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30 MAY 1887
Serious Accident At St. Mabyn - A serious accident happened on Tuesday afternoon at St. Mabyn to Mr. John Prout, proprietor of the van which goes daily from Port Isaac to Bodmin. After passing a basket from the van to Mr. E. Tabb of St. Mabyn, Mr. Prout was re-arranging the lugage on the top, and while strapping the same the strap broke, and he fell off backwards, pulling with him a large hamper, on which he fell, seriously injuring his chest, and at the same time striking the back part of his head a heavy blow against the wheel, causing blood to flow freely. Mr. Prout was kindly attended to by some friends at St. Mabyn, and with the assistance of Mr. Tabb and Mr. Edmonds, of Treblethick, was brought home to Port Isaac. Dr. Williams of Port Isaac, was immediately called, and reported the case to be serious.

12 December 1887
FATAL ACCIDENT AT ST. MABYN - A sad accident happened on Monday at St. Mabyn, near Bodmin, by which Mr. Joseph HAMLEY, an old and respected inhabitant of the village, met with his death. He, with his son and brother, was employed at Mr. Tucker's, Trevisquite, in taking down a barn, when the wall gave way without warning, burying him in debris, and causing instant death. The others managed to jump out of the way. Deceased had been a local preacher of the United Methodist Free Church between forty and fifty years, and was also a class leader and chapel steward.

Cyril Hannafore Friendship
I write about the schoolmaster in the 1935 School photo. The one with the moustache, standing on the right, well the only man! He is and was aged 28/9 at the time. I cannot tell much about his early life, other than knowing that he educated at Torquay Grammar School, trained at St Luke's Exeter and this would have been his second post. His wife was Evelyn (always Eve) and they had a single child Margaret, born during his time at St Mabyn. In 1939 he was appointed to St Mewan School as headmaster and remained there, living in the school house until 1965, when he retired. He died in 1972 in St Austell. Eve had died in 1958. Margaret lives in Sydney.

He was my uncle but closer than that. My father died aged 47 and after my aunt's death, my mother and he were married in 1959. (Yes, it's legal!) The marriage lines show four signatures, three Friendship, the last my sister! We lived as a family in the School House until we all grew up.

I send you my good wishes as an inhabitant of Leicestershire , who is still a Cornishman! Hope you may find this of interest.

Christopher Friendship

Treveglos Farm
Your page on St Mabyn People Past. I recognize Mary Batten as sixth from right in second to last row, almost behind the vicar. I was an evacuee at Treveglos Farm in St Mabyn. Mary and her brother Eddie ran the farm with their mother Ellen. They treated us (my brother and I) like we were family. Eddie married Jean Warne after his mother died, and Mary moved to Wadebridge to keep house for a retired policeman. Eddie and Jean had one daughter, Ruth, who married a "Lobb" (don't remember his first name), and they had a daughter Grace. I have very fond memories of St Mabyn. I have lived in New Zealand since 1963, and I have to admit that as far as England goes it is only Cornwall that I miss.
Edward Kent

Help with identifying farm photo [July 2005]

My mother Margaret then Glover was evacuated with her other Ivy to a farm in St Mabyn but I don't know the name of the farm. My mother is recently deceased so of course I've left it too late to find out more. I just wondered if by any chance anyone remembers them. I have a picture of them at the farm house [click here] My grandad was a very keen photographer and he coloured it.

Chris Skilton
Penticton, BC Canada

Mabyn Shingleton visits St.Mabyn [April 2004]

