats for those with a sweeter tooth.

    Great Berrynarbor Plant Sale

    The Great Berrynarbor Plant Sale will be held on Sunday 19th May in the Manor Hall. This is the weekend before the late May Bank Holiday and the sale has been brought forward to avoid clashing with other local events.

    Donated plants and cuttings can be dropped off from 11am on the day with the doors to the sale opening at 2pm. In addition to the plants on sale there will be refreshments served [including bacon butties] and a raffle of prizes donated by various local businesses.

    This ever-popular village event is not to be missed.

    Shop wants Village Pictures

    Do you have a favourite view of our beautiful village? If so, can you capture it on camera? The village shop is looking to produce its own range of postcards and is inviting you to submit your photograph for it (or them) to be included. Winning entrants will receive a shop voucher and will, of course, be credited on the postcards. Fame awaits! Please send your entries to



    Don't forget Valentine's Day!

    It is commonly thought it is better to give than to receive, so don't disappoint the special one[s] in your life by failing to remember that it is St. Valentine's Day on Thursday, 14th February.

    Our village shop has a good and varied supply of Valentine cards and a special selection of gift packs to mark the special day.

    In case you do forget. you may want to make the excuse that St. Valentine [beheaded 14th February AD269] in his day had nothing whatsoever to do with romance until Chaucer came on the scene over 1000 years later. If that doesn't go down too well, we're delighted to say that the shop always has the ingredients you will need to cook that special romantic dinner -available all year round! - to show that you do care. We have an excellent selection of wines too, to help wash it down.

    Christmas Hamper Winners

    The first prize in the shop's Christmas raffle - a wonderful cheese and wine hamper - was won by John Hood. The second ticket out also belonged to John but being the generous sort that he is, he declined another prize.

    Tee and Lloyd of Bowden's Farm were grateful to him as they won the Curry Kit prize. Margaret and Roger Sowerby won the bubbly and chocolates.

    Great Berrynarbor Plant Sale

    A date for your diary! Yes, we know it's still a long way off but you will need to get planting soon if you are going to be ready in time for the Great Berrynarbor Plant Sale, which this year is taking place on Sunday, 19th May in the Manor Hall.

    This is the weekend before the late May Bank Holiday. The Plant Sale is being held a week earlier than in previous years so that it doesn't clash with other high-profile local events.



    There is so much going on at our Village Shop as we enter the final run up to Christmas. We have three wonderful prizes to win in our festive raffle draw, Berrynarbor themed cards, local produce gift sets [which we can post for you] and a host of special seasonal offers.

    This year, three wonderful raffle prizes - a Christmas Cheese and Wine Hamper; a Curry Kit Hamper, perfect for those left-overs; and a Boxed Fizz and Chocolates Treat. Tickets are only a £1 so make sure you get yours soon. The draw will take place on Friday, 21st December.

    Our ever-popular order forms are now available for all your Christmas meat, vegetable and dairy orders. Orders will be ready for collection from Saturday, 22nd December. Because the Bank Holiday falls on the Tuesday and Wednesday, the Shop will close at mid-day on Monday 24th December and re-open on Friday 28th.

    The Shop Management, Volunteers and Committee thank all our customers for your loyalty in 2018 and look forward to seeing you again soon.

    Could you give just half a day a week or a fortnight of your time to the Village Shop? The shop is looking to recruit a number of new volunteers. It's a great way to support this most important community-owned village service; to meet new people; welcome visitors and work with our dedicated team. Just call in and ask. We will be delighted to see 'U'!



    New Shop Celebrates 10th Anniversary

    On the 2nd of September, villagers gathered at the car park to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the opening of our new Shop and Post Office, and the conditions could not have been kinder with the indifferent weather finally giving way to blue skies as the sun smiled down on the celebrations. It was a great turnout and a wonderful show of support for the shop. In addition to local suppliers who provided refreshments and tasters, many villagers contributed to the fantastic spread of food with their bring and share contributions.

    Entertainment was provided by the Red Petticoats clog dancing team and the singing of Chris Pearson. Guests of honour were District Councilor Yvette Gubb who had performed the opening ceremony of the shop back in 2008; Keith Walls, one of the original founders of the community enterprise; Alex Parke who worked so hard to make the new venture a success and John Boxall who played a leading role in the design and build of the new shop.

    The Shop Committee is grateful to all those who attended the event. As we say goodbye to the seasonal visitors for another year, we hope that all villagers will support the shop with their custom during the winter months. We look forward to serving you soon.


    That Certain Time of Year

    We hate to mention it, but it will soon be that certain time of year again! The shop will publish a list of last posting dates so you will know when to post in order to guarantee arrival before the big day. Some, to places far away, may have occurred, so please be aware and ensure you post your items in plenty of time.

    The shop can put together gift boxes of local produce for you to send to family and friends. You can post boxes weighing up to 2 kilos to anywhere in the UK for just £2.95.

    As we move into November the shop will be taking meat and food orders for the celebrations and it is already stocking Berrynarbor themed cards for the festive period.



    Celebrating our Community Shop

    Our village shop is 10 years old this year! In a climate that sees around 400 commercial village shops close each year, community-owned shops not only represent an essential service, they directly respond to some of the key challenges facing rural communities today like lack of services and isolation. In addition to sourcing local food with lower food miles, community shops save rural residents car journeys to alternative food stores, saving on average an 8-mile round trip. Community shops collectively are estimated to save 4 million miles of car journeys a year.

    And according to local estate agents, having a village shop and post office [with a large free car park] adds real value to our house prices here in Berrynarbor - as does the village pub, the School, the Pre-school, as well as the wonderful social facilities offered by our Manor Hall.

    So, for all these reasons we shall be celebrating the 10th anniversary of the opening of our award-winning Shop and everyone is invited. The event will take place on Sunday, 2nd September 2018 from 2.00 p.m. at the Shop and in the car park. The local council is very kindly allowing us to close the car park for the day and use the space for seating, eating and greeting! We do hope you will be able to join us.

    New Ice Cream now in stock

    As a perfect complement to the magnificent weather we have been experiencing, the shop now stocks new delicious flavours of individual-sized pots of ice cream. Made locally by Stapleton's of Torrington, who already supply the Shop with their fabulous yoghurts, these ice creams are made with grass-fed Jersey cows' milk and hand-prepared fruit compotes and sauces. They come in six flavours - rum and raisin, lemon curd, salted caramel, Belgian chocolate, strawberry and Madagascan vanilla. Lovely!

    Open all day

    The peak season is upon us and throughout August the Shop will be open all day. Our opening hours will be Monday through Saturday 08.30 to 17.30 and 09.00 to 12.30 on Sundays. The Post Office counter will be closed on Sundays.

    During this busy time of year, you may find that some of our most popular everyday items get sold very quickly. We don't want you to miss out so you can place an order for bread, milk and any other items simply by calling in, or by phoning us [on 01271 883215] or by sending an email to


    Artwork: Paul Swailes


    Supporting Local Suppliers

    . . . and minimising our carbon footprint. The Shop is extremely proud of its ongoing support for our local suppliers and the South West economy.

    • Fruit & Veg supplied by Normans of Ilfracombe
    • Bread from the Pantry of Ilfracombe
    • Milk & Butter From Trewithan Farm Cornwall
    • Meat From Besshill at Arlington
    • Deli supplied by Isca of Exeter and Hawkridge
    • Miles Tea & Coffee from Porlock
    • Cards from Whistlefish of Cornwall
    • Hancocks Cider
    • Exmoor Ales
    • Quince Honey from South Molton
    • Freebird Eggs from Braunton
    • Youings Wholesale based in Barnstaple
    • Martins Wholesale based in Cornwall
    • Berrybay arts and crafts made by our lovely villagers
    • Roly's fudge from Ilfracombe
    • Sugar free Discover Chocolate from Exmoor
    • Jams/Marmalades & Chutneys from Waterhouse Fayre Devon

    Visitors to the shop love the local produce. It's proving so popular that the Shop now offers gift sets which are selling really well - a perfect gift for your friends and relatives visiting you this summer. And don't forget, we can also pack and post them for you.

    Don't miss out

    The Shop is entering its busy period and we don't want our regular and local customers missing out. So, if you would like to order bread, milk, papers or anything else, just phone us on 01271 883215 and we'll make sure we put what you want on one side for you to collect later.

    And a reminder that the Post Office will be closed on the afternoons of Wednesday 6th June and Wednesday 4th of July for end of month reconciliation.

    Bigger bags for a better bargain

    The shop now has 90 litre bags of top quality Westland All Purpose Compost at £6.75 a bag; two bags for just £13. These days most garden centres only stock 60 litre bags and our latest price watch tells us you can buy three of their bags for £14.

    So you can save an extra pound on top of the petrol money by buying your compost from us. Another example of your shop going the extra mile so you don't have to!


    The Annual General Meeting for Shareholders will be held on Wednesday, 13th June 2018 at 8.00 p.m. in the Manor Hall.



    Ridding ourselves of plastic waste

    While it will take a coordinated worldwide effort to clean up and protect our oceans for future generations, our Village Shop is trying to make a local difference by working with its suppliers to try to reduce the amount of plastic used for packaging. The shop has also now replaced its clear plastic bags in which customers put their fruit and vegetables for paper ones.

    The shop has also now registered with the national 'Refill' campaign and will be offering a free topping up of tap water for drinking water bottles for walkers, visitors etc. "We're going to do everything we can to reduce our plastic

    footprint," says Debbie Thomas. "It won't happen overnight and it's going to take a lot of co-operation from and leader-ship by our suppliers."

    Today, according to Greenpeace, an estimated 12.7 million tonnes of man-made plastic - everything from plastic bottles, bags and microbeads - end up in our oceans each year.

    Travelling on ocean currents, this plastic is now turning up in every corner of our planet - from our beautiful North Devon beaches to uninhabited Pacific islands. And recently, it has even been found trapped in Arctic ice. Plastic is now entering every level of the ocean food chain and eventually ending up in the seafood on our plates.

    So, while our Village Shop may just be a tiny part of the jigsaw, it is determined to do its bit wherever and whenever it can.

    Now you can give in to temptation - sugar-free chocolate!

    The shop is now stocking an exciting new range of Devon-made chocolate bars - they're sugar free and proving very popular indeed! The range, called Discover, is made by the Discover Confectionery company based near Simonsbath on Exmoor.

    The bars come in a range of tempting flavours, including Raspberry and Cranberry, Cinnamon, Coffee and Cardamom, Fig and Cashew, Cherry and Walnut and Milk Chocolate. And if you have a particular favourite flavour that is not on their current list - email your suggestion to them, at and they might just add it to their list. Pop in and try some soon. You'll love them!


    New From the Village Shop

    Special Offers for Special Days

    even if you are not a pheasant or a partridge, there are so many reasons to be optimistic as the days get longer into February, not least because of the very special days the next two months contain.And the shop has some special offers to help your celebrations.

    This year Shrove Tuesday falls on the 13th of the month.Buy your eggs plus flour in the shop and we will give you a free lemon to make your pancakes taste the way they should.

    Closely following on its heels is St Valentine's Day on the 14th.And while we don't want you to lose your head like the unfortunate original Valentine [historical note: beheaded around the end of the 3rd century AD and his flower adorned skull can still be seen at the Basilica of Santa Maria in Rome!], we are offering half price on a range of boxes of chocolates to go with a Valentine's Day card and either a bottle of Campo Viejo Rioja or a bottle of Chablis Grande Reserve.Hurry while stocks last!Add a box of chocolates to a card and a bottle of wine and get your chocs half price!

    Mothers' Day falls on Sunday 11th March, and we think they should be spoiled too, so a similar special offer will be in place for them - a card, either a bottle of Campo Viejo Rioja or a bottle of Chablis Grande Reserve and a half-price box of chocolates.Great value!

    Hamper Winners

    Congratulations to our three Christmas hamper winners.

    Mary Brennan won the Cheese Hamper, Brian Fryer the Cake and Port Hamper and Katie Simpson the Curry Hamper.A big thank you to all those who bought tickets!

    New Freezer

    As many of our regular customers will know, we have been beset with problems with our freezer cabinet.The good news is that the shop has invested in a new three-door freezer which by the time you read this [fingers crossed] will be full of mouth-watering goodies at competitive prices.Come and see.

    New Recruit

    We are delighted to welcome a new member of staff. Villager Annie Smith joins our team as Shop Supervisor and she will be working alongside Debbie and Karen to help manage the Shop and Post Office. Annie has been a volunteer for some time so knows the shop and its customers well.Pop in and say 'Hello' to her soon.



    The walrus, the carpenter and the wine circle

    Shop committee members, Karen Loftus [aka our village postmistress] and Vicki Elden, recently presented some of the shop's finest wines and cheeses to the village Wine Circle - you can read the Circle's report on page 32).

    During the evening the oenophiles were asked to complete a short survey about our village shop. In their response, several of the members seemed to agree with Lewis Carroll's walrus [and the carpenter] when they said 'a loaf of bread is what we chiefly need'.

    They were making the point that sometimes the shop runs out of bread or doesn't have the loaf that they want.Shop Manager.

    Debbie Thomas, has 'risen' to the challenge.

    "We try not to over-stock bread," she explains, "For every loaf we waste, we have to sell seven to make up for it. So, you see our dilemma.

    "So, we've decided to offer people an ordering service. If you want bread in the week you can either set up a permanent order, or for our regular bread you can call us from 8.30 in the morning on [01271] 883215 to have a loaf put by for you. We hope this new ordering service will help."

    Overall the response to the survey was a huge endorsement for the shop, its products and its staff.Everyone agreed that it was vitally important to the village; they said they love the wide range of local produce on offer and the warm and friendly service made visiting the shop a real pleasure.

    Christmas hamper draw

    Not one but three! The shop has put together three very special hampers for this year's Christmas draw - a wine and cheese hamper; a port, mince pies and Christmas pudding hamper, and an After Christmas curry kit hamper. Tickets are just a £1 so don't miss out - make sure you get your tickets now. The draw will take place on Thursday, 21st December.

    A big thank you to all those who bought tickets in the recent Rotary grand draw. It raised nearly £100 for the shop.

    Posting dates for your Christmas mail

    For UK post:last date for 2nd class and 2nd class signed for is Wednesday, 20th December. For 1st class and 1st class signed for Thursday, 21st December. Special delivery guaranteed is Friday,

    22nd December. For international, airmail, the latest dates for some countries start on Saturday, 2nd December.If you have mail to go abroad, enquire at the Post Office for the dates.

    Christmas orders and holiday arrangements

    Our popular order forms are now available for all your Christmas meat, vegetables and dairy orders. Orders this year can be picked up on Saturday 23rd December. Because the Bank Holidays fall on the Monday and Tuesday, the shop will close on Saturday, 23rd, and re-open on Wednesday 27th December.

    The Shop Management and Committee would like to thank all customers for their loyalty in 2017 and look forward to seeing all of you again soon.


    Artwork: Paul Swailes


    Shop's Basket of Opportunity

    Here is a basket of everyday items selected by the Manager at our Village Shop - in fact, there's everything here you need to see you through the day. From shower gel, deodorant, healthy breakfast, mid-morning cuppa and biscuit, help with the household chores, lunch and dinner choices and more besides.

    At the time of the Newsletter going to press we compared our prices for these items with that rather large supermarket up on top of the hill in Ilfracombe., and we're embarrassed to say your village shop is more expensive - 14p more expensive! So, for all those of you who can get to Ilfracombe and back [9.4 miles] for less than 14p, you're going to make a killing!

    The rest of us will console ourselves with the fact that the cheese, ham, eggs - large and free range too - tea and coffee in this basket are of fantastic quality and from local suppliers. So, for these items our footprint is more like a tiny fingerprint.

    Another example of your village shop going the extra mile so you don't have to.

    Rotary Mega Draw Tickets now on sale

    Don't miss out! Tickets for North Devon Rotary Clubs' mega draw are now available from the village shop. In November, there will be a grand draw night and the winners of dozens of top prizes will be pulled out of the hat. First prize is £300. Now wouldn't that be useful just before Christmas!

    Vote for our Village Shop in the Countryside Alliance Award

    The 2017 Countryside Alliance Awards, nicknamed the 'Rural Oscars' is now open to public nominations and the Village Shop at Berrynarbor would like as many nominations as possible.

    The 13th annual awards will once again give village shops and post offices a platform from which to tell their story, and we shall need your support to help propel us to the top prize!

    You can nominate us by sending an email to saying who you are and why you are nominating our shop, whether it's because we have a fabulous range and quality of local produce, inflation-busting special offers, we go the extra mile so you don't have to, or perhaps it's the warm and friendly service you get from those behind the counter or just tell them how important your village Shop and Post Office is to you.

    The 2017 Awards will follow the same format as in previous years:

    • September - 12th of November - public nomination via email
    • Regional finalists will be notified in the New Year
    • April - The Grand Final will be held at Parliament. All regional champions will be invited. British Champions will be announced at this event.

    For more information see



    As They Like It - They come to Berry and they come to praise us, as a mixed up Mark Antony might once have said [humble apologies to the famous bard]. Visitors to our beautiful village have been putting pen to paper to say how much they have enjoyed their visit and have been delighted and amazed at the value and quality of produce on sale in our award-winning shop.

    Since a visitors' book was introduced to the Shop only a couple of months' ago, it has already recorded that visitors come here from far and wide - from Canada, the USA, France and, of course, a bit closer to home from London, the Midlands and elsewhere in the West Country.

    They are all united in their praise for what's on offer. A visitor from the very trendy Greenwich in London, where you can buy just about anything and everything, wrote that the shop was 'A wonderful resource, the local produce amazing!'

    The shop's management team work extremely hard to make sure that as much of what's on offer is sourced locally at very competitive prices. In fact, many of the products stocked are cheaper than you could get at the local supermarkets.

    If you haven't paid the Shop a visit recently, pop in soon and see just what's making our visitors so enthusiastic. You won't be disappointed!

    Besshill Orders - If you like Besshill meat [who doesn't?] but can't find what you want on our shelves, just have a word with Debbie or Karen and they will order in whatever you want. The very good news is that it won't cost you any more than in Besshill's own shops. Another example of our village shop going the extra mile so you don't have to!


    Artwork: Paul Swailes


    Shop now selling Tea and Cakes

    Our village shop has taken delivery of a new counter-top chiller display unit which is being used to show off the delicious cakes and savouries now on offer.

    The shop is also serving teas and coffees and at their new picnic tables offer thirsty walkers and visitors a chance to sit down and enjoy our village's hospitality.The recent dry spell and warm weather has shown that these new offerings are proving to be a big hit with visitors. Here's to a beautiful summer!


    Artwork: Paul Swailes


    Royal Mail add a Penny to Stamp Prices

    Royal Mail announced that from 27th March, the price of a First Class stamp will increase by 1p to 65p, and a Second Class stamp by 1p to 56p. In addition, the price of a Large Letter First Class stamp will rise by 2p to 98p, and a Large Letter Second Class will rise by 1p to 76p.

    The New 12-sided £1 coin is here!

    Key Dates

    • 28th March 2017 new coin came into circulation There will be a six-month period when both coins can be used
    • 15th October 2017, the old £1 coin will no longer be legal tender

    So, check your money boxes and use your old £1 coins before that date!

    £5 05.05.17 - A Date for your Diary

    Paper £5 notes will be withdrawn from circulation on the 5th May, 2017. So, check under your mattress and spend old ones before that date!

    Berrynarbor Post Office - will be closed on Wednesday, 5th April, in the afternoon.



    Would you like to help?

    Could you spare a few hours a week to help out in the village shop? New volunteers are now being recruited to join the small army of helpers who give up, say, half a day a month to help keep the shop running.

    Jenny Cookson, who has been a volunteer since the beginning, when the shop became a village-owned venture 13 years ago, still finds it very rewarding.

    "The shop with its Post Office really is the heart of the village and it is so important to make sure that it remains open," she says. "I enjoy working there, getting to meet and chat with people from other parts of the village that I wouldn't normally see. It also keeps me on my toes and my mind active."

