Broad Street Wrington Website
Schmoose Page 2008

The Schmoose page has run since the website began. See on Page 1 how the idea came about. Let us know where you are,  what you're doing, what you remember of your time in Wrington, and so on. Just e-mail copy to It's the website's normal policy not to publish e-mail addresses of correspondents for security reasons.
If you wish to make contact, e-mail the website, and it will be passed on.
The most recent items appear first

Audrey & Dave Phillips (née Millard) - Redcliffe, Queensland, Australia

Born 1942 at 20, Station Road. David lived in Langford until 1964. It's good to see all our old haunts as it looks today.

Russell Crook - Colchester, 20th December

I well remember John[see John Freeman, below - Ed] and, like other village lads, his elder sister Pauline.

We used to get half a pint of cider in the jug & bottle from their father,,under age of course.Mr Cattermole is well remembered as is Mr Lane (I think) the smithy.

Essie Collins & her husband Michael Clark, Ken her brother, and his friend Cecil King, alas killed in action with the RAF. If Ken should read or hear of this, I would like him to know that I found Cecil's name in the books of remembrance in the RAF Church in London.

Best Christmas Wishes to all.

Trevor Pilbeam - Weare, Somerset, 27th November

[I used to live in] Yeomans Orchard from 1987-1996. [I am a] former Chair of the Village Association. I look forward to using [the website] on a regular basis to keep in touch.

John Freeman - Bridport, Dorset, 18th November

Thank you for your kind EMail.

I just about remember Messrs. Clark,Collins and Wedlake. I was a very young lad then !! I am so pleased they are still going strong.

I have forwarded your EMail to my older sister, Pauline, who lives in Cambridgeshire who will be thrilled that Mum and Dad were remembered. We had some wonderful times, I recall.

I used to go to the smithy's forge, which was on the way to the Memorial Hall, and help him stoke up the fire and watch him shoe the horses. I can still smell the hot shoes going onto the hooves.

My best friend was Anthony Parsley who lived in The Arch (he died some years ago). I remember that once, we got into trouble over some misdemeanour and decided to run away from home. We nearly got to Congresbury before we got picked up and taken home. A big adventure for a couple of six year olds. I think it was because I wanted to look like Walt Cook, who ran the grocers shop opposite the pub. He was bald and apparently I tried to cut all my hair off to look like him !!

Does anyone remember Mr Cattamole, who used to show films at The Memorial Hall (On Mondays and Fridays, I think) ? It was him who gave me a life long love of cinema.

Such happy memories. Thank you so much for awakening them for me. I have bored my family for years with my stories of my wonderful boyhood in Wrington - now I can do all again.

I live just outside of Bridport, Dorset these days. A lovely part of the world but not Wrington !

My best wishes to you all.

E-mail sent to John Freeman, 17th November

I thought you'd like to know that .. I told three people .. about your email - Essie Clark, Ken Collins, and Trevor Wedlake. They are three of my regular informants for information about the village prior to our arrival in 1967 !

Without hesitation they started telling me about your father having been a policeman in Bristol, and various stories about the Bell, which Trevor described from the point of view of all those returning from the war - "when the stories about the Western Desert were so many, the floor of the bar was six inches deep in sand" ! He especially remembered a famous occasion when a singer and a pianist took out their false teeth in order to sing, and others followed suit, with all the choppers going into a collective bowl ! Essie recalled how you accompanied her on the milk float.

They all asked where you lived now.

Good to hear from you. [Ed]

John Freeman - Bridport, Dorset, 13th November

I lived in Wrington at the end of WW2. My father was landlord of the Bell Inn (long since gone). I lived there from 2-8 years of age . Very happy memories of the village. It was a wonderful place to grow up. I would move back tomorrow.

Very good and informative site.

Rosemary Shrager - Masham, UK, 29th September

I would like to thank all the Ladies who helped me with making the pies for Ali and Tim's wedding, they were fantastic, such fun to work with, we had a real giggle, so thank you. I hope to visit Wrington again soon.

David Horkan - Dublin, Ireland, 14th August

[I came across the website] through Rotary Club Dublin & Paul Temple Weston super Mare.
Rotarian Paul Temple is a most amazing man. His charity work on behalf of the village of Luhimba in South Tanzania is worthy of a knighthood.
[Paul was Head of Wrington School in the 1980s, and became involved in running the Luhimba Project through its founder, Michael Carey, then also living in Wrington - Ed]

Philip Whitehouse - Belgrave, Victoria, Australia, 30th July

It was most pleasing to hear Wrington All Saints' full peal of bells ringing out on the website in celebration of a local wedding.

