Edition 70 - February 2001

Artwork by: Nigel Mason

Artwork: Judie Weedon


Happy New Year. Christmas, which I hope was good for you, is once again over, except for the last few outstanding bills! However, now the evenings are beginning to lengthen, we have had a dry spell of weather - cold but some sunshine - and bulbs are beginning to shoot up. Spring is on its way!

Debbie's Cover Christmas Cards were very successful and their sale, together with the sale of notelets and the many donations received, have put the Newsletter in a healthy financial position in which to start the year 2001.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this issue, particularly the 'regulars', Nigel for his wrap-round cover of Plaistow Mills and Paul for his illustrations.

Efforts to put us 'online' are still in hand and hopefully our website will be in place before the next issue. If you have concerns where telephone numbers and/or addresses appear [for example in advertisements] about these going on the Internet, please do contact me. However, we have to get there yet!

For the many newcomers to the village, the Newsletter is a bi-monthly publication, beginning with February, and should be available on the Thursday nearest to the beginning of the month. It is kindly distributed with the newspapers by Alan and Nora at the Post Office, and by Sue and Richard of Sue's of Combe Martin. Copies are also available at the Post Office, The Globe and the Sawmill Inn. There is no charge, but donations are always welcome!

Articles and items for the April issue [which will hopefully be out on the 29th March] will be appreciated as soon as possible and by MONDAY 12TH MARCH at the latest, please. Thank you.

The sentiments expressed in the poem overleaf, sent by a friend from Florida, are so appropriate that I thought you might appreciate them too.

Once again my best wishes for the coming year.



A Poem for You

I have a list, of Folks I know,
all written in a book.
And each year at Christmas time,
I go and take a look.
And that is when I realise
that these names are a part
Not of the book they're written in,
but taken from my heart.
For each name stands for someone
who has crossed my path sometime
And in that meeting they've become
the RYTHM of the RHYME.
And while you may not be aware
of any special link,
Just meeting you has shaped my life,
more than you think.
For once you've met somebody,
the years cannot erase
The memory of a pleasant word
or a friendly face

So never think my Christmas card
is just a mere routine
Of names upon a list,
forgotten in between.
For when I send a Christmas card
that is addressed to you
It's because you're on the list of folks
that I'm indebted to.
For you're part of the total
of the many folks I've met
And you happen to be one of those
I prefer not to forget.
Whether I have known you,
for many years or a few,
In some way you have had a part
In shaping the things I do.
Every year when Christmas comes.
I realise anew
The biggest gift that life can give
is knowing folks LIKE YOU!!
And so, of course, the warmest thoughts
go with this wish for you,
For the merriest of Christmases
and a Happy New Year, too.

With love.


Talking of Christmas Cards...


A sincere 'thank you' to everyone who so generously bought Christmas Cards to support the Leonard Cheshire Foundation Home at Westmead, Braunton.

You helped to raise the magnificent total of £288.00.

I shall now be delighted to collect your old cards - Christmas and all other greetings cards - so that they can be made into new ones.

Greetings cards - Birthday, Anniversary, etc. - will be on sale throughout the year.

Eunice Allen - Bali Hai, Sterridge Valley Tel: 882491




The meeting on 5th December was a foretaste of Christmas as Linda Brown demonstrated to a well attended meeting, the art of making decorations for the table, sideboard and wall hangings - most of the greenery found in our own gardens. She made it seem so easy and one could feel the enthusiasm to have a go at making one's own vibrating round the hall.

A grateful 'thank you' to Marianna, Kay and Joyce, who made sure that everyone had that welcome cuppa', in spite of the electricity having fused in the kitchen! There were cakes and mince pies to make teatime extra special - Win Collins having won the competition for the latter. There was the usual exchange of gifts as everyone left for home.

Twenty-three members enjoyed the friendly atmosphere of The Globe Inn on the 18th December, when an excellent lunch was followed by a sing-a-long - something that is looked forward to every year and is remembered by members who have moved away. Thank you Phil, Lynne and staff for making us so welcome. There were five raffle prizes and the bottle of wine, kindly donated by Ann Hinchliffe, was won by Doreen Prater. The other winners were Edna Barnes, Olive Kent, Norma Holland and Joyce Elliott. Since this is the last report of 2000, a Very Happy New Year to all readers.

Not quite a full attendance on 2nd January, it being so near the holiday, but it was nice to see the members who did come, particularly after all the bad weather. The speaker, Mrs. Mavis Eastaugh, Matron of Wilderbrook Nursing and Residential Home, was most interesting. She explained how they try to get residents involved with everyday things, keeping up their hobbies and introducing new ones, like computers, etc. Their success can be seen in the colourful flower pot designs and the recent cook book compiled by the residents and illustrated by children from Ilfracombe Junior School - a wonderful combination of the young and the young at heart. Also in residence there is a lovely black cat and a budgerigar, and there is an aviary. Now they want to have a really nice fish tank - very relaxing [not sure if puss would agree!].

In her vote of thanks, Rosemary Gaydon echoed everyone's good wishes to Matron and her staff for their forward-thinking care.

Thank you Inga for stepping in to make our tea, and with Beryl Brewer winning the raffle, we tidied up and set off for home. There will be four members going to the Special Resolutions meeting at Filleigh on the 11th, and on the 6th February, Kath Arscott will be taking us on one of her wonderful journeys, this time by train - Ravos Train Journey Cape Town - Dares-Salaam. Visitors are always welcome -2.30 p.m. at the Manor Hall.

Illustration by: Paul Swailes

Vi Kingdon - President

Winter Blues?

You may have cares and worries,
There are dozens of things to be done.
Make time for a chat and a laugh,
Keep stress at bay - and 'blues' will be gone.



To some, the new millennium actually began this year, on the 1st January 2001, and here are a few resolutions for the New Year.

  • Take into account that great love and great achievement involve great risk.
  • When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
  • Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
  • Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
  • When you realise you've made a mistake; take immediate steps to correct it.
  • Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.
  • Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
  • In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don't bring up the past.
  • Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
  • Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to achieve it.