    Having the shop, the village pub and the Manor Hall gives Berrynarbor an immense pull for those looking to settle in North Devon as well those visiting on holiday. So why not pop into the shop next time you're passing, have a chat with either Debbie or Karen, and see what you can do to help.



    Artwork: Paul Swailes


    Winner of the village shop Christmas Raffle was a delighted Bill Huxtable, seen here being congratulated by village postmistress Karen Loftus [left] and volunteer Patricia Weston. Bill, who wins a luxury hamper, has lived in the village all his life and is a regular customer in the Shop.

    Shop Manager Debbie Thomas said, "We're all delighted for Bill. He supports the shop on a daily basis and without such loyal customers the shop would really struggle. A huge thank you to all those who used the shop last year and we look forward to serving you in 2017.



    Artwork: Paul Swailes


    We should like to wish all our Customers a very Merry Christmas
    and A Happy New Year and say Thank You all for supporting us
    throughout the year.

    We are now taking orders for our locally grown Christmas Trees and Holly Wreaths.

    Let us Take the stress out of your Christmas shop and order your Turkey and other meats, all your Fruit and Veg,

    Wine and Cheeses for your cheese boards (we have a huge range of cheeses),

    Breads and even the Clotted Cream for your Pudding.

    Tell us what you need and we'll pack it up for you and all you need do is pick it up Friday the 23rd or Christmas Eve morning, whichever suits you.

    During this season of giving, we let you take time to slow down and enjoy the simple things in life, Christmas is available at your Community Shop.

    We also have a large range of Christmas cards, locally handmade glass decorations for your tree, soft cuddly toys and many more lovely gift ideas.

    Christmas Open Hours

    • Christmas Eve - 8.30 a.m. - 1.00 p.m.
    • Christmas Day - Closed
    • Boxing Day - Closed
    • Tuesday - Closed
    • Wednesday - Open as usual
    • Friday - 8.30 a.m. - 1.00 p.m.
    • New Year's Day - Closed
    • Sunday - 9.00 a.m. - 11.30 a.m.

    Merry Christmas to One and All



    The Great Berrynarbor Plant Sale

    A very big thank you to everyone who donated so many lovely plants and to those who came along to the plant sale at the end of May making it a huge success. We raised over £550 on the day with more added from plant sales in the shop after the event.

    The day was really enjoyable and next year's booking has been made. Debbie and Trevor will certainly be doing bacon rolls again!

    Many thanks also to everyone who helped on the day, your support is invaluable.


    Weary Walkers Refuge

    We are pleased to say that we have invested in two bench seats where weary walkers can sit and enjoy a welcome rest and a coffee or tea.


    Debbie's Pride

    Our £1 section is growing and is now a very important section in the shop; there are a very good range of branded items covering many basic kitchen cupboard items, cleaning and personal hygiene products.



    Post Office Opening Dates and Hours

    Please note that the Post Office will be closed on the following 2016 afternoons for closedown:

    • 8th June - 6th July- 10th August - 7th September
    • 5th October - 9th November - 7th December

    The Shop and Post Office will also be closed on the following 2016 Bank Holidays:

    • 29th August - Christmas Day and Boxing Day


    We are always happy to welcome new volunteers to the Community Shop. If you would like to join our happy band then please pop into the Shop and have a chat with Debbie or Karen.

    Being a volunteer has many benefits, you can:

    • Meet new people, make new friends, especially if you are new to the area
    • Strengthen your ties with the community and strengthen your support network
    • Increase your self-confidence
    • Gain a sense of purpose
    • Help keep good mental health
    • Keep active
    • Learn new skills
    • Have fun and fulfilment

    Summer Offer

    1 bag £4.50, 2 bags £8.50 3 bags £12.50


    Artwork: Paul Swailes




    Artwork: Paul Swailes


    The Committee, staff and volunteers would like
    to wish all our customers a Very Happy
    Christmas and New Year


    If you are stuck for Christmas gift ideas, the Post Office has One4all gift cards, you can put from £1 to £400 on them and they can be used in thousands of outlets nationwide

    Why not make up a selection of Quince Honeys, Waterhouse Fayre Jams or Madrigal Ale, which is brewed in Combe Martin. We are cheaper than elsewhere

    Also, have a look at our Handicrafts

    Plus, Christmas Cards, including Berrynarbor Cards

    Christmas parties? We offer Wine & Beer on sale and return

    Meat orders - Place your orders for Christmas Meats from our local suppliers

    Don't forget the last recommended posting dates for Christmas mail:

    All surface mail dates have now passed. Last dates for International Standard [previously airmail] for all overseas post are between the 4th and 18th December. Second Class mail: 19th December, First Class mail: 21st December.

    Shop & Post Office Updates

    The Post Office has received funding from the Community Fund enabling the purchase of new scales, signage and safe, plus a large new open fronted fridge for the shop, thanks to Karen Loftus. The shop is now sporting solar panels which are a long term investment to ensure the shop remains sustainable, plus a new coat of paint as part of our maintenance programme. The Committee has also welcomed Trevor Sharples as our new Chairman and gives thanks to Phil Brown for his work as Treasurer and more recently holding the fort most competently as Chairman.

    Winter Sunday opening hours are 9.00 - 11.30 a.m.



    Local Produce

    We, at the Community Shop are very proud to say that we support local suppliers and producers of food. This is important for the local community as research on spending by local authorities shows that for every £1 spent with a small or medium-sized business, which our suppliers are, 63p stays in the local economy, compared to 40p with a larger business.

    When you buy food sourced from local butchers, bakers and green grocers, it is likely that a decent percentage of the produce has had a short field-to-fork journey Along with supporting local farmers, it means the food is likely to contain more nutrients and have less packaging.

    Some of the advantages of local and seasonal food are that it is:

    • Fresher
    • Tastier
    • Healthier
    • Good for reducing food miles
    • A way to support local farmers and keep growing skills alive
    • Helpful in supporting the local economy. The money that is spent with local farmers and growers all stays close to home and is reinvested with businesses and services in your community
    • Local foods promote a safer food supply. The more steps there are between you and your food's source the more chances there are for contamination. Food grown in distant locations has the potential for food safety issues at harvesting, washing, shipping and distribution.
    • Local growers can tell you how the food was grown. You can ask what practices they use to raise and harvest the crops. When you know where your food comes from and who grew it, you know a lot more about that food.
    • When you support local businesses, your buying power also helps support local farmers and your local community. Buying locally produced foods can help reduce transportation, which decreases the CO2 emissions. It also helps to reduce the amount of packaging needed.

    Added to this you have the advantages of the delights of your Community Shop where you will always find a friendly face and a warm welcome, walk off those extra pounds coming to us and be a part of the community of Berrynarbor.

    We are always ready to welcome new volunteers. If you would like to
    become a member of our happy band and have time to spare, no matter how little, please pop in and see us.




    At the time of writing, another school year is rapidly drawing to a close and Years 5 and 6 are busy with final rehearsals for Pirates of the Curry Bean, which they are performing on 16th July at the Landmark Theatre. Last week they were juggling rehearsals with Bikeability Training. You might have seen them on their bicycles out and about in the village as they completed their level two training.

    This has been a busy term with various sporting events. Our own School Sports Day on Friday 3rd July was blessed with lovely weather and the children enjoyed participating in the different races. Many thanks to everyone who helped out at this, particularly the Year 12 students from Ilfracombe Academy. Other events ranged from Cross Country at Arlington Court for Years 3 and 4 to a Mini Olympics in Ilfracombe for our youngest children.

    We have been making the most of the summer days with gardening activities in the school grounds as well as day trips out and about in North Devon that have linked into the topics the children have been learning about. Year 5 have had a series of Forest Schools, and Years 3 and 4 travelled to Exeter for a music festival where they enjoyed trying out different musical instruments. We also enjoyed a visit to the Landmark Theatre to see the Essex Dance Company who are always inspirational.

    This year's residential trips took Class 3 to Beam House in Torrington where they enjoyed outdoor activities; Class 4 went to London where they saw the sights and went to the theatre.

    Next week we shall be saying farewell to Poppy, Rogan, Josh, Reuben, Tolly, Taylor, Karina, Conor, Joshua, Holly, Emily, Lydia and Tyler. They have been a fantastic Year 6 group, setting an excellent example to the younger children - we are very proud of their many achievements. We shall miss having them in our school family but wish them all the best for the future.

    Sue Carey - Head Teacher


    The School has a very old clock that sadly hasn't been working for a very long time and we should desperately love to be able to put it back up when our building work has been completed. Is there anyone who could help or who knows someone that would be able to repair our antique? If so, we should love to hear from you!

    We'll be on holiday for the next few weeks, but if you can help, please contact the school [01271] 883493 on our return on the 3rd September.


    Artwork: Paul Swailes


    We should like to thank all who supported and were involved with the Great Plant Sale held in May. It was a great success and a most enjoyable afternoon, raising around £600 towards the continuity of the Community Shop.

    Thanks to the contributors of plants which were so appreciated, also to Jigsaw and Goodenough's for the addition of so many beautiful plants which made such wonderful displays, to everyone who donated to the prize draw and for donations made on the day. Not forgetting those who supported the sale through buying plants and enjoying tea and cakes.

    Also, to all who helped on the day, making teas and coffees, setting up and clearing the hall, donating goods such as yummy cakes! Such events could not happen without your hard work, thank you all.

    We now have a superb range of curry sauce packs from the
    award winning Anglo Indian Chef in Bideford
    Make a top-class restaurant-quality curry sauce at home

    "Anglo Indian Chef curry's unique base sauce enables you to create your own authentic, Indian restaurant curry sauce packed with flavour. Made with our specially blended spices, freshly ground to our unique recipe. Easy to cook - we provide all the spices, you just provide a few basic ingredients to create the best curry sauce you've ever made. Don't believe it? Try one."


    No additives

    Plus ... come and see our NEW range of special offers, this month:-
    Capri Sun 2 for £1.39 - Lucozade 2 for £1.39
    McVitie's biscuits 2 packs for £1.49 - Maryland Cookies 2 packs for £1.00
    Hula Hoop Pufts 3 bags for £1.00



    Handmade in Berrynarbor Hiking/Walking Sticks Recommended by Local Walkers! £19.99
    Come and find one to suit you!
    We now have in stock J Arthur Bower's Multi-purpose Compost 50 litre bags for £4.90

    Now in stock from Quince Honey Farm: Exmoor Heather, Devon Flower Honey & Devon Honey Marmalade.

    Also Hancocks Devon Cider, sweet, medium and dry.

    **DON'T FORGET**

    Guests can put in an order for their shopping prior to their holiday.





    It's time to split your perennials, time to sow some seed
    We ask you - please support your shop, donated plants we need

    MONDAY 25TH MAY 2015

    Plant donations welcome from 10.00am - Manor Hall
    Sale Doors Open 2.00 p.m.
    Trees & Shrubs, Herbaceous Perennials, Fruit & Vegetables,
    Indoor & Pot plants, Bedding & Annuals.
    In aid of your Berrynarbor Community Shop

    Find this delicious ice cream in your village shop


    Farmer Tom's Dairy Ice Cream - local ice cream from Dunstaple Farm

    "Dunstaple Farm manufacture and supply quality ice creams and sorbets; we are based near Holsworthy, Devon and have outlets throughout the region.

    "Our ice cream is made on the farm using our own fresh, whole milk, clotted & double cream which is sourced from local dairies. All the ingredients used, including flavourings and colours, are natural and of the highest quality."

    If you haven't tried Farmer Tom's Ice Cream yet then you are in for a treat; we stock a wide range including award winning Clotted Cream Vanilla, Double Chocolate and Strawberry!!!

    We also have many other delicious flavours: Banana, Oreo, Banoffee, Black Cherry, Chunky Ginger, Irish Chocolate Cream, Maple & Walnut, Mint Choc Chunk, Malty Munch & Lemon Meringue.

    Remember to check out our special offers at the end of the £1 aisle!



    For all of you who attended our party in November you must have tried some of our cheeses. We have a large selection of South West cheeses which include:

      Devonshire Devil - Taw Valley Cheeses (Mature-Tasty-Tickler-Vintage) - Devon Blue - Cornish & Somerset Brie
      Dorset Blue Vinney - Afterburn - Sharphams (Brie-Elmhurst- Rustic) - Cornish Yarg

    Plus other Regional cheeses such as Wensleydale, Double Gloucester, Red Leicester and a range of other Cheddars.

    Shop 10th Birthday Celebration

    We should like to thank all our helpers, volunteers, customers and suppliers who attended our 10th Birthday Party and making it a very successful, memorable occasion.

    Are you holding an event? Why not get your supplies from the Shop on sale and return. This can range from Milk, Tea, Coffee and Biscuits to Wines and Beer. Just come in and speak to Deb or Karen.


    Come and check out our Special Offers, starting on the 5th February: Trewithen Milk 2 litre now £1.22 [was £1.36], Heinz Soups 95p each or

    2 for £1.75, Wisdom toothbrush 75p [was £1.00], Bells Whisky £18.49 or 2 for £32.00 . . . and there are lots more in store.



    Artwork: Paul Swailes


    Berrynarbor Bake House Cakes We are very pleased to be running a new range of cakes and cookies from The Bake House which has our own personalised labels, making then not only a good buy but also a great gift. The Bake House is a family run business in the South West which has been running for over 10 years focussing their sales on local village shops and post offices.

    The cakes are proving to be very popular, the favourites being Lemon Fudge, Golden Madeira and Carrot Fudge. Come and see the range. How about trying Clotted Cream Shortcake or any of the other many delicious cookies. If you prefer savouries try our Butterfly Cheese Wings, lovely!

    "Ecover have learned from nature; our products are designed to provide a cleaner clean inspired by nature's genius. That's why Ecover, unlike traditional cleaning products, provides great cleaning in a way that's much kinder to the planet"

    In the Community Shop we have a wide range of Ecover goods for all your laundry and cleaning needs, Come and try some of the range.

    Don't forget the last recommended posting dates for Christmas mail. All surface mail dates have now passed. Last dates for International Standard [previously airmail] for all overseas post are between the 3rd and 13th December. Second Class mail - 18th December, First Class mail - 20th December.

    A Very Happy Christmas and New Year
    to our customers from all at
    The Berrynarbor Community Shop


    Artwork: Paul Swailes



    Stapleton was founded by Peter and Carol Duncan in 1975 on what was a traditional family dairy farm near Torrington in North Devon. They remain a fully independent British company, contributing to the economy of Devon and employing around 35 people.

    Stapleton has won nine Quality Food Awards for their yogurt and ice cream since 2000. The 'Q Awards' are the most important awards for food products in UK supermarkets.

    [Note from the Ed. Try their Extra Thick Smooth Greek Recipe Natural Yoghurt - really good!]

    New in the Shop!

    We now have a range of Curry Packs created & produced in North Devon by Anglo Indian Chef, you may have seen them at Barnstaple market, so now you can buy them from us for the same price. Choose From Bhuna, Biryani, Dhansak, Do-piaza, Jalfrezi, Korma, Madras, Pasanda, Patia, Rogan Josh, Tikka Masala, Vindaloo and Pilau Rice.


    We have a large selection of New Stationery items next to the magazines and papers,

    You can purchase mail bags for your parcels all in time for Christmas presents - a pack of 8 small £1.20, 7 medium £1.25 and a 5 large £1.30. And talking of Christmas, we have the Berrynarbor Christmas cards on sale so buy now before we run out!

    Committee Changes

    Tony Kitchin has decided to step down both as Chairman and committee member of Berrynarbor Community Enterprise. The committee, on behalf of the shareholders, thanks Tony for the contributions he has made to the success of the organisation over recent years. Phil Brown takes over as interim Chairman. Among other changes, Graham Blanchard and Jackie Hews have been co-opted onto the committee - Graham will be taking on the role of Treasurer while Jackie will be involved in a number of initiatives relating to the shop volunteers and publicity. We wish them well with their new appointments.


    Artwork: Paul Swailes


    WARNING: BRIGHT NEW VILLAGE SHOP SIGNS Look out for our new signs, they are popping up everywhere.  Yes, before you ask, we do have permission and have checked all the regulations. Debbie and Keith worked into the night to get them all displayed but sadly the sign fairy appeared and one was gone in a flash overnight. Any information regarding this sign, please let us know - you could get a reward - a big smile!

    Well, we all know how good the Pantry's Multi-seed bread is for those that buy it every week, but do you realise how well travelled it is? One of our customers takes a loaf to work over at Braunton every week and an American visitor liked the bread so much she took one back to the USA.  How's that for bread miles?

    We stock a good assortment of cider: Thatchers, Sam's Poundhouse, Scrumpy Jack and Hancocks, which includes their Molton Nector and  flagons of Devon Cider - would make a  great  gift for a cider drinker!

    Good value lines
    McCoy's Classic 6 Pack & McCoy's Jackets 6 Pack, only a £1.00 each.  You have to buy 2 packs for that deal in a major supermarket.

    New Lines
    New in is the Levi Roots Drinks: Coconut and Lime Water and his Tropical Punch at £1.00 in the drinks 'fridge.

    We are also trying a new egg supplier: Freebird Free Range Poultry based at March End Farm, Georgeham.  We did ask for Large eggs but can only get Medium due to the small chickens - maybe we will get large when the chickens grow!

    If you have not visited us for some time why not come in and see what we offer - we do not bite!


    Due to the impending retirement of the present Treasurer we are looking for a successor. The duties include :

    • Basic book keeping
    • Preparation of quarterly and annual Profit and Loss figures
    • VAT returns
    • Occasional communications with the bank, suppliers, accountants etc
    • Payment of monthly salaries to 2 staff

    We use a Sage accounting package.

    The ideal person should have some book keeping/accountancy experience, although full training can be given as required. The job is honorary - i.e. no salary is paid - and the Treasurer is a key member of the Shop Committee, the majority of whom are also non-paid volunteers.

    If you are interested in contributing to this important village enterprise please contact me for further details.

    Tony Kitchin - Chairman
    Tel 883129 or e-mail



    Here, at our Shop, we have the following Made In Devon Chiman's Authentic Indian Spice Blends at the Great Price of £1.80 [to buy from Amazon it will cost you £1.99!]


    Making a great curry at home is easy with
    Chiman's Authentic Indian Spice Blends

    Our dry spice blends contain only premium quality spices - so they are free of all flavourings, preservatives and colourings - and they're gluten free. Many of our spice blends are also available in organic varieties.

    The recipe on the back of the pack is easy to follow. Chiman's have been selling spice blends for over 20 years so our recipes have been tried and tested!

    Each pack will make a delicious meal for around 4-6 people. If you're cooking for fewer, our tip is to cook the whole meal and freeze portions for another day. Alternatively, halve the ingredients and just use half the sachet. You can reseal the sachet and it will keep for 2 months without losing flavour.

    So why not try a Curry tonight?


    Have you tried our West Country Dry Cured Back Bacon at only £11.33 a Kilo? A better price than the Finest Unsmoked Wiltshire Cure Back Bacon at £14.13 from a local well-known supermarket. Also our Devon Ham Off the Bone at £18.25 a Kilo again a better price and taste than the local well known supermarket!

    Our Sack Potatoes are only 65p per kilo - but you don't have to buy a 2.5 kg pack, just what you need!

    Berrynarbor Community Enterprise will be holding its AGM in the Manor Hall on Friday, 6th June at 8 p.m.

    All shareholders are invited to attend and the appropriate notices are in the process of being sent out.

    In order to reduce the administrative cost of this paper-intensive exercise I am trying to assemble an e-mail distribution list of shareholders so that information can be sent electronically. If you are a shareholder and are happy to receive your correspondence in this way, please send your email address to Thank you.

    Paul Weston - Secretary, Berrynarbor


    Artwork: Paul Swailes


    For all bird lovers out there, we have terrific value Bird Boxes and Bird Tables that were made locally. The bird tables come with a substantial stand and cost £60 whilst the boxes are only £8. You can also buy bird seed, bird nuts and fat balls from us, again at reasonable cost.

    Our new range of Wines is proving popular following positive feedback. The Gran Status (Red) goes well with cheese. The Gran Reserva Angela (Red) complements pasta . . . and why not try our other lines such as Bolland Cellar White and Red etc. We'd love to hear what you think!

