Edition 63 - December 1999

Artwork by: Debbie Cook

Artwork: Judie Weedon


Since everything at the moment is 'the last this century', so this, the 63rd, is the last Newsletter of the 20th Century! Debbie's beautiful illustration of the poem, 'Christmas Morning' on page 42, gives it, for the first time, a fully coloured cover. My thanks to Debbie and all our artists whose illustrations help to make our Newsletter just that bit special.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this, another mega-bumper issue, and especially everyone who answered the plea [and Edward who forestalled it] to relate their eclipse experiences, and those articles of historical interest .. and here, another plea. Writers of articles about our village and residents of the past, always do so in good faith, but are well aware that their facts may be blurred by memory or not quite correct! If anyone is aware of such lapses, please DO let us know! Pop a note in the Post Office Stores or give me a ring [883544] so that hopefully the course of history can run straight! Items for the February issue will be needed by mid-January, with a DEADline of MONDAY, 17TH JANUARY, please.

In the meantime, have a happy and peaceful Christmas, enjoy the wonderful Millennium Celebrations that the Committee has organised for us all and very best wishes for the coming year. Ed.




On 5th October, Mr. Green - our good friend from the Library - gave an interesting slide show of life in the '40's and '50's. He certainly dusted our memories with the various comments made and was quite surprised, knowing how "young" we ladies are [his flattering remark, which amused one and all]. Time went all too quickly and after a quick cuppa, this busy gentleman was off once again, but he certainly left behind a lot of revived memories.

A brief account of the Group Social Meeting on the 1st October was given; members thanked for their help and the thanks of the other members of the Chichester Group were expressed for a very entertaining evening. The weather was certainly rough outside the Hall, but with the help of Joe and Margaret - the Country and Western duo - it was bright and cheerful inside!

Our Annual General Meeting, the last one in this century, took place on the 2nd November. The meeting was very well attended and a warm welcome given to new member, Sheila Larsson, and also to our very own Ethel, just discharged from hospital after that nasty fall in July - they think she has done wonders, and so do we! Only a short visit this time, but it was great to see her looking so well. After general business, it was election time and although Kath Waller had stepped down from the Committee, her place had been filled by Marianne Holdsworth. As there were no other nominees, the Committee of 1999 was returned, with Margaret Andrews becoming Vice President and Doreen Prater, Secretary. Rosemary and I still remain Treasurer and President, and Edna Barnes will continue to look after our speakers and our press reports.

My thanks to all who voted for me, and as always I shall do my best at all times, starting with a potted history of the W.I. which seems to be of great interest to members.

For our December meeting, on the 7th, Alan Rowlands will be telling us what wines to buy for the Millennium; and with a visit to Exeter for the Carol Service in the Cathedral, and a Christmas Lunch at the Globe on the 20th, December will be busy festive month! With that in mind, may I take this opportunity on behalf of all W.I. members, to wish Newsletter readers a Very Happy Christmas and everything that they wish for themselves in the New Year. God bless.

Vi Kingdon - President

Soon to be time for carols,
and lights upon the tree,
Presents by the sack full
and cards from you and me.
21st Century knocking on door,
so please welcome a New Year in,
Peace and Goodwill to all mankind,
our wish as church bells ring.


A Delegate's Diary

As a very inexperienced WI delegate, I began my journey to London with a certain amount of trepidation. However, I need not have worried, my travelling companions were all very friendly and the journey by coach relaxed and comfortable.

Our first evening and a group of us went to listen to the finals of the Choir Competition, which was most enjoyable. I was rather nervous of sharing a room with a stranger, but we got along fine and she assured me that my snoring didn't keep her awake! However, we were both woken in the early hours by thunder, lightning and torrential rain!

After a good breakfast, we boarded the coach, which took us to the Albert Hall. What a marvellous building! Erected between 1867 and 1871, it was commissioned by Queen Victoria and dedicated to the memory of her husband, Prince Albert. I am sure you can imagine what a stirring sound it was when some 8,000 WI members sang 'Jerusalem'.

The most important item on the day's agenda was the voting on the four Resolutions, all of which had been spoken on, both 'for' and 'against': Women's Human Rights, Supporting British Agriculture, the National Screening for Ovarian Cancer and a 5 Year Moratorium on Genetically Modified Foods. All were passed with majorities of over 95%.

We left London around 4.30 p.m., arriving in Barnstaple five hours later, after two most enjoyable days.

'Well,' I can hear some of you saying, 'What good does it do making these resolutions?' I have obtained a list of the Devon WI's successful or influential resolutions - the first in 1925 when all parish councils and other local authorities were asked to provide proper facilities for the collection and destruction of rubbish - which makes interesting reading. Please give me a ring if you would like to read it.

Doreen Prater





Rosaleen was the last surviving daughter of Mrs. Doreen Miller, who for many years lived at 'Sunrise', Hagginton Hill. Rosaleen stayed at home in Berrynarbor until well into her thirties before moving to Worthing in Sussex, where she lived and worked for many years. She moved back to North Devon about twenty years ago, spending the remainder of her life at Bideford, which she considered her home.

Rosaleen, who was 67, was diagnosed with carcinoma of the pancreas in June and sadly passed away in her own home on the 21st September 1999.

Being a lover of wild birds and the country, it was her wish that her ashes be scattered in a North Devon wood. Sadly, my brother Roderick and I are now the eldest in the family.

Litzi Penfold [nee Zapletal]

Our thoughts are with Litzi and Roderick and their families at this very sad time.


Postcard Views of North Devon - Tom Bartlett

New - Volume IV

All the above books are obtainable from bookshops or by contacting Tom direct:

Tower Cottage, Berrynarbor, Ilfracombe or Telephone [01271] 883408



The following poems, entitled Autumn, were written by children from the Primary School for National Poetry Day in October.

Golden leaves shrivel up on the floor.
The smell of bonfires drift in the air.
People start to wear warmer clothes.
Leaves turn to colours like yellow and crimson.
You start to see squirrels biting on hard nuts.
Children play with helicopter seeds
and conkers are seen more on strings.
Autumn slowly sinks in.
The weather grows colder.
Children kick leaves home.
Mischa Smith - Year 4
Ice on wind screen and we wear gloves.
leaves come off the trees.
Smell of bonfires.
People burning leaves.
Contractors stop foraging and start hedge trimming.
Crispy leaves
It rains more.
More puddles.
Adam Friend - Year 4


Illustrated by: Paul Swailes

Family Group Poem

Standing In the Playground
Stream gushing, over waterfalls like steps,
Birdsong comes sweetly from the trees,
Leaves rustle, dancing in the breeze
Dog bark in the distance
Children standing to attention
Teacher's Orders!

All around us
Under the sky,
Church, trees, houses, people
spin slowly by.
Scent of wet earth,
paper towels,
The smells in the Autumn air.

Family Group is a mixture of children of all age groups


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


It was sad to say farewell to Joy and Michael Morrow. Their departure happened very quickly and after a holiday in South Africa they have travelled to Boston to meet their new granddaughter, Eva Grace - a daughter for Benedicta and Jerry - born on the 22nd September, weighing 6 lbs. Congratulations and best wishes to you all! Now Joy and Michael are in the sunshine in Texas and plan to return to the UK, where they hope to have a permanent base, in late April/early May. Thank you, Joy, for all that you did for the village for your stalwart work and support for the Management Committee, especially with the Best Kept Village and Britain in Bloom projects, as well as the annual Horticultural and Craft Show. Good luck to you both and we look forward to your visit in the spring, and we also look forward to welcoming the new owners of Fuchsia Cottage in the next edition of the Newsletter.

Whilst it is 'goodbye' to David, Julie and Adam Earls, who have moved back nearer the Metropolis, it is a very warm welcome to the new folks at The Cedars - Jean Ede and Peter Pell. Jean and Peter have moved from Newberry in Berkshire. Jean, a nurse, has two sons - Darren and Ben - living in Reading; and Peter, who is in the business of all-weather surfaces for equestrian events, has three daughters - Sarah, Emma and Becky - and five grandchildren - Jack and Lottie, and Oscar, Dennis and Lily. We hope you will both be very happy here and that the family will enjoy visiting.

