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Issue 8 December 2016

Woolacombe & Mortehoe Voice WATERMOUTH CASTLE THE INFAMOUS HOME OF THE SUGAR KING

The S.S . Colli Shipwre er ck

Shop Local ly for Chris tmas

tt Grand o c a r r a The N uture Hotel’s F

WOOLACOMBE WINTER AS SEEN BY A JOURNALIST IN 1900

MORTE POINT A GUIDED WINTER WALK

Cover Photo: Mark Johnson 1


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CONTENTS 4-5

The Former Narracott Hotel

The Narracott Hotel is a well known building in Woolacombe, once remembered for it’s live music and top class acts, it is currently undergoing a renovation into the new Byron development.

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Seaside in the Winter

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A Winter Walk - Morte Point

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Watermouth Castle

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People Behind the Names

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S.S Collier

Harold Begbie’s article in The Morning Post, written on the 1st December 1900 gives a beautiful description of his time in Morte and Woolacombe during a winter visit.

Follow this two mile walk from Mortehoe to Morte Point for a perfect winter walk with stunning views.

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Better known today as the family theme park near Berrynarbor, we find out more about this historical landmark and its infamous residents. We continue the series feature ‘The People behind the Names’ with William John Cowler from Woolacombe.

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This 114 ton vessel ran aground near Rockham beach on the 28th January 1914. 2


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Star the Duck

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Readers Gallery

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Christmas Shopping Locally

Barrie and Star are a well known sight locally, with their first book already available Sue tells us about the book that is heading to the book shelves.

We take a look at some of your photographs of Woolacombe and Mortehoe in the Readers Gallery.

Shopping locally is a great way to support local businesses, take a look at our guide for some inspiration.

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22-23 Bideford

Located on the banks of the River Torridge, Bideford is steeped in history. Find out more about the iconic arched bridge and how Bideford was connected to the UK’s last witch trial.

24-25 Marisco

The well known Woolacombe nightclub, Marisco is the UK’s longest running nightclub. In 2017 it celebrates its 50th anniversary.

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The Final Fling

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Things to do

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My Woolacombe, My Mortehoe

The North Devon VW club put on yet another fantastic event with this years 10th anniversary Final Fling.

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We share a comprehensive list of things to do, in and around Woolacombe and Mortehoe.

John Fielding shares some of his fantastic aerial photographs of the North Devon coastline, including Woolacombe and Mortehoe.

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Whats On

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In the News

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A comprehensive list of events happening during the next 3 months.

Local news and updates.

36 Contact

I always love to hear from you, find out how to contact Woolacombe, Mortehoe Voice.

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The Narracott Grand Hotel The Narracott Grand Hotel has been a well-recognised part of Woolacombe for many years. Some will remember it as a luxury hotel in Woolacombe, hosting bands and top class entertainment to the days when many considered it as a blot on the landscape. Today we see an exciting regeneration project underway with Byron.

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oy and Rosemary Lancaster, along with Roy’s parents bought the 28 bedroom hotel when it was very run down. Roy set about working on the refurb whilst Rosemary managed the day to day running of the hotel. The hotel soon became a premier hotel and in 1965 the hotel was proud to offer the first indoor swimming pool in North Devon.

e watched the construction in awe; rumours abounded until, eventually, the signs went up ‘Cabaret Bar’. What did this mean? ‘Cabaret, that’s Striptease, isn’t it?’ So went the dialogue in the village. Dictionaries were hastily consulted in an attempt to understand what was to be foisted upon the good people of the parish.

It opened onto 1960s Woolacombe – our entertainment would never be the same again. Groups, yes proper Beat Groups – but not only the local performers, excellent as they undoubtedly were. An appearance on the fledgling ‘Top of the Pops’ (hosted in those days by such luminaries as David Jacobs and Pete Murray, and with an audience of millions), or a record high enough in the ‘Hit Parade’ would almost certainly guarantee an appearance at The Narracott -Hot Chocolate, The Swinging Blue Jeans, The Merseybeats, they all appeared, and many more.

‘Woolacombe born and bred’, estate agent, auctioneer and now writer Steve Brown in his first book, relates with warmth and humour the fun and trauma of growing up in the 1950’s and 60’s in what was then a fledgling resort. Included are his memories of the Narracott Grand Hotel:

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nyone who likes to use the old adage that the ‘Swinging Sixties’ didn’t reach Woolacombe until at least 1975, should perhaps reflect upon ‘The Narracott’. In a relatively few years during the mid-1960s, this semi detached Edwardian hotel was transformed into the modernistic building as seen more recently. Not perhaps so kindly regarded, aesthetically, now, but architecture is often dictated by fashion and, in the mid 60s, this was avant grade beyond anyone’s dreams.

Further information on how to obtain a copy of Steve’s book: please email him directly at: stephenbrown1949@aol.com 4

It was commonplace for the glitterati of Torbay to leave their homeland, bypass Exeter, and travel to The Narracott on Saturday nights in order to enjoy the best of National Entertainment! For opportunistic Woolacombe boys, the chance to mix with the sophisticates of the south coast was a dream come true.


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The Former Narracott Hotel – A Vision of the Future

xciting times are ahead for one of Woolacombe’s largest landmarks, as long awaited plans finally come to fruition for the former Narracott Grand Hotel. Lee Hussell writes about the future of the former Narracott Hotel: Many people, I am sure, are relieved as the main construction phase of the development is finally underway. Rumours have been rife that the developers weren’t able to move forward with the project increasing fears that this very visible eyesore would remain as a blot on the otherwise stunningly beautiful coastal landscape. Having been involved with the developers and their associates since 2008 I can safely confirm that their interest and commitment has never waned and behind the ‘iron curtain’ tatty facade there has been a huge amount of planning and focus on ensuring their vision for the property would eventually be realised.

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he new development, Byron, will comprises of 55 high quality apartments offering a mixture of accommodation units, including 5 fantastic penthouses sitting in a dominant position at the top of the building with far reaching views of the delightful bay, beach and the Atlantic Ocean.

We believe that Byron will very much add to the community and bring to Woolacombe a superb new restaurant/bistro which will be owned and run by originally local residents Graham and Mike Brundle who want to provide excellent, well priced modern food and cocktails in a superb contemporary environment. The restaurant will be open all year round and will be open to the general public as well as serve as an integral part of Byron for the apartment owners to enjoy a range of services from. There will also be an indoor heated swimming pool and spa complex which will be for the private use of the residents and their guests and provide an alternative option for occupants especially when the weather is not conducive for the beach.

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aving lived and worked locally all of my life I know there will be people who are worried about these apartments being used solely as holiday homes, and being empty for large periods of time and perhaps a sense of disappointment that many local people will struggle to afford them. Affordability and homes for local people are always going to be a problem as Woolacombe has for many years been very popular with incoming purchasers; I share those people’s concerns.

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However, looking forward, I believe Byron will offer Woolacombe so much; not just a lovely restaurant to enjoy but also to reinvigorate this otherwise rotting property and also bring in a lot more people who will use the local facilities, shops, businesses etc. boosting trade in the village and benefitting the community as a whole.