    Remember our £1 Stand constantly has new products, so worth a look.

    Our Plant Sale fundraiser will be held at the end of May, so please remember to grow extra seedlings that you can donate. Also any unwanted garden tools or equipment can be taken to the shop at any time as we shall be having a stall selling these.

    Thank you to all those who continue to support the shop, we need you!

    KN for the Shop Committee



    Thank you to everyone for your support of the Shop at Christmas and best wishes for the New Year.

    We now have a wonderful selection of cards and there will be special ones for Valentine's Day, so why not buy a box of chocolate as well to give your loved one!

    With various events taking place in the next couple of months, don't forget that tickets are available from the Shop where you can also buy your Lottery Tickets.   'You gotta be in it to win it'!

     We shall be stocking an exciting new range of Sausages from Yetland Farm [you may have tasted them at Local Farmers Markets] from the end of January.

    Look out for New Wines on the shelves from our new local wine merchant.

    Just a reminder to all the gardeners in the village to start thinking about growing seedlings for the Annual Village Plant and Craft Sale fundraiser for the Shop. Donations of unwanted garden tools and gardening bits and bobs would be very welcome and can be left at the shop!



    Our new lower price milk from our new Cornish supplier is proving to be popular, along with our freshly baked rolls, pasties and pastries from the in-shop oven, so be sure to give these a go.

    Christmas is nearly upon us, so come and take a look at our Christmas Stand which has a selection of unique stocking fillers including Chocolates, a new Festive Range of Festive Tea Towels, Hand Knitted Items, Jewellery, Hand Turned Wood Crafts and especially for that difficult to buy for friend or relative - 'Pixie Dust' !

    Remember to order your poultry and other necessities - forms are available in the shop. All the usuals are also available such as Christmas cards, paper, mince pies, wines, spirits and much, much more. And of course don't forget that at this time of year it's so useful that we do stamps, parcels and cash withdrawals!

    Finally, a big Thank You, Merry Christmas and New Year to all our customers and volunteers from Debbie, Karen and the Committee.

    The Christmas opening times are as follows;

    • Christmas Eve: 8.30 a.m. to 1.00 p.m.
    • Christmas Day: Closed
    • Boxing Day: 8.30 to 10.00 a.m. [newspapers available]
    • New Year's Eve: 8.30 a.m. to 1.00 p.m.
    • New Year's Day: 8.30 to 10.00 a.m. [newspapers available]

      If you have mail to go abroad, check on the last posting dates at the Post Office. For UK mail, last posting dates are: 18th December 2nd class, and 20th December 1st class.




    Philip Larkin said:
    "Most novels have a beginning, a MUDDLE and an end."

    Usually when visiting the village shop I quickly scan the shelves of second hand books by the door and often there is a title to tempt me.

    There has been a remarkable range of contemporary fiction. Recently, I have found books there by Patrick Gale, Helen Dunmore, William Trevor, Sebastian Faulks, Annie Proux, Ruth Rendell and Ian Rankin. There has also been Booker Prize winning 'The Line of Beauty' by Alan Hollinghurst and 'Any Human Heart' by William Boyd, both dramatized for television in recent years.

    So a treasure trove on those few modest shelves. An impressive line-up of literary talent. The books are usually in good as new condition and a bargain at fifty pence each. And to make room on my shelves for these nearly new acquisitions I have to remove a few volumes. And where do I take them? To the village shop of course.

    Advice on telling a story in 'Alice in Wonderland': "Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end. Then stop."



    Congratulations to Karen Loftus officially our new Subpostmistress from July 12, having successfully passed her interview with the Post Office.

    One of the regular faces behind our counter since moving into Barton Lane with her husband Jim, Karen's previous logistics experience with the army has already been invaluable. Not shy in coming forward, she has also joined in a number of village activities including the Choir and the Horticultural Society.


    We have introduced a new range of Waterhouse Marmalades, Jams and Chutneys, along with Quince Honey Farm Products. These are delicious for everyday use and great as gift ideas.

    Did you know we stock a vast range of products and introduce new items regularly? So even if you just pop in for a pint of milk, take time to look around.

    Debbie, our Shop Manager, has been busy negotiating the installation of a Cuisine De France Bake-Off Oven that will fill the shop with the aroma and the promise of mouth-watering breads, rolls and pastries straight from the oven. This should all be happening in the next few weeks.

    Our recent fundraising events were a great success. The Plant Sale, which included Gifts and possibly the 'best raffle ever', raised approximately £1,300 [more than double last year's effort!] and with the Golf Day our finances are much boosted.

    Our Alcohol licence, which needed amending to cover Wednesday afternoons, the shop originally closed in the afternoon, should be in force on the 24th July, if there are no complications!

    Finally, the outside of shop has been spruced-up with a superb paint job. Now all we need to do is paint the woodwork - Any volunteers?

    Karen Narborough



    We hope that you are enjoying Barton Farm's local milk. It certainly seems to be popular, is slightly cheaper and far fewer road miles.

    The pretty tea towels, also locally produced, are selling well either as little gifts for local people or for visitors to take way as a souvenir of a happy stay in Berrynarbor. Jigsaw's strong plants are profuse at the moment and hopefully will be able to fill tubs, window boxes and hanging baskets out of doors, soon!

    By the time you read this, we shall have had our 9th AGM. Following this, there are a few changes to the Committee.

    Alex Parke, shop founder and dedicated secretary is finally archiving his Shop computer programmes and handing over to Paul Weston. We all thank Alex for his hard work at initially getting funding for the new shop, and latterly keeping us all on the right side of the law - and solvent! And we wish Paul well with his new responsibilities.

    At the same time, Kath Thorndycroft and Pam Parke have also resigned. Both have been hard at work fund-raising and Pam has worked on publicity for the shop. Karen Narborough has fortunately come forward to cover both aspects and we all wish her well. Both Kath and Pam will continue with their volunteer work in the shop.

    So, with a new dynamic young team - well some of them - we are set for a good year ahead!

    Please keep up the good work - and shop locally!


    Artwork: Paul Swailes


    First of all, a belated welcome to the newest member of our team: Karen. You have no doubt met her during the last four months either behind the post office counter or 'beavering away' in the shop. She is being trained as sub-postmistress and successor to Anita, and Deb is now in charge of the shop. Karen has now been given a temporary contract with the post office, but the wheels grind very slowly there and to date she still waits her final interview to make the contract permanent. We wish her well.

    In the past few months there have also been several new faces behind the counter - new volunteers. We thank them for joining and extend a welcome to anyone else who is willing to give us 1/2 day to help. Please ask Deb or Karen for details.

    With Mothering Sunday and an early Easter now over, there is nothing special on the card front until Fathers' Day on Sunday June 16. Cards are now on sale in the shop, together with a wide selection of cards for all occasions.

    We now have a range of Westgate Angus meats in the freezer, so if your favourite is not in the chiller, don't despair - look in the freezer. Jigsaw has produced an exciting range of new plants and we sell multi-purpose compost to grow them in our gardens and planters - £6.99 per bag or £12.50 for two.

    And talking of plants reminds me of a date for your diary:

    The shop is doing quite well but it needs the backing of these fund-raising events to make it even more secure, so please come. Admission is free as usual and there will be lots of stalls selling everything from trees and shrubs to indoor plants and plants for your baskets and window boxes, as well as garden gifts. Tea, coffee and cakes will be on sale as well as a generous raffle.

    If you have spare plants or seedlings these will be very welcome at the Hall from 10.00 a.m. onwards. If you would like a stall to advertise and promote your business, please 'phone Kath Thorndycroft on [01271] 889019 for details. Again, if you can spare any plant pots larger than 5", please take them to the shop beforehand. Finally, volunteer helpers on the day will be very welcome

    We'll now all look forward to a sunny and warm spring. Happy shopping and gardening.

    PP of DC



    And so we enter a new year - our ninth! Many thanks to all who have supported and, we hope will continue, to shop here.

    We have increased our turnover very gently over these years, but if we can persuade you to spend just 50p more on each visit, then the shop will be even safer. As Deb says, "It only needs when buying your bread, for you to buy ham or cheese to put on it, with your newspaper to add a chocolate bar, or with a bottle of wine the nibbles to munch!"

    NEW! A really different range of greetings cards by Milkwood will arrive soon. Look out for them when next in the shop.

    DON'T FORGET to pick up your Lottery scratch cards or tickets. And just to show that the village is helping good causes, in the last 3 months to the end of December, Lottery sales here have added £997 to those causes

    JUST TO REMIND YOU, BerryBay will continue until early summer, when our delicious cream teas will take over again.

    That's all for now except to wish all our customers a very Happy and Healthy New Year.

    PP of DC


    Artwork: Paul Swailes


    We were all very sad when Anita gave notice that she would be leaving our shop at the end of November. She has done a great job over nearly five years in helping to create a shop that has won admiration - and customers - from the whole area, and always with a smile and good nature. She will be very much missed and we all wish her well in whatever her future plans are. By the time you read this, her successor should have been appointed and we look forward to working with our new Sub-Postmaster.

    Plans are underway again for our annual competition for the village school, which Peter Rothwell has kindly agreed to judge once more. This year, using a tissue box, the younger ones will design a 3D postbox and the older ones a telephone box. Parents please support and encourage them!

    Now is the time to place orders for Christmas poultry, cakes and puddings, cream and vegetables. All order forms are now in the shop. Oh! And if you need last posting dates for cards and parcels, you can pick up a Royal Mail leaflet 'Delivering More' on your next visit.

    All that's left now is to wish our customers a Very Happy Christmas, and Good Health and Happiness in the New Year from the Staff, Volunteers and Committee.

    PP of DC



    We had an expensive blip in early September when our refrigerator holding cooked and raw meats and dairy items stopped working during the night, resulting in a room temperature 'fridge the next day! Anita and Deb worked very hard to keep up supplies, but if you were not able to get everything you wanted, we apologize. Fortunately the replacement is now installed - at a cost! If you're feeling generous next time you are in the shop, the tin on the counter would love to hear a jangle of pennies falling into it!

    The National Lottery is finally with us. Installed in mid-September, it promises 'It could be you' - providing you buy a ticket! At the very least, it saves lottery patrons having to go in to Combe Martin - and might even persuade folk to think of buying a ticket as a weekly donation to good causes and shopping at the same time. With 2012 visitors largely back home, we need your support now more than ever.

    The publishers of Judith Adam's 'The Book of Berrynarbor' has kindly offered to extend the pre-publication offer of £19.99. The only difference is that it is too late to get a dedication in the book. If you order it from the shop, you avoid postage of £2.99 AND the shop gets a bonus of £7.

    That's all for now - next time it will be nearly Christmas!

    PP of DC



    It has taken quite a time to get the Lottery into our shop. The aerial went up some time ago, but the 'innards' aren't there yet. Hopefully, by early August we shall be in business.

    But one thing that is up and running is our entry on Facebook. Do come and visit our new page and watch out for special offers and news updates.

    On 18th August, the Alan Lewis Allstars return to Sloley Farm for another evening of Jazz. Depending on the weather, it will be in the garden or barn from 6.00 p.m. Bring your own food and drink, although a small pay bar will be there. So, too, will be a lit barbecue for you to cook your own supper. Tables and chairs will be provided and the entry charge is just £6. It should be a fun evening and proceeds will be for village activities such as Berry in Bloom, the Manor Hall, and our Shop.

    Have you any spare time on one Saturday in four to help as a volunteer? You won't be on your own as there are already two 'regulars', but this would help Anita and Deb who at the moment have to cover. If you can help, please speak to either of them when in the shop, or 'phone them on 883215.

    Do keep an eye on all the very healthy plants supplied for us by grow@jigsaw', a non-profit registered charity working with disadvantaged adults and helping them to get back into work or giving them a real purpose in life. Further details can be obtained from Ann Davies.

    Don't forget that if you are going on holiday to 'foreign parts', you can get your currency from our Post Office. Euros are usually available on the spot, but more obscure currencies will need to be ordered a few days in advance.

    That's about it. Do keep shopping here. If everyone gave up just one visit per year to the supermarket and spent that money in our shop, we would have a healthy profit!

    Happy holidays.

    PP of DC


    Artwork: Paul Swailes


    If you've not already heard, we have now been accepted for selling lottery tickets. The 'official' bits will take a little time, but we'll keep you informed. For up-to-date information, why not join our e-mail update. All you need to do is give your e-mail address to Anita or Deb when next in the shop.

    Well-done Kath, for another outstanding plant sale. Judging by the hordes of folk in the Manor Hall at around 2.30 p.m., she and her 'gang' had done an excellent job of advertising it. The outcome? £473.05 - not bad for a Sunday afternoon! We'll look forward to the Great Plant Sale 2013, Kath.

    And whilst on the subject of gardening, we now sell large bags of compost at £5.99 a bag, or 3 for £15.
    By now you will have noted that postal rates went up on 30th April. First Class from 46p to 60p, Second from 36p to 50p, and large envelopes from 60p to 90p [1stt] and from 56p to 60p [2nd]. But we still have a superb selection of greetings cards that remain the same price!

    BerryBay continues to thrive. A glance when you are buying newspaper or milk might result in a gift for a friend.

    A big thank you from everyone to Deb and Tony for the very successful Auction of Promises which raised an astonishing £1,500 for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Celebrations.

    Tony started the evening off well with folk singing and there was no shortage of buyers for the promises. Thanks must also go to Judith who did all the organising and, of course, the donors who made promises and those who bought them - well done to everyone involved!

    And that's about it! We shall all be wishing Her Majesty well as we celebrate her Diamond Jubilee with events on the 3rd and 4th June. The shop will open as usual on Sunday [8.30-12.30] but will be open on Monday from 8.30-10am only.

    Happy Celebration!

    PP of DC




    Thanks to the help of so many people, our Carnival of Veniceevening in February was voted a success. Gerry, with his lovely voice, set the scene as Gino the romantic gondolier and Stuart accompanied him dressed as one!Diane Denney from Somewhere2Travel2 brought the Carnival alive with her illustrated talk on its history and our Berrynarbor cheffesses [Wendy, Anita, Yvonne, Kath, Janet and Pam] produced a delicious three-course Italian supper.

    A goodly number wore masks and the outstanding prize winners were Colin Applegate and Gilly Loosemore.

    Barnstaples twinning association lent us a huge Italian flag and bunting in its colours and gentlemen appeared at just the right time to decorate the hall. Added to this were Debs rounding up some lovely raffle prizes and Pauls converting cassettes to CDs for the music. We raised £500 for the shop and additional small donations to Berry in Bloom and our Newsletter, so again, thanks to all helpers.

    Easter is almost upon us.In the shop is a selection of Easter Eggs for £1.50 [a good price!], little knitted chicks for £1 which will take a small egg, Easter cards and of course Hot Cross Buns.

    Do take a look at our £1 stand where items change frequently.You may be tempted with an impulse buy, but wont regret it!

    Kath reiterates that she would like any seedlings, plants, cuttings, cant bear to throw aways or surplus to requirement to be handed in at the Manor Hall on Sunday 6th May for the Great Plant Sale. Beforehand, if you have spare plant pots [particularly large ones] that you can donate, please take them to the shop and if you need pots, please ask there. Tables to rent, cost £5 - same as last year, are bookable by phoning Kath on 889019. And, of course, we should like to see as many as possible at 2.00pm on the 6th, eager to buy up all the wares!

    And finally, the Berrynarbor Shop Golf Tournament will take place on Friday 25th May [Tee off 1.00 p.m.]The usual format applies. Phone John Boxall for details [882675], and do try to encourage new competitors. There will be lots of prizes and at the end of the day, theres a prize winners dinner [non players also welcome].

    Happy Easter

    PP of DC



    If it's not too late, we wish every reader all the best of happiness and health in 2012. And yet, it's already nearly Valentine's Day! In the shop are a selection of Valentine cards and in BerryBay take a look and you will find suitable gifts for your loved one.

    On Saturday, 11th February, Berrynarbor is celebrating the Carnival of Venice [could be instead of a Valentine Dinner!]. It will be held in 'La Trattoria della Bassetta' [otherwise, The Manor Hall!] and all details are given below. It should be a fun evening and if you join in that fun even more and wear a mask, you might even win a prize! So book the date now.

    Some people don't yet realise that we now open every Wednesday afternoon throughout the year, making it even easier to shop - and that is even more important at this quiet time of year.

    So, Happy Shopping

    PP of DC



    Not many more days to Christmas. As a friend said to me recently, "It's hardly worth putting the decorations back up in the loft these days!"

    But stay! Our Shop has loads of ideas for Christmas, and soon there will be order forms for meat, fruit and vegetables, milk and cream, cakes and puddings [if you've not made your own!]. In other words, all things to take the stress out of the celebrations and leave you time to enjoy the fun.

    The Post Office has a bumper time in December. If you wanted to use International Surface Mail, you're too late! But there's still time for International Airmail.

    International Airmail

    • Monday5th December: Australia and New Zealand; Far East; South & Central America & Caribbean, Africa and Middle East
    • Friday 9th December: USA and Canada; Eastern Europe

    For the UK

    • Monday 12th December: Western Europe
    • Wednesday 14th December: Standard parcels
    • Saturday 17th December: Second class post
    • Tuesday 20th December: First class post

    If you've not sent mail by then, there are parcel force and special delivery dates - pick up the leaflet 'Delivering more' from the post office counter. For British Forces last dates, please visit

    As in past years, our Primary School pupils are entering a competition to produce a picture of 'Our Shop at Christmas' in paints, drawings or collage, to be judged again by Peter Rothwell. Hopefully there will be a photo in the North Devon Journal, and the prize winners' pictures displayed in our Shop, so do come and see them.

    For Christmas and New Year opening times, please check in the shop. There are two magnificent hampers to be raffled before Christmas, so get your tickets now - a £1 each.

    Anita and Deb have done a splendid job again this year, providing us with loads of interesting ways to spend money and we thank them very heartily. Thanks are also due to you, our customers, for supporting the shop. Without you, the village would be a poorer place.

    We wish you all a Happy Christmas and a healthy New Year!

    PP of DC


    Artwork: Paul Swailes


    Sue Neale is giving one of her superb flower demonstrations for the benefit of the Shop. Entitled 'Romantic Melodies' - there's a hint that Stuart may be involved too! - it will be in the Manor Hall on Friday 30th September at 7.30pm. With tickets at £5 including coffee or tea and biscuits and an opportunity to win one of the arrangements, it promises to be a very enjoyable evening. Tickets are available from the Shop.

    If you've not yet bought one of the best quality hand-made Bird Tables in North Devon, act now as we only have four left. The price is still £45 for a bird table and stand, £8 for a nesting box and £3 for bird feeders. They would make ideal Christmas gifts.

    • We now have two bakers supplying our local bread: Combe Martin Bakery and The Pantry in Ilfracombe. The latter sends different speciality breads daily [date and walnut, Mediterranean, rye, corn, oat, etc.] and HUGE scones. Our Combe Martin baker continues to send his wholemeal, granary and multi-grain bread and luscious cakes. Come in early if you want choice as it all goes very quickly!
    • We have Wolf Blass Shiraz wine selling at £6.99 per bottle. Tesco price? £9.99

    [Which reminds me that every Monday, prices are checked with Tesco and new goods are added to the shop's 'pink labels' if we are cheaper. Do look out for these.]

    • There is now a new selection of Red Cow frozen foods - both savoury and sweet.
    • Don't forget IZZY's single portion frozen puds for a real treat!

    And dare we mention Christmas? Well, if Tesco can, so can we! We shall be adding new ideas over the next few months, but what about:

  8. A Berrynarbor Calendar? It's full of local pictures by Barbara Fuller and at £14.99 for a limited edition, it may become a collectors' item!
  9. BAM socks - from the bamboo range. These high performance socks, which are super soft, eco-friendly, non smelly and in a lovely range of colours, could be great stocking fillers. [No pun intended!]
  10. Hele Bay hand-made soap. We have it at the moment in 'sweet pea slice' and 'Devon violet' in a bag. We're already on to our second order in a fortnight!