We wish Geoff and Penny Gove, Emily and Lloyd, every happiness and success, having taken 'On-A-Hill' to Lynton Cross. O-A-H is now Cleave House and home to Graham and Manay Hendley and their daughter, Nissa. Graham and Manay, who have moved from Fleet in Hampshire, are both industrial chemists and Nissa is currently attending the primary school at Combe Martin. A very warm welcome to you all and good luck and happiness in your new home.

Lorna and Mike Bowden have moved 'over the garden wall' and are now settling in to their temporary home at Parson's Pightle, awaiting developments at Wood Park. Rockton is to be home to Brian and Mary Shillaker, who are retiring here from the hotel business in Washingborough, Lincolnshire. Mary and Brian, who have two children a son Nicholas and a daughter Helen and son-in-law Richard, enjoy gardening, quizzes, crosswords and walking.

Leighton Lodge, Birdswell, is no longer home to Olinda and Brian Holden, who have moved to Stoke Rivers - it is home to Martin and Louise Lancey, now returning to Devon from London. Louise and Martin, whose parents both live in Ilfracombe, were married here at St. Peter's, with a reception in the Manor Hall, a year ago last September. Martin runs his own carpentry and property maintenance business and is into golf, fishing, motorbikes and Guinness! and Louise works in public relations for the gas emergency company, Transco. Her hobbies are interior design, arts and crafts, country walks and shopping. Martin and Louise look forward to many happy years in Berrynarbor.

We wish Brian and Olinda every happiness in their new home and extend a very warm welcome to the village to Louise and Martin.



Avon has gone!
He died at fourteen
and, over the years, had been
our baby, our companion, our friend.
He gave us his love,
but from cupboard or heart
we'll never know -
For he was only a dog, and didn't speak much.
But his eyes and his ears and his tail
always welcomed our touch.
And we'll miss him -
For Ever.




The Parish Council is inviting tenders for fencing of the Manor Hall Play Area.

Suitably experienced contractors who wish to tender should write to
Michelle Beaumont, Parish Clerk, Cross Cottage, EastBuckland, Barnstaple EX32 OTB
for tender documents by Monday, 13th December 1999


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


Saturday, 9th October, was the Wedding Day of Gemma Richards and Matthew Bacon. Gemma, who arrived at St. Peter's, Berrynarbor, by horse and carriage, is the daughter of Michael and Julie Richards of Forty Winks, and Matthew, son of Anne and Alan Bacon of Combe Martin.

Very much a 'family' wedding, Gemma, granddaughter of Bob and Betty Richards, was attended by three more of their grandchildren - Kelly and Jody Richards and Charlotte Coombs - and by Nina Draper, daughter of Christine and Joe Draper and two of their grandchildren - Jody and George Gaddes. Matthew's Best Man was Paul Wilkinson and on duty as Ushers were Justin - Gemma's brother over from Australia - Chris Hill, Martin Bacon and Ian Gaddes.

Guests, some of whom had travelled from as far as Australia, South Africa, America, Sweden and France, enjoyed a reception 'at home' at Napps.

Gemma and Matthew have returned home to Combe Martin after honeymooning in St. Lucia and Florida [including 3 hurricanes!]. Gemma helps her parents to run the family business and Matthew is a Scaffolder.

Congratulations to you both and best wishes for the future.



Applications are invited for the post of


at a salary scale within the scale £1,829 to £2,178 per annum.
Further details and a Job Description can be obtained from
Michelle Beaumont, Clerk to the Council,
Cross Cottage, East Buckland, Barnstaple, EX32 OTB Tel: [01598] 760416
Closing date for applications: 13th December 1999




Children are sometimes like butterflies, flitting from one
blossoming idea to the next. At other times they are more like
bees, delving thirstily into flower-heads of knowledge,
filling the pockets of their minds, little mouths full of 'why',
'how' and 'what for'? They are much loved.

from The Nature and Natures of Children - Wendy Barber

After an early start, twins Connor and Kegan, who weighed in at 3 lbs 2 1/2 oz and 5 lbs 5 1/2 oz on the 13th October, have recently left hospital and the proud parents, Emma and Neville Peckham, from Surrey, are delighted to have them home. Equally delighted are grandparents, Jane and Keith [Jones] and a very proud Uncle Kris.

Karen [nee Ozelton] and Wayne Rudd are delighted to announce the safe arrival of their son, Callum Martin Jay, on the 30th October, and would like to thank everyone for their cards and good wishes. Callum, who weighed 8 lbs 7 oz, is the first grandchild for Edith and Don and fourth grandchild for Pat and Keith of Ilfracombe.

Congratulations and best wishes to you all.



Where Were You for the Eclipse, Daddy?
[copyright reserved]

August 11th 1999, the day hyped-up by the press to include raids by gangs of robbers during the moments of darkness, traffic chaos, and for some people the end of the world! As a bonus, we should also witness a total eclipse of the sun if we were in the right place. Well, I thought, exciting times - I need to be in on this.

The Padstow Harbour Master wrote to me in November 1998 inviting his regular visitors to book in for the Eclipse. This is my opportunity, I thought, and immediately booked in for that week. I had no idea who might accompany me - people will be fighting for the chance to see the spectacle from a boat and will be willing to pay vast sums for the privilege, I told myself.

Once Christmas and the New Year were out of the way, it was time to select the lucky individuals who would accompany me on my adventure. To my amazement, there was a marked reluctance on the part of some of the wives of my potential companions to release them at this particular time, the general consensus of opinion being that we were only going for the beer. I can't think what might have given them that idea! One person who was keen, however, was my brother John and another volunteer was my 16 year-old granddaughter, a keen sailor. But it was difficult to imagine being cooped up in a Westerly Centaur with a young lady for a week, well not one's granddaughter anyway.

Time moved on quickly to August and on the 6th Diana was watered and provisioned ready for the journey. The tides were not very favourable, nearly Neaps, with the morning high water at 02.25 hours - not my favourite time of day! John and I said farewell to the ladies and went aboard. At 02.15, my talking watch announced that it was time to get up, and off we set.

Soon the lights of Ilfracombe were abeam together with a largish boat moored off, probably the Balmoral. The night air was warm and the sky clear, which enabled us to see two quite spectacular meteorites. What little wind there was came straight on the bow, so we were faced with motoring to Morte Point at least.

Daylight arrived at about 05.00 hours. Hartland Point seemed to be as far away as ever, but eventually, at about 08.30 we were abeam of the Point, about 1.5 miles off. It was around slack water time so there were no problems with the race and we turned to come close inshore for the rest of the trip. Suddenly John called 'Dolphin'. Sure enough ahead was a fin sticking out of the water, but it was moving in a most un-dolphin like manner and there appeared to be another fish following about 6 feet behind at the same leisurely speed. As we got closer we realised that the two fish were actually only one and that the whole thing was about 12 feet long. By this time we had spotted several more and realised that they were basking sharks, harmless to humans but we were not quite sure what would happen if we rammed one. They can grow up to 30 feet I'm told! There were literally hundreds of them swimming round and round in twos and threes, with larger solitary specimens. They seemed to have no fear of our boat and had to be carefully steered around.

Eventually we arrived in the Camel estuary and radioed the Harbour Master. He was obviously under pressure and asked us to call later when he would allocate us a berth. However, at the crucial time he wasn't answering his radio so we entered the harbour and rafted up against the first available yacht - no one shouted at us, so we were obviously OK. It was time then for one of those meals that we yachtsmen so look forward to -- cold Spam, boiled potatoes and tinned peas, all washed down with a nice bottle of Claret. Worth travelling to Padstow for! After dinner, a walk round the harbour revealed that most of the smaller boats there were from our part of Devon. The following day I spotted Malcolm, the assistant Harbour Master, who immediately suggested that I had crept in unnoticed during the night. He also suggested that Diana would fit in better with the other Centaurs and small boats moored to the running lines under the all-day fish and chip restaurant. I am very fond of fish and chips, especially the batter on the fish, but I don't appreciate someone else's when it is tossed onto my foredeck!

The Big Day dawned. A number of boats left the harbour early to witness the Eclipse whilst at sea. The sun was shining but there was a thin veil of high cloud, almost ideal conditions we thought. 'Our luck is in', everyone was saying. As the morning progressed, low cloud moved in from the west and obscured the sun although every now and then blue sky showed through. 11 0'clock approached and hundreds of people started to flock out of the harbour area and walk towards the recreation ground to the north of the town, obviously trying to avoid the lightning bolt that would herald the end of the world. At 11.10, the sky darkened and the Eclipse was upon us the effect was largely spoilt by reflected light from the clouds around us. At the exact moment, someone set off a screaming devil firework which exploded over the harbour with a loud bang, followed several seconds later by a feeble laugh as the assembled hordes realised that it didn't signify the end of the world. That was it! I can't wait for the next one in 2089!

