This web page is based on the book produced by villagers depicting life in Yarcombe in photographic form around the turn of the century and which is reportedly archived in the Public Records Office in Exeter.   The accompanying text has been reproduced word for word and as such will of course contain references now out of date.   The reader will no doubt notice a bias towards reports on religion-based activities whilst, incredible as it may seem, there is very little mention of the Yarcombe Inn, something seen by many as the hub of the village.   Whether this can be attributed to a massive oversight by the researchers or to poor relations with the Inn owners at the time of the Millennium is unknown.
Minor errors found in the Millennium book have been corrected; hopefully there aren't too many new ones added!   Regarding the section on the Royal British Legion, there is no caption to the photograph in the book.   Here, an attempt has been made to name the people in the photograph by reference to handwritten notes that were stored with the Parish Council's copy of the book.   If you believe any of these to be in error, or if you detect any other inaccuracies, please contact the administrator.   Thank you.


The Millennium Year in Yarcombe


In January 1996 Yarcombe Parish Council started to think about how best to celebrate the Millennium.   A Public Meeting was held where about 30 ideas were suggested.   A questionnaire was circulated to all villagers to vote on these and then a committee was set up to steer the chosen projects.   This pictorial record of life in Yarcombe Parish around the year 2000 was one of these.   The others were the Yarcombe Map, produced by Don Tapster and local artists and "A History of Yarcombe: From Monks to the Millennium", written by Ruth Everitt.   Commemorative mugs were given to each child under 16 years and a planting scheme was created on the A30 layby which also had a new stone seat and table built by Chris Doble.   A week of celebration, called "Yarcomillennium" was co-ordinated by Reg White.   This ran from August 5th-13th, starting with the annual Terrier Races and ending with Songs of Praise in the Parish Church.

We are very grateful to English Heritage who provided the majority of the funding for this book on the basis that some of the material would be included in a Blackdown Hills project which can be found on their Parish Chest website.   Thanks also go to the Parish Council who paid for the acid-free box in which to store the book.

A lot of people have contributed to the end result, which actually started before the year 2000 and that is why some of the photos might seem slightly out of date.   You will surprised at how within the space of the project there have been so many changes.   Sadly three stalwarts of the village have since died, but the contributions made to village life made by Ian Rich, Marilyn Lye and Emily Long will not be forgotten.

The driving force behind the project has been the aptly named John Driver and the Parish Council would like to record its thanks to him.   He has taken and processed most of the digital photographs (selling copies during the Millennium week) and has had the considerable responsibility of putting them altogether.   We are also grateful to Michael Oliver for providing the black and white aerial photographs (while flying himself!).  

Thanks go to Rebecca Newman from Stockland who has gone to great trouble to produce such a splendidly bound book with accompanying box, which hopefully will last many years for future generations to enjoy.

Thank you also to all the members of the organisations who wrote the scripts to accompany the photographs, to Mary Smith for typing the drafts and to Ann Driver for the finished presentation.   We have tried to name everybody in the photos, but apologise for any errors or omissions.

This book will be on public display for the first time during the Flower Festival in the Parish Church on 14th to 16th September 2001.   It will eventually be archived in the Public Records Office in Exeter, along with a copy on CD.   We hope you enjoy looking through these photographs and remembering the millennium year.

The Photographic Record Book Committee

Above: The village centre

Above: Looking to the East of the village

Above: Looking to the West of the village

Above: A view of Marsh

Yarcombe Parish Council

A book entitled "Yarcombe Parish Meeting Minutes" starts with an entry on Thursday 18th March 1897 by recording, in elegant copperplate handwriting, the names of the candidates who were standing as Parish Councillors.   It also records how many votes each person received, who proposed and seconded them.   This was the time when Rev. M. Ford was in the Vicarage, in charge of just one church, and Mr Culverwell, the Headmaster, lived in the Schoolhouse.

Many of the entries in the old Parish Council Minute Books show how local issues have not changed too much.   Matters discussed at meetings included planning, the state of the roads and parish footpaths which still feature on today's agendas.   Instead of having a resident policeman, now our community police officer, PC Ian Atteyo, attends each meeting and gives a report on local crime.   The Parish Council meets bi-monthly on the first Monday of the month.   There are nine Parish Councillors, led by the Chairman Mrs Lesley Sutton.

The Parish Council is interested in everything that relates to improving community life in Yarcombe.   Its activities include supporting P3 (Parish Paths), organising two parish walks each year, producing a parish information leaflet which is updated regularly, supporting students in Higher Education, as well as commenting on local planning proposals and informing Highways about road problems.

Mary Smith, Parish Clerk

    Back row: Alan Dyer, Tony Long, Lesley Pidgeon, Julie Cottey

Front row: Trevor Wood, Mary Smith (Parish Clerk), Lesley Sutton (Chairman), David Barnes

Not in picture: Henry Derryman, David Meyrick





Yarcombe Parochial Church Council

From early times the affairs of parish churches was in the hand of the incumbents and churchwardens who may or may not had had a Vestry Meeting once a year in which selected parishioners were invited to take part.   This virtual dictatorship of of parochial affairs by the few was ended with the Parochial Church Council Measure 1921, modified in 1956, which saw the election of lay persons in to the council; a state of affairs which was not always taken kindly by incumbents and churchwardens!