    Don't forget to check BerryBay. There are wooden plaques, pretty bags, a range of iron items and lots more.

    If you would like to receive up-to-date information, please email your address to

    That's about it for now - but we'll keep in touch.

    PP of DC

    P.S. By the December issue it will be almost too late to make that cake! Ingredients are now available, many of which are our own brand.



    Prices are down! If you've not seen Deb's photo in the Journal [14/7/11] nor read Fenella's Community News, if you've not enlisted for the e-mail shot nor visited the shop recently to see the placard, MILK is now cheaper than you know which local supermarket due to careful marketing and as a thank you to our loyal customers. So, in Fenella's words 'pick up a pint, or lift up a litre!'

    The 7th AGM took place at the end of June. The main points were that last year was not so good for trade; neither were the first few months of this year. But, whether it is thanks to Tony's reminder in the April Newsletter or even better bargains in the shop, our last few months have shown an improvement in sales. So please keep up the trend - and tell your friends how good it is to shop here!

    Anita and Deb are always looking for new ideas to attract and have come across Queenswood who will market items under our own brand. These are mainly packaged and frozen goods and will tempt you into buying - we hope!

    Don't forget that we now have a small stock of children's outdoor and beach games - to keep everyone happy during the long hot summer! We have had a raid on books recently, so if you have finished with a sizzling romance or heart-stopping thriller, do please donate it to the shop. The same goes for plants. These sell very well, and if you've bought any, you will know how well they grow.

    August 20th needs to be written large in your diaries! After the Horticultural and Craft Show in the afternoon, a Jazz Concert will be held at Sloley Farm in the evening - proceeds to our Shop and other village activities. It should be a great evening with food and drink on a 'bring your own' basis, but pudding refreshments will be provided free. Tickets at £10 per person are on sale in the Shop. Get yours now for a fantastic evening!

    Finally, if you are off to foreign parts this summer, don't forget that Euros are always kept at our Post Office - no need to order in advance.

    Here's to a pleasant summer and happy Berrynarbor buying.

    PP of DC


    Artwork: Paul Swailes


    'Summer is icumen in' . . . and the Shop is ready!

    There is a limited supply as the maker is emigrating, so if you want it, get it!We are not sure how long the supply will last, but whilst they are available, treat yourselves to Braunton strawberries and asparagus. The flavour is so good.

    And with the promise of warm summer evenings, why not sit on the terrace with a glass of Devon wine, our latest alcoholic addition?

    There is a good range of plants - both fruit and vegetables. If you've planted an excess and are happy to donate them, the Shop would love to have them to sell. There is also a good range of plants from Grow@Jigsaw - a horticultural project offering individuals a variety of opportunities in training and work experience through growing.

    Father's Day [we know, it's an American celebration, but if it makes Dad feel happier, why not] is on June 19th - and we have a range of cards for this date.

    Don't forget that for the rest of the summer, our shop is open until 5.30 p.m. It might be that extra half hour that gives you time to buy a bottle of Devon wine to go with asparagus and strawberries - perhaps for Father's Day!

    Happy shopping

    PP of DC


    Artwork: Paul Swailes


    First of all, thanks go to all who have increased their shopping even a little in the last month. It's made a difference. And, as from the 1st April, the Shop will remain open until 5.30 p.m.

    We now have a whole new range of goods in the shop. Do look out for the Red Cow range of prepared frozen meals such as Lamb Tagine, Chilli con Carne, Moroccan Meatballs and a selection of vegetarian meals. This is an Exmoor farm, specialising in pedigree Red Devons, and native sheep and pigs. All food is prepared in their own kitchen and is excellent.

    Cherry's cup cakes are local and very good; Dunstaple Farm is providing new brands of ice cream; you can buy a pack of frozen pastries to bake at home [delicious!]; a new selection of cakes: chocolate muffins or a slice of lemon cake is on offer; a cheaper range of yoghurt is available as well as Stapleton's; and bird feed is down in price as Anita and Debbie buy it in bulk and pack it themselves.

    All these new items - not bad for a two month gap since our last News!

    Don't forget Fish Friday. If you order your fish by 10.00 a.m. on Thursday, it will be ready for collection by 12 noon on Friday.

    Easter eggs and cards are now on sale.

    Berry-Bay is proving quite an attraction, so do have a look when you are next in the Shop. And, of course, if you have anything new or nearly new, particularly a craft, please bring it along, ready priced and we'll see if it will sell - 80% to you and 20% for the Shop.

    You may have noticed in the shop a leaflet about reflexology. This is now available at our shop [upstairs] on Thursdays. For information or to book an appointment, please 'phone Liz Lillicrap on [01271] 882179

    Don't forget our Great Plant Sale on Monday 2nd May - both to provide plants and to buy them! Enquiries to Kath Thorndycroft Tel: 889019.

    There will also be the usual Golf Tournament that same weekend - details later in the shop.

    And finally, treat Mum on 3rd April. Recipes [and ingredients] for a chicken dish, a vegetarian one and an easy pudding are all in our shop, plus, of course, a great selection of cards.

    Happy Easter from Anita, Deb and the Shop Committee



    Well, our Community Shop is now in its seventh year! Thanks to Anita and Debbie, it is well stocked, a pleasant place to shop, and as promised, credit cards are now accepted.

    Following requests, please note that as from 1st February there will be a change to the lunchtime closing hour, which will be 1.00-2.00 p.m. [not 12.30-1.30 p.m.] Volunteers will still finish at 12.30 p.m.

    By now you should have had a note from the shop through your letterbox saying that the revenue is slightly down - probably partly due to the economic climate - but if every shopper spent just 50p more each visit,rather than spending it elsewhere, or if there were a few more shoppers, the shop would be much more viable

    The committee is always thinking of ways to help:

    • Kath and Anita are organising a BERRY BAY where you can bring new or slightly used [but saleable!] items to the shop, free of charge, which can be displayed in the bay window. Put a price on. When sold, the shop will take 20% commission and the rest is yours.
    • Arrangements have been made with the two Tims to give us another presentation. Full details follow this article.
    • Part of the first floor will be available to let shortly for individual sessions e.g. chiropodist, hairdresser etc. Please let Anita know if you would like to make use of it and keep your eyes open for what is on offer.
    • Debbie is aiming to produce a 2012 Berrynarbor calendar in time for Easter, and needs J-peg photographs to select from [either e-mailed to her at or on a memory stick] not later than the 26th February. So take a look at your local pictures [any season] and please submit them. You could well be 'flavour of the month'!
    • FISH FRIDAY We can now supply you with fresh fish from the Fish Shop on the Quay at Ilfracombe. Order before 10.00 a.m. on Thursdays, and collect any time after 8.30 a.m. on the Friday.

    We are currently looking very closely at the range of products we stock and are always looking for variations/changes to better cater for your needs. We shall be trying out more local suppliers and would welcome your feedback. There will shortly be a sale of the slow moving items that we no longer want to stock.

    If you have any extra ideas, please let Anita or Deb know.

    Incidentally, due to several requests, there is now an extended range of vegetarian products in our shop. Do take a look.

    Before the next issue of our popular newsletter, Valentine's Day will have passed - and Mothering Sunday will be upon us. There will be suitable recipes in the shop and lots of chocolates to buy for the special ones in your life!

    Happy Shopping!

    PP of DC



    By the time you read this, our 'bonus' scheme will be over, with many people getting vouchers - two lots of visitors received one each during their week's holiday! We'll keep you posted when we have another one.

    A DATE FOR YOUR DIARIES: Kath has organised a Fabric Sale with Pear and Partridge [South Molton] for Thursday 27th January at the Old Rectory. This will take place anytime between 10.00 a.m. and 4.00 p.m. So if you are looking for curtain or upholstery material, then this is the place to come. There will be great bargains at very good prices. Tea, coffee and cakes will be available, and hopefully a light lunch too. All proceeds will be for the shop, so it is well worth supporting.

    Have you seen Deb's 'Price Comparison' box of goodies in the shop? Sixteen items were chosen which are sold in both our shop and Tesco: same size and make, and prices compared. Colman's Apple Sauce and Hellmann's Mayonnaise are the same price, but Mint sauce is 19p cheaper. If you want olives, then Crespo Black Olives are 4p less, and Stuffed Olives 10p less in our shop. The stalwart Blossom Hill soft and fruity red wine is also 10p cheaper. So, with little or no driving, no time lost and as Deb mildly puts it - 'friendly, helpful and good-looking staff to serve you!', You win all ways!

    Now for two HELPS! Firstly, does anyone have access to a large screen [bigger than 6'] for the two Tim's to use for their illustrated presentation on their wonderful garden throughout the seasons on 25th March [another date for your diary!]? If so, could you please 'phone Pam on 883758.

    HELP Number 2: Would you be willing to work just one Saturday afternoon a month, with someone else, to give Anita and Deb a little more time at home? You would, of course, get training. If so, please either contact Pam, or get in touch with Anita or Deb. They would really appreciate it.

    Once again, your committee is asking you please to support your shop, particularly over the winter months when there are no visitors. When we checked with a local estate agent as to how much difference having a shop makes to the sale - and price - of a house, it is considerable.

    So remember 'Use it or Lose it'.

    The shop is looking very festive with all the luscious Christmas goodies and cards on sale. Do call in and see - and buy!

    After all that, Anita, Deb and the Committee send their very best wishes to you all, and their thanks to our volunteers who do such a grand job.

    PP of DC


    Artwork: Paul Swailes


    The summer is over and shops are already gearing up for Christmas [some have been doing it for some time!]. By the time you read this, our shop will have its extensive range of Christmas cards for sale and over the next two months, seasonal presents will arrive. Do come and see . . .

    . . . which brings me to another Bonus Scheme. If you remember, the last one was in April this year. The idea is the same. If you spend more than £10 in the shop in one go [excluding tobacco goods] 5 times during the month of November, you will get a £5 voucher. The offer applies to all family members living at the same address. Forms will be available at the shop. Simple isn't it? And useful just before Christmas. Anita and Debbie look forward to seeing you

    Last but not least, nominations are due for the Countryside Alliance Awards for the best village shop. For the last two years we have been voted the best shop in the South West. Let's make it a third time lucky and perhaps we'll be a national winner! It would be great to get your support and if anyone has ideas to put forward as to why it's the best, Deb and Anita would love to hear from you.

    PP of DC


    Artwork: Paul Swailes


    You may already know that our Chairman, Sandy Anderson, has accepted a job in Brussels, initially for 3 months, but maybe longer. He's been a fantastic and inspiring leader and we shall all miss him, but wish him well in his current venture. Meanwhile, Tony Kitchin has agreed to fill in, at least for the first few months, and the Committee thank him for this.

    Berry in Bloom 'girls' have done a splendid job with our fresh herb troughs, which have now grown to wondrous heights and actively want people to use them! Use them for meat sauces, to enhance casseroles, to add to salads and for many food decorations. So, come on - chase chives, pick parsley, savour sage, gnash nasturtiums - any other alliteration?

    A notice board now faces you as you walk towards the shop door giving an update on the latest goodies, very often local fruit and vegetables. It's worth taking a look on your way in. And, thinking of 'local', we are constantly on the look out for local products, and having some success. If you find a local food that you think might be of interest, do have a word with Anita or Debbie.

    Plants and books donated by you are helping funds, so thank you to anyone who has given either.

    We get many compliments from visitors about the quality and reasonable pricing in our shop, which is good. If you haven't been in recently, why not call? You may have a pleasant surprise.

    Happy shopping!

    PP of DC


    Artwork: Paul Swailes


    Although voted the best in the South West by the Countryside Commission, we didn't get into the top two of the 10 areas. Still, we plan to enter next time and who knows? Third time lucky?

    The herb trough mentioned in the last issue has happened! A wide range of herbs, already growing, will be ready for picking by customers in about two weeks' time. Do have a look at the variety and take advantage if you want a sprig of rosemary, sage, [various types] thyme or any of the other delectables. Thank you Berrynarbor in Bloom for this lovely idea.

    We had 3 excellent fund raising events over the Bank Holiday Weekend.

    John Boxall teed off on the Friday with the Community Shop Golf Tournament. Twelve teams turned out in fairly atrocious weather to contest the Sandy Anderson Grocer's cup. Over £900 was raised for the shop. Well done John.

    On Saturday a sell out performance by 'Uninvited Guests' - a troupe that were spotted by the Beaford Centre whilst performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival - gave a night to remember. If you went you will know what happened, if not [like me!] it was a chance to dedicate poems or songs to loved ones. The Manor Hall looked lovely and the smell of narcissi got visitors in the right mood. 'Master Chefs', Jane Vanstone and Julia Fairchild, cooked for 40 guests a fantastic meal of pate and venison casserole and Wendy Applegate's scrummy puddings made everyone happy. The evening raised about £400, which was divided between the Manor Hall and our Shop.

    Not to be outdone, on Bank Holiday Monday the Manor Hall was set for another event: The Great Plant Sale. Kath Thorndycroft and her team organised a superb selection of plants and garden 'bits'. Thanks are due to her, to those who gave plants and cakes, to the ones who produced the teas - and of course to the buyers! The event raised over £550 and this sum is still growing. You've probably seen [and maybe bought] some of the plants in our new 'garden centre'. The porch is proving popular and means that the local cauliflowers, and yummy asparagus, strawberries and raspberries are selling well. Paperbacks have also got their own space outside, with books to suit all tastes.

    Pickled Crofter chutneys are now on sale - very local as they are made in our village!

    We hope that you managed to get at least one £5 voucher in the bonus scheme. It was successful and we plan to repeat this idea later in the year.

    The Shop's 5th AGM was held on 15th May. We recorded an increase in turnover and a net profit of just over £1,000. The committee remains the same, with the addition of Phil Brown as Treasurer and Debbie Thomas.

    As you see, it's been a busy two months. For the next 3 or 4 months we hope we shall be welcoming visitors and taking food orders to self-catering properties. But YOU will still be there when they have returned home so are even more important. Do please keep shopping with us!

    PP of DC



    As of now, the new glass porch is going up! This should be ready for Easter, and already the smart trolley for fruit and vegetables, well made by Tony Kitchin, is in place. It is hoped, too, that we can have second-hand books for sale on display.

    Everyone should by now have received a newssheet about our bonus offer. The shop is doing well, but we still have that mortgage to pay, so every pound extra that you can spend will help. Don't forget that Anita tries to shop locally, which helps producers as well as the shop [and is often cheaper!]. Also, if you order fruit and vegetables in advance, there is a10% discount!

    Yvonne Davey has started a folder where people within the village who have accommodation to let can add their own details. Just bring these into the shop. If you have friends or family coming, and not enough room to take them, then this is a good place to find accommodation. See Yvonne's article which follows. The folder will be found in the coffee area.

    Kath Thorndycroft is hoping that all gardeners [and others!] have planted extra 'bits' for the Great Plant Sale to be held in aid of our Shop on Monday, 3rd May.  She'd like to hear from you - Tel: 889019.

    Our Annual General Meeting will be held on Saturday 15th May at 11.00 a.m. We hope that as many shareholders as possible will be there.

    Happy Easter


    Artwork: Paul Swailes


    As you probably know, our Shop and Post Office has been voted the Best in the South West for the second year running according to the Countryside Alliance judges.

    We were all delighted with, and proud of, our shop under the guidance of Anita and Debbie. Thank you everyone who wrote in and supported the shop. One of the key factors was the commitment to customers. Fenella wrote that a visitor came in and bought a bottle of Pimms. "What a pity I've no mint to go in it." She remarked. Anita asked Geoff Adam, who was in the shop, if he had any mint in his garden. He came back with a bunch and in minutes, the visitor went away a very happy lady! There aren't many shops where you would get that service!

    And whilst on the subject of herbs, I hear on the grapevine that Berry in Bloom might be planting a few herbs outside the shop for people to pick as needed. What a nice idea!

    The National award winners are to be announced at the House of Lords on the 3rd February, and Debbie plus one or two others will be representing our shop. Wouldn't it be nice to be the best in the country?

    Sadly, Robin Downer has resigned as Treasurer due to other commitments. We thank him for his work over the last year and are lucky that Phil Brown of Middle Lee Farm has agreed to step in. Thank you, Phil.

    We are always looking for volunteers, even if they can only manage a two-hour shift. Also, one Sunday morning shift is still vacant. If you could help with either of these, please do speak to Anita.

    By the time of our next Newsletter, Easter will be upon us - so the shop will have lots of cards and Easter eggs.

    Now, with few visitors around, this is our quietest time of the year - and the mortgage still has to be paid.! So please do come and support it.

    PP of DC


    Artwork: Paul Swailes


    Another year has gone - and quite an eventful one: joining the Plunkett 'Making local food work' [which now yields nearly one third of our food takings]; winning the Countryside Alliance award for the Best Village Shop and Post office in the South West; opening all day for the summer visitors; Jackie leaving and Debbie now assisting Anita and, of course, Anita's extending our food range to an impressive choice.

    For next year - there are plans for the erection of an outside canopy stretching between shop door and unloading cover thanks to a hard earned promise of £4000.grant. This will start as soon as we get planning permission and will then give us a chance to display vegetables and fruit, and reduce the amount we get wet when shopping!

    From the great comments I've received, everyone enjoyed Tim and Tim's 'stroll around Lundy to see the birds and other wildlife' on November 12th. They put a lot of hard work into organising their presentation and the quiz beforehand, and we thank them for a very pleasant evening. The amount raised was £337, of which £72 was from the raffle. Cheques have gone out to both the North Devon Hospice in memory of Brian Hillier, and to our shop. Thank you to everyone who supported the evening.

    Don't let Christmas shopping get you down this year - remember you can do quite a lot of it - quietly - in our shop! We shall shortly be taking orders for bread, cakes and meat - so please don't miss the deadline.

    Happy Christmas to everyone from the Shop and Committee.

    PP of DC


    Artwork: Paul Swailes


    We are very sorry to be losing Jackie from the Shop. She has worked here for 3 1/2 years, firstly in charge of the Shop and Post Office, and latterly job-sharing with Anita. She will be missed. We thank her for all her hard work, and wish her well in the future. Thanks also go to her Mum, Rita, and daughter Kate, who have often supported her in the shop.

    However, we are pleased that Debbie Thomas has been appointed as her successor and hope that she will be happy in her new role.

    As you know, the Shop has been open all day throughout the summer. There has been mixed reaction, and now it is quieter, we are reverting to our winter timetable, that is closing between 12.30 and 1.30. I don't think that either Anita or Jackie have had one proper lunchtime all summer!

    By the December issue, our Shop will be overflowing with Christmas cards, wrapping paper, gifts and orders for Christmas Fayre. Why not call in and solve a few problems?

    Incidentally, we are still looking for someone to run the shop one Sunday in four. Could it be you? If so, please get in touch with Anita.

    Happy shopping!

    PP of DC


    Artwork: Paul Swailes


    Despite the lashing rain and high winds, everyone who came to the car park on Saturday 4th July enjoyed tasting the various offerings at the Local Food Launch. The Plunkett Foundation was represented by David Geeves, their local marketing consultant - who got wet with the rest of us! And thanks to those who braved it back so that the north Devon Journal had some people to photograph. We haven't so far seen a marked increase in local sales, but as these already represent almost a third of all sales, it is not too surprising.

    Talking of local sales, our attempt to buy local standard milk hit problems, and due to village pressure, we are now back with Robert Goodman. Organic milk and milk products remain with the original suppliers.

    After a hiccup, the 'Recipe of the Week' is again in action and you can pick up a copy in the coffee area. If anyone has a favourite recipe that they would like to share - using items available in the shop - please let me know - Telephone 883758 or e-mail: .

    We are still looking for someone willing to work on one Sunday morning in four. Please get in touch with Anita if you think you can help.

    And [almost] finally . . . when your summer visitors arrive, do send them to the shop. Most visitors are so surprised to see the vast range of products on sale and rarely go out without having bought something! There are often comments, too, about how reasonably priced a lot of items are. Which reminds me that Anita wants to remind you that if you want any particular item - cheese, clotted cream or cakes for instance - she can usually get it for you for the next day. And fruit and vegetables still have a 10% reduction when ordered in advance.