Thursday, 12th and a good return trip - a quick call home to announce our imminent arrival and we were home. We were met by the visitors who had been staying during our absence, notably my young granddaughters, the youngest of whom demanded to know, in a very loud voice, what types of whales we had seen - blue, grey, sperm, killer, etc. - much to the amusement of the gathered crowd.

Three things stick in my mind about our trip - firstly, the sight of all those basking sharks along that short stretch of coast between Bude and Tintagel Heads, the Piccadilly Circus-like activity in Watermouth Harbour at 02.30 hours in the morning, and the coming home to a house so full of visitors that I had to sleep that night on the boat. Not seeing the Eclipse doesn't seem important, somehow!


P.S. For sale: I unused pair of Eclipse Spectacles



The eleventh of the eighth nineteen-ninety-nine promised to be a memorable experience, with no travel, 99% totality and a good chance of sun over Berrynarbor. Then our friends arrived from Maldon in Essex, dedicated to seeing the full eclipse, armed with enough cameras to stock Dixons and telescopes big enough to pass for sections of a mains drain!

As they sorted the different filters that would not have looked out of place on a space shuttle, they insisted that we plan a route for Dartmoor and embark at 6 a.m.

Standing on a wild tor quite near Princetown under about 10,000 feet of cloud, we waited patiently - no sun but an impressive array of hardware that reminded us of Patrick Moore's back garden. Admittedly the actual eclipse was eerie and memorable as it rapidly grew cold and dark, but the five hour trip home with the whole of Dartmoor and the M5 gridlocked was also an experience not to forget.

The final twist of irony came from the comments of our neighbours and friends when we got home: they had travelled approximately 20 metres to view the event in full sunshine as it reflected from the front wall of our house! A memorable occasion - perhaps not all for the right reasons.

Mike and Jo Lane - Brookside


Fully Equipped - For What?

The 11th August saw about a dozen of us congregated at Molehill, with between us nearly the full spectrum of eclipse equipment, including plastic viewers, welding mask, pinhole projectors, sextant and the TV. In the end we found that the most effective method was Kate's mirror covered by paper with a hole cut in it. Ian's camper van was a useful screen on which to project the image, but we didn't think Ian would be happy if the sun burned a hole in the paint! So Simon found a large piece of card to hang on the back.

We all felt a drop in the temperature and the stillness of near totality, although the animals grazing in the nearby field didn't appear to take any notice. After the 'excitement' was over, we all enjoyed a very pleasant barbecue, courtesy of Kate and Ian.

Sue and Simon


Earlier Eclipses

Visitors to Arlington Court on the day of the Eclipse were privileged to see on display, pages from one of Rosalie Chichester's sketch pads giving details of two earlier eclipses:


The Blue Peter Eclipse Experience!

We arrived, en-famille, in the Sterridge Valley in plenty of time for the BIG day! Determined to make something of the event, I got up extra early to catch the repeat of Blue Peter - I knew I could count on BP to tell me the best way to view the stunning event. Sure enough, all I needed was a mirror [from mum's make-up drawer], a white envelope and sellotape [mum's stationery box] and a cardboard box [dad's garage]. I found the perfect spot in the front garden and erected my BP Eclipse Scientific masterpiece. Amazing, it worked! Reflected on the garage wall was a perfect image of the eclipse. OK, so it was upside down, but who cares! As the moment drew closer, the kids were shut inside to watch on TV and dad came over all weird and started rushing around, running between my BP reflection and the TV. We were really lucky with the weather, the sun emerged from the clouds at exactly the right moment and the eerie half-light was quite extraordinary. And then as quickly at it came, it was gone. What was all the 'hype', some said? But my BP masterpiece and me had thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience and I suspect had a much better view than most of the eclipse-chasers further west!

Helen Miah [nee Weedon]


The Magyars Saw It Too!

September 1998, and Eclipse mania is well underway. I telephone my cousin who lives in Kecskemet in Hungary [also in the area of totality]. 'May I book a bed for next August 11th?' 'Of course, but why?' 'It's this eclipse.' 'What eclipse?' That's it. Cornwall - 40% chance of sunshine, Hungary - 95% chance. No contest!

On August 11th 1999, I awake in Kecskemet with the excitement of a child on Christmas morn! Instead of the wall to wall sunshine of the past few days, thunder rolls around grey skies and the inevitable deluge follows. However, by 10.30 a.m. [we are one hour behind BST], a crack appears in the greyness and by 11.00 a.m. the sun is once again beating down and soaring temperatures soon reach 35 Deg C.

In the house the BBC World Service shows the eclipse passing over Falmouth, then France and Germany, all cloaked in cloud and rain. Outside the dappled sunshine throws increasingly narrow crescents onto the ground and across our clothing.

We are prepared with solar glasses and pinhole cards to view this phenomenon. What is totally unexpected is the amazing drop in temperature. Fifteen minutes into the eclipse and I am standing comfortable in open sunshine for the first time since my arrival three days earlier. By totality, I am shivering.

Any Hungarian interested in the Eclipse has headed for Lake Balaton [Hungary's Helston], the rest go about their daily business until it is nearly dark.

The last sliver of sunlight rapidly disappears and everything happens at once. The dappled crescents have disappeared - total blackness. Don't need the glasses. Look at the sun, must take a photograph - don't be daft, it won't come out [it did]. Isn't it eerie? Ooh, look at the diamond ring. What happened to Bailey's beads? Isn't the corona huge? Those bright stars - Mercury to the right and Venus to the left. Gosh, there's the sun again. Who's got the glasses?

Then all goes into reverse, but somehow the magic is over. Life gradually returns to normal and with it the returning crowds from Lake Balaton and the heat! But somehow it's much more bearable - we are sobered to realise just how much we depend on that life-giving ball of fire.

The next total eclipse is in Madagascar on Midsummer's day in 2001. See you there?

PP of DC



At the time of writing, the October Lunch at The Globe had been greatly enjoyed and had filled the restaurant area. Our thanks to Phil, Lynne and their staff. We were asked to take bookings for the last Wednesday in November and The Globe kindly agreed to host us again.

Because of Christmas and Third Millennium celebrations in December and January, which would give many opportunities to exercise our tongues [!], we thought that you should tell us when to meet again please.

The last Wednesday in either January or February seem possible, so please let us know.

Mary Tucker [883881] and Margaret Andrews [883385]




At a well attended October meeting, Alan Rowlands gave us an entertaining evening on 'Value for Money Wines', although his table for working out a points system of assessing value left the majority of us bewildered! His excellent value Australian Shiraz red wine was sold out by next morning, but thankfully he managed to obtain further stocks.

John and Eleanor Hawes of Laymont and Shaw, Spanish Wine Merchants of Falmouth, gave an excellent presentation on superior Spanish wines at the November meeting. The wines they introduced ranged from £5.45 to £18.75 a bottle! This had been a ticket-only evening and with 65 members in attendance, was considered an overwhelming success and likely to set the scene for similar evenings next year.

The December Christmas meeting is again a 'ticket only' event and with the help of the Stoke Rivers Team, promises to be just as exciting as last year.

Tickets, at £5.00 per head, may be obtained from Jill McCrae [882121].




Over the last few months, I have received several e-mails from people tracing their ancestors - all of who seem to be called Huxtable! The latest, from Western Australia, is Kathy Robinson whose great great grandparents were John and Harriet [nee Perrin] Huxtable of [i] Lidford, Ilfracombe [ii] Bowden and [iii] Ruggaton. Her great grandfather, John Perrin Huxtable, second son of the above, and one of their ten children, emigrated to Australia [C1880], thus starting a branch of Huxtables 'down under'. What Kathy is anxious to do is to trace forward and now find the descendants of her great grandfather's siblings - Alfred Perrin, Harriet Perrin, Frederick, Ellen, James, Alice Jane, Ernest, Mary Elizabeth and Archie. Kathy's great great aunt married a Captain Roger Turpie [a character of some renown], whose grave can be found in St. Peter's churchyard at the East end of the church.