The current PCC consists of 18 members, but in 1985 there were 35, which to some extent reflects the changes in the congregation.   Yarcombe PCC meets regularly every two months with a general meeting, still called the Vestry Meeting, every year.

The role of the PCC is that of a management committee governing the affairs of the church within the parish.   This covers a wide spectrum, which in the last five years has seen the reorganisation of the Honiton Deanery and two changes of incumbents.

More routine matters include the ordering of services in conjunction with the incumbent, raising funds and the approval of expenditure, applications for alterations, additions and repairs to the church building (Faculties), election of officers such as churchwardens and a myriad of small items that arise from time to time, many of which though not of great importance to the parish as a whole, deeply affect individuals.

Richard Routh, PCC Secretary

YARCOMBE PAROCHIAL CHURCH COUNCIL, as taken after a PCC Meeting held on Wednesday 3rd November 1999:

Back row: Keith Freeman (Church Warden), Ian Rich, Chris Rich, John Salter

Second row: Margaret Sochon, Barbara Salter (Deanery synod Reps), Mary Smith, Brian Smith (Treasurer), David Parris

Third row: Dorothy Carter, Dick Carter, Keith Goodman, Lesley Sutton, John Hurst (Church Electoral Roll Officer)

Front row: Richard Routh (Secretary), Joy Symes, Rev Paul Wilson (Priest in Charge of Benefice Yarcombe / Stockland / Kilmington), Liz Freeman

Not in picture: Jill Dyer, Brian Major, Linda Box, Don Tapster




Yarcombe bell ringers usually meet once a week for a practice.   Ages range from eleven to OAPs and various changes are called and hopefully completed without mistakes, in readiness for the regular Sunday morning service.   A new variety of ringing has just been introduced, namely "dodging".   This involves every bell changing position on both the sally (or tuft) end and rope's end on every round, which helps to improve the ringer's control of the bell.

Originally Yarcombe Church had just five bells.   The oldest two bear the date of 1625 and were cast at Thomas Pennington's foundry at Exeter.  

Both bells were large, the heaviest weighing 17 cwt 3 qtrs which must have been quite a muscular feat to ring.  

The other three bells were cast in the eighteenth century by Thomas Wroth at Wellington Foundry.


In 1966 the bells were re-tuned and hung by Mears and Stainbank of the Whitechapel Foundry and an extra bell was cast using the trimmings from the original five, thus making a peal of six.   The new bell was hung as the treble.   The tenor bell was reduced to 14 cwt bit it is still one of the heaviest bells in the County of Devon.

Many parishioners have given of their time and energy to ring the bells at Yarcombe, bur mention must be made of the Phillips family, who at one time cound provide a ringer for each rope.   Bell ringing, or to use the correct terminology, campanology, is an interesting hobby.   All one needs is good timing, strong arms and a sense of humour to accommodate the occasional mix-ups and at Yarcombe the "puff" to climb the thirty-nine steps to the ringing chamber!

Ruth Everitt

Left to right: Trefor David, Richard Briant, Ruth Everitt, Keith Freeman, Nigel Phillips, Michael Rich, Lin Box (Captain), Sarah Burnett, Jonathon David





The choir of St John the Baptist, Yarcombe, has over the last 20 years numbered from 4 to 18.   At present we have 8 members who contribute their time and talents every Sunday to help lead the worship in the Church.

For special occasions singers from other parishes augment the choir of the Parish Church.   The choir has two organists, Ruby Cooke and Ken Hayward, who take it in turns to play for services.   Lin Box is the Choir Mistress.

Richard Weaver

Back row: Terry Anning (Lay Reader) (U), John Lane, Don Tapster (Lay Reader), Philip Moore (U), Rev Eric Crowe (U)

Third row: Penelope Moore (U), Maggie Lane, Cynthia Goodman, Edwin Hawker (C), Ken Hayward

Second row: Ruby Cooke, Lin Box, Petula Parris, Lesley Sutton, Lesley Pidgeon

Front row: Liz Freeman, Daniel Pidgeon, James Pidgeon, Georgia McCullum

(U) = Upottery        (C) = Cotleigh





A combined service was held on Easter Sunday 1999 for the Benefice of Yarcombe, Membury, Upottery and Cotleigh - a communion with a baptism, follower by a presentation by Richard Weaver to Rev John and Christine Stone.   This year was Rev Stone's last service before leaving to take up a ministry in Bampton and nearby churches.

Richard Weaver


Left to right: Christine Stone, Rev John Stone, Richard Weaver




The planting of Yarcombe's Millennium Yew Tree took place on Sunday 5th March 2000 at St John the Baptist Church, as part of a special Family Service.   Blue skies and sunshine saw well over 60 people, young and old, gather for the service.