The Millennium

At Twelve-O-One on New Year's Day,
We lit our candles and began to pray,
That wars, famines and illness cease,
With our fellowman to live in peace,
Let us fill our hearts with love for humanity,
To reverse man's present insanity,
By smothering the flames of wickedness and wrong doing,
With a blanket of kindness and love, and a viewing
Of these, our present ways,
To consider loving others for the rest of our days,
For only by giving love, can we expect love in return,
When once lit, it will fiercely burn,
Consuming Satan's dastardly plans,
Thus enriching those of God, and man's,
So let this be the beginning of our plan bespoke,
May we see it grow, like an Acorn into an Oak.

Contributed by Esme Ferris and written by her friend, Terry Waite, but no, not the Terry Waite!


Artwork: Paul Swailes


Christmas Services

We enjoyed some wonderful services over Christmas! The church was full for the Carol Service and late services on Christmas Eve were very well attended. The Sunday School excelled in their performances of "A Fox's Tale" and the highlight for many of us was surely the Crib Service when we had a real baby in the crib and a tiny "angel" bringing up the rear of the procession around the aisles! It's not often we have a fox prowling about the church, so imagine my surprise to be met by a real one coming out of the porch at 8.30 p.m. on Christmas Eve! Sally and the Sunday School seem to attract wild life [remember the carrots?]!

The collections for the Children's Society have amounted to just over £250.

Future Dates

  • Ash Wednesday, marking the beginning of Lent, falls on 28th February this year. There will be a Communion Service in St. Peter's: please look out for posters giving the time.
  • Mothering Sunday is on 25th March - the day summer time begins! Our special service will begin at 11.00 a.m.

    Mary Tucker



It's over a year now since we held our first Friendship Lunch at The Globe! These outings have proved very popular and Phil, Lynne and their staff have made us most welcome. The first lunch in 2001 will take place on 31st January, and from then on we hope to meet on the fourth Wednesday of each month.

These lunches are open to everyone in the village, so please do come along if you feel like a change and a bit of company. We choose our own meal from the menu of the day [Lynne often offers a special roast in addition], and pay individually as we go. However, we do need to have an idea of numbers, so please let me know the week before if you would like to join us.

Mary Tucker [883881]




Lovely Berrynarbor

First published in Newsletter No. 2 - October 1989

We have searched so near and far,
And at last have found our Shangri-La'.
Such peace and quiet is hard to find,
The Lord above has been so kind.
Our garden's flat and oh! so green,
Bordered by a little stream.
The hills rise up, from the green lush ground,
Birds and bees are the only sound.
The little village is a real delight -
Miss Muffet's tea rooms on the right.
Down the lane, the Olde Globe Inn,
Tasty food or a glass of gin.
The old church tower with clock set high,
Chimes the hour as you pass by.
The only thing it seems to say,
Is "Do not worry, there's another day."
All along the leafy lanes, wild flowers nod and smile,
Then they wave us on again to walk another mile.
We wish the years would roll away, and make us young once more,
We should love to spend a lifetime here, before the closing of the door.
It is too late to spread our roots like the old oak tree,
But we know within our hearts, the best is yet to be.

Rosaline Camfield - Greenacre

Philip Camfield

Sadly, Rosaline did not enjoy her Shangri La' for very long, and it is with sorrow that we have learned that she and her husband are now reunited beyond the closing door. Philip sadly passed away on the 15th January and our thoughts are with the members of their family.

Our thoughts have also been with Jill and Bill Jones and their family following the sad loss of Jill's mother, Bessie Boulton, at Edenmore on the 20th November just before her 98th birthday. Bessie, a much loved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, moved here from Cheshire with Jill and Bill.

Edward Jesson - A Postscript

On Saturday, 6th January, the Ilfracombe Life Boat took Edward's son, Adrian, his brother, Free, two friends from the Yacht Club and myself to scatter his ashes at sea, about one mile due north of Watermouth. Two other members of the family watched from the view point above Hele. The weather conditions were, for the time of year, amazingly good - clear visibility, a light breeze and a touch of sunshine casting soft shadows on the water.

The proceedings took about an hour, an hour we shall always cherish and remember. The Lifeboat moved fast and the crew were great, and I am so glad we said our final goodbyes this way.



Artwork: Peter Rothwell


The Charity Christmas Card delivery developed a little further this year. We increased the number of cards handled, but don't ask me by how many - I lost count!

The village Get-Together in the Manor Hall was very well attended. The sherry and mince pies went down a treat, and the performance by the Primary School Choir, assisted by Gerry Marangone, added a new dimension, as did the appearance of several table top sales.

Thank you to everyone who attended, used the service and helped to deliver the cards. The sum raised was £250.00.

John Hood - Chairman




Another year has ended - how time flies! In November there was only one day on which we did not have a trace of rain at all. December was a great improvement, with 8 dry days, some of them consecutive!

Now we can look back through 2000 with all its rain and dismal weather. Believe it or not, despite the fact that it was the wettest year nationally for over a century, we recorded more rain in 1994. We have produced a breakdown at the end of this article.

Temperatures appear to have been up a little with a maximum high on 18th June of 30.3 Deg C. This was the highest temperature we have recorded since 1995 when we had a high on 11th August of 32.4 Deg C.

Gales have been frequent but the top gust here in the Valley was 43 knots on 12th December, which was not exceptional.

We recorded snow falling on 8 days, which was about average for the last 5 years, though the amount that fell at the end of December was more than we had seen for several years.

Looking at the Barograph recordings, we had a high of 1043 mb on 16th January and a low of 973 mb on 11th October.

Here is the comparative rainchart in mm:

Total2,032 mm or 80 inches2,005 mm or 78 7/8 inches

The rainfall seemed to be fairly evenly distributed between the first and second half of 1994, whereas the last 6 months of 2000 were considerably wetter.

We wish everyone a Happy New Year.

Sue and Simon



Get well wishes to everyone who has been, or is, suffering, particularly in this current very cold spell, but especially Phil Walden and Bernard Allen, who have both recently spent spells in hospital. Now home again, they would both like to thank everyone for their kind wishes, thoughts and cards, and Phil says she'll give the marathon a miss this year, but watch out next year!

Also in hospital is Robbie of Sloley Cottage, and we are glad to report that she is making slow, but good, progress; and Alice Dummett is home again after a respite spell at the Tyrrell.