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n terms of timescales, there are two distinct phases of construction, first part being the conversion and refurbishment of the existing building to deliver roughly half of the 55 units together with the opening of the restaurant and provision of the underground car park at the rear. This is planned for completion for the summer of 2017. The second phase sees the building of three further brand new blocks at the rear, the landscaping of the courtyards and construction of the swimming pool complex; this should be complete around the end of 2018. For further information please do not hesitate to contact: Lee Hussell Webbers Estate Agents 01271 869119 lee.hussell@webbers.co.uk


The Seaside in Winter 1st December 1900

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ive hours and thirty-six minutes after leaving the crowded platforms of Waterloo Station the Ilfracombe express deposited me with a snort at a little wayside station between Barnstaple and Ilfracombe named Braunton. It was a grey November afternoon, and the shadows stretched over the wild scene gave river and field the appearance of shuddering under a snow packed sky. They seemed to be conscious that summer had spread her wings, and flown far over Bideford Bay to lands where the dear Devonshire dialect is never heard, where the broadbacked red cattle never browse and where the scalded cream with its faint aroma of wood is never tasted. I turned up my coat collar and trudged by the side of a Braunton waggonette up a steep hill. Two and a half miles of climbing, and then we rattled down the narrow lanes with their high hedges, swinging round corners, flashing through tiny hamlets, on for another two miles when my coachman slackened for a moment and turned in a narrow drive leading to my destination. Pickwell. We had left the heaving country of bare shoulder fields with the motionless grey sea beyond, and now amid tress stretching gaunt limbs to heaven we were jolting and squeaking through the dusk towards the farmhouse that shed warm life from a dozen windows through the trees that hemmed it in.

by Harold Begbie

The Devonshire Welcome To this house, then, I came with my impediments, and, after a true Devonshire welcome in the wide hall, I was soon toasting myself before a roaring wood fire, while Miss Phyllis hustled at the table with tea-pot, homemade bread, home made butter, homemade jam and eggs whose very shell proclaimed they had come but an hour ago from the hen roost. Pickwell was to be my headquarters from which I should make expeditions along that neglected part of the Devonshire north coast which runs from Morte Point to Baggy Point, along which splendid stretch of hard red sand little Woolacombe is alone known to the tourist. To explore this coast was one object to test it as a winter resort another. So I ate those glorious eggs, cut great slices from a homemade loaf, drank my comfortable tea and studied maps. It was a good beginning, for I had come from muddy, fog ridden London, jaded and irritable; and already pessimism had been blown out of my mind. And now having roamed over the downs about Morte Bay, having climbed along rocks piled against the coast from Putsborough to Croyde, and having walked the three miles across sands that seperate Pickwell from Woolacombe, I am prepared to swear with my hand on my heart that the jaded citizen by London fog, bespattered by London mud, sneezing his dreary way through sopping streets and melancholy squares, can find no such invigorating winter resort along the English coast than in this neglected corner of Devon.

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Better for the mind and better for the body is this little bit of wind blown coast, than the soft, lazy dalliance of the Rivera. ‘tis but five and a half hours from London, and a week of it will send one on one’s way rejoicing till the spring comes round again, and people forebear to ask if one is suffering from a cold. Cheap Manor House Morte Bay is wild. As you stand by the two whitewashed cottages built at the sand’s edge near little Putsborough (where a manor house is to be had for something over £50 a year!) you look across miles of untrodden sand to Morte Point, seeing Woolacombe indistinctly and not seeing Mortehoe at all. That is one view. On the other side Baggy Point thrusts its long arm out to sea, and there you see only great jagged rocks over which gulls wheel in a kind of splendid monotony. Two tiny white washed cottages with an old Navy man making antimacassars in the doorway; and on the one side miles and miles of firm red sand, on the others massive rocks piled against the coasts. That is Morte Bay. In front of you, spreading itself from one point to the other, is what I may call a veritable land of sea. There is no suggestion here-at least, I have not seen it- of the sea’s light hearted sportiness, no jumping and dancing of youthful waves, no chuckle of old breakers tossing white heads as they sweep over youngsters on their way to the sands.


The level iron sea, under a leaden sky into which it merges just beyond Lundy Island seems to be resting after great labour in the deep waters beyond; seems to be recovering its fierce energy; seems to be a little angered by the noise of battle outside my two points, iron coloured-cold, noiseless passionless.

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he wind that blows from the land is, bitterly cold, but the Englishman wandering on those desert like sands will welcome it. He will not, certainly need to swathe his body in top coat and wrap his fingers in gloves as he strides along the sands, clambers over the rocks, or strikes up to the downs above. It is a wind that keeps one moving, that taunts one for not leaping and jumping. So the traveller swings along, bounds from rock to rock, scales the side of what it chooses, and forgets that such a wind in London would send him wheezing into a four wheeler with coat collar about his ears and handkerchief before his mouth. Peaceful Winter Night So you spend the day, the cold, grey, whistling winter day, and then as darkness closes in you strike back to the fire in the farmhouse, for a long peaceful winter night such as no man can find within the four mile radius. It is here that you test the joys of a winter by the sea. You have time to think. The minute’s drag, the hoursthey might be called aeons-never seem to come to an end. A week of it, and you feel as if you have been away from the racket and turmoil of London for a month of Sundays. Such long nights! Though you knock the ashes from your pipe at ten and are deep in slumber before the grandfather clock bawls out that it is half past. But if you have walked well, those long nights over the fire will bring you joy, joy of the passive kind- a deep and abiding peace of body and mind.

You will be conscious that you are so many pounds better than the day before, that you are really resting your mind, that you are, of a truth, getting “a change” But the traveller who comes to the north coast of Devon for a wintry week should be careful to live as the natives. Let him bring no fastidious taste with him no jaded appetite that requires ticking with French sauce. For breakfast I counsel home cured bacon and eggs, with an unlimited amount of home made bread and butter, ending with home made jam, the best in the world. For dinner (for we dine mid day), if he be carnivorous let the traveller eat good roast pork or beef, with mealy potatoes and white cauliflowers, drinking with gratitude in his heart the farmer’s cider; after that an apple pudding with Devonshire cream-cream that has been scalded over a wood fire, not, as they now do it in South Devon, wring it from the milk in a “factory” – urgh! Then off one goes again over the downs, or on to the broad sands and walks hard till nearly six, at which hour high tea will be preparing. The noblest tea I ever tasted was composed as follows: Potatoes baked in their jackets, bread, butter, apples, cream and tea, that is all. But the potatoes crumbled on to the plate and we softened their hearts still further with great wedges of Devonshire butter. Then, of course, there was the bread cut from that vast loaf, such bread, such butter! And with those potatoes, those apples, that cream, and three giant cups of tea, a meal for the gods, if the gods take exercise. In the farmhouse He who comes to the edge of the sea in winter and goes to fashionable hotels will never draw the same quality of enjoyment from the world as I who elects for the farmhouse. A nipping freshness in the air will send him shuddering; a driving rain will keep him fuming within doors all day. 7

In the farmhouse one is ashamed to show any fear of rain, and there are no indoor amusement to play the siren to the traveller. His only siren is the sea, and the grinding of the waves and the shrill whistle of the wind will call him out from the fireside as the bugle brings Tommy on parade. He will grow to love the ash coloured leafless trees swaying and bending in the wind, the leaden coloured landscape, the iron coloured sea, he will want to be moving over the wind whipt downs when the rain is beating in his face, proud to share the wide landscape with only a stray gull circling drearily over the troubled earth.

