Edition 182 - October 2019

Artwork: Tibbets, Lundy - Peter Rothwell

Artwork: Judie Weedon


With a dry spring and early summer, the autumn colours in the trees seem to be arriving early this year, with the beech looking particularly brown. There is some thought that climate change could be affecting them - hopefully not with our abundance of beech in the area.

Don't forget! The clocks go back on the night/morning of 26th/27th October - an extra hour's sleep!

The summer events have all gone well and in spite of the change of venue due to the weather, the Berry in Bloom Tea was a success. Congratulations to Charlotte and Mickey for their amazing Garden Party and a fantastic amount raised for Over and Above.

Talking of events, Be and Richard will be holding another Soup and Pud Evening, taking place on Saturday, 25th January - make a note to put it in your new diary.

Once again, a warm welcome to all newcomers to the village and farewell to those leaving, we wish you all health and happiness in your new homes. We are also thinking of all those feeling unwell and send our good wishes to get better soon.

In each issue I thank all the regular contributors for their continued support and I do so again for this issue - without you there would not be a newsletter - and I thank newcomer Pam Robinson for already putting pen to paper. But it would be lovely to welcome some more new contributors, how about it? Put pen to paper or e-mail me something for December, Christmas and the New Year.

Yes, Christmas, it's coming! Once again, your messages to friends will be able to be sent via the Newsletter, see page 45 for details. Those messages and all contributions for December would be welcome as soon as possible and by the 6th November at the latest. Thank you.

Judie - Ed


Artwork: Paul Swailes


The weather continues to be in a very changeable pattern again for July and August.

July started off very dry with only four wet days amounting to 7.8mm by the 18th. The 19th produced 23.4mm, but then only 6.2mm up to the 29th.We then had another soaking wet day on the 30th with 23.6mm and the 31st was dry. The total for the month was 61.0mm, which is well below the average.

The top temperature was 31.2°C on the 23rd which is about average; the lowest was on 3rd at 6.9°C, the coldest since my records started in 1994 with a wind chill of 6.1°C on the same day at 0600hrs which is again average.

Wind speeds were about normal with a top speed of 28mph from the SSW on the 19th. In the early part of the month the barometer stayed reasonably high with a top pressure of 1027.6mbars and tended to fall as the month progressed with a low of 998.8mbars on the 30th.Sunshine hours totalled 200.78 which was above average and higher than last year's 191.77.

August began with 2.8mm of rain up to 5th and then we entered a very wet spell which continued until the 21st, by this time it had produced 112.2mm!The 6th was the wettest day at 21.6mm. The total for the month was 128.4mm. and so far for the year 566.6mm.

The top temperature was on the 24th at 28.7°C, a little above average and the highest since 2003 when I recorded 34.5°C. The lowest temperature was 10.8°C on the 1st which is the highest on my records. [This may look like Double Dutch?]

The wind speeds have been quite high during most of the month with a top speed of 40mph on the10th from SSW, which managed to destroy most of my runner beans!This was the highest on my records with the next nearest at 39mph in 2016.All other years were considerably lower. The lowest wind chill was 9.6°C. The arometric pressure was low on many days through the month and on the 9th was only 991.5mbars and a high on the 21st of 1026.6mbars. Sunshine hours totalled 165.26 which was average and higher than last year's 150.82.

I am now praying for a good start in September as I shall be away on holiday visiting the Isles of Scilly.


Illustrated by: Paul Swailes


Artwork: Alvary Scott


Our new Priest in Charge, .Rev. Peter Churcher, is settling in nicely here in Berrynarbor and of course at St. Peter's, Combe Martin and Pip & Jim's in Ilfracombe. It's such a relief that we have someone who is extremely approachable and 'at the helm' at last!

We must not forget, however, the wonderful support we have had over several years from Rev. George Billington and Rev. Bill Cole. The only sad news is that Bill will be retiring in December to be near his family, having served his 3-year contract as House for Duty Priest. We wish him and his wife Jenny a most happy retirement together.

The PCC have received a very comprehensive quotation from a specialist building/conservation company with regard to repairs to our church and we have now received a second quotation from a specialist company, a requirement stipulated by the Diocese of Exeter. We shall be studying all the details relating to costings/time frame etc., at a special meeting of our PCC.

As some of you may have noticed, we experienced a major structural problem with three large commemorative headstones adjacent to the cobble path leading to the Church Porch. These headstones, for several decades, were completely covered with thick ivy and nobody actually realised what was behind until the ivy died, revealing huge headstones dating back to the early 1800's! Anyway, something had to be done to save the headstones from imminent collapse and so we instructed Kevin Brooks to literally rebuild the brick supports and install special clamp brackets to permanently secure the headstones, one of which had a hairline fracture from top to bottom! Kevin has done a really superb job and we are all very grateful to him.

As mentioned in the last edition of the Newsletter, we urgently need a new Treasurer to take over from Margaret Sowerby, who will be stepping down from this role. For anyone who would be willing to take on this responsible position, please contact our PCC Secretary, Alison Sharples on 01271-882782.

Berrynarbor Choir continues under the direction of Graham Lucas, and Choir practice is held on Monday evenings commencing at 7.30 p.m. The Choir were invited to sing at a fund-raising event for Berry in Bloom

in August, to be held at the Old Rectory, but due to the weather we had to adjourn to the Manor Hall and perform a selection of songs, with audience participation in the famous Hippopotamus Song! So successful was the event that we are delighted to have been invited back to sing Christmas songs at a special afternoon tea event to be held in the Manor Hall on Saturday 7th December.

Our Remembrance Service will be held on Sunday 10th November commencing at 10.45am in Church, followed by the Roll Call of Servicemen who gave their lives, and the traditional Silence at 11 o'clock by the War Memorial. We always look forward to a large attendance for this special annual service. We also look forward to Berrynarbor School's input with commemorative drawings, pictures and special poems from the schoolchildren.

We continue to pray for those who are unwell in this Parish, especially Viv and Brian Fryer and Carol Lucas.

Come October, we shall be reverting back to our service pattern as follows:

All Church Services commence at 11.00 a.m. and are as follows:

  • 1st Sunday: Village Service
  • 2nd Sunday: Holy Communion
  • 3rd Sunday: Songs of Praise
  • 4th Sunday: Holy Communion

Stuart Neale



I noted in August's edition, Judie's thanks to her contributors to the Newsletter over the past 30 years. I have read with interest, amusement and at times sadness, most editions during that time. I should like to express my, and I'm sure for many other readers, our sincere thanks to Judie herself for her commitment and work in editing the Newsletter over those years.

Keep up the good work, Judie!

Anne Bailey




10th August 1946 - 4th August 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Nigel Mason


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

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

28th March 1935 - 17th August 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


Dear Friends,

Following a summer of many long, bright, sunny days, the days are definitely shorter, and the nights longer. Autumn is well and truly underway and some of us may not be looking forward to the dark cold winter nights ahead. Fortunately, there are highlights along the way such as Bonfire Night, Christmas Lights, Advent and Christmas. Imagine winter without those events, the winter months would be darker.

One person that turns darkness into light is Jesus, who said, "I am the Light of the World", which is a very strange thing for Jesus to say if you really think about it. What does he mean? It's not so much that Jesus magically changes everything or everybody, but it does mean that he is the beacon of all that is true and all that is right, and by keeping our eyes on him as he lights our way, we will be transformed, as more light fills our lives.

Jesus also said that he came so that "we could have life to the full." A promise of a life knowing that God loves you, a life of joy and contentment, a life of doing all kinds of good things, a life that can cope with the hard times, a life of inner freedom, a life that knows why you were born, a life that answers those difficult questions that have never been answered: a full life!