We hope you will all be feeling stronger soon.


10.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.

Come and fill up before Lent on Maple Syrup and/or Lemon Pancakes with Coffee for 50p
There will also be a Raffle and Bric-a-Brac stall and hopefully some home-made produce
Proceeds to Berrynarbor Sunday School with a donation, this year, to Mencap

Please join us if you can - we look forward to seeing you.
Sally B


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


The Rectory
Combe Martin

Dear Friends,

With the cold weather we have been having recently, it reminded me of the story of the two children playing in the snow, and they decided to see which one of them could walk in the straightest line.

"That's easy," said the one, and started to carefully place one foot in front of the other, looking intently at her feet as she went. When she finally looked up to see where her friend was, she discovered that she had, in fact, gone not in a straight line, but in a large curve.

"Well, if it's that easy, let's see if you can do any better!"

Her friend looked up and saw a tree at the end of the field, and without taking her eyes off the tree, she walked towards it. After about thirty yards [or should that be metres?], she stopped and looked back at the friend. The footprints were in a straight line.

The story reminds us, at the start of the New Year, to keep our eyes on our final destination, God and his heaven. We are all involved in this earthly pilgrimage, but let us not lose sight of Him, and lose our way.

I know how easy it is to get caught up in the hectic pace of life, as it is lived today, but please, take time out to look up and see where we are going.

With all good wishes, for the New Year and for your spiritual journey,

Your Friend and Rector,

Keith Wyer


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


As mentioned in the last newsletter, Alan and Patsy Caffrey have taken over from Diane as the residents at Sheaves. Alan and Patsy, who have moved from Ilford, Greater London, have loved North Devon, and especially Berrynarbor, since their first visit some eight years ago, and have been holidaying here every year since.

Patsy worked for many years as the Personal Assistant to the Senior Partner of a Patent Agency in Chancery Lane, London. Following Alan's enforced retirement from the Royal Mail after a stroke, they are delighted to have found such a beautiful home here and look forward to meeting people and making new friends. They really enjoyed being 'at home' to their daughter, Lisa, and grandsons, Danny and Jake, at Christmas.

Hello again to Jean and Jim Constantine. It is good to have you back with us once more at Fircroft, Barton Lane, following a few years' exile in Exeter!

Emma and Iain Spear are 'in the pink' to be in their new home. Together with sons Oliver and Hugo and the family lurchers, Flashman and Polly, they have just moved 'over the road' from Manor Cott to the Old Court.

The newcomers to Manor Cott are Mr. and Mrs. Hart, whom we hope to welcome more fully in the April issue.

Ian and Jan Hay, Felix, Phoebe and Evie have left Harpers Mill for a higher elevation at Goosewell. They have taken over No. 12 from Brian and Caryll Holland who have moved to Combe Martin. The family is somewhat depleted at the moment as Lucy and Alfie are now in Bournemouth, where Lucy is studying Scriptwriting at the University, and Rosie is reading BioMedical Sciences at Southampton University. Jan will be continuing her piano lessons and if anyone is interested in learning [both young or older], please give her a ring on 863444.

Harpers Mill will shortly be home to Tim Davies and Tim Jones from Geneva, and again we hope to be able to welcome them in the next issue.

Filling the gap left by Betty Weekes' departure from No. 7 Goosewell are Sue Shrimpton and Malcolm Canham. Sue, a Learning Support Assistant at an autistic unit in Barnstaple, and Malcolm, a toolmaker at West Down, have moved from Barnstaple where they have lived for several years.

Court Cottage, previously home to Helen Armstead is now home to Clive and Sue Watson-Harrison. Friends of Angela and Richard Lewis, they have moved formerly from Oxford and latterly from Mortehoe, where they have lived for two years.

An industrial electrician by trade, Clive is now at St. John's Garden Centre in Barnstaple and studying for a qualification in horticulture in the evening; Sue is a Senior House Care Assistant in the Stroke Unit of the North Devon District Hospital. They have two daughters, Laura and Heather, both of whom live in Devon.



I recently sold Court Cottage, Birdswell Lane, on my mother's behalf. Sadly, old age had made it necessary for her to move to a nursing home.

My mother had been widowed in May 1940, when my father was 'missing believed killed' a few months before I, her only child, was born. She came to North Devon, originally staying at Comyn Hill Farm [once Ilfracombe Zoo] at the suggestion of friends who lived in Ilfracombe at a time when it looked as though the invasion of the South of England was imminent - Worthing, my birthplace, was not a good place to be. She found peace and security in North Devon and grew to love Berrynarbor in particular.

Helen purchased Court Cottage, then simply known as '53 The Village' from the Trustees of the Watermouth Estate at the end of 1945. It was then little more than a shell but very sound, being build of local stone quarried from the Estate. In those days, the Council Houses, known as Birdswell Cottages, had not been built. Our neighbours were Mr. Alfred Leaworthy [Snr.] and his daughter Hannah, in Manor Cottage, and Miss Helen Malcolm in Old Court*.

Helen owned Court Cottage for 55 years and lived in it for all but the past eighteen months. She loved the village and took part in many of its activities. She played badminton until well over the age of 80, walked every road and lane, but was perhaps best known for her drawing and delicate watercolour painting. Some of her work can be seen in earlier editions of your magazine.

Richard Armstead

* To village historians, I can clear a small mystery. 'Old Court' as it is now known was called 'Court Cottage'. The particulars of the sale of this property are displayed on a poster in The Olde Globe.


Helen's delightful pen and ink drawing of Watermouth Castle featured as the cover of Issue No. 7 of the Newsletter, August 1990, and a print of which is included in the Notelets of Village Scenes.

Artwork by: Helen Armstead



Notes from the Parish Council

  • Planning Site Notices: Details of Planning Applications may be viewed on the Parish Council Agenda in the Post Office or in the North Devon Journal.
  • Sandbags: In the event of flooding, sandbags may be obtained from Len Coleman, Swan Cottage. They are empty when handed out and may be filled with earth as well as sand.

Driver Required - The Combe Martin and Berrynarbor Community Car Service is in need of a car driver who has an hour or two to spare occasionally and who lives in Berrynarbor. If this is YOU! would you like to help? If so, please ring Pauline on 883742 or Anna on 883438 for more details. Thank you.