Monday morning we both woke up at 2:30am wide awake. Must have been the time change. However, we went back to sleep and when the wake-up call came at 6:00 I was ready to get up. Pat slept in until 6:30. We taxied to Paddington station to catch the 7:45 train to Exeter. Things were going swimmingly until the train ran into technical problems which delayed us TWO HOURS!!! TWO HOURS!!! EEEEK! We finally, and I do mean finally made it to Exeter and the rental car was not there yet. Within 15 minutes Avis had it there. Colin, the Avis man, was quite nice and had Pat sign the documents. Pat was definite on taking all insurance since he was quite unsure about how he would fare driving a car with the wheel on the opposite side of the car and driving on the opposite side of the road. After he figured out where reverse was, we got on our way. All in all, he did great. However, he did hit the left curb at least 30 times along the way. It was quite an experience and much of the drive the road was like driving through a maze with oncoming traffic at high rates of speed. He was brave to say the least. This adventure turned into a LONG adventure. The road to Bodmin (A30) wasn’t really well marked and we kept turning off accidently. We probably add an extra hour due to it. Pat stopped at least at 7 or 8 places to ask directions within just a few minutes. He was so frustrated. They kept telling us to go around the small “roundabout” then the large “roundabout” then right at the tower with the clock. My oh my it truly wasn’t that easy. We were actually heading down the correct road when Pat got frustrated and saw a hospital and thought they could verify directions so he pulled off. It was an insane asylum. We would spend another 30 minutes driving around before we would figure out that that was the right road in the first place!!! Finally we found St. Mabyn. The road there was wide enough for one of our American Cars. It was barely wide enough for the little car we rented. I took a picture of it. It is a quaint little village with a history to it. When we arrived, children were just arriving home from school. I wanted to see the lavender cottage where the man who creates their website resides but he wasn’t home. I think I saw his computer in the window. We went to the pub and chatted with a few locals but were feeling quite rushed at this part of the day due to our unfortunate time constraints at this point. We visited the church and made a donation and snapped a few shots. However, it was too late for food since our day had been so delayed and we were afraid with our limited time that we would miss the train back if we didn’t leave… so we did. We missed the 5:35 by 5 minutes… It’s no wonder because we got lost on our way into Exeter. However, we made it back! Hurray!!! I way actually looking forward to eating on the train since this was the only food we had today which I forgot to mention. Earlier in the day, Pat and I had split a baguette. (thank goodness) However, since they had so many technical difficulties they had let their chef off (GO FIGURE) and there was no food. We slept on the train instead. Once again, we ate at the hotel. You have to laugh. It was a nice day. Time for a bath.