Flu & You!

If you are eligible and have not yet arranged for your flu vaccination, please come to Combe Coastal Practice. For patients who are at risk, the best action is to have a flu vaccination every year.

We offer this vaccination to the following groups:

  • Patients aged 65 or over or Patients who are aged under 65 with any of the following problems:
  • Asthma or another chronic chest complaint
  • Heart problems
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver Disease
  • Neurological Disease
  • A pregnant woman
  • A carer
  • If you suffer from a serious illness and have a reduced ability to fight infection

We have sent out letters to all patients who are eligible for flu vaccination during August 2019. You may also have received a personalised text message on your mobile promoting the service if you've given us permission to do so, just follow the instructions given in your message.

Please telephone the surgery, numbers are at the bottom of this advert, after 11.00 a.m. [to avoid the busiest times] and ask our team for an appointment at one of our special flu clinic sessions. Clinics will be divided into over 65 year old and under 65 year olds.

In addition we shall be holding flu clinics especially for children, ask our team about these separate clinic dates.

Pre-school children aged 2 to 3 years will be vaccinated at their own surgery. Children aged 4 to 10 years will usually be vaccinated at school.

If you are unable to leave your home for medical reasons, we can arrange for a District Nurse to administer your flu vaccination at home.

We can be contacted by telephone on the following numbers:
01271 863119 or 01271 863840 or 01271 882406 or 01271 870276
Please note this year's flu vaccination clinics will be divided into over 65's
(DOB 31.03.55 and earlier) and for under 65's




Here's to the corkscrew - a useful key to unlock the storehouse of wit,
the treasury of laughter, the front door of fellowship and the
gate of pleasant folly! W.E.P. French

Wine isn't for everybody, but it's the second choice after beer in the UK: 32% versus 35%.Apparently, in 2017, we consumed 20 litres of 'grape juice' per person. I know that foreign travel has done a lot for this industry, so it's appropriate that we shall start our season with a Brit whose home is in Hampshire but who works in France. I know, too, that some of our members have travelled to WBS on their return from elsewhere, but stocking up here is also possible as a day trip!

Chris Bullimore is a Manager with the Wine Beer Supermarket. He has worked for this company for many years. Originally, he was based at Roscoff, Brittainy, but has changed location recently and now heads up WBS in Cherbourg, Normandy.

We have been trying to get him to do a presentation for us for some time: work commitments, ferry travel, a house move and ill health have all accounted for his absence; however, patience is a virtue and we start 2019-20 season with Chris. I hope I'm not tempting fate, but he has said he will be with us for Wednesday 16th October. I suspect his topic will be to introduce us to some of WBS stock items.

For November's gathering we shall be welcoming back Charlie Cotton of Bray Valley Wines, South Molton, on the 20th. Charlie founded BVW and his passion and knowledge are boundless. He will, I'm sure, be tempting us with some of their samples, great for socialising with friends and family during Yuletide. Talking of which, Christmas tipples and sustenance will be enjoyed on December 11th.

Twenty-twenty is associated with vision, but it's next year too! We shall start with our very popular and very funny Call My Wine Bluff on 15th January.

David Rowe is also making a return. He will be with us on the 19th February. David was the Recreational Wine Tutor at Petroc. Those present in January will know that we were treated to a fascinating slide show and tastings from Armenia and Georgia. I'm sure his next presentation will be another winter treat.

Our spring programme is too many months away to mention here, but I hasten to add that our meetings are always Wednesdays, between October and May. The Manor Hall is our venue and we start at 8.00 p.m. It's a great way to meet people other than your neighbours and is a cheap night out. For just a £5 annual joining fee and a £7 per person evening fee, you can enjoy six tastings, biscuits, cheese and free camaraderie!

Judith Adam - Promotional Co-ordinator & Secretary




We have had a very busy start to this Autumn Term.Our new children seem to have settled in well and we hope they are enjoying their learning journey with us.

Our topic of learning this term started with a settling in period, learning about ourselves and our families. We supported in making new friendships and learning about people who help us. We made new Pre-school rules; learnt what we can and can't do as well as how to stay safe.We have read many stories such as Little Blue Tractor, The Gruffalo, The Ginger Bread Man and Going on a Bear Hunt.

Outside, we learnt about the changes in our season; going from summer into autumn. We looked at the leaves changing colour and went on a couple of nature walks exploring our environment. We learnt about animals that hibernate and how farmers look after their animals as well as all the different vehicles they use on their farms from quad bikes to a combine harvester.

Other seasonal activities included making bread, celebrating harvest time and making a fireworks display.

Later in the term, we shall be practicing those seasonal songs in readiness for a short performance on Thursday, 5th December at 2.00 p.m. in the Manor Hall to celebrate Christmas. All are welcome and refreshment will be available. Make a note in your diary!

Christmas Cards Fundraising

We have signed up to School Art Club, a fabulous service, which turns children's artwork into unique Christmas/greetings cards. It's exciting for the children to see their artwork turned into professional greetings cards and great for parents and relatives to be able to send their festive greetings in this unique way. It is a great fundraiser for our Pre-school and it enables us to invest further in the children's education.

Quiz Night

We are holding a Quiz Night on Friday 15th November at Ye Olde Globe. We hope you are able to join us to have a successful fundraising evening. Look out for our posters to book a table.

A letter from the Committee

Berrynarbor Pre-school is a Charity, run by a small Committee team which allows the Pre-school to function legally. The Committee is made up of volunteers, mainly parents of the Pre-school children but we also invite members of the community.

As the new school year has just started, we are looking for new members to join the team and help us ensure Berrynarbor Pre-school can offer its services to the local families that access it.  This does take up a small amount of time, with evening meetings being held approximately every 6 weeks and helping hands needed during our fundraising events.

We really hope that all parents and any members of the community can make the AGM to be held in October even if you don't intend to be a committee member, as it is important to understand how Berrynarbor Pre-school runs. We certainly would love to hear any fun ideas for fundraising or you may have some handy contacts who would be interested in becoming a member.This is a great way to make new friends, gain a new skill and be supportive in the children's education and learning journey.

Our AGM will be held on Tuesday 8th October in the Pre-school at 7.00 p.m., when all parent and carers should attend to ensure the continued provision of the Pre-school and elect a new committee.

Without your input or support Pre-school cannot open or run or provide a service!

Clothes Recycling: We have booked our next Bags2School collection for Thursday, 7th November. Bags2School bags will be available from Pre-school and the Post Office and Community Shop. They take any unwanted clothes, bags, paired shoes, belts, bedding [not duvets or pillows] and soft toys. Unfortunately, they will not take school uniforms.

Filled bags can be brought to Pre-school from Friday 1st November.

Used Ink Cartridges: We are still collecting used ink cartridges [there are exclusions so please see the box at Pre-school]. We can get as much as £1 per ink cartridge. We are also registered to accept LaserJet ink cartridges, so if anyone uses them in their work place, we can recycle them and fundraise at the same time. Last term we raised £14.00

Please tell your friends and family about our two recycling schemes, to help raise funds for the Pre-school. Thank you

From all the staff - Sue, Karen, Lynne and Emma

Call 07932 851052 or email preschoolberrynarbor@gmail.com for any information.


Artwork: Peter Rothwell

CIO 1169090

Once again, we have had a busy time in the hall.During the summer we decorated the Bassett Room and the toilets, thanks again to all the kind volunteers who gave up their free time to help.New rear windows have been installed at the back of the hall, bringing some welcome natural light and a pretty view of the Pre-school garden.Thank you for all the pleasant comments we have received.