John Salter who led it began by explaining the Millennium Yew Project.   Launched in October 1996 the idea was to supply all parishes across the UK with a Yew Sapling.   This would have been propagated from an ancient yew, estimated to have been growing at the time of the birth of Jesus.   Yarcombe's sapling came from an ancient yew in Kent.

The service was built around this theme, with a suitable reading from the Psalms, read by Frank Burroughs and Jenny Briant (8 years old).   Colin Humphries and his daughter Lorna (7 years old) led the prayers whilst Ruth Everitt read the collect.   The talk was given by James Pidgeon and was the story of three trees and what became of them.   He illustrated his talk with clear, self-drawn pictures and made a serious point.   He then accompanied the congregation on his flute, along with organist Ken Hayward as everybody sang a specially written hymn, "The Yew Tree Hymn".

John Salter then led everyone outside, where the sapling was duly planted with a lot of help, especially from the children.   A plaque was put in to record the event.   The Rev Dr Garry Gibson brought the service to an end with a blessing of the tree, before everyone returned to the Church for coffee and biscuits.

Liz Freeman

Left to right: Jenny Briant, Florence Driver, Stuart Larcombe, Pollyanna Briant, Vanessa Larcombe, Claire Humphreys, Lorna Humphreys, Sophie Bristol












Above: Barbara Salter planting the Millennium yew tree watched by Tom and Mary Hemmings and some of the congregation




For the last 28 years Win Rattenbury's house has been the collection point for other people's throwaway items that she has turned into cash for the Church.   Every Flower Show afternoon (and then moving on to the Terrier Race field) she has had a stall of "odds and ends", which over the years have raised what must have been thousands of pounds.

In the past the Stall was in the Hall car park, but after she moved to Drakes Meadow, tables were set out in front of her house.   From mid-morning people browsed, bought, guessed the name of countless dolls and children enjoyed the lucky dips.   The year 2000 was the year she retired from organising this great effort.




The Mothers' Union was founded 125 years ago, born of an idea by the wife of the Vicar of Alresford, a little village in Hampshire.   She was Mrs Mary Sumner.   Mary was very concerned by the hard lives of the village women and their lack of knowledge of health and hygiene.   She started meetings for the women to educate and inform, all within a Christian ideal.

The aims of the MU are to uphold the nature of marriage and to bring up children in a Christian faith and to help those whose family life meets with trouble.

Yarcombe Branch started in 1924 and is still meeting regularly.   Among its earlier enrolling members (leaders) were Mrs Austin, Mrs Thompson, Mrs Armstrong, Mrs Scott and now Mrs Hemmings.   The first MU banner, which is paraded at various rallies throughout the year, was made by Mrs Hake and the more recent one by Mrs Hemmings, Mrs Salter and the late Mrs Shire.

In this day and age the MU has grown to a world-wide organisation, which helps people of many lands with health and family problems, especially those of women and children.   They provide aid at times of disasters, floods, droughts, earthquakes, etc.   At home they support those too ill or disabled to leave their homes, provide holidays for deserving cases, aid prisoners' wives, organise "drop-in" centres for all ages and give assistance in many other ways to those who need a helping hand.

Yarcombe MU does its best to follow the example of Mary Sumner and her aims in leading a fellowship of Christians.

Win Rattenbury, Secretary


Left to right: Dorothy Miller, Barbara Salter, Evelyn Barnes, Mary Hemmings, Win Rattenbury, Mary Smith, Rosa Knott, Dorothy Carter, Sheila Major, Joan Hayward




In 1975 a few of local people were scratching their heads trying to find the best thing to do to raise some money for the Church.   A few "Donkey Derbys" had been held in previous years, but it was thought there should be something different.

Frank Bond had seen some terrier racing up in Yorkshire where they had laid an aniseed trail across some fields.   Others thought of a fox skin could be pulled across the field it might be better.   The next thing was how to pull it.   Frank Barnes thought that he could do it by winding a cord on to a bicycle wheel driven off the pulley on the back of a Ferguson tractor which worked quite well.   Then the problem was how to let the dogs go all at the same time.   Stan Symes thought he could make up some traps similar to ones used for greyhound racing.   So he borrowed some tea chests from Leslie Lloyd Jones, and using a few other bits of timber and wire some traps were made up that might last just one year, but they lasted for several years.

A fox tail tied to a bag was used to lure the dogs.   The next problem was how to identify the dogs.   This was overcome by using different coloured ribbons to match the tote tickets if anyone wanted to have a small flutter.   At the very first race the Vicar's dog left the trap, jumped the rope, tore across a neighbouring property and returned home to the Vicarage!

That fun element remains in the races when each year spectators enjoy the sight of a dog that either won't leave the trap, or immediately spots a familiar figure on the other side of the rope, or even decides that a fellow competitor would make a tastier dish than a moth-eaten fox!