Can anyone help Kathy? If you think you can, please contact me [883544] so that we can pass the good news to her. ANY information would be very welcome.



The following information on William Daniel has been taken from a leaflet published by Bruce County Historical Society and left with Lorna B by Lynda Porter [nee Daniel], who has recently visited the village from Canada researching her family history. Another link to Huxtables! William Daniel was born in Berrynarbor, the son of George Daniel and Mary [nee Huxtable] and the 1851 Census shows George and Mary as publicans at The Globe Inn. William had, by this time, already emigrated to Canada [age 15].

The outbreak of civil war in the United States in the year 1861 was followed by complications between the US and Great Britain. For a while it seemed as if the two nations were to be embroiled in war and the possibility was enough to kindle the fire of warlike enthusiasm in the breasts of the young men of Canada. Many towns and villages raised companies of volunteers and Kincardine Township raised a company under Captain William Daniel, authorised on the 6th February 1863.

In October 1848, the crown had granted land to Capt. Daniel, formerly of an English infantry unit, and he and his brother Henry came from Waterloo County. After claiming their land, the pioneers built a shanty and returned to near Shakespeare before the advancing winter, returning the following spring with their families.

Wm. Daniel was not popular with some - his strong stand against liquor may have been the reason his barn burned one winter night and some said he affected airs and was pompous, but Capt. Daniel left an indelible mark on Bruce history. With his strong military background, he advocated militia training, doubtless feeling the discipline would be beneficial for the rough backwoodsmen. He drilled his company in the pasture field in front of his home and in the evenings the settlers would shed their rough, homespun clothing to don their military red coats. The Bruce County Council voted each volunteer $3 a year.

Kincardine Township Armory,
built prior to 1866 by Wm. Daniel

Saturday, 2nd June 1866 was a day of intense excitement throughout Canada, for on the day previous, a large body of Fenians [a revolutionary organisation formed among Irish in the US] had invaded Canada. It was thought that Goderick might be a place to effect a landing to obtain control of the railway terminus and among the companies assembled there was Capt. Daniel's Kincardine Township Co. They were there for four peaceful weeks and returned home! United Counties Council met at this time and decided to supplement the government allowance and inspection reports of the time attested to the proficiency of 'C' company under Wm. Daniel, who was now promoted to Major and awarded the Canada General Service medal.

Following the formation in September 1866 of the 2nd Bruce Battalion under the command of Col. Alexander Sproat, Major Daniel continued to train his volunteers, but he also farmed successfully. He wanted a home more pretentious than his pioneer cabin and in 1867 he brought a stone mason from Scotland to build the largest home in the township. The building, with its massive walls, was naturally dubbed 'The Fort'. It stands today as solid as when built, a monument to Wm. Daniel's accomplishments and a tribute to the stone mason who so artistically built it.

Lynda would be very pleased to hear from anyone with Daniel/Huxtable connections and if you can help please contact either Lorna or Judie.



Congratulations - to Michael Wyer, son of our Rector Keith, who has been awarded a Double First Class Honours degree in Maths and Computer Science from Imperial College. Also, to Francis Baddick, who had a good start to the new school year when he was presented with the Andrew Neale Trophy at Ilfracombe College's Presentation Evening at The Landmark Theatre in September. Francis received the trophy, presented in memory of Andrew who loved all sports, for his interest and enthusiasm for sport and in particular Cross-Country Running.

Get Well - It is good to report that Jack Elliott of Goosewell is progressing well following his heart by-pass operation at the end of the summer, but put that spade down, Jack! Our best wishes to anyone not feeling too good at present - get well soon.

Sunday Services - 11.00 a.m. St. Peter's Church: 1st and 2nd Sundays in the month - Sung Eucharist; 3rd Sunday - Family Service followed by a short Holy Communion; 4th Sunday - Sung Matins. Sunday School each Sunday at 11.00 a.m. in the Manor Hall [3rd Sunday in the Church]. Each Thursday, 10.00 a.m. Holy Communion.

L.E.T.S. Get Together! - North Devon Local Economy Trading Scheme [LETS for short] was established over 5 years ago to enable people to exchange goods and services independently of the sterling economy. The range of things traded is enormous from foodstuffs, clothes, toys, books, etc., to things like dog walking, word processing and aromatherapy. The local group - Braunton, Woolacombe, Ilfracombe, Lynton and Lynmouth, Arlington and Loxhore - encourages contact between members and provides a basis for the regular, social events. If you think you might be interested in joining and would like questions answered, please give me a ring: Steve Handsaker [01271] 882293. If you would like a copy of the introductory booklet explaining the workings of the scheme, please call Elaine Merrick-Reed [01805] 624611 or Jenny Swan [01805] 623730. Happy Trading! Steve

Age Concern - Ilfracombe & District, 6 Church Street, Ilfracombe, EX34 8HA. CAN WE HELP YOU? Telephone [01271] 862131, Mon-Fri 10.00 a.m. to 12 noon and 1.30 p.m. to 3.30 p.m.

Recycling - Don't forget our own recycling pavilion in the car park at Castle Hill - bottles, tins, plastic containers, newspapers, etc. For larger household items and garden rubbish, the Killacleave facility is now open 7 days a week.

Village Notelets - A reminder that packets of Notelets depicting views of the village by Helen Armstead, Peter Rothwell and Nigel Mason are still available at £2.50 for 12 notelets and envelopes [2 prints of six designs] from the Post Office or Chicane. All proceeds to Newsletter funds and they make ideal stocking fillers or small gifts!

Doris the Duck Returns Home - After a lovely summer holiday break, Doris and her family have returned home to the peaceful haven of Rose Cottage. Pitch fees have been duly paid in full -- pint of lager in The Globe - but Doris did feel that the level of care, particularly food, was down on previous years! She has declined the kind invitation to spend her Christmas holiday there, having heard the rumour that it may be hot and sticky around Christmas Eve. Is this true Brian?

For Sale Well-rotted Horse Manure - and good quality topsoil. 50p per bag or by the trailer load. Can deliver. Please telephone [01271] 883538.

Charity Events - The Post Office sponsored two successful Charity Events in October. Its local participation in the World's Biggest Coffee Morning was run for them by Vi Davies and John Weaver and raised the sum of £132.40. Hot on its heels came a White Teddy Bear raffle for the Children's Hospice. £30.00 was donated and Ivy White was very happy to receive the bear, 'Paula', for her granddaughter.


Artwork: Alvary Scott


Harvest Festival - Festival Flowers filled the church once again for the Thanksgiving service at the beginning of October and there was a good display of fruit and vegetables, together with a sheaf of corn provided by the Bowden family. Thank you all for your gifts.

We were pleased to welcome Heather and members of the choir from Combe Martin [plus our own Pat] at the Evensong on the Wednesday. The singing helped to make it a really joyous occasion. Then over to the Hall for a truly splendid supper and auction of produce and over the evening a total of £134 was raised towards the Tower Fund.

Remembrance Sunday - We could hear the organ beginning to play as we prepared to leave the War Memorial to process back up to the Church on Remembrance Sunday. This year the order had been changed and we laid the wreathes first and observed the two minutes silence at 11.00 a.m. The Last Post and Reveille were sounded before we returned to the church to continue with the special service. The dignified service was conducted by our Reader, Clive Nottage, and was very well attended, with many people from the village and members of the Parish Council joining our regular congregation. The collection has been donated to the Earl Haig Fund.

Christmas 1999 - will be very special - the last of the 20th Century, the last of the Second Millennium. We hope that many of you will have joined us for the Advent Services and that you will be with us as often as possible over the Festival. Planned services are as follows:

  • Wednesday, 22nd December: Carol Service, 6.30 p.m.
  • Christmas Eve: Midnight Mass, 11.30 p.m.
  • Christmas Day: Family Communion with Carols, 11.00 a.m.
  • Sunday, 26th December: St. Stephen's Day - Village Service with carols, 10.30 a.m.

Please get in touch with the Rector or one of the Churchwardens if you cannot get to church and would like Communion brought to you at home.

The Church will be decorated on Christmas Eve - please get in touch with Betty Davis [883541] if you can help in any way.

And so on to the NEW START of the Third Millennium. The Church will be open on New Year's Eve prior to the bells at midnight and the bells will ring out again at noon on New Year's Day. There will be a Family Service with Communion on Sunday, 2nd January, at 11.00 a.m.