Our Summer Fete held on the August Bank Holiday was a lovely sunny afternoon with a very popular bar, the Pimm's went especially well! We welcomed Paddington and Rhubarb, the miniature donkeys, who naturally proved popular with all the visitors old and young. This had been the first fete to raise funds for the hall in a few years and we should like to say a huge thank you to all those who helped to set it up, baked, ran a stall or who generously donated towards prizes or helped in any other way.It was a great afternoon and we were delighted with the total raised of just under £1200.We very much hope to return the fete back to an annual event.

There are two fundraisers planned for November. The first is a Ladies Night. The format will be a fashion show with a collection of clothes, shoes and handbags available to purchase on the night, along with stalls offering skin care products. The date is yet to be confirmed but posters will be up shortly and the entry fee will include a glass of wine or Prosecco and nibbles.

On Saturday 23rd November, Beaford Arts will be presenting a show called 'Little Earthquakes', a comedy based on the '80's film, Ghostbusters.The posters should be out now and the tickets are available from the Post Office.

Looking further ahead, we'll be having our usual Christmas Coffee Morning on Saturday 14th December, fingers crossed the weather will be kinder to us this year!

By the time this Newsletter goes to print we shall have hopefully started a Table Tennis club in the hall.

Please contact either myself or Alison for details, all ages and abilities welcome for a bit of ping pong fun!

Julia [Chair] 882783
Alison [Bookings] 882782

Fun at the Fete!







Berrynarbor Parish Council
Chairman - Adam Stanbury [882252]

Gemma Bacon [883341]

Jenny Beer

Julia Fairchild [882783]

Denny Reynolds

Vice-Chairman - Sian Barten [882222]

Adrian Coppin [882647]

David Kennedy [07791 781283]

Clare White [882959]

Parish Clerk - Victoria Woodhouse - clerk@berrynarborparishcouncil.org.uk

County Councillor - Andrea Davis [883865]
District Councillors - Yvette Gubb [882364], John Lovering [john.lovering@northdevon.gov.uk]

Snow Warden - Clive Richards [883406]

There was no Parish Council Meeting in August.At the September meeting:

  •          The Council heard concerns from a resident on the parking conditions in the Car Park.The Council would be interested in your views on whether the free car parking should be available for a period of 24 hours or 7 days.This will be discussed at the next meeting.Please contact Kate, Acting Parish Clerk [07703 0050496] with your views.
  •          Residents from the Berrydown area spoke following the accident in August. The Council agreed to support the residents in any way they can to ensure something is done about the road at the junction.Councillor Andrea Davis is also campaigning for this.
  •          The Council agreed to maintain the use of the Defibrillator for another 4 years through the South West Ambulance Trust.
  •          Following the resignation of Councillor Clare White, there is a vacancy for a Co-option on the Council.The deadline for applications has passed but all applicants are asked to attend the next meeting.
  •          The next Parish Council Meeting will be held on Tuesday, 8th October, the Manor Hall at 7.00 p.m.Residents of the village are welcome to attend.

Kate Graddock - Acting Parish Clerk [07703 0050496]




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.



We should like to thank everyone who donated and supported our Garden Party on Saturday, 14th September, in aid of Over and Above Cancer and Wellbeing Centre.

Special thanks to Ann, Ava, Linda, Hazel, Rowan and Ciara, for all their help on the day. A big thank you, too, to all who loaned equipment.

To date we have raised £905 - the weather was perfect and we all had a lovely time!

Charlotte and Mickey




This year's Horticultural & Craft Show, held at the Manor Hall, was a great success and thank you to all who entered and attended on the day.

For those of you who asked about the judging, no one on the Committee is allowed to judge.All the judges are from outside the village, unless a judge cannot attend and we have to commandeer someone.No judges are allowed to enter the competition.

For next year's Show, a new Committee is needed, so please put your names forward so this great village event can continue.

This year's results are:

  • The Globe Cup for Floral Art - Sue Neale
  • The Walls Cup for Home Cooking - Karen Narborough
  • The David Cup for Handicrafts - Needlework - Judie Weedon
  • The Watermouth Cup for Handicrafts - Tee Phillips
  • The George Hippisley Cup for Art - Phillipa Ellam
  • The Vi Kingdon Award for Photography - Judie Weedon
  • The Derrick Kingdon Cup for Fruit & Vegetables - Mike & Louise Baddick
  • The Lethaby Cup for Potted Plants - Kath Thorndycroft
  • The Manor Stores Rose Bowl for Cut Flowers - Rose Arnold
  • Grow Your Own Potatoes - Alan Eales
  • The Biggest Sunflower - Jackie Pierpoint
  • The Manor Hall Cup for The Best Horticultural Exhibit - Kath Thorndycroft
  • The Ray Ludlow Award for The Best Non-Horticultural Exhibit - Judie Weedon
  • The Watermouth Castle Cup for the Best Exhibit on Theme of the Show - Karen Narborough

The organising group would like to congratulate all the winners and thank everyone who took part or helped run the event in any way.

Don't forget: Cups are held for one year and should be returned by the 1st August 2020.




As many of you know, I went on an expedition to Cambodia and have recently come back.I should just like to thank everyone who donated any items or supported my fundraising in any way. I really appreciate it as it provided me with an amazing experience as well as the ability to help others.

Throughout my time in Cambodia, we travelled to many different rural areas and helped out in the community.

One way we did this was through building a well for a family who had no supply or access to clean drinking water.

In a different location we stayed at a camp nearby to a school, and during our stay here one of our tasks was to teach the local children English.The children were very appreciative of this and it may have been one of the many highlights of the trip. Another task whilst we were in Cambodia was to construct a chicken coop for a family.

We also visited many temples during the trip, one of which was Angkor Wat.This was an amazing experience and wonderful sight to see.

As well as this we also learnt about the history of Cambodia, which included visiting S21 as well as the Killing fields.This really opened my eyes to see how other people have lived in the past.

All in all my time in Cambodia was amazing.I have made a short video that will allow you to see my trip in more detail if you follow the link https://youtu.be/giWw9-74VaQ

Thank you again to everyone who supported my fundraising, I really appreciate it.

Thank you,

Sam Walls


1. Here we are teaching the local children English. The group that I travelled with consisted of 12 of us from the Ilfracombe Academy and 4 from a school in Leicester.

2. In this photograph we are visiting one of the temples in Beng Mealea. This particular one, founded in the middle of the jungle, has over time become derelict.


3. & 4. This photo shows us constructing concrete rings.These are used to put inside the hole that is dug for a well.This allows the well to be dug deeper without it caving in.



5. & 6. Photos around Camp Ben Pae




Dave Beagley


Solution in Article 23.



This year at school I had to find a work experience placement. I spoke to my parents for ideas and we came up with a few, one of which was Red Bull Racing. Dad used to work with Greg Cooper, who now works at Red Bull - he's in the FF1 league and is also a race report writer here - so we spoke to him. Greg was able to help as it turns out that Red Bull do run a friends and family work experience scheme.

On my first day, I had to sign in with HR and was given a briefing on what was going to happen that week. I also had to sign an NDA so I'm afraid I won't be passing on the news on the latest tweaks that Adrian Newey has come up with! I have always had an interest in cars and engineering but I was given Adrian's book, called "How To Build A Car" - it's a really good read covering his most iconic designs, for Christmas and really enjoyed it. This was one of the reasons we had thought to come to Red Bull in the first place!

Soon, I was dropped off at the composites department. Here they make all of the parts for the car just from rolls of carbon fibre. We were set the task of building a 60% scale model of a helmet from the carbon fibre.