Mabyn Shingleton


Memories of a war time evacuee

I had just recovered from chicken pox and I, along with about four hundred other children and teachers, were loaded onto a train one morning at Stoneleigh railway station. We all had little brown paper parcels with a few clothes and labels with our names on tied to the lapels of our jackets. Throughout that day we continued to travel. No one knew where we going, rumour circulated that we were being sent to Canada as many children had been. By evening we had stopped at a little country station,and all were told to leave the train and were herded into a hall. I subsequently learnt that this was Wadebridge town hall. That night we all slept on the floor.
The following morning we were loaded onto little old country buses, in groups of twenty five or thirty and driven out to all the outlying villages. Our bus arrived in a small village called St. Mabyn. Here we were paraded in the village memorial hall and the local village ladies inspected us and chose the ones that they fancied, saying "I'll av ee, an' I'll av ee". I was very lucky and was chosen along with Alan Walker (who lived four houses along from me in the same road) by a Mrs. Eric Best. They lived in a large house behind a long flint wall in the village, but rented a farm half a mile away called Tredinnick.( I have vivid memories the farmers wife, Mrs. Best riding side saddle with the local hunt.) All the other children off our bus were distributed around the other farms and village houses. Watergate House was one of the larger houses in the village. It boasted a huge traditional farmhouse kitchen with a long wood fired cooking range along one side. On the range sat a black cast iron lidded water container with a brass tap, heating water. This was filled by hand. The beamed ceiling had hooks set into it for hanging sides of pork, A door led through into a scullery, the centre piece being our lever-operated water pump. The curved spout of the pump had a small hole drilled in the top, and by putting one hand over the main outlet and pumping with the other hand one could drink straight from the little hole. This supplied all our fresh water needs from a deep well beneath the floor. There was a brick built ,wood-fired copper usually lighted on a Monday for the weekly wash. We were lucky to have our own well. At the end of this room was a stone wall on the far side of which was a small room with one open side leading onto a narrow lane. This also had a pump and supplied water to half a dozen cottages. The garden had many stone outbuildings, some with open lofts above. One of these housed the peat WC. There was a long chicken run with about twenty chickens, many fruit trees, lots of vegetables, and strawberry beds. Of course paraffin lamps provided the lighting, and when we went to bed at night we took a lighted candle in a candlestick holder.
In those days there were no main services, no electricity, no gas, no sewerage, and no piped water in the village. At the cross roads stood a bright red telephone box. We had a small village general store and a little sweet shop in the front room of one of the cottages. There was also a one manual pump garage, where we would take the glass accumulator once a week to be charged on their generator. This was used to provide power for the wireless set, which was only switched on to hear the news programmes and find out how the war was going
We had a little workshop in the road leading out of the village where the Jewish boot maker worked from Sunday to Friday, producing leather boots for the local farm workers. It was my ambition to have him make me a pair. Saving my pennies from potato picking and other jobs around the farm I eventually collected my nice new boots from him. Outside the farm house kitchen door was a tray full of used engine oil and a yard broom. This we used for brushing off our boots when we came in from the fields - the oil helped to keep them waterproof. We all had old Wellington boot tops, the bottoms being cut off. These we would slide on our legs before putting on our boots, and they would help to keep our legs dry when walking through long grass or mucking out the cow sheds. Boots and shoes had leather soles and heels so would wear out and have to be repaired every six or eight weeks, we used to fit metal studs called Blakeys to make them last a bit longer.
With no entertainment in the village other than the pub, which I was too young to enter, and the occasional Beetle Drive, the highlight of the week was the Sunday visits to the Church and Chapel. Often we would attend Church in the morning , Chapel in the afternoon (all the nicest girls went to Chapel) and after teatime back to the Church for Evensong. As a member of the choir I was sometimes picked for bell ringing or to pump the bellows to operate the Church organ.