Along with our Christmas Card, a Millennium Candle will be delivered to each home this year. This candle, purchased by the PCC, is a gift from all the Christian Churches to mark the 2,000th anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ and is to be lit on Millennium Eve.

Mary Tucker




There is nothing special to report about September and October, which together produced a total of 347mm [14 inches] of rain. Some of that rain did come in pretty heavy deluges and those on the 25th and 29th September and 2nd October, gave us 29 or 30mm each [approximately 1 1/4 inches].

The temperatures were generally above average in October, reaching 16.9 Deg C on two days, though at the beginning of the month there were a couple of overnight ground frosts. Some of the autumn leaves were shaken off on 30th October by a squally, near gale force 7.

For those interested, the Beaufort Scale is:

0-1Calm728-33Near ale
11-3Light air834-40Gale
24-6Light breeze941-47Strong or severe ale
37-10Gentle breeze1048-55Storm
411-16Moderate breeze1156-63Violent or severe storm
517-21Fresh breeze1264 + Hurricane
622-27Strong breeze

Sue and Simon



To be held at The Manor Hall

on Saturday, 8th January 2000 at 10.30 a.m.

This will provide an early opportunity for Berrynarbor people to meet the newly selected prospective Parliamentary Candidate, 27 year-old CLIVE ALLEN. Somerset born and bred, Clive beat a strong field to be selected. His experience with an international firm of business consultants stood him in good stead as did his work at Conservative Central Office.

It would be wonderful if those not in membership of the Party took the opportunity to meet Clive, who is looking forward to the visit - surely the first of many.

Graham E. Andrews


Part 4

This edition's puzzles are based upon Street and House names:

  1. Starting at Tower Cottage, where can you raise a contract if you head south after Silver Street and Turn Rounds and off Blind Lane?

  2. Where are we if we take the first or last letters of the house names of the following families or people:

    Richardson[F], Gosling [F], Froud [L], Leckie [L], Powell [F], Berry [F], Allen [L], Walls [F], Constantine [F]

Last edition's puzzle, using the herring bone route took you down Pitt Hill, up Hagginton, through Black's Wood, down to the Sterridge Valley, up Rectory Hill, down past Sloley. Then up Barton Lane, down to Sawmills, up Pitt Hill and you are back to The Globe!

The route clues were: Black's Wood, Trayne, Moules, Napps and The Globe.



8th November 1999

Wesley Manse
Combe Martin

Dear Friends,

As from today 8th November - there are just fifty-three days until the celebrations begin.

53 days until we celebrate the 'Millennium'.

The churches in Combe Martin and Berrynarbor are seeking to ensure that every house in our villages will receive a special Millennium Candle and that as near to midnight on New Year's Eve, these candles will be lit as a short time of reflection on the significance of the moment. If you are not offered one, please contact a member of any of the churches.

Why a candle?

Christians believe that the significance of the Millennium is that it is the 2,000th celebration of the birth of Jesus, an event which led to the changing of the calendar, an event so great that even the years are dated from Jesus's birth. Jesus who came like a 'small light' to show a dark, sinful world how to live in harmony with God.

Of course before then we shall be celebrating Christmas Day - the day set aside each year to share in Jesus's birthday.

Happy Birthday Jesus! and to all who celebrate Christmas and the Millennium, remember


It's just a thought!

Peter Ellis

P.S. For the United Services for Christmas and the New Year, please see the At-A-Glance Diary, and do come along and celebrate - you will be made most welcome.

Illustrated by: Paul Swailes


Herne Hill

No, not the one in South London - this Herne Hill is in South Somerset. I had assumed the hill, crowned with trees and a landmark for miles around, was named after the legendary Herne the Hunter, but in this case Herne is derived from Heron Hill.

We began the walk where a small section of the old canal has been refilled with water, providing a home for moorhens. A delicate tinkling sound, coming from the overhanging trees, indicated a flock of long-tailed tits. There was some excitement among the occupants of the bench overlooking this tranquil scene, a kingfisher had been sighted!

We crossed a couple of fields in the company of some friendly Guernsey cows and found ourselves in Cold Harbour Lane. Here was a collection of very attractive cottages and farm buildings combining slate, thatched and tiled roofs with stone and brick. One house had walls of small red and black bricks creating a chequered pattern - more typical of the counties of the south and south-east.

There was a large court of fine barns about to undergo conversion to residential units. These included a former cider shed and an ancient granary, raised off the ground on straddle stones. Kingstone Black was the apple variety favoured locally for its cider making qualities. The 1958 Ordnance Survey map I was using still showed several orchards along the way, but they are not there now.

At nearby Rose Mills there was once a lace factory and although the walk passed through a rural landscape of fields and woods, there was plenty of evidence of the upheaval of the nineteenth century industrial revolution, with the former canal and the railway which soon superseded it, also long disused. Close to what had once been a lonely halt, a bridge took us over the railway line, where it had passed through a deep cutting and we now started the ascent of Herne Hill.

Before the Roman occupation, Herne Hill was a fortress. A hoard of flint tools was found there by Victorian archaeologists. In 1840 Henry Alford, who became Dean of Canterbury, described it as:

    "a quiet and moory hill, retaining from its ancient tenants the name of Heron Hill" [it is thought, however, that it may have been named after a Tudor landowner called John Heron, rather than the bird itself] "the underlying town with its rose belt of blooming orchards and venerable fretted tower; the misty woods stretching away into faint distance, the uplands and green flats and the far off blue of the everlasting hills." That is the Blackdown and Quantocks.

Today there is a wide variety of tree species on top of the hill, deciduous and coniferous and pleasant grassing rides radiating out from the summit. There were poplars and plane trees, rowan and spindle among the sycamores and beech. A Turkey Oak rose up tall and majestic. It is more pyramidal in shape than our native oaks and its distinctive leaves are longer, narrower, darker green and their edges much more deeply lobed.

At the edge of a clearing, a couple earnestly gathered horse chestnuts, selecting them with some care. Were they collecting conkers on behalf of grandchildren or, I wondered, could they be intended for their own use? I didn't like to ask!


Illustration by: Paul Swailes

Sue H


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Down on the Farm

Recently, I had the pleasure of a long conversation with Ron Toms who, as you may know, spent his working life in agriculture and has a wonderful knowledge of past times in farming. He told me how when reaping the harvest some fields would be too steep to use horse-drawn machinery, so it was cut by a number of men using scythes. The corn was then gathered and tied with beams around the sheaf and stacked into stooks. When the corn was cut to just a narrow strip in the middle of the field, the rabbits would run out [as they did when the grass was cut for hay] and it was not unusual for a man to run after one and catch it - that would make a nice supper and little Jack Draper was a dab hand at this!

Ron talked about the times before cattle transport and to take a cow from A to B the procedure would often be to have a man in front in a cart, then the cow, and then a man behind. It was quite usual to drive bullocks to Barnstaple or Blackmoor Gate - a long walk when you think about it! On one occasion, Ron's step-father and two other men were taking a bull from Barton Farm to Barnstaple. Now bulls can be both vicious and dangerous - they might toss a wooden muck barrow in the air or turn on you. The plan was to take the bull across the fields as a short cut, but, no, he would have none of it! So they decided to take it up Castle Hill to Berry Down but when they got to a field at Whitefield Hill, the bull decided to take a rest. They pulled and pulled, but he would not get up. "I know, we'll give him a fright." What this was I don't know, but the bull suddenly got up and took off, dragging one of the men still holding the rope across the field. Eventually they got the beast to Muddiford and on to Barnstaple Station, where it was loaded onto the train.

Marmaduke - Marmaduke was a cockerel who lived at North Lee Farm and his hobby was to attack people! Stan Huxtable, who farmed there at the time, employed a lad by the name of Eddie Preece and Marmaduke would often go for Eddie or anyone else who got in his way. One day Stan was leaning over a stream washing his boots when Marmaduke struck, pecking at the back of his neck! He brushed him off and finished cleaning his boots. Next day, Stan's daughter, Rosslyn, remarked that she had not seen Marmaduke. "Oh, I expect you'll see him soon," replied her father. The following day the family enjoyed a very nice lunch and Stan remarked to Rosslyn, "You don't have to worry about Marmaduke any more, that was him!"