Working with it was very different to how I expected. I imagined sticking individual strips down across the mould and eventually making a large, strong Weave. However, it is more like applying a large sticker as can be seen in the photo [not me!]. It is also very sticky, due to the resin that holds it together, which I had not expected. The best analogy that I have come up for it would be a stretchy fabric, covered in Pritt stick. To get the carbon fibre to lay flat against the mould of the helmet we were given, we used hairdryers to allow it to stretch.

Once we had completed each layer, we sealed it in a bag and put it in a vacuum to really flatten it to the mould. We repeated this three times for each half of the helmet, before moving onto the HANS devices. These were similar but came in three pieces, top, bottom and back. Finally, we bolted the two halves of our helmet together before the pieces were baked in the autoclave that evening.

As I was waiting in reception to be picked up, I was passed by Christian Horner and a small camera crew. They were on their way to have champagne with the rest of the people from the factory as they had won the German Grand Prix the day before. I later found out that the crew were from Netflix, filming the second series of the "Drive To Survive" documentary - it is well worth watching!

On the second day, we moved from the laminating section of composites to the assembly section. We were reunited with our parts and began to remove them from their moulds. I was immediately struck by how light they were! They felt like polystyrene chip boxes to hold but were completely rigid. The first job was to glue the parts of the HANS* device together. Next, we ground, filled and sanded all the parts to make them smooth, with no rough edges or holes. This took what felt like forever, even just on a part the size of a small football. The sanding alone took nearly two hours! It gave me a real respect for the work that goes on in the factories of any company that manufactures carbon fibre parts.

On the first day, I had been told that just to make the outer casing of a gearbox took over two weeks, and I was beginning to see why! Whilst I had been working on my helmet there were actual parts being made right next to me. On the table opposite, somebody was working on a wishbone. To my left, somebody was working on the centre section of a rear wing that had been on Gasly's car that had come back for a check over. To my right were two groups of people huddled over two brand new chassis, working frantically to get it finished as I was told that Gasly had no spare floors left after the German GP weekend, so they were trying to get them finished for Hungary. It was amazing to be so close to all of this!

My assembled helmet and HANS device prior to finishing

My finished 60% steeering wheel wind tunnel model

My finished helmet and HANS device after polishing and applying stickers

I spent days three and four in the model shop. This is where they construct all the models used in the wind tunnel to test new designs. They use a 60% scale for all their tests as I was told 75% is too big and 50% is too small, apparently 60% is just right! To quickly manufacture new parts to try out, they use a special form of 3D printing. From what I could gather, they use a special liquid, then shine a UV light on it. This cures the liquid and forms a white solid which is eventually built up into the finished part. Here is a video I found on the technique: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8a2xNaAkvLo

During the two days that I was there, I created a model of a steering wheel using all of the techniques they use on the real parts. I was given a kit containing all of the parts I needed from the SLA machine. I had to sand, prime and paint all of the parts before assembling them and adding stickers. I was really happy with the end result!

As I finished with some time remaining on the second day, I was able to help sand some of the actual parts that are being tested on the 2020 model in the wind tunnel which was really special. I was working on the section that goes over the air intake behind the drivers head down to the rear wing at the back.

On my final day at Red Bull, I was working in the paint shop, which is a little misleading as I never actually used any paint! Instead, we moved back onto the helmets we had created in composites earlier in the week, sanding them further before polishing, adding stickers and lacquering them.

I had an amazing time at Red Bull and it has really given me a much greater appreciation for the work that goes into manufacturing carbon fibre parts. A big thank you to everyone at Red Bull and especially Greg for getting me the placement!

P.S. I thought I should maybe add something about the race! Unfortunately, I wasn't able to watch it live, but from everything I have seen it looked like a very good GP with Hamilton hunting down Verstappen in the closing laps to take the win.

For the first time, I had a conflict of interests - should I support Hamilton or Red Bull? After my great week, it was a tough decision but, hopefully, RBR will be able to make good progress next season [especially on the bodywork behind the driver's head!] and make the Championship more interesting.

Harry Weedon

* If like me, you are wondering what a HANS device is, it stands for head and neck support!
* FF1 [Fantasy Formula 1]:
Pit your skills against F1 fans from around the world. Become team principal, devise your strategy and manage your team throughout the season.




I often think that we are very lucky to live in the beautiful village of Berrynarbor. It has all that we could want, except good public transport. We have a shop and post office, a school, a church, a pub, if not two, the Manor Hall with all its societies, the wine circle, art and hobby groups, and this excellent Newsletter. I often ask myself, "How did we find such a delightful village?"It was pure luck.

Pam and I were living and working in Coventry. Pam had inherited a flat in Leamington Spa and we thought that it would be a good idea to sell it and buy a country cottage where we could escape at some weekends. But where? We wanted to be near the sea, and in an area where there was good country walking. If we wanted to go there on a Friday afternoon, it should not be too far from Coventry.

The Wash was the nearest coast, but not attractive. Wales? At that time there was a lot of prejudice against English second home owners. How about the North Devon coast? So, one weekend in 1973 we set out on an exploration.

We parked our car at Porlock Weir and set off along the coast path. In about 2 miles we passed through the Fairytale Tunnels and reached Culbone.Here, there are only a couple of houses with no road access and the smallest parish church in England. It is only 35 feet long and has seating for only 30. A long time ago, there were lepers in the area, and there is a leper window in the wall of the church, so that they could watch the service without coming into contact with the congregation.

From there we walked another 4 or so miles to Yenworthy Farm where we were able to get bed and breakfast. We were very lucky, the farmer drove us down into Lynmouth to get his pint and we had a meal before he brought us back!

The next day took us past County Gate. On the path round that I noticed that my boot lace was undone. As I bent forward to do it up my heavy rucksack slid up my back to round my neck and I pitched forward head first into a gorse bush! Pam of course laughed like a drain. Even now, if we drive past County Gate she reminds me of when I ended 'base over apex' in a bush of thorns!

After a lunch at the Blue Ball we arrived at the tourist information office in Lynton at about 4 o'clock, well tired, only to be told that there was not an empty bed in Lynton or Lynmouth!The nearest was in the Vicarage Hotel at Martinhoe, some 4 miles distant. There was no choice but to walk on through the Valley of the Rocks, past Lee Abbey and Woody Bay. We arrived at the hotel in our dirty boots and walking gear, just in time to join the elegant other residents with a dry sherry before dinner. Our room overlooked the graveyard which was full of hooting owls.It is a good job we were not superstitious!

From there we returned to Woody Bay to rejoin the coast path and on via the Hunter Valley and Great Hangman before dropping down, via the silver mine, to the top end of Combe Martin High Street. It was now late on a drizzly afternoon and everyone in Combe Martin had lit their coal fire. We got to the harbour, choking in smoke, and to our astonishment found a bus that would take us back to Lynmouth. We walked back up Countisbury Hill to the Blue Ball, swearing that we would never go back to Combe Martin again!

The Blue Ball was a lot smaller that it is now. There was a landlord, call him Bill, who was helped by a university student, and we the only guests. At the time there was a very popular TV show called The Onedin Line which was about a couple of sailing schooners and their adventures in about 1850. One of these was sailing up the Bristol Channel the next day and Bill wanted to get a job as a chef aboard, so he was going to Bristol and kindly gave us a lift back to our car at Porlock Weir. Sometime later we were back at the Blue Ball and asked about kindly Bill. "Didn't you know? He is inside in Exeter, doing 4 years for GBH!