Thanks to everyone who supported the Christmas Raffle at the Post Office. The sum of £31.20 was donated equally to the Salvation Army and the Children's Hospice. The winners were: Bottle: Derek Newton, Christmas Pudding: Sue Kemp, Fudge: June Marangone, Chocolates: Sue Wright and Queen Mother Books: Colin Applegate and Margaret Walls.



Everyone grumbled. The sky was grey.
We had nothing to do and nothing to say.
We were nearing the end of a dismal day.
And there seemed to be nothing beyond,
Daddy fell into the pond!
And everyone's face grew merry and bright,
And Timothy danced for sheer delight.
'Give me the camera, quick, oh quick!
He's crawling out of the duckweed!' Click!
Then the gardener suddenly slapped his knee,
And doubled up, shaking silently,
And the ducks all quacked as if they were daft,
And it sounded as if the old drake laughed.
Oh, there wasn't a thing that didn't respond
Daddy fell into the pond!

Alfred Noyes, 1880-1958

Illustrated by: Paul Swailes


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


Three Golds and a Silver medal for the year 2000, that is the reward for BECKY WALLS in the first year she has entered gymnastics competitions.

Starting in March at the North Devon Schools Gymnastics Championships held at Edgehill College, Becky, representing Berrynarbor Primary School won Gold for the 7 year old individual title.

Following this success, Becky then took part in the Broadmeadow Gym Club Competition held at Teignmouth and came away with a Silver medal for the vault.

Most recently, at the Exeter Recreational Challenge against teams from Exeter, Barnstaple, Honiton, Teignmouth and Plymouth, Becky came 1st on the floor, 3rd on the beam and 3rd for physical preparation, and came 1st Overall for the 8 year old individual competition. Becky has been going to gymnastics club since she was 4 years old and is now a member of Barum Gym Club based in Barnstaple.

Congratulations to Becky, who is also a very talented swimmer.

Congratulations to NEIL GILSON who has another national bronze medal to his credit. Neil, who is North Devon's Top Teenage Swimmer, is the son of Richard and Dawn Gilson of Sandy Cove, and grandson of Daphne Darlington. He attends Braunton School.

After bringing a bronze medal home from the age group championships in the summer, 15-year old Neil competed in the British Open Short Course Championships in Sheffield and a time of 16-12-37 gave him 3rd place in the Junior 1500m Freestyle event. It was a personal best by 17 seconds and it is believed that Neil is the first 15-year old from North Devon to compete at the Championships. He has recently travelled to Scotland as a member of the England West team for an international meet at Inverness where he came 4th in the Men's Open 1500m Freestyle event.



8th February is LUCY BARTEN'S 90th Birthday!

She will be partying at 'Berry Home' all day, and would like her friends in the village to pop in to have a cup of tea or a coffee with her between 10.30 a.m. and mid-day. A family party will follow after a rest.

Lucy still does her own cleaning and cooking and enjoys embroidery and patchwork. Many homes in Berrynarbor have a patchwork cushion or tea cosy made and given by her to various raffles.

She has three children of pensionable age! 11 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, with another on the way. She was married, for 67 years, to a kind, gentle man and has now been widowed sadly for two years. A little frail now, she has a determination about her that keeps her going.

Please join us in wishing her a very Happy Birthday on the 8th.

Sally Barton




You've created the stars, the sun and the sea,
and now You've created a baby ... that's me!

You've chosen my parents, to love and to care,
and as part of our home will You always be there?

They'll teach me to love and give me a name,
from the look in their eyes I'm glad that I came!

Sarah [Redwood] and Clive are delighted to announce the safe arrival of their baby daughter. Dionne Margaret, a sister for Liam, second grandchild for Carol and the second great-grandchild for Kath, was born on the 11th December 2000 weighing in at 6 lbs I0 1/2 oz.

Congratulations to you all.



People without a sense of humour should never be put in charge of anything.

Lord Runcie - Former Archbishop of Canterbury



Are you approaching pensionable age, either 60 or 65? Have you paid national insurance contributions?

If you are, and have, before you reach those birthdays, it is very wise to apply for a pension forecast on Form BR19, obtainable from the local Social Security Benefits Agency, at least six months in advance. A pension forecast or notification of your pension is not automatically sent to you, so it is important that one is obtained. This particularly applies to women who have, since its introduction, only paid the married woman's rate, in which case you might think that you cannot expect a pension until your husband receives his. This, however, may not be the case - you may have worked and paid contributions before you were married. Check - it could be to your advantage!

Equally, it does not follow that on reaching your pensionable age you will automatically receive a pension. Advice from the Benefits Agency is that you should, six months in advance, either complete a Form BRI to claim it, or ring them for more information.

If you do not claim your pension at the time, it is presumed deferred and can only be paid for three months in arrears from the time you do claim. Know your rights - don't lose what is your due!




Greetings and a Happy New Year!

With a very busy Autumn Term behind us, we are gathering ourselves for an exciting programme of activities for the children during the next few months.

We have several new faces on the staff at the school: two new teachers, two new administrators, two new classroom assistants and a new caretaker! We are very pleased to have them as part of the team and look forward to their contribution to the life of the school.

Apart from swimming, the children are to be treated to the delights of visiting artists and storytellers and will be working with a theatre group towards a performance with three other local schools.

Lots to do and lots to look forward to! More from us next issue - in the meantime we hope you enjoy our artwork.

Simon Bell - Headteacher

Observational Drawings by Pupils in Years 4, 5 and 6 are shown below illustrating the article on facts about Devon.




Congratulations to the children for their splendid performances of 'The Fox's Tale' at Christmas - I'm sure all of you who saw it, thought it was wonderful too. Congratulations also to Jessica, Juliet and Eloise for 100% attendance in 2000, and to Gracie, a very close runner up.

Now a new year or a new term has begun - a time for new beginnings, hopes and dreams. Sometimes it can all go wrong and we become disappointed and disillusioned, but we have promised to be honest, caring and kind to one another and to ourselves. The children have likened it to measles, mumps and chickenpox - it's very contagious - so watch out, our 'germs' are about!

