I have been a member of the Barnstaple Club since 2017. I feel very honoured to be their President for the coming year and I am going to focus on friendship and fun.

I enjoy many things and I love our monthly meetings and coffee mornings. I have worked as a carer and I am married to Chris and I have 5 children.

I am looking forward to learning more about Inner Wheel this year .



In March we held our business meeting and filled posts for all our officers. A good number from our club attended the Skittles and Spring District meeting. We congratulate Torquay for winning the skittles and were pleased that our club won the quiz by a narrow margin.

In April we enjoyed a talk on Florence Nìghtingale after lunch .

PP Pat Bunch hosted members at her home who joined in viewing the online Inner Wheel Conference.

We continue to meet for online Zoom Keep Fit each week with Pat and meet with President Louise for monthly coffee mornings with cake and a book stall. We also maintain our Inner Wheel garden in the town which has looked most colourful this spring. We have welcomed five new members this year.


In January we held our annual Friendship lunch at Goodleigh Village Hall. It was held on the Saturday nearest to Inner Wheel Day and well attended by members, friends and husbands. We were served soup made by our ladies, some of whom were wearing their new Inner Wheel aprons. Following the soup we were able to tuck in to pate and cheeses.

Vice Chair June Tamlyn gave a recitation which was followed by a quiz compiled by Bridget Kettle. The raffle run by Margaret and George Kempton rounded off a very happy and enjoyable occasion which raised a good amount for our charity account.

At our February meeting the club celebrated  it’s 77th birthday. We welcomed 2 new members Julie Blackmore and Georgina Day.

D17 chair and member of our club, Gay Ross, then gave us an informative, interesting and inspiring talk on her life and how she came to join our Inner Wheel club after being invited to one of our meetings.


We began the month with our Christmas lunch at the Barnstaple Hotel which was well attended by our club members, partners and several members of the Bideford club. After the festive lunch we were amused by Jenny Woodley with seasonal  poems followed by carol singing by the Barnstaple Ladies. The choir included a duet by club member Tina Williams and past member Sue Pettifer. We were pleased to be able to meet up to celebrate this year after last year’s meeting which was on Zoom.

Several of our members joined DC Gay at the very enjoyable Christmas meeting in Tiverton.

A couple of weeks later our Christmas coffee morning with mince pies was held at the home of Lorna Boaden, again well supported and a good amount was raised for our oversees charity Mercy Ships.

We are all looking forward to our meetings in 2022, hopefully in person!

Wishing all a Happy New Year and a successful 2022 from Barnstaple.  


Our lunchtime meetings have resumed and we have enjoyed talks on Mercy Ships, Morris Dancing and Policing in Westminster.

At our November lunch we celebrated the 90th birthdays of two members, Audrey Dever and Joyce Loosemore who were presented with flowers and cakes.

In addition to lunch meetings we enjoy meeting in smaller groups for our Book Club at which members discuss books they have recently read, craft sessions which have included making lavender bags, Christmas cards and filling 24 shoeboxes. Coffee mornings are held monthly at our President’s home with books on sale raising money for our charity funds. We also continue to enjoy weekly online keep fit sessions.

The club is still sponsoring, maintaining and planting a garden by the river bank (shown left).

Our past secretary Bridget emails an online newsletter to members each month with club news and seasonal anecdotes which helps us all to keep in touch.

We are looking forward to meeting up with friends and partners for our quiz evening later in November.


President Louise hosted the club’s August afternoon tea on two afternoons. We all enjoyed wonderful cake and it was good to have chance to meet up again.

We are looking forward to being able to begin our Inner Wheel year at our September meeting next week.

JULY 2021

We were back at our meeting place in the  Barnstaple Hotel for our handover meeting President Pat handed over to Louise French and Pat and Secretary Bridget Kettle were each presented with flowers and a rose bush in appreciation of their hard work during the last two years .

They kept the wheel rolling for our club throughout the pandemic .

The club is looking forward to the next year with President Louise who outlined her plans for 2021/22 .

JUNE 2021

We were only able to meet on Zoom for most of this year and have also continued to meet on Zoom for our Keep Fit and Book Club however when restrictions eased a little we were able to hold a series of Coffee Mornings to raise funds for our charities including the North Devon Hospice.

