Unforgotten Exmoor

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All profits donated to the Air Ambulance.

Volume One

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Unforgotten Exmoor: Volume One

Image of book cover. Unforgotten Exmoor. Words and pictures from a vanished era. Volume One. Oral Histories from Victor Lock, Blanche (nee Watts) & John Pile, Ted Lethaby and Roy Kellaway. Author David Ramsay. Yellow book cover with photo of an overturned 1930s lorry being hauled upright by men with ropes.

Words and Pictures from a vanished era

Victor Lock describes what it was like as a child on a hill farm in the 1930s. He tells of riding the farm donkey two at a time, of bird nesting, ice skating, fishing behind the back of the ever watchful water bailiff, and dominoes when the weather was wet. When war broke out he describes how everything became unusually busy on the common with the American troops arriving and building a permanent camp near the farm and carrying out their artillery and tank practice on the hill behind, and how German bombers flew over the farm regularly each night to bomb Cardiff on the opposite side of the Bristol Channel. As the war ends he describes taking on an apprenticeship as a carpenter and getting his first tools, working on wooden scaffolding and his tentative joining of a trade union. He also started making coffins for the area and he talks about measuring up the deceased, how the coffins themselves were made and the graves dug to fit his templates.

John Pile and wife Blanche talk about traveling seamstresses and midwifes coming to the farms, about paddle steamers at Lynmouth, and the early cars in motor trials at Beggar’s Roost. They talk about food; about gathering, preparing and cooking laver (seaweed), about pig-killing and offal sausages, about snaring rabbits, making junket from milk still warm from the cow and about lamb-tail pie and plucking fowl. They talk about pony riding shepherds, tramps and gipsies visiting the farms, evacuees arriving in the area, and rounding up ponies on the common and breaking them in. Their story ends with the arrival of a television set in the area and the contract shearers taking over from the traditional sheep shearing parties of farmers who had all arrived at each of the farms on ponies with their hand-shears rolled up in their white shearing suits on their backs.

Ted Lethaby talks about his grandmother’s bakery with the walk-in oven and deliveries of loaves of bread on ponies. He talks about his first job on the farm where he hand-milked and then carried the churns from house to house as he measured milk into people’s jugs which they’d left for him on their kitchen tables with the back doors open. He talks about joining the home guard and about driving the bus on the Minehead to Lynmouth run, and reversing it up Countisbury hill after the Lynmouth Flood - because he couldn’t turn it at the bottom - for the entire day as he continually ferried people from the bottom up to the top. He also tells of of his time as one of the first AA patrolmen and the early cars coming up Porlock Hill, about saluting members each time as they passed, and about his stand-by duty at the AA box at the top of Porlock hill.

Roy Kellaway talks about the art of making and thatching a haystack and about the teams of coffin bearers at his grandfather’s funeral. He tells about the Brendon village bakery which his father ran, about lighting the fire for the oven and about the deliveries of bread in a horse and cart. He talks about the communal well, their early sanitation system and electricity supply. He talks about the saw mill, about gardening as a lesson at school and about how all lessons were cancelled when war broke out and the children dug the school air-raid shelter. He talks about magic lantern shows, hand delivering telegrams and hauling timber out of the woods with heavy horses and then about running the Brendon stables which he did for many years. His chapter ends with a description of his time as second horseman to the Master of Staghounds.

Historic Voices of Exmoor

If you want to find out what a place was really like in the old days, ask the people who were there. History books about grand people occupying important roles on the national stage are fine, but they’re nothing like the real thing. If it’s social history you want, then you’ve got to talk to the people who know what they’re talking about, find out what’s locked away in the memories of ordinary, decent folk.

With "Unforgotten Exmoor" David Ramsay does just that, skilfully interviewing a handful of elderly locals ("the old people" he calls them) about their early lives in Barbrook, Brendon, Countisbury and Lynton. And the result is a charmingly edited and wonderfully readable set of reminiscences on an old way of life when values were different and communities were everything...

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  • Antell, Abe
  • Ash, Bert
  • Back, David
  • Barrow (family name)
  • Beck
    • Mrs
    • Miss
  • Bland, Mr
  • Bosson, Jack
  • Cooper,Cecily
  • Crick (family name)
  • Crocombe (family name)
    • Billy
  • Darker, Miss
  • Deep Purple
  • Delbridge (family name)
  • Edwards, Jack
  • Floyd
    • Alf
    • Bert
    • Ede
    • John
  • Franks, Leslie

  • Garnish, George
  • Gillbank and Squires
  • Graham (family name)
    • Donald
    • Farmer
    • George
    • Margaret
    • Mrs
  • Gregory, Dan and Lucy
  • Groves, Fred
  • Halliday (family name)
    • Ben
    • Miss
  • Hardman, Mr (headmaster)
  • Harris, Jimmy
  • Head, Dr
  • Hobbs, Bill and Dave
  • Hood (family name)
  • Hoyles
    • John
    • Margaret
    • Neighbour
    • Ted
  • James, Miss
  • Jones, Granfer
  • Jack and Bert
  • Kellaway (family name)
  • Kippling, Miss
  • Lang, Walter
  • Lethaby (family name)
    • Frank
  • Lock (family name)
    • Evelyn
    • Tom
  • Lorna Doone (film)