It's a feature of English rural life that is really missed. I am sure that many exiles feel the same way: I can't think of anything more evocative of English rural life than the sound of church bells.

There are church bells in Australia, but they are inevitably confined to City Cathedrals. St Paul's in Melbourne has a peal of ten, I think, similar to All Saints', and they sound magnificent as they echo through the city streets.

A very early recollection of mine is hearing Wrington's muffled peal on the occasion of the death of George VI (we were playing cricket in Ladywell at the time) and once I was actually admitted to the tower when the bells were being rung.

"Treble's going ...... she's gone ".

My respects to the Tower Captain and her team.

Thank you also for sad pictures of the smoke indicating the demise of the Grand Pier at Weston-super-Mare, and, of personal interest, John Gallop bearing the British Legion Colour.

Mary Climo - Bridgwater, Somerset, 28th July

I have read with interest some of the messages posted on the site. My father lived at the Plough in his teens back in the 1920/30's his name was Tom Reynolds and his aunt (Annie) ran the Plough back in those days. He was also related to the Millards who owned the shoe shop and the Harveys from Langford - his aunt ran the little shop in Stocklane.

My brother also worked in Wrington at PJ Hare at their old premises which I believe were next to the village hall his name was Alan Reynolds but both my father and my brother had the nickname, Sherbie'..

When my Dad married they moved to Congresbury where my brother and I were brought up. I can remember many trips from Congresbury to Wrington, me in a pushchair and Mum & Dad and Alan walking !

When I married I married the son of a local Wrington/Redhill girl Sylvia who worked in the bakers in Wrington and married a Langford boy Ray Marshall.

Sadly my parents and brother are long gone but I'm sure they would have enjoyed reading through this and all the names from their past.

Bruce Harper - Themelthorpe nr. Dereham, Norfolk, 23rd July

I was married in All Saints' and we had a flat at St Mary's House, Broad Street.
It's one of the best village web sites I have come across. I wish I still lived in Wrington

Virginia Rosen - Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, 14th July

I lived at "Trevinia", 3 Brooklyn from 1963 to 1965 when I was first married. My name at that time was Virginia Crowley and the house was the first I ever owned. I was born in Bristol and came to Australia in 1969. I am still homesick!!

Lesley Graham - Victoria, Australia, 4th July

Your web site is fantastic, so much has been added since I was last here. I am still looking for my ancestor but I seemed to have hit a brick wall, can anyone help with:

Name: John Warley

Birth: abt 1808 - Wrington, Somerset, England

Spouse: Elizabeth Sweet

Their daughter, Sarah Ann Warley, married George Maggs and came to Australia in 1857. Are there any Warley families still in the area ?


Elizabeth Ashby - Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, 27th June

Mr. Devlin's .. email intrigues me. Dr. Young is my great, great grandfather. His son, William Mandellin Young, was my grandmother's father who was an officer in the British Army stationed in Ceylon.

He married a Miss Andre, who was born in Galle. A family tree that was compiled by Dr. Young's sister or daughter (circa 1840) does exist; unfortunately, it was spirited away by my ex who refuses to hand it over.

What I know about Dr. Young was that he was born in Jedburgh, Scotland, was a surgeon in the British Army, and family heresay tells us he was at both Waterloo and the Crimea; however, the time span makes that story a bit far fetched don't you think?

His medicine chest is still in the family. In the early 1960s my parents visited Wrington armed with family photographs and found his house which he called the Cottage. At that time it was owned by a member of the Wills (tobacco) family who very kindly allowed my parents to walk through his home. I was in Wrington in 1988 and was unable to locate his grave, though I had seen it in 1969. Any information that you can share will be appreciated. I look forward to hearing from you.

Elizabeth Jansze Ashby

(By the way, we left Ceylon in 1954 and settled in Bromley, Kent. I came to Canada 40 years ago yesterday but still call England home!)