    Hope we have the hot summer that was promised us and then the ice creams and cold drinks will have a bumper year!

    PP of DC



    It seems hard to believe that our shop held its Fifth Annual General Meeting on 2nd May with around 30 members attending, and I confess it was our shortest one to date!

    After thanking those who had come to the meeting, our Chairman, Sandy Anderson, spoke of the highlights of the year: moving into the new shop on 31st and the official opening ceremony by Yvette Gubb on 31st August, which was well attended and great fun. It is notable that there was an increase of turnover of about 23% last year, and twice the turnover of when we started in 2004.

    Sandy mentioned that we had won the award from the Countryside Alliance for the Best Shop and Post Office in the South West - and that was before Berry in Bloom gave us a great new outside area for refreshments. We are pleased to report that as well as our gratitude to existing volunteers, we have had 11 new volunteers within the last twelve months.

    Over the next year we shall get new road signs to attract passing visitors, a covered porch for fresh produce display, an internet point and during the summer season the shop will stay open during lunchtime, except Wednesdays and Sundays.

    Sandy praised Brian Hillier's contribution with his enthusiasm and help as Treasurer, and then welcomed Treasurer-elect, Robin Downer, who was later voted on to the Committee. All members of the Committee had agreed to continue to serve and were re-elected en bloc.

    Whilst talking of volunteers, the 19th July will be Mark Adams's last Sunday morning working in our shop. Having done the job faithfully for nearly five years, as well as working full time, he has done a stalwart job and we are very grateful and thank him. BUT, we are now looking for some kind person to take over . . . perhaps even two or three kind persons and then each would work only once a month. If you feel that you could help, please speak to Anita or a Committee Member.

    Thanks to the efforts of Kath and her helpers, The great Berrynarbor Plant Sale, held on Bank Holiday Monday, went with a swing, and over £500 was raised for our shop as a result. Well done to all.

    Anita would like to remind you that fresh meat products [chicken, sausages, etc], ordered from West Gate Angus before Wednesday mid- morning will be delivered next day. Items ordered from Ivan Clarke will be delivered within 24 hours. Also, don't forget that if you order fruit and vegetables in advance there is a10% discount.

    Jackie says that you can now get Euros on demand from our Post Office; other currencies still need to be ordered in advance.

    By our next newsletter, our summer will be well underway, and hopefully it will be a good one for all of us.

    PP of DC


    News from our Community Shop and Post Office

    Anita, Jackie and the Shop Committee were all very sorry to hear the sad news of Brian's death and send much sympathy to Di and family. Brian was a great support on the Committee and 'cooked the books' extremely well from the first day we started business back in October 2004. He was a true friend as well as a valued colleague. Di has spoken so highly of the help given by the North Devon Hospice that there is a collection box in Brian's name in the Shop where it will stay until mid-April.

    We have, however, been lucky in that Robin Downer has agreed to be our new Treasurer - or as it was put to him "to do a bit of book-keeping"! We wish him every success - as a 'trainee cook'!

    As you may know, our Shop won the Best Village Shop/Post Office Award in the 2008 Countryside Alliance Awards in the South West. Four of us went to the House of Lords for the national final on March 18th. Unfortunately we didn't win - but hang it, it was our first try! Many congratulations to Anita and Jackie - and to all those who wrote in to say what they liked about our Shop. Look out for the 2009 awards! If we make it to the finals next year, we hope that Anita and/or Jackie will be able to go - it's quite an experience.

    For the summer season, from Good Friday to end of October, we are hoping to keep the Shop open throughout lunchtime. The only way we can manage it without increasing the number of volunteers or adding to the 4-hour session, is if afternoon volunteers are willing to work from 1.00 to 5.00 p.m. We thought of 12.30-4.30 originally, but didn't want too many 'domestics' on our hands! I hope that all afternoon volunteers have been told and agree. Please note the new hours.

    On the subject of hours, we normally open on Bank Holidays for the morning only. This summer we'll be keeping open all day [usual times].

    It has been - and will be - a great fund-raising few months for the Shop and other needy causes in the village and there are lots of folk to thank:

    The shop benefited from "Tales of Time and Tide", a great evening of music and slides by Tom Bliss, organised by John and Fenella, which raised £200 each for the Shop and Manor Hall, and Pat and Maureen gave a scrumptious coffee morning at Fuchsia Cottage, raising £100 each for the Shop and Berrynarbor in Bloom.

    Future events are in the pipeline:

    • Sunday April 5th: Alex Horne is presenting a Bird Watching Comedy - his publicity says 'A Twitcher with a Difference!' Tickets £7.50 - children £4, doors open 7.00 for a 7.30 p.m. start, and the bar will be open. Profits will again be for our Shop and the Manor Hall.
    • Monday May 4th: The Great Plant Sale in the Manor Hall. From 2.00 p.m. onwards. Admission FREE. Kath Thorndycroft [Tel: 889019] would be very pleased if you have any spare plants to boost sales.
    • Friday May 22nd: Berrynarbor Golf Tournament - sign up to reserve your place.

    Congratulations to all organisers and helpers - it's what makes this village so special!

    And a note for your diary: Thursday November 12th! Tim Davis and Tim Jones will be giving their famous 'Birds of Lundy' show in the Manor Hall, profits to be shared between our Shop and The North Devon Hospice. Full details nearer the time.

    Easter is not far away and the Shop has pretty cards, Easter eggs, chocolates and other gifts, so please call in and buy.

    And finally, it's time for our Annual General Meeting. This will be held on Saturday 2nd May at 11.00 a.m. in the Manor Hall, when we hope that as many shareholders as possible will be there.

    Happy Easter from Anita, Jackie and the Committee.

    PP of DC



    The North Devon Journal has started a timely initiative to help businesses face both the credit crunch and lack of visitors during the winter:

    'Keep it local - backing North Devon.' If you didn't read the start on January 8th, you can catch up as it's running for several weeks. This will be a really worthwhile project if it keeps local businesses prospering. I remember reading last Autumn that if you spend £10 locally, then £8 will remain in the area, some buying more local products, and some to pay local wages, much of which will again stay in the area.

    In our shop, Anita tries to buy as much locally as possible: nine suppliers are from Combe Martin and Ilfracombe [including baked goods, water, fruit and vegetables, biscuits and fudges, jams and chutneys, potato salad and coleslaw], two more are within 8 miles [organic milk and fresh meat] and 16 within 25 miles. Not bad for our little shop!

    And whilst you are buying locally, don't forget Valentine's Day, February 14th. We shall have cards, red roses, and chocolates - or if you want something different, how about Brasso and cleaning cloths? [!!]

    On Saturday 7th February, 'Tales of Time and Tide' - an evening with Beaford Arts has been arranged. Our Shop, the Manor Hall and the RNLI will benefit. Doors open at 7.00 p.m. and the show begins at 7.30 p.m. Tickets cost £10, to include a light supper. Do try and support this event and help all three good causes.

    There will also be another event to raise funds for the Shop and Manor Hall. 'It's Not Just About Birds', again with Beaford Arts, will take place on Sunday, 5th April with Alex Horne, who has performed at the Edinburgh Festival - a Twitcher with a Twist! Look out for further details.

    If it's not too late, very best wishes for 2009 to everyone.

    PP of DC



    We don't wish to boast [well, only a little!], but Berrynarbor has pulled out all the stops as far as the shop is concerned. The turnover is a fairly steady 20-25% higher than in the old shop and by mid-October was already higher than the whole of the figure for 2007. To all our regular customers, 'well supported', and thank you Anita for filling the shop to capacity. The range of items on sale might surprise those who never visit it. Why not call in and try it some time? The Post Office, in Jackie's care, is also doing very well. A paypoint machine is arriving shortly, which will improve the service. Please check with Jackie for details.

    Dates have passed for sending surface mail to far-flung places, but there's still time for air mail to get there for Christmas. International air mail should be posted between the 5th and 10th December, and for Europe by the 12th. UK 2nd Class by 18th December, 1st Class by the 20th, and Special Delivery by the 23rd.

    It's not too late to order Christmas Fare: poultry and meat, Christmas cakes and puddings, Christmas ice cream, baked goods and fruit and vegetables. Don't forget that greengrocery has a 10% reduction when booked in advance but don't leave it to the last minute! The last date for orders is December 12th, although Ivan Clarke can take orders until the 19th. Our shop is bursting with gorgeous chocolates, a range of Christmas cards and wrapping paper, special jams and chutneys for Christmas Day and Boxing Day, and lots more. Do come and indulge.

    Several people in the village kindly nominated our Shop and Post Office in the Countryside Alliance Award for the 'Best Village Shop and Post Office'. Entries are now closed and results will be announced in the New Year. It would be great to get an award, but nice to know that some feel it's the best anyway! Thanks go to those who entered us.

    A special thank you to our stalwart volunteers, including some who have joined recently. If in the New Year you feel that you could help - even for 2 hours, or as a standby - please have a word with Anita. And finally, for the whole of December, why not treat yourself to a hot drink in the shop and enjoy a FREE mince pie?

    Very best wishes to you all from Anita, Jackie and the Committee, and here's to another successful year!

    PP of DC



    Yvette and Sandy

    Well, our Shop is now 'officially' open! If you were there, we hope you had a good time with plenty to eat. If you couldn't make it, the shop looked superb with the garlands, balloons and bunting provided [and largely put up by] Gary and Sheila and Stuart and his keyboard provided lovely background music. Sandy, in his speech of welcome, gave a good report on the progress of the Shop and District Councillor Yvette Gubb unveiled the brass plaque now proudly fixed on the wall, giving credit to our benefactors: Devon Renaissance, the Plunkett Foundation and the North Devon District Council. Little Hazel was a delight when she presented Yvette with a handsome bouquet of flowers. Wine and food in abundance provided refreshment.

    Our visitors included the Chairman of the North Devon District Council, a member of the Plunkett family, representatives of the grantees and builders and shop fitters, and, of course, villagers - about 90 in all!

    Now it's down to the hard work of all of us to continue to support our Shop throughout the long winter months. To help you, Anita is prolonging the opening offer of a bottle of red and a bottle of white wine at a good price. She also says that you can be early for Christmas - cards are now in the Shop!

    PP of DC



    Maybe the recession is biting! Our shop hasn't received any advanced orders from visitors this year, in spite of self-catering owners hopefully sending out the annual order forms with confirmation of bookings. Still, the information is getting through as many visitors arrive even on Saturday afternoons knowing about us. So thank you all self-catering owners who are doing a good job. If you need more forms for autumn bookings, please ask at the shop or 'phone Pam Parke on 883758.

    Our weekly sales are considerably higher than this time last year - which is a relief! This is due to the increase in stock items, the larger space with easier parking, our support from customers - and of course our teams of managers and volunteers. Obviously our visitors appreciate it too. Many of the staff report glowing comments about our shop. Firstly they admire the 'bucking of the trend' of closures; secondly they like not only the building with its beautiful flowers, but also the wide variety of stock inside; and last but not least, they say how pleasant it is to shop where the staff are so happy and helpful. Well done everyone who works there.

    Plans for our official opening are underway - and the event will hopefully have happened before the next newsletter, so please look out for notices - and come if you can.

    Don't forget to bring along your summer visitors to the shop - even if only for a coffee!

    PP of DC


    Artwork: Paul Swailes

    News from our Community Shop and Post Office

    It is great to be reporting about our NEW Shop and also telling you that thanks to everyone, sales are up on this time last year, in both the Shop and Post Office. This is much appreciated, because although we have the lovely building, we also have a mortgage to clear. The second May Golf Day, organised by John Boxall, brought in a useful £570; the wedding 'do' in Sloley barn on 26th April £100 and another £100 came from the Barn Dance held on 3rd May - a great total of £770. Kath Thorndycroft's Plant Sale on 5th May was also a success and yielded about another £500. Thank you John and Kath. Any other ideas for raising funds would be very welcome - please give your suggestions to Anita or Jackie.

    Thanks also to the 'Berrynarbor in Bloom' group who have supplied the Shop with the splendid troughs of flowers.

    No doubt we all appreciate the easy parking. Walkers have those few extra uphill strides, but then it's easier on the way down with all the shopping!

    Sales of the personalised shop bags are going well. Hopefully, when British Telecom can sort out the problem, the Shop will get its old phone number back, but in the meantime you can reach it via the Post Office number - 883100.

    New products are arriving weekly, including a delicious range of jams and chutneys, local 'goodies', a wide range of Soya products and new varieties of cans of beans [perhaps because Anita was told yesterday by her supplier that there is a national shortage of small cans of Heinz baked beans!]

    Happy Shopping.

    PP of DC

    A Thank You from the Shop Treasurer

    Well, your new shop is up and running and I should like to give a personal thank you to all the good folk who have contributed money in any way at all.

    The raffles, events, books and the box on the counter, have raised a staggering £5,000 since we launched the appeal. This is an enormous contribution toward the cost of the building and all its equipment, to say nothing of additional stock.

    I should also mention the people who bought Shares - this has raised another £4,000 and it is so rewarding to know that people have sufficient confidence in the business to invest their hard earned cash.

    Of course, we now have additional overheads and the on-going support of all the villagers, and visitors, is vital to meeting these costs. So, to all of you, enjoy the facility which you have helped to create and thank you again everyone.




    As I write, our new shop is due to open on 31st March, so hopefully as you read this, you will already have visited it and bought goodies! We hope too that the Post Office will have moved their equipment successfully and will open on 3rd April.

    Everyone has worked so hard to get everything ready: Kingston Construction who pulled out all the stops to catch up on an initial delay; John Boxall who became unofficial 'Clerk of Works'; Sandy, Brian and Alex who sorted out all the day to day problems, and Anita, Jackie and a myriad of helpers who moved the shop.

    Thanks to them, we can now enjoy shopping in a pleasant and spacious place - and enjoy a cup of coffee, or send an e-mail before we leave!

    We have decided to 'go with the flow' and have our own "green" long-life shopping bags with our logo on that sell at £1.00. We have also decided that in the interests of hygiene, we shall no longer use second-hand plastic bags - and anyway, it looks as if they will become scarcer. Thank you to everyone who has brought plastic bags for re-use over the past 3 1/2 years. For anyone who hasn't a bag, there are new plastic ones available at 5p each.

    We have two exciting fund-raising events for the May Day holiday:

    • Friday, 2nd May: Berrynarbor Community Shop Second Golf Tournament for the Sandy Anderson Grocer's Cup. Forms are in the shop and John Boxall has details 882675
    • Bank Holiday Monday, 5th May: Plant Sale and Garden Fare in the Manor Hall - for details see this newsletter, village posters or 'phone Kath on 889019

    Happy Shopping!

    PP of DC


    News from our Community Shop

    Good News! Our new shop is progressing at an excellent rate. The roof is now complete and work is underway on the inside. We don't yet have an opening date but hope that it will be in April.

    The other news is that before Christmas, Jackie decided that she would like to job-share preferably being in charge of the Post Office with someone else managing the shop. Following interviews, Anita Abbott was appointed and she and Jackie are working together at the moment as Anita needs to know how to run the Post Office when Jackie isn't there. Then, after a previously booked holiday, she will manage the shop and Jackie will have her wish to run the Post Office. Each will work half time and will cover for each other for holidays, sickness etc. We wish both of them every success in their new roles and thank Jackie for all she has achieved in the shop.

    The generosity of the village is amazing! Since the last newsletter, over £2000 shares have been bought. Added to that was £412 from the delightful Christmas Market organised by Brian Hillier. Congratulations, Brian - we all enjoyed it! These combined figures make the target we set for funding from the village almost there.

    I mustn't forget to urge everyone to use the shop as much as possible. Winter months are not easy, and some items are cheaper at our shop than in Ilfracombe. So maybe a walk there instead of a drive in to town may do both purse and body a good turn.

    A Happy 2008 everyone!

    PP of DC



    Finally, after a last minute hiccup, the first sod was turned on Friday 2nd November [with gilt spades no less!], the honours being performed by Ron Toms and Hazel, youngest daughter of Kate and Seretse. Thank you both, you did a great job. Since then, the footings have been dug, the first of many breezeblocks laid and now our new shop is underway just over 3 years after the village took over from Alan. We apologise for the disruption in the car park. When work is complete [hopefully by next Easter], it will be laid out differently with only 2 or 3 spaces lost.

    We haven't yet had a chance to evaluate the results of the questionnaire recently circulated. Didn't get one? Please 'phone Alex on 883758. Haven't filled it in yet? It's not too late. If it's not been collected, do please take the completed form to the shop. It really is helpful in deciding future policy. The generosity of so many people in the village is overwhelming. In the last two weeks the shop has benefited by: an increase in shares of £1650, a donation of £1,000 from Gary following the disbanding of the BBC and £1,500 from an anonymous donor - not forgetting £370 from the Antiques Road Show - a grand total of £4520. If you haven't bought shares yet, there's still time. We hope to raise another £2000 to reach our target and hope our German style Christmas market in the Manor Hall on December 8th will help.

    Jackie has the shop full of Christmas cards, wrapping paper, pretty boxes of biscuits, sweets and chocolates, tea and other gifts. It is also time to order your Christmas poultry and meats. Ivan Clarke's order forms are already in the shop and no doubt Westgate Angus will follow shortly. It's also not too early to order fresh fruit and vegetables from Edds and so save a last minute panic? Oh - and post early for Christmas [although some dates have already passed!].

    Last date for sending internal mail is: parcels - Friday 14th December, 2nd class post Monday 17th December and 1st Class on Thursday 20th.

    By the time you read this, the number of shopping days to Christmas will be diminishing rapidly, so Happy Christmas Shopping everyone!

    PP of DC



    With a bit of luck, by the time you read this the first sod for our new Shop will have been turned! However, we still need to balance the books with fund raising activities in the village, so dates for your diary so far are:

    FRIDAY, 9TH NOVEMBER, 7.30 p.m.

    Doors at the Manor Hall will be open from 6.45 p.m. when Chris Hampton of Hampton & Littlewood, Auctioneers and Valuers, Exeter, will be host for the evening.

    For just £6.00, Chris will talk about antiques in general and give valuations; there will be cheese and wine, and later coffee or tea. So, look around your home and search the attic for one or two items and antiques [spouses don't count!], and bring them along for Chris to discuss and value.

    If you would like to know more about this fun evening and if in your search you come across a nice item you would be willing to donate for the raffle or, perhaps, that Chris could auction, please don't hesitate to contact Pam Parke on 883758.

    Proceeds of the evening will be shared between Macmillan Cancer Support and our new Community Shop. Tickets will be on sale from our Shop, Sue's of Combe Martin, Mike Turton in Ilfracombe or on the door.

    Do come along to this very special new event and bring something and someone with you!



    We move forward at last - confident but not complacent!

    Our architect is very shortly due to deliver the building regulation plans for the new shop. As soon as we have them we will send them out to several building firms for quotations with the aim of starting building in September. We already have designs for the interior; the new selling area will be as large as the whole of our existing premises, so there will be chance for an even better range of stock and facilities.

    Do we know if the post office will survive the government closures? No, we cannot know that for certain until January or February 2008, but the committee keeps in close contact with the Post Office. We know the criteria by which they assess post offices and we expect to be considered very favourably. In any case, we have been urged to go ahead as soon as possible by Devon Renaissance [the source of our main grant], which we have to spend before the end of the financial year if we don't want to lose it. North Devon District Council is also very supportive, and has been all along.

    It would certainly be a crying shame if the whole plan fell through after all the hard work put in by Jackie, the volunteers and the Committee.

    To raise the final money, fund raising activities will be needed and we hope that you will support these. The first one, the Golf Open Day, happened on July 6th and thanks to the hard work of John Boxall and those who participated, £420 was added to the building fund coffers. The bookstall and 'Build a brick' box are also adding useful amounts. Thanks to all who contribute.

    PP of DC



    A good number of shareholders attended our 3rd AGM on Saturday April 28th. Sandy was able to report that in spite of the dreaded 'T' word, turnover had remained steady over the past year, thanks mainly to a considerable upturn over the last two months. During the year we had been sorry to lose Jenny Cookson and Mike Lane as committee members but had been pleased to co-opt KathThorndycroft onto it. Otherwise, in the absence of further nominations, the committee was re-elected 'en bloc'.

