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WI0401 Penford 1926. Paul Williams.
WI0402 Witheridge Square (late 1930s). The Pound House has the name Churchill below the upstairs window. Joe Churchill was a saddler and barber, and a great character. It was not unknown for him to lather a customers face, shave one side and then nip across to the Angel for a pint of cider before returning to shave the other side. The Old Police House on the right with Mrs Joe Churchill (Millie) the National (Church) school teacher walking home to the Pound House.
WI0403 Mr and Mrs Woolway and their daughter Sarah outside Peartree Cottage, later known as Mitre Cottage.
WI0404 Cypress House at Christmas.
WI0405 Outside Black Dog. Mrs Gold, Ena Clark, Mrs Ephraim Clark, Lena Clark, Bill Gold.
WI0406 Cyril Doble and Bill Vernon 1930s. Typical advertisements of the day, including Hercules Cycles and the Winged Mercury head of the National Benzole petrol sign.
WI0407 1930s. Cows passing The Mitre.
WI0408 Witheridge. Fore Street in the 1930s. Ansteys Court (demolished after the 1939/45 War) is on the right, and opposite is the garage with two petrol pumps. The proprietor was a motor engineer, cycle dealer and tobacconist. Greenslades shop (mid picture) remained in operation until the late 1960s when it, and the row behind, were knocked down for road widening, and eventually to provide access for Chapple Road.
WI0409 Mr Joe Churchill, shown here with his 1934 Hillman 10, was the son of Mr Herbert Churchill, the baker, and grandson of Old Joe Churchill. He and his wife Millie lived in the Pound House in the Square. He was a man of many skills postman, barber, saddler, mason, munitions worker, lamplighter, church clock winder and window cleaner. His wife Millie was a school teacher.
WI0410 Fore Street with Dobles Garage and Ansteys Court.
WI0411 1930. Mr W H Vernon on his Royal Enfield motorcycle Reg no. TT1326 in the Angel yard.
WI0412 Mr Joe Churchill's Model P Triumph motorcycle and sidecar stands in the Angel yard. Left to Right: Winston Maunder (on the horse), Mrs Buchanan, Miss Stella Baker and Alan Vernon. 1930(?)
WI0413 The galvanised roofed garage was altered from a thatched cottage (see photo below) in 1931 at a cost of £50.8s.4d. To the right of the garage can be seen the wooden construction which was Gordon Keith's fish and chip shop. Behind this shop can be seen the thatched building of the Blacksmiths.
WI0414 1930s. Exe Valley Electric Co. office at the left side of Cyprus House.
WI0415 Exe Valley Electricity Co. Hoist for batteries to upper floor.
WI0416 Exe Valley Electricity Co. Generator room, steps up to battery room.
WI0417 Exe Valley Electricity Co building. Witheridge and Electricity recollections of Bill Williams. Mains electricity reached Witheridge in the Summer of 1939, but the village had its own supply from 1931. Whitehall Securities was the parent company in London of a number of smaller companies in the country, whose aim was to provide power stations for towns and large villages. The branch in Devon had offices in Exeter, and an offshoot called the Exe Valley Electricity Company, who provided power stations in South Molton, Dulverton, Winkleigh and Witheridge. Premises chosen was a two storey shed at the back of Cypress House in West Street. The engines were diesel by Blackstone, and by Petter, and in 1935, to meet increased demand, a big 4-cylinder Petter was added. These engines charged batteries which were kept upstairs. They never ran at night, merely intermittently during daytime, although in cold winter weather they might have to run all day. Sometimes the battery plates would warp, there would be a crack as a glass container broke and sulphuric acid poured down below. All the wiring for the first batch of clients was done by Spence of Honiton, but later work was carried out by the Exe Valley Company. All the wiring round the village was above ground and reached as far as Merryside, Gunhole and the Lower School. At Merryside, the