Peter Devlin - Northern Ireland, 24th June

Hello there,

I wonder if it would be possible for you to forward my name and e-mail address to Elizabeth Ashby (living in Canada) who was looking for information regards a 19th century ancestor, Dr. William Henry Young who is buried in the grave yard at Wrington. My wife happens to be Dr. Young's - wait for it - Great, Great, Great, Great, Great Grand daughter. Her father (knock off one of the Greats regards his relationship to the said Doctor!), has some interesting details concerning William Henry and would like to hear from Ms. Ashby.

I hope you can help,
Best wishes,

(In fact my father in law is over staying with us at the moment in Northern Ireland on a short break so I shall ask him for some details on William Henry and get back to you.

[The website policy is not to give out e-mail addresses without permission, but this was duly forwarded to Elizabeth Ashley - Ed]

[Back in February, Wrington resident Norah Hurd and her daughter were holidaying in New Zealand and had a chance meeting - described below - with former Wringtonian Alan Warner and his family. She recounted this surprise event, and supplied Alan's e-mail address, when she returned. I invited Alan to let his friends know what he was up to these days via the website. Hence the following - Ed. :]
Alan Warner - Waitara, New Zealand, 9th June 

Well you have probably given up on me by now but I am finally getting my act together! It was a real thrill to get your email back in March, so please forgive me for not responding sooner but I am not the greatest at writing on the computer. However, I will give it my best shot - We (Anne, my wife, and I) had a good look around your website, it was great and helped bring back a lot of memories for me.

Meeting Norah and her daughter at Huka Falls in Taupo back in February was a million to one chance that's for sure. We were in Taupo for the weekend and our twins Ryan and Renee were having a jetboat ride up to the Huka Falls. Anne and I were at the lookout watching them and waving (the one-fingered Kiwi wave!!! a bit of a joke amongst our family!)

Norah's daughter said to me "Do you know those people in that boat?" I'm sure she was a bit surprised to see the kind of wave I was giving, and laughing at the same time!

Anyway her accent made me ask her what part of England she was from. When she replied I then said I was from Wrington. Her daughter then called her mother over and told her I was from Wrington.

Well, Norah was pretty gobsmacked, as was I, when we both realised we were from the same place! Then I started reeling off names I remembered and Norah knew most, if not all of them. It was pretty uncanny. So after Anne and I went and picked up our kids I shot back to the lookout and found Norah and her daughter and gave them my business card so she'd remember me and tell those back home who she bumped into on the other side of the world!

Since I left I have kept in touch with David Burnett and his wife Alex for approx the last 20 years. I came back to Wrington myself in 1992 and caught up with quite a lot of the locals. Some families I remember well are all the Burnett boys and Basil and Jean. The Moss family (and David), the Hillmans, the Yeomans (Julie married my school friend Mark Lewington), the Floods (Marion and Pat, and Patrick), the Young family, the Endicotts(Endy was my scout master), the Joneses (it was quite neat to learn that Shirley Jones had married again and she was a good friend of Norah's). Also remember the boys Colin and Graeme. I went to the Isle of Man TT Races with Colin the year our family left to come to NZ. I could go on forever, but I am sure anyone who remembers me I remember them.

Even remember some of my old teachers, Pauline Lewis and Rose Hodges (I knocked on the door of our old house when I went back in '92 and Rose was there). She seemed happy to see me! I probably wasn't one of her best pupils!!

Life here in NZ has been pretty good to me. I am married to Anne, we have 4 children - Adam (19), Steven (17) and twins Ryan and Renee (15). I started an Engineering company in 1985, and now employ 70 people. We have a website for anyone interested - We live in the town of Waitara, 10 minutes north of New Plymouth on the west coast of the north island. Our family have and still do, enjoy the outdoor activities that are abundant here, especially diving, fishing and other water sports.

We would love to come back again in the not too distant future. I have attached a few photos of us and life here in NZ. You are welcome Richard to give out our email address and put this email and/or its contents on to your website.

So, look forward to hearing from anyone I know or who remembers my family. By the way I left Wrington in 1973.


Robert Wilson - Crewkerne, Somerset, 8th June

My family were resident in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) for many generations but my grandfather Robert Wilson semi-retired to Wrington in about 1911 to 1925. This was partly because his wife was very ill & his sons were at an age when they needed schooling. His wife Alice George née Blackett is buried in the churchyard at Wrington.

He took a lease for Oatlands house & farm from a Mr. H. Martin & whilst he was there his eldest son was killed in France in WW1, he lost his wife & finally he was cutting wood in the farmyard with a circular saw when he cut off his right arm.