You can find us in the Penn Curzon Room on Sundays at 11.00 a.m., except for the third Sunday of each month when we shall be participating in the Family Service.

Twenty-one of us went to 'hiss' and 'boo' at the Pantomime, Aladdin, on 6th January, and we had a lovely noisy time! Our thanks to the Parochial Church Council for funding the children's tickets.

True Story:

One excited little boy ran home from Sunday School to tell his mum and dad that he had a very important speaking part in the Nativity Play. His proud parents thought - could he be Joseph, or even a king?

"Oh, no," he said, "I'm going to be a mouse."

His mum asked, "What words do you have to learn then, dear?" "Eek", he said.

Sally B



Have you some left over mincemeat? Why not try this recipe for Mincemeat Loaf.

  • 1 1/2 lbs Mincemeat
  • 8 oz Butter or Margarine
  • 6 oz Soft Brown Sugar

  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 12 oz Self-raising Flour

Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the beaten eggs, one at a time with a tablespoon of sifted flour. Fold in the rest of the flour and then the mincemeat. Line an 8"-9" cake tin with greaseproof paper, fill with the mixture and bake for approximately 3 hours at 300 Deg F [Regulo 2].


Brian Wright

Solution in Article 40.



Since our last letter to your magazine, we have received several more compliments about the two Classic Scrambles that we ran at Sloley Park in June and August last year. It seems that just about everyone who attended the two race meetings were impressed with the racing, the scenery and the friendly atmosphere generated by the locals of the area. Thank you for making them feel welcome, I know they plan to return again this year.

Talking of which, the Club plans to run two more scrambles. The first on Sunday, 3rd June, when we hope to run a round of the British Classic Scrambles Championship, and the second on Sunday, 19th August, so perhaps you would like to make a note of the dates in your diaries.

As I'm sure you're aware, last year's scrambles were run in aid of the Children's Hospice South West. In spite of the fact that we started from scratch, with no money in the kitty and a considerable number of purchases to be made [i.e. ropes, stakes, flags, safety equipment, etc.], we have been able to donate £400 to the Hospice.

In our last letter we invited you to suggest a local charity that we could help this year. Mrs. Lloyd of Cross Park suggested the North Devon Hospice and at our last Club meeting, it was decided that both the North Devon Hospice and the St. John Ambulance [Ilfracombe] would benefit from our two race meetings in 2001.

Finally, the Scrambles Club would like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year.

Graham Brown - Chairman [01237 470267]



[in aid of Berry in Bloom and Village Carnival Float]
Saturday, 17th February, 2.30 p.m.

Manor Hall
Books, Toys, Raffle

Any jumble, etc, please leave at the Manor Hall on the morning of the Sale or 'phone 882696




The Christmas Wine Evening was an extremely well attended gathering and Anna and Bill Scholes and Pam and Alex gave members the delights of a real 'Viking Wine Trip'. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the evening and was amazed to know how Anna had managed to secrete so many Danish 'puff balls' and keep and prepare them for the evening!

Although not so well attended, the Members' Evening in January was just as successful. Tony Summers, in co-ordinating the evening, wisely left it to each table to agree the order and giving information of wines to be drunk.

The February meeting, on the 21st, looks to be exciting, as both Jan Tonkin and Michael Jones are presenting it and have kept the programme 'Secret!!!' This will be followed in March by Quality Wines from Jolly's.

Meetings are held on the third Wednesday, Manor Hall, 8.00 p.m. For more information contact either Alex Parke [Chairman] - 883758, Tony Summers [Secretary] - 883600 or myself [Publicity] - 883408.

Tom Bartlett



From the 16th January, Annemarie is making her workshop at Watermouth House Cottage available for anyone wishing to try their hand at Pottery - 2 x 3hour sessions a week [Tuesday and Saturday].

The short course of six sessions will cost £60.00 plus materials and involves slab building, coiling, throwing, tile making and slip casting. Forms of decoration will include burnishing, leaf printing, turning, sgraffito and glazing.

Ideas you might be interested in are face masks, Christmas decorations, abstract designs on vases and small pots, garden pieces and tile pictures.

For further information or to book, please contact Annemarie on 882484



Best Bib and Tucker - This term for best clothes or formal dress worn on special occasions dates back to the mid-18th Century, probably referring to a lady's ornamental bib accompanied by a tucker or frill of lace worn around the neck and shoulders.

Save for a Rainy-Day - Putting money aside to provide for future needs has been described in this way since the 1500's. In a rural community, rain could keep agricultural workers off the land and prevent them earning a day's pay.



The county of Devon stretches from sea to sea - the rugged north coast being washed by the Atlantic and the mouth of the Bristol Channel, as well as being influenced by the Gulf Stream, and the flatter, south coast faces the English Channel. The third largest county in England, it is criss-crossed with narrow winding lanes, often set between high hedgerows.

'The men of Defenascir', as given in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle under the year 851, is probably the earliest reference to its name, although both 'Devon' and 'Devonshire' date from the 9th Century.

With the rugged but beautiful countryside of Exmoor and Dartmoor - in contrast to the charm and warmth of its many villages - Devon's landscape has remained virtually unchanged for hundreds of years and there is no county prouder of its heritage. Following are a few facts that help to make up that heritage.