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his is winter; but at Morte Bay in the middle of November you may oft sit through a golden afternoon on the furze covered downs with nothing save a summer suit on your body, with your cap in your hand, grateful for the heat of the summer sun. Then the black waters become a joyfill blue; Baggy Point shows you green fields and rich red earth to his extreme end, and beyond him you may see over a wide ocean Hartland Point, with the sun setting immediately behind- all that sea a dancing lake of gold, twinkling and sparkling with the radiance of June. Down you look from your hill top, over the pale furze bushes and the deep brown bracken, to the rank grass that grows at the edge of the white powdery sand, and then over the hard red sand you look to the semicircle of white foam stretching on those shimmering sands from Baggy to Morte Point. And then, having taken your fill, of this uninterrupted view of two great bays stretched to your feet, look around. No one to be seen. A white horse far away on the skyline, a few sheep below you, near the seas edge, cattle in the meadows behind.

That is what Morte Bay gives you in the Winter, the most enchanting of scenes and the sense that it belongs only to you and the gulls.


Morte Point Enjoy a Coastal Winter Walk This walk is approximatley 2 miles long and takes in some of the stunning coastal landscape that North Devon has to offer. The route takes you out onto Morte Point, with great views towards Woolacombe Beach and Baggy Point. Perfect in the Winter, it is great for experiencing the wildness of the area and the power of the sea. Morte Point, means death point and was a notorious spot for shipwrecks. Known for its rich heritage of smugglers and wreckers, this stretch of coastline is very dramatic, with a landscape of cliffs, rocky headlands and sandy bays.

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From Mortehoe village take the road to the right of the church and left of The Ship Aground pub, signposted ‘Coast Path’. Follow this path until you reach Mortehoe Cemetary on the left hand side of you.

Morte Point is designated as a site of special scientific interest within the North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This is a beautiful walk through stunning coastal heathland, a wonderful place to find wallflowers and butterflies. If you take your binoculars you may even seen the Atlantic grey seals and dolphins that enjoy this stretch of coastline.

If you have time it is worth having a look around the cemetary, with its stunning views across Woolacombe Bay.

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Continue onto the National Trust path to Morte Point, keeping to the right of the cemetary and entering through the Chichester memorial gates onto Morte Point itself. Continue straight on, taking the broad grass track downhill. Turn left after 220yd (200m) to join a footpath which links to the coast path.


The path will now take you around Morte Point. When you reach the finger post follow the direction which says ‘Mortehoe ½ mile.’ The views along this walk are stunning, you will take in views of Rockham Bay and Bull Point lighthouse in the distance.

Places to visit to extend your walk! St. Mary Magdalene Church in Mortehoe is a listed building and has undergone many changes over its history. Built in the 12th Century, it underwent large alterations in the 13th century, with the chancel and north tower being added. It continued to be extended and altered to the beautiful church that stands proud in the centre of Mortehoe today. When visiting take the time to look at the beautiful Selwyn Chancel arch mosaic as well as the stunning carved pew ends.

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If you look carefully, you can see seals in the water. The path is clearly marked and has benches placed along the path for you to take a rest and enjoy the view.

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Continue up a gentle slope, keeping the old derelict wall on the left until you reach the point where you entered Morte Point and retrace your steps tback to the village. Some of the walls on Morte Point are anicent relics in themselves, they have been here for at least a couple of hundred years.

The S.S Collier was a 114 ton steamer that ran aground at Rockham Bay in 1914. The anchor from the Collier is displayed outside the Ship Aground Public House in the centre of Mortehoe village. The ship’s fairlead can be seen by the entrance. For full details about the S.S Collier shipwreck, please read page 14.

Mortehoe Museum is located by the main carpark, and is situated in a building owned by the National Trust. The museum is a great way to learn more about the area, its heritage and the people and events that have been so important in Mortehoe’s history. In the summer months it is the starting point for the tractor and trailer rides, which are a wonderful way of seeing this coastline. For more information: www.mortehoemuseum.org.uk

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Watermouth Castle

Watermouth Castle is located near the shore of Watermouth Bay, in Berrynarbor. Today the castle is known as a successful family theme park, we look back at it’s history.

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rthur, his wife Harriet, and their four children (2 girls, 2 boys), would live in the Castle, sadly Harriet for whom the castle had been built died in 1863, and Arthur not long after in 1870.

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he castle was built in 1825 by Arthur Davie Bassett for his bride Harriet. Arthur had inherited the Watermouth Estate and much of Berrynarbor, from his father Joseph Davie Bassett, who had died at the age of 82. The castle is a Grade II listed building, it had additions made in 1845 when Arthur instructed a Plymouth architect, George Wightwick to complete the interior of the castle. The family apartments, kitchen and dairy indicated that around 40 domestics were employed to run the estate.

Arthur’s fortune was inherited by his son Reverend Arthur Crowforth and his son-in-law Charles Henry Williams. It was custom for only the man to inherit, hence the fortune being left to Charles and not his daughter.

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atermouth Castle was vacated by the family in 1916 when it was used as a convalescent home for Army Officers wounded in the First World War. It was shortly after this time, that the family started to sell the estate, which had become to difficult and expensive to run.

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During the Second World War it was used as the HQ for P.L.U.T.O (pipe line under the ocean). PLUTO, was designed to supply petrol from storage tanks in southern England to the advancing Allied armies in France in the months following D-Day. In 1942 a long term trial of PLUTO, with a prototype pipeline stretching from from Swansea oil refinery via the Bristol Channel to Watermouth Bay near Ilfracombe in North Devon. This 27 mile long stretch of 2-inch cable delivered 125 tons a day or 38,000 gallons a day for three weeks. In 1942 most of the Castle contents were sold. When the last family member died in 1943 the Castle began to decline and was eventually sold. The sale was reported in the local press on Thursday 23rd September 1943:


photographs of Mr & Mrs Caines and the entrance to Watermouth Castle

Competition was keen for the 1,800 lots offered at the sale of the contents of Watermouth Castle, near Ilfracombe, the property of Lorna, Countess Howe, conducted by Messrs. Skinner and Squire Ltd. Auctioneers, of Ilfracombe. There was a representative attendance of buyers from London and the provinces. Among prices realized were: Set of eight Sheraton elbow chairs, £96 William and Mary writing cabinent, £57 10s Sheraton dining table £47 10s Queen Anne tallboy chest £76 10s Queen Anne chest on stand £75 Oak bureau £70 Mahogany bookcase, £39 French hall wardrobe £30 Wiltshire carved oak chair £14 Queen Anne toilet mirror £23 French boudoir suite £37 Bedsteads with spring interior mattresses up to £42 Turkey and Persian carpets and rugs up to £62 Axminister carpet £51 Axminister stair carpet £2 9s per yard Nuremberg dinner service £42 Crystal glass bowl £31 Ironstone dinner service £50 Dresden teaset £41 Dresden decorated plates and dishes £7 each

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he last descendent of the Basset family moved from Watermouth Castle to Scotland around 1945 and the castle then had a number of different owners. During that time very little changed to the building and gardens and as a result they began to deteriorate. It was in 1977 the castle was bought by Richard Haines, who with a lot of hard work turned it into the attraction that we see today.