I used to be sent with a can to buy one shillings worth of petrol, this was used to start the tractor. Once warm we would switch over to paraffin. At eleven years of age I was helping out working on the farm, often driving the tractor, sometimes on the roads around the village towing a farm wagon behind, loaded with hay straw , manure, or kale as feed for the cattle. Our tractor had two sets of drive wheels, spikes for off road and ribbed rubber tyres for use on the roads. We should not have used spikes on public roads but as it was a lot of trouble to change them over we often did not bother. This made interesting driving as we had one spike missing on the right hand wheel so we would lurch along in a rather undignified fashion. These old tractors would be started first thing in the morning, put into gear and would remain in gear the rest of the day. To stop, one pressed down the clutch and pulled a bit of binder cord attached to a large loose ring clipped to the floor, this in turn slipped over the pedal and held it down so disconnecting the drive. Very wide mudguards covered the big driving wheels and often the children would ride on these, but after some nasty accidents with children sliding forward and going under the wheels these were outlawed. The throttle control was a ring pulling a serrated metal strip through the bulkhead, rather like a hacksaw blade, the teeth catching to control the engine speed. This in turn was set at the start of the day and rarely altered.
In the summer long days were spent cutting corn using a reaper and binder, moving the bound stooks of corn with horse and wagon to the corner of the field and building them into a stack. This would be roughly thatched. Sticks would be cut from the hedgerows and driven into the stack linked together with binder cord to keep the thatch in place
At the start of the winter a steam driven traction engine towing a large threshing machine would come to the village, slowly climbing the hill from St. Kew. Many of the village children would go to the bottom of the hill to spread sand on the icy road to help the wheels get a grip. This engine was a huge device with smoke pouring from its tall chimney and an enormous fly wheel driving a long wide flat leather belt, that clacked as it drove the outside pulley on the side of the threshing machine. We took a lorry down to help and in driving it off the road to make room for the engine to pass in the narrow lane caught and bent the track rod, toeing the steering wheels in and making it undriveable A balk of timber and some muscles bent it back to shape,
Mr. Hoskins' threshing machine travelled from farm to farm and a lot of the children followed it round helping out with the work and maybe getting paid a few coppers for their efforts. Those were enjoyable days, working hard throwing stooks of corn up onto the thresher. As the pile reduced, the rats hiding in the middle would make a run for it, and the farm hands would pitchfork them into the air for the farm dogs to catch
At an exhibition of old farm machinery at Yarmouth I.O.W. in 20011 met a man who knew Mr. Hoskins and remembered the old steam traction engine
Mrs. Best ,the farmer's wife, would come out at lunch time with hot Cornish pasties and cider for the workers. During wartime with the pressure on to produce as much food as possible everyone worked from dawn to dusk, the farmers were encouraged to plough close up to the hedgerows and into the corners of the fields
As a towny I found the countryside fascinating, and grew to love the country and the way of life, the work patterns changing with the seasons. This is a love that has never left me, and now living in a one hundred and fifty year old country cottage built of flint on the outskirts of the village of Emsworth, in Hampshire, in the year 2002, I feel that I have returned to my roots
There was always a good reason for not attending school. There was harvesting in the summer with long days spent in the fields, then there would be cutting sticks from the hedgerows for pinning down the thatch on stacks of hay, hoeing sugarbeet, driving the tractor towing a wagon loaded with manure slowly up and down a field with the farmer standing on it (muck spreading). Then there would be potato picking, lines of children following the horse drawn spinner collecting the potatoes in a bucket often with a sack with one corner tucked inside the other and worn on the head to keep off the rain. At the end of the day I would ride on the back of Prince, one of our working horses. After being cold and wet all day it would be nice to feel his warmth coming up through the seat of your trousers. We would be paid a penny halfpenny an hour for this and again would travel from one farm to another. If we were lucky we might be chosen to work at Trevisquite Farm, one mile out of the village. This was owned by a Mr. Short, one of the Short brothers of the aircraft manufacturers who built the Short Sunderland flying boat. He paid twopence an hour, riches indeed.
Alan Walker, who was billeted with me had a brother called Donald. Donald and another boy were billeted at Trevisquite farm and Alan and I were invited to tea one afternoon . Mr. Short showed us a microscope that he had for research. This he told us was the third most powerful in the country. He showed slides of sections through a blade of grass with the most amazing colours and the incredible patterns of a magnified snowflake.