A few months later we went back to Combe Martin and consulted house agents called, would you believe, Brighton Gay. They had only one place to offer us and that was in Berrynarbor. "Where?" "It is near Combe Martin."

Oh dear! Still it was wet, and we had nothing else to do, so we came to look at 30 Pitt Hill, now Duckypool Cottage. We were shown round and, of course, Pam fell for it - just what we wanted. However, there was a snag! At that time there was a scare about 'concrete cancer' that was affecting blocks of flats like the one where our flat was and we had not been able to sell it, so we could not bid.

It took us about six months to sort that our and achieve a sale, so we phoned Brighton Gay, to be told that 30 Pitt Hill was no longer on the market. They offered us two or three other properties in places like Alverdiscot and Newton Tracey. We spent a Saturday morning looking, but nothing suited, so Pam said, "I'm going back to 30 Pitt Hill to see what happened."She knocked on the door and the owner confessed that he had withdrawn it to escape agent's fees.He had sold it privately a few weeks earlier to a woman from Sutton Coldfield who was coming down that Tuesday to measure for carpets and curtains. Pam gave him a card saying, "If anything goes wrong, give me a call." She came out to the car and banged her fist on the roof saying, "How dare that bl---y woman from Sutton Coldfield buy my cottage!"

The 'phone went on that Wednesday morning. It was from Pitt Hill. The woman had re-read the specification of the cottage and found that there was a septic tank in the garden. Coming from Sutton Coldfield, she could not have that, and the sale was off. We knew that mains drainage had been installed three years earlier and the tank was dead, so we made our bid, and it was accepted.

That is how we came to Berrynarbor - pure luck!

AP of DC



A sermon on the dangers of being avaricious was given in Exeter Cathedral in August. The Bishop told the story about a man who found a bottle on Newquay beach. When he pulled the cork out and opened the bottle, a genie flew out and said,

    "Thank you for releasing me! I am so grateful that I am granting you three wishes."
    "Wonderful!" said the man. "My first wish is for a Swiss bank account with a billion dollars".
    "Your wish is my command", said the genie and - shazam! - he got his bank account in Switzerland.
    "My second is for a new, bright red Maserati." And - ping! - the beautiful Maserati appeared in front of him.

For his last wish the man asked that he would be completely irresistible to all the woman in the world.

    "Are you sure?", replied the genie.
    "Oh, yes please!" said the man excitedly.
The genie then turned him into a big box of Swiss chocolates!



Artwork: Angela Bartlett


"Look for the bare necessities,
The simple bare necessities,
Forget about your worries and your strife,
I mean the bare necessities,
Old Mother Nature's recipes,
That brings the bare necessities of life."


This well-known song, written by Terry Gilykson, and sung by Baloo, the bear, and Mowgli, comes from the 1967 Disney animated adaptation of the Jungle Book, written by Rudyard Kipling and first published in 1894. The human child, Mowgli, is raised by a wolf pack in the jungles of India.As he learns the often-harsh rules of the jungle under the tutelage of a bear, Baloo, and a panther named Bagheera, he becomes accepted by the animals of the jungle as one of their own.

[Joseph] Rudyard Kipling was an English writer of novels, poems and short stories, mostly set in India and Burma, notably his books for children - the Jungle Book, Just So Stories and Kim, the story of a young Irish boy in India.He was born in Bombay [Mumbai] on the 30th December 1865.His parents, John Kipling and Alice MacDonald, who had met in 1863 spent time at Rudyard Lake in Staffordshire, were so taken by its beauty that they named their first child after it.

Kipling left India at the age of five when he and his three-year old sister, Alice known as Trix, were sent to Southsea, England, to live for 6 years with a couple who boarded children of British Nationals living abroad. Kipling recalled this time with revulsion, suffering from cruelty and neglect, although Trix fared better.In the spring of 1877, their mother returned from India and removed them.

In January 1878, Kipling was enrolled at The United Services College at Westward Ho!, a school founded to prepare boys for the Army, which proved tough for him.Apparently, not having the academic ability to obtain a scholarship to Oxford University and as his parents did not have the finance to fund him, his father arranged for a job for him in Lahore.So, in September 1882, he returned to India.

From 1883 to 1889 he worked for local newspapers, the Civil and Military Gazette in Lahore and The Pioneer in Allahabad.During this time his writing continued at a frantic pace, but following a dispute he was dismissed from The Pioneer and with the money he had accrued from his writing, he decided to return to London.

In March 1899 he left India, travelling first to Rangoon, Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan before starting travels in America where he met with Mark Twain and then crossing the Atlantic arriving in Liverpool in October.Finding lodgings in London, he made his literary debut there to great acclaim.

In the next couple of years he published a novel, had a nervous breakdown and met an American writer and publishing agent, Wolcott Balestier with whom he collaborated and with whose sister Caroline, Carrie, he had an intermittent romance.In 1891, on doctor's advice, he took a sea voyage to South Africa, Australia and New Zealand and again India, but cut the visit there short due to the sudden death from typhoid of Balestier. However, before returning to London he had proposed and been accepted by Carrie via a telegram.

On the 18th January 1892 when Carrie was 29 and Kipling 26, they married at All Souls Church, Langham Place, with Henry James giving the bride away.

Following their honeymoon in the United States and Japan, where they learnt that their bank had failed, they returned to America and Vermont where in a small cottage, they called Bliss Cottage, their first child, Josephine, was born in 3 feet of snow on the 29th December.It was at Bliss Cottage that the idea of the Jungle Book first came to Kipling.

They loved life in Vermont and in 1896 their second daughter, Elsie, was born. Sadly in 1899, both Josephine and Kipling suffered from pneumonia from which Josephine died when she was only six.

The couple might well have lived out their lives in America except that global politics and family discord saw them returning to England and in 1896 they were in Torquay.In August 1897 they welcomed their only son John.

By this time Kipling was famous, his writings prolific and they were financially secure.They moved from Torquay to Rottingdean in East Sussex and in 1902, Kipling bough Bateman's, a house built in 1634, located in Burwash, his home until his death in 1936.

John was killed in action at the Battle of Loos in September 1915, aged 18.He had initially wanted to join the Royal Navy but his enlistment was rejected twice due to poor eyesight.Kipling used his influence and John was accepted into the Irish Guards.Kipling was devastated by John's death and felt responsible.After the War, he became very active on the War Graves Commission and by his perpetual endowment, The Last Post is sounded every evening at the Menin Gate.

Kipling's later work does not make popular reading although some of his best writing was produced then.After the War he became increasingly isolated and anti-democratic, even opposing Women's Suffrage.In 1895 he had refused the role of Poet Laureate but in 1907 he did accept the Nobel Prize for Literature - the first English author to be so honoured.

Kipling died on the 18th January 1936 and was buried in Westminster Abbey.

Bateman's at Burwash, East Sussex, is now the property of the National Trust, open daily all the year, 11.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. March to October, 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. October to March.The house reflects Kipling's association with India and the East and most of the rooms, including his library, are much as he left them.

Debbie Rigler-Cook

Judie Weedon



An afternoon with John Ridd, Lorna, Tom Faggus, Jeremy Stickles & All

The hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the publication of 'Lorna Doone' was celebrated in August with a dramatisation at the Valley of the Rocks by the Pleasure Dome Theatre Company. This dramatic setting with the natural sounds of the sea and birds in the background was ideal. It was an appropriate location as well because it was in the Valley of the Rocks that John Ridd came to seek the advice of wise woman Mother Meldrum, when he witnessed a fight between a sheep and a wild goat on Castle Rock.