Company installed an electric pump to fill the big water storage tank there with water from the reservoir by the entrance to Lakelands. When the water fell to a certain level, the pump cut in and topped it up. South Molton R D C paid. Some people had a meter, but others had a limiter which would cause power to flicker if too much was being used. Those with limiters paid a shilling a week, enough for two 60 watt bulbs. Bill Williams recalls calling to read the meter of an elderly couple who averaged 8 units per quarter (at a penny three farthings a unit), but on this occasion had used 10 units and the old man was furious. One of Bill Williams jobs was to carry out a thermal efficiency test once a month, comparing oil consumption against power produced. Due to a calculating error Witheridge produced a figure of 33%, Better than the 23% of Battersea Power Station. Bill started in August 1933, and remembers Leslie Knight, J Pollard, J Seatherton (who later managed South Molton's plant), and, at times, Bill Knight. Once when Bill Hutchings was felling a tree, he told the Company to switch off the power in case the tree fell on the wires. Bill Williams had to tell him that the law required public notice to be given before the power could be cut off, and that it could not be done at once. Half an hour later, the tree fell on the wires and all the power went off. Bill Hutchings had to compensate the Company. In the Summer 1939, mains supply arrived from South Molton and joined in to a transformer sited a few yards down the road to Witheridge Mill. (Bill Williams 1996).
WI0418 Exe Valley Electricity Company. Inside.
WI0419 Fore Street, Witheridge.
WI0420 This row of thatched cottages lay on the right hand side of the lane that leads from the Church Room to Pullens Row, and was known as Tracey Green. In April 1945, the last of the big village fires occurred, and the Tracey Green cottages were the victims, together with the thatched cottages in West Street, to which the fire spread. The village water supply was, as usual, inadequate, although many helpers did their best with buckets of water from various taps and wells. A number of fire brigades arrived, but no village source could feed the pumps. The vicarage well, reputed to be the best in the village, was pumped dry in three minutes. Water had to come from the river at Newbridge, and it took no less than six mobile pumps to relay the water up to the fire. It was all to no avail; Tracey Green cottages were burnt out and never rebuilt. The families in Tracey Green were: Hartnells, H Perry's and W Perry's.
WI0421a After the Tracey Green fire in 1945, there was a strong demand for a local fire service, and in 1946, the Witheridge Fire Brigade was formed as part of the then National Fire Service. They are seen here as a group at the entrance to the old Fire Station (formerly the bus company garage) in North Street, and lined up in front of their engine (a converted post office telephone van) and tender. Those standing in the group are, from the left, Mr W Somerwell, Mr W Lewis, Mr W Clements, Mr R Priest, Mr S Selley, Mr L Baker, Mr R Tapp, and Mr W Osborne. Seated are Mr F Kingdom, Mr F Leach, Mr W Vernon, Sgt Palmer and Mr J Luxton.
WI0421b After the Tracey Green fire in 1945, there was a strong demand for a local fire service, and in 1946, the Witheridge Fire Brigade was formed as part of the then National Fire Service. They are seen here as a group at the entrance to the old Fire Station (formerly the bus company garage) in North Street, and lined up in front of their engine (a converted post office telephone van) and tender. Those standing in the group are, from the left, Mr W Somerwell, Mr W Lewis, Mr W Clements, Mr R Priest, Mr S Selley, Mr L Baker, Mr R Tapp, and Mr W Osborne. Seated are Mr F Kingdom, Mr F Leach, Mr W Vernon, Sgt Palmer and Mr J Luxton.
WI0422 Jack Stone and Nobby Clark in the Hare and Hounds. Jack was the landlord and a former Police sergeant. Photo taken in the 1940s.
