Welcome to

In the summer of 1929, the Cock brothers at West Yeo were looking for a tenant. This came to the notice of James and Ethel Woollacott who, with their three young sons Bob, John, and Bill, were farming at Kipscombe, near Countisbury, above Lynmouth. They applied for the tenancy, their application was successful, and Michaelmas Day, September 29th 1929 was fixed for the move.

However, the Woollacott's planned to get all their farm implements over to West Yeo a few days in advance, and to move the sheep, cattle, and household items on the day itself. Responsibility for moving the implements was given to their two older sons, Bob aged 12, and John, who was 11. So, in the last week of September, two butt carts were loaded up, the ponies put between the shafts, and the two boys set off on their three-day journey.

On the first day, they reached Simonsbath, where they left the carts before riding back to Kipscombe to spend the night. Early the next morning they rode the nine miles back to Simonsbath, hitched up the carts, and then did the 15 miles to Bish Mill. Here they left the carts and rode a further nine miles to West Yeo where they spent the night. On the third day, they returned to Bish Mill, hitched up the carts, and completed the journey to West Yeo where they were left under cover. The boys then rode home to Kipscombe to help their parents with the main move.

On September 29th, the sheep and thirty milking cows were loaded into Lorries, and a further lorry belonging to Gordon Keith took the furniture and poultry. James kept an eye on the convoy on his motorbike. Bob, who rode pillion, recalls that at the first steep hill, the motorbike began to fail, and he had to step off before it could make its way up the hill. He also recalls a hen that escaped on Alswear Straight and eluded all attempts at recapture.

Next day the boys started school at Witheridge Church School, which was three times the size of their previous one at Countisbury, and had a headmaster rather than a headmistress. This seems to have presented more of a challenge than their journey.

It was a good move for the Woollacott's, for a few years later West Yeo, together with West Yeo Moor and a pair's of cottages at Higher Park and West Yeo Moor, a total of 358 acres was purchased for the sum of £8000.

Previous      Go to Top      Home       Text Version      Next Page

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

Unless otherwise indicated on the page in question, the photographic images reproduced on this site belong to the Witheridge Archives, and, as such may not be reproduced for commercial purposes without written permission. However, you are welcome to use any of the photographs belonging to the archive for personal and/or non-commercial use. Any material shown as not being owned by the archive may not be reproduced in any form without first receiving written permission from the owner of the material in question.