The races go from strength to strength, raising a large amount of money for the Parish Church.   Ralph Salter has made stronger traps, the towing device has been renewed, but generally Terrier Racing has followed the same pattern over the years.   There are many supporting events which have helped to boost the coffers, like Mrs Win Rattenbury's bric-a-brac, run for over 25 years, the beer tent, the hot-dog stall, various side shows and more recently the bouncy castle for children.

Perhaps the main reason that Terrier Racing has been a fixture on the Yarcombe calendar on the first Saturday in August for ao many years is the contribution made by many people who help each year, before, during and after the event.

John Salter & Keith Goodman


Right: Ian Rich

(Trap operator)





Although the Chapel opened its doors in 1829 there is evidence to suggest that the Baptist denomination has been represented in the village as early as the turn of the nineteenth century.   The founding members of the Chapel met for some time at "Calways", until sufficient funds were available to erect a permanent place of worship.   Under the pastorate of Mr Samuel Vincent of Churchstanton, the Meeting House was erected and fellowship began on August 12th 1829, with three services, all being conducted by local pastors.

The Chapel owns three adjoining residences, which to this day are inhabited by folk with a great interest in the chapel.   In addition the original stable is still in existence.   This was enlarged in the early days to accommodate the younger members taking part in Bible study.   Over the years the Chapel has had the priviledge of several full time ministers and the official history, written by one Mr Bishop, makes fascinating reading.

At the turn of the twenty-first century Yarcombe Baptist Chapel has no minister but relies heavily upon the services of local lay preachers.   As an active participant of the Western Baptist Association the present congregation still maintains representation at most regional functions, contains two organists, two lay preachers and a host of other talents which are frequently called upon in this small fellowship.   With a never failing trust in the Lord, Yarcombe Baptists will rise to the challenge of a new millennium.

John Lane, Secretary


Back row: Herbie Nicholls, Michael Rich

Second row: George Long, Doreen Nicholls

Third row: Arthur Bowbeer (visiting speaker), Robert and Nellie Rich, Thelma Clarke, Dave Clarke

Fourth row: Valerie and Raymond Warren

Front row:  Vera Bowbeer, Hazel Willson, Tony and Mary Izzard, Emily Long, Dorothy Baker, Dulcie Rich

Seated: John and Maggie Lane




Farmer Tom Wyatt and George Phillips, carpenter and wheelwright, were amongst those instrumental in the idea of building a hall in Yarcombe.   Most events took place in the school, but many social occasions had to be held outside the village because of lack of space.   Surplus funds were held after the Jubilee celebrations and whist drives and dances were arranged to raise more money.   Local halls were visited to get ideas and one was found built of wood and corrugated iron at a reasonable cost, which was thought suitable for Yarcombe.

However, Lady Seaton kindly offered a site for the Hall, but stipulated that it should be a permanent structure built of brick or stone.   The Committee approached the National Council of Social Service to seek a grant or loan and they found the same condition applied and in addition the plans had to be properly drawn up by an architect and approved.   Luckily architect Gordon Hake was living in the village and he drew up the plans.   More funds were raised and with the help of volunteers the hall was built and opened on Empire Day 1938.

Over the years the Hall has been extended and an annexe added. It has seen a variety of events from committee meetings to line dances, bingo and evening classes.   The kitchen is used to prepare Harvest Suppers, Christmas Dinners and cups of coffee and tea.   It is used, on a regular basis, by organisations like the Parish Council, WI and Whist Drive.

The Hall is a registered charity and as such is the responsibility of the Trustees.   The Committee running day-to-day usage is made up of representatives from each of the village organisations plus elected members.   Sadly since the photograph was taken two members of the committee: Marilyn Lye and Emily Long, have both died.   A third longstanding member, Ian Rich, who was also a trustee, died in 1999.   All three are much missed on this committee.

Lesley Sutton


Right: Members of the Jubilee Hall Committee:

Back row: David Barnes, John Salter, Roger Parris

Middle row: Trevor Wood, George Long, Jill Dyer, Pat Bazley, Christine Parris

Front row: David Meyrick (Chair), Emily Long, Marilyn Lye, Lesley Pidgeon, Lesley Sutton (Treasurer)

Not in picture:  John Driver (Secretary), Donna Hutter (Caretaker), David Parris, Roseanne Rich, Joy Symes




The regular Whist Drives started in the Old School, before the Jubilee Hall was built, over 70 years ago.   At that time Mr Tom Wyatt and Mr Lyle Loveridge took it in turns as Masters of Ceremonies; Mr Wyatt being Chairman - a position he held for some years.

When the Whist Drive moved to the Jubilee Hall, the MC's duties were shared by Mr Ralph Salter, Mr Frank Bond and Mr Harold Spiller, and often ably assisted by Mr Len Wyatt.   Later after we lost our friends Mr Bond and Mr Spiller, the job of MC was taken over by Mr Jack Anning, followed by Mr Stan Symes,   The Whist Drives were always popular with a good number who play and each year a very popular Christmas Whist Drive with an overspill into the Old School.   The Drives used to be held on Saturdays, but several years ago moved to every other Thursday.