Also there were evacuees from Chiswick staying in the village, so we had three groups of children attending the village school, the groups from Chiswick, those from Surrey, and the children borri in the village, about 90 in all. This created competition. There were daily tasks that had to be undertaken by the children. Two boys would be sent to a farm on the edge of the village to collect the churn with the school milk for the day; two more boys would be detailed to pump water from the well by hand up into the tank in the roof of the headmaster (Mr. Trevorow's) house. Many of the local children had never travelled very far from the village, and on a show of hands most had never been on a train. The prospect for village children leaving school was that the girls would go into service as kitchen maids and servants tied to the wealthy landowners for a pittance, and the boys would become farm labourers often working all the daylight hours.
Alan Walker and I were taken by Farmer Eric Best, in a rickety old Austin Seven ,over to the village of St. Minver, to help out on another farm for a days harvesting. At the end of the day between Alan and I we had caught 26 rabbits. Some of these we sent home to our families in Surrey, and these were greatly appreciated as a supplement to the meagre meat ration. That winter was a very severe one and for a period the village was cut off by deep snow drifts. At Christmas I was taken out across the moors shooting snipe. As the weather improved we would go out with ferrets and guns after rabbits for the pot.
St. Mabyn was situated on rising ground 6 miles from Bodmin with one bus there and back on
Wednesday and the same on Saturday. Wadebridge was 5 miles in the opposite direction with no public
transport connection. If we wished to go to the Saturday morning cinema in Wadebridge it meant a five mile
walk each way along country lanes with no traffic. In the summer there were wild strawberries growing in the
hedgerows and lizards sunning themselves on the dry stone walls On the high ground in windy weather where
telephone lines ran alongside the road you could press your ear against the telegraph pole and hear the sound of the wind amplified coming down through the post. If we were lucky we might get a lift in on the back of the coal lorry.
From Wadebridge it was possible to get a train into Padstow, and to walk a little way along beside the river Camel to a little cove with a sandy beach. Wadebridge had a wonderful narrow packhorse bridge with little side pockets as passing places. On the seaward side of the bridge was a grain store and I have a vague image in my mind of large sailing ships tied up alongside to unload, drying out in the mud as the tide ebbed away.
Mrs. E Best had relations who had been bombed out in the midlands and had nowhere to live, so they came to stay at Watergate House with the result that I had to be moved .By this time Alan had returned to Surrey, my brothers had been evacuated to Southport and my mother had gone up there to be with them, and my father was in the Royal Air Force in Germany . The local Billeting Officer located a place for me at Trethick Farm, with Mr. and Mrs. Bill Jewel.
Trethick Farm was situated about one mile by foot from St. Mabyn, across several fields over a little stone bridge and up the long drive from the Rectory where we could shelter from the rain under the huge gunnera leaves. By vehicle it was much further along unmade tracks crossing several fields opening and closing five-barred gates on the way then maybe two miles round by road.
It was a mixed farm with crops of barley, wheat, sugarbeet, potatoes, and kale. There was a flock of sheep, a dozen milking cows, four hundred chickens, turkeys, ducks, guinea fowl, a flock of geese, and many cats, one of which had lost a front leg in a gin trap. The other front leg was also damaged and withered . This cat used to stomp around the house tapping the stump on the ground so that you could always hear it coming. There were several working dogs and three working horses, a pig,(we were allowed to kill two pigs a year for food . We would give half to another farmer, and when he killed his pig he would in turn give us half in return, no refrigeration in those days On the day of the pig's dispatch, the slaughter man would arrive in the morning, the pig would be dragged squealing from the sty across the farmyard to the tractor house where it would be stunned with a humane killer, would then be hoisted up by its back legs, its throat cut and allowed to bleed . This ensured good white meat The blood would run in a meandering stream down across the yard . A large cauldron of boiling water would be at hand and would be trickled on to the carcass to be scrubbed with an implement rather like an old fashioned candle stick to remove the hair. In retrospect this all sounds pretty gory, but farming was quite harsh , docking lambs tails, castrating bullocks, dipping sheep and killing poultry for the kitchen table. On one occasion I was told to take one of the farm dogs, this one was old and blind, out into the orchard , give it a piece of meat to distract it so that the farm labourer could kill it with a double barrel 12 bore shot gun, this really upset me as a 12 bore blew half it's head off. I then had to dig a hole to bury it. Even nowadays town people do not realise what goes on in the country to bring them their Sunday lunch.
