Unforgotten Exmoor

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Volume Three

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David Westcott

David Westcott can trace his family back in the immediate area for over five hundred years. He was born above the fishmonger’s shop in Porlock in 1923; “ When I was due Mother came down from Eastcott farm to stay with my uncle at the fish shop, probably because medical attention was better in Porlock.” At about a week old he and his mother returned to the farm where he spent the rest of his working life just as his father had done at the same farm before him. David was president of both the Exmoor Horn Sheep Society and of the Porlock Cricket Club, and was profiled in the Exmoor Magazine which described him as “one of the most popular men on Exmoor.” On retirement he gave talks on Exmoor’s past and lived in a house less than a hundred yards from where he’d been born. He died in March 2010.

Black and white photo taken in 1940s of a donkey with two milk churns in panniers delivering milk with the milkmaid to houses in West Porlock from Birchanger farm which overlooks the Bristol channel.

David Westcott's chapter includes the following topics and many more:

  • the miller at Wootton Courtenay
  • exmoor pony round-ups
  • driving the ponies to the Brendon and Bampton fairs
  • guests at the Anchor hotel at Porlock Weir
  • fishermen and fishing boats
  • ladies riding side-saddle
  • deer damage on the farms
  • shooting parties
  • local football teams
  • gipsy caravans
  • scout camps and cricket in a field
  • pushing cars up Porlock hill
  • pumping the organ as mother played
  • a cider brewing curate and the Porlock Weir choir
  • fishermen’s wives providing tea on the beach
  • exmoor grass-growing tests
  • heavy horses and hand ploughing
  • two churns on a yoke for the milk round
  • aeroplane dog fights over the farm fields
  • winters of 1947 and 1963
  • helicopter drops of essential food
  • the traveling library
  • the Beatles at Minehead filming a ‘Hard Days Night’

Page sample from David Westcott's Chapter

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Photo samples from David Westcott's Chapter

  • Black and white photo taken in the winter of 1963 of the Westcott family standing on deep snow at the road signs at the top of Porlock hill.
  • Black and white photo taken in the 1880s of Robert Westcott miller at Wootton Courtnay with dog.
  • Black and white photo taken in late 1920s of farmer Ernest Wesccott at door of Eastcott farm with sons John and David and a dog.
  • Black and white photo taken in 1890s of a shooting party from the Anchor hotel at Porlock Weir up at Eastcott farm with their guns, helpers, spaniels and some children.
  • Black and white photo taken in 1940s of Ernest Westcott farmer at Eastcott farm in a field stitching corn.
  • Black and white photo taken in 1940s of farm workers in a field called Meads Platt  overlooking the vale of Porlock loading stooks with a horse and cart.

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