Edition 156 - June 2015

Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook

I once heard someone say:
"I rinned down the path wi the brish to make th'ol boul go een the shed out the way au't me flowers."

Artwork: Judie Weedon


By the time you read this impossibly we'll be just a few weeks short of mid-summer and the longest day! We've not had a hard winter but the cold wind has persisted even on the warmest of April and May days. The cuckoo has been heard in the Valley and the swallows are back.

Newsletter funds are currently healthy. Mailing subscriptions have all but a few been renewed with more than 90 readers receiving Newsletters in the post and more reading the abridged version on the internet. A big thank you to the Parish Council for their continued generous financial support and encouragement, which are much appreciated.

We welcome all newcomers to the village and say sad good-bye's to those leaving and we wish everyone happiness in your new homes. And for those not feeling as bright as they might, please get well soon.

Thank you to all who came along to view Paul's paintings at the Manor Hall. I thank him for his dedication and support of our Newsletter, illustrating every issue since No. 7 in August 1990 - 24 years in all!

Other contributors, too, have given incredible support. Our Local Walker has been walking locally and even further afield for 150 issues; Tony's stories and memories reached 100 in April and Sue and Simon also reach 100 weather reports with this issue. Berrynarbor is now 26 years older than Tom's first article in October 1989 and I wonder how many of Wendy's 60 recipes you've baked and tasted! Pam has been moving and shaking [but is OK] for nearly as long and Steve has been reflecting in 68 issues!

Thank you all, without your continued and regular help and support the Newsletter would be very much the poorer. But, I must also thank everyone who contributes one-offs, other snippets and interesting articles.

So, no slacking now please and articles for the August issue as soon as possible and by Tuesday, 13th July at the latest - thanks!

Let's hope the weather gets warmer for the outside events planned for June and July.

Judie - Ed

Are you wondering about the significance of Debbie's delightful wrap-around cover? If so, look no further than the article DIALECT for the answer! Thank you, Debbie and Sue.




30th March1945 - 10th March 2015

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

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

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

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

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

Afterglow by Helen Lowrie Marshall

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

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


8th November 1911 - 28th April 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Artwork: Paul Swailes


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.


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





March came in like a lion and went out like - a lion! The first day of the month was squally with wintry showers and winds gusting up to 31 knots [36 mph]. The month was changeable with spring-like weather followed by cold raw days. Friday 20th was the spring equinox and day of the partial eclipse and was fortunately clear, sunny and warm. British Summertime on the 22nd on the other hand was heralded by strong gales. It continued windy and the month ended with gales gusting up to 34 knots [39 mph] on the 31st, the strongest wind of the month. March is often a dry month and this was no exception with a total 73mm of rain. The maximum temperature was 15.5 Deg C, a bit below average, with a minimum of -0.1 Deg C which was a bit above average.

April started windy and Good Friday was very disappointing, but then a high pressure established itself across the country and stayed for three weeks until Friday 24th when it became a bit more unsettled with some drizzly rain. It continued unsettled until the end of the month but although it was often overcast and rain was forecast, it remained very dry with a cold wind. The total rain for the month was only 22mm of which 10mm fell on the 2nd. The maximum temperature we recorded was 18.8 Deg C, quite warm but in previous years April has often seen temperatures in the low twenties and in 2003 we recorded 27.9 Deg C. The lowest temperature was 2 Deg C with a wind chill on the 1st of -5 Deg . The maximum wind gust was 27 knots [31 mph]. 97.13 hours of sunshine were recorded in March, which was less than last year but not out of the ordinary. The 167.57 hours recorded in April was nearly the highest number for an April, beaten only by 169.76 in 2011.

The warm settled spell in April was very welcome, we hope that it was not the summer but the herald of a good summer.

  Simon and Sue


Artwork: David Duncan


The Annual General meeting was held in St. Peter's Church on the 31st March, following the election of officers to stand on the PCC for 2015.

Unfortunately, there were no applications to take on the responsibility of Churchwarden following my resignation and it was agreed that the whole committee would share the load for this year. If there is anyone in the village who would be willing to take on the role of Churchwarden, then we should welcome you with open arms!

As mentioned in the Easter and April edition of the Newsletter, we are still without a resident Rector to serve the parishes of Berrynarbor and Combe Martin. Maureen Richards [who is acting PCC Chairman and Churchwarden for Combe Martin] and myself [acting PCC Chairman during the interregnum] are continuing to work very hard with their respective teams to lobby the powers that be in redressing the current situation that exists in both our communities. We shall endeavour to keep everyone informed as to any meaningful progress that arises in the months ahead.

Church services at Berrynarbor are continuing every Sunday and we are indeed extremely grateful to Berrynarbor's George Billington, Celia Withers from Combe Martin, together with John Roles and Michael Rogers - both from Ilfracombe - for their valuable input and considerable time in conducting a wide range of services for the community.

John Roles organised a special Joint Palm Sunday Service for Berrynarbor and Combe Martin involving the congregation in a re-enactment of the events leading up to the Crucifixion. Keith Wyer, who many of you will remember as our Rector and Rector for the North Devon Coast Team is, with John Roles, taking many of the weddings to be held here and in Combe Martin, and will also be available to conduct baptisms and funeral services throughout this year.

Berrynarbor Primary School continues to hold its Monday Morning Assembly in the Church and a great deal of thanks must go to Graham Lucas who has rejuvenated the proceedings with really interesting stories and involving the children to re-enact the events with much vigour and, above all, a great deal of fun! Well done Graham!

I have been in contact with Headteacher Sue Carey to consider ways of involving the School in a special Church Service sometime in the next couple of months and before the children break up for the summer holidays. The details have yet to be finalised, but we are very keen to encourage all parents to support this event, and it would be wonderful if villagers in turn could come along and ensure a packed to capacity church on the Sunday that we decide upon! The Service will involve many things, but more importantly, it will be a truly joyous event!

Finally, we really must convey, on behalf of everyone in Berrynarbor, a special thank you to Matthew Walls and his team for cutting and strimming the Churchyard grass on a regular basis. This hard work is very much appreciated by villagers and visitors alike in keeping the churchyard in superb condition. Well done Matthew!

To help keep our churchyard tidy, it would be appreciated if those tending graves and other visitors would kindly take their waste - dead flowers, plants, plastic pots, etc. - home for disposal or if not, place them in the rubbish bin provided and located by the lych gate.

Forthcoming events:

  • Gift Day will be on Wednesday, 24th June - when members of the PCC will be at the lych gate from 9.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. Envelopes will be delivered around the village the week before and it is hoped everyone will take the opportunity to make a donation towards the upkeep of the church.
  • Special School Service - Date and details to be arranged.
  • The Church Fayre - will this year be held on Tuesday, 18th August from 5.30 to 9.00 p.m. at the Manor Hall. If you're having a clear out at home, please save any bric-a-brac for our stall.
  • Friendship Lunches - in the Globe will, as usual be on the last Wednesdays in the month, 27th May and 24th June, from 12noon. Everyone welcome!