Our President Pat was able to present a cheque at the Hospice recently and said “It is wonderful to come to this place of peace and quiet which has brought comfort to so many of our friends who have passed their last days here or have received counselling and help from your representatives and we have pleasure in presenting this cheque raised by Inner Wheel Club of Barnstaple in these difficult times by holding Coffee Mornings for 6 with Bring and Buy stalls“.

In response a Hospice spokesperson said “Thank you so much for supporting patients and families with your wonderful fundraising. Our nurses are continuing to give vital care and support to people with life-limiting illnesses, such as cancer or heart failure, in their own homes, bringing not only comfort but also a friendly face and someone to talk to. This is only possible because of you. I’m sure the coffee mornings were a huge hit with all who could make it, and it sounds like you’ve done an excellent job of keeping spirits high in the group and a continued sense of togetherness; a feeling many of us won’t be underestimating the importance of anytime soon“.

Seven members of our club attended the District Zoom A.G.M and Handover meeting. We were delighted to see Barnstaple Club member and Past President Gay Ross take over the role of D17 Chairperson and look forward to supporting her in her year in office.


In January 12th 17 members were welcomed by President Pat who read a greeting from D17 Chair Jeannette Dommett.

Members had submitted a photo to discuss and eleven of these were displayed on screen while we were told of the story behind the photos which ranged from a helicopter on board HMS Broadsword in the Falklands, Barnstaple in Bloom and deer on Exmoor. After these we broke into smaller groups to exchange news and enjoy tea and cake.

Our club had weekly Keep Fit sessions led by our President and we also have a Book Club where we discuss a chosen book.

Recently we have been marshalling at the Leisure Centre for Covid vaccinations. A photo of this was put on the Association Facebook page and attracted at least the attention of 85 Inner Wheel members.

In February our club celebrated its 76th birthday and we enjoyed a visit from District Chair Jeannette Dommett and celebrated with a candle in a cake at home, apart but together!


We had a lovely Zoom December Club meeting on 1st which 22 members joined – it was great seeing all dressed festively for the occasion.

We kept Club business to a minimum, and then enjoyed a fun Christmas quiz which was compiled and delivered by Peter Bunch. Maureen Ireland was the winner and was awarded a tube of Smarties. Next, we enjoyed a drink and a mince pie together and then Jenny Woodley read a comic Christmas poem in her best Devon accent, followed by a verse from three Christmas carols led by Bridget on her keyboard.

Finally the winner of our ‘guess the weight of the cake’ competition was announced which again was won by Maureen whose guess was just half an ounce out, narrowly beating several others.  Both cake and Smarties have now been delivered. 

Then, on 8th December, we had our informal Zoom coffee morning, joined by 13 members, which pleasingly included several who didn’t make it to the club meeting.  Whilst this can never be the same as meeting in person we all exchanged Christmas greetings and shared our news.


Our members continue to meet by Zoom and also a series of socially distanced Coffee Mornings in members’ gardens which we held in mid September catching the last of the fine weather. Each group held a small Bring and Buy which raised funds for our Charity Account and we were able to send a donation to the Association Lebanon Appeal.

Photos of the Coffee Morning were posted on the Association Facebook page and attracted a lot of interest from many other clubs and members with over 50 “likes” including Phyllis Charter and Ann Acaster. It even helped reacquaint two friends who had lost touch with each other. I had a message from a member of another club who spotted a long lost friend in one of the photos and as a result they were able to get in touch with each other once again!  

Our September meeting was held on Zoom and we enjoyed a talk on leprosy which gave us an insight into the work of the charity to which we have donated annually.   In October once again we met on Zoom and several members who attended listened to a very interesting talk by Liz Shakespeare who is a North Devon author. Most of us watched from the comfort of our own homes but one of our enterprising members was able to join on Zoom from a local church and was joined by two other members who are not online, thus able to enjoy the talk. Liz spoke of her method of writing and the huge amount of research that she does when writing her novels which are set in the Bideford area. Her new book Song of the Skylark is to be launched soon.  

We continue with our Zoom Keep Fit and Book Club sessions and the socially distanced Craft Group meets monthly.


