Broad Street Wrington Website:
Trevor Wedlake's History Page 

Tony Loach wrote on 15th August, 2001, following the latest contribution by Trevor Wedlake to the Schmoose page. We are delighted to take up Tony's suggestion:

"I must send you a note to say how much I enjoy in particular, reading any reminiscences
by Trevor Wedlake. Do you realize what a Village treasure you have in his phenomenal memory ?
Just a thought, but I think he deserves a page all to himself under say "History" where all his letters in the "Schmoose" page can be also viewed all together.

What a lad he must have been, and I suspect still is, what with his eye for the ladies !!

[continuing correspondence with Philip Whitehouse

I [recently] saw Lindsey neé Parsley and mentioned Philip Whitehouse. She remembers the family well and how close her late brother Anthony was to Philip. I told her that Mrs Whitehouse is still hale and hearty.

Re Philip's letter of 20th May, I remember schoolteachers Mrs Green from Blagdon and Miss (Joyce) Gunning. Miss Gunning was a teacher when I was at school in the 30s.

Mr Waite lived in Weston super Mare (after retirement at 60) into his 90s. I believe Barbara Collins told me he had a new driving licence at 90. He captained Wrington cricket for some time and was always involved in the Drama Club. I have a copy of their first programme which Mrs Whitehouse might like 'Young Mrs Barrington', a play in 3 acts, producer Glanford D. Waite.

Col. J.M. Lee enjoyed his retirement on Somerset County Council, Wrington Parish Council (chairman, of course), captain of cricket (he bowled underarm like old Daisy Wood), churchwarden &c, &c. He was a tennis umpire at Wimbledon, I believe.

Lindsey also recalled an event which Philip will remember when I think she said Anthony shut Philip in a shed in the woods and left him."

P.S: Can anyone remember the schoolmaster before Mr G.D. Waite ? There was Mr L.W. Bisgrove 1929-39, and before him Mr Bob Hewitt, contemporary with the then rector, the Rev. Mr Ashdown, 1890 - 1924.

responding to Philip Whitehouse

"I took over my shop [Wedlake Butcher, opposite the lytch gate, now a private dwelling - Ed] in February, 1952, and the Whitehouses were customers then. I think Philip Whitehouse's father purchased the post office from Mr & Mrs Thomas. I remember the Thomases because in the immediate post-war era, when we went regularly and joyously to The Bell Inn, Mrs Thomas's old father used to come in, and he had been to sea in the sailing ship days.

The Thomases, I think, bought from Mr Pope, a very nice man. I remember him because, when I told him I was going into the Air Force, he said: "Don't do that, everybody's doing that. Join the RASC." I now think I might have liked that, driving a six-wheeler, &c.

I think the Whitehouse family sold to Mr & Mrs Bates, who sold to Mr Sydney, from whom the present postmaster, Alan Birch took over. Mr Bates was a second cousin of Mrs Thatcher's.

I don't remember Philip Whitehouse as he was but a small lad then. I remember the Whitehouse family returning to Cox's Green, to one of those 3 houses that Lynhams of Oakdene Farm had built. Did they have another child born in Australia or just before they emigrated ? Does Philip know that his friend Anthony Parsley died many years ago - a young man ? Anthony's sister and husband still live at the Arch. Dorothy [Trevor's wife - Ed] recalls Philip's father as a rather tall man in spectacles, and Essie Clark says he sometime sang in All Saints' choir.

The people in the post office before old Mr Page were called Mr & Mrs Stevens. They are remembered because they had two more than usually pretty daughters. There is such a thing, hard to believe now, as being too young - and I was too young to be on their books. Some of the older boys climbed up the car parking signs and chalked in these two maidens' names on the blue backgrounds, so that the Stevensons could look out from their windows and see their daughters' names displayed thus:
and . I hope they are well in their latter years.

Come to think of it, it was probably because of my tender youth that a certain Redhill beauty never came to the kitchen door when I delivered the joint !

Before the Stevens family, it must have been Miss Mildred at the post office. All the old time before her recedes into the proverbial mists."
In response to Tony Loach

"I was interested to hear of your e-mail from Tony Loach. I remember him quite well at school. I particularly recall going with him and another boy, maybe Pete Vowles or Philip Hutchings, to his place on one occasion. He had an old car which he shewed us that he could drive, and he rode us round the field. For some reason, his father came over to us and chastised him. I think his exact words were "you are fooling around, old son."

The blacksmith he remembers was in Silver Street (Mr Lane) now converted into Forge Cottage. I wonder if Tony recalls Mr Hughie Martin (Pincher) whose garage was just above the Paradise. He used to drive the children from Redhill to Wrington to school.

Does he remember any of the shop-keepers - Mr Farley, Mr Amor, Mr Cook, Mr Lawrence, Mr King ?

Dr Bell is still spoken of a lot. We all have our favourite anecdotes ! When he died in 1974 he had an article devoted to him printed in The Field. He seems to have been a nationally known fisherman. Also a very keen shot and gardener.

Perhaps Tony remembers Mr L.W. Bisgrove, the headmaster, or Mr A.C. Turner, teacher in those days or Miss Pow, a lady teacher ? I think she and Mr Turner married. She was an attractive young woman with beautiful hair, and some of the precocious among us used to fantasise about her a bit.

Intriguingly, just before Christmas 1972, I was driving to Bath with my mother to buy Dorothy a Christmas present, and we were held up a bit by a motor coach. I remarked to mother that the name of the proprietors of the coach, which was in large letters across the back, was Pow of Bridgwater, and that it reminded me of our 1930s teacher, who also had that name, and that I thought she originated from the Bridgwater area.

Unbelieveably, we had not been long in Bath, when, of two people walking towards us, I recognised one immediately as Miss Vanessa Wills Pow, none other. I knew the hair and the walk, one foot turning in slightly. I stood and watched them walk out of sight. I wanted very much to speak but felt she would have no fond remembrance of me. I still have a school report with her name attached. I hope she is well.

I'm a bit surprised Tony had Percy Parsley as a chum, since Percy was somewhat younger. The Parsleys lived in Priory House, but left well before the war. There were Margaret, whose ashes were returned here for burial from Canada, Gladys, Charlie, Catherine, Percy and Rosemary.

The Redhill policeman was a Mr Carter. He had one son, Phil, who was 2 or 3 years senior to us.

Paradise was demolished years ago, but now plans are being considered to develop the site into a 115 bed hotel."