    Stuart Neale.




    Any enquiries for Weddings, Funerals, Baptisms and other Church matters - please contact Mr. Stuart Neale on

    01271-883893 or by email: stuartneale@btinternet.com

    This request is purely temporary whilst we await the arrival and installation of a new Rector for the Parish of Berrynarbor.




Dave Beagley

Solution in Article 23.




Unfortunately, our recently appointed Chairperson and Treasurer have both had to reluctantly resign due to other commitments, so we are again looking to replace them.

A Chairperson and Treasurer are required by law and sadly if both are not found by Friday, 24th July, the Pre-school will have to close and so we shall not be returning in September. We should welcome anyone from the wider community - you do not have to have a child/grandchild in education. The posts do require a DBS check and they are voluntary roles with full training provided. Please think carefully as to whether you could help us in either of these roles.

Thank you to the ladies who raised £65 at the Spiritual Evening.

This month the children have been learning about different countries and have been sampling different cuisines. In France week they had moules! We have looked at France, Italy, India and Africa and the children not only get to sample different foods, they learn about different languages, cultures and ways of living and how where we live is very different.



Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Mary Brown was an old lady living on her own in the small village of Redham. One evening she was watching television when she sensed the presence of someone else in her bungalow. The door from the hall to the room where she was sitting was open and a man was standing there. In one hand were obviously some of her jewels as a pearl necklace hung from it. On the back of his other hand was a tattooed dragon.

Mary had her mobile on her lap which she quickly grabbed and took a picture of him. Realising he had been seen, he took flight out of the front door.

Mary took no time in 'phoning the Police and spoke to a Sergeant Fred Dent. Fred was due for a week's leave but was so taken with the old lady's plight that he decided to deal with the matter himself. He took her address and said he would be there in an hour's time.

True to his word, Sergeant Dent arrived an hour later and was delighted with her picture of the man. He also took along his fingerprint expert who got several new prints which might help.

"Right", he said, "We now have everything we need and will start looking for the culprit."

"Thank you for all you are doing," Mary replied. "Can you let yourselves out?"

About a week later Sergeant Dent called on Mary. "What news?" she asked.

"Well, we've got a man who is the image of your picture, but there are three things that don't add up. They are that the fingerprints don't match; then he has no dragon tattooed on the back of his hand, and lastly he has an alibi that he was at his snooker club all that evening. I' afraid we've had to let him go."

"Very well, but I know you will keep trying."

"Of course we shall," Sergeant Dent replied and left.

Two days later, Mary had another visit from him "What news this time," she enquired.

"Well, we can't believe it but the second man is just like the one in your picture but again has no tattoo and he was abroad at the time of your burglary. There just doesn't seem to be an answer."

Later that evening Sergeant Dent thought he would look in at this local pub, The Retreat, where his daughter served behind the bar, just to say 'Hello'. He sat down to chat with her and mentioned the problem he was trying to solve.

His daughter Jennie's face lit up. "I think I've got the answer." She smiled. "Dad, do you remember about twenty five years ago they reported in the local paper about a set of identical triplets? Well, I think that's the answer. Furthermore, the man you are looking for is probably that man sitting in the corner with his back to us."

"Well Jennie, you are wonderful. I'll soon find out." He made his way to the man and was amazed to see that he resembled the other two. He was wearing gloves and Sergeant Dent snatched off the one on his left hand. There was the tattoo!

"I am arresting you in the name; of the law. Anything you say may be taken down as evidence . . . . ."

Tony Beauclerk - Stowmarket

Illustrations by Paul Swailes



[6 October 1837 - 16 October 1889]

Iron founder, "Mayor, alderman, guardian, county councillor, in fact everything"
[according to the Sheffield Daily Telegraph]

"What can you tell me about Charles Sweet Willshire?" my husband asked the Barnstaple Museum assistant on my behalf.

"Who's he?" was the reply.

"Well", said my man, a bit discomfited, "His bust is just outside in The Square".

Had I not been looking for another Mover and Shaker, I should probably not have noticed him either. But there his bronze bust stands, on its red and grey granite column, with his name and 1837 - 1889 on the upper red bit and on the pedestal is carved:

Erected by friends and fellow townsmen in recognition of his eminent and unselfish services as a liberal politician and municipal representative

The internet yielded little other than census or ancestry notes, and it was difficult to get away from Charles Sweet: a convicted felon on the run!

Still, I persevered, and after a call to the Journal who advised me to contact the Athenaeum, I finally got useful help.

Charles Sweet Willshire [usually known as Charley] was the son of Thomas Lamb Willshire, owner of Barnstaple Foundry in Newport. He was born on 6th October, 1837.

In 1852, when Charley 'was about 14 years of age, he was missed from Barnstaple. Search was made and enquiries instituted among his schoolfellows, but they all proved abortive. The family were in great distress, but within a week he was found in the Liberal Committee room at Bath. An election was soon. And there he was discovered rendering youthful but even then valuable services on behalf of Liberalism.'

By 1861, at the age of 23, he was married to Mary, aged 21 who came from Filleigh. I could find no record of their having any children. In that year, his father handed over the foundry to Charles.

In the census of 1871 he was an Alderman and iron founder and by 1881, he was a JP and his Iron Foundry employed 30 men and boys.

In 1876 and again in 1877 he was Mayor of Barnstaple.

Sadly, at only 53, Mr Willshire became ill with gout and swollen legs. Shortly afterwards, on 16th October 1889, he died. There was such an outpouring of grief.

His In Memoriam in the North Devon Journal of October 31 1889 covered a whole page and a bit. In the reams of praise one reads that he was a fine fellow 'ever ready with quip and crank and wreathed smile'.

During his time as a political organiser, he had transformed his constituency from Tory to Liberal and ''he was Mr Gladstone's most trusted councillor.'' The Western Express states among loads of praise that 'He was a political giant, standing head and shoulders above all his compeers in the North Devon divisions.' Further on, 'Neither wind nor weather had daunted the ardour of this sturdy Liberal'.

Another quote was that he was 'Cool, shrewd, with abundant dash, a perfect master of political strategy'.

Finally there is a poem of 11 verses from which I will quote three:

Fallen like a faithful soldier
Fighting in his country's cause
Not for lust of gold or silver
Or his fellow man's applause;
But impelled by sense of duty.
Ever ready at the call,
Deaf alike to praise or censure,
At his post to stand or fall.
Orphans had in him a father
And the destitute relief
Wailing widows ever found him
Ready to assuage their grief

As I write this just two days before our election, can any of the above be said of any of our present day leaders?