The story as I have heard it was that the local district nurse was visiting on her bicycle & was called to help whilst the doctor was contacted & arrived in a pony & trap. In the meantime the farm foreman I understand realised that he had a drum of pitch that was always heated in the yard for general repairs & so they managed to get his arm into the pitch and cauterize it.

The arm was successfully stitched and he wore a wood & leather extension arm with a hook on the end for day use and a screw on black gloved hand for formal occasions. Around 1925 he was recalled to his tea estates in Ceylon and had to return in a hurry as the manager was incompetent.

I was born in Ceylon and therefore came to know him there where he used to catch my trouser belt with his hook when I was a young boy but he continued to ride his horses until late in life and eventually died in 1952 aged 84.

I am wondering if there is any knowledge of the event as I do not have the year that it happened in and I am trying to find a report in the newspapers of the day at the Somerset library. I would be most grateful of any help that you may be able to give me about the above or any other recollections there maybe about him during his time there.

Martin Taylor - Crossgar, Co. Down, Northern Ireland, 2nd June

This may be of interest. I've just been talking to a friend in Banwell, Roy Rice, who knew that some years ago I made a small contribution to the Wrington Web. He takes a keen interest in local history and was talking recently to a man who collects medals, and has in his possession a medal issued by the Wrington and Burrington Horticultural Club in 1851.

The medal was struck in 1851 by the Rev. J. Vane (then rector of Wrington), and is valued at £145. Roy only passed the information along, and the man at the centre of this is Derek Croker on 01934 627503.

My friend in Banwell told the collector he would ask me to pass on the information when we were next in touch. I am not working on commission!

Regards to Wrington - still captive in Northern Ireland.

Gary Morgan - USA, 3rd April

Thanks for the informative and excellent web site, and for this opportunity to post a question.

Several of us (Morgans) are seeking information on a Robert Morgan from Wrington. According to Banks’s Topographical Dictionary of 2,885 English Emigrants to New England, p. 146, this particular Robert migrated from Wrington to Salem, Mass., in the States between 1620 and 1637. Banks has a chart which shows that he may have been aboard the ship Mary and John, and he may even have travelled with a Dr. Noddy, also from Wrington, who was the first doctor in Salem. If this is the correct Robert, he began the branch of the Morgan family to which I belong (and many others of us).

It’s possible that a local historian (family or otherwise) has encountered the name or that someone in your lovely community has a thought to share on the subject. If so, we’d love to hear from them.

Jan Green - Tewkesbury Glos, 26th March

Hallo Wrington! I have just found your excellent web site. My grandmother came from Wrington. She was Ruth Wilkins, daughter of Ada (née Emery) and Fred Wilkins. She was born in 1891, part of a family of 14! Could put my request for any information about the family on your site?

I have big gaps about some of her brothers and sisters.Two sisters married Nipper and Vowles which I believe are local names. William b.1884, Alfred b.1888 and Thomas b. 1902 are only names as yet. I can remember my gran telling me her father was a big man with dark curly hair and a beard; he was a farmer or worked for a farmer. Iam quite happy for people to contact me by e-mail

What a positive and friendly site! I don't know the village, but ... I shall visit!!

Des Coles -Plymouth, 22nd February

Hi. I'm an ex-Yattonian, I thought that you might be interested in these photographs.

As a child I used to visit an auntie of mine at Langford, Jane Roe (known as Jinny) she was very small and had a hump on her back. To speak to her I had to shout in a trumpet that she would hold to her ear. She was always dressed in black and wore long lace-up boots (very victorian).

She was a caretaker at the chapel,and on her retirement she was presented with a book, which has been handed down to me by my auntie.

Jinny had a sister Liza, she lived up the lane in the first house opposite the Burrington garden centre.and I used to speak to her through a trumpet. I think that her and her sister were quite deaf.

There is enclosed a photo of the Roe family, but I don't know if they came from Langford.

Oddly enough my father's sister Mabel Roe lived more or less opposite to Jane Roe, but they were not related. I think that it was called Blackmore Cottage.

Mabel's son, Charlie, worked at Stepstones farm for most of his life.

I think that's about all for now. I do have a photograph of a gentleman with my father, no one knows who it is, I may send it to you in the future.

By the way I really enjoy your website.