WI0423 The building on the left was the property of the Tiverton Roller Mills demolished in 1966 for road widening. It was built in 1894 as a butter factory, on a site given by Mr Maunder, of The Lawns, the house in the middle of the picture. Local names such as Elworthy, Maunder, Partridge, Selley, Smyth and Eastmond were directors. By 1897, production had reached a ton a week and a box-making machine was installed so that butter could be despatched in the company's own packaging. After some years, the business ended, and the building became the property of Mr Charlie Maire, the miller at Witheridge Mill. The shop beside The Lawns was Percy Holloway's grocers shop.
WI0424 The Square, Witheridge. The bus on the right is parked beside the bus office date 1940s/50s.
WI0425 Aerial view of Church and Vicarage. The original Parsonage House was burnt down in the 1830s. The Benson vicars preferred to live in the Mitre House which had been built to capture the coaching and other trade brought by the 1837 Turnpike, an objective which failed. The Bensons finally got round to building a new Vicarage in the 1880s.
WI0426 Trafalgar Square and the Hare and Hounds, Witheridge.
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WI0427 The Square 1950. On the right Les Baker on his bicycle.
WI0428 Stan Hills Austin 10. 1950. West Street.
WI0429 West Street, 1950s.
WI0430 Views of Witheridge.1950s(?).
WI0431 Gordon Pyne laying foundations of The Bungalow in Fore Street for Douglas Venner. Martin Champion watching. 1957.
WI0432 Postcard views of Witheridge.
WI0433 The Square, Witheridge.
WI0434 Witheridge. Aerial view, about 1950.
WI0436 Postcard views of Witheridge.
WI0437 The Square and Church Street.
WI0438 Ivan Vanstone on Winston Maunders pony, Sam, in The Bow.
WI0439 No.1 Ebringtons Row. John Bryant and his granny, Mrs Jack Rice.
WI0440 Black Dog, part of the Square. 1950s.
WI0441 The Square, 1950s. Devon General bus.
WI0442 Aerial view of the village before expansion began in the 1970s.
WI0443 Snow 1963. Helicopter brings yeast to Parish Hall Field.
WI0444 Witheridge 1963. Jack and Freda Knight.
WI0445 This photograph was probably taken in the 1960s, before the expansion of Witheridge began. At the top of the picture the ten cottages of Pullens Row can be seen. They were built in 1840 by Henry Pullen, a local shopkeeper and businessman. The gardens on the near side of the Row were plots belonging to various householders in and around the Square. In the photo the new Vicarage has yet to be built, the barn and stables at the back of the Mitre have yet to be converted. Thorny Path can be seen running up from the Square past Pullens Row and its gardens, and on up beside the hedge. It is now part of the Two Moors Way. The buildings to the left of The Angel yard became the Surgery, and are now offices. The row of garages next to them has been converted into the Rest a While.
WI0446 Fore Street 1960s. In 1893 a group of local farmers and businessmen formed the Witheridge and District Dairy Company Ltd. The directors bore such well known local names as Elworthy, Maunder, Partridge, Selley, Smyth and Eastmond. Mr Maunder, of The Lawns, (the creeper covered house in the middle of the picture), offered the site for the butter factory. The building was opened in April 1894 and is the one on the left in the photograph. In 1895, a 5% dividend was declared, and corn-cracking and grinding machinery installed. In 1897, a box making machine was acquired so that butter could be despatched in the Company's own boxes. By then production had reached a ton per week, and a branch factory at Rackenford was being considered. For many years the Secretary was Mr W Greenslade, known as Billy Butterdabs. After some years, the building became the property of Mr C Maire, the miller at Witheridge Mill. In its last years it belonged to the Tiverton Roller Mills, and supplied stock feed. In 1966 it was demolished as part of the scheme to widen Fore Street and to provide access for the Chapple Road developments. The shop beside The Lawns was a grocery store run by Mr P Holloway.
WI0447 The Lawns, Fore Street, still thatched in the 1970s.
WI0448 Lower half of West Street.
WI0449 The Village, Witheridge.
WI0450 1969. Fire Station, North Street.

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Last Edited 28/08/2008    Copyright © 2000-2006 Witheridge

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