And yet, after all these outpourings, how many notice his statue in The Square? As Denise Holton writes in Barnstaple Through Time, this 'councillor and magistrate, . . was once called 'the most famous man in North Devon' but is now forgotten'.

I find this quite sad.

PP of DC



I really enjoyed reading the various words supplied by Michael in the last edition, which brought back lovely memories of my Mum asking me to collect the eggs from the 'coopies'.  Also my Granfer [and that's a Devon word in itself] calling my Gran a 'great gawk', albeit affectionately, when she kept dialling the wrong telephone number.  No push buttons then and she was an infrequent telephone user, even though Granfer had the 'phone for his building and undertaking business.

It cannot have escaped your notice if you have spoken to me that I am Devonshire born and bred and proud of it.  Here are a few other words to add to the list.

  • Zam zawed - Stew which has been reheated over and over, and in the end it is zam zawed
  • Orts - Left overs from a meal
  • Tallet - Loft or extra floor in a barn.  I recall my Granfer telling me that a person had 'anged eezelv in the tallet'.
  • Blunking - Lightly snowing, just a few flakes of snow drifting down.
  • Bivvered - Feeling freezing cold. 'Ee was bivvered to death'.
  • Addled - Confused. 'Me brain's addled'.
  • Cheel - A small child.
  • Dimmet - Twilight. Same as Michael's 'dimpsy'.
  • Bolve - A roaring cow or stag when rutting. 'Did e yer the stag bolbin?'
  • Brish - A sweeping brush. I once heard someone say 'I rinned down the path wi the brish to make th'ol boul [bull] go een the shed out the way au't [out of] me flowers. The 'boul' must have escaped and the lady saw it from her farm kitchen window.
  • Drasher - A threshing machine.
  • Drekley - Later on, "I'll be there drekley".
  • Vit - Feet.
  • Bey - Boy. 'When I was a bey I used to elp me Faather wi the vishing nets'.
  • Chuggy pig - Woodlouse or a greedy person.  Or that which comes out the nose!
  • Scat - Threw. 'He scat it down on the ground'.
  • Wer be gwain - Where are you going?
  • What be dwain - What are you doing?
  • Dree - Three
  • Clave - Cleeve
  • Brimmels - Brambles.
  • Dawbake - Daft. Not all there. "Ees a proper dawbake".
  • Smooth a cat - To stroke it.
  • Frape - Put straight or right. "I'll soon frape that up".
  • Vuzz - Gorse
  • Drupmebit - Threepenny piece
  • Wallidge - "Us ev ad a wallidge of snaw" [snow]
  • Milky Dashel - Thistle
  • Frozie - A treat, usually something to eat. My Granfer always used to pronounce it 'frawzie'.
  • Girt lummox - A fool.

Sue Squire

'I rinned down the path wi the brish...'

Illustration by: Debbie Cook




May I, through the Newsletter, thank everyone who voted for me in the recent election, your belief in me is very much appreciated? I hope to serve you all as well in the coming four years as I have in the past twenty. I should also like to take the opportunity to thank Julia Clarke for all her help and support during the two terms she has served as a District Councillor with me. I shall miss Julia, but I must congratulate

John Lovering on his election and I look forward to working with him for the benefit of our community.

Yvette Gubb

I should like to thank all who had confidence and voted for me with such an excellent result in the recent election, and my thanks also for the votes received for my partner David Barker who gave me such support.

I can assure you I shall do my best to serve you all to the best of my ability. Thank you all most sincerely,

John Lovering

We, the people of Berrynarbor, should also like to thank Julia and the retiring members of our Parish Council, Lorna Bowden, Dave Richards and Clive Richards, for the commitment you have given to our village.

We congratulate Yvette and John on their election as District Councillors, and Andrew Davis as our County Councillor, for the forthcoming term of office.

Our good wishes to the newly elected Councillors on our Parish Council - to Sian Barten, Julia Fairchild, Steve Hill, Denny Reynolds, Adam Stanbury, Linda Thomas and Clare White.



A reminder that the Show this year will be held on Saturday, 29th August. Subjects for the Floral Art, Art and Photography were given in the December issue of the Newsletter and can be viewed on line at the Newsletter website: www.berrynarbor-news.co.uk Schedules will be available for collecting from the Shop from the middle of July.

Please keep the date free and give thought to what YOU can enter - crafts, flowers, fruit, vegetables and, of course, home cooking!


Artwork: Paul Swailes

and Annual General Meeting
Wednesday 3rd June - 7.30pm

This year we are adding to the Manor Hall Annual General Meeting with an Open Forum to which ALL residents of Berrynarbor Parish are welcome to attend to have their say.

The Open Forum is important, as we shall discuss the first design suggestions for upgrading the hall to meet the various functions it currently hosts and those it will need to host in the future. YOUR comments will help us to formulate our application for Big Lottery funding.

We look forward to welcoming you and to hearing your comments and Refreshments will be available.


During the evening we will draw the winning Questionnaire Prize Draw tickets

REMEMBER to bring your ticket along


Thank you to all who took the time to complete the Community Consultation Questionnaire. More than 224 questionnaires were delivered to occupied homes throughout the Parish, with 179 (65%) completed forms returned, providing information from approximately 400 people. This represents a good and slightly above average result for such an exercise, with many respondents also volunteering their help to the Hall project. A summary of the results will be given in the next village newsletter.

A big THANK YOU to all our volunteer helpers who not only delivered the questionnaires, but also took time to revisit each house, sometimes more than once, to collect them.

THE NEXT STEP - Representative group meetings

To add to the information gained from the community consultation questionnaires and the discussion at the Open Forum during the AGM, we shall shortly be organising a series of group discussions where we shall ask participants to consider how best the hall can meet their particular needs.

To ensure a true cross-section of the village community is represented, we plan to get together people from the following categories of residents: retired people, working age adults, older school children and teenagers, and parents with junior school/pre-school age children and toddlers.

Once we have gathered feedback from the questionnaires, the Open Forum, the group meetings and other activities, we'll be in a position to put together our final submission to the Big Lottery for funding. We anticipate this will be later this autumn.

New Hall Charges - Effective from May 2015

Hall charges have been virtually unchanged since 2011, so given inflation and a steady increase in running costs, we have regrettably found it necessary to increase most charges by a small amount from

May 2015. These increases will help our general funds to meet the on-going regular costs - lighting, heating, insurance, general maintenance and cleaning. All professional fees and costs related to the future renovations are, in the main, covered by fundraising, donations and external funding received.