    We now have enough funding to start building our new shop, hopefully before the end of the summer [although there will still need to be fund-raising events to complete it!]. Architects have been appointed to design the shop and North Devon District Council, who have been very supportive all along, have now formally fulfilled their promise of providing a site in the car park [valued at £50,000] for a peppercorn rent.

    The 'New Building Fund' is mounting. Around £750 has been raised since last September through 'Help Buy a Brick' [£240], various raffles, and donations from villagers and by the sale of second hand books. Hopefully the 18th century quote still rings true: "Take care of the pence and the pounds will look after themselves"!

    However, in spite of all this good news, we wait with baited breath the disclosure of the Government's policies on the future of post offices and on the Post Office's interpretation, to be quite sure that we shall retain our post office before committing to the project. We are in touch with the Area Manager who says that we should hear before the end of June. We are reasonably confident that Berrynarbor Post Office will survive, but if we're wrong then a major re-think will be needed.

    Meanwhile, Jackie continues to improve the stock and sales are increasing. She would still like more help, particularly on Friday mornings and as reserves over the holiday season. If you are unable to work 4 hours, what about just 2 hours? The busiest time is from 8.30 - 10.30 a.m. but why not discuss with Jackie what you could do? Incidentally, we were all pleased that Hedi is feeling so much better and thankfully she is once again a stalwart on Saturday afternoons!

    Finally, a big 'thank you' to Jill Massey who begs and borrows props to dress our shop windows and special displays within the shop and then sets them up with such imagination.

    All for now except - please keep spending!

    PP of DC



    The news this month is mainly devoted to 'thanks'. Firstly, if you've been in the shop recently you can't have missed the magnificent Easter hamper generously given by Brian and Judy Jones. As we go to press it has already raised over £60 and there is still time to get your tickets - but hurry! The raffle will be drawn on Saturday morning 7th April. Many thanks, Brian and Judy.

    Pat and Maureen had a successful coffee morning at Fuchsia Cottage on Friday March 9th - not so much from the number attending, but for money raised: £154 to be equally divided between 'Berrynarbor in Bloom' and the Community Shop. Those unable to go missed a feast of goodies - but perhaps next time? Many thanks, Pat, Maureen and helpers.

    Developments on the shop front are happening constantly at this stage and thanks to Fenella - our new and excellent community reporter in the North Devon Journal - you can keep abreast of both shop news and village activities. Keep up the good work.

    Thanks are also due to Fenella for making up the large hamper, which raised £60, as a prize for 'Name the Berrynarbor Bear' raffle at Gary's brilliant final [is it really?] BBC "In the Beginning" Show. Young Amy had no problem with naming the bear 'Gary'!

    Last but by no means least, a big thank you to Jackie. The shop at the moment is well stocked with Easter cards and goodies, and new items are being introduced all the time. Latest to hit the shelves are a range of hand-baked biscuits and Tyrells crisps. The cold counter now carries mouth-watering pies and quiches by Orchard Lea [ask Jackie for their complete range that can be ordered] and a small selection of Moules Farm fresh meat, adding to that supplied by Ivan Clarke and Westgate Angus. By the time you read this, mugs and coasters depicting the village [for once not specifically advertising the shop!] will have arrived. They are ideal gifts and souvenirs for visitors to take home [and you to take to friends], and join the fudges, jams, teas, biscuits, etc. already on sale. Jackie works very hard to source different and interesting stock - and reduced price items. Those who have not ventured in recently might be very surprised at the wide range. Certainly we get many compliments from visitors on how well stocked and clean it is, and praise for the way Jackie runs it with her team of volunteers. Incidentally, in the past two weeks the shop has had a slight increase in turnover compared with this time last year. Thank you shoppers who have spent a little extra.

    Let's all keep up the momentum. Happy Shopping!

    PP of DC



    There's lots of good news to report this month! Firstly, our planning permission has come through for the new shop. It will be a single storey unit in the car park. Some people have been concerned that it will not have a flat over. Estimates showed that the second storey would have doubled the costs and grants for accommodation were not available. The additional borrowing costs would have been prohibitive.

    So far we have been awarded grants totalling £87,000. This means that we now have the money to start building - hopefully in a few months' time. It's not the end of the story though . . . we still need to borrow a considerable sum and raise about £6,000 from village events. We should welcome any suggestions and help in fund raising. Please speak to Jackie or any committee member with your ideas.

    In spite of the opening of the Ilfracombe Tesco, in 2006 we managed to just about break even . . . but to make the new shop viable, we need to increase our sales. Jackie has introduced an excellent range of foods and gifts and to help our customers even more . . .

    We can take orders for:

    MEAT - Ivan Clarke or Westgate Angus
    - Edds
    - Village Bakery


    Please give us 48 hours' notice . . . and if these are regular orders, Jackie will be even happier!

    We continue to be very grateful to all our volunteers who do a great job. There are still spaces though, either on regular dates or for those willing to help in an emergency. Again, please let Jackie know.

    2007 is going to be an exciting and eventful year for the Shop. Please help make it the success we all want!

    Dear Fellow Villagers,

    The village Shop and Post Office has now been in village hands for over two years and until TESCO opened in Ilfracombe, it was showing continual growth.

    We have just received the agreement from Devon Renaissance that they will let us have a grant of £68,000, which together with the Plunket Grant of £20,000, means we are now in a position to move to the 2nd phase - the building of the new shop in the village car park. Hurray!

    However, the sales rate, since the opening of TESCO, is not enough to make sufficient profit to keep the shop open - close but not close enough.

    The support from the majority of the village has been immense:

    • £10,000 plus in shares bought
    • A very supportive Parish Council
    • Approximately 40 volunteers, who have for over two years come out in rain or shine to work in the shop

    This is a plea to everyone in the village who does not use the shop to use it just a little - £5 to £10 spent in the shop each week will be more than enough to enable the shop to remain open and to flourish.

    The village Shop and Post Office is not only an essential lifeline to many people in Berrynarbor, but is very much a major part of what makes Berrynarbor the desirable place it is to live and thus in turn increases the value of our properties.

    Please Please Please use the shop or we all risk losing it.

    Sandy Anderson - Chairman
    Berrynarbor Community Enterprise Ltd.



    It seems ages since our second birthday party on 6th October, yet so many people to thank who helped to make it such a success. The lowering skies and intermittent deluges couldn't dampen the preparations. Garry's banner was fixed in the shop; Jackie and Roy's - and Gilly's - gazebos erected, with Alan and Nora's permission; Ann was busy preparing food [in spite of leaving for a 5-week holiday next day] and Stuart was priming his keyboard on Bett and Kevin's front terrace. His vibrant music added much to the atmosphere, whilst Richard and Angie uncomplainingly took up Mike and Jo's offer of a parking space to allow extra room in the street. Charley on Sallamar [not forgetting Melanie and Harry!], Richard and his tractor and Malcolm and Joan with their rucksacks were stars! John and Tony handed out tastes [or more!] of celebration wine provided by John. Jill had been bullied at very short notice to design the special label. Pip fried sausages kindly provided by Ivan, whilst Anita and Mark calculated the 10%'s at the till. We had good publicity: ITV West Country splashed through the torrents in the afternoon and produced a news item on Tuesday 10th October featuring Jennie, Jill, Peter, Jo and Sandy. The North Devon Journal did us proud in both the 5th and 12th October editions. Finally, without Fenella's hard work behind the scenes and about 100 shoppers, it wouldn't have been possible. It was a real community effort, so thanks to everyone - including anyone I've missed.

    The shop is now piled high with Christmas cards and wrappings, wines, gifts, ingredients for seasonal cooking and other goodies. It's not [yet!] too late to order The Village Bakery Christmas cakes and puddings, yule logs and mince pies [not forgetting extra bread], Mike Turton's pork pies and your extra - and special - greengrocery. The 'Buy a Brick' box in the shop is yielding a useful amount towards the new shop in its first couple of weeks - every little helps!

    In July I wrote to Bill Deedes in the Daily Telegraph to see if he could help our shop with an article. He replied "Many thanks. I'll consider writing something that helps but no promises!" Some of you may have seen his Comment Column on 27th October entitled 'Village shops survive only if we use them' I quote from it:

      "I reckon that two-thirds of our household needs can be bought there. Village shops do not sell fish or butcher's meat [We sell some of Ivan's meat and chicken, from the freezer] or strawberries and mangoes in December, as the supermarket does. But they serve most other needs. It's so much easier to run the car to Tesco and do the week's shopping in one outing. Yes, and undeniably there is also more variety, but the butter, cheese, cereals, soups, jams, pies biscuits and a lot else taste no better than the village shop's offerings."

    I'm reminded that we now have a super new range of fresh soups from Sacks in Barnstaple, Turton's pork pies at the weekends, tasty coleslaw and quiches from Swiss Cottage in Ilfracombe and a good range of edible gifts from the Fudge Tree Company at Mullacott Cross.

    Finally, Bill Deedes ends "If we lose these [village] shops, we cannot lay blame on the government; it will lie with those who neglected them." Thanks, Lord Deedes!

    As you know, since September we have kept the shop open until 7.00 p.m. on Fridays. This was popular with visitors but it is no longer viable so we have reverted to the 5.30 p.m. closing. We may try again during the 2007 holiday season, but will keep you informed.

    Talking of closing times, please note that the Shop will be closed all day on Christmas Day and Boxing Day and on New Year's Day - 25th, 26th December and 1st January - otherwise all shop opening times will be as normal.

    Seasonal good wishes from Jackie, her many volunteers and the committee - and with everyone's help may we move much nearer in 2007 to building our new shop.

    PP of DC



    How time flies . . . and so do our summer visitors! Along the way, however, they enjoyed buying our new lines from the Fudge Tree Company, Fosters Traditional Foods and Redmoors. If you've not yet seen them it's worth a visit. You'll find gift boxes of jams, biscuits, fudge and a wide range of competitively priced herbs, spices, nibbles and dried fruits, all useful either as gifts or for Christmas baking.

    Some of you visited our stand and tasted some of the goodies at the Holiday Festival held in St Peter's Church on Monday August 28th. Thanks to Ursula's magnificent Spode kettle, cup and saucer, Fenella's artistic talents and eleven of our suppliers giving samples of their products for display and tasting, the stand looked very good and raised the profile of our shop. We were also delighted to hand over £72 to the church from our raffle.

    Sadly some of our volunteers have had health problems over the last months. These include Janet Gammon, Hedy Belka and more recently Mike Lane and Jill Jost. We thank them for all they have done for our shop and wish them a full recovery. This, however, together with holidays means that we have need of volunteers to fill the gaps. Our regulars are brilliant but we don't want to overwork them! Any 'stand bys' would be welcome, but particularly difficult are Saturday afternoons and Fridays 5.30-7pm. Any offers? Please 'phone Jackie on 883215

    Happy Hour [plus a half!]

    By now you should have received a copy of the 'Autumn Flyer - Use it or Lose it', so I will just remind you that we are now open on Fridays until 7.00 pm which will continue if there is a demand [and we get staff - see above!]. I hope you accepted the invitation to come to the shop to celebrate its 2nd Birthday on Friday October 6th and saw all the new goodies and sampled a few of them.

    Hope to see you in our Shop . . .all for now.

    PP of DC

    Illustrations by: Debbie Cook



    Firstly, a big 'thank you' to 3 new volunteers and several stalwarts who have changed their shift. This has largely relieved our summer holiday crisis but Jackie certainly won't be turning away further offers of help!

    She and the duty volunteers were delighted to receive an unexpected accolade earlier this month from a visitor who gave an extra £5 on top of his bill 'because it is such a nice shop'. Well done everyone, and thanks kind donor if you read this - you made everyone's day!

    Thanks, too, to John and Fenella Boxall who provided the fridge for salads and vegetables. It was proving a boon even before this recent spell of hot weather and at the moment is invaluable!

    We're now well into this year's holiday season. If you have visitors, do tell them please that we have a range of 'take home' gifts. These include local jams, chutneys and honey, fudge and shortbread with a postcard of Berrynarbor on the front, local cider, clotted cream, healthy plants and a pretty range of inexpensive jewellery: surely a good choice for the dog/cat/house sitter - or for friends and family.

    We now have notices advertising the shop, which we hope self-catering owners might display in their properties. I apologise if you've not yet received them but if this is the case and you could use some, please get in touch [883758].

    As you know, we now have planning permission to go ahead with building our new shop and much work is going on behind the scenes to get grants to offset the costs. We will keep you informed of progress. Meanwhile, do let me know if you have new neighbours so that we can let them have our introductory welcome pack.

    PP of DC

    Retirement? - Yes, it's true, PP of DC [Pam] has admitted that she has passed her 'bb date' and is now joining the ranks of those who cannot think how they ever found time to go to work! Good luck and best wishes, Pam, we know you will remain far from idle!

    Nature's Bounty - It is a perverse fact that everything comes at once, and nothing more so than crops of fruit and vegetables. If nature has been kind to you and you have more produce than you can cope with, can I ask you to consider giving some to the shop? We can sell it on at a 'less than Tesco' price to our customers and in the process make a little money to go toward our new building fund. We'll arrange collection if that would help, all you need do is tell Jackie [883215] and she will make the necessary arrangements.




    Our Annual General Meeting was held in the Manor Hall on 22nd April when about 27 members attended and the main points of interest were:

    • The Chairman, Sandy Anderson, welcomed the members who attended, also Jackie Borley the new manager who is settling in well.
    • In the first 12 months of trading, the Shop turned over a very creditable £100,000 compared with the previous year's turnover of about £65,000.
    • In the first financial year [in this case 15 months] there was a net profit of just over £7,000 but through accounting convention, this included some £11,000 of grants. In fact, after deducting non-recurring start up expenses, the Shop broke even, which, given the low start, was satisfactory.
    • The Committee are optimistic about this year; with Jackie at the helm and the continuing support of the volunteers, it is hoped that the turnover will reach £110,000.
    • There were no new nominations for Committee Members and the present Committee was re-elected en bloc, with Jackie replacing Ross.
    • The site of the new shop has been moved to the south eastern edge of the car park [below the existing toilets] and the design modified and planning approval is confidently awaited.

    A reminder that shares in the Enterprise are still available and information and application forms are available either in the shop [883215] or from Alex Parke [882758].

    Calling all enthusiastic gardeners! Some of you already support good causes by selling 'garden goodies' but if any of you could support our Shop and help with some fund raising, Jackie would love to hear from you. You may have flower or vegetable plants, an overflow of garden produce or - particularly at weekends - bunches of cut flowers. Obviously it would be great if you felt you could donate these, but otherwise the shop would buy them at a modest price on a sale or return basis and re-sell them. For everyone else, do call in and see what's on offer... and please BUY!

    Finally, don't forget Victorian Week in Ilfracombe, 10th - 18th June. Souvenir programmes are on sale in the shop for £1.00.

    Let's hope we all have a bumper summer season all round.

    PP of DC

    *GOOD NEWS! Since writing this report the good news has been received that Planning Approval has been given for the new shop. Now starts the serious process of gathering in the necessary funds to start building. Our congratulations and thanks to the Committee for all the hard work they have put in to ensuring that approval was obtained and the shop move forward.



    By the time you read this, we shall have said farewell to Ross who is leaving to join his father's new business. We all wish him well in his new venture. We are grateful for what he has done in helping us establish the Shop, for expanding the stock and for keeping the Post Office going. His gentle management style will be missed by us all. However, we are happy to welcome his successor, Jackie Borley, who if you are a regular customer you will already have met. It will be a change to have a lady in charge. Jackie lives in Ilfracombe with her husband Paul and their 3 children aged 13, 17 and 19. She has experience in retail management, childcare and working with volunteers. We look forward to her fresh ideas and hope that you will call in and see these for yourselves.

    Yet again we need your help. We are contacting all new residents, telling them about the village and our shop and offering them a small welcome pack. It is sometimes difficult to keep up to date with newcomers so if you are aware of anyone who has or will be arriving from 1st January this year, please 'phone Pam Parke - 883758 who will follow it up. As part of this welcome, a list has been drawn up of tradesman and other useful contacts who live within the village and already I have a list of over 20 names. [If you have not yet been 'phoned, please get in touch with Pam soon who will add your name to the list - for a nominal fee to cover expenses].

    Notices have gone out regarding the Community Shop Annual General Meeting to be held in the Manor Hall on April 22nd at 11.00 a.m. All shareholders are invited to attend. The Committee has now approved the external plans for the new shop and these are in the hands of the North Devon Planning Committee. We will keep you in touch with developments.

    Finally, we'd just like to remind you that in the shop there is a good stock of Easter eggs, chocolates and plants and that you can send flowers to any part of the country through our Post Office.

    Happy Easter from Jackie and the Committee!

    PP of DC

    May I please add to Pam's plea for news of newcomers to the village - it IS difficult to keep up to date and it is nice to welcome them [and say farewell to those leaving] in the Newsletter.




    Firstly the good news! In case you've not realised it, our shop is no longer 'dry'. Our licence is now through and we are open for selling a range of wines, beers, lagers, stout and spirits. You may be pleased to know too, that in spite of bureaucrats forcing us to lose alcoholic sales over the Christmas period, takings were still up on 2005. For those of you who didn't see Alex's letter in the North Devon Journal regarding this 'fracas', you have just read it here!

    By the time you read this, our noble band of volunteers and their partners will hopefully have enjoyed a pleasant evening at The Globe on 27th January and our thanks to Don, Edith and staff for providing such a good spread - and of course to all the volunteers who do such a magnificent job in our shop.

    You may have noticed that we now have a small selection of jewellery on sale at modest prices - ideal for gifts. The selection of delicious fresh soups from the Devonshire Soup Company are proving popular, whilst your pooches and moggies are being pampered with a range of cat and dog foods packaged by Melian, so no need now to trek into their shop in Ilfracombe.

    It's not long now until St. Valentine's Day on 14th February, for which we will have a good selection of cards and chocolates, and flowers including red roses [or even a single specimen beautifully presented] can be ordered. After that, Mothering Sunday looms on 26th March. Again, flowers can be ordered, cards will be on sale and there will be a good selection of pot plants and chocolates. And then, before you know, it will be Easter, with hot cross buns and simnel cakes available. So happy 'whatever-it-is', and even Happier Shopping!

    PS - I'm sure we all wish to congratulate and thank Judie for this 100th Newsletter - and the 99 that have gone before! Here's to the next 100. Well done, Ed.

    PP of DC

    A Message to All Non-Customers:

    We, at the shop, are aware that there are many villagers who do not use the shop at all, I wonder why; where are we going wrong? Do you know we have almost 1000 different items in stock? We have fresh bakery, green grocery, organic milk etc every day. The folks behind the counter are fellow villagers. The Post Office can supply a wide range of facilities.

    And all this is on your doorstep - no need to use petrol going to Ilfracombe, Barnstaple or even Combe Martin. We are not perfect, but we do our best, and with your support we will build the new shop - bigger and better. We really would like to know in what way we fail to meet your requirements; if you could spare a moment to tell us (even just an anonymous note through the door) we should be most grateful. Extending opening hours is difficult because the staff are all volunteers who have home life to consider, and we also know that many people do not get home until after we have closed. Apart from that, we will try to give what you, the villagers, want. It is your shop, we make no profit from it, and the future depends on the support of as many Berrynarbor folk as possible.

    Come and spend a bit, and make an old Treasurer happy!!




    By the time you read this, the festive season will nearly be here! Ross urges you that there is still time [but not much!] to place your orders for locally reared Christmas turkeys, geese, ducks, pork, pies and puddings. There is an attractive range of reasonably priced jewellery and Christmas cards, including those especially printed for Berrynarbor. If you still have Christmas baking to do, then please call in for the ingredients.

    Meanwhile, the shop has had a quieter few months, but much improved on this time last year, and it had a very busy summer. Again our thanks to all the volunteers who stalwartly turn up on their due day, or find a substitute. Tim and Jill Massey and Doreen Harding have all been through the wars over the past few months, but we wish them well - and hopefully a return to the shop in the New Year.

