Peep at the Past

By Steve Peacock in Feature

100 years ago

Potato disease has appeared in many Totnes gardens ­during the past week. The outbreaks of disease in Devon are stated by the Board of Agriculture to be “so far the most serious”. And the Food Production Department’s representatives, sent down to the county from London, are being kept very busy. The country police are giving most valuable assistance in selling and distributing materials for spraying and in the actual spraying of threatened crops.

Considerable interest has been taken by farmers’ wives and daughters in the cheese-making demonstrations, which have been conducted by permission of Mr G Reeves at Frogmore Farm, Ashprington, the course of twelve practical lessons given by Miss A McGlashan, NDD, having attracted good attendances daily and her efforts have been much appreciated.

The course ends on Saturday and on that ­afternoon there is to be an exhibition of the cheese at Ashprington Schoolroom, at which the attendance of the public will be welcomed.

The Mayor and Mayoress of Totnes have promised to attend. Mr Oxley D Parker,

of Sharpham, and Mr

Reeves having carried out

the arrangements for the ­demonstrations.

50 years ago

Fifteen members of the Youth Club in connection with the Parish Church at Harberton, along with their Vicar, the Rev L M Malsom and his wife, joined in the Great Food Trek on Saturday, walking from Harberton to Ashburton – a distance of eleven miles.

Each of the walkers, including the vicar and his wife, secured sponsors, who offered to pay them a fixed amount for every mile ­covered in order to help the work Oxfam is doing in ­feeding some of the hungry people of the world.

The youngest of the walkers was nine-year-old Ralph Christianson, who successfully completed the whole of the 11 miles and was sponsored at the rate of £1-3s-6d per mile, resulting in his walk benefiting the Oxfam funds by £12-18s-6d.

The walkers were met on the steps of the Town Hall by Brigadier C H Lyall Grant, Portreeve; Mr Roy Harris, Bailiff; and Mr F Stacey, the Chairman of the Council.

They were entertained in the Town Hall to refreshments by the Porteeve and were gratified to know that their effort had resulted in another £40 being added to the funds of the Great Trek, through which it is hoped to raise at least £250,000 for starving people.

As a result of this effort, the Youth Club connected with the Ipplepen Parish Church is planning two walks, one from Ipplepen to Plymouth, and the other from Ipplepen to Exeter.

Around 40 members of Totnes Museum Society visited Fardell Manor, Ivybridge, at the invitation of the owner, Mr John Ray, who showed them around this fascinating house and told them a

lot about its history. It is ­distressing to learn that it may be threatened by the construction of a reservoir.

Fardell Manor is believed to have been in continuous occupation since 1042. It was owned by in 1212 by Richard, Earl of Mortain, and then passed into the possession of the Raleigh family.

After 300 years, this family sold it to the Heles, who retained it until 1740, and following several more changes of ownership, it was sold to Mr John Ray twenty years ago. He has tended it with loving care, and has done some of the restoration work with his own skilful hands, particularly in the chapel.

This was built between 1219 and 1240, was restored by Elizabeth, the widow of Sir John Raleigh, and rededicated by Bishop Lacy in 1422, restored again by J S Pode in 1902, and re-roofed and underpinned by John Ray in 1959-61.

Mr Ray’s kindness and knowledge gave the Museum Society a most enjoyable evening.

25 years ago

Paul Westcott of the Prince’s Trust has presented Mr Wilf Joint, the Warden of the William Pengelly Cave Studios Trust Centre at Buckfastleigh, with a cheque for £300 to have a telephone installed at the centre.

The Prince’s Trust aims to help young people from 14 to 25, which is the age group that most uses the Cave Centre in Buckfastleigh.

The isolation of the centre and the nature of the sport means that a telephone has become an essential piece of safety equipment, and the William Pengelly Cave Studios Trust is grateful to the Prince’s Trust for its support.

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