The new charges per session are as follows:


Rate (£)

Regular village users (non-commercial)


Regular user (not for profit), Penn Curzon Room


Regular fee charging commercial user - main hall


Occasional user, not for profit - main hall


Occasional commercial user - main hall


Children's parties or similar


Weddings - village connection


Weddings - no village connection


* the sessional charge for the school will remain at £11 until April 2016

Sessions are: Morning - to 1.00 p.m. Afternoon - 1.00 to 5.00 p.m. Evening - 5.00 p.m. onwards


A TOTAL OF £986 has been donated to our funds from the recent Under Western Skies Art Exhibition by local painter Paul Swailes, organised by Judie, along with the Charity Car and Tractor Wash undertaken by Geoff Adam.

We congratulate and thank them both for their efforts.


Manor Hall Management Committee



I was absolutely delighted with how the exhibition went. It certainly exceeded my expectations in so many ways. The Manor Hall was a fantastic venue and I felt thoroughly supported by everyone who helped both in the run up to the weekend and during the exhibition itself. I had no idea how many people would be likely to attend - I just hoped I should not be on my own! In all well over 100 people came along and enjoyed home-made cakes, tea and coffee whilst viewing my work and that of the Berrynarbor Art Group. Many even went away with raffle prizes! Through their generosity we have been able to support both the Manor Hall and the North Devon Chemo Appeal.

I have always liked painting as a hobby but since retiring last year have been able to spend more time on my pictures. I have often thought about having an exhibition but never taken the idea any further. It always seemed too difficult and time-consuming. Little did I think when my wife came back from an early morning swim at Stowford in late March where she and Judie had discussed the idea, that it would be possible to organise it so quickly! Frankly without the help and support from Judie and the Berrynarbor community it would not have been. All I did was get together my pictures. Others baked cakes, sorted out the Hall, produced and distributed advertising, organised the raffle, served refreshments and manned the doors. So many people coming over the weekend made all the effort of those involved worthwhile.

It was good to see people both from our area and further afield. I spoke to some who had come from as far away as Bideford and Chittlehampton and even Western-Super-Mare! It was so rewarding for me to see all my pictures together and interesting to talk to people about my work. I have always painted because I enjoy it and find it relaxing but it was good to share my thoughts with others and hear what they had to say. It has really encouraged me and just makes me want to paint more and more. It made me feel like an Artist! I am pleased that some of the pictures brought back memories for many of past holidays, walks and our area's seafaring history. Some of the conversations have given me so many great ideas for future pictures.

I should like to thank everyone who came along to the exhibition, all those who gave their time to make it possible, my wife Chris for her patience and all she did and Judie for all her help, support and enthusiasm.

If you have any questions about the exhibition or would like to chat about my work please contact me.

Pictures: Devon Sailing Trawler in Full Sail [acrylic] and The South West Coast path above Watermouth [ink and wash]

Paul Swailes
Tel: 01271 866075
Email: paulrswailes@gmail.com



Meat Raffle: Don't forget every Sunday at 2.00 p.m. the Raffle is drawn at the Dolphin. Tickets are on sale at the Museum and it is really worthwhile to enter!

Combe Martin Strawberry Fayre is on Sunday 14th June from 11.00 a.m. to 3.30 p.m. at Adam's Hay, and the Museum will have a Tombola Stall, Do please come and have a go.

SEASHORE SAFARIS will be held at 1.30 p.m. on Friday 5th and Wednesday 17th June at 12.00 noon. Also on Friday 3rd July at 12.30 p.m., Tuesday 14th at 10.30 a.m. and Monday 20th at 2.00 p.m. In each case mainly for adults. Wednesday 29th July at 10.00 a.m. for all ages.

Children must be accompanied by an adult responsible for them and everyone must wear clothes and footwear suitable for getting wet and clambering over slippery rocks etc. Price £2.00 per person/child. Booking essential as the Safaris are very popular.

COFFEE MORNINGS with free entry to the Museum from 11.00 a.m.to 1.00 p.m. on Tuesdays 9th and 23rd June, as well as 7th and 21st July.

Do come. We have quite a large gathering each time and some tea/coffee and biscuits/cakes. Price £1.00 with a good raffle at £1.00 per ticket.

Eric Mitchell



"An economist should strive to be as useful as a dentist."
John Maynard Keynes

"A manifesto should be a light house and not a shop window."
Winston Churchill




At the April meeting a letter of resignation was received from Lorna Bowden which was regrettably accepted and Councillors wished to thank Lorna for the many years' service she had given to the Parish Council,

Reports were received from the Police, County Councillor Andrea Davis and District Councillors Yvette Gubb and Julia Clarke, and Councillor Linda Thomas.

The placing of the new play equipment was discussed and a site meeting is to be arranged.

5 Planning Applications had been received and approval recommended. Approval by the North Devon Council on 3 applications was noted, as was the application from Hempster Farm.

Requests for donations by Berry in Bloom and the Newsletter were considered and approved.

A meeting of the PC with the members of the Manor Hall Trust to discuss the plans for the Hall was fixed for the 1st June.

Finances were discussed and approval for the Accounts for the Year to end of March 2015 agreed.

There was no Parish Council Election as there were only 7 nominees for the 9 seats. The remaining 2 seats to be filled by co-option.

Parish Councillors at the time of going to print are:

  • Mrs. Sian Barten - Lydford Farm, Watermouth, Berrynarbor, EX34 9SJ
  • Mrs. Julia Fairchild - 1 Wood Park, Sterridge Valley, Berrynarbor, EX34 9TD Tel: 882783
  • Steve Hill - Mill Park Touring Site, Mill Lane, Berrynarbor, EX34 9SH Tel: 882647
  • Mrs. Denny Reynolds - Venture Cottage, Sterridge Valley, Berrynarbor, EX34 9TB Tel: 882724
  • Adam Stanbury - Stapleton Farm, Combe Martin, EX34 0NY Tel: 882252
  • Mrs. Linda Thomas - Long Acre, Barton Lane, Berrynarbor, EX34 9SU Tel: 8833445
  • Clare White - Copper Beech, Sterridge Valley, Berrynarbor, EX34 9TB 882959
  • Parish Clerk:
    • Mrs. Sue Squire - 2 Threeways, Bratton Fleming, Barnstaple, EX31 4TG Tel: 01598 710526
  • County Councillor:
    • Mrs. Andrea Davis - Southwinds Cottage, Kentisbury, Barnstaple, EX31 4NH Tel: 883865
  • District Councillors:
    • Mrs. Yvette Gubb - Holmleigh, Woodlands, Combe Martin, EX34 0AT Tel: 882364
    • John Lovering - Woodland Court, Woodlands, Combe Martin, EX34 0AS Tel: 883613


Artwork: Helen Weedon


The outlook upon a rural landscape is constantly evolving. Sometimes the transformation is instant such as a lightning bolt decimating a tree, a gorge created by a landslip or an explosion that leaves in its wake a deep crater. Other times the alteration may be swift but still noticeable. For example, a snowstorm can be monitored dramatically repainting the countryside brilliant white. So too can a hurricane be witnessed levelling a long established woodland. There are also the modifications mankind makes upon the scene, adjustments that one is able to observe at the end of a day's labour. And then there is the transition of each season, so subtle it goes unnoticed until we compare it against a previous point in time. There is, however, another facet that impacts upon any landscape upon which we look. It relates to events that took place millions of years ago when the type of rock beneath the surface played a key role, along with other factors, in laying out the contours of the surrounding land. Exmoor is a prime example.

