National Geographic : 1963 Aug
KODACHROMESBY KATHLEEN REVIS JUDGE (ABOVE) AND MELVILLE BELL GROSVENOR Ho! and over the Bristol Channel toward Lundy Island. All along the beach at Westward Ho! the rollers came thundering in (page 224). The curiously named village will be forever linked with the novel by Charles Kingsley and with Rudyard Kipling, who was at school there. U. S. Sister City Differs on Spelling The famous fall fair was in full swing at Barnstaple when we arrived. The festive event, say the Barnstaple people, dates back to the time of the Saxon King Athelstan. Barnstaple claims to be the oldest borough in all England. Saxons and Normans left their mark; Shakespeare, according to legend, came to it with his Players. Samuel Pepys found himself a wife among some Huguenots who settled there. The borough celebrated its 1,000th birthday in 1930. While I watched in narrow High Street by the Guildhall, the Mayor of Barnstaple came by in procession with his mace-bearer, bea- dles, and other officials, all in their pictur esque robes of office. "We are invited to make a visit to our sis ter city in the U. S. A.," the Mayor told me as he and his wife sampled the games and amusements of the fair. "That's Barnstable, in Massachusetts. Now, I wonder where they got their 'b' from?" "I expect," I said, "that somebody just misspelled it." After all, consistency in spell ing is a very modern idea. Both Barnstaple and neighboring Bideford are proud of their beautiful old arched bridges. There was some agitation to widen them, especially at Barnstaple. "What, spoil our bridge just to bring in more cars more quickly, to knock more of us down?" the beadle remarked to me. "Not likely! Build a new bridge-why, we might do that. But spoil the old one, never." But since my visit, I have learned that widening is under way. Charles Kingsley often walked over Bide 231 N.G.S.