Unforgotten Exmoor

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Volume One

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Ted Lethaby

Ted was born in 1925 at Top Cottage at Wilsham, the farm to the north of Rockford. In 1952 he married the lighthouse keeper's daughter, Barbara Roberts and they moved into the old school house at Countisbury. His new home was a couple of miles from where he had been born and he's still there sixty years later.

Black and white photo circa 1952 of bus driver Ted Lethaby, his wife Barbara (nee Roberts) and Margaret Hoyles, landlady of the Blue Ball pub, posing on the front of the Western National Lymton to Minehead bus.

All his life Ted has been closely associated with Countisbury church. His father was the sexton there, he was christened and married there, and all his family are buried there. He likes living right beside it. "I can keep an eye on it, and they won't have far to carry me when the time comes!"

Ted's chapter includes the following topics and many more:

  • Coombefoot bakery and the walk-in oven
  • taking in washing from Glenthorne
  • stone cracking
  • Countisbury school
  • being beaten for bad spelling
  • collecting laver (seaweed)
  • Miss Daker the lady pilot and Desolate
  • milking and the milk-round
  • home guard stopping traffic
  • the Foreland lighthouse
  • on the busses
  • Lynmouth flood
  • reversing down Countisbury hill
  • AA training
  • Pitcombe Head AA box
  • boiling over after coming up Porlock hill
  • saluting members
  • lorries blowing over
  • terrible winter of 1963
  • helicopter dropping supplies

Page sample from Ted's Chapter

Photo samples from Ted's Chapter

  • Black and white photo circa 1955 of a group of Automobile Association motorcycle roadside rescue men wearing jodphurs and being briefied by an AA superintendent.
  • Black and white photo circa 1933 of Barbara Roberts the Foreland Point lighthouse keeper's daughter, aged about four, holding the halter of one of the heavy horses from Kipscombe farm, above Countisbury in north Devon.
  • Black and white photo circa 1936 of Wilfred Lethaby with his new Austin 10 near the Blue Ball pub at Countisbury in north Devon.
  • Black and white photo circa early 1940s of Freddie Roberts, the Foreland Point lighthouse keeper; Foreland Point was the only lighthouse on Exmoor.
  • Black and white photo August 1952 of the ruined Lyn Valley Hotel after the Lynmouth Flood.
  • Black and white photo of the terrible winter of 1947 showing a long line of council workers digging out a car stuck in the snow near Countisbury in north Devon.

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