The Sheep Dip - To get rid of parasites, sheep dipping was done once a year. At East Hagginton Farm, they had rigged up appropriate hurdles and dug a trench, lined with corrugated iron and filled with water and the appropriate solution. As the sheep jumped into the water, a man with a crook pushed each one under before it climbed out on the other side. A policeman had to be present, by law, to see that the task was carried out properly and on one occasion the policeman, getting rather bored with watching, asked to help. "Why not," came the reply just as the policeman slipped and into the dip he went! He was taken into the farm and sat by the fire whilst he and his uniform dried out.

Farm Buildings - many old farm buildings are made from cob a composite of clay, gravel, straw and other things. Rosslyn Huxtable, now Hammett, told me of the time when they decided to have a new window cut into a wall at North Lee. Mr. Norman was given the job to chop out, with a crow bar and chisel, a suitable aperture. Not an easy task when you think that the wall was nearly five feet thick! Part of the exposed ceiling revealed lathes held with shoeing nails and the work also revealed a fireplace thought to be around 800 years old! Rosslyn also spoke to me about farm life and the hard lives they had. When her father was only 9 years old, he would have to get up early and milk the cows, and after a day at school having walked there and back - he would milk the cows again. Two words she told me which I hadn't heard before, the cows have got the 'oosk' a cough, and give you a 'winder' - a clip round the ear.

My thanks to Bob Richards, Ron Toms and Rosslyn Hammett for their help with this article, and my regards to Berrynarbor.

Tony Beauclerk - Colchester

Not long after receiving Tony's article, I was delighted to receive a letter from Rosslyn Hammett [nee] Huxtable, in which she says, 'I wonder if any of the following will be of interest?' Need she ask?

My great-grandfather, Richard Huxtable, grandfather, William Henry Huxtable, and my father, Stanley Huxtable, all farmed at North Lee Farm for a number of years and I lived there for the first thirty-four years of my life.

I believe my grandfather was the first person in Berrynarbor to have gas installed? Also the first to have a wireless - it was a 'Murphy'! I remember going on the bus with my mother to have the accumulators re-charged for sixpence at P. Friend, High Street, Ilfracombe. We had to be very careful not to tip them over because they were filled with acid!

We had an open fire in the back kitchen, my father always had a large supply of sticks and logs to burn. In the other room, also known as the kitchen, there was a black range, 'Bodley', which was kept clean and shiny with black lead, 'Zebo'.

There was a gas light in each room and always candles to light the way to bed, with hot bricks wrapped in a piece of flannel to warm the bed [highly dangerous], hot water bottles came later. It wasn't until 1949 that we had electricity and the black range was replaced with a 'Modern Devon Grate'. When the range went, the black beetles also disappeared! All water had to be carried into the house either in a kettle or a bucket - the kettles in those days used to get very 'furred' up.

We had stone floors downstairs, slate slabs and lime-ash, I think. It was very much like 'the house that Jack built', the only floor covering was a couple of coconut fibre mats. The stone floors were washed every day and took several hours to dry, especially in winter.

We had an earth toilet, a slated building with whitewashed walls, situated away from the farmhouse. In later years we had an 'Elsan' chemical toilet, which was a slight improvement, but it wasn't until the early seventies that my mother had a flush toilet. The North Devon District Council bought Pitt Meadow from us for £850 and installed their sewerage scheme, which did benefit some houses.

In spite of what must seem great hardship in this day and age, the freedom of growing up in Berrynarbor was wonderful all those years ago.





It is a sobering thought that Christmas and the Millennium is fast approaching and there is a lot to fit in before the end of the year! We are busy preparing the contents of the Millennium Time Capsule in readiness for the ceremony at the end of this month - we have completed a list of items using the ideas of the children and tried to fit in as much as possible!

Some of you may have seen the inflation of the Ordnance Survey hot air balloon on the village field on the 16th November. The children were treated to this demonstration and a talk from the pilot about the importance of Ordnance Survey maps in navigation, as well as slides of some of the 127 balloons he had piloted.

The arrival of the new security gate at school has caused some interest in the village. The school places a high priority on the safety of the children in our care and as such we felt it necessary to take steps to improve our existing security arrangements. The new gate is an effective and efficient barrier and whilst it is not the most attractive feature in the village, rest assured that we are already well on the way with plans for making its appearance more in keeping. The rumour that we had plans to add something similar outside the Parish Room is quite untrue! I am sure that our improvements will meet with approval. Watch this space!

This is an excellent opportunity to extend an invitation to all readers for our Christmas events. We have the Christmas Coffee Morning on 6th December, and our Christmas Performance will be on 15th December in the afternoon. Posters to publicise these events will be going up shortly. You are most welcome to come and share the occasions with us and we look forward to seeing you at one or both events.

Until next time, best wishes.

Simon Bell - Headteacher


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Christmas at the Manor Hall

I managed to find this photographic postcard at the Exeter Postcard Fair in November. The writing on the back states 'Berrynarbor, Nr. Ilfracombe Devon Christmas 1922?' indicating it was taken at that time, which can be confirmed by studying the boot-type footwear being worn. I am hoping that some of our 'younger locals', those closer to 90 years, can identify one or two of this large group in fancy dress at the stage end of the Manor Hall. My thanks to Lorna Price and Ivy White who were able to tell me that Albert Richards of East Hagginton Farm can be seen on the left [under the 'N' of No. 4] and Blanche Dummett, who lived at South Lee, can also be seen on the left wearing a white bonnet and holding a wand, four to the left of Albert. Lilly Huxtable [nee Richards] is to the right, sitting behind the Charlie Chaplin figure. Lorna was also able to confirm that the picture would have been taken around 1922 from the appearance of Lilly, John Huxtable's mother.

The second picture shows Christmas Festivities in the Manor Hall around 1946, with Bill Huxtable sitting at the top of the first table. Bill has identified the person next to himself as Gary Huxtable, with his late brother Ivan [Aggie] next but one. To Aggie's right are Kenny Richards and Brian Irwin. Others identified are Rita Smith and Brenda Leyton on the right- and Francis Thorne, son of Percy Thorne who lived at Wild Violets before the Songhursts.

Both these pictures will unfortunately lose clarity in the printing process, so I plan to arrange for enlarged copies to be displayed in the Post Office Stores. If anyone can add more names, please do so or call in and see me. Thank you.

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage, December 1999



2ndAge Concern: Christmas Fair, The Lantern, Ilfracombe 10.00 to 12 noon
6thPrimary School Christmas Coffee Morning
7thW.I. Meeting, 2.30 p.m. Manor Hall: Wines for the Millennium - Alan Rowlands
8thMobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
Wine Circle: Christmas Special [by ticket only], Manor Hall, 8.00 p.m.
Hospice Sing-a-Long, Combe Martin Parish Church, 7.30 p.m.
9thCombe Martin Historical Society, Methodist Hall, 7.30 p.m. : Barnstaple and Around - Tom Bartlett, and Social Evening
10thChristmas Card Box Open at Post Office Stores
14thW.I. Trip to Exeter.
Ilfracombe College Annual Carol Celebration, Parish Church, 7.30 p.m. - everyone welcome.
Parish Council Meeting, 7.30 p.m., Manor Hall
15thPrimary School Christmas Performance in the afternoon
18thChristmas Card Box at Post Office Stores closes - Coffee Morning at the Manor Hall [sherry and mince pies], Manor Hall, 10.00 to 12.00 noon and distribution of cards.
19thChristians Together: Carol Service, St. Peter's, Combe Martin, 6.30 p.m.
20thW.I. Christmas Lunch, The Globe, 12.30 for 1.00 p.m.
21stCollege and Primary School: End of Autumn Term
22ndMobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m. St. Peter's Church: Carol Service, 6.30 p.m.
24thChristmas Eve: The Globe - Carols in car park 7.30 p.m., Draw 9.30 p.m.
St. Peter's Church: Midnight Mass, 11.30 p.m.
25thCHRISTMAS DAY St. Peter's Church: Family Communion with carols, 11.00 a.m. The Globe, 11.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m.
26thBOXING DAY St. Peter's Church: St. Stephen's Day - Village Service with carols, 10.30 a.m.
The Globe: Muddiford Morris Men at Lunchtime, Quiz Night,7.30 p.m.
31stNEW YEAR'S EVE 3.00 p.m. Unveiling of Millennium Fountain Millennium
New Year's Eve Revels, Manor Hall, from 8.00 p.m.
Christians Together: St. Peter's Combe Martin - Watchnight Service
The Globe: Fancy Dress Party, champagne at midnight
Village Celebrations: The Square, Midnight Welcome the New Year and Millennium - the bells of St. Peter's and Fireworks
1stMillennium: Medieval Fair, Village Square, 2.00 to 4.00 p.m.
The Berrynarbor Gathering, Manor Hall, 7.00 p.m. until late
2ndSt. Peter's Church: Family Service with Communion, 11.00 a.m.
Millennium: Children's Tea Party, 2.00 p.m., Manor Hall
Christians Together: St. Peter's, Combe Martin, Service of Light
3rdMillennium: Senior Citizens Lunch [by invitation] at The Globe
4thW.I. Meeting, 2.30 p.m., Manor Hall: Camera Magic, Mr. Hesman
5thCollege and Primary School: Start of Spring Term
Mobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
8thYear 2000 Annual Conservative Coffee Morning, Manor Hall, 10.30 a.m.
11thParish Council Meeting, 7.30 p.m. Manor Hall
19thMobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
Wine Circle, Manor Hall, 8.00 p.m.: Members' Millennium Favourites
20thCombe Martin Historical Society, Methodist Hall, 7.30 p.m: Devon Seaside Resorts - John Travis
1stW.I. Meeting, 2.30 p.m., Manor Hall: The RNLI - Len Coleman
2ndMobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.