It was a place of high adventure for a twelve year old, with a mill pond, a slate lined mill stream, and a huge water wheel driving machinery through overhead shafting within an L shaped two storey barn. We had a hopper fed machine used for crushing oats for cattle feed belt driven off the water wheel. The upper level was the hay loft
The sloping cobbled farmyard was surrounded on three sides with buildings - stables, cowsheds, pigsty, and a large farmhouse, again with a solid fuel cooking range. Often there would be low cardboard boxes holding day old chicks, or little turkey chicks, near to the fire to keep them warm, and maybe a little lamb that had lost its mother and was being bottle fed. Off to one side of the kitchen was a dairy. Each day several gallons of milk would be heated on the range to be skimmed off for cream , the skimmed milk remaining being fed to the pig. Most of the food was produced in the farm garden of about one acre. Mr Jewel would bring Prince, one of the heavy horses, in to the garden with a one furrow plough to prepare the ground for sowing
The farm employed one hand - a Mr. Chapman from the village. He was not very friendly to young lads. We also had an Italian prisoner of war kept on the farm. Emilio Ciccorelli was a lovely man ,always willing. A good worker, he was only allowed off the farm with an escort and wore a khaki uniform with triangular patch on the knees and back. Often I would escort him into the village for supplies. He hand-made the dart flights for the village darts team using goose feathers carefully glued onto hand wittled stems .He also hand carved me a little wooden boat that I would sail on the mill pond.
Here I used to help Mrs. Jewel hand milk several cows before school in the morning and again in the evening, going out to call them in from the field at the end of a little lane. Sometimes the farmer would say to me "Come along lad, tis market day", and we would drive a flock of forty sheep with a couple of working dogs along the lanes into Wadebridge to be sold at the market. I would wait for him while he had a glass of cider, before we would begin the five mile long walk home. There was always work to do around the farm and I learnt how to chain harrow with a horse, and would work the horse and cart when we were spreading lime. At the end of the day, horse, cart, the fanner, and me, would be white with lime from head to foot. There was a big water tank collecting water from the farmhouse roof with a tap high up in the orchard where we could stand and wash ourselves off, no hot water I'm afraid.
The chickens and turkeys all used to roost in the trees in the keep them safe from foxes. Each day we would collect fresh eggs from where they had been laid in the hedgerows, getting out early before the crows stole them . The crow would pierce the egg with its beak, open its beak and fly off with the egg impaled.
When the lambing season started the farmer would call me out to help , holding the tilly lamp, or kneeling over the ewe's neck to hold her down, while he rolled up his sleeve to help her with the delivery. Then when the lambs were a couple of weeks old we would cut off their tails to keep them clean, holding the lamb between your knees and a swift cut with a very sharp knife. Most of our cattle had horns so shortly after the males were born they had to be castrated. This involved the local vet visiting the farm with his chrome plated double jointed pinchers to do the deed. However one bullock had been missed and now it was almost fully grown it was becoming a danger round the farm and we had to keep a wary eye out for it. So it was decided that one Sunday morning it would have to be done . We cornered it in the farm yard and it bolted into the horses stables. With about six of us hanging on to it the vet did his bit but the bullock exploded covering him from head to foot in disgusting evil smelling mess. Who would want to be a vet!!!!!
Some four miles from St. Mabyn was the village of St. Tudy. This was the nearest Blacksmiths, so when
Prince needed shoeing I would walk along the narrow lane, not much more than a cart track, with grass growing down the middle with Prince walking beside me, his head sometimes resting on my shoulder. The blacksmiths shop was in the centre of the village green shaded by an enormous chestnut tree. Here I would wait, as he was shod before walking him back to the farm.
Emilio developed a large abscess on his cheek and had to be returned to the prison of war camp, and we did not see him again. They sent us another Italian, but he said "Me no work for bloody English", so he was sent back. Then we got a seventeen-year-old German called Hans. He settled in well and I believe did not return to Germany when the war ended, married a Cornish maid and still farms in Cornwall.