The Barnstaple club has been proactive and keeping in touch with members by various ways and meeting in small groups. At the start of lockdown President Pat began Committee Meetings on Zoom which worked well and led to our Handover meeting also being held on Zoom. This was held up as an example to our Rotary Club who were told “If Inner Wheel can do it so can we!”. Pat has also held regular keep fit sessions on Zoom for members also.

Committee members have each been keeping in touch with members by regular telephone calls in addition to a monthly newsletter sent out by Secretary Bridget Kettle.

Inner Wheel Garden

In July we met up at our adopted town garden near the quay in Barnstaple for a socially distanced photo and socially distanced refreshments at a nearby café. On August 4th we are held our August Tea with 30 members taking part at five different gardens and enjoyed fine weather albeit rather breezy!

We are beginning a Book Club discussion group on Zoom on August 11th and recently we began a Craft Group held in a members garden.

Of course all these events have been blessed with fine weather, how we proceed in the future depends on things beyond our control, but at least we have Zoom!

Club secretary, Bridget Kettle and treasurer June Tamlyn have compiled a booklet which features a photo and short resume of each of our members so that we can still relate to each other even though we are unable to gather together.

Our members have not been idle during lockdown, some of our activities include:
– Chris Doe has made a beautiful quilt for Barnstaple Women’s Refuge
– Chris Wright has been making headbands for NHS
– Sue White has been knitting premature baby cardies, hats and sleeves and also hats and scarves for Freedom Centre
– D17 Vice Chair Gay Ross has had a book entitled  Luigi about her father’s wartime experience published !

MARCH 2020

Our March meeting began with presentations of cheques from our charity fundraising efforts. Our policy this year is to distribute funds throughout the year rather than wait until the handover in July. This means that charities have use of the money immediately and it is not sitting in our charity account. Cheques for £500 each were presented to Age Concern Barnstaple, North Devon Hospice and British Heart Foundation in Barnstaple. We are also donating to Parkinson’s in memory of Association president Enid Law’s husband Mike.

Following the presentations we held our Business meeting with all Club Officer posts filled and voted for by members. We have received thanks from D C Jeannette Dommett for our hospitality at our 75th birthday meeting and congratulations from the Torquay Club.

Later in March 10 of our members are attending the District 17 Meeting and Skittles .

Inner Wheel Garden, Barnstaple

Our club has adopted a garden on the riverside. On a cold and windy day in November we planted daffodils which are now flowering in the spring sunshine. Our visit in March to the garden and afternoon tea at the Queen Ann tea rooms which adjoins the garden was postponed. We are looking forward to resuming meetings and maintaining the garden later this year when all in back to normal.  

President Pat at the Inner Wheel Garden, Barnstaple

We were very pleased have an article in the Spring Association magazine about our support for a young lady in Uganda, Sherina. (Please see our October report below)   In the meantime as a club we are all keeping in touch by other means and supporting members .


At our February meeting we welcomed DC 17 chair Jeanette Dommett who helped us celebrate our club’s 75th birthday. After the meeting President Pat presented Jeannette with a cheque for her charity then the cake was cut by President Pat and Vice President Janice Measures who made the cake.

The following week four of our members joined Bideford Inner Wheel for their Quiz Night and later that week ten members went to the Queen’s Theatre to see the Agatha Christie  play “The Cat and Canary ” .


We celebrated Inner Wheel Day with a Friendship lunch at Goodleigh Village Hall on January 11th. At the start of the lunch president Pat welcomed members and their guests and presented Pam Delve with a cheque for Send A Cow, our international charity. The money was raised at a Christmas Coffee morning and donations from club members in lieu of sending Christmas cards in 2019. The donation will benefit from a doubling of the amount by the government, so a substantial sum in total . A good crowd attended and all seemed to enjoy the event, the tables looked lovely with Janice’s paper blue and yellow flowers, and there was a good atmosphere with everyone chatting after the Christmas break.   We all enjoyed four different home made soups followed by pate and cheese.   There was a quiz organised by Rt Brian Kettle, a  New Year message was read by Louise French and the raffle prizes were announced by George and Margaret Kempton who organised the raffle.  

Our next meeting is on February 4th when we celebrate our club’s 75th birthday and also look forward to a visit from DC Jeannette Dommett.


Our Christmas meeting held at Barnstaple Hotel was very well attended and we welcomed guests from Braunton and Bideford Inner Wheel clubs and also members of the Barnstaple Rotary Clubs and husbands of our club members too.  