Illustrated by: Paul Swailes

Although R.D. Blackmore published Lorna Doone in 1869, the story is set in the latter part of the seventeenth century, a time of political and religious upheaval with the restoration of the monarchy, the Monmouth Rebellion and the notorious Judge Jeffreys.

I did not get around to reading Lorna Doone until last year. I had been daunted by the 640 pages of close type.But I found it much more than the romance between Lorna and John.I enjoyed the historical detail and had not expected the radical views expressed, presumably reflecting Blackmore's own.He had little time for lawyers, the clergy or those in authority, regarding them as unscrupulous and corrupt! It is a pleasure, too, for those of us living in North Devon to read his descriptions of places familiar to us on and around Exmoor.

For example, visiting Tiverton it is still possible to enter the courtyard of the original Blundell's School, beside the bridge over the River Lowman, where in 1673 the twelve-year old John Ridd was a pupil when given the news that his father, travelling home from Porlock, had been murdered by the Doones.

At Dulverton we can image John Ridd's great uncle Reuben Huckaback, the 'richest man in town', who had the 'very best shop' there. The first time I walked in the Doone Valley I was a teenager, staying at Barbrook on a hiking holiday.In those days there was a charge to enter the valley.At Malmsmead an elderly farmer stood at the gate collecting the money.

The first part of the walk is through meadows; the buildings of Cloud Farm within sight, is gentle and benign; the route along the river and through oak woods is beautiful but then the atmosphere changes.It's wilder, lonelier, rather sinister, but in an exciting way, as you reach the remote territory of the ruthless Carver Doone and his clan. From Malmsmead it's a short stroll along the lane to Oare Church, scene of Lorna Doon's and John Ridd's wedding.

The National Park has produced a new publication, 'The Lorne Doone Trail', helping walkers to tread in the footsteps of the characters.

Sue H


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


We'll meet again - so sang Vera Lynn during World War II, the six and a half years of my life spent in North Devon, Berrynarbor to be precise.

In that time, I went to Ilfracombe Grammar School and it was there that I met Don Blake.We became great pals and spent a lot of time together.Some of this time was a bit naughty as we did a little bit of scrumping, and things like that!

However, when the war was over, all the evacuees went their own ways back home. Don returned to Wanstead and I to Upminster.I lost touch with him, but not for long.

I had joined a tennis club and one day I was talking to another member about my years in Devon.

    "That's funny," he said, "We have a chap in our office who is always talking about Devon."
    "What's his name?"
    "Don Blake," he replied. And from that day we continued our friendship.

In 1954, Betty and I married and went to live at Gidea Park. One day, when I had to attend the doctor for some minor complaint, I saw a gentleman whom I recognised. It was Mr. Nicholls, who was my English master at Ilfracombe Grammar School. Soon he was chatting to me about old times in a rather loud voice.

    "Would you mind being quiet," the receptionist called. "Your turn now," I thought!

My last tale is of Pamela or Beryl Horrell, who had moved back after the war to, I believe, Hammersmith.

One day, Betty and I were near a caravan site at Point Clear in Essex. There was a woman watching her two boys playing on swings. "I know her," I thought, and sure enough it was Beryl. By now she had married and had a family. Betty and I invited them all to lunch and we spent a very pleasant time talking over old times.

Tony Beauclerk - Stowmarket




1. Recorder, 5. Fair, 9. Floodlighting, 10. Free, 11. Misdeed, 13. Repast, 15. Credit, 18. Abraham, 20. Alan, 23. Extemporising, 24. Tend, 25. Staggers.


1. Ruff, 2. Choir, 3. Redress, 4. Enigma, 6. Aniseed, 7. Rigidity, 8. Thus, 12. Ornament, 14. Puritan, 16. Reading, 17. Import, 19. Home, 21. Alike, 22. Ages.



[1839 - JULY 26 1923]

To whose memory the family donated South Lodge, now Susan Day Residential Home

When walking along Wilder Road in Ilfracombe, I used to wonder how the Susan Day Residential Home got its name. Who was Susan Day?

Then in our February 2017 newsletter, Mary Clements, Chairman of the Trustees of the Home, wrote an article about it, opening with its first name, South Lodge. If you remember the article, it said that this was the family home for 50 years of the Day Family. In 1947 it was given to the Ilfracombe Old People's Welfare Committee [founded in 1945 to promote the welfare of the town's old people] by Mr. Thomas Fairchild Day, J.P., in memory of his mother - yes, Susan Day - 'whose dearest interest was the care and comfort of old people in Ilfracombe'.

So, with the help of Ilfracombe Museum and Mary Clements, I was on my way.

Susan was born in 1839, daughter of Susan and Captain Moses Cole, an Ilfracombe draper. There is little known of her childhood, but she married Samuel Day in the Congregational Church [now The Lantern] in the High Street on March 23rd 1870 .

Over the next 13 years, they produced 4 sons and 2 daughters, the last being Thomas, born in 1883, who became the donor of the family home.

If you look hard at the Home, you can still pick out the original South Lodge [even to the triangular oriel windows on the first and second floors] although over the years there have been massive extensions. According to a lithograph of 1840, scaffolding of the building is shown. The design was of a villa, not a country cottage, with attics and basements, fairly modest but showing that the new owner wanted servants. The site he chose stood on its own, well away from the only other properties: the Tunnel's Bath House [1836] and Runnymede House [c. 1840]. At that time, most of the development of Ilfracombe was on the south side of Wilder Brooks, so this was a rural setting in meadows on the north - and seaward - side of the town.

Susan's husband, Samuel Day was a prominent businessman in Ilfracombe and chairman of the old Local Board which covered all aspect s of local health and welfare before it gave place under the Local Government Act of 1894, to the Urban District Council. He was largely responsible for the Hospital Saturday Fund starting in Ilfracombe. This was a charity founded in 1873 when there was little co-ordination of health services. Existing hospitals were voluntary [except for workhouse infirmaries] and had poor facilities to deal with current problems of lack of nutrition, over-crowding, poverty and general ill health. An appeal was made for all employed people to pay a regular weekly amount to help the cost of hospital maintenance. Its name came from the fact that in those days, pay-day was on Saturday. Samuel Day became Chairman until his death on 6th February 1900. Family tradition carried on when his son William succeeded him. The Fund is still going today and offers a health plan complementing the NHS.

Although Susan Day was not active in public life in her latter years, she took a lot of interest in her husband's work. She had joined the Congregational Church at the age of 18 and throughout her life was very interested in religious, social and philanthropic work. She was in constant touch with North Devon's Congregational Churches, and was much in demand for opening bazaars and other social functions.

South Lodge was always a centre of hospitality for the church and many Congregational ministers were made welcome there. Twice she entertained General Booth of the Salvation Army, who thought a lot of her and had a photograph in his bedroom of himself coming out of the door of South Lodge. When he died, his relatives sent Susan the red army cuff that he had worn during his last illness.

Susan Day died on July 26th 1923 . It seems strange that a family so involved with the Congregational Church should be buried in Trinity Church graveyard, but as you see from the photo I took, it is the resting place of her and Samuel, and their two daughters: 10-year-old Mary in 1882 and Isabella [53] in 1932.

In October 2004, a family with ties going back more than 7 generations returned to Ilfracombe for a special memorial.Chris Flannery and his sons visited South Lodge, now Susan Day Residential Home. His great

grandmother, Kathleen Flannery was Susan Day's grand-daughter. She wanted her ashes put in South Lodge gardens where she had spent many happy hours as a child. This was done and a tree planted in her memory, no doubt adding to the already pretty - and flat - gardens.

Susan Day's portrait hangs in the hall of the Home, together with that of her son, Thomas Fairchild Day. And so her memory lives on.