Sadly we have lost many of our friends.   However, the Whist Drives still provide a friendly enjoyable night out, without being expensive, and which makes a useful profit for Hall Funds.

We have a small band of faithful helpers and an MC who comes from Chard, Mr Jim Pye who brings a carload of players with him.   To keep the Whist Drives going, we need more players to come forward and give us their support.

Joy Symes


A special Millennium Whist Drive was held in the Jubilee Hall on Thursday, 10th August 2000.  This was attended by the fortnightly regulars and other supporters:

Front row: Muriel White, Win Rattenbury, Kath Mountstephens (deceased), Joy Symes, Bet Taylor, Hilda Salter, Frances Pinch, Grace Dean, Pat Bowditch, Liz Bond

Second row: Amy Holland, Evelyn Barnes, Jane Reynolds, Marion Goodson, Ruby Creasey, Rosemary Cleverdon, John Cottey, Olive Loveridge, Mary Boyland, Eileen Hector, Vera Clarke, Jack Bowditch

Third row: Geoff Holland, Joan Ewins, Margaret Hoare, Don Hector, Pat Wyatt, Owen Cleverdon, Dorothy Rich, Mary Govier, Marjorie Dimond, Sally Gould, Phyllis Sibly, John Salter

Stage & right back row: Jim Pye, Stuart Govier, Gerald Dyer, Jill Dyer, Carol Hoskins, Arthur Clarke






On the first Saturday in August, the Jubilee Hall is alive with the hustle and bustle of Yarcombe people bringing their prize possessions to arrange and display in pre-determined slots to await the critical eye of the judges.   It's Flower Show Day!

Many years ago Bewley Down Flower Show was combined for the parishes of Wambrook, Membury & Yarcombe and staged in a tent near the top of James's Lane.   It was eventually disbanded and each parish organised its own event - hence Yarcombe Flower Show and Fete was born, held for many years in a field lent by Mr P Clarke of Hillhouse Farm.

According to a 1958 Schedule the Open Classes included "rough plucked chicken & ducks", a sight not seen today; in the Local Classes a Silver Perpetual Cup kindly given by Mrs English for the highest scoring flower and vegetable exhibitor was awarded, a sight that is seen today - a much loved and well earned Cup.   The marquee hire charge of 40 was high, so from 1962 the Show was confined to parish and postal are and has been held in the Jubilee Hall with sideshows outside.

The Hall is filled with beautiful blooms and floral art decorations alongside fresh shining vegetables, mouth-watering delicious home-made cakes, pastries and jams; colourful handicrafts ranging from paintings to puppets and lace to limericks.   The children's exhibits are full of imagination and originality as only children can portray.

The judges have completed their unenviable task, prize cards and money named, lunch is served by committee members and then the Hall is opened for all to see.   Amidst much laughter and local humour the Potato Digs are unearthed, the heaviest crop being declared the winner.

The Committee are delighted with the support given to the Flower Show - the talents and skills of local folk are amazing.

Jill Dyer




The Women's Institute was formed on 24th March 1950 and started meeting on the third Tuesday of each month at 7:30pm, as it does today.   The first President was Mrs English, who originally had the idea to start a WI in Yarcombe.   About 20 ladies sat around the fire on a cold evening and voted to have an Institute in the Village.   The paid the annual subscription of three shillings and sixpence (17.5p), a fraction of what it is today (16.25).   Five founder members still belong to this day.

Over the years the WI have done many craft activities including sewing, quilting, patchwork, painting and cane work.   The Millennium effort is the patchwork quilt, worked on by the members.   It was raffled during the Millennium Week and won by a member, Mrs Jill Dyer.

Tea and biscuits are now served instead of the monthly feast of the past.   In the year 2000 there are 27 members, young and old - a mixed bunch!

Dorothy Baker, Secretary (until 2000)


Back row: Monica Jeffries, Hilda Larcombe, Ruth Everitt, Joan Ewins, Maggie Lane, Doreen Parris

Second row: Mary Hemmings, Shirley Briant, Dulcie Rich, Jean Fairburn, Veronica Wadey, Mary Izzard, Dorothy Miller, Ann Driver

Front row: Nellie Rich, Dorothy Baker, Dorothy Carter (President), Sheila Major, Jane Pidgeon, Liz Freeman (President elect)

Not in picture: Jill Dyer, Lesley Sutton, Linda Antell, Cynthia Goodman, Iris Dyer, Mary Smith, Tracy Humphreys





Trevor Sexton, our friendly whistling postman has been doing this round for nearly a decade and a mark of his popularity was Yarcombe village's invitation to be the mystery celebrity who launched the Millennium map and book.

Barry Sharples has been the village postmaster since 1994.   Originally housed in the village store, opposite the Yarcombe Inn, it is now situated in a converted garage in the Jubilee Hall car park.   This community post office is open three mornings a week, offering services ranging from foreign currency to handling payment of bills.   Computerised systems have recently been introduced, which will enable the post office to expand customer services.