The rock beneath most of Exmoor's surface originated from sand and mud deposits around 400 million years ago. Compressed over time into a solid mass, these two materials formed a soft sedimentary rock - ideal for water erosion. And so it was that over the proceeding millions of years Exmoor's characteristic deep valleys evolved with rivers often hidden by their hillsides' thick canopy of trees.

The pathway I had discovered and made reference to in my last article was indicative of Exmoor's evolution. For there were clear signs of powerful erosion; not only was the path some twenty feet beneath the fields on either side but the banks of the river were also extremely steep and, in places, near vertical. Where I left off last time, my path had bade farewell to one stream but was about to greet another. Having stepped back onto the past just beyond The Glue, I passed a couple of gullies that had been excavated to provide drainage from the fields above. These bleeding channels contained delicate trickles of water, everlasting in their silent descent as they formed the embryo of a stream. Within thirty or so strides the stream was born at The Hidden Falls where tumbling fluid was heard but not seen, concealed behind tightly packed foliage on a sheer edge of the natural cutting.

As the refreshing sound faded into the background so the recess narrowed, the area dimmed and dampness filled the air. Fernbank had been reached. The stream, maturing with every step that I took, dawdled peacefully and contentedly as though having all the time in the world to reach whatever watercourse it was destined to meet. Only the whisper of the breeze through the overhanging ash and oak trees and the occasional tap of one leaf upon another amongst the Hart's Tongue Fern could disturb the silence.

As the ferns dispersed so the stream straightened its course to allow an unhampered view of any forthcoming features en route. The next could not have been more simplistic, just two lengths of timber embedded into the earth to allow a dry passageway where the stream chose to swap sides. The Kissing Bridge was unsophisticated yet intimate, a place for lovers to stop and embrace with only their reflections as onlookers. Insignificant in its structure, the bridge acted as a precursor to Hangman Peek; a place where if one walks too quickly, a brief dip in the bank is easily missed and with it a perfect snapshot of the peak of Little Hangman. Never was a hilltop so beautifully framed.

The stream then took a gentle curve before straightening again, all the while gathering in depth, speed and amplification. But at the Hushed Hillside its waters were muted as the stream entered a pipeline buried beneath the earth. Sporadic greenery dotted the incline above, hinting at a landslip in recent years which probably damned up the stream and led to the required pipe work. A little further on the forces of nature were evident again when I reached Lower Ash. Still alive and flourishing, the ash's trunk lay safely in situ, supported by the opposite bank as it bridged both walkway and waterway. With the latter now back in the open air, its disappearance and re-emergence had mirrored an adolescent who leaves the nest to train or study and whose development goes unseen until they return home a young adult. For the stream had reappeared as a force now to be reckoned with.

What a tonic it is to be in the company of a babbling brook; and what better place to rest and appreciate its therapeutic tones than at the Old Farm Gate a little further downstream. Rusting and held together by timeworn lengths of twine, this long disused means of access still had a meaningful role to play as a lean-to for any person seeking the opportunity to let their thoughts carelessly drift like the leaves upon the flowing water. For as the stream had whispered previously, we have all the time in the world.

Illustrations by: Paul Swailes

Stephen McCarthy.



Going Nuts in May

I had read about the old clay pits at Bickington which had provided the raw material for Brannam Pottery. The most recent extractions of clay had been in the 1990's but now some of the disused quarries had filled with water I located Claypit Coverts on the Ordnance Survey map. This showed a patch of woodland dotted with little ponds. Pockets of water among trees suggested a promising location for nature watching. We decided to access the woods from Combrew Lane from where a track leads across a field and then through the length of Claypit Coverts.

We started from the layby, near the entrance to Fremington Pill, beside a neatly organised allotment site. Across the main road is Combrew Lane. May blossom was breaking out on the hawthorn hedges and there were glimpses of small plots with hens and bee hives. A bucolic scene.

We reached the gateway to the track and could see Claypit Coverts up ahead but there was barbed wire and a barking dog, so we decided to enter the woods via Tews Lane instead and continued along Combrew Lane. From a high bank of periwinkles one flower appeared to take flight. It was a holly blue butterfly, a male as it lacked the grey border of the female. The holly blue is on the wing earlier than the common blue and is largely restricted to Southern England and Wales.

We walked into Bickington and soon found the public footpath. A sturdy footbridge took us over a stream where we saw a grey wagtail in his summer plumage of black chin and throat. The route continued through a series of meadows where beside a ditch gnarled trees revealed their twisted roots above the ground. Some had hollow trunks. Orange tip butterflies landed on lady's smocks [or cuckoo flowers] showing the pretty mottled green pattern on their underwings. They favour plants in the crucifer family such as garlic mustard/Jack-by-the-hedge.

Eventually we came to a gate and an area where the lorries must once have loaded the clay. Claypit Coverts was now close by but the gate was swathed in barbed wire which looked as if it had been placed there recently and there was a No Entry sign which we could not ignore. Some handsome sheep near the edge of the wood were staring at us. They were dark brown with black ears and a striking broad white band down the centre of their faces. I wonder what they were. They were quite large.

We admitted defeat and continued to the end of the path [which comes out on the old Bideford Road] before retracing our steps. We had failed in our 'quarry' to visit the quarries but it had been a pleasant walk over the meadows. Combrew Lane alone, forming a loop adjacent to the main Barnstaple to Bideford road, provides an alternative short walk to the popular Fremington Quay opposite.

Illustrated by: Paul Swailes

Sue H






Whilst looking through some of Mum's old paperwork, we came across a letter regarding The Chevrons holding a dance in the Manor Hall, which stirred up some memories for me. The Chevrons were started in the 1960's by Mike Warburton [of Hammonds Farm] and myself, with Lew Baglow and Mike Carless, on drums completing the band.

We used, in those days, to run our own dances - more money to be made! We played at the Railway Inn in 'Combe High Street in conditions that health and safety would not allow today - the floor would literally be bending under the weight of dancing bodies.

The band's highpoint was competing in the final of the Melody Maker National Competition at the Wimbledon Palais. 3 coaches went from Ilfracombe as we were tipped to win, but we actually came 2nd. Pink Floyd was knocked out in round 15 - how the mighty have fallen! Judging the event were Kenny Everett, Graham Nash of The Hollies and Crosby, Still, Nash and Young, and Muriel Young. Also making appearances were, amongst others, Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, John Lee Hooker and Twinkle.