    It is hoped that by the time you read this, Mike will be training a few volunteers to help him out occasionally with the papers. He's worked every day since the shop opened and would dearly love one or two lie-ins a week, or even the occasional holiday! If you have not volunteered so far, helping him only means a 7.45 a.m. start and the frequency depends on the number of volunteers. If you're not an 'early bird', coming into the shop at 8.30am to check the paperwork from Dawsons would also help. So please see Ross if you feel you can. Of course, training will be given.

    In November, we again liaised with the Primary School for a competition. This year it was to make a Christmas money box. It was a difficult job to judge, as much ingenuity and effort had gone into some excellent entries. How nice it would have been to give prizes to all entrants but in the end we decided to judge only the ones made mainly at the school. The results were:

    • Class 1: 1st Reuben, 2nd Finn
    • Class 2: 1st Lewis, Special Award Joseph
    • Class 3: 1st William, Joint 2nd Simon and Bethan

    Many thanks to all the pupils; we hope they enjoyed the project and that it helped them to save for Christmas!

    Recently, a dozen or so owners of self-catering properties were circulated offering forms for their visitors to order groceries in advance. This was a popular service in 2005 and brought in extra visitors, many of them initially out of curiosity! If anyone was omitted and would like forms, please collect them from Ross.

    Because of a recent flurry, shares in our shop have now reached a grand total of £10,255! If anyone is interested and is not yet a shareholder, please speak to Ross.

    With regard to the new shop, plans are on line and there will be more details in the February Newsletter.

    Seasonal good wishes to all!

    PP of DC



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    PP of DC



    The good news is that thanks to Ross's expertise and invaluable help from Jenny Cookson, the continuing support of our magnificent team of volunteers, Jill and Tim Massey's efforts in promoting local products and Mike's dedication to managing the newspapers and magazines, our shop goes from strength to strength! However, we are always happy to welcome new volunteers, particularly during the holiday season and on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays - even if you can manage only a couple of hours. Please speak to Ross.

    Tim is home from major heart surgery and already checking the greenhouse, picking a surfeit of raspberries [lucky man!] and walking up to our shop. You can't keep a good man down! We wish him a speedy and complete recovery - and a return to the shop ASAP!

    Thanks to the owners of self-catering properties sending out advance orders to their visitors, these visitors not only pay their bills but also spend considerably more and return to the shop again and again during their stay.

    We have also found that being open on Saturday afternoons is a great bonus for newly arriving visitors. We direct them to their holiday homes, are able to promote the shop for Sunday opening, and usually sell them beer, wine and essentials for the start of their holiday.

    If you have visitors staying with you during the summer, please urge them to call into the shop to see the new range of local gifts to take home for family, friends and dog/cat sitters! We have also extended our range of quality wines, so whether you are having a summer barbecue, gourmet dinner or just a quiet 'sundowners', do come and see what is on offer.

    Two other great successes have been introduced recently: Blue Ginger quiches, and sweet and savoury pies, and Mike Turton's traditional and unusual pasties . . . delicious!

    As a final positive note, we have just received another purchase of shares, which has taken the total invested to just over £10,000 and 100 shareholders. Long may our popular shop thrive!

    PP of DC



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Alex Parke of DC


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

    To date we have:

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

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

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

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

    Jill Massey

    Illustrated by: Debbie Cook




    Latest News

    Thanks to much support, our shop has survived the 'doldrums' of winter and is now heading into calmer waters - we hope - welcoming back our many visitors. Thanks to Jill Massey and Kathy Thorndycroft, there were attractive displays for Valentine's Day, Mothering Sunday and Easter.

    At February half-term, the first of our food orders sent out to self-catering visitors bore fruit - over £30 of groceries, which were paid for promptly and a further sum of money spent in the shop! Further grocery order forms are available from Pam Parke.

    Every week new products - many of them local - are appearing on the shelves and Ross is eager for practical ideas for further improving the range of goodies.

    Don't forget that over Bank Holidays [except Christmas] only the Post Office is closed, the shop is OPEN . . . and it is open every Saturday afternoon throughout the year.

    On the subject of the Post Office, shareholders will have received details of the range of services on offer, and anyone can pick up these details, which include:

    • Banking
    • Sending flowers by post
    • Paying bills
    • Mobile 'phone top-ups
    • Travel needs [currency, medical care and insurance]

    and these are just a few of over 40 services available. Remember, if we don't want to lose it, use it!

    Two Final Reminders:

    The Questionnaire for Volunteers should have been returned by 28th March, but if you have overlooked it, the information would still be useful so please return it as soon as possible.

    Our Inaugural AGM will be held on Saturday, 9th April, 10.00 a.m. in the Manor Hall. We hope that as many shareholders as possible will be there to support it. On the Agenda will be the planning for the new shop, and members of the Committee are already working hard on this. There is a business plan, a site has been chosen if not finalised and a programme has been drafted for building. A very positive meeting was held recently with members and officials of the North Devon District Council, who are enthusiastic in their support.



    The Heart of our Village

    First of all, many thanks to all the volunteers who have unwaveringly turned out in rain, shine, over Christmas and on dark mornings to help in the shop. Without them, Ross would be very hard pushed! We are still very thin on the ground on Fridays, Saturdays and Sunday mornings and if anyone can spare a morning or afternoon - or even be a 'standby' if unable to commit on a regular basis, Ross would love to hear from you.

    May we remind volunteers that if they are unable to fulfil their 'slot', it is up to them to find a replacement?

    We are happy to report that the shares in the shop have now risen to a magnificent £9820! An advance note for your Diary: the inaugural Annual General Meeting for all shareholders will be held in the Manor Hall on Saturday April 9th at 10.00 a.m. Do please support it. Individual notices will be sent out.

    Our financial situation has been further helped by a generous grant of £5000 towards start-up costs from Leaderplus - an organisation dedicated to providing help for rural businesses. The turnover so far has exceeded our hopes. If we are to proceed with the next phase of our plans which is to build a new shop with accommodation, then we need to prove that it would be commercially viable. Ross has already expanded milk sales by offering organic milk, cream and yogurts - all selling well. Fruit and vegetable sales are increasing. If you don't see what you want, he can usually get it - very often for next day delivery. The potted plants are also selling well. He, Jill Massey and some committee members are exploring ways of making our shop even more special, and attracting visitors and customers from a wider area as well as our loyal 'regulars'

    Finally for the commercial!

    Heads up [or eyes down!] for special promotions! These will be on offer throughout the next few months and will of course include special Valentines Day, Mother's Day and Easter 'goodies'. Do call in and see - and if you don't see what you want, ASK.

    Happy shopping.

    PP of DC [and BCS!]



    The October Newsletter came out on the last day Alan and Nora were in business. By the time you read this, we shall have been operating as a community shop for just two months, but what a lot has happened!

    We were very pleased to welcome, on our first day of opening, Ross Kite as Manager. He is already training to take over as Postmaster from Don Ozelton. Ross was a pupil at our village primary school and has returned to fulfil a long-standing desire to run a village shop. There has been an enormous learning curve, but he takes everything calmly in his [long!] stride and puts in extra hours [uncomplainingly] as needed. He is introducing new products, and the milk [standard and organic] is selling well. The shop is now well stocked, but please do let him know if there is anything else that you would like to see. He welcomes other constructive suggestions as well.

    So many people have helped get the shop underway, and we are very grateful. Without them we would have lost it. Many were thanked in the last newsletter. Additional thanks go to Nick Arthur of Slee Blackwell, who tied up the rental agreement for the shop and Pat Perry who has helped us through the minefield of health and safety regulations and produced the necessary policy and the hygiene guide, now distributed to all volunteers. Both generously gave their services free of charge

    We welcome and thank Brian Shillaker from the Valley who has agreed to join the Committee. Mike Lane took the 2-day Licensee course at the North Devon College and is set to become our official licensee and Pam Parke did the Basic Hygiene Course, required by law, also at the College.

    Financial news: Thanks to incredible support for shares, 94 people have raised £9,545. In addition, North Devon District Council has provided a grant of £3,000 and Co-operative [UK] waived our registration fee of £350. Support in buying goods from the shop has increased almost every week. Please continue the good work!

    Things have happened behind the counter! A ventilated loo and washbasin were installed in record time; volunteers have kept up their enthusiasm - many thanks to all - and Brian's frown is relaxing as we all come to better terms with the till! The first stock take is behind us - thanks to 6 volunteers giving up a Sunday afternoon. Meanwhile, the Committee is beavering away behind the scenes - an order form for self-catering visitors is in the process of being updated and a village postcard is underway.

    The children at the Primary School used great imagination and produced nearly 70 delightful pictures of our Shop at Christmas, and these are all on display in the shop. It was hard to pick winners but eventually they were: 1st Kyle [9], 2nd Charlotte [7], 3rd Simon [9]. Because of the high standard, we awarded a 4th prize to Fay [10] and special prizes for Isobel [6] and William [5].

    The children also wanted to do research into favourite chocolate bars and comics. We await the results with bated breath - and no doubt an extra visit to the wholesalers!

    On 12th November our MP, Nick Harvey, paid a visit to the shop and offered encouragement. He was joined by Yvette Gubb, Chairman of NDDC, and Julia Clarke our local NDDC Councillor. It was good to see them all taking an interest. They even made purchases!

    Finally, a reminder that shares are still available. We need less than £500 to reach £10,000. Can we make it? The £1 share can be bought in blocks of £5. If you are interested and would like to purchase shares, please get in touch with Jim Constantine [882797] or Alex Parke [883758].



    Times change, and now as you read this the Post Office and Stores will no longer be managed by us. For 10 years we've provided what we hope has been a good service for the village, and sincerely believe that the action we've taken to press for the emergence of the Berrynarbor Community Enterprise Ltd. has been the only way for the village to retain its shop. We wish the Enterprise much success and pledge to help it should any help be called for.

    What we've called the Shop, Post Office, Mini Super Market or Super Mini Market has been our life, but now it's yours. This pleases us, for we, like all villagers, can only benefit from the continuance of a shop in our midst.

    Yours, Alan and Nora


    The Heart of our Village

    Fresh Food & Vegetables Local Meat
    Dairy Produce
    Newspapers and Magazines
    Groceries Liquor
    Greetings Cards and Wrapping Paper
    Household Items
    ... and much more!

    By the time you read this Newsletter, our Community Shop will be on the verge of opening.

    Since the first public meeting over two years ago, a lot of hard work has taken place to ensure the continuity of our shop and post office. Initially and for nearly two years, this was undertaken by the 'Gang of Four' - Jim Constantine, Paul Crockett, Alex Parke and Keith Walls - and sincere thanks must go to them all for the endless hours they have put in on our behalf.

    The crunch came when Alan and Nora gave notice that they would definitely close the shop on the 30th September. The results of a questionnaire circulated around the village clearly indicated that a shop was needed and a larger number of people became involved in trying to resolve the situation.

    Amidst rumour and counter-rumour work has gone ahead, and with valuable guidance, an industrial and provident co-operative society named Berrynarbor Community Enterprise Ltd., has been set up. This is in no way connected to the Co-Op or Leo's, and definitely not a substitute for the Wilder Road proposal!

    Over the last few weeks this enlarged group has met regularly. It has been fortunate in the 'advisers' within it: David Steed and Paul Crockett on financial matters; Melanie and Chris Ayres on legal, health and safety and hygiene; Richard Gingell on insurance; Roger Paget, now working in the shop, has given his advice and Judie Weedon has assisted with publicity. Everyone has helped in the distribution of forms around the village.

    At the last meeting it was agreed to reduce the Committee to a more workable number and the new 'Management' Committee is:

      Jim Constantine is Chairman. He has been working tirelessly and done a brilliant job keeping everyone in order and on track at meetings. He will be taking on the task of looking into new premises and will hand over to Sandy Anderson, Chairman Designate, in a few months' time. Sandy will be assisted by John Boxall - a very strong team.

      Alex Parke has acted as Secretary to the group, working hard to organise, devise and put the co-operative in place. His hard work has been invaluable and he will continue for the time being, but is anxious to hand over to someone else in the near future in order that he can spend more time at home. Any takers?

      The financial side of the business will be in the capable hands of Brian Hillier as Treasurer.

    These 'officers' will be supported by:

      Mark Adams, whose practical and financial business advice is essential; Mike Lane, who has not only agreed to do 'Newspaper' duty but will probably, after training, be the first Liquor Licensee; Pam Parke will, amongst other duties, be dealing with publicity and advertising.

    Without the help of Don Ozelton, the post office could not be ready to 'up and run'. He has been accepted by the Post Office as Postmaster and has agreed to take on that duty. His help in obtaining planning permission for the post office to be transferred to The Globe if necessary, is very much appreciated. Paul Crockett's printer has been red hot of late, and thanks to him there have so far been no printing costs. Keith Walls, whose input as a past postmaster and owner of the shop - together with Margaret - has been extremely helpful and he will be responsible for the initial stocking of the shop. Chris Walden has come up trumps, offering a free stocktaking service, and Matthew Walls, Gary Songhurst and Clive Watson-Harrison are kindly doing the alterations and installing a washbasin and toilet at the rear of the shop. Staff, you can relax! You won't have to shut shop and dash to the car park!

    The village has really pulled together on this project. Firstly, 45 residents have offered to work voluntarily in the shop, which will be open:

    8.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and 1.30 to 5.30 p.m. daily
    except Wednesdays and Sunday: 9.00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.

    A 4-weekly rota has been set up. However, there are still vacancies, so if you have a few hours you could spare a month and would like to help, please do get in touch.

    Secondly, to date nearly £7,000 has been given to buy shares - a wonderful response. This money will be used not only for rent of the premises and the necessary alterations, but also re-stocking and providing equipment, including a van. Shares - £1 each purchasable in £5 blocks - are still available. Forms can be obtained from the Post Office or through Alex Parke [883758], who would be happy to explain the procedure in more detail. Grants to assist the operation are being sought.

    So, it is all systems go! The aim is to keep the shop going without a break. The Post Office, however, will be closed on Friday, Saturday and Monday, 1st, 2nd and 4th October. The shop will remain open but for a basic service only to begin with. Be patient, we are all learning and may not have your favourite goodies at first or be able to serve you as quickly as you would like! The shop will need to be restocked and we have to walk before we can run! The only way the shop will survive is if we all use it and pull together.

    As you may have noticed, the efforts to keep our shop open have not gone unnoticed by the media, but when the dust has settled, we still have a lot of hard work to do to set up and maintain a viable business.

    Please support your shop by taking up shares, buying from it and let us know how we are doing. Support fund-raising activities, and volunteers, please keep up your enthusiasm - it could be a lot of fun as well as hard work!

    Remember - if you don't want to lose it, use it!

    Finally, thanks go to Alan and Nora for their help. We wish them both a long, active and happy retirement.




    Newsletter 2

    It is now a little more than 12 months from the circulation of Newsletter 1. Since then the Action Group has been involved in the following:

    1. October 2002 - In addition to the 8 sites identified by the group as possible relocation for a Stores and Post Office, two further options were included. Both were existing premises used for other purposes. After consideration by their owners, both proved unavailable. The preferred option from the original 8 sites was for a new building within the existing village Car Park. The Action Group met the Planning Officer and discussed with him the sites identified for relocation of a Stores and Post Office. The Planning Officer was to contact the Group in due course with his initial planning response.

    2. November 2002 - The formal views of the Planning Officer were received. The Planning Policy for the preferred site did not preclude development possibilities for an alternative Stores and Post Office in the present village Car Park.

    3. November 2002 - January 2003 Initial development proposals were drawn up for a new building. Two options were prepared, one as a single storey lock-up shop, the other as a shop with living accommodation over. In each case the replacement Store and Post Office was of a similar size to the existing one. The costs of the proposals were based on the site being available at no cost to the parish. The land currently belongs to the District Council but the freehold of the Car Park may possibly be transferred to the Parish in the near future.

    4. February 2003 - After Mr Rowlands had discussed with an agent the marketing of his property (and/or splitting of the Stores and Post Office from the house) the Action Group met him and heard his views. Mr Rowlands' preferred option was still to close the business and for an alternative facility to be sought. It was also possible that he would consider letting the Stores and Post Office to a third party to manage in the short term.

    5. April 2003 - The Action Group reported on progress with the Stores and Post Office to the Berrynarbor Parish Council Annual General Meeting. It was agreed that a meeting should now be held with the District Council to progress transfer of the freehold of the Car Park and toilet block to the Parish. This meeting would include discussion of a possible site for the relocation of the Stores and Post Office on the car park.

    6. June 2003 - A meeting was attended at the Civic Centre in Barnstaple by representatives of the Action Group and the Parish Council and officers of the District Council representing Community Development, Legal Services and Estates. Transfer of the Car Park and toilet block was discussed together with the building of a Stores and Post Office within the boundary of the Car Park. The District Council said that it would need to consult some of its other departments on the proposal. To do this and prepare a plan of action was to take about six weeks. The Council offered the services of its staff to assist with obtaining external funding.

      A response was not received until the 29 September 2003 despite many reminders and prompts. The response content even then fell far short of indicating a way forward and failed to mention transfer of the freehold of the site. At the time of writing no additional information had been received despite a next day request for it and a later intervention by our District Councillor (who is also Chairman of the Council)

    7. October 2003 - Following receipt of the letter from the District Council the Action Group met with Mr Rowlands again to talk about ways to keep his business open. Mr Rowlands said that the Stores and Post Office was probably no longer a viable proposition and that it may close as early as Christmas 2003, possibly in February 2004 but certainly in February 2005.

    A short term measure remained the appointment of a manager to run the business . Both the Action Group and Mr Rowlands would ask commercial agents what was a realistic rental for the business. Mr Rowlands agreed to provide up to date financial figures relating to his shop for the Group to include in a business plan.

    Progress is awaiting action by others:

    • the financial figures from Mr Rowlands, and
    • further input by the District Council regarding transfer of the Car Park to the Parish.


    The Action Group is disappointed and frustrated by its lack of progress in securing a continuing shop and post office service for the village.

    There are a number of reasons for this:

    1. The existing sites that were identified as possible substitutes for the shop were found to be unsuitable, usually and understandably because their owners did not want to take on the responsibility of the enterprise.

    2. The possibilities that were considered of splitting the existing shop from the dwelling to sell it separately, reduced the space and convenience of the accommodation, and were not acceptable to the Rowlands.

    3. There has been no progress towards the sale of the post office/shop as a going enterprise. It seems that if a sale is what Mr. and Mrs. Rowlands want, a fresh and more vigorous approach to marketing it will be needed. It may be that new potential buyers are there to be found.

    4. The employment of a manager to reduce the Rowlands' day to day responsibility has been considered. Current figures are not yet available but is seems likely that there would not be enough profit to pay a manager an adequate wage.

    5. There is still the possibility of letting the shop to an individual, but it would be difficult adequately to separate the shop from the accommodation without prejudicing the latter. Nor is it certain that the available profit would fund a suitable rent for the premises.

    6. The main remaining possibility of building a new facility on or near the car park has been frustrated by planning considerations. Although it has not been ruled out by North Devon District Council, it is taking an unacceptable length of time to get positive information or even provisional planning consent towards the scheme. It is now obvious that even given immediate consent, the inevitable length of time required to finalise a scheme, to find the necessary grants and other finance, and then to build a new post office will take us far beyond the date that Mr. Rowlands is prepared to keep the present shop open.

    Your Action Group will continue, through the Parish Council, to search for ways of keeping a post-office/shop in the village, but in view of the above, unless there is an unexpected change in the situation, it seems less and less likely that they will succeed in the short term. If you would like further information, please contact any of the group, who are:

    • Keith Walls: 883762
    • Alex Parke: 883758
    • Jim Constantine: 882797
    • Paul Crockett: 882631

    If you would like further information, please telephone any of the group.

    Editor's Note:

    We are most grateful to the Action Group for all the hard work they have put and continue to put in on our behalf. If anyone has any views or comments they wish to make on this Report, please let me know so that I may pass them on to the Action Group. Judie [883544].