Left: Barry Sharples

Right: Trevor Sexton







The mobile library service to Yarcombe and Marsh started in 1961.   It has been a fortnightly service, parking first in Marsh at the Flintlock Inn and then in front of the Church on a Wednesday afternoon around three o'clock.  It is stocked with 2,000 books and in recent years has seen the addition of paperbacks, music and story cassettes.   The van is usually replaced after ten years' service.   The current one is the fourth and will carry on well into the new millennium.

Since its beginning the library has had only three drivers.   The first was Frank Anning, who retired near the end of 1976, Tony Guest who retired at the end of 1999 and the present one who is Mike Pearce.   The only borrower to have used the mobile library from its start in Yarcombe to the present day is Mrs Win Rattenbury, who as Tony Guest said, will go on long after he retired!







Primary school children from Yarcombe and Marsh have been transported to and from school by bus since the school merged with Stockland.   Until fairly recently two buses operated on the route, but Goodmans acquired a larger vehicle.   They were therefore able, with the help of their popular and long established driver John Foxwell, to daily transport all the local children to Stockland school.


Front: Andrew Humphreys, Robert Pidgeon, Owen Hutter, Stuart Larcombe

Second row: Dean Parris, David Turner, Meg Falkner, Claire Humphreys, Vanessa Larcombe, Sophie Bristol, Charlotte Vining

Third row: James Parris, Rebecca Spiller, Florence Driver, Kathryn Turner, Pollyanna Briant, Lorna Humphreys, Gemma Tiller, Isabel Denny

Back row: Peter Meyrick, John Foxwell (Driver), Davy Falkner, Stuart Parris, Jenny Briant, Amy Meyrick, Rosie Burnett, Jessica Spiller






Back row: Lucy Brice, Marion Every, Daniel Pidgeon, James Taylor, Daniel Kelly

Front row: Jenny Briant, Kathryn Turner, Florence Driver, Robert Pidgeon, Jonathon David (holding his sister Emily)


The Yarcombe Children's Find is run by a small committee of parents who organise fund raising events throughout the year to raise money for the village children.   They Have a Christmas Party which includes an entertainer, tea and presents and, of course, a visit from Father Christmas.  The older children have a trip to an ice skating rink and swimming complex.

During the summer holidays they organise an outing to either a seaside resort or a theme park to which the children go free.   At Easter they also receive an Easter egg, which are handed out to the children at The Yarcombe Inn.   An exact record does not exist of when the Children's Fund began, but it was an idea started by the local vicar, probably in the late fifties or early sixties.

In the year 2000 the Children's Fund Committee organised an outing to Watermouth Castle and the distribution of Millennium Mugs, decorated with a design by Lucie Brice, to children from Yarcombe and Marsh.



The Singing Kids of Yarcombe (SKY for short), was started up early in 1988 by Linda Box, helped by Liz Freeman.   Lin thought that Yarcombe needed an activity for young folk, which could be built around a choir, some "dramatic" activities and a liberal lacing of games and fun.   Initially. 16 children aged between 7 and 12 came along to the Village Hall on a Thursday evening.   For economic reasons they moved their meetings to the Church, but more recently have been fortunate enough to be able to use the Yarcombe Inn Skittle Alley as their "home base", meeting now on Thursdays.

Since SKY began, they have performed several concerts, both indoors and out, with the youngsters really growing in confidence and happily singing solos.   Fortunately, they have received some sponsorship, so that SKY has a smart uniform of yellow tops.   The Open Day at Sheafhayne Manor in May 2000 helped too and the money raised there is used to buy music and "treats for the group"!  Some of the social activities have been outings to Hollywood Bowl, annual pantomimes, Bristol Hippodrome (to see "Joseph"), swimming, Easter-egg hunts, Christmas/Birthday parties and so on.   The present 16 children were all involved in a joint SKY/YFC production of "Joseph", put on in December 2000 in the Parish Church.   The choir has sung many times in Church, during Family and Millennium Services.


The success of SKY owes much to those who provide support, but eve more to the children who regularly attend, and sing and play with such enthusiasm.

Lin Box & Liz Freeman


Back row: James Pidgeon, Daniel Pidgeon, Eddy Pittwood, James Hodgson

Front row: Katie Board, Rosie Burnett, Sophie Bristol, Phillipa Hodgson, Rebecca Pitwood, Amy Meyrick

Leaders: Liz Freeman, Lin Box (seated)



Yarcombe & District YFC is a voluntary organisation for people aged between 10 and 26.   It was founded in 1947 and is still a strong thriving club in 2000 with over 70 members.   It is part of East Devon Group consisting of five other clubs, the part of Devon County Federation consisting of six Groups.

The Club take part in a huge variety of activities catering for all the members' needs.   The most popular events are: Club exchanges within England and Wales, International travel scholarships, most types of sport (competitions and tournaments are held at Group, County and National level), Public Speaking, Discos, Charity fund raising events, Community projects, Stock judging and the list goes on and on.