Whist Drive - Thursdays, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
Yoga - Manor Hall, 7.00 p.m. Tuesdays


Buy your


and support your local


12p each from
Eunice Allen, Bali-Hai, Sterridge Valley
Call or 'phone 882491
Birthday and other Cards, 25p each

Eunice would be delighted to collect old
Greetings Cards [of any kind] for Recycling





The Millennium Committee is seeking decorations for the Manor Hall and tree for the Christmas and New Year celebrations. If anyone has any unwanted items, or could spare some tinsel, baubles, lights, etc., please contact Mary Hughes on 882580 as soon as possible. Thank you.


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


Charity Christmas Card Collection

The Charity Christmas Card delivery service within the village will again take place this year. A box will be available in the Village Shop from Friday, 10th December. Just drop your cards in, with a donation [at least 10p per card please] or bring them with you to the Manor Hall on SATURDAY, 18th DECEMBER, when, from 10.00 a.m. to 12.00 noon we shall be holding a Coffee Morning, with sherry and mince pies, after which the cards will be distributed.

John Hood - Chairman




Christmas is fast approaching and the shop is filling up with Christmas items, from food to fancies! Don't forget to place your orders for cream, bread, vegetables, etc., and don't forget to post your parcels in good time. Our opening times over the festive period will be:

  • Christmas Eve - Friday, 24th - Half day to 1.00 p.m.
  • Christmas Day & Boxing Day - Closed - No papers
  • Monday 27th & Tuesday 28th - [Bank Holidays] Half day to 1.00 p.m.
  • New Year's Eve - Friday, 31st - Half day to 1.00 p.m.
  • Saturday & Sunday, 1st and 2nd - Normal half day to 1.00 p.m.
  • Monday, 3rd [Bank Holiday] - Half day to 1.00 p.m.

Thank you for your custom and support and with best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.

Nora and Alan


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


The Rectory
Combe Martin

Dear Friends,

Christmas time evokes many ideas and images. I always think back to when I was a child and the excitement of Christmas Eve and pretending to be asleep when 'Father Christmas' brought in the Christmas presents and tip-toed out of the bedroom, and, because it was far too early to be awake, looking at the different presents and trying to think what they could possibly be. Then the surprise of discovering what the paper was hiding; and the waves of love that flowed through the giving, and feeling of humility that people should spend so much on a gift for me.

The original Christmas was a time of excitement and expectations too, as the Jews looked for a Messiah. But what a surprise when he came!

Lord Jesus Christ,
you came to a stable
when men looked in a palace;
you were born in poverty
when we might have anticipated riches;
King of all the earth,
you were content to visit one nation.
From beginning to end you
upturned our human values
and held us in suspense.
Come to us, Lord Jesus.
Do not let us take you for granted
or pretend that we ever fully understand you.
Continue to surprise us
so that, kept alert, we are always ready
to receive you as Lord and to do you will.

Donald Hilton


Illustrated by: Paul Swailes

With Christmas Blessing for you and your family,
Your friend and Rector,

Keith Wyer



At the Devon Fire & Rescue Service we are aware that at this time of year nearly every household within the country will be starting to put up their Christmas decorations in readiness for the festive period. Each year we attend many fires within the home originating from the poor use or poor location of decorations, which it must be remembered are flammable and if misused may cause a fire. Therefore we are issuing the following advice:

  • When buying lights look for the new European Standard No.EN60598-2-20
  • Turn off decorative lights at night or when going out
  • Never use pins to secure Christmas lights to wall or other surfaces. Ensure that your lights are provided with the correct fuse - a 3amp fuse should be sufficient
  • Never use candles as part of your Christmas tree decorations
  • Keep all decorations away from naked lights or other sources of ignition, such as the ceiling rose. Do not allow decorations to touch the bulb or be close to it.
  • Always ensure that they are fixed securely. If, for example, one end of a lengthy decoration became detached, it may well fall towards and into a source of ignition
  • Be extremely cautious of the type of Christmas table decoration that incorporates candles
  • Try and keep your hallway/staircase free from decorations. Remember in the event of a fire, this area is probably your only way out
  • Always have a smoke alarm fitted and working within your home

We want you all to enjoy your Christmas, but in doing so we must not forget that a little common sense is also needed to make it a safe one.

For further information you can contact the Fire Safety in the Home Helpline on Exeter [01392] 872288 or Leading Fire-fighter Farrell on [01271] 334425.


Hospice Sing-a-Long with Parish Church Choir

St. Peter Ad Vincula, Combe Martin, Wednesday, 8th December, 7.30 p.m.

Collection for Hospice Funds


Thomas Stearns Eliot 1888-1965

"A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter."
And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
And running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty and charging high prices:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.
Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,
Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation,
With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness,
And three trees on the low sky.
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kicking the empty wine-skins.
But there was no information, and so we continued
And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was [you may say] satisfactory.
All this was a long time ago, I remember.
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we led all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.

This is the first of five 'Ariel Poems' that Thomas Stearns Eliot wrote after becoming an Anglo-Catholic in 1927. It is spoken by one of the Wise Men. The first five lines are quoted from a Jacobean sermon by Bishop Lancelot Andrewes [1555-1626], a preacher much admired by Eliot.



I've always prided myself on being 'equal' - to any woman and certainly to any man - OK they can do some things I can't - hit a nail straight on the head, but I'm the one who can find the hammer and nails in the first place! And I feel equal to most situations and I confess that occasionally I even feel slightly superior [but I don't often own up]!

Yep! There is a little bravado in this statement. I feel in need - last week I was discriminated against!! Just so that we are on a level playing field, I scanned the dictionary. DISCRIMINATE - to distinguish unfavourably, to set aside. I quite like the idea of being distinguished but unfavourably?

I expect by now you are all feeling a little hot under the collar, wondering who could treat this fine upstanding woman of the millennium in such a way and why. Could it be that she doesn't care about political correctness [or anything political at all]? Could it be that she can't eat a vegetarian meal without a slice of beef on the side or even because she still professes just the slightest liking for French wine? No, none of these [in my opinion] quite forgivable little quirks.

Nope - it's just that I live in the wrong place. I just don't live close enough to an 'important' Tesco. "What," I hear you say, "are there more important Tesco stores than ours?" Well, it appears that there are. And I can hear you say, "What on earth can she want that she can't get at our 'less important' Tesco?"

Christmas lights - I know, I know, I can buy Christmas lights anywhere, and yes, we already have lots of Christmas lights, but I love, really really love, Christmas lights, and these were extra special Christmassy Christmas lights.

I was paying for my normal truckload at the checkout and was thrilled to be given a Tesco Millennium Christmas magazine [you know what it's like when something is free - just that extra frisson] and there it was, on page 18, the object of my desire - fibre optic fairy lights!

I love Christmas - I play 'Santa Claus is coming to town' in August, I love the glitter, the schmaltz, the tree and as you already know, especially the lights. This time it was love at first light, a case of light or death!