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hroughout its history the family would let the castle out to tenants. In 1924, one such tenant would be the infamous, Mr Ernest Dunbar Cairns, known by many as ‘The Sugar King’ or ‘The Baron’. 11

Mr Cairns lived a very colourful life, much of which was documented in later years by his wife in the Sunday Post. Ernest had conducted many large scale scams which lead many people to think, he was a millionaire eccentric, which he certainly was not. When Ernest and his wife moved to his ‘beloved Watermouth Castle’ he had many plans for his new home, after a short period of time living in the Castle, a warrant was soon out for his arrest. Following a great escape to Holland and many escapades he was soon found back in the United Kingdom, where still things lead a merry tale! The full details of Mr Ernest Dunbar Cairn, as written by his wife can be see on the website: www.woolacombemortehoevoice.co.uk


The People behind the names

William John Cowler 1897 - 1916 12


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illiam John Cowler was born in 1897 to John and Ellen Cowler (nee Hewitt). The family lived in Woolacombe at Holmesdale House, where they took in summer boarders and his father John worked as a Carriage Driver. William was an aspiring postal worker, first working in Mortehoe, then Barnstaple as a telegraphist, followed by Weston-super-Mare and finally in London. Whilst working in Whitechapel, London as a clerk with the Post Office, William would enlist for active war service, he was assigned to the Royal Engineers, regimental number 1388. Whilst sailing with the 29th Division, through the Gallipoli campaign, Sapper Cowler was admitted to military hospital and was invalided home with dysentery, but made a good recovery and continued to France. After spending some time at the base he was sent to The Front on special duty. Sadly on his second day at the front he fell victim to a German bomb. he had been at work in a dug out when an enemy bomb dropped on the roof, death would have been instantaneous.

A letter sent back to his old school in Woolacombe detailed William’s time at war: Dear Mr. Slee; We’ve had a very hot time out here, and there’s plenty of fighting in front of us, but we are here to stay. When one looks at the cliffs and splendid natural cover here for defensive purposes, one wonders how a landing was ever affected. The only answer to a question as to how it was done would be to say that the landing was forced by the finest then existing regiments in the world. The Infantry fought splendidly, marvellously. Our Company was split up for the landing, and I, with four others, was transferred to the “River Clyde” which as you have read was purposely run aground to facilitate the landing of the troops. This landing- V Beach- was truly termed the most terrible of all. As we were only about 20 yards from the foreshores we had an excellent view of everything that occurred. Perhaps you would be interested to hear our general mode of living. Being under shell fire every day more or less, we have to live in dugouts with a bomb proof roof, if possible. We get plenty of wholesome grub. Menu for day: Breakfast- bacon, bread, and tea; dinnerBully beef stew (a mixture of bully beef, dried potatoes and carrots boiled up); tea- biscuits, jam and tea; Supper-cheese and biscuits. A daily repetition of this gets a bit monotonous, although it is possible to vary it a trifle. For instance, instead of biscuits and cheese for supper we are allowed to have cheese and biscuits. Would take too long to give a detailed account of our stay at Alexandria. Even by the time I’ve finished this, you will require an occasional reviver to wade through it.

One of the officers wrote a touching letter of condolence to the relatives, this being accompanied by a cheerful letter written by Sapper Cowler, but which he himself had not time to post, shortly before his death. His friends and fellow comrades described him as a brave and gallant young solider.

We sailed on April 8th. We were established in the gymnasium, sleeping on deck. Reached the Island of Lemnos in the Aegean sea on 12th. We lay anchored in a splendid natural harbour there until the 23rd. Was lucky enough about a dozen times, and had a chance of going through one or two of the villages near. The people were dressed like Greeks. The climate there was something similar to that of North Devon. All the wild flowers could have been found in the hedges and fields around Morte-Hoe.

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Fire broke out in the gymnasium on the 14th. Four of our fellows had caught German measles, so bedding had to be fumigated to prevent the disease from spreading. Fumigation candle set light to a blanket, and the whole room was soon blazing away right merrily.

r and Mrs Cowler received several touching letters. All gave tribute to the happy disposition and ability of the deceased. The Sergeant Major expressed deep sorrow and heart felt sympathy. He says Sapper Cowler was killed by shell fire while on duty on June 26th, and states that a cross will be placed over the grave. The seargent major adds “Your son was a man of very pleasant disposition.”

Several fellows’ kits were destroyed. Reached Tenedos on the 24th, and were transferred to the “River Clyde”. Landing took place on 25th April, Sunday morning. Shall never forget it. Please remember to all friends at Morte-Hoe Sincerely yours, W. J. Cowler 13


S.S. COLLIER

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28th January 1914

nother shipping disaster has to be added to the already long series which have occurred on the North Devon coast. Early on Wednesday morning the S.S. Collier ran on the rocks off Rockham Beach, near Bull Point, but happily on this occasion no lives were lost, the crew having previously left in their boat, and be being picked up by the Ilfracombe Lifeboat. At the time the vessel-which belongs to the Packet Bristol Channel Packet Trading Co, and its of about 114tons net register, and the oldest one on Lloyd’s register- was proceeding to Avonmouth from Pembroke Docks under the ballast to await orders, the crew, all Brisol men, comprising Capt. Wright, James Jeffreys (mate), John Thompson (engineer), R. James (fireman), Charles Wilson and Albert Barnes (seamen), and Alfred Kingstone (winchman). It was about 2:15am when the men in charge of the Bull Point Lighthouse first observed signals of distress and immediately telephoned to Ilfracombe and to Mr. J. Dyer, captain of the Morth-Hoe rocket apparatus. The night was somewhat foggy. Mr. Dyer stated that the voluntary crew were on duty on Tuesday night, as they only kept watch when the weather was stormy or foggy.

Receiving the call from the lighthouse at 2:15 he immediately summoned the other members of the Brigade, and all were promptly assembled. Two members of the Brigade were sent on in advance to Rockham with the megaphone, but were unable to make themselves heard to the crew; whilst the rocket line was not long enough to reach the steamer, which was a considerable way out. Repeated attempts with the megaphone failed; but the Brigade stood by the vessel for some time. A little later, the crew, fearing that their vessel was sinking, made a dash for a boat. The Ilfracombe lifeboat authorities received the call about three o’clock, and despite the low tide, the life boat was launched in the record time of seven minutes. Taken in tow by the S.S ‘Devonia’ the lifeboat eventually succeded in picking up the crew in their boat in mid channel off Lee, there being a heavy ground swell at the time. The crew were taken to Ilfracombe and having partaken of refreshments at Mr. Edwards boarding house, several of the number proceeded to their homes at Bristol by rail. 14

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fter the lifeboat brought the crew to Ilfracombe she again returned to the scene to see if there was any chance of saving the ‘Collier,’ but found the vessel lying end on, with water up to her funnel. Several members of the crew, all agreed that the vessel struck about 2am. The captain and mate were both at the wheel at the time of the accident and the first intimation that they received of their whereabouts, was the red light of Bull Point, which was seen on the starboard. Before they could alter their course, they had struck on the rocks. Immediately the vessel began to fill, and so they took to their boat, which they were in for about threequarters of an hour before being picked up by the lifeboat. The only reason which they could suggest for the accident was that the compass must have gone wrong. The captain said that although it was foggy, hazy night, he could not account for the vessel having got so much out of its course. On leaving the vessel, members of the crew took a dog, cat and a bird with them.


