Personal Reminiscences and Pictures Received

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This website is occasionally found by former residents of Harberton who perhaps spent their childhood here or have other memories of the village from times past. Sometimes they have old pictures too. The collection below reproduces the content of these incoming contacts. The Harberton Village Website sincerely thanks the contributors for allowing their text and images to be shown here. Contact Us if you wish a message to be forwarded to any contributor. Click a thumbnail to see an image displayed in a new window.  Most images will be displayed at 800x600 for landscape or 600x800 pixels for portrait format unless the originals supplied were smaller.

1952 village centre picture
1953 Coronation text & pictures
Garden Terrace and residents 1960s/1970s (1) text only
Garden Terrace and residents 1960s/1970s (2), Church House Inn 1966 text & pictures
References to The Manor and Angle Cottage 1952-1981
Doreen Frost, born 1930, lived in Harberton until 1942
Donald Ward, evacuee in Harberton 1940-1942
Theresa Whitcher - mother Margaret Damerell's life in Harberton

1952 picture of Harberton village centre showing the school above the church, the Henry Wyse almshouses behind the pub, and Garden Terrace in the lower centre of the picture, with the old buildings leading up Fore Street to the pub, some 25 years before they were all demolished make way for Church Court.

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[further information received from Frank Greaves 27/10/05]
Many thanks for the close up of Garden Terrace. The Arnolds lived in the "top" cottage, that on the left of the photo. As mentioned it was originally 2 cottages and retained 2 front doors.
Bill Arnold certainly used part of the garden in front of the terrace and also an area above the cottage.
Sorry it has taken a while to come back to you. I have been looking through some of our many old photographs and have found a few. There are probably more but rather than wait until I have gone through them all I enclose a few.
I hope you find them of interest.
1 Louise and Bill circa 1960 location unknown
2 Bill in his postman's uniform in his garden
3 Church House Inn 1966 My wife and her grandfather stood in church gateway
Garden Terrace
4 1971 4 generations in front of the cottage
5 1971 Louse Arnold holding great-grandson - Edward Greaves
6 1971 4 generations
7 1977 Bill Arnold with his granddaughter and 2 great-grandsons - Edward and Mark
Louise Arnold died about 1973 and Bill continued to live on his own in Garden Terrace until the cottage was due for demolition. He moved into a residential home in Totnes where he died, aged 93, just prior to Christmas 1980. Until shortly before his death he was extremely active walking around Totnes every day.
Certainly I have no objection to this being circulated around your village network. It may promote memories.
Hopefully I will find more photographs in due time.
Very best wishes
Frank Greaves

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[received from Marion Tester 25/10/05]
A couple of photos I have dug out taken in 1953 for the Coronation:
One is of 7 Tristford Road and the other one going from left to right is Betty Goddard, Mark Goddard, Emma Widger [Ed: Marion's aunt] and I think the other couple are Len and Elsie Rouse but I am not sure.
Regards - Marion Tester

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[received from Frank Greaves, Subject "Garden Terrace Harberton", 27/9/05]
I congratulate you on the Harberton website. It is very interesting and brought back many happy memories of holidays spent in the village in the 1960's and 70's.
We live in North Nottinghamshire but my wife's mother was born in Harbertonford, and moved to Worksop in 1942.
My wife's grandparents, William (Bill) and Louisa Arnold, lived in a cottage in Garden Terrace. It was actually two knocked into one, and still retained 2 staircases. Facilities were primitive - one cold tap in the yard - shared between 2 or 3 cottages. Toilet also in the yard was actually connected to the sewers but you had to fill a bucket and throw it down the pan to flush!
Electricity had been installed in late 1950's.
Bill was a retired postman and may still be remembered by older residents.
The aerial photo clearly shows the cottages almost in the centre of the picture.
I keep on coming back to your site.
Continue with your good work
regards Frank Greaves

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[received October 2004 from Lucy Barrow]
"Very interesting site as I used to live at the Manor or Old Vicarage from 1962 till 1976 then at Angle Cottage till 1981. Bits missing in list of construction: bus turning bay and new sewage works. Also would be nice to see Ken Luke mentioned in dispatches. He did a lot for the village in 60s 70s 80s. Also Mrs Woodberry who gave the kids free sweets from her shop"

[Ed: During summer 2004 a visitor to the Church House Inn turned out to be a William Foster, now living abroad, whose family bought the Manor (for £200,000?) when it was first sold off by the Church in 1952. It apparently needed a lot of work done on it.]