Our Christmas carvery lunch was followed by singing from the Barnstaple Ladies Choir which included one of our club members Tina Williams who sang a solo. Donations of festive foods were made to the Freedom Centre.  

The following Tuesday our Christmas Coffee morning was held at the home of Lorna Boaden with husband Phil supervising the car parking! We enjoyed homemade mince pies, sausage rolls and some naughty but nice cakes too. The proceeds will be donated to our International charity Send a Cow.


President Pat Bunch presented a cheque to Devon Freewheelers, the money was raised at a Bridge Day held at East Down in September when members of our club and others spent a day of concentration playing bridge.

Everyone enjoyed lunch and tea provided by hardworking members on one of the last hot days of the year!   At our November meeting we welcomed Sue Thomas to our club. We were sorry to hear that Margaret Keene who has been a member of our club since 1998 and a Past President has moved from her home in Stoke Rivers to London and no longer able to attend our meetings.  Our speaker was Simon Fleet who told us about running the Instow to Appledore ferry which is run by volunteers and can only run at certain times of the day according to the times of high tide. A recent grant means that the ferry will be able to run two boats next year each carrying twelve passengers due to increased demand for the service.  

Club members enjoyed a visit to the Almshouses in October and another visit is planned.  Ten members attended the Autumn District meeting at the Exeter Court Hotel and five members enjoyed the meeting at Aylesbeare hosted by Otter Valley and took donations from our club for Christian Response to Eastern Europe.   We have donated ten Christmas shoeboxes for this year’s International Aid appeal and locally we continue to donate to the Freedom Centre in Barnstaple each meeting .  

Prior to a busy December we are holding a fundraising quiz later this month which will be well supported.


At our October meeting President Pat inducted Chris Wright who was welcomed by all. A special presentation of flowers was given to Jenifer Neve who has been a member of our club since 1996 and recently celebrated her 80th birthday. Our speaker was Jana Edwards who gave a very interesting talk on The History of Clovelly.

Later on this month several members are looking forward to attending the Autumn District Rally in Exeter.  

Letter from Sherina at Kira Farm to
Beryl Jones, Barnstaple Immediate Past International officer

Dear Beryl

It so nice hearing from you, I am happy you can notice in my
communications that I am happy and moving on well with my training, it good to know that all that the Inner Wheel ladies have resumed their monthly meetings, please extend my gratitude and sincere thanks to every one

because if it was not for all your support possibly my life would not be so positive as it is now and for sure I am making the most of my time left on Kira.

I am utilizing my remaining time well as much as I can. I am happy to let you know that I have finished harvesting my maize garden and the harvest I has been so huge, I am so grateful that I have got a chance to learn such amazing huge yielding farming skills, I cannot wait doing it at home and training other people.

Still this month I have learnt a lot about goats farming. In my
village we do not have milking goats but I was so surprised getting to Kira finding goats that produce much more milk than our local cows in the village.

I am so keen to promote goats farming in my village because of it so many benefits for example having the best nutritious milk. Not so many
people in my community know about this but I am willing to promote it.

Have you ever taken goats milk?

Love you lots.


Barnstaple club has sponsored Sherina this year who has learnt new skills to take back to her village .


Pat Bunch, as this year’s President of Inner Wheel Club of Barnstaple, held a Bridge Day on Saturday September 14 at East Down Village Hall.

It was a most popular event enjoyed by 44 players, many of whom admired the atmosphere and amenities of East Down Village Hall and several early arrival’s took the opportunity to visit East Down church and commented on  how lovely it looked decorated for the next day’s Harvest Festival service.

The prizes went to the highest score N/S, achieved by Chris Smith and Anne Marten and the highest score E/W, achieved by Richard Smith and Dick Amery.   Many thanks to all who contributed to the well provided raffle, both bringing prizes and buying tickets.

After a welcome drink on arrival, a quiche, egg, cheese and ham salad with hot potatoes and a wide selection of puddings was enjoyed for lunch on a lovely hot autumn day.  Half way through the play of bridge, afternoon tea and a variety of cakes were served.

 The helpers on the day were Gay Ross, Beryl Jones, Margaret Kempton and Liz Harris and many members of Inner Wheel contributed puddings, cakes and raffle prizes.  A big thank you goes out to  the helpers and all who supported the event.