The number of residents has expanded from originally 4-6 to today's 33, all boasting en-suite rooms. Initially the idea was 'of a thanksgiving Home where peace, quiet and dignity could be enjoyed as the reward of a long life and patient toil'. On their website, is added 'These days our residents still enjoy the tranquillity the Home offers but they also expect other forms of recreation and entertainment which we are pleased to arrange.' Long may it last!

PP of DC



So we have really done it, we have started our new adventure in North Devon.
The boxes are unpacked, the dream cottage is ours, we feel we own a little bit of heaven.
Berrynarbor is our new home.
A village so warm and welcoming, you need never feel alone.
Everybody has been so friendly, greeting us with great support
It's a kind and caring community, as we had initially thought.
From our very first visit, admiring the flowers in the tub
Meeting friendly locals, drinking in the pub.
We knew this was a special place, a village we'd like to be
Now we are living the dream, we have our very own key!
We feel quite at home only a few weeks in.
Indeed, it seems like a wonderful lottery win.
our cottage is a white one, along Sterridge Valley.
By the little bridge where walkers stop and dally.
It's quiet and calm with a stream outside our door.
I really don't think we could want for anything more.
I have realised happiness isn't just something that we feel.
I can see it, I can touch it: it's totally real.
I confess to feeling a little nervous starting life anew
I need not have worried, if I only knew
people would welcome us right from the start
Would help us feel so comfortable, would warm my heart.
What a wonderful impression you villagers have created.
Simple smiles and 'hellos' can never be overrated.
A community so friendly, honest and true
Special for all the little things you say and do.
So this poem is my way of saying thank you to each and every one
I am looking forward to getting to know your more, in the weeks and months to come.

Pam [and Nigel] Robinson


Illustrated by: Paul Swailes



Artwork: Helen Weedon


On a hot morning in March 1982, a middle-aged man wandered into St George's Park cricket ground in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. With time on his hands before the start of play, he decided to pay a visit to the ground's Secretary in order to introduce himself. An official duly led him to an office where a large, affable man extended a huge right hand.

"Welcome," he said. "I'm Tom Dean." The visitor stood visibly shocked and unable to speak, realising he had just shaken the hand of the Hampshire bowler who in 1948 had sent the bails of his wicket flying in all directions. Out without scoring, having faced only four deliveries from Dean, the match would prove to be the visitor's last chance of proving his capability of playing at county level and with it his ambition of playing for England. Worse still, he would no longer be able to fulfil his dream of walking into a Test Match arena after the fall of the first wicket to bat alongside his idol, Dennis Compton. Instead, he did the next best thing and aspired to make a career out of writing about the sport he loved. Which is just what Ian Wooldridge duly achieved, eventually becoming the Daily Mail's main sports columnist for many years.

When Wooldridge relayed to Dean the story of how that fourth delivery had subsequently changed the path of his life, the now portly secretary replied, "For the better, I hope."

Wooldridge considers Dean's reply in the last chapter of his book, Travelling Reserve. Having reflected upon this he concludes, without any doubt, that he is indebted to the off stump that Dean flattened on Southampton's County Ground in 1948; and it is not just the thrilling cricket matches and other sporting events that he mentions. He also makes reference to the beautiful scenery he encountered whilst globetrotting the world on cricket tours.

Another great example of how life is all about making the best of your circumstances can be found when one considers the events that shaped the life of another cricket writer and more widely known commentator, Henry Blofeld. Born in 1939, he had an exceptional career as a schoolboy cricketer. Appointed captain of the Eton XI in his final year, a prosperous cricket career beckoned, until, that was, he was hit by a bus whilst riding a bicycle which left him unconscious for 28 days. Although he went on to play first class cricket for Cambridge University, plus a solitary game for Norfolk in the Minor Counties League, the accident affected his playing ability, and in so doing, shattered any chances of playing for a team in the County Championship, let alone for his country.

So, after a spell in banking which was not to his liking, he drifted into journalism and a career that would lead to him becoming a composite member of the Test Match Special [TMS] team from 1972 until his retirement in 2017. "Blowers's" exit from the TMS box heralded the last of his breed; commentators who, despite lacking experience at cricket's highest level, had that journalistic gift to paint a picture so that the radio listener felt they were actually at the ground. One can argue perhaps that as the 21st century has progressed, fewer TMS listeners want to know when the first pigeon of the day has flown past the commentary box, whether the Pennines are covered in mist and at what time a red London bus passes through St John's Wood. Blowers also used to provide a running commentary on buses running alongside the Trent Bridge ground, something that led to Nottingham City Council naming a brand new Bio-Gas powered double-decker after him. The Council presented it to Blowers on the morning of his final Test commentary at the ground.

Today, the TMS commentary team are all ex-players, each one giving their expert opinion and analyses which, along with its more eccentric commentators, I still enjoy. But I do miss the wider, artistic portrayal of events occurring on the periphery, especially as I do not have television; and it is here that I draw an analogy between Ian Wooldridge, Henry Blofeld and myself; for it is ten years since the publication of my book, A Doorstep Discovery, Twelve Months on the Cairn in Ilfracombe.

The book's inception came from a procession of preceding events. Having moved to the Sterridge Valley on a temporary basis, my partner and I found a permanent home in Score Valley on the western fringe of Ilfracombe. With a hillside woodland on our doorstep, the Cairn became a regular venue for walking our two black Labradors; and with so many paths to choose from, no two walks were ever the same. As the seasons passed, so we came to meet and know many other canine owners who frequented the Cairn. In time, conversations steered towards the setting up of a conservation group. We were asked if we would be interested in joining. I considered the notion before a voice, rising up from my deep and distant London background proclaimed, "Me, a conservationist? You're 'aving a larf!" - and with that we both duly signed up, albeit to make up the numbers in the hope of enabling the new group to source much needed funds. In any case, I reasoned, I have a condition that prevents me from carrying out physical exertion, namely epilepsy; letting my body overheat whilst undertaking conservation work would be a recipe for a seizure.


Illustrated by: Paul Swailes

The problem with me, however, is that I have never been one to sit on the sidelines. I also felt a fraud, knowing full well I was by now writing about the countryside in a certain bi-monthly newsletter! But more significantly, I felt as though I had let my epilepsy get the upper hand - something I rarely allow. But in what way could I be of use? My answer came literally in the post courtesy, ironically, of the Cairn Conservation Carers' [CCC] quarterly Work Party Activity Diary. Usually listing just the dates for planned conservation work, it also included a day for on-site training in how to survey flora and fauna. I perused the idea and considered that this just might be a task I could undertake without necessarily breaking into a sweat. Before I knew it, I was on the CCC's committee and had my own allocated area over which I was to record my observations on a monthly basis. From this a deeper fascination of nature developed and with it a desire to learn more about the trees, wildflowers and wildlife on my patch. All the while I was speaking to increasing numbers of people who walked the woodland, open grassland and vantage points whilst listening to their tales about the Cairn's history.

By now I had taken a career break to recuperate from the tragic deaths of my parents, only days apart. With their departure from this earth, ahead of their allotted three-score-years-and-ten, I felt sure I heard their voices in the leaves as they were lifted from the branches by autumnal breezes saying, "There is no time like the present, live for today." As autumn faded into winter, I recalled how as a child I would only ever ask Santa Claus to leave on Christmas morning enough writing pads and pens to last until his next visit, for I loved to write stories. In adulthood I fostered the dream that, perhaps one day, I would have a book published. So, just like Ian Wooldridge and Henry Blofeld, I decided that as I could not physically get involved in the CCC's practical conservation work, I would do the next best thing. I would write about it.