Illustration by: Chris Adams - Year 6, Berrynarbor

  • One of the characters of Barnstaple's Old St. Giles Fair, in around 1900, was Sophie Hancock, who was renowned for being able to swear for half an hour without repeating herself. She would be fined by magistrates each September and add a pound to the poor box.
  • Blessed Cuthbert Mayne, Rector of Huntshaw, and born near Barnstaple, was the first seminary priest to suffer martyrdom. The Roman Catholic Church beatified him in 1886.
  • The novelist R.D. Blackmore stayed with his uncle at Charles Rectory and wrote much of his famous novel, Lorna Doone, there.
  • Until the middle of the 19th Century, the village of Clovelly was quite unknown to the outside world. However, in 1855, Charles Kingsley, whose father was Rector there, wrote about the village in his book Westward Ho! From that time on, Clovelly became an attraction for tourists.
  • The word 'Lundy' comes from the old Norse words lundi [puffin] and ey [island]. In 1819 a lighthouse was built on the highest point of Lundy Island, but since the height meant that it was frequently obscured by fog, the North Light and South Light replaced it in 1897.
  • The building of the 17th Century Pack o' Cards inn at Combe Martin funded from the ill-gotten gains of Squire Ley at the card table. The 52 steps in the staircase and the original 52 windows represented the number of cards in the pack, and the four floors the four suits.
  • When rough seas prevented the Lynmouth lifeboat from going to the aid of the stricken 'Forrest Hall' off Porlock in 1899, the villagers pulled the 8-ton vessel overland for 12 miles in order to launch it from Porlock. The crew of the Forrest Hall were all saved.
  • Wrestling was a favourite sport in Devon in the 1800's, and while the Cornishmen were known for 'hugging and heaving', the Devonians could 'kick and trip' and wore boots with specially reinforced toes.
  • Every New Year's eve, the orchards of the county are the scenes of the ancient custom of Wassailing, when farmers toast the trees with cider to ensure a good harvest the following season.
  • William de Tracy, a member of the family who owned the manor at Woolacombe, was in 1170 one of the murderers of Thomas a Becket in Canterbury Cathedral.



Midwinter spring is its own season
Sempiternal though sodden towards sundown,
Suspended in time, between pole and tropic.
When the short day is brightest, with frost and fire,
The brief sun flames the ice, on pond and ditches,
In windless cold that is the heart's heat,
Reflecting in a watery mirror
A glare that is blindness in the early afternoon.
And glow more intense than blaze of branch, or brazier,
Stirs the dumb spirit: no wind, but pentecostal fire
In the dark time of the year. Between melting and freezing
The soul's sap quivers. There is no earth smell
Or smell of living thing. This is the spring time
But not in time's covenant. Now the hedgerow
Is blanched for an hour with transitory blossom
Of snow, a bloom more sudden
Than that of summer, neither budding nor fading,
Not in the scheme of the generation.
Where is the summer, the unimaginable
Zero summer?

T.S. Eliot [1885-1965]

Illustration by: Paul Swailes




On Thursday, 15th February, Jeanne Rumsom-Waltho will be giving an illustrated talk on the Tyrrell Hospital and then on the 15th March, Brian Pearce will be giving an illustrated talk on Exmoor.

Meetings are held, usually on the third Thursday of the month, at 7.30 p.m. in the Methodist Hall and everyone is welcome. If you would like further information, please contact the Secretary, Hilary Beaumont, on 882636.


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


The Cat

To the right of the Post Office, looking up you will see the hedge to a field. When I was living in Berrynarbor, during World War II, there was a very tall and mature tree in that hedge.

One day, when I had gone to the Post Office, I heard a number of voices coming from the field and on enquiring, I gathered that a cat had got itself stuck up the tree and couldn't get down. Always having a soft spot for animals, I went up to the field and offered my services to try and rescue it.

I looked at the tree and then realised there were no footholds for at least eight or ten feet.

"Can anybody get a ladder?" I asked.

"I'll get one," came the reply and a ladder about ten feet long was provided.

I propped this against the tree and climbed up. Well, so far so good, but the cat was still quite a long way further up. Now standing on a couple of branches, again with no footholds, I could see it was still another eight or ten feet up again.

I realised there was no other way - I hauled the ladder up into the tree and wedged it on one of the branches on which I was standing. Having done my best to make it as firm as possible and unlikely to slip, I climbed on up and grabbed the cat by the scruff of its neck. Then began the perilous descent! On reaching the point where the ladder was resting, I dropped the cat into the arms of its owner, who was, of course, delighted and on down I went.

I thought no more about the matter but some weeks later, when talking to some friends, they said,

"Don't forget to come to the dance at the Manor Hall on Saturday."

I thought, 'what's so special about this particular dance', I usually went and had planned to go anyway.

Saturday came and dressed up in my best sports jacket and flannels, off l went to the dance. When the interval was over, I was called up to the stage, as there was to be an announcement. I wondered what it was all about until I was presented with a book from the R.S.P.C.A. for rescuing the cat! The book was called "The Penhales" and if I remember rightly, was written on the same lines as Lorna Doone. Sadly it has been mislaid in the sands of time.

Tony Beauclerk - Colchester

Tony and his wife Betty have just moved and we wish them every happiness in their new home.


"Giving with a Smile"


The United Nations have declared the year 2001 to be the International Year of Volunteers, providing a unique opportunity for organisations around the world to promote and celebrate volunteers and volunteering.

By the time you read this, the Bureau will have hosted an Open Morning to launch the National Volunteering Database, which aims to put the nation's volunteering opportunities on to a new website - www.do-it.org.uk.

Anyone with an interest in volunteering will be able to search for opportunities via the new site for the cause they particularly want to support with the skills, type of work and time they have available.

It is hoped that many people in our area will give some thought to giving a bit of volunteering time, particularly in this year.

The Help at Hand Project Has Ended

Unfortunately, continued attempts to raise new long-term funding for the project have not been successful, forcing it to close at the end of December.

The local 'Appeal 4 Youth' enabled an extra 1000 hours of volunteering to be carried out between September and December 2000. Donations to the Appeal showed that, despite the lack of interest from funders, individuals, groups, businesses in the area and the Town Council, all valued Help at Hand and it's volunteers, which means that the project was successful right up to the end.

Our sincere thanks to all who have been involved with the project over the last five years.

The Management Committee

[Enquiries to the Volunteer Centre, 149 High Street, Ilfracombe [866300]

P.S. Thank you to everyone who sponsored my swim, on behalf of the Volunteer Bureau. Although I do not know the exact amount, I was able to contribute over £120. Your help was much appreciated.