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he captain had been in the service of the Company for a great number of years, and this is the first mishap he has had. Early in the morning the Commander Curtis in charge of the coastguard in the district arrived on the scence from Ilfracombe by motor, and after telephoning to Ilfracombe to find out if the men had arrived, ordered the apparatus to return to the village. At Morte-Hoe Mr.Dyer is warmly praised for the promptitude with which he got out the rocket apparatus. It is a matter of comment locally that the coast watching in the district is left to a voluntary crew, who however efficient, might possibly be called upon at short notice after having followed their ordinary occupation all day. It is considered that men should be appointed to watch every night and not only on foggy and stormy nights. While a one time coastguard were situated at Mortehoe they have long since been removed, and the nearest stations now are those at Ilfracombe and Croyde. Having regard to the fact the Morte is one of the most dangerous points in the Channel, it is urged that it should receive at least the same attention as other parts of the coast at which coastguardmen are stationed.

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esterday the ‘Collier’ was lying on an even keel, and at low water was absolutely high and dry, but at high tide was almost submerged. During the day the vessel presented a remarkable sight, being wedged in between two big rocks. The ship is considerably damaged, and is lying in an awkward position and the members of the crew expressed the opinion that no attempts at salvging her be made. Practically the whole of the male population of the village, with a good sprinkling of women, turned out when the alarm was given, and during the day large numbers of persons visited the vicinity of the wreck. Several photographers secured some fine photos.

Amy then started working on the first childrens’ illustrated book based around Star. However, the publishing company wanted to take ownership of this, a route neither Sue or Amy wanted to do. Therefore, this was put on hold.

Star the Duck The majority of those living locally will be familiar with a little character who has been regularly seen over the past 5 years – Star, the bow tie wearing duck, accompanied by his dad Barrie (AKA, the Duck Man). Their partnership has been well documented in the local, national and indeed international media over the years including the American channel NBC who came to film the pair, telling their counterparts across the pond that they were filming a “Hollywood Duck”. Sue, Star’s mum and Barrie’s wife, went on to write a book. Sue says “being an author had never been on my radar or thought possible. However, it was following an encounter with children’s author and illustrator Amy Winfield who asked if she could produce a childrens’ book based on Star. She asked if I could write down some of the events and quirks of the adventures Star and Barrie had experienced over the years. Happy to oblige, I started writing and couldn’t stop! I quickly realised a story of its own was forming.” Sue was then successful to secure a publishing deal and they released her book “Star: The Story of One Duck’s Rise to Fame” in May 2014. 15

Now out of publishing contract, the first in the series of Star’s childrens’ illustrated book “The Adventures of Star – Star’s Birthday Wish” has now been released. It is a fantastic little book which tells of one of Star’s little adventures including the real-life characters of Barrie, Sue and Drake the Collie dog. And Sue has now just re-released her original book as a selfpublisher, re-named the “Story of Star - One Duck’s Rise to Fame”. As per the original book, it is an honest and true story, a heart-warming, funny and at times heart-breaking tale charting the first two years of the life of Star, including the explanation of how this bow tie wearing duck ended up to be a local celebrity. The book has additions to the original publication with further thoughts from that two-year period. Both books “The Adventures of Star – Star’s Birthday Wish” by A.C. Winfield and “The Story of Star - One Duck’s Rise to Fame” by Sue Hayman are now available to buy from Amazon. You can also receive live and regular updates on Star the duck by going to Facebook “The Adventures of Star” and “Star Hayman”. Sue says that now the first book has been re-released, she can now focus on the long-awaited second book, which will pick up from where the first book finished (2013) as there is plenty more action and adventure to report.


The

Readers Gallery

We love to share your photographs of Woolacombe and Mortehoe. If you would like to have your photographs included, please email to woolacombemortehoevoice@gmail.com or use #wmvphoto on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Alice Woodcock

Kelly - Crossbred

Sarah-Jane Tavendale

Keith Guy

Nicola Clark

Sam Courton 16


Anna Hyde

Mariae O’Sullivan

Jayne Williams

Patricia Mathieson

Andrew Birch

Jonathon Knight 17


The start of our love affair with Woolacombe. by Michael Hodges

Woolacombe holds a special place in our hearts, we first came 43 years ago when our sons were babies, and have never missed a year since. We have stayed in tents , touring caravans, static caravans, hotels and apartments. We have ridden on buses, boats, horses, and best of all the surf. We have witnessed heat waves, gale force winds, rain, rainbows, and the famous Woolacombe mists. All our family through to great grandchildren have followed us here. We have walked to Lee Bay, Bull Point, Morte Point, Baggy Point and three levels of the walk to Putsborough. Next year is our Golden Anniversary and God willing we will be back as someone famous once said.

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Jen Starbuck

Angela Thompson & Woolly Bear

Nicky Bates

Tony Twyman 19


Shopping locally is a great way to support small local businesses and find

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West Country Gallery Have a look at the goodies pages and the art gallery, for the perfect unusual gift. Handmade one off’s as well as carefully selected gifts to spoil yourselves and others too! For those of you not lucky enough to be visiting in person visit the website perfect for you to peruse at your leisure from the comfort of your own home. www.westcountrygallery.co.uk

Braunton Christmas Fair The 2016 Braunton Christmas market will be held in Caen street from 15:00-21:00 on Saturday 3rd December. With over 100 stalls, there is something for everyone, with many local suppliers having stalls. A perfect event to help with your Christmas shopping, there is also live music, food and drink stands. www.northdevonchristmasmarkets.co.uk

Donna Flower Vintage Donna Flower Vintage is a beautiful vintage boutique in the beautiful North Devon town of Barnstaple, just off the High Street. Specialising in pre 1960’s wearable, vintage clothing and fabric. Mother and daughter Donna and Jasmine bring new and exciting one off pieces to their store. www.donnaflowervintage.com

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Hog Wash Soaps Hogwash soaps are 100% palm free, handmade in North Devon, using a traditional cold press method. www.hogwashsoaps.co.uk


the perfect, unique Christmas present.

as Shopping Kelstar

Dartington Crystal

Kelstar produce handcrafted, stained, fused and tacked glasswork items. Indvidually handcrafted they make beautiful gifts, all made in North Devon. They will also do commissions.