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[received 19/10/04 and 22/10/04] from Doreen Frost]
[19/10/04]"Hello Webmaster
I was born at no1 St Clements Terrace in the summer of 1930 and lived in the village until 1942. I have many memories of my childhood there and was interested to see the village recently when I made a visit and had a trip 'down memory lane'. I am Doreen Frost and now live in Bath. I remember the village shop owned by Mrs Parnell (Parnie to us kids), and the sweetshop in the front room of a cottage at the top end of the village run by Dolly Tingay.
I remember well the night a German bomber was being chased and jettisoned all it's incendiaries on the village. Fortunately they landed on the field across from Ford Farm and were put out by the local men using sand bags and stirrup pumps.
I won't bore you with any more information, but if my recollections are of interest I am happy to share them.
Thank you for the interesting website. I can just remember Ed Chapple and his one eye. What a tale of optical disasters. Best wishes.
Doreen Frost"
[22/10/04]
"Hi John
How nice to get such a prompt response from you. I am glad you like Harberton. I have happy memories of Tristford because during the war I used to collect waste paper for the war effort. Every Saturday morning I would set off with my soap box on wheels, call at the lodge where you now live and trundle down to the big house. The cook always answered the door and would load up my trolley with the Squire's papers and magazines. She would then give me a penny and a newly baked jam turnover which I used to eat on the way down to the other lodge. The people there were called Hawkins and he was chauffeur to Squire Trist. It was a sad war for them because their son Donald, who was a pilot officer in the RAF was killed..
The waste paper was stored in some old stables behind the Church House Inn. It was dry and comfortable there and I used to settle down and read the magazines. I always looked forward to Saturday mornings!
I am surprised there is no one around who remembers the incendiaries. The plane must have unloaded its complete load. We were on the bomb run into Plymouth which was very badly hit night after night. You could see to read a newspaper from the glow of Plymouth burning. My older brother found an unexploded incendiary in one
of the fields around Dundridge which he brought home, emptied out and we kept it as a trophy in the linney of No 1 St Clements.
On another occasion a German plane crashed in a field between Harberton and Harbertonford. Villagers could see men in the tailplane trying to get out and tried to save them, but the plane burst into flames and the crew all perished. They were buried with full military honours in Totnes.
I am sorry I cannot help you re the Toll House but I will ask my older brother if he remembers it.I will have a look but am pretty sure I have no photos of the village. In those days all we had was a Baby Brownie camera and films were too scarce and dear to use on scenery. I have an interesting one of the 1937 coronation celebration which I can let you have.
By all means use my reminiscing for web material. It might stimulate some more information. I am in the locality from time to time, so could drop in to see you. Quite by chance I met a couple called Mowat when I was wandering around the village, and they told me about your website so when I got back I did a web search and found you.
I guess that's enough info for the time being. Keep in touch.
Carry on the good work.
Doreen"