One of the main events during the year is the Entertainments Competition.   This is a three-year rotation competition consisting of one year Pantomime, the next Drama and the third Club Entertains.

Yarcombe YFC was put on the map in 1994 when we won at National level with our Drama performance of "Burglars".   This was a great achievement for our club as we have never won beyond County level before.


It is general practice for the officers of the club to take on a role however big or small and be an active part of the running of the club.

During the year 2000 as part of the Yarcombe Millennium Celebrations, Yarcombe YFC held a Dinner & Dance, named "Millooonium" on the lawn of Sheafhayne Manor.   This was a huge success with over 450 people attending.

Yarcombe & District YFC helps members to increase their confidence and skills and provides a great way to meet people and make new friends.

Janet Patch (Chairman) & Geraldine Dyer (Secretary)

Photo taken at the Longbridge Inn at a barbeque and disco. Tug of War:

Left to right: Ben Pearse, Mark Drew, David Rich, James Burrough, Roger Patch, Nick Fone, Steve Key, Jonathan Rich




Yarcombe Melody Makers are a group playing soprano, alto and tenor metallaphones and keyboard, and has included percussion and recorder.

The group was formed in 1992 and since then has gone from strength to strength playing a wide repertoire of mainly church and classical music.   Performances, which have mostly been at the Yarcombe Baptist Chapel and Yarcombe Parish Church, have included such themes as "What's in a Memory?", "What's in a Name?", "My Favourite Things", and "Easter Promise".   The group played for the Millennium Service on 1st January.



Money has been raised at these performances for the Children's Hospice South West (CHSW) and the Chapel, who have provided a base for the extensive practices necessary.

We very much hope to continue making music to benefit the CHSW, but even more importantly to share the Christian message with as many people as possible.   Our theme tune says, "We'll go in the strength of the Lord", and we pray that we may, as Yarcombe Melody Makers, do just that for many years to come.

Maggie Lane, Leader

Pulpit: Thelma Clarke (Compere), Cynthia Goodman, John Lane

Left to right: Mary Smith, Lesley Sutton, Shirley Briant, Maggie Lane, Eleanor Wright, Ruby Cooke 



YAK was started on 2nd October 1975 by six young men - Andrew Chick, Chris Doble, Brian Phillips, David Sutton, Glenn Blackler and Roy Clarke in order to arrange social events for the village,   Regular socials, with dancing and games, grand dances, discos, Christmas parties, country dances with ceilidh bands took place along with whist drives, bingo, jumble sales and car boot sales.   A whole day event, roasting a whole pig, with fun and games celebrated the Queen's Jubilee.   YAK arranged side shows for Terrier Racing Evenings and also the Children's Sports & Tea during the afternoon of the Flower Show as well as fancy dress and children's Halloween parties.   Various courses were also held like First Aid with St John's Ambulance, Yoga, Weight training and Keep Fit.   An Antiques Road Show, the original Pig Racing and Senior Citizens' Dinner all came from YAK.

As time passed, some events went out of fashion and the committee, which had involved most of their families, both in Yarcombe and Marsh, dwindled.   Now the main events organised by YAK are the Christmas Bingo, the Senior Citizens' Christmas Dinner and the Skittles League.   Skittles had been started by the then Churchwardens, John and Ralph Salter, and passed to YAK.   In the year 2000 there were ten teams.   The accompanying photograph was taken on finals night when cups were presented by the Rev Dr Garry Gibson, part-time assistant priest.


Loyalty to the idea is shown by previous members assisting annually at the Christmas Dinner and recently for the Millennium celebrations.   Yarcombe Skittles League is instrumental in bringing and keeping the wonderful spirit and friendliness of Yarcombe alive.

Lesley Sutton


Left to right: Andrew Chick, Gerald Dyer, Gerald Lye, Gerald Spiller, Annie Lye, Richard Briant, Geoff Quick, Garry Gibson




After the 1914/18 war, ex-servicemen and women felt the need to keep their wartime fellowship alive and to provide an organisation to help those who were disabled, sick or in adversity.   Initially each service set up its own organisation but in 1921 they amalgamated and became the British Legion, subsequently given the title "Royal" on their 50th anniversary in 1971.

It was not until 23rd January 1953 that a local branch was formed in Membury with 17 members.   During 1974 that membership was extended to include Yarcombe parish, bringing in an additional 10 members and increasing the total branch membership to 57.   In 1989 there were 107 members but by May 1997 this had dropped naturally to 92 and at an emergency meeting it was agreed that the Branch should formally become a sub-branch of Honiton RBL.   Membury & Yarcombe RBL run its own affairs with help from the parent branch and has its own dedicated standard, which is paraded with a band on Remembrance Sunday in November every year.