Hand made in Devon, Dartington Crystal makes a lovely gift, with a huge range of products, with a personalisation service available you can find a unique and individual gift. www.dartington.co.uk

www.kelstarglasscraft.co.uk

John Tull Beachcraft John Tull Beachcrafts produces a popular range of local photographs taken by John, framed in locally sourced driftwood frames. John also makes mirrors, decratives items and candle holders, all from driftwood. You can buy items from local markets including Barnstaple Pannier market or online at

April Doubleday April is a British ethical jewellery designer living on the North Coast of Devon. April uses the coastline, rock formations and sea as inspiration for her designs.

www.johntull-beachcrafts.co.uk

www.aprildoubleday.com

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Bideford

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he town of Bideford, sits on the banks of the river Torridge, its name is said to derive from ‘bythe-ford. Most people will know the iconic bridge that crosses from Bideford to East-the-Water, first built in 1286 as a pack horse bridge, it was later rebuilt in 1535. The 24 arch bridge as we see it today was built in a variety of sizes, it is rumoured that this was the case because each of the arches was paid for by local businessmen, the larger arches reflecting those with more wealth. Historically the town was referred to as the ‘Little White Town’ before the Doomsday book recorded the ‘manor’ in 1086. According to the Doomsday book there were 30 villagers and 8 smallholders. Bideford is also very well known for a slightly unusual reason, it would be the home of the last woman to be convicted of witchcraft in England. The story of how Temperance Lloyd, Mary Trembles and Susanna Edwards came to the gallows is a tragic one that serves as a dark reminder of England’s superstitious past. The book of Bideford, written by John Watkins, a local historian in 1792 tells the story of their misfortune:

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n a July Saturday in 1682, a local shopkeeper reported to the town constables that he suspected that Temperance Lloyd had been using witchcraft to cause illness to a local woman by the name of Grace Thomas. Following this, Temperance was arrested and further charged of using magical acts upon Grace Thomas, and having communicated with the Devil. Following this, others came forward to accuse Temperance of further acts of witchcraft, including the sightings of a cat, which was believed to be a manifestation of the Devil. Lloyd denied the use of magic. Two more Bideford women, Mary Trembles and Susanna Edwards, were denounced by their neighbours, having been noticed in the company of Lloyd when all three were begging for food in Bideford.

They were arrested and incarcerated with Lloyd, and crowds gathered to stare at the three suspects as they languished in the town lock-up. The three women were sent to Exeter on the 8th July 1862 were they awaited trial for over a month. The trial eventually took place on the 19th August, The presiding judge, Sir Thomas Raymond, allowed his will to be swayed by the emotional atmosphere in the court and raised no objection to the jury finding the suspects guilty of all charges. Once sentence of death had been passed, the women were sent back to Exeter gaol to await execution. Their deaths took place on 25 August 1682 at Heavitree just outside Exeter. A plaque commemorating the tragic deaths of the Bideford witches can be viewed today on the wall of Rougemont Castle in Exeter.

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y the 16th Century, Bideford was the countries third largest port, it was even rumoured that Sir Walter Raleigh landed his first shipment of tobacco here, although this is believed to be a myth. In 1699 more ships are reported to have left Bideford than anywhere else in England, apart from London and Topsham. The area of Bideford is probably best known by the works of Charles Kingsley who came to Bideford in 1854, hiring a house, where he wrote his best seller, Westward Ho! And consequently the area saw a boom in tourism from people coming to the see the stories setting. In 1886 The ‘Thorough Guides of North Devon & Cornwall’ promoted Bideford: “Every visitor to these parts is or ought to be familiar with Kingsley’s “Westward Ho!” and so we need not quote his description of this old fashioned town and port. It stands on the margin and steep western bank of the Torridge, and is fully seen as we approach by rail and alight at the station, which is on the opposite side of the river. 23

The town is of considerable antiquity, and was formerly of relatively greater importance than at present. It’s principal streets are wide, and the atmosphere and general appearance of the places throughout suggestive of quiet and healthy ways, not unaccompanied with fair prosperity. The bridge has been more than once widened, and affords a delightful promenade when the tide is up and the softly beautiful Torridge valley is bright with the windings of its then broad stream. There are no particular points of interest in this town by a pleasant place for a day or two whilst exploring the neighbourhood. Today Bideford is still a working port seeing many ships transporting aggregates and clay extracts, there is still a small but flourishing local fishing trade as well as local connections to Lundy Island. The town houses its own Pannier Market, and traffic free streets makes this the perfect place to have a walk around and enjoy the many shops and cafes that the town has to offer. You could take a walk along the quay and admire the expansive waterfront, or perhaps visit the fortnightly farmers’ market. For cyclists and walkers, there is the Tarka Trail that is the perfect way to explore the area.


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he Marisco nightclub in Barton Road, Woolacombe, was opened in 1967, making it one of the longest running nightclubs in the UK. It’s success, in part, is due to the atmosphere of the nightclub, in their own words:

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he Dicker family had taken over the nightclub in 1990 with Joey playing a key role in attracting acts from all over the world, he would then progress his career and manage the club in the mid 2000s

“no one really cares where you’re from and who you know, people just come to listen to quality music and have a good time, The Marisco has always been about what should be the most important thing for any nightclub, the music.”

“When I look back at some of the names we’ve had down over the years it’s just surreal to think we’re in this little seaside village in Devon and we’ve literally had people flying in from New York to play exclusively for us”

It was first managed by Ray Burfittings, followed in later years by Jim Ashford, Mick Lock and John Marya.

Tommy Deaves and Jenny Bearshaw took over and reopened the club in July 2016.

The Marisco nightclub, is set to celebrate its 50th Anniversary in 2017, it has has been famed for its surfer’s ball, and for its world class DJ’s sets as well as a string of well known artists who have played there.

Tommy himself has DJ’d at the club, his first time being when he was just 16! Tommy is taking over the role of artistic director, whilst Jenny who has a background in running a successful bar will be the clubs new manager.

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arly in 2016, former owner Joey Dicker announced that he would be leaving the club after 25 years, due to health reasons. He said that the decision had been made with “great anguish and a touch of heart ache”. The decision to hand over the keys just before the club celebrates its 50th anniversary, was one that Joey said “was hard to accept.”

Both Tommy and Jenny have said that they intended to run the club using its ‘tried and tested formula’. 2017 will see the Marisco celebrate its 50th anniversary. Tommy and Jenny have promised that the celebrations will include ‘big names’ and ‘something special’. For more information you can visit their website or facebook page. I would like to thank Graham Quick for sharing his wonderful photographs of the Maricso over the years.