The Chevons: Gary Songhurst, Lew Baglow, Mike Carless and Mike Warburton at Wimbledon Palais


Dear Mrs. Songhurst

Enclosed is the receipt for last Saturday's Dance. Claude Richards made one point about the Dance. Stiletto heels on the girls' shoes marked the floor it appears, so he wondered if the girls could be warned to avoid such shoes. I am only passing on his comment as I haven't seen the floor.

Do hope Saturday's dance is also a success.

Yours sincerely,

Vera M. Cowperthwaite*
Treasurer for the Hall

* Mrs. Cowperthwaite was my primary school head teacher

The bus and driver were to bring people from and return them to Ilfracombe.

Costings of Items for the Dance, other than the Band

Advert [NDJ]50
Mr. Smith [Caretaker]50
Orange Squash50
Pepsi Cola180
Taken on Door1900
Taken for Refreshments2150

It would seem there was a profit for the evening of £14.0.0.

Have you noticed that no alcohol was served at that time? I believe this was because the Hall had a grant from the Carnegie Trust and alcohol was not allowed by the terms of the Trust.

I recall that Lewis Smith called the music 'Devil Music' but I also remember Jan Draper sitting in the Hall with his trilby in his hand, clapping at the end of each number. A large number of adults came along to listen to the music, which was mainly of The Shadows type. In those days we couldn't afford a PA system. How things have changed!

Songbird [Gary Songhurst]

All four Chevrons continue to play, but not together. However, to celebrate their 60th birthdays they did get together after 42 years, and made a CD.

Since the Chevrons, Gary has been entertaining us with music with Renard, Living End, in a duo with Dick Vallance, 18 years with The Parcel of Rogues, the Elderly Brothers, the Knowleberries as well as Tuxedo Function. Thank you for the Music, Gary!

The Chevons: Gary Songhurst, Lew Baglow, Mike Carless and Mike Warburton at Wimbledon Palais



It is with regret that the above has had to finish. There were 13 sessions in all. The first 11 were well attended and we did a mixture of Circle and Line Dances, culminating in 18 different routines being learnt and very well danced by the whole group.

Although the class officially ran from 2.00 to 3.30 p.m., I was always at the Hall from 1.00 p.m. to allow an hour for those who may have been unable to come to a previous session or felt in need of extra help.

There has been an excellent core group of dancers, always turning up on time and being an absolute pleasure to work with. A big thank you to all and well done. Unfortunately the last 2 sessions dwindled from 3 people to none, causing the class to have to end, but it is hoped everyone enjoyed and benefited from our meetings.

In the borrowed words of Strictly, "Keep Dancing"!

Michelle Barbrook-Baker




Handprints on the cupboard
and shoes in the hall.
Toilet seat's up and there's
mud on the wall.
The shelves in the kitchen
are continually bare,
There's toys on the couch
and jeans on the chair.
Wrestling and mud
and cars and noise,
I'm sure you guessed . . .
I'm the mother of boys!



Illustrated by: Debbie Rigler Cook



I came across a mention of John Delbridge in the April 2014 edition [Old Berrynarbor No. 148 - Lower Rowes Farm] of your online magazine while researching my family history, and thought you might be interested in the attached newspaper article from 1919 about my great-great grandmother Lucy Delbridge [John's wife].   The photo reproduction is terrible, [Lucy looks more like a man with a beard than a young 84-year old woman!], but it's a great article.   She sounds like a formidable old lady - and how brilliant to be still 'lustily plying a heavy axe' when you're 84!

Western Times, Friday May 30th, 1919

Devon is noted for its healthy and glorious climate, and for the longevity of its inhabitants, but even in this favoured county the following example of vigorous old age will, we think, be hard to beat. Mrs Lucy Delbridge, of Rectory Cottages, Berrynarbor, near Ilfracombe, who is now in her eighty-fourth year, has again this year planted the whole of her garden, which is about a quarter of an acre, alone and unaided. The work has been done well and thoroughly, and when the "Western Times" representative called on the 24th ult., Mrs Delbridge had early potatoes two inches above ground. The old lady, whose intellect appears as keen and vigorous as her physical powers, is a strong advocate of the open-air life, and has no patience with "nerves" and the other afflictions of modern artificial conditions of life. The writer left her lustily plying a heavy axe in the process of reducing to manageable firewood a log of around nine inches in diameter.

Lucy's parents, John and Mary Hancock, lived at Barton Farm, and she and John, who was born in Lynton, married in 1854.    They lived at Hills Farm, then Commons Farm, though John was the farmer at Rowes Farm.   In 1901 John and Lucy were living at Croft Lee, where, coincidentally, my sister Sally Ornellas lived until a few years ago, but not long after this they moved to Rectory Cottages, where John died in 1908, and Lucy, aged 94, in 1929.   John and Lucy had 13 children, seven of whom predeceased Lucy.   I think most of the Delbridge offspring left the village when they were young adults, though their son William stayed, as did their daughter Eleanora, who married George Hussell Kemp.  I am not sure if there are any of this Delbridge family still in Berrynarbor.

Jackie Weaver - Oxford


Ashwick, Dulverton TA22 9QE

Last year's foals are growing fast now with spring grass and most of them have had the necessary operation to allow them to live a useful life without the risk of uncontrolled breeding. Of course all veterinary attention costs money so any contributions to these expenses would be very gratefully received by the Moorland Mousie Trust. Many of the youngsters are now on grazing land where they can concentrate on eating and growing for the next couple of years.

Our ridden ponies are back in the routine of regular exercise and six of them took part in the Golden Horseshoe Pleasure Ride in May to raise funds for the Centre; you can still sponsor them by texting MMTX22 £5 to 70070. Diamond, a seven-year-old, is being backed at the moment and thoroughly enjoying the process; he is such an enthusiastic pony and wants to meet everyone who visits the Centre.

We are looking for a new volunteer to come in to help with our shop and office work for a few hours on Tuesdays and Fridays each week; this would suit someone living locally who is not able or would prefer not to be involved in the mucking out and other heavier jobs. If this would interest you please email your details to info@exmoorponycentre.org.uk

If you want to learn more about us we will be at Witheridge Fair on Saturday 20th June with one of our ponies. Advance notice that on Saturday 18th July you can also find us at Dulverton Fete with a pony too, all being well.

Our annual Birthday Bash will take place at the Centre on Sunday 26th July from 11:00 a.m. till 3:00 p.m.; this will include activities for children, refreshments for all and most importantly, pony rides for those aged 4 and over.