So it was that between the summer of 2006 and that of the following year, I wrote all about what I saw and heard upon the Cairn, adding history and folklore to the host of wildlife information. It was a challenging yet enjoyable twelve months, being at the disposal of nature and only able to write about the flora and fauna I happened to come across. Two years in its collation of information, writing and eventual publication following this, the book was launched in 2009 at Ilfracombe Museum. One of the proudest days of my life.

Yet there was to be an unexpected reward. The launch was attended by two dear friends, John and George. A week or so after the event, I received a telephone call from John. A Yorkshire man through and through, I was certain, as one might expect, to always get a direct and honest opinion on any matter he discussed. He began the conversation by stating, "I've read your book from cover to cover."

"And?" I wondered to myself, dreading his assessment.

"Now as you are fully aware, I am an amputee confined to a wheelchair. So I will never manage to get on that Cairn by you." I could tell by the tone in his voice he was intent on coming straight to the point.

"But Steve," he continued, " I feel like I have taken every step with you. I now know that Cairn as well as you and everyone else who has walked its many paths."

His opinion gave me such a deep sense of satisfaction. For no matter what enjoyment the book may have given to all its other readers, to know I provided so much pleasure to a man who could no longer walk and, more significantly, had managed to successfully paint a picture of the Cairn for him, made every painstaking hour of effort to get the book published worthwhile.

John sadly passed away this year at the age of 83 and is now reunited with his partner of 59 years - George, who died three years ago at the age of 90. I should like to dedicate this article to them both.

Steve McCarthy


Artwork: Harry Weedon


It's September and the bedding in the tubs and the hanging baskets is looking very tired as the weather has been either baking hot or wet and chilly. It will soon be time to replace everything with spring bulbs and bedding. However, everything looked wonderful when the South West in Bloom judges came on 22nd July 22. The whole team had worked so hard and I am sure that the judges were impressed, especially with the wonderful community spirit in the village. However, we are still waiting for the results that will be announced at the presentation in Newquay on 11th October. Many thanks to everyone who supported us.

The community spirit was certainly on display when we held our fund raising Tea on the Lawn afternoon on Sunday 11th August.Claire and Jamie Singer had kindly offered to hold it at the Old Rectory but the run up to the 11th was wet and stormy and at the last moment we had to switch venues to the Manor Hall. We were all disappointed not to be at the Old Rectory but we still had a wonderful afternoon. The village choir sang beautifully, well done and our thanks to Graham, Stuart and all the choir members. Also, thanks to all the bakers who donated cakes and those who helped in whatever way and a special mention for Saleh who made a great waiter. We made almost £600.00. Wow!

As the afternoon was such a success and feedback from villagers was positive, we are going to have a Berry in Bloom Christmas Tea with the Choir singing Christmas themed songs on Saturday 7th December in the Manor Hall from 2.00 p.m. onwards. I do hope you will come and support us.

Wendy Applegate


Artwork: Angela Bartlett

Apple Crumble and Custard Cake

September and October means lots of apples and this is a good recipe to use some of them in a delicious way.

For the cake

  • 290mls/ of a light oil such as sunflower
  • 300g/ light muscovado sugar
  • 285g self-raising flour
  • 2tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp ground cinnamon and
  • 1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • 5 free range eggs
  • 350g grated Bramley apples, cored but grated with the skin on (approximately 2 large apples)

For the crumble topping

  • 60g plain flour
  • 15g ground almonds
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 50g cold salted butter

For the Icing
  • 200g soft salted butter
    400g icing sugar
  • 40g custard powder
    35mls milk

Grease and line 2 x 20cm sandwich tins. Set the oven to 180/160 fan gas mark 4.Mix all the cake ingredients together in a large bowl using a wooden spoon. Spoon in to the prepared tins and bake for 45 mins or until a skewer comes out clean and the cakes have shrunk slightly away from the edges. Cool in the tins for 10 minutes and then remove from the tins and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the cakes are baking, make the crumble topping by rubbing all the crumble ingredients together until they have a rubble like consistency, spread in a thin layer over a lined baking tray and bake for 25 - 30 minutes in the oven with the cake until golden brown.

Cool on a wire rack still on the baking tray. When cold break in to smaller pieces about 2cm in size.

Make the custard buttercream icing by beating the butter until soft and creamy.Add the icing sugar 1tbsp at a time and beat well. Dissolve the custard powder with the milk and add to the icing and beat for 7 minutes until really light and creamy. Use half to sandwich the cakes together and the other half to smooth over the top. Sprinkle the crumble mix around the edge of the cake.

Serve and enjoy.

Wendy Applegate



4th Ilfracombe Academy: Non-Pupil Day
6th St. Peter's Church: Harvest Service, 11.00 a.m.
8th Mobile Library in Village from 11.40 a.m.
Berrynarbor Pre-school AGM, School Room, 7.00 p.m.
Parish Council Meeting, Manor Hall, 7.00 p.m.
9th St. Peter's: Harvest Supper, Manor Hall, 6.30 for 7.00 p.m.
16th Wine Circle, 8.00 p.m. Manor Hall: Chris Bullimore WBS
21st to 25th inc. Ilfracombe Academy: Half Term
to 1st November, inc. Primary School: Half Term
27th British Summer Time ends, 1.00 a.m.
1st Bags2school: bags available from Pre-school and Shop and may be taken to Pre-school
5th Mobile Library in Village from 11.40 a.m.
7th Bags2school Collection Day from Pre-school
10th St. Peter's Church: Remembrance Sunday Service, 10.45 a.m.
12th Parish Council Meeting, Manor Hall, 7.00 p.m.
15th Pre-school Quiz Night at The Globe
20th Wine Circle, 8.00 p.m. Manor Hall: Bray Valley Wines
23rd Manor Hall: Beaford Arts - Little Earthquakes
3rd Mobile Library in Village from 11.40 a.m.
5th Pre-school: Christmas Performance, Manor Hall, 2.00 p.m.
7th Berry in Bloom: Christmas Tea, Manor Hall, with Village Choir
11th Wine Circle: Christmas Tipple
14th Manor Hall: Christmas Coffee Morning

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]
1st and 3rd: Craft Art Group, 9.30 a.m.
WednesdaysPilates Body Workout, 9.00 a.m.
Primary School p.m.
ThursdaysWatercolour Painting 10.00 a.m. [10 week terms]
Pilates, 7.00 to 8.00 p.m.
FridaysToddlers Soft Play and Activity a.m.
Primary School p.m.
Penn Curzon RoomPre-School: Daily - Term time only
Morning Session: 8.30/9.00 - 12.00 p.m.
Afternoon Session: 12.00 to 3.00/3.30/4.00 p.m.
All Day: 8.30/9.00 a.m. to 3.00/3.30/4.00 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



The Shop might have been the first to mention it, but although it's rather early to be thinking about Christmas, cards are already on sale and the charity catalogues are popping through the letter box, it won't be long!

Sending your seasonal greetings to friends and neighbours here in the village through the Newsletter has become traditional and popular, and you can do so again this year.

To everyone, especially newcomers, if you would like to do this, it is very simple.Decide on your message and leave it, with a donation, either at Chicane or the Shop and by Wednesday, 6th November at the latest, please.

Traditionally, after covering the costs of printing, donations will be shared between the Newsletter and the Manor Hall.Your donations have always been very generous, so please carry on with that tradition as well!

If you are sending parcels for Christmas abroad, a reminder that last posting dates for overseas surface mail are NOW or during October and early November.



Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Hagginton Hill4

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


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

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


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

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