Mrs. Jewel, apart from running all the domestic side of the farm and all the poultry and milking ran a taxi service taking villagers to visit relatives in hospital in Truro. As there was no other way of getting there she was allowed a small ration of petrol. However as tyres were unobtainable she frequently got punctures, but when the tyre was flat the jack was too tall to go under the axle. So being a resourceful lady she always carried a club hammer and chisel with her in the car. She would proceed to dig a hole in the road deep enough to stand the jack in so that the car could be backed over it. There were many holes in the roads around St. Mabyn. The car was I think an old Austin sixteen and was usually started with a starting handle or by towing with the tractor, but sometimes by Prince.
Sometimes when she was transporting villagers out, if there was room in the car I would be allowed to go along. Once we visited the slate mining village of Delabole on the north Cornish coast, another time Rock and Polzeath on the mouth of the river Camel.
I had developed a ringworm on my forehead resulting from resting my head against a cow's flank whilst milking. It had grown to the size of a half crown. Playing in the school play ground one morning I was approached by a village lady who asked me if I wanted to be rid of it. She told me to go to the third house on the left in the little lane behind the school, to knock on the door and tell the lady who came to the door that I wanted her to help me. On no account was I to say please or thank you or offer any gift. Having lived in the village for some time I thought that I knew everyone, but the lady who answered the door I had never seen
before or indeed since. The Cornish believe in Charming and what ever you may think it worked for me as three days later my ringworm had gone. During my stay in Cornwall I did have other experiences of the power of the spells cast by witches called Charming and saw water diviners at work. They could locate the place to sink a well in the middle of a field.
Each day the newspaper would have a little map in the top right-hand corner showing the progress of the Allied Armies advancing across Europe and giving the distance to Berlin ,comparing this, for instance, with the distance from London to Birmingham .
Eventually the war in Europe came to an end, but by this time I had got so used to the Cornish way of life that I had no desire to return to my family in Surrey. It had been a long time since I had seen them and apart from an occasional letter I had had no other contact with them. All my friends were Cornish. Family and Surrey seemed remote and alien to me. I felt that I had become Cornish.
Year 1945 I did return to Oaks Avenue, and went back briefly to Stoneleigh East Senior School, now to be known as the Secondary Modern School. During my last term I organised a cycle ride for pupils in my class out to Leith Hill. This was an adventure, as none of us had been that far before. I think there were about a dozen of us,the only name I can remember now was Jenkins . I last saw him working at Langley Motors, Cheam in the sixties. Leith Hill fascinated me as it was just under 1000 feet high so the owner built a tower on top which raised it up enough to qualify as a mountain.
One of my School friends in my class at that time was Noel Myers who I last met in 1953 in the Harrow Public House in Cheam village, he was very popular because his mother worked in the Granada cinema at North Cheam (where Sainsburys is now) and could could get us free tickets. He appeared on Television in a documentry a few years ago as Mr fix it working for Lord Leichfield the photographer when they were producing the Pirrelli Callender.
I recall travelling up to London to see the Victory celebrations in Trafalgar Square when Japan was finally defeated with my mother, and being carried along in the crush of people towards Buckingham Palace. In the evening seeing the phosphorescence pouring into the river Thames off one of the bridges. Having become used to the wide open fields and freedom of life in the country, I felt very confined living in the suburbs of London and found it very difficult to settle down. I had lost contact with people I had been at school with.
Soon I had my fourteenth birthday and left school to start working for a shipping agents, H. Maclaine & Co. in Leadenhall St. in the City of London, next door but one to Cunard White Star. My wages were one pound a week, out of which I had to pay my daily travelling expenses, buy clothes, and give a contribution at home. It meant taking a 93 or 156 bus to Morden then the underground to the Bank station and walking along Cornhill to Leadenhall St. Sometimes I would get off at London Bridge station and walk over the bridge, stopping on the bridge looking down river, to see the ships unloading in the Port of London, never imagining that in a few short years it would all be gone .
Many of the underground stations still had the tiers of wooden bunks on the platforms from the Blitz when people would spend the nights down there safe from the bombing. After the last train had finished the electric currant would be switched off and people would take their bedding down and sleep between the lines.

