Peep at the Past

By Sam Acourt in Feature

100 Years Ago

At the end of this week Strathmore Voluntary Aid Hospital is to be closed, the house being required by the owner, Mr Chaloner, who will take up his residence there.

The beds at Strathmore, which was opened in November 1914 and where a large number of wounded soldiers have been treated, will be transferred to Follaton, which will, consequently, take a large number of patients in future.

50 Years Ago

Several days last week were important ones for the staff and children of the Grove Infants’ School, Totnes.

Events started off on Monday with an open evening, when mothers were invited to come to the school to hear Miss Mollie Clarke, who is an organiser for infant education in Devon, talk to the parents about modern trends in infant education and make reference to the Plowden Report.

The mothers were very interested in this talk and thoroughly enjoyed it.

They later saw a film, made by one of the teachers of the school, showing a day in the life of the school. The children were seen coming to school, no bell rings to call them in, they come in on their own.

Then they were seen doing their practical mathematics – measuring the playground, working with a ‘shadow stick’, weighing and measuring, painting, making music and at woodwork.

Finally the children were shown going home with their parents.

The parents were thrilled to see their own children, and it is hoped to show the film again some time to those who were unable to come.

On Thursday, the school was thrown open from 2pm to 3.30pm to let the parents see the children actually working and the work they had already done.

The headmistress, Mrs JY White, has expressed the school’s appreciation of the organisation, by Mrs WG Shaddick, of Bridgetown, of a group of children, her own included, in running a little garden fete in the grounds of her home to raise funds for a children’s reference library for the school.

The fete was all the more creditable because the children arranged it all themselves. They raised £13-3s.

There was a ‘bring and buy’ stall at the open session on Friday, the proceeds of which went to the fund for the reference library and other amenities for the school.

25 Years Ago

Traffic in Totnes came to standstill on Tuesday morning after Army bomb squad experts were called in to blow up suspect packages left outside the Territorial Army building in Station Road.

The alarm was raised by the building’s caretaker at 9.22am when he discovered two cardboard boxes, measuring 18x12x3 inches, stacked on top of each other outside the main entrance.

Unable to find out who delivered the unknown parcels, police sealed off all roads leading to the nearby roundabout at Brutus Bridge, choking holiday and local traffic.

A bomb disposal team from Plymouth team hurried to the scene to carry out a controlled explosion of the suspect boxes, which turned out to be harmless.

Though refusing to reveal what the mystery parcels contained, police said they had been delivered to the TA building by mistake.

Neither the building itself or the surrounding area was damaged in the explosion.

l Ugborough Parish Church is in danger of falling down because its walls are crumbling from damp and its roof timbers are riddled with dry rot and death watch beetle.

The village is desperate to raise money to save St Peter’s Church because the weight of the roof on the crumbling walls is forcing the walls outwards. But the cost of re-roofing the building is a staggering £300,000 and so far only £3,000 has been raised.

A further £825 was collected at a special music evening held on the terraces at Flete House, Ermington, recently when violin concertos were given by music students from Dartington’s College of Arts.

Mr Kevin Waterman, one of the fundraisers who helped organise the event, said: ‘We’re hoping to get grants from English Heritage but nothing is decided yet.’

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