Tony Loach's Memories
Tony Loach was one of the first correspondents to the Schmoose pages and has taken a keen interest in the website, making some very helpful suggestions, including about collating
|What a pleasure it was finding your new Web Site this morning , as I spent part of my childhood in Wrington and it brought back a lot of old memories. I arrived in Wrington in 1933 when my Father built the Paradise Roadhouse, (later called Paradise Motel) on the A38 at the bottom of Redhill. He got the name Paradise from the very small area there called Paradise and the farm nearby called Paradise farm.
I have fond memories of those times, the walk to Wrington School across the fields, and later when I got my first two wheel bike the ride along the lane. The ride home was always broken by a stop to look in the door of the blacksmith's shop to watch him shoeing horses.
Unfortunately the war years came and my Father (Ron) went off to do his bit and left my Mother (Molly) to run Paradise. She managed to keep it going to about 1943 but no money was coming in so she had to sell. It was not that Paradise was not busy at times, as I well remember the bus loads of people that would arrive there in the evenings to get away from the night bombing of Bristol. They would sleep on the dance floor (at no cost) but spent very little money and would leave again in the morning to go back to work. The petrol side of the business was also nonexistent of course because of the rationing.
Other memories crowd in, but the one person I remember best is Doctor Bell. He was the village doctor for many years and saw me though the usual childhood problems. He also taught me how to fly fish at Blagdon Lake (there is spot there called Bells Bush which I presume is named after him), as he said I was too old to be still fishing with the worm. He was dedicated to the well being of the people of Wrington.
In the mid thirties there was an outbreak of diphtheria in the village and children started to die. He undertook an inoculation programme for all the village children the cost of which he bore out of his own pocket (No Health Scheme in those days). You only paid if you were able to, although some of the better off members of the community helped him out. He also came to your home to visit you if you were sick; maybe they still do in Wrington but they sure don't here in Canada. I did manage to see him again in about 1970 when I visited from Canada (I emigrated in 1948) but he had lost his memory and did not remember me. Wrington lost a great man when he died.
A couple of other things come to mind. Does anyone remember the day in 42 (maybe 41) when a German plane landed at the airfield at the top of Redhill ? The pilot thought he had landed in France after crossing the Bristol Channel which he mistook for the English Channel. Some navigation that!! This caused great excitement in the village and lots of laughter.
A couple of other names come to mind , the village postman a Mr. Ferris and his daughter Doris who was my babysitter at times. Also my chum Percy Parsley, and the village policeman who had a house just at the bottom of Redhill and used to make his rounds on a bicycle.
I was also most interested to read under "Wrington History" the section Mrs
Frances Neale wrote about the old road (now A38) out from Bristol. One of
her sketches shows a cross section of the road right opposite Paradise Motel in
an area where I used to play. Well play isn't exactly the word I should use, maybe "get into trouble" would be better.
Now a request please. Could someone kindly let me know what happened to the Paradise. I heard it had burned down. Was it rebuilt? And if anyone remembers the Loach's I'd love to hear from them by e-mail to <email@example.com>
I attach a picture of the Paradise Roadhouse in its hay day, taken in about 1938.
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in response to Trevor Wedlake
Hello Trevor, well after some 65 years or so we meet again. I was thrilled to get your letter [e-mail] via Richard this morning and I must say your memory is fantastic. Puts mine to shame. As I told Richard it must be the Somerset air that has something to do with it.
So you remember the old car and the remark my Dad made. I'm sure you are
correct although he would have called me "Old Chap". The outcome of my "fooling around" and probably showing off to you, was that my Dad stripped
the car down to the chassis and wheels and from then on the only way I could
get a ride was to push it to the top of the field and let it coast down.
So you see Trevor you were probably one of the last ones to get a powered ride. (See attached photo of me and Percy after we lost the power. About1936)
I certainly remember Hughie Martin at the garage. Whenever a car came into Paradise that needed major problems fixed they were always referred to his place. I think the main thing I remember about him was that he had one hand that he always kept covered with a big leather glove (due to some major injury) and like any eight or nine year old I wanted to see what it looked like without the glove on, but I never did get to see it.
The one shopkeeper I remember is Mr.Farley at Farley's store probably because he sold sweets and also had a stock of Meccano and toy trains.
Unfortunately I do not remember any of the teachers at school not even the pretty one with beautiful hair but she certainly left quite an impression with you. I think you must have been at Wrington School longer than me, into your early teens maybe, when you would have been more susceptible to her charms!!!
I was most interested to read that Dr Bell had an article written about him in The Field. I have found the magazine on the Web and my next job is to write to them and see if I can get a copy of the article He was most kind to me when my Father was away in the war probably because I was a bit of a fishing nut.
I think Mr. Carter, the Redhill policeman who you mentioned also had a daughter who would have been five or six years older than me. I remember her, so maybe I can be excused for not remembering Miss Pow!!!
So, after some 65 years I'm at last catching up on the Wrington news. Pity we could not get together and hoist one at the "Golden Lion" (is George Puddy still around?) as I'm sure that you would have more anecdotes to give my memory a jog."