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[received 25/6/14 from Donna Ward - Donald Ward, evacuee in Harberton 1940-1942]
I was delighted to find your comprehensive website whilst on a visit to Harberton with my Father, Donald Charles Ward. We are currently staying in Tigley until the morning of Friday 27th June 2014.
Donald was born in 1930 & was one of the children evacuated to Harberton & Totnes from 1940 – 1942. He was originally from Eltham in South East London.
His first evacuee home was in Wrotham, Kent, but quickly realising that the children were not safe in that area, they were moved to Devon.
Dad arrived at Totnes station with a group of children in 1940, he was 10 years old.
His first home in Harberton was in some very small cottages in the area of the ford (we are still trying to locate these). He stayed with a lady, maybe by the name of Mrs Hodges. She lived at the cottage on her own.
His next home was in Sieglemore Terraces (?) opposite St Clements Terrace, the big 3 story houses build in 1904.
We have been to visit the house from the outside (which I think is currently for sale). You have a great photo of those houses on your website.
Dad does not remember Doreen Frost, but perhaps she would remember him as they lived right next to each other. Donald was the same age (31.10.1930) & had little round national health glasses.
He remembers his time in Harberton as a good time, although away from his family. He says that all the children were treated well & there was no preferential treatment between local children or evacuees.
Donald stayed with a Mr & Mrs Griffiths, who were farm workers. They had two sons, one of whom was in the RAF. They also had a daughter called Betty, who he thinks was about 16 or 17 in 1940. He remembers an outbreak of foot & mouth disease and says it was a sombre time for his carers who had to kill the cattle.
At the time of harvesting he remembers joining all the children to take bottles of cold tea, cheese & bread to the workers. Catching the rabbits that were disturbed by the steam roller threshing machine, cutting the corn.
All the children helped with the pitchforks loading hay onto the carts.
He well remembers the German plane that came down in the fields. As well as the plane that offloaded all of its incendiaries, but fortunately didn’t hit the village.
He too remembers the bombing of Plymouth that lit the night sky.
In Harberton (maybe in front of the Church Inn) a group of entertainers were performing on a make shift stage.
Dad says that it was made even more entertaining as the Singer forgot her lines & chastised the crowd. Saying “its okay for you laughing, but I’ve had so many shows & now I can’t remember the lines”!
Donald’s Father (Albert) came to collect him when it was time to move on to Totnes. They walked the journey from Harberton to Totnes, which was not a hardship as they had always walked a lot.
Donald went on to Totnes to stay with Mr & Mrs Bennett. Mr Bennett was the Headmaster of the primary school, just off from Totnes High Street.
Mr & Mrs Bennett had 2 Sons, a little older than my Father Donald.
He remembers being very well looked after and the fact that he had chicken pox whilst he was there.
He stayed with Mr & Mrs Bennett at Leechwell Cottage, overlooking Totnes High Street.
(We will be driving today to try & find the Cottage).
Some information we are trying to find is the unfortunate plane crash that Donald witnessed in Totnes, he thinks 1941.
The crash was between a Hurricane and a Lysander plane (both British). The Lysander clipped the Hurricane & took its wing off.
He saw the observer come straight out, obviously to his death. Both planes crashed on waste & wet land about ½ a mile from Totnes.
He remembers running back to Leechwell Cottage shouting that the 2 planes had crashed. The adults were very calm & tried to ‘not make a fuss’.
About 2 days later, Donald & friends went looking for pieces. He bought back a 20mm cannon shell (from the Hurricane)?
He said that the area would have been blocked off until this time.
Dad is wondering whether anyone else remember the Hurricane / Lysander crash near to Totnes: we don’t have further information about it.
As for Harberton, both Dad & I, along with his Grandson are enjoying our trip around this beautiful village.
Tomorrow, we will take another trip and this time I will try not to get the car wedged in the (very) small lane running between the Church Inn & the Church!
Thank you for the wonderful photos & information.
Y
ours sincerely, Donald Charles Ward (1930), Donna Ward (1966), Xahn Ward (2002)

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[received 27/8/07 from Theresa Whitcher]
"I've been looking at your website this evening with my mum, Margaret Damerell. Margaret was born in Wesley Place, moved to Victoria Cottages and when married lived in Tristford Lodge where my dad's family (Blackman) had lived. Looking at the photos brought back many happy memories for mum. Mum remembers Doreen Frost: mum recalled a story of how she was playing with her brother Bill Damerell and Doreen's brother Bill, outside a house in the village (mum wondered whether Doreen was there as well) when the spinster (Miss Bartlett) emptied her chamber pot over the children playing outside (mum thinks they were probably being noisy), I gather most of it ended up on Doreen's brother. Mum says that she remembers the incendiary bombs being dropped around the village - she says the fires were so bright that they thought that Dundridge House was on fire. Seeing the pictures of the ford to the end of Victoria Cottages made mum laugh as she remembered her dad on his way home one evening from the pub, being unsteady on his feet and falling in the water. Hope to pass on more of mum's memories as and when they are recalled."
["Tristford Lodge" is actually West Lodge]

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