If you wish to arrange moorland rides or Taster sessions during the school holidays, please book well in advance to guarantee you get a place. Please note that Taster sessions take place under cover, whatever the weather!

If you could help us in any way, whether by mucking out or by holding a fund-raising event, please get in touch on 01398 323093. Finally a FREE offer - if you would like some horse manure for your garden, do come along during our opening hours, 10.00 a.m. till 4.00 p.m. Sunday to Friday, with your own bags and help yourself!

Berrynarbor Gardeners - take note!


Artwork: David Duncan


Friday and Saturday, 19th and 20th June is the annual BEER FESTIVAL at the Sawmill Inn. This popular event takes place on the Friday night and then the Saturday afternoon and evening. There are lots of ales to try, some great live music, stalls and a bouncy castle. During the Saturday afternoon, Mickey and Minnie Mouse - straight from Disneyland - will be calling in to see the children, so do bring them along.

Father's Day follows on the Sunday, 21st, so book early for your Roast Carvery Lunch.

During July and August, the school holidays, Captain Coconut will be returning to The Globe on Monday evenings. The show starts at 7.15 p.m. and is great fun for the kids and there is no charge.

The Globe is open every day from 9.30 a.m. Why not drop in and have a cooked breakfast?




'Wine is life.' - Petronius

Domaine GOURDON is a vineyard owned by Jonathan Coulthard since 2003. An ex-pat, he lives and works in Esclottes, near the beautiful medieval town of Duras in South West France.

We have been fortunate to hear from him on several occasions - he is a knowledgeable and enthusiastic gent. In the past he has presented his own wines, but on another occasion we tested and tasted his competitors' wines, which were also excellent.

April's meeting was a generous sampling of his produce only, which he had called Vertical and Horizontal Tasting! He's remembered, obviously, how most of us react to having more than our usual six tastings! Unusually, for our meetings, all five whites were Sauvignon Blanc but the grape mix was different, the vines were young or old, or their ageing process was diverse and they made interesting and informative comparisons. The 2013, 70% sauvignon and 30% muscadelle suited my palate best; it was fresh and had a gentle acidity.

We moved on to his Rose circa 2014: 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. It was pale, crisp and refreshing. The two reds were a mix of Merlot, Cab Sav and Cabernet Franc grapes, but percentages differed. Twelve bottles were either: £92, £93.50 or £102.00 for whites, rose or red.

May's meeting begins with our AGM, which is brief but essential. Our final presenter is Brett Stephens of Hallgarten Druitt Wines, with Emerging Regions. Their website includes management statements, such as: 'geographical boundaries are no issue' and 'importing wines from family-run producers for over 80 years.' A gastro-pub chain owner, London-based, believes they are the 'best wine merchants I've come across'. It sounds as if we shall all be treated to an international and tasty education!

Judith Adam - Secretary



A supportive band of spectators gathered at Easter Barton on Bank Holiday Monday, 4th May, to watch and sing Happy Birthday to Geoff Adam as he fulfilled his auction promise to wash a tractor in his birthday suit on his 65th birthday. His promise, so far, has raised in excess of £826, boosting the grand total raised by last October's Auction of Promises in aid of the Manor Hall to £3,210.

Geoff sends a big THANK YOU to all those who supported him, both morally and financially.




A smaller-than-usual group met in April to discuss local matters. Berrynarbor's old documents, dating back to the 16th century, are still accessible from the North Devon Records Office as they haven't been given a re-location date by Exeter, as yet.

It is intended to copy all of these for our records before they move; this will enable easier access by villagers.

Our collection of old papers and photographs is growing, but we are a small group of 'hunter-gatherers' and more hands will ease this task! We shall not be meeting in May due to several members taking holidays and our next meeting will be on Wednesday, 10th June at 8.00 p.m. at The Globe. If you are interested, please feel free to arrive!

Judith Adam




When you read this we shall be into the second half of the Summer Term. Over the past weeks the children have been enjoying taking their learning outside.

The younger children have had an expedition to Watermouth Woods as part of their topic on mini-beasts.

On Thursday 30th April, the children in Years 3 and 4 from both West Down and Berrynarbor Schools visited Watermouth Valley campsite and Watermouth Harbour as part of their topic on Pirates and Coasts. The children walked from Berrynarbor School to Watermouth harbour to study the boats and tides:

  • "I enjoyed walking down the road. We had to be careful of the cars." - Ruby
  • "The harbour had lots of boats. We saw the rocks at low tide." - Finley

The group of forty-five children and several adults then went to Watermouth Valley campsite to sketch maps and plot the equipment and facilities on the campsite.

  • "We played on the fun playground, I really liked the climbing ropes." - Amber R
  • "I fed the goats my pear and some apple. They liked the apples best." - Mylie

After lunch the group then went on a brisk walk to Broad Sands beach. The children used local walking maps to navigate their way. They were also looking for a Geocache called Dragon's Nest hidden on the path. They followed co-ordinates from a GPS. It took the group down the 227 steps but to no avail as the treasure was very elusive.

  • "I looked everywhere following the clues but couldn't find anything. Perhaps it had been smuggled." - Xander
  • "We carried lots of washed up wood up the steps to make our driftwood sculptures." - Sam

This was a really informative, fun trip for all, including the adults! Thanks to Watermouth Valley Campsite for accommodating West Berry Federation again!

On 28th April a group of children represented the School at an inter-school swimming gala. They swam brilliantly and managed to get into the finals of the girls' backstroke and the girls' freestyle.

Elderberry pupils have been working hard for their SATs which they sat in May. They are now looking forward to their end of year performance as well as other events over the coming weeks.

Sports Day will be on Friday 3rd July at 1.00 p.m. - 3.00 p.m. in the Sports Field, with Monday 6th and Tuesday 7th in reserve should the weather be inclement on the 3rd. This year we shall be using a PA system for announcements and music.

The School Fete will also be on the 3rd starting at 3.00p.m. and will be in the Manor Hall. It will have a Pirate theme.

Elderberry and Blueberry classes will be going on their annual residential trips later to London and Beam House, Torrington respectively.

In July the whole school will be going to the Landmark Theatre to see a performance by the Essex Dance Company. We always enjoy watching the children from Essex dance.

Sue Carey - Headteacher

Maps of Watermouth Valley

Amber and Dulcie

Amelia and Summer


Artwork: Harry Weedon


This year we found out that the C.P.R.E. [Campaign for the Protection of Rural England] Best Kept Village Competition is not being held, as they are bringing out a new competition next year in a new format. A year off you may think, but no, the team are still dedicated to keeping the village looking tidy. We have regular litter picks and the amount of rubbish collected is amazing.

Out of date posters! A reminder to those displaying posters advertising events being run in the village, please don't forget to go round after the event and remove them.