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10 years of Final Fling The weekend of 21st October 2016 saw the North Devon VW Club put on an amazing event in ‘The Final Fling’ celebrating their 10th Anniversary. Held at ‘Little Roadway Farm’, the weekend was a relaxed mixture of great cars and vans, live music and a selection of auto jumble and trade stalls to suit all tastes. Live music was varied throughout the weekend and the ‘Ye Olde Dub Pub’ bar ensured that ‘liquid refreshment’ was available to all enjoying the bands performing! Friday afternoon saw ‘Rituals’ and ‘Chasing Glory’ play, followed by the ever-popular ‘The Flaming Rat Rods’ banging out their unique brand of Rockabilly until the bar closed. From 10:00 on Saturday, children’s entertainment was provided and tombola and raffle tickets for some great prizes were made available for sale. Saturday also saw a great performance by ‘Three Reelin’ who offered a refreshing alternative folk sound. ‘Chris Millington’ followed with a superbly powerful and emotive set that could not fail to impress. A break in the entertainment followed at 16:30 by the ‘Show and Shine’ awards which were presented, along with lots of raffle prizes. A nice touch about this show is that EVERYONE’S cars and vans are open for awards; the camping field is the arena! The ‘Simon Daring Band’ then got everyone into the music mood again, before a short break was provided for partygoers to change into the customary fancy dress! Live music continued with top performances from ‘The Yum Yums’ and headliners ‘The Garden Club’ – It’s safe to say that a great time was had by all! Sunday 23rd October saw the usual cruise into Woolacombe Bay. With the sea in the background, there was no better place to end the ‘Fling’ weekend, and as usual, it did not disappoint. If you have never visited this show, you are missing out. If you are interested in the VW scene, make sure you check it out! It’s clear that The 2016 Final Fling has been a success in more than one way. Not only did it provide some great entertainment for those who live and breathe VWs, it has also raised a staggering £10,000 for local charities. The money raised will be split between The North Devon District Hospital Special Care Baby Unit and ‘Families in Grief’ - Well done to Jamie and everyone who were involved in the organization of the show and for raising such a large amount of money for such wonderful, worthwhile causes! Roll on ‘Final Fling 2017’!

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Things on 1.

Watermouth Bay Watermouth Bay, located in-between Ilfracombe and Combe Martin, is a very sheltered harbour. Rare marine species can be found here, which makes it an interesting place to visit. Overlooked by Watermouth Castle, it is a perfect haven for the boats to dock and make the most of this pretty harbour.

2. Go to the pantomime. The Queen’s Theatre, Barnstaple are showing Aladdin.

In Old Peking, poor young boy Aladdin struggles to make a living with his mum Widow Twankey and silly brother Wishee Washee in their Chinese Laundry…if only he could make his fortune and then all their dreams would come true! A traditional pantomime for the festive season with fantastic costumes, sets, singing, dancing and plenty of laughter. www.northdevontheatres.org.uk

Sands enjoy a winter walk along the 3 1/2 miles of golden 3. Saunton beach at Saunton Sands. Saunton Sands Beach is situated at the heart of the North Devon biosphere reserve. The beach is backed by the rolling expanse of Braunton Burrows. One of the most unique and impressive dune systems in the country, never fails to make a lasting impression.

4.

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Visit a Christmas Market. With Christmas only weeks away, why not stock up on some locally made gifts and crafts from one of the many Christmas Fairs taking place in and around the area. We have a comprehensive list on our Events page. Braunton’s Caen Street market is taking place on the 3rd December, and has proved very popular, for more information please visit: www.northdevonchristmasmarket.co.uk

Go on a winter walk. There is nothing more enjoyable and refreshing than a bracing winter walk. Baggy Point, Woolacombe is an easy walk with stunning coastal views. The National Trust have details of an easy access ‘Baggy Point’ Walk that is perfect for all the family to enjoy. If you would like to download a copy of this walk please visit their website: www.nationaltrust.org.uk We have also detailed a walk from Mortehoe to Morte Point on page 8, this can be downloaded from the wesbite www.woolacombemortehoevoice.co.uk 28


to do holiday 6.

Visit the 16th Century thatched “Williams Arms� for a drink and a meal by a warm fire. A carvery is served daily, along with their standard menu and specials board: www.williamsarms.co.uk

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8.

Murder Mystery Treasure Trail Are you looking for something to do with family and friends or seeking a fun day out with the kids in North Devon? Then why not explore the villages of North Devon on this self-guided Murder Mystery themed Treasure Trail. As you follow the Trail route, can you solve the sneaky clues set on existing buildings, permanent features and monuments to eliminate the suspects to discover whodunit? www.treasuretrails.co.uk/things-to-do/devon/north-devon

Enjoy a bottle of locally produced wine. Quance wines is a boutique wine producer in North Devon, founded by Jamie who wanted to produce high quality English wines in North Devon. Located a short distance from Barnstaple the vineyard produce some beautiful vintages. You can visit the vineyward by appointment. For more information www.quancewines.com

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Lets Go Barnstaple. Why not have a fun day out, either skating or ten pin bowling! Perfect for those rainy and cold winter days as everything is indoor! www.letsgobarnstaple.co.uk

Instow Instow is a pretty village located on the estuary where to the Taw and Torridge meet. The beautiful beach, and waterside setting provide a fantastic view of Appledore across the water. The shallow waters at Instow make a great place to paddle, and the long flat beach is great for taking a walk along, or just sitting and enjoying the view. There is a good selection of bars and restaurants to enjoy.

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M

y love of North Devon goes back nearly as far as my love of flight. From the age of ten in 1971 until well after I had left school, my family would spend a couple of weeks every year at Saunton Sands. The best part of it, as far as my older brother and I were concerned was the surfing and our favourite spot to surf was Putsborough Sands in Woolacombe Bay. The quality of the surf in this relatively sheltered bay was worth the fear of the rocks that lurked beneath the waves when the tide was in.

My Woolacombe, My Mortehoe by John Fielding My wife bravely volunteered to drive our campervan the 400 miles from our home in Norwich to Perranporth whilst I had the fun of flying down in what should have been considerably less time, I didn’t know much about the unpredictable vagaries of the weather in the South West Peninsula but quickly found out! The weather forecast had been ideal for my trip but the further West I flew, the murkier the conditions became until the air traffic controller at Exeter informed me that there was fog at Perranporth and that it might be wise to divert. My aircraft spent the next four days, squeezed into a hangar, courtesy of the wonderfully friendly people at Bodmin airfield whilst we waited for the weather to improve.

On a later surfing trip in my early 20’s, I was camping at Perranporth in Cornwall when I stumbled across the former RAF fighter base, in its spectacular location at the top of some 300ft high cliffs. It seemed like an incredible place to position an airfield. uesday 23rd August was a I never, in my wildest dreams gorgeous sunny day so I took off imagined that one day I’d be able to from Bodmin Airfield and headed pilot my own aircraft to land there. north east until I reached the north Devon coast at Combe Martin. From ump forward thirty years to August there, I flew at a leisurely 60mph 2016. I’ve recently retired, have along the Devon coast until I arrived a small aeroplane and my hobby is at the beautiful and hugely busy aerial photography. Woolacombe. I’m used to seeing crowded beaches around my local “What better, more exciting place East Anglia but this was in a different to fly and carry out some aerial league! There were clearly, tens of thousands of people enjoying a day on photography than the spectacular coasts of Devon and Cornwall?” the sunny beaches along Woolacombe Bay. 30

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J

I circled overhead at about 1000 ft whilst occasionally snapping a photograph out of the open window of my aircraft. The aeroplane, a Skyranger Nynja microlight has a surperbly quiet engine, and looking at the aerial image of the people on the beach, you would struggle to find anyone noticing an aircraft above them.

