Social History     Audio Memories
Mrs Anstey – Early memories of Dartmouth   Mrs Anstey 20thC
DHRG No. 102617
Born & lived until married in one of three cottages that used to be in Vavasours Slip; remembers the fire in the paint works opposite when she was age 3, families were evacuated to Clarence St. Father worked carrying coal for the Gas Works, Mr Tall was Manager of the works.
Played on the beach by the shipyards on the edge of what is now Coronation Park. Mr Trot delivered bread to the Naval College each day from Dunnings Bakery in Foss St, College used Kingswear Laundry.
She worked at the College aged 13 from 7.00 am to 12 noon 6 days a week for half a crown (12½ p) then worked at the Dartmouth laundry in Victoria Rd until married. Recalls butcher's shop in Lower St & Hannaford’s in Duke St, describes dish made by her mother from 10d of meat.
Tenements in Higher St, now Higherside Flats; Brown family; went to the Board School (now Holdsworth House sheltered accommodation). Borrowed blankets for the winter from Mrs Sanders.
Mr Anstey was engineer on the Totnes paddle boats before they were replaced by diesel engines & propellers, boats were owned by Mr Tollman, River Dart Steam Boat Co. Wages were very poor.
Remembers boiling clothes in a copper which was built into a wall of the house & using the mangle. House had running water but no bathroom, baths were taken in front of the fire with water heated in kettles on the range.

Peter Clark – Early memories of Dittisham, wartime events.   Peter Clark 20thC
DHRG No. 102625
Born in Dittisham in 1925 where he lived until he joined the RAF in 1943 at the age of 18.
Talks about Dittisham before WWII, holiday craft on the river, Ditsum plums, banana boats in the river, P & O ships at Dartmouth, fishing in the river. Schooling at Totnes & Dartmouth & difficulties in travelling.
Outbreak of War. Evacuees. Belgian refugees & fishing boats in Brixham. ME109 attack on barge near Galmpton. Raid on Noss Works - talks about 8 Ditsum boys killed.
Worked as a junior clerk after leaving school in 1941, sent out to ships coming in to Dartmouth to take orders for supplies, send messages etc. Convoys came in the evenings & left next morning. Motor launches built at Galmpton. Barrage balloons on ships. Attacks on shipping in the harbour.
Period leading up to D-Day, ships in the river from Dittisham to Dartmouth. Bartering with American ships- fresh food, cigarettes etc. Sir Henry Martin (well known surgeon), air raid warden, first aid lectures.

Walter Parr Ferris   Walter Parr Ferris 20thC
DHRG No. 102633
Owner of a Chemist Shop in St Georges Square & later in the Butterwalk. Memories of wartime Dartmouth, the Britannia Royal Naval College and the American Forces. D-Day preparations, the River, Castle Hotel meetings, Free French, air raids, bombs on Dartmouth and damage to Higherside flats and the Cherub. Bombs and damage to Philips Shipbuilders, Kingswear & Yacht Hotel; Home Guard and the Drill Hall Clarence Hill. Bomb damage to Duke Street & the Butterwalk, plans for demolition & restoration with the Jesse Room.

John Distin – Well known Dartmothian who talks about his life as a man & boy   John Distin 20thC
DHRG No. 102654
Family came to Dartmouth in 1924 from Salcombe, father was working in the wreck of the Broadmayne as part of a syndicate which included a builder named Partridge. Later he worked as a fisherman & river pilot, taught himself to dive for salvage, found a cargo of marble & salvaged a yacht belonging to actor Seymour Hicks. Became diver engineer for Harbour Authority.
Went to school in Dartmouth, left at the age of 14. Started crab fishing with a man named Cramp during the early years of WWII. Joined Sea Cadets, volunteered for duty on a ship at 2s 6d a day. Joined water boat on the river supplying navy ships, river water desalinated.
Boat sent to Antwerp, caught in bad weather in Portland Race, became Skipper when Bosun jumped ship. Alan Percy from Dartmouth became Mate. Stayed with boat until end of war.
Returned to Dartmouth & fishing until called up for Army Service with Royal Engineers. Took part in the evacuation of Palestine. On de-mob returned to crab fishing with Jack Bell, hit by a plague of Octopus.
Started contracting work on the river – checking moorings, passenger trips, 1st Tall Ships race, ferry to Noss ship yard. Port always busy with lots to do. Bought redundant navy craft and burnt them to salvage copper rivets & fittings etc.
Became deputy pilot to Dave Griffiths and later qualified as a pilot for naval boats. Oil Tankers for Naval College, Timber Ships to Totnes Russian Fish Transfer boats.
Served as Skipper on a dredger called Penurgic for Philip & Son for 5 Years dredging area for yacht marina.

Jack McKay – Born in 1923, Jack’s memories of Dartmouth are as clear now as when a lad   Jack McKay 20thC
DHRG No. 102655
Born at Sandquay in1923 Jack McKay talks to Wally Fleet of the History Research Group & together they take an imaginary walk from his home to school in those early days.