  • Marshall, Rev
  • Master of Staghounds
  • Mickey, Brian
  • Molland, Mr
  • Moore, Jim
  • Mountain, Sir Edward
  • Nancekivell
    • Bob
    • Mrs
  • Neighbour Hoyles
  • Ondaatje, Michael
  • Onions, Mr
  • Palmer, Bert
  • Perkins
    • Evelyn
    • Grandma
    • Granfer
  • Piercy
    • Mr
    • Mrs
  • Pile (family name)
    • Julia
    • Granfer
    • Philip
  • Quance, Mr
  • Rawle, Tom
  • Read, Mr
  • Richards
    • Harry
    • Stanley
  • Sanders
    • Colin
    • Jim
    • Mary
  • Slater, Captain
  • Sloley, Great-Grandma
  • Squires, Charley
  • Stenners (Porlock bakers)
  • Sylvester, Victor

  • Tattersall, Mrs
  • Taylor, Major
  • Taylors (photography business)
  • Thornton, W.H.
  • Turner, Mr
  • Vowles (postcard publishers)
  • Ward, Geoff
  • Watts (family name)
  • Wells, Doreen (Dee)
  • Wonderloaf
  • Alderford Cottage
  • Allerford School
  • Ash Plain
  • Badgworthy
  • Bampton Fair
  • Barbrook
    • church
    • school
  • Barna Barrow
  • Barton Woods
  • Beggar’s Roost
  • Big Lee (field)
  • Blackmoor Gate
  • Blue Ball (pub)
  • Brendon
    • church
    • common
    • mill
    • pony sales
    • recreation ground
    • school
  • Brendon Barton
  • Brendon House
  • Brendon Manor
  • Bridge Ball
  • Bridgwater
  • Broomstreet Farm
  • Buckingham Palace
  • Caffyns
  • Chains
  • Chapel Steep
  • Cheriton Ridge
  • Cherry Bridge
  • Church Hill
  • Cloud Farm
  • coal yard
  • Combe Girt Hill
  • Coombe Farm
  • Coombe Park
  • Countisbury
    • church
    • hill
    • mill
    • school
  • County Gate
  • Cranscombe Farm
  • Crossgate
  • Culbone
  • Deercombe
  • Desolate
  • Doone Cottage
  • Doone Valley
  • Dunkery Beacon
  • East Ilkerton Farm
  • East Lyn Farm
  • Exford
  • Farley Water Farm
  • Fellingscott Farm
  • Ferndale
  • Brendon
  • Lynmouth
  • Foreland
    • lighthouse
  • Glenthorne estate
    • head gardner

  • Green Tiles
  • Hallslake Farm
    • auction
  • Heathcliff
  • Hillsford Bridges
  • Hoar Oak
  • Ilkerton Ridge
  • Kellaways’Riding Stables
  • Kibsworthy Farm
  • Kipscombe Farm
  • Lee Cottage
  • Lee Villas
  • Leeford
    • bridge
  • lighthouse
    • fog gun
    • maintenance watches
  • Lillycombe
  • Lorna Doone Farm
  • Lower East Ilkerton Farm
  • Loxhore
  • Lynmouth
  • Lynton
    • hospital
  • Lyn Valley Hotel

  • Manor Farm
  • Methodist chapel
  • Millslade
    • bridge
    • generator
  • National Trust
  • Nelson Tea Gardens
  • Oaklands wood
  • Oare
  • Oare Manor
  • Oareford Farm
  • Oaremead Farm
  • Palmers' farm
  • Parracombe
  • Peace Cottage
  • Pitcombe Head
  • cliff railway
  • Regal Ballroom (Minehead)
  • Rising Sun (Lynmouth pub)
  • River View Cottage
  • Robber’s Bridge
  • Rockford
    • pub
  • Rose Cottage (Brendon)
  • Scob Hill Gate
    • quarry
  • Shilstone Farm
  • Shilstone Cottages
  • Simonsbath road
  • Slocomslade Farm
  • South Molton
  • South Stock Farm
  • Southernwood Farm
  • Sports Day (Brendon School)
  • stables
  • Staghunters (pub)
  • Straypark (field)

  • Tippacott Farm
  • Toc H Shed
  • Toll Road (Porlock)
  • Top Cottage (Wilsham)
  • Trilly Gate
  • Valley of Rocks hotel
  • Weir Cottage
  • Wellfield
  • Wilsham Farm
  • Wingate Wood
  • Yearnor Farm
  • Youth Hostel

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  • Volume One - Compare Prices or Buy
  • Volume Two - Compare Prices or Buy
  • Volume Three - Compare Prices or Buy

All profits donated to the Air Ambulance.

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