John Hulbert - St Sampson's, Guernsey, 19th February

Lived in Wrington for 14 years, from birth in 1963 to 1977. Some of the pics [on the website] from the 60 + 70s are really emotive.

Nick and Lauren Crocker - Wrington (after 17th Feb) 13th February

Some really hard work has gone into this site and although I know Wrington well having been a local bobby in the 80's (Blagdon) the info is A1, it brought me right up to speed.

Linda Stearns - Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, 9th February

I began by researching Lye Hole Farm where the Body [family] lived for many years. I found this site and found it very interesting. My sister and I plan to visit and I am trying to learn as much as possible beforehand.

Jane Mercy - Leicestershire, 6th February

I have just found information on your web site about my family of Organ. I think Alice Docchio is related to me as my grandfather was Walter George Organ. He was married twice and had three children from his first wife, one being Herbert who my mother told me, married an Irish girl and went to live in Ireland, and I have been wondering what happened to him and if there are any Irish relatives.

Walter's second wife was Minnie Brittain and they had my father George and then twins (William and Marjorie and a fourth child - Richard). My brother was John Howard Organ and he's the one who was filmed on the printing press. He died in 1998, but he has a son who lives not far away in Langford, also a printer and he has two sons.

My name is Elizabeth Jane Mercy and I would be very grateful if you could pass on my email address to Alice Docchio as I would love to contact her personally about the family.

Please would you also forward my information to John Organ of East Wellow, Romsey, Hants. I was interested to see [his] entry on the family history web page. I am the sister of John Organ who was filmed with the printing press in Wrington. Sadly my brother died in 1998. Our grandfather was Walter George Organ and his parents were Reuben and Clarissa Organ, all of them are buried in Wrington churchyard. I would very much like you to get in touch with me as I am researching my family tree.
[Both these messages were forwarded - Ed]

Chris Armand - 30th January

Hello. Just seen the article on John Vane, my Name is Chris Armand, my grandfather was called Christopher Vere Vane he died in London in 1972 aged 84 .

My grandmother would tell me a story that he was really Lord Barnard, Earl of Durham (?) and a Duke and that I would one day inherit.

I never really took any notice but recently my cousin has been tracing my family tree and has found some connections . I do remember an illuminated family tree which is now lost which went back as far as the Black Prince.

It would be interesting to talk to you.

This was forwarded to Neil Jackson - see his reply

Marcel Safier - Queensland, Australia, 5th January

I am continuing research into our family’s Wrington origins which go back over 260 years. While mention in this forum has been made of Thomas PERRY and his wife Amelia SPRAKE who lived in Wrington and are buried in Redhill churchyard by my various cousins Edward Perry, Fred Perry and Alan Perry, neither Thomas or Amelia was actually born in Wrington.

Thomas was born in Kingsdon in 1827 -       
and Amelia in Beaminster, Dorset in 1833 -

Their son Arthur (my great grandfather) born 1870 in Wrington married Florence Emma Ellen ANDREWS born in Redhill in 1871. Floss’ father George Andrews was publican at the Rising Sun Inn in Redhill. He was born in Cleeve in 1833 and his father George was from Cheddar -

but his mother was Eliza BUSH, who descends from a large Bush family that has much earlier Wrington roots than the Perrys. Thomas and Rose Bush had 16 children(!) baptized in Wrington between 1741 and 1768. I can account for the descendants of some of them on my website:

Anyone with Bush connections as well as those with Perry and Andrews links in Wrington/Redhill that might be related is welcomed to make contact

I hope to visit the region again in May 2008. .

Keep up the good work. Cheers!

Denise Smith - Nanango, Australia, 1st January

Ooops!!! I am one of those whose email address changed, and did not let you know.

I am willing to be contacted by anyone who is researching the family of George & Elizabeth Parker of Wrington, who lived at Havyat Farm in the 1800's. One of George's brothers married into the Sweet and Candy families, and sisters married into the Cox family.

Thank you for taking up my suggestion of an alphabetical list of contributors. I would also like to see an alphabetical list of NAMES BEING RESEARCHED, eg. Parker, Parsley etc, with contacts or links to enquirers. This would make it much easier than trawling through all the letters. I do understand that work is involved with such a project.
[This suggestion has been put into operation - Ed]

Thanks to your great site I am now in contact with three 'new cousins', which is very exciting. Keep up the great work.