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highlight of the flight was passing over the familiar beach at Putsborough and onwards above the golden sands of Croyde and Saunton. During our 8 days, I was able to take hundreds of aerial photographs of practically every beach, lighthouse, harbour and bay along much of the North Devon and Cornwall coastline. Taking the photographs is the quickest part of the project. Processing the images and obtaining the best result from each raw file takes over ten minutes for every photograph. I have processed 170 of the images and have hundreds more to go. If you’re interested in viewing the images, they are gradually appearing on my Flickr pages: www.flickr.com/photos/john_fielding Twitter: www.twitter.com/johnfielding001


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Whats On

2

nd December Red Barn Cider and Beer Festival

A few favourites are returning, such as Bays ‘Jingle Ale’ and Bath Ales ‘Festivity’, plus some ‘specials’ from the St Austell Celtic beer festival. There’s a ‘Bubble & Squeak IPA’, something called ‘Sloegan’, and one’s just labelled ‘Experimental 622’!

4

th December Clovelly Christmas Lights

The promenade starts down the cobbles with a local brass band leading the procession down to the harbour and accompanies Christmas carols sung by a local choir. There’ll be a hog roast, hot dogs, Christmas grog and other refreshments available at the Harbour and Lifeboat Station and Father Christmas will make a surprise visit. At about 5p.m. the switch is thrown and the entire village and harbour are lit up.

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rd December Big Sheep Christmas Market

Why not forget the hustle and bustle of high street shopping and enjoy the a fantastic traditional country farmer’s market at the BIG Sheep. The market is full of unique and quirky gifts.

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rd December Braunton Christmas Market

The market will see a greatly improved layout in comparison to the 2015 market. This year will see 100 stalls including local arts and crafts, charity stalls, and a vast amount of fresh & hot food. 32

A Carol Service is then lead by the Chaplain of the Lifeboat Station, and there is a grand finale of fireworks to finish off. Entrance fee: £5 per car at the Visitor Centre after 3 pm. All proceeds to RNLI www.clovelly.co.uk

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th December Mortehoe Museum Christmas Coffee morning Held at the Mortehoe Village Hall, there will be stalls and delicious cake. A raffle will also be drawn. All are welcome.


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th December Home Sweet Home

The Big Sheep hosts ‘Home Sweet Home’ where you can make your own magical gingerbread cottage. www.thebigsheep.co.uk

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th December Pirates of Clovelly

Clovelly are celebrating New Year with a difference, why not join them for the Pirates of Clovelly and become a pirate for the night? Evening includes, a pirates table full of grub for you to feast on. Gunpowder on the Quay. Fires on the Quay.

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th December Barnstaple Pannier Market

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th February Something Old, Something New Wedding Fayre. The Milky Way The something new, something old wedding fayre returns on Sunday 5th February. If you are looking for inspiration for your big day then save the date in your diary. www.themilkyway.co.uk

www.clovelly.co.uk

The Barnstaple Pannier Market host their Sunday Christmas market. www.barnstaplepanniermarket.co.uk

28 This is your chance to have a guided tour of a North Devon treasure - a magnificent mediaeval manor house at Combe Martin. This holiday cottage contains one of the finest examples of a ‘hammerbeam ceiling’ and will absolutely delight you.

th February Lentsherd, Clovelly Lentsherd (pronounced ‘Lanshard’) is an old Clovelly Shrove Tuesday custom, and the aim is to chase bad spirits away and drive the devil into the sea before Lent. At dusk children set off down-a-long, dragging clattering tin cans, which are then tied together and thrown into the sea (later retrieved). Children taking part will receive a free pancake to decorate with toppings.

www.nationaltrust.org

www.clovelly.co.uk

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st January West Challacombe Manor

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th December Clovelly Boxing Day BBQ

Join us for our Boxing Day Barbecue on the quay at Clovelly. With FREE entrance into the village all day, why not have a walk on the estate then come along to the barbecue where there will be live music, mulled wine, and even a treasure hunt if you are up to it. It should make the perfect follow-up to your Christmas Day. www.clovelly.co.uk

If you have an event you would like to list on our calendar and in our magazine, please get in touch: woolacombemortehoevoice@gmail.com

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Local news

Mortehoe Museum has recently been given this little brass-coloured snuff box, with ‘John Davies, 1903, Woolacombe’ etched into it. Does anyone have any ideas about it please? The width across is about 3 inches. Please get in touch with the museum if you are able to provide any information to help them. Call 01271 870028

Woolacombe Scooter Rally 23rd- 26th September The 2016 National Scooter Rally was held on the 23rd-26th September at the Golden Coast Holiday Park. This is the largest rally organised by the South West Scooter Club. The event finishes with a run to Woolacombe meeting at the Red Barn.

The North Devon Motorcycle Action Group held this popular event in Ilfracombe on September 10th, which is staged along Ilfracombe sea front near the Landmark Theatre. Motorcyclists travelled from near and far. Over 250 motorcycles lined the promenade and competed for 9 hand crafted glass trophies made by Dartington Crystal. There were bikes and trikes of all shapes and sizes and stalls promoting various aspects of road use and of the chosen charities that the Motorcycle Action Group are supporting this year. This event was open to all riders andthe general public who were invited to judge for a public choice trophy winner. The 2017 event will be held on 9th September 2017. 34


Coastal Canine Care is all about keeping your dog as happy and exercised as I can whilst it is in my care. I offer a wide range of walks which could be a half hour Puppy walk/visit, one hour group or individual walks or a three hour mid week hike! I am fully insured for pet sitting so that you can holiday knowing your pets are comfortable and relaxed in their own home, your plants get watered and your house is secure. Book me up for a week, weekend or even just the one night. Find me on Facebook or Instagram to find out the *deal of the month* or just to have a look through some adorable photos! Call me on 07833453109 for any extra information.

In its 7th year, the 2016 North Devon AONB marathon and half marathon took place on Sunday 26th June, involving a tough yet beautiful course, taking in North Devon’s beautiful beaches and coastal villages. Runners take the start line in the heart of Woolacombe, before setting off on the demanding figure of eight course. The North Devon AONB marathon raises funds for the North Devon Hospice. Well done to everyone who took part and all the hardworking people behind the scenes who make this such a successful day. The 2017 dates have already been announced, so if you feel like giving yourself a challenge, why not visit their website?

Saturday 5th November Fireworks on the Field Woolacombe saw it’s annual Fireworks display, a great event held on the field in Woolacombe. Proceedings started with a procession from The Red Barn, followed by some stunning fireworks. A wonderful night, thank you to all who organised it and made it such a success.

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We share a number of old and new photos of Woolacombe & Mortehoe on our Facebook site, most of these are from our extensive local postcard collection.

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If you have a photo of Woolacombe or Mortehoe you would like to share with us, please use #woolacombemortehoevoice all photos on instagram automatically get displayed on

www.woolacombemortehoevoice.wordpress. com

If you would like to write a blog for our website please get in touch, we would love to consider any article or blog about the area.

woolacombemortehoevoice@gmail.com

Any ideas, requests or feedback on any of our features please drop us an email.

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Woolacombe & Mortehoe Voice Issue 8