This winter, Devon County Council is once again working hard to keep traffic moving as safely and smoothly as possible during freezing conditions. A round-the-clock watch for worsening weather conditions means that gritters can quickly start their 45 salting routes, covering over 1,500 miles of Devon's most heavily trafficked routes. However, it is also important that Devon's drivers realise they have a crucial role to play in making winter roads safe. DCC's Road Safety Officer advises:

  • Drivers can help by making sure their vehicles are fit for the challenge of bad weather. Cold starts, the need for lights, heated rear screens and demisters on full blast can quickly overwhelm a battery, especially if the subsequent journey is a short one.
  • Clean windows are a must, so a good clean inside and out before setting off is a good habit to develop. Ensuring tyres have plenty of tread and are running at correct pressure can make driving safer all round.
  • Cold wet roads offer much less grip than warm dry ones, especially if they are covered in dead leaves, and driving needs to be adjusted to suit the conditions. Stopping distances increase dramatically so even more room is needed up to the car in front. Two wheeled vehicles are particularly vulnerable in windy and slippery conditions and drivers should take extra care when passing them.
  • Even treated roads need to be viewed with caution. Although the salt will prevent ice formation or melt the ice if temperatures are not too low, the surface will be wet and very cold, so great care should be taken and any signs of warnings of slippery roads, bends or other hazards must be taken seriously.

The Council spends a considerable amount of time and money trying to reduce the dangers of snow and ice on roads. 32 sensors across the county feed road surface temperatures and other information back to the Control and Information Room at County Hall, which is manned 24 hours a day and is the nerve centre of winter maintenance operations. When freezing conditions exist, county routes are treated with rock salt from a stock of 23,000 tonnes. It is not feasible to treat the entire 7,900 mile road network and many lower Category roads will not, unfortunately, be treated.

True Story from Down Under: New speed cameras in Western Australia have sparked a public outcry after one clocked a parked motorbike at 60 mph and an electricity pylon at 40 mph!



Eider down on the Taw

Between the jetty and the weir, a group of twenty-two eider duck stood at the water's edge, bulky and blackish brown; the largest of the European diving ducks.

When we had first seen them there in late spring, the drakes were still in their glamorous winter plumage - gleaming white back and breast; deep black underparts and a white head with a black crown and pale green patches on the nape. Now, 'in eclipse' with mottled black plumage, they were more like the females - brown, closely barred with black.

A little over two feet long with an elongated profile, the head and bill forming a wedge shape, the eider is a native of Scotland, Iceland and Scandinavia. If attacked by gulls or skuas, they defend themselves by splashing water over the attackers or by means of synchronised diving. They eat mussels, crabs and star fish, swallowing the mussels whole and then crushing them in their muscular gizzards. Each bird consumes between 150 and 250 mussels a day in this way.

Somateria mollissima mollissima - the eider's beautiful Latin name, suggests the very softest of softness. How apt for a bird whose down has long been sought for filling the lightest and warmest of quilts and duvets. The duck plucks down from herself and places a large amount of it in her nest. Once she is sitting on her eggs, she is very reluctant to move if a human being approaches, even allowing herself to be stroked. This is how the precious down is collected. One eiderdown requires the down plundered from dozens of nests.

It was lovely that some of these interesting birds had chosen to spend time on the Taw at Yelland. We watched them take to the water, swimming in single file. It was also at Yelland, where the sea buckthorn grows near the first jetty and when a bitterly cold wind was gusting mercilessly, although it was only the beginning of October, that we saw something we had never seen before and will probably never see again.

We had been enjoying the sparkling effect of a 'charm' of gold finches rising from the stony shore and into the bushes, then dropping and scattering about the beach again. The sea buckthorn, a prickly shrub with orange berries and narrow grey leaves, covered with silvery scales, became enlivened by a large tawny-orange butterfly, with black veins and black wing margins with white spots, gliding and flapping alongside the path for several yards and always keeping a little ahead of us. The wings were a unique shape and it was larger than any of the British butterflies - twice the size of a peacock butterfly.

It was a monarch; inhabitant of the Canaries and North America and a rare visitor to Europe, though in recent years there have been regular sitings of them in the Scillies, Cornwall, Devon and Dorset - a large number making an appearance in 1981. It was first observed in this country in 1876.

Canary Island monarchs are sometimes blown off course to Britain and that particular week there had been reports of gale force winds of seventy miles an hour. The monarch is also known as the milkweed butterfly because that is the plant the caterpillars feed on.

It is famed for its spectacular annual migrations from Mexico to Canada, when the monarchs form massive flocks, resting at dusk on tree trunks, packed very closely together and looking like exotic flowers. This marvellous phenomenon has been shown in one of David Attenborough's programmes.

Illustrations by: Paul Swailes

Sue H




Artwork: Peter Rothwell


Hoping you had a good Christmas and New Year, here we are again to give you an insight as to what we have going on down at the Old Sawmill Inn in the next couple of months. We are running our '2 for 1' offer again through the months of January and February. This offer is available on Monday to Thursday lunchtimes and evenings, except on Wednesday, 14th February when we shall be romancing you with a 3-course Meal Deal compiled especially for Valentine's Day. Bookings are now being taken, so book early to avoid disappointment.

As usual we are doing Sunday Roast Lunches, at just £4.45 and we now also have a 3-course option at £7.95 and a 2-course option for children at £3.00 and tots at £2.00. Booking is advised.

On Friday and Saturday lunchtimes and evenings, we are doing a 3-course meal deal for those who want something a bit special at very reasonable prices - this is as well as our usual pub food menu and specials board.

Well, we hope that you are all in good health and hope to see you soon.




3 - 5 Year Olds, Monday, Wednesday and Friday,
9.30 a.m. - 12.30 p.m. £3.00 per session

There are places vacant after the Christmas school intake. We had an excellent Ofsted and there will be a new prospectus available very soon. Please try and support us if you have a pre-school child.

Parent and Toddler Group

We are delighted to inform you that the Toddler Group has started up again on Friday mornings, 9.30 a.m. to 12.00 noon 'drop in' session. Mums, dads, grannies, etc., are all welcome. £1.00 per child.