No problem you may think - just put them in the next truckload - wrong. OK perhaps I was a little previous - it was only the beginning of November. OK perhaps I was just little stupid expecting them to be available because they were specifically advertised [as was intimated by the ever-so-slightly supercilious customer service person - it did, however, make me feel ever-so-slightly better to concentrate on the fact that she hadn't Immacced' her upper lip.] She said I could fill in a customer request form which would be replied to within 36 hours - it wasn't.

Easy! I thought, it's the Millennium - we have technology, we have shopping. Wrong! The disembodied voice on the phone obviously enjoyed directing me down various button-pressing paths, all of which led nowhere that I wanted to go. In desperation I resorted to a human and phoned Barnstaple yeh! I'm in luck and am given a help-line number - in Dundee - Dundee! I mean they're devolved up there.

"Och noo," said the charming lassie, "these are only available at our more important stores," and "Och noo, I canna tell ye which are, yee'll just have to try them."

Now if you look in the catalogue you will notice, without really trying, that there about 600 stores. "Och noo - only the ones with the green triangular things by them." "Oh goody," I clapped my hands [metaphorically as I was holding the phone] only to be slapped down again - there are only about 50 of those, "and" came the voice down the phone, "of course they might not have them on their stock list." Gobsmacked, is the word, but I picked myself up, etc., and phoned again.

"Please," I pleaded, "Is there no way you can tell me which store might have these lovely Millennium Christmas lights? Then perhaps I could pay with plastic and have them posted." Quite an innocent request, I thought, as we approach the year 2000. "Impossible," snapped back the reply - Dundee was obviously getting bored with Christmas [well, they do the New Year] - "we do not have the facility to take money over the phone and as this product is not included on our home shopping list, your only hope is to find someone who lives near an 'important' Tesco store [which has them!] and ask them to purchase them for you."

Imagine it! Ring, ring: "Hello, no you don't know me, but I believe you live near an 'important' Tesco store. Could you just nip out and buy me some lovely millennium Christmas lights?" Do me a favour!

I don't understand it, but my [by now close] friend from Dundee thought I was being ever so slightly sarcastic and became a little bit uppity. "Well, I'm sorry but it appears that these goods are just not available to you." I just don't live near an 'important' Tesco store.

So, there you have it - discrimination. I certainly don't feel distinguished - I certainly feel unfavourable - unfavourably set aside and certainly not very equal.

Flopsy [Ann Anderson]


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


Our Christmas menu is available from Wednesday, 1st December until Thursday, 23rd December. If you would like a menu and/or a booking form, please phone 882259. The Christmas menu is available by reservation. 3 course plus coffee and mince pie £12.50 [including cracker and party popper]

Entertainment for December:

  • Saturday, 11th Live Band - 'Slack Alice', 50's and 60's music
  • Saturday, 18th Quiz Night, 9.30 p.m. start. Everyone welcome - teams 2-6, 50p per person entry fee
  • Thursday, 23rd Christmas Carols Sing-a-Long [to be confirmed] and

Christmas Draw 10.00 p.m. You could win a Sony Playstation plus many other great prizes!!

Christmas Opening Times:

  • Up to 24th December Normal hours i.e. 12.00 noon - 2.00 p.m. and 7.00 - 11.00 p.m. Closed Monday lunchtimes.
  • Christmas Day 12.00 noon - 2.30 p.m. - Closed night.
  • 26th - 30th December - Normal hours
  • New Year's Eve 12.00 noon - 2.30 p.m. - Closed night.
  • New Year's Day [1st] - Closed
  • 2nd January - Normal hours

Well done to Wayne, Clive, Nick, Jeff and Neil who organised and took part in a 24-hour pool playing event in October and raised almost £200 for Berrynarbor Playschool [actual amount is yet to be confirmed].


P10 MK2

Third Time Lucky

The probably miscounted anniversary
Of the day the first gold thread
Was drawn across the canvas
Into which the picture of millennia are woven
Simply seams the join, conceals the ragged
Edge of tapestry where new strands span
And tangle, ravelling the weaver's schemes.

Review the past, beyond repair errors
Amplify the care designs, dawn bright in hope's
New light demand unless a composite
Of swirling colours recklessly entwined
Turns order into chaos and the future's find.

A new bit's fixed, the old is done,
Some shades are lost, washed, faded, run,
Degraded by the searching sun,
Unpicked in part, in part re-won
In part a model for work new begun.

A necessary strand in the diversity
Of all that stretch across the warp
And weft of interfacing histories
Continuously intrudes an aureate gleam
Recurrent as great music's theme, perhaps
Neglected in the teeming toils and tumult
Of time's flow but present, like the future, always, now.

Peter H.


Artwork: David Duncan


Thanks to all who took part in the Skittles/Pumpkin Night in October. Roger had the biggest pumpkin at 58 lbs, with Jim Brooks a close second at 52 lbs. Ann Davies won the competition for the best-dressed pumpkin with her magnificent millennium bug, and Jo Lane was second with a pumpkin rickshaw. £110.00 was raised and has been sent to the Children's Hospice.

Many thanks.

We now have on sale, Roger's Pumpkin Preserve and Pumpkin Pickle, £1.00 per jar! Again all proceeds to the Hospice.

Christmas at The Globe

  • Christmas Eve: Carols round the Christmas tree in the car park, 7.30 p.m. Draw will take place at 9.30 p.m.
  • Christmas Day: Boxing Day: Join us for a drink between 11.00 a.m. and 1.00 p.m.
    The Muddiford Morris Men will dance in the car park at lunchtime.
    Fun Quiz Night at 7.30 p.m.
  • New Year's Eve: Fancy Dress Party Night. No theme - just come in your own favourite costume from the past.
    Champagne at Midnight.

For your Buffet tickets, see Lynne or Phil.

Wishing you all a Happy Christmas and New Year - Lynne, Phil and Staff





3.00 p.m. Unveiling of the Millennium Drinking Fountain by Mrs. Lorna Price
New Year's Eve Revels
Manor Hall and The Square
From 8.00 p.m. Party and Dance Away
Finger Buffet but bring your own drink and glasses.
[nursery/creche in Penn Curzon Room - parents' responsibility]

The Square at countdown to Midnight - gather round the Christmas Tree
A Scottish Piper will lament the old millennium out and the bells of St. Peter's and fireworks will welcome the New Millennium in. Join in one big 'Auld Lang Syne'!

2.00 to 4.00 p.m. A Medieval Family Fun Fair in the Village Square
[If you have any fete equipment you could lend, could run something like
'Chase the Rat' or 'Apple Bobbing', or would like to take part in any way, please see Wendy at Bessemer Thatch (882296).]

Grand Buffet and Dance at the Manor Hall, 7.00 p.m. until Late [Please bring your own drink and glasses]

2.00 p.m. Children's Tea Party with Entertainment and Presentation of Mugs to all children of the Parish under the age of 16, Manor Hall
[All children who have had mugs bought for them and will be in Berrynarbor on this day are also invited to the Party and to have their mugs presented.]

Senior Citizen's Lunch at Ye Olde Globe - by invitation only




If Bethlehem were here to-day,
Or this were very long ago,
There wouldn't be a winter time
Nor any cold or snow.
I'd run out through the garden gate,
And down along the pasture walk;
And off beside the cattle barns
I'd hear a kind of gentle talk.
I'd move the heavy iron chain
And pull away the wooden pin;
I'd push the door a little bit
And tiptoe very softly in.
The pigeons and the yellow hens
And all the cows would stand away;
Their eyes would open wide to see
A lady in the manger hay.
If this were very long ago
And Bethlehem were here to-day.
And Mother held my hand and smiled -
I mean the lady would - and she
Would take the woolly blankets off
Her little boy so I could see.
His shut-up eyes would be asleep,
And he would look like our John,
And he would be all crumpled too,
And have a pinkish colour on.
I'd watch his breath go in and out.
His little clothes would all be white.
I'd slip my finger in his hand
To feel how he could hold it tight.
And she would smile and say, 'Take care',
The mother, Mary, would, 'Take care';
And I would kiss his little hand
And touch his hair.
While Mary put the blankets back
The gentle talk would soon begin.
And when I'd tiptoe softly out
I'd meet the wise men going in.

Elizabeth Madox Roberts


Wishing all Readers
A Merry Christmas
and a
Very Happy and Healthy New Year