    The school holidays have arrived and with them the very welcome holidaymakers. Already we have seen a much needed up-turn in business and as a consequence have initiated a small section for local products and hope to soon stock organic items as well. So please do ask about them if you're interested, as this will help us to identify the demand.

    We opened our garden for the Village Tour and were very pleased when all went well on such a superbly warm and sunny day. We're looking forward now to Tour II, when we can visit other people's gardens in return.

    We are sorry to be losing our assistant Jane who understandably wishes to spend more time, especially in the holiday, with her family. We're quite sure she will be missed by customers and well as by ourselves.

    Alan and Nora



    At the public meeting last August and in the face of possible closure, residents indicated their anxiety and desire to retain a post office/store within the village.

    Sadly, the figures for business at the Post Office have shown a marked decline in the months October to December 2002, the effect of which has also reduced sales in the shop.

    It is important, therefore, that if this service is to remain more use needs to be made of the facilities available, including the opening of compatible bank accounts, into which pensions may be paid. Details on how to achieve this may be obtained from Alan Rowlands.

    The 'Group of Four' who offered their services to the village, continue working to retain a service [post office/shop] in the village.



    As all regular customers will know, your Berrynarbor Post Office and Stores is still open for business. The small committee working towards a long-term future for a shop in the village is making progress, and the future is bright. In the meanwhile, however, nothing stays constant and the prospect of Pensions and Benefit payments directly into bank accounts is rapidly approaching.

    In order to benefit your Post Office, people should opt for receiving their benefits and pensions via the post office. To achieve this aim, the following options are listed in order of preference:

    1. A Post Office Card Account will be operated with a plastic card a personal identification number [PIN]. This will be the only method available for those who do not wish to have a bank account. The card replaces your payments voucher book. To receive a card, just wait until you receive a letter asking you to select an option. Then please send off a simple letter in response requesting a Personal Invitation Document - a preprepared letter for this is available from the post office. Once received take it to the post office in order to open an account.

    2. A Basic or Introductory Account will be provided by all major UK banks and other financial institutions. This account will enable anyone to pay money in and draw money out at the post office, and provides further limited banking facilities. The options letter will explain how to open such an account.

    3. A full normal bank account at Lloyds, Barclays, Co-op or some other bank which utilises the Post Office as its agent for cashing cheques and making deposits.

    4. A full account at a non-co-operating bank - currently this includes Nat West and HSBC and this option does not benefit your post office in any way.

    Whatever method you choose, the post office and shop will continue to operate as a local convenience store and a centre for social interaction, information exchange and advice, if there is a regular flow of custom. The weekly benefits and pensions collections are a major feature of this - and long may it remain so.

    Alan Rowlands



    The shop and Post Office will continue operating into 2003.

    However, the transfers of Income Tax Credits and Child Benefit payments into bank accounts have preceded the emergence of the Post Office Bank Card Account, so we'll have to play 'catch up' in the new payments areas rather than run alongside.

    All benefit recipients are asked please, please, please to discuss your options for receiving payments with the shop staff before opting for any easy bank method. 'We can only be here for you, if you're here for us'.

    We shall be closed for business from Tuesday, 24th December at 1.00 p.m., and all day Christmas Day and Boxing Day. There will be NO fresh bread until Monday, 30th December, so please order for your freezer.

    Nora and I and 'the girls' would like to offer all our customers our best wishes for a Joyous Christmas Season and hopes for a Happy and Successful New Year.

    Alan Rowlands



    As many readers will know, the future of the Village Post Office and Store is currently under discussion.

    Following a public meeting held in the Manor Hall on the19th August - attended by over a hundred parishioners - the future of the village Post Office and Stores was raised at the Parish Council Meeting held on the 10th September, with just over a dozen people attending the public session.

    The Chairman of the Parish Council outlined the current situation and reported on a meeting with a representative of the Village Stores Association and Countryside Agency, and the availability of grants.

    Alex Parke, Keith Walls and Jim Constantine agreed to act as a Committee to look further into ways of providing the village with shopping and postal facilities and to initialise a business plan. They would be joined by Paul Crockett, representing the Parish Council. This matter would, for the foreseeable future, remain as an Agenda item for future meetings of the Parish Council.

    You would be welcome to contact either Alex [883758], Keith [883762] or Jim [882797] to let them know your feelings and ideas.



    So that Alan and Nora can play even more golf and participate in more windsurfing, the Post Office Stores has been put on the market. Although interest has been considerable, no firm offers have been made and alternatives to outright sale are now being considered.

    It might be possible to continue as at present, for a while, by taking on a reliable newspaper person so that Alan's deliveries can be shared. If you are interested, or know of anyone else who might be, please contact Alan or Nora as soon as possible.



    The Post Office and Village Store will be closed for Christmas and the New Year:

    • Sunday & Monday, 23rd & 24th December - Open Morning, Close 1 p.m.
    • Christmas Day & Boxing Day - CLOSED - No Papers
    • Thursday & Friday, 27th & 28th December - Open All Day
    • Saturday, Sunday, Monday & Tuesday, 29th December - 1st January 2002 Open Mornings, Close at 1.00 p.m.

    For the Christmas season we shall be stocking up on cards and annuals, gifts, wrapping paper, etc., as well as seasonal foods and goodies! Christmas trees will be on sale and orders can be placed to ensure that you get YOUR tree. Once again we shall be holding a raffle in aid of the Salvation Army and the Hospice.

    We thank you all for your custom and wish everyone the Tidings of the Season.

    Alan, Nora and all their Staff



    Your Christmas planning should include noting that the Post Office and Shop will be closed during the Christmas period as follows:

    • Christmas Eve - Sunday, 24th: Close at 11.00 a.m.
    • Christmas Day - Monday, 25th: [Closed all day]
    • Boxing Day - Tuesday, 26th: [Closed all day - no Papers]
    • New Year's Day - Monday, 1st: Half Day to 1.00 p.m.

    On other days we'll be open on our normal schedule.

    Please note that there will be no fresh bread after Saturday, 23rd until Friday, 29th December; and no fresh milk after Saturday, 23rd until Wednesday, 27th. Remember to order your requirements in good time.

    For your holiday season, we are stocking up on cakes, puddings, mince pies, sweets, chocolates, wine and spirits.

    Next year will see the Post Office fitted out with the PO's Horizon computer for bigger and better services, the Universal Peoples Bank and the expansion of PO services.

    In the meantime, Nora, Alan, Sue, Hilary and Luke send all customers their best wishes for the Holiday and the Year to come.



    We should like to take on another delivery agent for newspapers and magazines, particularly for Thursdays and Saturdays, though other days could also be worked. Until we find someone, we can deliver throughout the village but it is a very tight schedule. If anyone has a particular need for delivery by a specific time, we can try and accommodate this.

    Could we please ask that everyone helps by accepting delivery at their gate? If you could provide a tube or box for the papers, it will then not be necessary to get out of the van.

    If you think you could help us with deliveries, please give us a ring or pop in and see us.

    The flood prevention work is now 99% complete - just the gas leak to finish off now. The threat to the Post Office from loss of business when Pensions and Benefit payments reduce is still with us. However, the banking arrangements for cheque cashing and payments in with Lloyds, Barclays and the Co-op Bank are working well. There is no need to travel to or park in Ilfracombe just for money!

    The Wine Circle took a trip to the Camel Valley, Cornish Vineyard and we have a small stock of Cornish wines - beautifully fresh and fruity - including a superb bubbly. These can also be ordered for Christmas, together with smoked salmon, trout, mackerel and game breasts from Kath Arscott's family smokery near Wadebridge.

    Alan and Nora



    With flooding and the current campaign by the Western Morning News and others to highlight the problems of pensioners and other people who receive benefit payments, a rumour has spread that your village stores and post office are to close. THIS IS NOT TRUE.

    However, as with all 'corner shops', it is becoming increasingly difficult to remain competitive. The current moves by supermarkets to provide home delivery and by the Benefits Office to phase out payment books and pay through bank accounts, are increasing the pressures. If you believe that losing the village shop would be a disaster for the village or even only be a serious inconvenience for yourself, then please consider the following actions:

    • sign petitions against the Benefit Office plans
    • have your benefits paid through the Post Office
    • use the free cheque cashing and paying-in services for Lloyds and Co-op Banks at the Post Office
    • consider the village shop first for your newspapers, groceries, wines and spirits, bread and creamery
    • pay Council Tax and other bills at the Post Office and not by direct or other debits



    Christmas is fast approaching and the shop is filling up with Christmas items, from food to fancies! Don't forget to place your orders for cream, bread, vegetables, etc., and don't forget to post your parcels in good time. Our opening times over the festive period will be:

    • Christmas Eve - Friday, 24th - Half day to 1.00 p.m.
    • Christmas Day & Boxing Day - Closed - No papers
    • Monday 27th & Tuesday 28th - [Bank Holidays] Half day to 1.00 p.m.
    • New Year's Eve - Friday, 31st - Half day to 1.00 p.m.
    • Saturday & Sunday, 1st and 2nd - Normal half day to 1.00 p.m.
    • Monday, 3rd [Bank Holiday] - Half day to 1.00 p.m.

    Thank you for your custom and support and with best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.

    Nora and Alan



    Christmas is fast approaching and the shop is now stocked with a good selection of Christmas items - from food to stocking fillers, cards and wrapping paper. Don't forget to place your orders for cream, bread, vegetables, etc., and don't forget to post your parcels in good time!

    Over the Christmas period, we shall be;

    • CLOSED from 1.00 p.m. on Christmas Eve [Thursday]
    • CLOSED [no papers] on Christmas Day [Friday] and on Boxing Day [Saturday]
    • OPEN from 9.00 to 11.00 a.m. on Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday
    • OPEN from 8.30 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. on New Year's Day

    With best wishes for Christmas and the New Year and thank you for your support and custom.

    Nora and Alan



    Hopefully, by now, everyone has seen the great improvements we've made in the village shop as a result of the 50% grant we received for a new refrigerated counter unit, cake stand, electronic till, metric weighing scale and other minor items to tidy and up-date the shop. We had a very pleasant visit from Mr. Miles Middleton and various local dignitaries for the cheque presentation and it seemed well worth the efforts we made to smarten up the shop area for the event. Our investment in the project has generated a spend of over £3,400, underlining our belief that, even though rural shops throughout the country are having a difficult time, a good shop can succeed. So, if you haven't been to see us - 'come on down! '

    There have been changes on the Post Office side in recent months. In addition to the usual products and services, the banking side of the counter now includes cheque deposits and cashing for Giro Bank, Allied and Leicester and the Co-op banks, and soon to include Lloyds Bank. We can exchange money for foreign holidays and arrange all manner of holiday and travel insurance, particularly for anyone going by car.

    A new venture is life insurance provision and cover for family income, personal accident, bill payment and household appliance insurance. Bill payment, too, is easier with our flip flop processor, and we've some nice wallets to give away for your savings cards. Our slogan should be "You Can Bank on Your Post Office"!

    Alan and Nora


    Christmas Information

    With Christmas approaching rapidly, we have stocked up with items which we hope will bring Christmas cheer and enjoyment. We have cakes, puddings, mince pies - all with delicious ingredients - sweets and other stocking fillers, as well as cards and wrapping paper for your parcels.

    Don't forget to place your orders for bread, cream, vegetables, etc.

    Christmas Eve is on Wednesday and we shall be closing as usual at 1.00 p.m., but please call in if you can and join us for a sherry during the morning.

    We shall be:

    • CLOSED [no papers] - on Thursday, Christmas Day
    • CLOSED [no papers] - on Friday, Boxing Day
    • OPEN as usual - from Saturday, 27th December to Wednesday, 31st December
    • CLOSED - from 1.00 p.m. on Thursday, New Year's Day

    We take this opportunity to thank you for your support and custom and wish everyone a very happy Christmas and New Year.

    Nora and Alan



    Berrynarbor has certainly been in the news of late - the Western Morning News, who put us into print and picture, and we are all proud of our Best Kept Village status and our Britain in Bloom Award. Not only do we live in a beautiful village surrounded by spectacular and unspoilt scenery, we live in a caring, warm and friendly community.

    We can boast a primary school that is the best in the County [and 8th in the country]; a fine Parish Church, some parts of which date back to Norman times; and amongst many other places of interest, two local hostelries, one dating back to 1675, which both serve excellent food! But, unlike many villages that have suffered under todays strict regulations and climate of closure, we can boast an excellent village shop and post office - a daily focal point of the village.

    To retain a post office, a certain level of business must be, guaranteed, measured by the value of each of the many and varied services provided by Post Office Counters.

    As well as the normal postal services of selling stamps, processing parcels and registering letters, there are the services of paying utility bills for gas, water, electricity and telephone, and other payments which can be lightened by the regular purchase of stamps, these include motor vehicle and television licences . You can also pay your mail order catalogues statements, Council Tax, National Insurance and even Income Tax through the Post Office and, of course, cash your Pension or other Income Benefit. If you are going on holiday, EIII Certificates, travel insurance and money exchange can all be arranged for you. Old and young alike can manage their money by opening a current account at Giro Bank, or save with National Savings, paying in and taking out locally as you require!

    Other services include bus passes, fishing licences, council health stamps and flowers by post, so if you are not already using some, or all, of these facilities the Post Office offers, give a thought to doing so in future - keep the transaction level up!

    Whilst doing business over the Post Office counter with Alan, our own Postman Pat, take a look around and discover the many items provided at Nora's counter! A full range of groceries, meat, fruit and vegetables, toiletries and household items are always available. Freshly baked bread, milk and cream are delivered daily each morning. Daily papers and an extensive range of magazines and periodicals are on sale, or you can have them delivered in time to read with your breakfast. There is a good selection of wines in the Off Licence section, a comprehensive range of cards for all occasions as well as small gift items and chocolates. You can buy and have your films developed and send your linen and dry cleaning to the laundry. What more could you ask? Well, if you don't see what you are looking for, just ask - it'll be there the next time you look! So -


    and they deliver your Newsletter too!


    Christmas Information

    During our work up to Christmas we've stocked up with items which we hope will bring Christmas cheer all round. This year we've concentrated our Cards on the Charities supporting OXFAM, Save the Children, Cancer Research and the British Heart Foundation. Please help us to help them.

    We have cakes and puddings with delicious ingredients and, of course, will provide the pens, paper, string, stamps and sealing wax for your presents. Hopefully we'll be sold out before we close for business at 1.00 p.m. on Tuesday, Christmas Eve.

    Please note:

    Wednesday, Christmas Day
    Thursday, Boxing Day
    Friday to Tuesday
    Wednesday, New Year's Day


    Shop Closed - No Papers
    Shop Closed - No Papers
    Normal Opening Hours
    Half Day [as usual]


    Alan and Nora Rowlands

    For Christmas, the shop will be stocking many seasonal items alongside our usual fare, including Christmas Cakes and Puddings, Seasonal Chocolates, Wines and Spirits.

    We shall also have Christmas Trees and can order Poinsettias, etc. We can supply fresh meats of all kinds, including Chickens, Turkey and Game.

    Our Opening Times for the holiday period will be:

    • Saturday, 23rd [pre. Christmas Eve] - 8.30 a.m. to 1.00 p.m.
    • Sunday, 24th [Christmas Eve] - 8.30 a.m. to 12.00 Noon
    • Christmas Day - Closed - NO papers
    • Tuesday, 26th [Boxing Day] - Closed - NO papers
    • Wednesday, 27th - 8.30 a.m. to 1.00 p.m.
    • Thursday - Sunday, 28th-31st - Normal Opening Hours
    • Monday, 1st, New Year's Day - 8.30 a.m. to 12.00 Noon



    [Apart from the gatepost, seat and wheelbarrow!)

    One year down and 'X' to go was celebrated in the Post Office on the 3rd September with cake and sherry, and a good time was had by all. The cake was made by Anthony, the new baker at the Village Bakery in Combe Martin, and the sherry by barefoot Spaniards in Jerez.

    Throughout the year we have been well supported by visitors and villagers, though it has been hard to see [almost] everyone else but us taking summer hols in such glorious weather. We provided foreign money exchange for a few travellers and hope to extend this to Holiday Insurance through the Post Office in the future. Both these new services are very competitive and have distinct advantages. Our new venture in photography and processing went quite well, and prints from our "Colour Care" took many prizes in the Village Horticultural Show. Please keep snapping!

    Lottery fever seems to continue almost unabated, and we joined in with our scratch cards and newspaper inserts. We shall be replacing these soon with Post Office Charity Scratch Cards, together with a collection service for Littlewoods Pools cards. The first batch will support the Roy Castle Cancer Appeal, so we expect this to go down well.

    Our fresh ham and cooked meats from Turton's of Ilfracombe resulted from last year's appeal for stocking ideas [we sell tights, but they're only half as glamorous!]. With our new clear freezer top, we can now display frozen goods better, so Ivan Clarke, in his new business of wholesale meats supplies, will once more be supplying us. If you catch it before we freeze it, you could even have it fresh - "Meat up at the Freezer"!

    October will see the Wine Circle resume its meetings. We've kept up the supplies through the drought season and continued to lubricate the parts that the Globe failed to reach. Rowlands Brook flows on, but I must stop.

    Alan and Nora - Grandparents [New]



    The Christmas rush now over, there's time to reflect a little on how well it went. Stamp sales were good, with over 3,000 sold; the "Berrynarbor" Christmas cards sold out and the R.N.L.I. and Poor Clare's Convent at Lynton benefited from our charity card sales.

    The big news was the success of our application for an Off Licence. Attending court at South Molton was somewhat daunting, but the magistrates granted our request and we now carry most spirits, a good stock of wines, a few beers and stay open a little longer on Sundays for lunchtime sales.

    The Wine Circle introduced us to "Rowlands Brook" Australian wines, but any resemblance to our water in taste or looks is wholly coincidental! Rowlands Brook is now our 'house' wine.

    The Dry Cleaning and Laundry Service is operational, but pick-up is at dawn on Mondays, so users should please drop off their items on Saturday or Sunday mornings at the latest. Goods are returned the following Monday.

    We are now stocking, at your suggestion, more cheeses, local sausages and loose ham, and there is scope for us to obtain other meat items to order, as we have a daily delivery arranged. The range of fresh milk has also been increased to include milk in poly bottles and cartons at slightly reduced prices.

    Thank you for your continuing support.

    Alan and Nora Rowlands



    The Village Shop and Post Office

    The recent decision by the Cabinet and the P.M. to leave the Post Office in Public Ownership, has clearly pleased many in the Village, and it seems that the general feeling now is that their village shop is safe. Nora and I are prepared to work towards confirming this situation. We've been reviewing the stock, have changed some lines and are shaving down the prices to reflect "Price Check", a guidance publication for small shopkeepers. We should welcome suggestions and requests for new stock items. Our aim is to offer as comprehensive a Service as possible - especially for those without cars or needing heavy items, such as dog food, milk or bottled water, as delivery is possible. We are hoping to run a dry-cleaning agency and Flowers by Post, but the most obvious lack concerns licenced alcoholic drinks. Given a reasonable call for such items, we could expand in this direction.

    With Christmas approaching, we've given thought to our opening hours. At the moment, newspaper deliveries have not been decided, but with Graham Jones's advice, we've decided as follows:

    • Christmas Eve [Saturday] - Close at 1.00 p.m.
    • Christmas Day [Sunday] - Closed all day. No Newspapers
    • Monday Bank Holiday - Closed all day. No Newspapers
    • Remaining Holiday Period to 2nd January - Mornings only unless business merits otherwise. Newspapers as per national delivery

    Post Office customers with Pensions and Allowances should note that they will be able to pick-up payments in advance :

    • Christmas £10.00 Bonus - from Monday, 5th December
    • From Monday, 19th December - all payments due up to 25th December
    • From Tuesday, 20th December - all payments due up to 27th December
    • From Friday, 30th December - all payments due up to 2nd January

    By the time this is published, Nora and I shall have been running the shop, under Vi Davies's guidance, for three months. Because of the good welcome we were given, we felt at home almost from the beginning, and should like to say, "Thank you all for this, your patience with our mistakes and your continuing custom."

    Alan and Nora