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Mr Churchill (WC) was born in 1895 at the bakers in West Street. His father, Mr. H Churchill, was born at Rose Ash in 1859. (WC) states that there is a tale suggesting that the Duke of Marlborough went to live in Rose Ash sometime during the reign of Queen Victoria. Mr H. Churchill first worked in saddlery with his father, but married a Miss Whitfield and bought the baker's in West Street, Witheridge. His father, (WC) grandfather, was a photographer as well as a saddler and some remaining photographs have "Churchill - Witheridge" stamped on them. (WC) left school at 14 and went into the baking business.

Boer War: (WC) remembers the end of the Boer War and how two or three from the village were fetched from Lapford Station and given a reception at the Hare and Hounds.

Club Walk: Up to 1200 people set down to dinner in a marquee; the "walk" or procession always went round the village.

Markets and Shows: Sometimes a circus came to the Square with wild animals. In April there always a three day market, with a parade of Shire horses and prizes.

Transport: Carriers used to go to Exeter, stay the night at the "Elephant and Castle" and return the next day. (WC) Recalled the first bus in Witheridge, and the ladder by which the rook was reached. Charlie Maires traction engine used to go to Tiverton to bring back foodstuffs stopping more than once on the way for water.

When (WC) father first went to school, he attended the school in the Drill Hall, (now the Schools Church Room) run by Mr Melhuish at a charge of one shilling per pupil per week.

Pullen's Row: These were built "one at a time" by George Henry Pullen (Senior)

Lord of the Manor: (WC) father looked after the affairs of the Lord of the Manor, collected the tolls for the use of the stalls in the Square on Market and Show days. The stalls themselves were kept in a shed behind the Police House, in the Square. (WC) states that anyone who opened up a gate in the parish had to pay a toll to the Lord of the Manor. Other tolls were payable, for instance, the owners of Ditchetts (Trafalgar Square) had to pay two shillings and sixpence for their front door step onto the street.

Joe Churchill used "to turn his hand to anything, even mending glasses." Once he made a "moving toy", using a sewing machine and an old phonograph, and making figures. "You dropped a penny in it and it moved" She always said she couldn't cook like Joe. Once she had been revisiting London, from where she originally came, and he couldn't get any greens to cook, so he boiled her up some stinging nettles and she said "This is delicious Joe," not realising what it was. "Old" Farmer Tarr to summer used to say "Joe'd be shaving me, and he'd suddenly say "Millie'll be home from school I must put the kettle on." In the 1939-45 war, (JC) did munitions work in Street. At one time (JC) did the job of lamplighter and also used to wind the church clock.

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Last Edited 03/07/2006    Copyright © 2000-2006 Witheridge

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