Richard Routh, Representative



Standing: Keith Goodman, Ken Hayward, Cynthia Goodman, Tom Hemmings, Harry Tennant, Win Rattenbury, Richard Thomas, George Long, John Hurst, Don Tapster, Margaret Philimore, Ann Booth, Michael Ford, Arthur Bagley, Julian?, Ann Tennant, Margot & Miranda Gudenian, Brian Mungo

Sitting: Dorothy Miller, Mary Hemmings, Helen Boatswaine, Joan Hayward, Richard Routh, Doreen Mungo, Diana Bird, Eleanor Wright, Joy Symes




The Parish Paths Partnership (P3) began in Yarcombe in March 1997.   The main idea is for the County Council to give the Parish Councils money, based on the number and lengths of footpaths in the area, solely for the purpose of maintaining the condition of footpaths, gates, stiles, bridges etc.   Yarcombe & Marsh have a total length of 8.6 miles of footpaths and 1.2 miles of bridleways.   This is 18 footpaths and 3 bridleways.


The Parish Council asked Dick & Dorothy Carter if they would co-ordinate the scheme in Yarcombe.   With the assistance of a group of volunteers, all the footpaths are surveyed annually and their condition reported back to the Co-Coordinators who then pass the completed forms to Devon County Council Environmental Department.

A great deal of work has been completed on the paths.   Contractors have done several major jobs, but John Salter has done much of the recent maintenance.   All our footpaths are now in reasonable order.

Dorothy Carter

P3 volunteer path surveyors:

Left to right: Daphne Evans, Dorothy Carter, Barbara Salter, Dick Carter, John Salter, Lesley Sutton, Vicky Wiggins, John Driver, Florence Driver, David Barnes, Tony Wiggins





  Twice each year, in the Spring and Autumn, the Parish Council organise a Parish Walk which usually includes a half-way refreshment stop.   These walks have been a popular way to spend a Sunday afternoon for all age groups, with their dogs, to explore unknown parts of Yarcombe and Marsh.


Left to right: Lesley Sutton, Win Rattenbury, Doreen Parris, Barbara Salter, John Lane, Dorothy Carter, Shirley Briant, Terri Rees, Margaret Hoare, Laurence Salter, Brenda Taylor, Vicky Wiggins, Charles Gardner, John Salter, Ann Stockwell, Richard Briant, Tony Wiggins, Daphne Evans, Carolyn Bacon, Roger Bacon





Left to right: Peter Derryman, Martin Rowe, Henry Derryman, Stuart Drew, Gerald Dyer (front), Andrew Luxton, Marilyn Lye (front), Terry Coombe, Anthony Rich, David Lye (front), Nigel Parris, Roger Bacon, Bryan Boyd, Gerald Lye, John Tucker, Robin Rich

Kneeling in front: Keith Parris, Roger Parris, Samuel Parris


NB: In the Millennium Book this was wrongly entitled "Yarcombe South Shooting Party".  Thanks to Steve Horner for pointing this out.






Back row: Gerald Copp (Umpire), Nigel Parris, Darren Copp, Gareth Abbott, Terry Patch, Simon Hodgson, Tim Rich

Front row: Jonathan Rich, Seamus Machin, Richard Reed, Frank Martin, Stuart Drew






Back row: Tim Rich, Alex Prince, Martin Notley, Matthew Townsend, Charles Burrough, Jean Rich (Teas), Bruno Hanoman

Front row: Joe Hackett, Ian Rich, Richard Griffiths, Ted Beaumon, Ed Chester




  29th October 1999 Launch of The Yarcombe Map & "From Monks to the Millennium" (a history of Yarcombe & its properties) by WI member Ruth Everitt  
  31st December 1999 Village Bonfire  
  1st January 2000 Millennium Church Service followed by ringing of Church bells  
  5th - 13th August Yarcomillennium Week  
  5th August Annual Flower Show & Terrier Races  
  6th August Outdoor Family Service at Glebe Farm, Fun Quiz in Yarcombe Inn  
  7th August Children's Party in Village Hall with presentation of Millennium Mugs  
  7th August Line Dancing in Village Hall  
  8th August Coffee Morning at Flintlock Inn, Skittles at Yarcombe Inn  
  9th August Pig Racing & Country & Western Dance at Blackhayes Farm  
  10th August Coffee Morning at Chaffhay Farm, Skittles at Yarcombe Inn, Whist Drive in Village Hall  
  11th August Car Treasure Hunt organised by the WI, History of Yarcombe Exhibition in Village Hall and Skittles  
  12th August History of Yarcombe Exhibition, Open Air Concert by Singing Kids of Yarcombe at Glebe Farm, Grand Dance & Disco organised by YFC at Sheafhayne Manor  
  13th August History of Yarcombe Exhibition, Village Walk in afternoon, Grand Draw for Millennium Quilt made by Yarcombe WI and won by WI member Jill Dyer! Songs of Praise in the Church at 7pm  
  2nd September BBQ on A30 lay-by to celebrate the new stone table and seat with members of the Millennium Committee and to hand over a cheque for 2,164.38 to Devon Air Ambulance (half profits from Millennium Week)  
  14/16th September The Photographic Record of Yarcombe in the year 2000 will be on view in the Church during the Flower Festival  


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