It was a successful day financially with all proceeds to be donated to Devon Freewheelers, volunteer bikers who deliver blood all over Devon for the NHS so that it is swiftly in the right place at the right time, you never know when you might be thankful to them.

By kind permission of the East Down Village Hall Trustees the hall was free of charge for this event, which enabled  Inner Wheel to pass over all proceeds to the charity.


President Pat began her year by holding an afternoon tea for members and prospective members at her home on a sunny August afternoon. We enjoyed good company and delicious cakes with our tea.  

At our September meeting we were pleased to welcome two new members, Angela Dunston and Pam Harman who were inducted by President Pat and presented with their New Members packs.   The club has sent congratulations to Judith Domleo and her husband Bob on the occasion of their recent Diamond Wedding Anniversary.  

Later this month President Pat’s first fundraising event is a Bridge Day on September 14th and the following week she will be attending Barnstaple Fair, Rotary lunch and the town’s annual carnival.  

Our speakers for September were Syd and Carole Delve who spoke on Send a Cow which is our overseas charity for this year. It is a long running charity started in 1988 and now extends aid into several African countries including Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia and helps to promote agriculture in these areas. Our Christmas Coffee morning will be in aid of the charity.  

Talking of Christmas!! We are already collecting for our Christmas Shoebox Appeal!

JULY 2019

President Gay Ross handed over to Pat Bunch at our July meeting. After handing over the Presidential Chain Gay presented Pat with a bell to keep order at Committee meetings! New President Pat has her year mapped out with social get togethers, a fundraising bridge day and a quiz. Speakers will include Send a Cow with Syd & Carole Delve, a talk on the Instow to Appledore ferry, the history of Clovelly and a talk on the work of the Town Clerk, Rob Ward. We are all looking forward to our August meeting which is a cream tea with our new President.  

MAY – JUNE 2019

At our May meeting President Gay was our speaker and told us of her amazing visits to Communanza and Pont San Nicola, Padua in Italy and how she discovered her father’s wartime journey through Italy 76 years ago following his release from a Prisoner Of War camp.

On her first visit to the area last year, she found that after showing his photo around there were people who still remembered him. On subsequent very emotional  visits she has retraced his steps and now has met descendants of the families who sheltered him during this time and visited the old farmhouse where he was hidden. There have been many reunions since then and all will be revealed when Gay completes the book that she is writing about his story .

On May 14th our Vice President, Pat Bunch hosted a very well attended  Coffee Morning and Plant Sale at her home with delicious home made  biscuits and cakes and plenty of plants for sale. A group walk led by Pat’s husband helped some of us to walk off the extra calories !

A successful morning which raised a goodly sum for our charity funds.

President Gay represented the club at the annual Mayor Making at the Guildhall , Barnstaple later on in the month .

June meeting was our AGM and began with our President announcing that she is to be District 17 Vice Chair.

We have had many fundraising events including a Friendship Lunch , Quiz, and  Coffee Mornings .

After lunch our President gave cheques to her chosen charities Over and Above, Barnstaple Municipal Charities (for Almshouses ), Families in Grief and See Hear.

Earlier this year we have also donated to the Calvert Trust, Age Concern Barnstaple, Sightsavers, End Polio Now, Mary’s Meals and Jessie’s Fund. We also gave 23 shoe boxes to International Christian Aid for Christmas 2018 .

Reports from officers were read giving details of our very busy year which began with hosting the District 17 rally here in Barnstaple. We have had many fundraising events including a Friendship Lunch, quiz and coffee mornings. Outings to the Queens Theatre have been to see Swan Lake, Coppelia and Nutcracker also The Lady Vanishes and a Murder Mystery Evening.

We are sponsoring a young student, Sherina at Kira Farm, Uganda , who gives us regular updates and is learning many new skills.

We also regularly donate to Freedom Social Projects for Homeless and underprivileged in the town . Members also volunteer in the Barnstaple Rotary Shop.

Our club now has 37 members and frequently invites prospective members to our meetings .

Later in June we are looking forward to a social visit to Tapely Park at Instow, the North Zone Rally also at Instow Yacht Club and the Summer District 17 meeting at Tiverton .