I have many happy memories of my time spent in your lovely village.and would love to hear from anyone who might remember me.
Leaving School at 14 years old my first holiday from work I cycled from Surrey back to St. Mabyn to see the people that I knew in the village.

John Travis

If anyone would like to contact John please email me at and I will forward any messages to him.


Changes in St.Mabyn

"During these past years St. Mabyn has changed more than most villages. The number of retail outlets was more than ten and we had our own petrol station (Mr. Le Warne's) in station road. The village was totally self sufficient including a bookmaker!! (Frank Menhennit).
Another pump was outside the canteen. The number of local characters was unbelievable. All now sadly gone. There was a letter box in the wall just to one side of the memorial but it was removed due to regular problems with snails. I believe it was a VR edition but am not sure. St. Mabyn carnival was always well attended and a regular event.The village pump was well used before water arrived in the mid fifties and was looked after by Mrs.Bastard in whose garden it was to one corner."

Brian Flay

St.Mabyn forge

Walter Ede [1650-1716] and his wife Emme(nee Cockram) [1649-1713] lived at the forge in St.Mabyn after their marriage in 1674. Walter was a blacksmith who could read which was uncommon in those days.

Pitt Farm, St Mabyn

ichard Johns 1772 – 1828 is described by The Parish records as a Yeoman Farmer living at Pitt Farm in 1797. He was the son of John and Mary who were married in 1771 and this is the earliest record I have of the family, although there is a Richard buried in St Mabyn who died in 1768 – this could be John’s father.

Yeomen were usually fairly wealthy and well respected members of the community. This is also inferred by the fact that he was an Overseer of the Poor. This meant he was in charge of a levy that was charged to all householders for the upkeep of the poor of the parish. It was his responsibility to see that those who needed help received it and also to control vagrancy by finding employment for anyone who arrived from elsewhere with no job or home. An example of this was an apprenticeship to him of Matilda May in 1817.

Richard was married to Ann Pearse and their eldest son, John was Innkeeper(presumably at St Mabyn Inn). His widow Matilda and son Richard appear on all the censuses, living together until Matilda died in 1861. Subsequently Richard appears as a lodger to various people having never married. He died in 1895.

Richard and Ann’s other children include Mary Pearse who married William Pinch, William, Richard, Thomas, Nicholas and James.

William married and lived at St Kew but his son Nicholas John later returned and is recorded on the 1881 census as living at Pitt with his wife and some of his children,(one of them being William, my grandfather) others being born after the census. My grandfather moved to St Tudy where my father was born.

After Richard died in 1828 his widow Ann must have stayed at Pitt and later married Thomas Ellery, widower in 1835. Her son Thomas had Married Ann Ellery but sadly she died in childbirth (presumably) as it was the same year as the birth of their son Richard Andrew. Thomas remarried Nanny Bennett and they are recorded as living at Littlewood, although he owned land at Pitt.

The tithe map of 1842 shows that William, Thomas, Ann, Nicholas and James all owned land at Pitt but only Thomas Johns and Ann Ellery lived there.

Nicholas owned 40 acres according to the 1871 Census and lived in Church Village in 1881. He died at Kelly Park house, owner of Higher and Lower Long Parks and Moor Green as well as part of Pitt.

In 1861 James lived at Trethivey and was retired, aged 44. He hired a dairymaid, Katherine A May. In 1871 he lived at West End Cottage and owned 5.5 acres. He owned Helligan Mill which he rented to George Hill and also 8 acres at Pitt.

Sheran Nelson

Cousins found dead on Cornish farm

William Thomas Kellow, .35, single, farmer, of Spittal, St. Mabyn and Dorothy May Kellow, single, the man's cousin, were on Saturday found dead on the farm, both being shot. The tragic discovery was made by a fifteen-year-old girl employed on the farm. She heard heated words between the man and the woman.
Going downstairs, the girl saw Kellow pointing a sporting gun at his cousin. The weapon went off, and Miss Kellow fell.
The little girl ran for assistance, and when the police arrived they found Miss Kellow dead and the, man, also dead, lying in the same rqom as that of the woman.
Spittal was formerly farmed by Miss Kellow's father, and the male victim of the tragedy took it over a few years ago. It is understood that he and Miss Kellow were joint holders of the stock which, together with the farm, had been advertised to be sold by auction in a fortnight's time.

Newspaper cutting 2nd October 1943

My brother and I left Chiswick aged 6years and 8years I believe in 1940. I too have been back to St Mabyn and learn't that our group from Chiswick was know as the 'Chiswick Contingency' and is still remembered by some as we didn't go to the village school but used the Hall for lessons. Mr Travis talks of Cheam which is amazing as when I first married we lived in New Malden and even more surprising we have lived in Chichester for the past 40years.
Stanley Holloway