During the walk Jack describes the shops, shop owners & families along the route intermixed with tales of events that he remembers as a young school boy.

David (Dibi) Brown   David (Dibi) Brown 20thC
DHRG No. 103109
One of a family of 12 children, born in 1952 in Silver Street, also known as Undercliff, David recalls his early days, his move to a house in the North end of Clarence St & to a house suitable for the large family at Townstal and working as a boy in the rowing boat hire business to contribute to the family income.

Syd Bell Track 1   Syd Bell 20thC
DHRG No. 102618
Lower Ferry & employees, Living conditions in crowded accommodation, wash days, shops, trades & working conditions. Poor Law relief. Food - bread & dripping, sheep’s head, rabbits, pigs trotters. Father a Coal (H)lumper, fishing to supplement wages.

Syd Bell Track 2   Syd Bell 20thC
DHRG No. 102619
Work for a furniture shop & removal firm. Food: tripe, hogs pudding, offal. Christmas stockings. Lower Street shops & pubs, doctors' fees, medicine. Butterwalk, Warfleet limekilns & brewery. Jobs in the coaling trade, making the tally, strikes, unions & unemployment.

Syd Bell Track 3   Syd Bell 20thC
DHRG No. 102620

Tom Blamey Track 1   Tom Blamey 20thC
DHRG No. 102621
Tom Blamey

Tom Blamey Track 2   Tom Blamey 20thC
DHRG No. 102622
Tom Blamey

Tom Blamey Track 3   Tom Blamey 20thC
DHRG No. 102623
Tom Blamey

Tom Blamey Track 4   Tom Blamey 20thC
DHRG No. 102624
Tom Blamey

Charlie Evans Track 1   Charlie Evans 20thC
DHRG No. 102626
Charlie Evans

Charlie Evans Track 2   Charlie Evans 20thC
DHRG No. 102627
Charlie Evans

Charlie Evans Track 3   Charlie Evans 20thC
DHRG No. 102628
Charlie Evans

Hannaford Family Track 1   Hannaford Family 20thC
DHRG No. 102629

Hannaford Family Track 2   Hannaford Family 20thC
DHRG No. 102630
Hannaford Family

Hannaford Family Track 3   Hannaford Family 20thC
DHRG No. 102631
Hannaford Family

Hannaford Family Track 4   Hannaford Family 20thC
DHRG No. 102632
Hannaford Family

Bert Lavers Track 1   Bert Lavers 20thC
DHRG No. 102634
Bert Lavers

Bert Lavers Track 2   Bert Lavers 20thC
DHRG No. 102635
Bert Lavers

Miss Lidstone Track 1   Miss Lidstone 20thC
DHRG No. 102636
Miss Lidstone

Miss Lidstone Track 2   Miss Lidstone 20thC
DHRG No. 102637
Miss Lidstone

Mrs Lidstone, Teacher Track 1   Mrs Lidstone 20thC
DHRG No. 102638
Mrs Lidstone, Teacher

Mrs Lidstone, Teacher Track 2   Mrs Lidstone 20thC
DHRG No. 102639
Mrs Lidstone, Teacher

Mrs Lidstone, Teacher Track 3   Mrs Lidstone 20thC
DHRG No. 102640
Mrs Lidstone, Teacher

George Riddles Track 1   George Riddles 20thC
DHRG No. 102641
George Riddles

George Riddles Track 2   George Riddles 20thC
DHRG No. 102642
George Riddles

George Riddles Track 3   George Riddles 20thC
DHRG No. 102643
George Riddles

Miss Smith Track 1   Miss Smith 20thC
DHRG No. 102644
Miss Smith

Miss Smith Track 2   Miss Smith 20thC
DHRG No. 102645
Miss Smith

Marjorie & David Skinner Track 1   Marjorie & David Skinner 20thC
DHRG No. 102646
Marjorie & David Skinner

Marjorie & David Skinner Track 2   Marjorie & David Skinner 20thC
DHRG No. 102647
Marjorie & David Skinner

John White Track 1   John White 20thC
DHRG No. 102648
John White

John White Track 2   John White 20thC
DHRG No. 102649
John White

John White Track 3   John White 20thC
DHRG No. 102650
John White

John White Track 4   John White 20thC
DHRG No. 102651
John White

Harold White Track 1   Harold White 20thC
DHRG No. 102652
Harold White

Harold White Track 2   Harold White 20thC
DHRG No. 102653
Harold White

Jack Cutter Track 1   Jack Cutter
DHRG No. 103114
Background and how he came to Dartmouth, life as a teacher at the newly created secondary modern school and teaching of sport. Describes how he left to pursue a career but came back later.

Jack Cutter Track 2   Jack Cutter 20thC
DHRG No. 103115
Dartmouth as an industrial town and the changes in the town. Resurrection of Dartmouth rugby club, anecdote about rugby in Kingswear. Time as scoutmaster while teaching in Dartmouth. His time as a Councillor and Mayor in Dartmouth.