Sadly we are still finding that lots of people are not picking up after their dogs and it can't all be from holiday makers, I guess you know who you are as not many dogs are seen out loose. Please think of others and help to keep our village beautiful.

A big thank you to the Parish Council for their financial support and appreciation, which mean a lot to all Berry Bloomers!

This is the time of the year when we are busy emptying tubs and planters and planting the summer flowers and it won't be long before the hanging baskets arrive. We have ordered our plants from Jigsaw who are a social enterprise project for people not profit. Their ethos is to help people from all walks of life. Aiming to give them a purpose in life, helping them gain qualifications, to assist in the job market, helping to reduce social isolation, they produce organic vegetables and of course top quality plants and flowers. We are pleased to use their plants.

The first Open Garden Afternoon is on Sunday 14th June with tickets available from the Shop and the Globe in advance and The Lodge on the day. You can enjoy a lovely stroll around the village and a scrumptious cream tea to follow at The Lodge, What could be nicer? Hope to see lots of you there.

Wendy Applegate


Artwork: Angela Bartlett

White Chocolate and Raspberry Tray Bake

Summer is here and this is a very easy and summery recipe to make to go with a cup of tea in the garden.

  • 175g/6oz softened butter
  • 175g/6oz golden caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 3 medium free range eggs
  • 175g/6oz S.R. flour
  • 225g/8oz white chocolate chopped
  • 225g/8oz raspberries
  • Icing sugar for dusting

Heat the oven to 180 Deg C/fan 160 Deg C/ gas mark 4. Grease and line an 11" x 7" tray bake tin.

Blend the butter, sugar, vanilla, eggs and flour in a food processor together until smooth. Or mix together in a large bowl using an electric mixer until smooth.

Stir in the chocolate and raspberries and spoon in to the tin.

Bake for 20/25 minutes until firm to the touch. Cool in the tin for 15 minutes then continue to cool on a wire rack. When cool dust with icing sugar and cut in to 12 pieces.

This is scrummy and easy.

Wendy Applegate




Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Berrynarbor showing Hagginton Hill


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

This particular postcard shows clearly our village and Hagginton Hill. The cows in the foreground are grazing in the field belonging to Ivor Richards of Moules Farm. Part of our School can be seen centre foreground, as well as Bessemer Thatch, our Church of St. Peter, the Manor Hall,Congregational Chapel, Globe Inn and most of the cottages of the centre of the village and all those on Hagginton Hill.


Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage, May 2015
e-mail: tomandinge40@gmail.com




This picture is only 6 ½" by 4 ½" - a little smaller than the portrait of Edith Penn Curzon in the Manor Hall!

Pam's article about Sir Reginald Beatty Wolseley brought to mind our little picture of Capel Cottage with Sir Reginald and Lady Wolseley sitting on the steps outside the front door.


It was sketched in November 1932 - just 8 months before Sir Reginald's death - by a member of staff and was later given by Lady Wolseley to their gardener, Edwin Challacombe.

When Edwin's daughter, Rhoda Challacombe, left the village to live in Ilfracombe, she felt the picture should stay in the village, and so it came in to our hands.

Keith and Margaret

Rhoda is pictured in the photograph of Berrynarbor School in 1922 below.




Classes I and II


Photograph by kind permission of Gerald Walters

From left to right:

  • Back Row: Arthur [Nip] Jones, Gladys Jones, Jim Huxtable, Doris Dummett, William Street, Phyllis Toms, Stanley Jones
  • Second Row: Miss Veale, Evelyn Ley, Doris Dinnacombe, Muriel Richards, Laura Leigh, Alice Irwin, Beatty Huxtable, Lily Leigh, Ivy Dinnacombe.
  • Third Row: Muriel Yeo?, Lucy Gear, Ivy Watkins, Rhoda Challacombe, Olive Street, Annie Seldon, Myrtle Richards, Vera Latham, Gladys Seldon
  • Front Row: Reg Sydenham, Leonard Dummett, Lionel Dummett, Ephraim Street

My aunt, Muriel Richards, went to school at Berry aged 5 and left the school aged 56 when she suffered from a heart condition. She progressed from school girl to pupil teacher under Miss Veale and was recognised as an unqualified teacher in her twenties. She wasn't recognised or paid as a qualified teacher until her forties. Apart from two terms during the war when she went to Instow and Parracombe to relieve the pupil number problem, due to an influx of refugee children, she taught Berrynarbor children to read and write in the infant department.

She had a wealth of local knowledge teaching the children hands on, walking the local lanes and footpaths. She knew every field name and could identify every hedgerow plant. Now I wish I'd paid more attention!




1st Primary School & Ilfracombe Academy return after Half Term
3rd Manor Hall Trust: A.G.M. & Public Meeting, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
9th Mobile Library in Village from 11.40 a.m.
Parish Council Meeting, 7.00 p.m., Manor Hall
14th Berry in Bloom: Village Open Gardens from 2.00 p.m.
24th St. Peter's Church: Gift Day, 9.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.
Friendship Lunch, The Globe, 12.00 noon onwards
28th Beachborough, Kentisbury: Open Garden and Tea for E.L.F.
3rd Primary School: Sports Day, 1.00 p.m.
School Fete, Manor Hall from 3.00 p.m.
6th and 7th Primary School: Reserve Sports Days
7th Mobile Library in Village from 11.40 a.m.
8th Marwood Hill Gardens: Wind in the Willows, 5.30 for 6.00 p.m.
14th Parish Council Meeting, Manor Hall, 7.00 p.m.
16th Ilfracombe Academy: End of Summer Term
23rd Primary School: End of Summer Term
29th Friendship Lunch, The Globe, from 12.00 noon
Marwood Hill Gardens: Hamlet, 5.30 for 6.00 p.m.
4th Mobile Library in Village from 11.40 a.m.
Manor Hall Trust: Berry Revels, Manor Hall, 5.30 p.m.

Manor Hall Diary
MondaysUpholstery, 9.00 to 1.00 p.m.
Craft Group, 1.45 p.m.
Badminton, 7.30 p.m.
TuesdaysN.D. Spinners [2nd & 4th]
3rd: Craft Art Group, 9.30 a.m.
WednesdaysPilates Body Workout, 9.00 a.m. School p.m.
ThursdaysWatercolour Painting 10.00 a.m. [10 week terms]
FridaysToddlers Soft Play and Activity a.m.
Primary School p.m.
Penn Curzon RoomPre-School: Daily - Term time only
Breakfast Club for ages 2-11, Daily 8.00 a.m.
Morning Session: 9.00 a.m. - 12.00 noon
Afternoon Session: 12.00 noon to 3.00 p.m.
Mobile Library
Village Shop: 11.40-12.10 p.m. Sterridge Valley: 12.25-12.55 p.m.

School, Pre-School and Toddler Group - Term Time only