Did you know that an average dustbin breaks down into 32% paper, 30% vegetables, 10% glass, 9% miscellaneous, 7% plastic and 4% textiles? Wise up to waste:

  • Think before you buy. Choose products with less packaging
  • Take a reusable bag when shopping. Ask the local supermarket if they supply reusable bags or boxes
  • Compost kitchen and garden waste
  • Use rechargeable batteries to save waste and money
  • Avoid junk mail by writing to: Mail Preference Service, Freepost 22, London WIE 7EZ asking them to remove you from mailing lists
  • Donate unwanted clothes, shoes and bric-a-brac to a local charity/jumble sale
  • Reduce, reuse, recycle and buy recycled whenever possible
  • Buy in bulk to reduce wasteful packaging and save money
  • Buy low energy light bulbs and save both energy and money
  • Avoid disposable items like paper plates or plastic cups



Ilfracombe College


It's all go as Young Studio Theatre get ready to produce this all singing all dancing musical. Over 30 College pupils will don Victorian costume to bring the production to life at The Landmark Theatre on Wednesday, 28th February, Thursday and Friday, 1st and 2nd March at 7.30 p.m., and Friday, 2nd March at 1.30 p.m. Tickets £5.00 [Concessions £4.00, School Students £1.50].

With book, music and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse [writer of Scrooge]; fantastic sets and costumes by Studio Theatre; a full orchestra under the direction of Neil Perrin and the whole production directed by Lee Baxendale, this show promises to be one not to be missed!

Studio Theatre's next production will be 'A Little Like Drowning' by Anthony Minghella. Spanning nearly sixty years, Leonora recalls in short, beautifully observed scenes, the peaks and troughs of her life. For further details, please look for the posters.



6th W.I. Meeting, Manor Hall, 2.30 p.m: Travels with Kath - Slides and Talk, Kath Arscott
8th Lucy Barten's 90th Birthday! 'At Home' 10.30 a.m. to 12.00 noon
13th Parish Council Meeting 7.30 p.m., Manor Hall
14th Mobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
15th Combe Martin Historical Society, 7.30 p.m., Methodist Hall: Jeanne Rumsom-Waltho - Illustrated Talk on the Tyrrell Hospital
17th Jumble Sale, Manor Hall, 2.30 p.m. Proceeds to Berry in Bloom and the Carnival Float
19th to Friday, 23rd February [inc.] College and Primary School: Half Term
21st Wine Circle, Manor Hall, 8.00 p.m. "Secret" - Jan Tonkin and Michael Jones
27th Shrove Tuesday Pancake Day at Berry Home, 10.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.
28th St. Peter's Church: Ash Wednesday - Communion Service
Mobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
Friendship Lunch at The Globe
to 1st March [inc.] Young Studio Theatre - The Revenge of Sherlock Holmes Landmark Theatre 7.30 p.m.
2nd Young Studio Theatre - The Revenge of Sherlock Holmes, The Landmark, 1.30 and 7.30 p.m.
6th W.I. Meeting 2.30 p.m., Manor Hall: Life with a Police Dog - PC Rogers
9th BBC Show, 'End of Combe Pier', Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
10th BBC Show, 'End of Combe Pier', Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
13th Articles and Items for the Newsletter - Deadline!
Parish Council Meeting, Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
14th Mobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
15th Combe Martin Historical Society, 7.30 p.m., Methodist Hall: Brian Pearce - Illustrated Talk on Exmoor
21st Wine Circle Manor Hall, 8.00 p.m. Quality Wines from Jolly's
25th British Summer Time begins - clocks go forward one hour
St. Peter's Church: Mothering Sunday - Special Service 11.00 a.m.
28th Mobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
Friendship Lunch at The Globe
6th College and Primary School: End of Spring Term

Manor Hall Diary:

MondaysBadminton, 7.30 p.m.
Tuesdays2nd & 4th in month: N.D.Spinners
Yoga, 7.00 p.m.
ThursdaysWhist Drive, 7.30 p.m.
FridaysShort Mat Bowls, 7.00 p.m.
SundaysShort Mat Bowls, 2.00 p.m.

Mobile Library:
(Assistant - Jacqui Mackenzie)

11.30 - 11.45 a.m.Sandy Cove
11.50 - 12.05 p.m.Barton Lane
1.15 - 1.40 p.m.The Square
1.45 - 2.05 p.m.Sterridge Valley



presents its 2001 Show


At the Manor Hall, Berrynarbor

7.30 p.m.

Tickets available at The Post Office or The Old Sawmill Inn
Book Early - Remember last Year!



A couple of weeks ago I received a call from Ron Toms who told me that he had a photograph of the Infant Class at Berry Narbor School dated 1920. Imagine my surprise when Tom arrived a week later with his Old Berrynarbor article to find that it was the same photograph!

It is reproduced below together with Tom's article and Ron's list of the names of his fellow pupils.


Artwork: Angela Bartlett



This view of the Infant Class of Berrynarbor School was taken in the playground just outside the school building around 1921. The teacher on the right I do not know, but thanks to Drusilla Hall, who, with her husband, stayed with us at Tower Cottage and who live in Kent, we know the young lad in the front row on the left with a bow tie is Frederick John Draper. Frederick was the half-brother [by the same mother] of Drusilla's grandmother, who is the young girl standing next to the teacher on the right, her name being Mary Lavinia Pinching.

Wouldn't it be great if we could add a few more names to this picture, here's hoping. Had the children been sitting on the ground, we would have seen the iron 'horse shoes' and 'studs' on the bottoms of their boots. Note that the girls' boots were exactly the same as the boys'.

My thanks to Drusilla for sending me the copy of this picture obtained from her grandmother.

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage, January 2001
e-mail address: tomandinge40@gmail.com

Well, Tom, your hopes are realised. Ron, with a little help from Brenda Leyton and Ivy Richards, has named them all! The year is 1920. It is interesting to note that they named the young man in the bow tie as Charlie Pinching and that they thought Drusilla's grandmother was Beth Delbridge. However, Drusilla must be right about her grandmother, but the bow-tied lad, is he Charlie or Frederick?

  • Back Row: Verna Richards, Reg Leigh, Rachel Irwin, Vera Richards, Phyllis Watkins and [Beth Delbridge].
  • Middle Row: Francis Huxtable, George Gear, Leslie Sydnam, Ron Toms, Brenda Richards, George Irwin.
  • Front Row: Charlie Pinching, Albert Adams, Eddie Courtney [with the board], Dorris Cornish and Honour Irwin.

    The Teacher is Lily Richards, mother of John Huxtable.

Rachel, Honour and George Irwin are sisters and brother, and Brenda and Vera Richards are sisters.